Day 4 – Dec 30, 2022


Today was heart warming, jaw dropping and … breath taking in ever sense of the way.

We embarked the bus (without coffee in hand!) for a short ride to a much anticipated destination… the old city part of Jerusalem. Noam took us through the streets to the best viewing spots till finally we laid eyes on the Western Wall and the Golden Dome.

Soon in the tunnels we learned about the long history starting about -1000 BC. Built by Jewish people, destroyed and rebuilt again and again over the centuries the significance is without doubt and awe inspiring.

Is it a lawn ball? Is it a paper weight? We were close with our guesses indeed – it was a catapult weapon. We also learned how water had such a significance in those days, showcased with beautiful light di…

Further on, many of us were deeply touched once we reached the Western Wall (Kotel) for the first time and say our prayers, leave our wishes for our world and our loved ones in the cracks of the wall.

There is always more food around the next corner, even when you don’t expect it. Then off to more adventures of clear and convincing ancient history.

Then there were bullae with King David’s signature, showing the daily business of these ancient people, teaching us so much about their way of life.

On this tour you do everything, and we mean everything… even walking through the sewage tunnels (which Noam said were built by KKL JNF – but we’re not sure… ????)

Indeed our sense of historical empathy was thoroughly refined as we trekked the underground trail to the Siloam Pool. We felt just like the faithful pilgrims of thousands of years ago before making our way up to the Temple Mount again. What a way to finish an incredible morning. City of David… we definitely dig it!
We are ending the day at Machane Yehuda. If you thought Sydney Parklea Markets is crowded and busy, this is Sydney Parklea Markets on steroids!!!!

So wish we could have entered the feeling of everything, everyone, everywhere slowing down as the crowds and streets empty ahead of Shabbat. As the sun sets and the madness subsides it’s a physical, emotional and spiritual calming to prepare to shut off and recharge for the week ahead.
Sorry we couldn’t capture the spirituality of praying together in the Shule. Shabbat Shalom everyone!

Helen Shnider (Mount Scopus), Naison Mwanza (Montefiore), Cherie Russell (Carmel), Susann Beier (UNSW)