Archive for January, 2013

Learning Hebrew For Travel


Before we visited Israel in conjunction with writing my book, On Our Own in Jerusalem’s Old City, we studied from Pemsleur Modern Hebrew. The lessons are by far the best conversational Hebrew lessons that I have ever heard. Modern Hebrew is main language spoken in Israel. In order to be better prepared for our trip, we spent some time reviewing the lessons.

Learning the conversational language is a great way to enjoy the culture and people of a country one visits. It is easier to find important locations such as a post office, restroom, or coffee shop. Makes for a more pleasant trip.

For those of you who enjoy learning all you can about Hebrew, this link includes information on the history of Hebrew.

For the information on Pemsleur Modern Hebrew, click here.  or here.

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Damascus Gate

The Damascus Gate

We took this photo outside the Damascus Gate on our trip to Israel. I love the architecture and masonry work. The craftmanship is worth the trip.


For a general history and overview of the Damascus Gate, click here. On this link you can see what the gate looked like in 1856 and compare it to my photo.
Called the Shechem Gate by the Jews, the Arabs remember this gate as the “Gate
of the Column” because of the tall pillar that stood in this gate’s plaza during
the Roman and Byzantine period. Click here to read more.

To view the Damascus Gate in a Virtual Tour. Click here. If you get dizzy easily, it might not be a good click.

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The Cardo

The Cardo was an ancient main street at the time of Jesus.



In 1999, we ate pizza in The Cardo Pizza shop with my Mom. It has become a special memory for me since Mom passed away a few years ago. When David and I went to Israel on a later trip, we had pizza at the same shop in Mom’s memory.

The Cardo in the past.

The central street of the Cardo is 40 feet (12 m) wide and is lined on both
sides with columns.  The total width of the street and shopping areas on either
side is 70 feet (22 m), the equivalent of a 4-lane highway today.  This street
was the main thoroughfare of Byzantine Jerusalem and served both residents and
pilgrims. Click here to read the rest of the article.

The Cardo in present times.

Today the Cardo is one of the key attractions in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City. A section of Cardo has been reactivated as a shopping street, full of arts and various special goods.  In part of the preserved Cardo, the French school of art Creation de la Cite installed a large painting of the Byzantine Cardo – look for the depiction of a Byzantine girl handing a pomegranate to a 21st century boy. Click here to read more and to view a picture of the present Cardo.

The Cardo in 3D.

The Cardo as a virtual tour. Please note, this might make you dizzy.

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The Citadel


I enjoyed touring The Citadel. We spent an entire day there a few years ago. It is a fascinating place.


This amazing courtyard contains archaeological remains from almost every era from the second century BC to the twelfth century AD. Excavations indicate a fortress from the time of Herod. This is the most likely site of Christ’s trial and condemnation. On Our Own In Jerusalem’s Old City.

To learn more about The Citadel and the history of the Tower of David you can click here.

And here.

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Papal Visit to Israel


I would like to share some more pictures of our trip to Israel. Our visit coincided with a Papal tour. Security was tight. This picture is of soldiers who kept us from leaving our hotel, The Gloria, because of the Pope’s visit.





Anyone who attended the Pope’s reception had to pass by this window where David took pictures. The secret service’s dog sniffed David out.


To learn more about historical Papal visits to Israel, you can click on this link to read a nice article.

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The Dome of the Rock

In 1998, I toured the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque in 1998 before it was closed down to any one other than Muslims.

I loved the architecture and rich history that is in Israel.


The mosque building was begun in the early 8th century and has been reconstructed many times. The lead-covered dome dates from the 11th century. The Temple Mount is the site of the first Jewish Temple, built by Solomon. To learn more, please click here.

You can also find out more of the history of the Dome of the Rock by clicking here.

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Good Day Readers,

On our trip to Israel, the Pope was also in attendance. Security was tight and we were stuck in our hotel for a while on the day that the Pope was to pass by our area. Our gracious hotel manager asked us if we would like to use a room that overlooked the street for a better view of the festivities. I accepted and managed to get a number of nice pictures of the scene. The streets were barricaded and only opened up for the Pope and his entourage.

This is a picture of the Pope’s motorcade as it passed beneath me.


It was a day to remember.


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I hope your week has gone well and that you were able to accomplish everything you had hoped. Today we will be focusing on the master course stone under the Western Wall is huge. It is located under the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

This is a picture I took during our tour of this stone in Israel.


When Herod doubled the size of the Old Testament Temple Mount he expanded to the north, to the south and to the west. The walls along the west side were set on the bedrock. The west wall of the Temple Mount’s retaining wall is 1,591 feet long, making it the longest of the four Temple Mount walls. In 70 AD the Romans completely destroyed the Temple, the Temple Mount buildings, and most of the Temple Mount wall except for the lower portions that were buried in the rubble from the debris of the dismantled Temple precincts and walls above. Click here to read more and to view some amazing pictures.


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Hello Readers,

This week I am featuring several posts on the Chain of Generations Tour from our trip to Israel. This tour contains a lot of history of Israel along with its culture.

This is a picture of my husband, David, touching the names of fallen soldiers of the war of independence in 1948 –
this is the last exhibit on the Chain of Generations Tour.


In the nineteenth century, the most distinguished Jerusalem scholars were already trying to determine the precise measurements of the Western Wall and describe the methods used in its construction.
However, their information was incomplete, mainly because they were unable to discover the wall’s entire length. Nevertheless, British researchers Charles Wilson, in 1864 and Charles Warren, in 1867-1870, uncovered the northern extension of the Western Wall Prayer Plaza. The shafts that Charles Warren dug through Wilson’s Arch can still be seen today. Immediately after the Six Day War, the Ministry of Religious Affairs began the project of exposing the entire length of the Western Wall.
It was a difficult operation, which involved digging beneath residential neighborhoods that had been constructed on ancient structures from the Second Temple period and were built up against the Western Wall. Some residents used underground spaces as water holes or for sewage collection.  The excavations required close supervision by experts in the fields of structural engineering, securing subterranean tunnels, archeology, and of course, Jewish Law. Click here to read the rest of this interesting article and learn more.


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Chain of Generations Tour


My husband and I enjoy the Chain of Generations Tour under the Western Wall in Jerusalem.


We took this photo during the tour. If you ever get a chance to visit Israel, this tour is a must. It is very educational.

You can learn more about the tour from the link below.

A new permanent exhibit called “The Chain of Generations Center” has recently been opened near the Western Wall. Visitors will enjoy a moving experience that relates the fascinating story of the Jewish people throughout the generations. This story takes us through 3,500 years- from exile to statehood, from destruction to rebuilding, and from crisis to hope.
Guests to the center will find an unusual and enchanting fusion of many creative elements: music, sculpture, archeology and light effects that together create a masterpiece to delight all the senses. The visitor is more than a spectator; he becomes an active participant who delves deeply into the history of the Jewish nation. Click here to read the entire article.


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