Israeli breakfast — outdoors — it was the perfect way to start the day. After a leisurely meal of coffee, pastries, olives, cheeses and breads, we went on an informal tour of Jerusalem with Danny, our lone soldier from the other night. He is a walking/talking encyclopedia of history. The weather was beautiful and the company great.
Then, with our wonderful tour guide Amir, we had lunch at Ramat Rachel followed by a talk from social historian Paul Liptz. It was fascinating! He spoke about the socio-religious make up of Israel. We all agreed that we could have listened to him for another hour or two.
After a brief freshen-up at the hotel, we headed to Pamela (pronounced pam-ale-a) and Abba Clayman’s house for Sueuda Shlishit and then havdalah. We were introduced to a chassidus who wore a big fur and round hat and had long curly payos. He heads an organization that outreaches to troubled Jewish ex-soldiers. We had a very traditional meal and drash (learning session) then went to the rooftop for havdalah. The view was beautiful — it overlooked Jerusalem. There were guitar, drums, dancing…
Afterwards, we took the Western Wall Tunnel tour. This involved viewing the extension of the retaining wall that was built 2,000 years ago by Herod the Great. The excavated tunnel is one of the most phenomenal sites. At one point, we crossed over the part that was closest to the Holy of Holies (where G-d dwelled). Some women sat in chairs, underground, praying at that spot. We all enjoyed seeing and learning about this unique perspective on the history of Jerusalem.
While the rest of the group headed to a local cafe for a nightcap, Jimmy and Kimber stopped off at the Kotel, which at 11 p.m. at night, was uncrowded compared to Shabbat.
There are not a lot of photographs for day 2 due to Shabbat but please enjoy the ones we have here: CLICK HERE