All posts tagged: history

Dome of the Rock

Temple Mount, Dome of the Rock, Har HaBeit (הר הבית), Haram al-Sharif, it goes by many names and has a deep history. Without going into too much detail this Dome of the Rock is the holiest site in Judaism. It is believed that at this spot all of creation took place from the creation stone. The first and second Jewish Temples once stood there. Now stands there the Dome in the center, one of the oldest Islamic structures. And on the south side sits a mosque. Now on the mount only Muslims are allowed to pray, which is cause for a lot of controversy in Israel. I was unsure about visiting the mount, it is not a common or recommended thing for most Israelis or Jews to do. When entering through security I was listening to a tour guide prep his group before entering. He double checked several times, asking if anyone was Jewish, if anybody was carrying something religious that was not Muslim, no bibles, or kippas, no rosaries. He didn’t want any trouble …

Jerusalem: The Old City, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Wall

My Mommy has finally arrived! Now my twin and I are taking her around to see the sights. We’ve started here in Jerusalem which my brother knows very well. He has been volunteering at an archaeological dig site next to the wall for the last five months. So we are very lucky to have our own personal tour guide. We dove right in to site seeing on the first day. It was made easy by the perfect location of our hotel, right on King George St., in the center of all the action. The name, City Center Hotel doesn’t lie. This hotel is perfect! Superb location, great staff, and the rooms are modern, clean, with the comforts of home. I would call this place a hidden gem, nested in the heart of King George St. in the center of Jerusalem. It’s surrounded by restaurants and cafes, the light rail is just around the corner. It was lovely to wake up in the morning, walk outside and find a cafe to sit at, and enjoy some …


Taking a break from lounging at the Dead Sea we jumped in the car and went looking for some adventure. We came to the sign for Masada and made a turn for it. I had been there once before two years ago when I was on a ten day tour throughout Israel. That time we had hiked up the other side instead of taking the 3 minute rail car. King Herod built the fortress on this flat piece of mountain in 30 BCE. His palace was located on the northern side. Equipped with bath house, store rooms, mikveh pools which you can still see the remains. We watched the seven minute video before taking the lift up to learn some more about the history of the place. I was shocked when they showed pictures of pottery that was found that had names written in Hebrew. The story of Masada is quite tragic. It was in the year of 73 when the, almost 1,000, people on top of Masada commit suicide rather than be taken by …

Old City of Jaffa/Port

For my first five months here in Israel I had the pleasure of living less than a fifteen minute walk from the old city of Jaffa. My brother and I would normally venture there on the weekends. Especially when we were hungry (on Shabbat when mostly all the restaurants and grocery stores included are closed), the old city would save us with some delicious falafel or hummus. In Aaron’s case, both. 🙂 Besides the food, Jaffa is absolutely a treat to walk around! It has so much history and is so alive. Walking through its narrow stone-covered passageways I always felt transported back in time.    

Tekoa: A trip to the Northern Judaean Mountains

The West Bank My friend never came out and said, “I live in the West Bank”, so it took me by surprise when we were crossing the line over in the dark of night. Not sure how I didn’t put the two together when he said “I live on a settlement”, but in my defense I was still new to the country. So it wasn’t until we were about five minutes away when my eyes widened with (I will admit) a little bit fear but also a lot of excitement. And that is how I found myself in the West Bank, Palestinian territory.