Day 8 - Israel Museum, Western Wall
Our day began at the Israel Museum, which includes a 50:1, acre-sized scale model of the Old City of Jerusalem as it stood in the Second Temple Period, circa 66 - 70 CE. Having spent a couple of days in Jerusalem, this model helped all of us gain a clearer understanding of how the many sites we visited related to one another. The museum also houses The Shrine of the Book, in which much of the Dead Sea Scrolls are stored.
We then visited the Western Wall, which is a relatively small segment of the structure which originally composed the western retaining wall of the Second Jewish Temple (which I have photographed in the scale model at the museum). The Wall is located atop the hill known as the Temple Mount, and it is the holiest place where Jews are permitted to pray.
We had free time in the afternoon, and a small group of us accompanied Fr. Michael back to the Old City. It was a completely different experience than our early morning visit the day before.