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The Wall


How do you even begin to write about the wonder that is the Old City of Jerusalem? It isn't easy to sit here writing about thousands of years of history crammed into a walled city that isn't even a half square mile. This is the City of David, the land of Herod, of Biblical tales coming to life.

For many people the only thing they know of Jerusalem is what is seen in the news; of reporters sitting in front a gold dome in shot after shot of CNN or MSNBC coverage. Most people don't know that golden dome is a mosque, built upon the site where Mohammed was said to have ascended into Heaven.

That is the real Old City of Jerusalem.

Over the years, I have seen many tours to Israel promote spending the Jewish Sabbath (also called Shabbat) in Jerusalem. There isn't any place like it on earth, as the sun starts to go down on a Friday night, a calm peacefulness settles on the entire city.

That is, until, you've walked within its walls to arrive at the Western Wall, or the Kottel. This wide open plaza is bustling with activity with everyone from black garbed religious men, to Israeli soldiers, and everyday tourists coming to see what used to be the walls of the Bible's Temple.

It is customary to write a prayer to take to the Wailing Wall (as it's sometimes called), a letter to be sent directly to God, and put within the cracks of this thousands of years old stone structure; and one of the holiest of Jewish sites in not only the city, but the country. It is a Jewish belief that a wish pronounced at this place will find its direct path to God.

Jerusalem's Old City isn't an easy story to tell. It's a place where you'll find more than 3,000 years of history; and certainly why UNESCO had to name it a World Heritage Site.

Too bad most people know it as only the backdrop to some news coverage, but I know it to be a place where the whole world comes together.


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