Not sure how to quantify what I have experienced in the past 48 hours.
Out of Jericho, which is a spring in the middle of the desert, you rise up a total of 4000 ft to get to Jerusalem.
The Psalm that speaks of “ascending the hill of The Lord” makes a little more sense.
You skirt the Kidron Valley where the blood from the Temple Mount and the sacrifices would flow out of Jerusalem.
This valley connects to the Hinnom Valley, also known as Gehenna…hmmm.
On top of this ridge between them sits the spring that David built his city on top of at the base of Mt. Moriah.
This is of course where Abraham nearly sacrificed Isaac and where Solomon built the first temple.
It’s also where Herod continued the work of the exiles from Babylon and finished the Second Temple of Jesus day.
Today it’s the site of the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
I saw the Wailing Wall.
I took the tunnel tour and walked on streets that are the LITERAL streets of the Temple Mount in Jesus day.
I touched the original wall that Herod the Great built that the Romans destroyed in 70AD.
I looked down from the Mt. of Olives on Gethsemane.
I was in Gethsemane.
I walked down the Via Dolorosa.
I was outside the Church believed to be on the hill once called Golgotha.
I think what strikes me is that it’s all here.
Our guide said something yesterday that I won’t forget.
He said, “Arguably, this is the most important city on the entire earth.”
I get why people talk about the mysterious and divine sense that they get when they come here.
I’m just trying to not forget the sounds, the sights, the moments & the memories.
“L’shanah haba’ah biyerushalayim” is a saying at the end of every Seder meal that translates “next year in Jerusalem” and it expresses the hope and longing of the Jewish people that next year they might celebrate together in the city of David.
To the degree that I can, I get it a little more now than I did 2 days ago.