Friday, November 5, 2010
The first morning that we were in Jerusalem we went across the Kidron Valley to the Garden of Olives, which is right next to a cemetery that provides this grand view of the city of Jerusalem. All the buildings in the city must be of limestone which makes the city shine on its hilltop.
The gold dome is a Muslim shrine that marks the site where Mohammed ascended into heaven. To its left inside the city wall is the Western Wall, a site holy to Jews because it is all that is left of the Temple which was destroyed in the first century. Other towers and domes mark some of the Christian sites such as the Holy Sepulchre. It is hard to ignore the fact that this city is sacred to the world's three great monotheistic religions.
I prayed that it would one day live up to its name which means "City of Peace."
The tombs in the foreground are covered with stones, a Jewish practice that shows that someone has visited the grave. (It is not customary for them to use flowers.) Some think that the practice originated when only a pile of rocks marked the site of a grave and this was a way of maintaining the pile.