December 7, 2012
It was another early morning so that we could arrive at the Western Wall Tunnels in time for our tour. We walked along the Kotel underground, on what would have been “Main Street” in Temple days. When we emerged we walked along the shop-filled streets as the Muslims were scurrying around us on their way home from prayers. We made our way to the Western Wall where each of us had a chance to spend a few minutes.
Being mindful that today is Friday and things start to shut down early for Shabbat, we made our way to Oskar Schindler’s grave where we spent some time talking about his impact on the Holocaust and especially our special friend, Leon Leyson, who is the youngest of the Schindler Jews. Barbara Rosen, one of Leon’s (and his wife Liz’s) good friends, had brought a stone from Masada on which she wrote an inscription, and she placed it on the grave. Carolyn had also brought a stone from Masada to place on the grave.
From there we made our way back to the Jewish Quarter for lunch and a tour of the area. And then we proceeded to the Cardo, the “Main Street” of ancient Jerusalem. A few minutes were spent shopping, and then it was time to head back to the hotel, where we had to say good-by to our tour guide, Jackie. She penned us “unforgettable” (you’ll have to ask us what made our group so!).
A group of us went back to the Kotel to welcome Shabbat, after which we met in the hotel synagogue for our own Shabbat service and dinner in the hotel dining room.
Shabbat shalom from Jerusalem!