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Trip Report - Week 2 - April 27-May 4

Houston, Texas
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Trip Report - Week 2 - April 27-May 4

2nd Week:

We arrived in Jerusalem late Sunday afternoon before Yom HaShoah. We grabbed an early dinner (Burgerim) and unpacked for our week long stay in our location- perfect (next to Waldorf) apartment. On Monday ( April 28th), we went to the Kotel, roamed the Jewish Quarter, walked up to Ben Yehuda, and then on up to Mahane Yehudah where we had dinner at Pasta Basta .

On Tuesday, our guide was Aaron Shaffier. We walked the Ramparts from Jaffa Gate to the Dung gate with stops along the way where Aaron pointed out details from antiquity to current, at times reading from the Tanach. I was surprised to open spaces in the old city (basketball courts, large parking lots, empty lots, etc). Being on the wall certainly gives you another perspective. We then toured parts of Ir David, went through Hezekiah's Tunnel (one of the most memorable moments from our trip), toured more of Ir David, watched the 3D movie, went to the Davidson center and walked around the Southern wall of the Temple Mount, then hit a few highlights of the Jewish Quarter, and finished off with the Rooftops of the Old City in the Christian Quarter where children were playing. It was an awesome day. We saw so much and were able to understand so much more because of Aaron. I highly recommend him as a guide.

On Wednesday morning, we were in line by 7:15 to ascend the Temple Mount with Rabbi Richman from the Temple Institute. There were around 15 of us. We spent around an hour and a half there. This was also a highlight of our trip. We then had breakfast at one of the Bagel places in the Jewish Quarter (very good). We took a cab and spent the remainder of the day with friends in Har Nof. We returned to Mahane Yehudah for a few grocery items and wandered Ben Yehuda.

Thursday morning we had breakfast at First Kitchen at First Station. It also was very good. My daughters loved the French toast and hope to duplicate the sour cherry syrup/glaze at home. I found out I had a few holes in my research as not much was open other than a couple of shops and restaurants. It seems everything comes to life late in the afternoon. However, we did find a couple of souvenir items of the shops that were open. We called a cab (Yehudah Levy from Labatt's guide, we also used Yehuda seven years ago from Labatt's guide) and headed to the Israel Museum. We were at the museum for about four hours. In that time, we viewed the Jerusalem/Second Temple model, the Shrine of the Book, and special exhibits in Jewish Art and Life. When Yehudah picked us up from the museum, we made arrangements for him to pick us up early Sunday morning for our transport to the aiport. We had Yehudah drop us at Bardak, a wonderful pizza place at the corner of David HaMelech and Keren HaYesod. It was fantastic! See my review for more details. Afterwards, we walked the short distance to our apartment, rested for a short time, then strolled around Ben Yehudah.

On Friday, our only plans were to pick up food items for Shabbat lunch and pick up any last souvenirs. We walked to a nearby supermarket on Agron for most of our lunch items. Later, we found Marzipan's at/near Mahane Yehuda and each picked out some delicious items. We then had FishenChips for early lunch (yum!) We shopped, made sure we had enough shekels for the cab fare Sunday morning, and people watched. We attended Shabbat of a Lifetime that evening with other guests from South Africa, Italy, Brazil, and San Diego. Our hosts were most welcoming.

On Shabbat, we slept in, went for a few walks, including Yemin Moshe, and the Kotel one last time. On Motzei Shabbat we went to the Mamilla Rooftop for dinner. The view was amazing and dinner was very good.

On Sunday morning, we headed to the airport. Once there, it took about 45 minutes to make it to our gate. We enjoyed our trip and hope to return in 2016.

Gippsland, Australia
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1. Re: Trip Report - Week 2 - April 27-May 4

Thanks for such an interesting trip report. :). We had Aaron Shaffier as a guide for one day also and really enjoyed our time with him. Your Temple Mount trip sounded so interesting - it must have been fascinating to have Rabbi Richman to guide you. (I have some of his books.)

Richmond, Michigan
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2. Re: Trip Report - Week 2 - April 27-May 4

Thanks for the report Payne5p,

Once again picked up some useful info from a trip report. Sounds like yous had a good time.

Falls Church...
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3. Re: Trip Report - Week 2 - April 27-May 4

Thanks for the very informative TR. We are leaving Friday & found it very helpful.

Houston, Texas
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4. Re: Trip Report - Week 2 - April 27-May 4

Thanks guys for the kind words. @Heather, having Rabbi Richman with us on the Temple Mount certainly added a lot to our experience. We also toured the Temple Institute with Aaron. It had changed more than location since our last visit. It was very impressive. We didn't make it to see the Aish Temple model. Maybe the next visit :-).

Gippsland, Australia
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5. Re: Trip Report - Week 2 - April 27-May 4

I wish we had gone to the temple Institute with Aaron Shaffier. We had already been there when we had our day with him, and were very disappointed with the guide for the Temple Institute who skipped over most of the things in the displays. He didn't even mention what was in most of them and we were rushed past them. We did actually discuss it on our day with Aaron and judging by other things he explained during out time with him, I think he would have been way better.

The Aish Temple model was a little disappointing because it is a model with moving parts but did not appear that way when we saw it. What was impressive there was the view of the Kotel. It is definitely the best view by far over all other locations. :). Of course, standing with the temple model between us and the Temple Mount made it more easy to imagine how it looked on the Temple Mount. :)

Another interesting model of the temple is the one at the Christ Church museum. That one shows the passages etc under the temple mount and was made by one of the last people to be allowed access to those areas.

Houston, Texas
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6. Re: Trip Report - Week 2 - April 27-May 4

Thanks for that information, Heather. Hopefully, we will get to return in the next year and a half or so and check it out. We are hoping to go with Aaron by car next time to visit more sites/history from the scriptures. He has a facebook page where he often posts pictures from some of his tours. You probably know that already :-). It makes me more eager to return.

Gippsland, Australia
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7. Re: Trip Report - Week 2 - April 27-May 4

No, I had yet found his facebook page, so thanks for that info. I had found his website and it had some interesting things on it. :) It was his very strong emphasis on Biblical sites that made him a good guide for us also.

8. Re: Trip Report - Week 2 - April 27-May 4

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