Last week, as part of the Window to Mount Zion project, I guided a group of pre-army students from around the world, who wanted to discover Jerusalem's amazing religious diversity. After an introductory seminar on the concept of holiness, we toured the holy sites on Mount Zion, including King David's Tomb and the Room of the Last Supper, before finishing with a fascinating talk from Father Daniel, one of the Benedictine monks who lives at Dormition Abbey. It was a fascinating
Last week I gave an in-depth tour to a group from the Masa program Achvat Amim. We focused on contested religious spaces in Jerusalem, including the Southern Walls, Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif, and Room of the Last Supper/David's Tomb on Mount Zion. Despite the rain, it was great to go into detail and look at the different ways in which religious sites are shared and fought over in Jerusalem. It was also nice to get positive feedback from the organizer: "Alex has led a few t
A couple of interesting developments in Israeli archaeology this week. First of all, there will be new excavations at Masada for the first time in over a decade. Hopefully this will help shed some light over what happened when the Romans defeated the rebels. Second, major excavations will be held for the first time at Kiryat Ye'arim, near Jerusalem. According to the Bible, the Ark of the Covenant was held there for two decades, making it a place of real significance. No doubt
Earlier in January, with Mejdi Tours, I had the pleasure of guiding a wonderful group of students from Susquenna University in Pennsylania. They were here on an intensive two week program focusing on the different religious groups in and around Jerusalem. We explored the city from top to bottom, and met with lots of fascinating people, including rabbis, priests, and imams. In the picture, we're dressed up for volunteering at the wonderful Pantry Packers charity.