We then went to the ruins of the city of Capernaum
where Peter lived (Jesus too for a while). We also visited the church
built on top of the excavated house of Peter. This church has a glass
floor that looks into the excavated house of Peter. Around this is the
excavated village of Capernaum. We then visited the Jewish Synagogue of
Capernaum where Jesus gave the discourse on his being the Bread of Life
and also cast out demons from the possessed man. We saw several layers
of the Synagogue which was original during the time of Jesus, we were
told there was a 2nd century and 5th century rebuild. We also saw many
items excavated from this archaeological site. One of the stones
excavated shows a rough outline of the Arc of the Covenant which may or
may not mean it was there for a while.
FEB 4: We left
the Golden Crown hotel for Mount Tabor where Jesus was transfigured
(along with Moses and Elijah) in the presence of Peter, James and John.
On the way to the Mount, we passed the Megiddo Valley where some people
believe the battle of Armageddon will occur. We had to leave our bus
half way up the mountain and take taxis to the Mount. At the top of the
Mount we had mass in the Moses Chapel inside the Basilica of the
Transfiguration. Inside are three windows that at 9:00am on the Feast of
the Transfiguration, shine sunlight directly on to the mosaic of the
Transfigured Jesus causing it to glow. We then went up to the roof of
the Basilica to see the beautiful views of the Jezreel Valley.
We then drove to Bethlehem to go shopping at the “Bethlehem Souvenir
Center”. We were shocked by the approximately twenty foot high wall and
barbed wire that encircled Bethlehem. We had to go through a check point
to go in and out. While in line at the checkpoint, vendors came up and
some were invited in to the bus. They had some pretty good bargains. We
saw a young boy who looked so sad, wet, and cold, he was selling flutes.
So we invited him onto the bus and he actually sold quite a few flutes.
He seemed happy when we were done. When going out of the checkpoint, a
soldier came on the bus holding a machine gun and commanded us to
produce our passports, so he could check them. We then drove to our
hotel in Jerusalem, the Olive Tree Hotel. The hotel was exquisite and
within walking distance of the walled city of Jerusalem.
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