Last Day in Israel
We spent the morning at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Memorial. The name “Yad Vashem” means “a name and a memory,” which is the desire here for those who lost their lives in the holocaust. It was a very emotional morning for each and everyone of us. The stories and pictures throughout the museum are a reminder that we must never forget. As Tito, our guide told us, we cannot change the past but we can remember it, so that we can change the future and never let this happen again. As we entered the children’s memorial and the main exhibit hall, the entry is dark and narrow but as we exit, it is wide and bright, overlooking Israel. That is the hope of the Jewish people—not to live with anger and revenge but to love life and live a life of hope.
We also had the privilege to visit the Military Cemetery on Mount Herzl. We visited the grave of Michael Levin, a lone soldier from Eastern Pennsylvania. Lone soldiers are those that come to Israel from other countries and serve in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). Michael was a special friend of The Friends of Israel, and was killed in the war with Lebanon on August 1, 2006.
We have driven through and around the City of David many times since we arrived in Jerusalem but today we stopped in for a visit. Something that is surprising is that today it is a Muslim neighborhood. Because of that, the only way archaeological excavation is possible is by purchasing homes in the area for huge sums of money. Added to this obstacle is that the homeowners are not willing to sell to non-Muslims. It takes financial backing and many layers of buyers for the opportunity to buy in order to excavate the land. Recently archaeologist have found what they call “The Large Structure” and what may be the sight of David‘s palace!
From there we walked through Hezekiah’s tunnel. At least a half dozen of us walked through the dark, wet narrow tunnel—the rest of us chose the less adventurous route. This tunnel was an amazing feat from the 8th century BC. They dug this tunnel that provided water for the city from the Gibon Spring. The spring was outside the safety of the city wall. And it flowed to the pool of Siloam, inside the city wall. I was so impressed by how they were able to build this tunnel without the use of modern machinery. Sometimes we think we are so advanced in our times that we don’t give credit to the engineering of those who lived hundreds and even thousands of years before us. Visiting Jerusalem really brings perspective in so many ways. This is another reason context and history is so important!
The tunnel ends at the Pool of Siloam and by the time of Jesus, this pool was thought to be a spring. The tunnel had long been forgotten as well as the source of the fresh water at the pool of Siloam.
Tonight we enjoyed a farewell banquet at the hotel with Josh Reinstein, the director of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus. Josh talked about the importance of supporting Israel and the Jewish people. It’s safe to say that we all have a deeper love and appreciation for God’s Chosen People now more than ever. Jim Showers also reminded us of all the places we have been in our short ten days here. We walked over 37 miles! It made me feel less guilty about all the food I’ve eaten! I am really going to miss Israel. Please pray for us as we travel home tomorrow.
Tito, our guide shared during our last site that we have explored Jerusalem–both above and below! There are 19 levels to this city on a hill and we were blessed to experience some of the most beautiful places. And as they say, “Until next year in Jerusalem!”
Links to where we visited:
Yad Vashem: http://www.yadvashem.org/
Hezekiah's Tunnel: https://www.bibleplaces.com/heztunnel/
Pool of Siloam: https://www.bibleplaces.com/poolofsiloam/
Blog author: Lisa Small
Director of Publications
The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry
Photos: Tom Gallione
Internet Ministries Manager
The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry