Today began in the bowels of the Temple Mount as we traced the Rabbi's Tunnel. This was an exceptional way to see how the layers of civilizations and empires built on and around the Temple. The Western Wall was bustling with flutes, drums, singing, and celebration because it was Bar-Mitzvah Day. It was so cool to see how much Biblical training and responsibility goes into manhood of a Jewish boy. Next, we traveled to the Southern steps and saw steps that Jesus actually walked on. We also gained some new perspective on the birth of the church at Pentecost.
The second half of the day began with an in-depth tour of the city of David. We saw David's palace being excavated, the Old Testament History surrounding the Gihon Spring, and Hezekiah's tunnel. Two brave explorers dared to take the partially submerged (and very dark) portion of the tunnel. After returning to the top of the slope of the city of David, we were blessed with an incredible surprise. Just a few days ago, the news was flooded with a new archeological discovery. They found many of the very ornate tiles from the floor of the Temple Mount. They had been discarded in a massive pile of rock and dirt that the Muslims bulldozed off the top of the Temple Mount years ago. Well, they were sitting on display in a little courtyard where we walked through. They were intended for Licensed Israeli Tour guides to see for the first time. However, we got to get up very close and even touch them. What a rare and wonderful experience. I talked with the Archaeologist who discovered them and had my picture taken with her (below).