As we were driving into Jerusalem, Kenny asked us the question,”If you knew that you were having your last meal on earth, would you want an omelet, tuna, or cheese?” We didn’t realize it at the time, but we were deciding on our lunch for the next day. We had about 30 minutes at the Western Wall and then we were to meet in the arch/tunnel which is the last arch on the left facing south on the plaza. It is in the bottom of the three story building. Kenny met us there with sandwiches for lunch: tuna, cheese, or egg. Since I like omelets, guess what kind of sandwich I had!
I had to take the picture of this cat because everywhere you go in Israel, and in Jerusalem especially, you see wild cats – in the trash cans, trying to beg food from tourists... They are everywhere. There are several internet sites that are devoted to the cats of Jerusalem. This site even has an art project that includes photos of 248 cats.
This one seemed to sense that there was something afoot in the tunnel.
It was omelet sandwiches for Judy and me.
And leftover bits from someone on the tour.
The name you see below on the plaque is the late Rabbi of the Western Wall.
Once we were through with lunch, those who wanted to could explore the Western Wall tunnels.
The part of the Western Wall that you have seen is the part that is visible at ground level. The rest is underground and was discovered by the British archaeologists Charles Wilson and Sir Charles Warren who, in 1867, sunk shafts along the lengths of the western and southern walls, revealing 18 courses reaching down to bedrock. Further excavations in the 1970’s have uncovered remains dating from the time of King Solomon. Today you can tour the ancient Herodian street at a depth of 50 feet below ground level, along the length of the wall.
At the start of the tour Kenny showed us a model of Mt. Moriah.
He then showed us how the temple mount was built on top of Mt. Moriah and how the city grew around the Temple Mount.
The Secret Passage…
I believe that this room is used for prayer and study because it is close to the Holy of Holies.
This is the great hall.
We entered a room with benches where we could look at a model of the Temple Mount so we could see exactly where the tunnels were located as Kenny turned on the lights.
I was glad I found this labeled picture on the internet. It helps me understand better where everything is.
I read somewhere that the temple was approximately 10 stories high.
This would be Robinson’s Arch.
The base stones of the wall are incredibly huge. This one is the largest object ever lifted by man. It is 44.5 feet long, approximately 12 feet wide, and weighs an estimated 600 tons. The rectangular holes in the stone were added in the middle ages. Their purpose was to hold the plaster which was applied onto the walls when this section was transformed into a water reservoir.
Of course, since this is part of the Western Wall, people leave their prayers in any crevice.