Rediscovering Ancient Jerusalem before Tisha B’Av

Oh, Jerusalem.

How does the city sit solitary, that was full of people!

So begins Eicha, the Book of Lamentations read at night on Tisha B’Av.

We are in what is known as the Nine Days that end with Tisha B’Av, Wednesday night, and Thursday, August 29 – 30, 2020.

With the COVID-19 restrictions, the Old City will not be teeming with crowds as usual.

Jerusalem Western Wall plaza view

This view from the step toward Plaza of the Kotel, the Western Wall, is well known.

Jerusalem on eve of Hodesh Av leading Israeli rabbis praying during corona virus pandemic

The area inside called Wilson’s Arch is not as familiar. This inside space had been closed much of the time due to coronavirus restrictions.

Jerusalem Israel chief rabbis praying at Kotel on Rosh Chodesh Av

However, this week on the eve of Rosh Chodesh Av, leading Israeli rabbis attended a special afternoon service to pray for health and relief from the coronavirus pandemic.

Underneath the Jerusalem streets, excavations continue with new finds.

Jerusalem Archaeological discovererstorage center from the days of Kings Hezekiah and Manasseh (8th
Photo credit: IAA

A significant administrative storage center from the days of Kings Hezekiah and Manasseh (8th century to the middle of the 7th century BCE) was recently been exposed in an archaeological excavation near the US Embassy in the Arnona neighborhood of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem City of David Pilgrim Path

Restoration work has progressed on the Pilgrims’ Path.

Jerusalem road excavated City of David

This is the road underground which runs from Shiloah Pool to the Old City, where the Jewish Temples once stood.

Important Pilgrim path from Shiloah Pond to Har Habayit and Temple Mount

The actual old stones remain along what was the busy route on the holidays thousands of years ago.

Excavation of new entrance to Western Wall Plaza

Three years ago when it was first opened to media,

this video was recorded for an official explanation.

Scene of Jerusalem Cardo in time of Rome

The Roman market place might have looked like this scene.

Drainage path under Jerusalem during Roman times

Under Pilgrim Road, the drainage system has also been excavated. This is where the last Jews hid until the Romans found and murdered them.

Looking for any bones or stones or coins sifting project

The earth removed was carefully searched for bits of history, last year we participated in the sifting project. The best we found were nice pieces of pottery.

Ancient Roman coin found by City of David

However, discoveries include this Roman coin issued after the destruction of Jerusalem.

Five years ago the exhibit “By the Rivers of Babylon” opened at the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem, see HERE – and is still a favorite.

With only limited attendance allowed in museums now due to corona health restrictions, new for this year is a virtual tour of BLMJ exhibit HERE now you can see for yourself,

Bible lands Museum Jerusalem artifacts from Roman destruction of Temple times

The Romans destroyed the Temple and leveled Jerusalem.

The Jewish inhabitants were murdered or exiled.

Jerusalem Israel Western Wall stones of destruction from Rome

Stones of destruction as they remain today.

Walk around Walls Women in Green on Tisha Be'Av

For the first time in many years, I do not plan to walk around the walls of the Old City on Tisha B’Av.

Western Wall Plaza view at night

Crowds will not pack into the Kotel, Western Wall plaza this year.

Old City Jerusalem Menorah for Temple lit for Tisha B'Av

COVID-19 restrictions are limiting the annual walk to 50 people.

How does the city sit solitary, that was full of people!

Next year in Jerusalem, even for those of us in Jerusalem has taken on new meaning.

4 thoughts on “Rediscovering Ancient Jerusalem before Tisha B’Av

  • July 26, 2020 at 2:50 pm
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    Let us pray that this Tisha B’Av will be a day of rejoicing. I think we have ticked all the boxes for the Redemption:
    Anarchy, Strange Weather Conditions, Disrespect of elders, Rise of Islam, Change in world order, Pandemic, Acceptance of aberrant behaviours, “Dog leads man”, and etc.
    I miss the streets of Jerusalem. Ventured to the Kotel on Rosh Chodesh Av, and have been checking for a message that I was “corona tagged” ever since though I kept my 2 meter distance, masked, and drove/walked there. Gd bless

    Reply
    • July 26, 2020 at 3:00 pm
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      Certainly have had enough plagues and trials and protests. Take care and stay well!

      Reply
  • August 2, 2020 at 1:00 pm
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    Thank you, as always Sharon, for bringing us the realities of our Holy Land. This very difficult time allows us to be internal and clean out our inner lives, establish a new relationship with The Divine and see our place in making this a just world…bringing wealth where there is poverty, healing where there is disease and positivity where extreme negativity of “the other” dwells. It’s a very big challenge, but with G-d’s help nothing is impossible. Sending blessings to you and yours, Sharon!

    Reply
    • August 2, 2020 at 4:56 pm
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      Thank you, always good to hear from you Hannah, stay well.

      Reply

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