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Jerusalem: Footsteps Through Time
Jerusalem: Footsteps Through Time
Ten Torah Study Tours of the Old City
Newly Revised and Expanded Travel Edition
By Ahron Horovitz
Feldheim Publishers, (2009)
Reviewed by Boris Segel - June 1, 2009
Jerusalem: Footsteps Through Time is an incomparable travel guide that takes readers on a virtual tour of Jerusalem's Old City and surrounding areas. This is a travel guide that you can carry with you as you walk the ancient streets of the Old City, or you can study and enjoy this book from the comfort of your armchair. Written by Ahron Horovitz, who made Aliyah to Israel in 1968 and who is the founder and current director of Derech Eretz, Israel's first Torah School of Tourism, this guidebook is not only accurate, but also inspirational!
This remarkable guidebook includes ten unique study tours of the Old City and nearby historically important areas such as various sites located in the Kidron Valley. Each tour is thematically organized and Horovitz has added keen insights and historical data about each site into the tour descriptions. As well, Horovitz has interspersed Torah-based comments that serve to illustrate the importance of the various sites in Jewish religious life and history. To give you a taste of what you will find in this extraordinary guide, here is a list of the tour's 'titles':
Each tour begins with a brief overview and a list of sites to be visited. As well, Horovitz has provided clear instructions on how to find the various sites, including easy to follow maps. These tours are designed to be 'walking' tours. However, the time it will take you to complete the various tours is not provided - because how long the tour takes will depend upon you and your unique interests!
- Beginings - In the Footsteps of Abraham (This tour is not really a conventional tour - rather Horovitz points out the various sites that you can see from the Haas Promenade, including Jebus, the Mount of Olives, Abu Tor, and the Hasmonean Aqueduct.)
- David and His City - The Rise and Fall of Biblical Jerusalem (Sites visited during this tour include the Canaanite Wall, Hezekiah's Tunnel, the Tombs of the "House of David," the Shiloah Pool, the Yad Ben-Zvi First Temple Model, and more.)
- Secrets of the Temple Mount (Places that you'll visit on this tour include the Ma'alot Rabbi Yehudah HaLevi observation point, Southern Wall Excavations, Robinson's Arch, the Omayad Palace, and more.)
- The Kotel and Environs
- Underground Jerusalem - The Kotel Tunnels
- From Splendor to Ashes - Second-Temple Jerusalem (This tour covers the Tyropean Valley, the Upper City, the Herodian Quarter, Homes of the Second-Temple Kohanim, the Burnt House Incense Factory, and the Tower of David - the Western Towers.)
- From the Bar Cochba Revolt to the Middle Ages (Sites on this tour include the Cardo, the Medba Map, Pillars, a Crusader Bazaar, and the Observation Shafts.)
- The Jewish Quarter - A Dream in the Making (Highlights of this tour include the Der Ashkenaz, the Etz Chaim Yeshiva, Rothschild House, Gal-Ed 1948 War Memorial, Batei Machseh Square, and the Ramban, Menachem Tzion, Churvah/Beit Ya'akov, Rabban Yochanan ben Zakai, Eliyahu HaNavi, Middle, Istanbuli, Beit El, and Tiferet Yisrael Synagogues.)
- The Moslem Quarter (On this tour you will visit such sites as the Kollel Shomrei HaChomot, Shuk El Katanin, HaKotel HaKatan, Beit Witenberg, Rabbi Moshe Rechtman's Compound, Yeshivat Chayei Olam, Four-Quarter Observation Point, and much more.)
- The Valley of the Dead Comes to Life (This tour covers various Biblical sites located throughout the Kidron Valley.)
Originally published in a larger format, this pocket paperback, is a newly revised and expanded edition of Jerusalem: Footsteps Through Time and is a conveniently sized paperback edition that you can easily carry around with you or slip into a purse or a carry bag. It is however, a little too heavy and large to slip easily into a shirt, pant, or skirt pocket, although it should fit into a coat or jacket pocket. [The book measures about 4 1/2" x 8 1/4" x 3/4".] The book is filled with breathtaking pictures, both in modern pictures in color and historic pictures in black and white.
From beginning to end, Jerusalem: Footsteps Through Time is a remarkable, must have book that should be in every Jewish home and school. Even if you have visited Jerusalem a thousand times, you will find that this book still has much to offer you. And, if you are planning your first trip to the Old City, you will find this book to be an indispensable guide that you can trust to expertly guide you on a Torah based and unforgettable tour of the city and environs. This guide also serves as an introductory history text that will introduce you to the breadth and wonder of Jerusalem's history. Read this book before you start your journey, keep it close on hand while touring the City, and when you come home, you are sure to find yourself using the book as a handy reference guide to the Old City. Without reserve, this is the best guide book to the Old City that I've ever read!
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