During this season, I reflect upon my two years teaching in the Holy Land as well as five return visits made to see events, among others, leading to relevant happenings of the past pertaining to Easter.
During the Easter season, many pilgrims and tourists generally visit the Holy Land. The struggle between the Palestinian Arabs and Israel over the land of Palestine has a plethora of reasons. Tourism in visiting Holy sites is important. The walled city of Jerusalem contains the Western Wall which is the last remnant of the ancient Jewish temple; the Church of the Holy Sepulcher which is believed to contain the Tomb of Christ; and Mount Moriah inside of the octagonal Dome of the Rock, holy to devout Muslims and believed to be the site where the patriarch Abraham was tempted to offer his son Isaac. Jerusalem is located 2500 feet above sea level, and directly east and adjacent is the Kidron Valley. In this valley are two very salient places.
Toward the south end of the Kidron and next to the Walled city is Hezekiah's Tunnel. This tunnel was dug in 723 BC when the Assyrian army threatened to capture Jerusalem. Prior to their coming, the inhabitants of Jerusalem dug the tunnel so that spring water from outside the city would come inside the walled city of Jerusalem. The tunnel was completed and the source of the spring was hidden from the Assyrians. This provided a source of water for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, when the city was besieged. The Assyrian army never found the water source and eventually retreated back to northern Palestine which they had captured previously. Today, the distance through Hezekiah's Tunnel, from the entrance is approximately 700 yards and ends in the identified Pool of Siloam.
Another important site is the Rock of Agony inside the Church of All Nations, a beautiful Catholic basilica. According to tradition, on this rock, Christ prayed before his betrayal. The Rock of Agony measuring approximately four feet square is surrounded by a repetitive wood carving of thorns.
In this small area of the Kidron Valley, the location of the Tomb of the Virgin Mary, adjacent to the Church of All Nations, also attracts many tourists. Looking directly eastward from the Kidron is the Mount of Olives. Every inch of land, basically, is filled with sacred sites which are Holy to devout followers of Judaism, Christianity, And Islam.
— Marlow Ediger, North Newton