Last Friday I went with the Bible Department to the Imax Theater to see a documentary entitled “Jerusalem.” The film gave a brief overview of Jerusalem’s history and detailed the city’s current situation. For me, it brought back a lot of memories from when I took a trip to Israel with my grandmother’s church when I was in ninth grade. The documentary showed a lot of the sites that I visited while I was there, but my group went to many places other than Jerusalem. The two-week trip was an amazing experience, but I was not nearly as well versed in Bible history then as I am now. I would love to go back and visit again with the knowledge that I now have about the places I visited more than five years ago.
Three of my favorite attractions in Israel are Hezekiah’s Tunnel, the Dead Sea, and Masada. Hezekiah’s Tunnel is mentioned in 2 Kings. It was dug under Jerusalem during Hezekiah’s reign in order to provide the city’s inhabitants with water during a siege by Assyria. Water continues to flow through the tunnel to this day. My group had the opportunity to walk through the shin-deep water from one end of the tunnel to the other.
The Dead Sea is the lowest point on land on the earth. Sodom and Gomorrah were located next to this body of water. The water has an immensely concentrated level of salt and minerals, which makes almost anyone whom swims in it buoyant. I am usually completely unable to float, so it was fun to be able to lay back and stay afloat with no problem. The mud surrounding the Dead Sea is said to be good for the skin.
Masada is a site not mentioned in our Bible. It was a fortification on top of a plateau that was used by the Jews in the Jewish-Roman war in the first century. Before it was used for a fortress, Herod the Great constructed a palace on the plateau. Originally, the only way to the top of the plateau was a long, grueling passageway, which remains there today. We had the option of taking a cable car to the top, which almost all of us opted to do. The view from the top of Masada was outstanding.
Since the ninth grade I have learned so much about the people and places of the Bible, and I have also learned significant history about Israel that is not in the Bible. I would really enjoy revisiting the places that I have already seen, but I would also love to see the places that I didn’t get to see. Most of all, I would like to learn more about the current situation of Israel and see more than just the tourist attractions.