Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The old old...OLD City of Jerusalem

In America if something is 300 years old we put it in a museum and gaze in awe how old it is. Meanwhile in Jerusalem something 300 years old is about as big of a deal as finding a half a shekel on the ground.

This is because of how old and rich Jerusalem's history is. It was founded nearly 4 thousand years ago and has been controlled by 12 empires during that span, each building upon the other and creating their own versions of Jerusalem.

Since each empire after the other built upon the other, the older cities got pushed into the earth while the newer cities were built on top of the older ones. That is why the deeper you go in Jerusalem, the older artifacts you will find.

Two days ago we visited the the city of David, founded by King David himself around 4500 years ago. So old that it is mentioned in the Bible. It was simply amazing to be able to experience actual proof of the events in the bible existing in the ancient ruins of David's city.

Our group then walked into a cave built by the ancient Canaanite as a settlement around 5000 years ago. Before Moses, before David, even before the rise of ancient Egypt.

After walking through the Canaan cave, we went even deeper under ground to the water tunnel, a narrow tunnel originally meant for a means of obtaining water built under the rule of King David.

A water tunnel may not seem that impressive but these men didn't have access to modern day technology to dig out their tunnel. Today if we wanted to build a tunnel we would use a machine that could detect soft areas in the rock and a big drilling machine to carve out the tunnel. The ancient Israelis used axes and picks.

As I walked the ancient tunnels you could see the markings from each individual pick used to carve the walls of the tunnel.

The rich ancient history of Jerusalem has defined what it is today.

Yesterday, while touring the base of the western wall the tour guide said, "People come to Jerusalem for its past in the present and pray for the future."

-Johnny Scher

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