The Jewish Quarter
Our Bar Mitzvah journey begins in the Jewish Quarter; the heart of Jerusalem and of Jewish social life throughout the ages. Your Israel tour guide will walk you through the narrow alleys of the old city in which history left its mark. Among other sites we will visit the wall dated back to the period of the First Temple and Hiskiyah. An impressive, wide wall which archeologists assume continued all the way to the end of the Jewish Quarter market, according to the red path build with red stone.
During the Second Temple period, the Hasmoneans expand the construction and build the first wall. They build their wall leaning over the ruins of the First Temple wall.
During the Great Rebellion in Jerusalem, this splendid wall is ruined, and the Romans, led by Hadrianus, build the Elia Capitolina, the Roman capital, along with the Cardo. Under these ancient Roman buildings, the even more ancient walls of the Hasmoneans and of Hiskiyah are buried. The city’s level rises and the Byzantine Cardo is build above it.
The Roman Cardo is a typical street in the center of the ancient Elia Capitolina. Along with your Israel tour guide you will explore the preserved site of the Cardo and even imagine what life was like in the Roman city of those old times. The Cardo was built during Hadrianus’ reign, fifty years after the Great Rebellion. 600 meters long and 23 meters wide, the Cardo gives us the impression of the size and magnitude of such a street in the Roman city.
R. Yehuda HaChasid Synagogue
The Synagogue, the next stop in our Israel tour, was built in October 27th, 1700, by a group of European immigrants led by Rabbi Judah Hassid. 21 years later, Arabs set fire to the synagogue and the yard, and the place was burned to ashes. In 1816, almost a hundred years after the first ruin of the synagogue, Jewish politicians and businessmen succeeded in rebuilding the synagogue.
Since its renovation, The Ruin synagogue, or Beit Yaakov Synagogue as it is formally named, has been known as the greatest, most grandiose and decorated, but mostly – important synagogue in Eretz Israel and the center of Jewish life in the Jewish Quarter.
In 1948, two days after the Jewish Quarter was conquered, Jordanian troops bombed the synagogue as a symbolic act of victory. Again, for the third time in its history, The Ruin synagogue was nothing but debris.
In 2003 The Ruin synagogue was rebuilt for the third time. The Association for the Development of the Jewish Quarter decided to restore passed glory and renovate the synagogue to its previous condition.
The Burnt House
On with our Israel tour, we reach the Burnt House. This building is a fine structure discovered during archeological digging that got its name for being a unique testimony for the period of the Temple ruin.
The City of David
The City of David, the jewel in the crown of your Israel tour, was initially called Jebusite city for the Jebusite tribe who lived their previously. The city is located on a narrow path, between two streams; Qidron stream on the east and Gai stream on the west. King Solomon expanded the city north, in the direction of the Temple Mount where he build the Temple.
The wall around the city took into consideration the topography of the area and was built on a higher level of the mountain surface. With time the City of David spread out to the direction of Eastern hill. On the lower slopes of the Qidron stream, we can find the Gihon Spring which was the city’s sole water supply, starting with a shaft through which water was pumped out until later, when the Hezekia Tunnel was carved through the stone.
If time allows, your Israel tour guide will lead you 533 meters down the tunnel. An amazing experience!
The Western Wall
Make sure your Israel tour guide does not miss the Western Wall, the eternal symbol of the Jewish people and their pining for their country. The Western Wall is the western part of the square wall the surrounded the Temple Mount complex. Herod expanded the complex area by leveling the surface and rendering it usable. The expanded complex was surrounded by a 30 meter high wall. The valley separating the Western Wall from the upper city to the west was an obstacle that prevented direct access to the Temple Mount. This was solved by building bridges and arches that connected the upper city to the Temple Mount. One of these amazing passages is located at the southern edge of the Western Wall. It was discovered in 1838 by American researcher Robinson, who suggested is was one of a series of arches that created a bridge connected to the Second Temple period upper city.
The need to build several entrance ways to the Temple was a result of it being the center of religious, social and political life of the Judean Kingdom. The Temple was visited 3 times a years by thousands, coming to celebrate the religious holidays and give offerings.
A must-see site in every Bar Mitzvah tour!
The Western Wall Tunnel
After visiting the Western Wall, your Bar Mitzvah tour will conclude n the Western Wall Tunnel. Most of the tunnel is not an ancient tunnel discovered, but an artificial tunnel created in order to expose the rest of the Western Wall which is 488 meters high in total. The Western Wall prayer area is 57 meters which are 1/9 of the wall’s size. Your Israel tour guide will lead you into a mysterious secret passageway leading into the tunnel where you will continue to explore the magic of Jerusalem in your exciting Bar Mitzvah tour.