Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Narration: My visit to Jerusalem 3



Narration: My visit to Jerusalem 3
Series: My trips back

I had been in Egypt before and impressed by the beautiful architecture of Alexandria, Memphis, Thebes and Ramses. And watch the city of Jerusalem, seemed like an unfinished city due to the extent of the works of endless construction. I was facing the great city that Herod the Great was creating in his passionate and obsessive quest urbanism and large buildings. At least since 20 or 19  BC  is when it starts to build the temple, and probably several years earlier, King had planned a great new Jerusalem , having the effect of abundant material resources and specialized staff to carry out the great enterprise .
At that time Galilee was a small vassal kingdom of Rome, which was ruled by one of the sons of Herod the Great, called Antipas. It was a relatively prosperous region, but under enormous pressure from economically and socially.
Jesus was a Jew, and as such had a special relationship with Jerusalem, the holy city where the Temple to the Jews went on pilgrimage to worship God was. Jerusalem is also very important in the life of Jesus; because it was there that he died.
 

I was interested to know how things were then, because otherwise it would continuously projecting the way I see life on this extraordinary Jew who lived two thousand years ago in a distant region and a very different culture than my own .

When Herod the Great came to the throne, Jerusalem had a good defense system, which had been well reconstructed by the Hasmonean kings, mainly by John Hyrcanus , was something less than a hundred years. The Temple Mount Ophel and its southern extension already had their old wall that surrounded them on all sides. The valley of the Upper City Tyropéon and in a distant time formed part of the city had been recovered and joined with a new and magnificent wall. Herod lacked only solve the problem of defending the north, where he had spread a new swept, called Mishneh and embellish and finish the rest of the walls.
It is true that Herod the Great died without completing the entire plan, and appreciated to enter the city for example, the works of the temple even does not still quite advanced.

 We entered the city in the two wagons and we were all happy and excited to see the number of people who journeyed through the streets because of the great pilgrimage that took place to celebrate the Passover in this important city .  Adiv commented that it was quite possible that the population of the city at that time were some 90 thousand people. I told him I thought so given the great tumult in the streets, with people coming and going, the cries of vendors, pack animals full of goods, the Pharisees were everywhere acting as a religious police the inns were full, the quarters for the animals were equally full. Along the way by finding lodging for all of us, we saw the walls of the city. Joseph and Mary had family and friends in the city, so this time we would stay at the home of Elizabeth and Adiv and family in the homes of their relatives.
 Both houses were not far apart from each other so that we would always be together to attend the activities of the Easter holiday.
It  call my attention see  that there was a towel hanging on the porch of some houses , and Mary told me that was a sign that they still had some place to house pilgrims.

 I was very happy to be with the young Jesus and his cousin John (the future John the Baptist; that I could not contain the excitement of having these two young front of me and I began to sing  the Psalm 23 ;  Joseph  still guiding the wagon and I said -?Do you know what you sing ?
 I answered –yes, because





Yahweh is also my God and I always read the psalms of David. - And also you speak Aramaic? - Every day I know you most surprised me more Hadid, I keep quiet.

Since I was a passionate traveler eager to know different cultures and peoples, taking notes in Greek of all I saw. I checked what historian Josephus said about Jerusalem, the name refers to the ancient wall I enclosure, while the new North Herodian wall is called Wall II. This part of the door I called Gennath Wall, near the Palace of Herod, and from there goes to the Antonia tower in the northwest corner of the temple. Though the historian does not say it explicitly , I saw that this wall was not a straight line, but made an envelope to travel this way to cover all the new neighborhood , and this wall came north to Damascus Gate , and although it abounded houses in some areas outside the walls of the Wall II. The total urban area travel on the outside was about 5 km, which is an extension area of the city of approximately 100 hectares.

Another time I was talking with Adiv who told me that Easter was another holiday that involved a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. His biblical foundations are found in texts of Exodus and Leviticus The preparation for the pilgrimage to Jerusalem begins six weeks before Easter when every town square of the land of Israel leaders collect the tax ( half-shekel ) and then send it to Jerusalem. This money helps defray the cost of common sacrifices during the coming year.

Adiv went on you realized that people on this pilgrimage careful not to fall into any impurity on the way. For example, cemeteries that are in the path are well marked to avoid contaminating the travelers. At the same time, it is by keeping the places that made possible the ritual baths and basic amenities to the pilgrims. Each year this pilgrimage is more orderly according to my experience of coming every year.
We said goodbye and that everyone should go to our rooms we headed to the house of Elizabeth, and Jesus was there and both were waiting at the door with his cousin John.

After dinner and before going to bed I take a moment to talk with these two cousins ​​(tremendous historical figures); I struggled to behave naturally, and listened to spoke these adolescents. Before leaving to rest make a comment   what Avid had said, about the pilgrims try to avoid all contamination before Easter. They looked each other and John saidAdiv - there are many things that need to change! We went to sleep, and I in my bed so I pondered: And to think that they think I do not understand what they meant. I slept like a baby, very happy.

We woke up the day of the Passover celebration began , the name is known to the Jewish Passover which originates from the story told in the Torah and to commemorate their deliverance from Egyptian rule (about 1250 a.) We are preparing to start the first day of the seven days of festivities this is my description of what we observe:


“At home and in the afternoon the day before Easter prepared and ate bread known as chametz . The next morning the eyes of the pilgrims heading to the top of the temple where a priest took a slaughtered bread (there were two in the tray) and sign indicating the prohibition of eating chametz more. When I took the second, was the sign that he had to burn or shred the remaining chametz sources to throw or let the wind take you. Then it was time for women to prepare and bake bread without yeast in purified vessels which were acquired, most in Modiin a nearby town). At the same time began to prepare the fire in the furnace where the Passover lamb was prepared. Then the men went to the temple with the lamb for the sacrifice. The crowd was very large, forcing long lines to enter the holy place. The priests and Levites lot saluted, sang, and played trumpets of silver, welcoming pilgrims. Since coming to one of the doors, the pilgrims their shoes and entered the temple court to begin to surround eastward facing north.
Once accessed the sorrreg  (sacrifice place) urrounded by a small fence through which they could enter only the Jews who had been purified with the ashes of the bulls, and not before bowing to thank God . Already in sorreg(sacrifice place)  accessed by doors to the patio where the lambs were sacrificed . Due to the crowd, often had to wait your turn. Within the Levites were in a stage singing and playing his trumpet. With them other musicians sang and played cymbals , lyres and harps . The atmosphere was cheerful and festive. The place where the lambs were sacrificed consisted of a row of arches supported media on the ground where the animal's head was put to the slaughter. Everything was coordinated so that the priests could go alongside the animals and collect the spilled blood and pass a jug to another until the last priest who carried and spread at the base of the altar.
At the same time, other priests carried body parts of the animal that could not feed the fire altar for sacrifice. Then they took the body other priests lamb and hung from pillars of marble for skinning. At the end of the pilgrim could retire with the kid ready to be prepared for the Passover meal. This was done immediately upon return of the men to the family oven ready for the occasion. The lamb could not cook or flavor in any way. Was only allowed to grille over hot coals.
Already prepared was left ready for dinner, taking care to not break any of its bones. All family members and friends reclined on cushions and were taking the roast lamb, matzah , bitter herbs, charoset and wine. The youngest was rising at a time to ask questions every night, with only the roast lamb was eaten . What made this night a special night?
The elders remembered the night when the God of Israel delivered them from slavery in Egypt. Also pains to enforce the tradition but as an obedience to the God who delivered them from slavery, and became virtually a Jewish nation.
  After finishing dinner, we all went up to the roof and giving face to the temple thanked God in unison. The show was great looked Jerusalem.

But this is not over the party. Then used to rest during the day but in the evening the family left Jerusalem to the fields to pick a special scythe the first barley harvest. The next day they were offered to the priests in the temple those who passed through the sieve, the shaking, and roasted in the same place two days before the lambs were slaughtered. Then the priest took the barley in a bowl and , facing the altar, got together with two other priests , one pouring olive oil on it, while the other incense ( Leviticus agreement 2.15 ) .
 Once prepared the sacrifice, the priest had approached the fire and saving a little offered for personal food and other priests. "

I do not deny that the festivities were me on interesting way, but for me what mattered most to me was to accompany the young Jesus to the temple, as scripture tells how he sat among the doctors of the law listening to them and asking.

I was also intrigued to see what Luke describes as a bizarre episode that happened to Jesus when he was 12 years old. It reads: “Jesus’ parents went every year to Jerusalem for the Passover feast. When Jesus was 12 years old they went up to the party, as usual. At the end of the festival day they returned, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem without his parents knowing. Thinking that was in the trailer, walked all day. But looking for him among their relatives and acquaintances, not found. Then they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening and asking questions. All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were amazed. And his mother said, "Son, why have you done this? Your father and I, anxious, we've been looking for. ‘He replied, ' Why me looking? Did not they know I need to be in the house of my Father? ‘They did not understand these words. He then returned with them to Nazareth, where he was obedient to them. His mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man " (Luke 2:41-52).
I know that the Gospels record Jesus' birth, and the subsequent trip to Egypt to escape the wrath of Herod (Matthew 2:13-23). There is a general reference to Mary and the young Jesus lived in Nazareth (Matthew 2:23, Luke 2:39-40.). There is also a background story of the visit of Joseph, Mary and Jesus to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, when Jesus was twelve years old (Luke 2:41-50). After that episode, there is a gap in history that covers eighteen years in the life of Christ (from 12 to 30 years).
In the following narration I am able to tell my experiences with Jesus in the temple, in the synagogues, in the city of Jerusalem in light of the Gospel story of Luke.
That story, which is the only memory that has survived adolescence of Jesus, is of great importance in the gospel of Luke, for two reasons. First, it contains the first words spoken by Jesus. Second, because these are Jesus' words on no  any subject , but refer to his own person ; and claim that he is the Son of God, obedient to the will of His Father who is in heaven .
Before returning to Nazareth It was presented an uncomfortable position to explain not now.

With affection,
Ruben  

Ruben

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