Hamas War

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Rosh Chodesh Sivan Women's Prayers


Women's Rosh Chodesh Prayers at Tel Shiloh AKA Ancient Shiloh and Shiloh Hakeduma will be Sunday 21/05/2023 at 8:30am. We hope you can join us.

For more information about the magnificent archeological park Tel Shiloh AKA Ancient Shiloh and Shiloh Hakeduma contact 02-578-9111 and visit@telshilo.org.il.

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Davidson Center, Old City Jerusalem, Recently Reopened

A few weeks ago I spent an enjoyable few hours at  The Jerusalem Archaeological Park - Davidson Center. It's newly reopened after being totally redone as an archeological, educational and tourist center. I must admit that in my fifty plus 50+ years in Israel, I have no memory of ever visiting it, though I certainly passed by many times, as it's near the Dung Gate, not far from the Kotel.


The people who invited me to join them had hired one of the center's guides, who ended up being a charming multilinguist doing Sherut Leumi, National Service. 

Not only did our guide know the material very well, the history of everything we saw, but she tried to make some of the walking easier for us.
Yes, if you're going to go the Davidson Center, be prepared for serious walking and quite a lot of steps. 

We were impressed by groups of elderly tourists who seemed braver and more agile than we were. Some of you many know that I'm a walker, but I'm not a climber. I even have a bit of a phobia when it comes to walking down hills, especially when the ground is smooth or has gravel. The route was doable for me.
Considering that you have to reserve one of these guides, I'd suggest being very upfront when reserving to find out if there's an easy or shortened route.
Of course, in my mind, I was constantly comparing it to Tel Shiloh, Ancient Shiloh  the archeological site just about a mile downhill from my house. Until rather recently, it, too, required lots of walking, but in recent years, they've made access roads, so even the furthest sections are accessible by car. For a "handicapped" tour you have to arrange the guide and driver in advance.

As you can see in the photos, the Davidson Center is beautiful. Our guide kept telling us that all that we see on display is the genuine article, not reproductions. Yes, these artifacts are what had been unearthed and cleaned up over the many years of excavations.

Here and there, there are places to sit, but I'd recommend carrying one of those lightweight folding chairs, such as they have in many museums. The Davidson Center should offer them, even if it requires a small deposit to remind people to return them.

There were a couple of things that did bother me. One should be easy to remedy. I caught a few spelling errors in the English subtitles in some movies they showed. 

But the thing that bothered me the most was in the movie about Jerusalem. It was fine that they had it in three languages according to who was speaking, Hebrew, English and Arabic with English and Hebrew subtitles. (I didn't notice Arabic subtitles, though that may be a fault of mine.) 

I was very bothered by the fact that the timeline of the History of Jerusalem seemed to be purposely muddled in an attempt to hide the truth about Jerusalem's History. 

Any honest objective historian would agree with me. 
  • Jerusalem was first the National Capital and Religious Center of the Jews. 
  • After the destruction of the Second Holy Temple of Jews and the development of Christianity, Christian theologians began to call it a holy city, but there was no independent government. The Vatican is in Rome.
  • Islam began after Christianity, and Jerusalem is its third holiest city.
  • To confuse people, both Christianity and Islam have adopted some of the Jewish Biblical narrative as their own, but those religions weren't contemporaries of Judaism's Biblical characters.
This is the story that should be told, not the distorted one I saw in their movie.

Despite my above complaint, I really do recommend visiting the Davidson Center if you are looking for something to do in the area of the Kotel. It's possible to travel by bus or taxi, and there's a kosher dairy restaurant near the entrance for light meals.

For tickets and more information call 02-6277550 or click.