Sent: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 1:11 AM|
Subject: Walking Walls & Tunnels
Two weeks ago (Monday, June 2nd) I walked on the Northern and Eastern wall of the Old City. I started at Damascus Gate and finished at Lions Gate near the Dome of the Rock. I entered for a small fee at the entrance below Damascus Gate then climbed the stairs to the top. I got to look out the window above Damascus Gate that I had seen a soldier looking out of. From there I went East along the wall. Some buildings inside the city were higher than the wall along that section. I was amazed to see how many playgrounds and sports areas there were in the Muslim Quarter. I turned South at the corner and walked as far as the Temple Mount, which is where the walkway ended. It was a long walk, but enjoyable. That was my first time being on that part of the wall. Before, I had walked on the Western and Southern side, from Yafo Gate towards Dung Gate.
The next day, Tuesday (June 3rd), I went and saw the famous stained glass windows in the synagogue at Hadassah Hospital. That night I went to a performance of Shakespeare's 'Taming of the Shrew'. One of my good friends was in it and he did a very good job. He had to improvise, without warning, when another actor fainted backstage. I didn't even find out until after the play.
The next day (Wednesday, June 4th) I went with two friends to the City of David and walked through Hezekiah's Tunnel, which brought water into the city. The highest that the water got was to my knees, the width of the passage was not much wider than my shoulders, and the height varied from me having to bend over to the ceiling being twenty feet high. There was no lighting in the tunnel so we each took headlamps. The walk through took about forty minutes. It was one of the funnest things that I have done here.
On the next day, Thursday (June 5th), I saw Yad VaShem, the Holocaust museum. It was definitely worth seeing. The grounds where the museum is located were quite large. I think that we only saw a little of what there was to see. The building in which we spent most of our time contained a long walk down its length as we zigzagged back and forth between display rooms. The building was oriented towards the setting sun so that there was light at the building’s exit. Just before the end were some rooms where research could be done on relatives who had died in the Holocaust.
In the main room was a large pit surrounded with a railing. Above the pit were pictures of people who had probably died in the concentration camps. In the bottom was a pool of water which reflected the pictures along with your own face as you looked over the edge. The pit represented the burial of many Jews by the Nazis. Our visit to the museum was a moving experience.
It is nearing the end of semester for the graduates at Hebrew U's international school. Since I am only doing Hebrew, I was put in a class with them. This week is our last week of class and then begins the first summer session with more Hebrew. The undergraduates have already finished and most have left. It was sad to see so many good friends leaving. Two of my suite mates left as well.
I hope all is well, God bless you.