Israel’s Military Cemetery, Gethsemane and the Western Wall

Gethsemane

 

Our second day in Jerusalem was a very moving, emotional one.

 

Military Cemetery

 

Our first stop for the day was at the Military Cemetery. Because of the extremely rocky nature of the terrain graves are elevated above ground level.

Elevated grass covered graves

Elevated grass covered graves

I was struck at the inscription on one grave indicating that the dead soldier was 15 years of age.

Graves of some of Israel’s leaders were also in this cemetery.

We observed the grave sites of Yitzak Rabin and Golda Meir.

Golda Meir was an Israeli teacher, kibbutznik, politician and the fourth Prime Minister of Israel. Meir was elected Prime Minister of Israel on March 17, 1969, after serving as Minister of Labour and Foreign Minister. Wikipedia

Yitzhak Rabin was the fifth Prime Minister of Israel, serving two terms in office, 1974–77 and 1992 until his assassination in 1995.

In 1994, Rabin won the Nobel Peace Prize together with Shimon Peres and Yasir Arafat. He was assassinated by right-wing Israeli radical Yigal Amir, who was opposed to Rabin’s signing of the Oslo Accords. Wikipedia

Yitzak Rabin Gravesite

Yitzak Rabin Gravesite

Golda Meir Gravesite

Golda Meir Gravesite

All Israeli citizens are required to serve in the military.

Garden of Gethsemane and Gethsemane Church

 

Our next stop was, for many in our travel group, the most emotional and memorable part of the trip.

We spent most of the morning in the Garden of Gethsemane and the Gethsemane Church.

As we reflected on the night that Jesus spent in Gethsemane praying to his Father:

“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.  Yet, not as I will, but as you will.” 

Matthew 26:39

The actual garden still has the same olive trees that were there when Jesus was in the garden! They are old and gnarled and not very productive.  We were all amazed that they were still there!

Here are some pictures of the trees, and the Gethsemane Church interior which has many beautiful paintings.

Inside the church is what is believed to be the stone upon which Jesus leaned while praying.  We were allowed to pray around the perimeter of the large rock.

Sculpture of Praying Christ

Sculpture of Praying Christ

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Painting of Praying Christ

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The trees and walkways.

The largest tree in the garden.

The largest tree in the garden.

Some of our group praying on the rock.

Some of our group praying on the rock.

Jesus betrayed with a kiss in the garden.

Jesus betrayed with a kiss in the garden.

 

 

Western Wall

 

Our final stop of the day was a visit to the Western Wall, sometimes called the Wailing Wall.

Crowds of pilgrims and visitors from all over the world visit this site considered a holy place of prayer by Jews for centuries.

Western Wall in Old Jerusalem

Western Wall in Old Jerusalem

The photo shows the two separate sections of the wall where visitors can access the wall. The larger section on the left is for men and the smaller one on the right is for women.

The golden dome of the Muslim Dome of the Rock Mosque is visible behind the wall on Temple Mount.

The close proximity of these two sacred site illustrates the continuing friction between these two faiths.

For our group this was an opportunity to see and actually pray at the Wall as so many millions have before us.

Men Praying at the Western Wall

Men Praying at the Western Wall

 

Women Praying at the Western Wall

Women Praying at the Western Wall

The history of the Wall is long and often violent.

You can learn a lot about it in a detailed article and see additional images at the Wikipedia link below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Wall

 

So ends our second day in Jerusalem.

We are tired and inspired.

We are humbled and reflective.

We an feel thousands of years of biblical history coming to life before our eyes.

Its not “book learning”.. we are walking where David and Solomon and Jesus and thousands of biblical figures and peoples walked and lived and prophesied, and suffered and lived and died.

It’s amazing!

 

Earlier posts include:

 

Our Spiritual Trip of a Lifetime to the Holy Land

Where was Jesus Crucified, Buried and Resurrected?

King David’s Tomb, The Mount of Olives, Church of the Lord’s Cry (over Jerusalem), and Tomb of the Virgin Mary

 

 

 

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