Walking Through First Temple-Era Jerusalem

A piece of the wall that surrounded Jerusalem in the time of King Hezekiah.

Our siyur (tour) this past Tuesday started in my backyard, almost literally. We met at the Tayelet / Haas Promenade, a mere 5-minute walk from my apartment in beautiful Arnona, Jerusalem. This scenic outlook offers an excellent spot to view the geography of ancient Jerusalem. From there, we went to a semi-hidden and little known spot called Ketef Hinnom (Shoulder of Hinnom, a valley in Jerusalem), then hiked through Gei Ben-Hinnom / the Hinnom Valley, and came out at the bottom of Ir David / City of David. We spent the rest of the day winding our way up, down and back up again inside this complex and interesting archaeological site.

I am not going to go into too much detail about Ir David, especially since I already discussed it a bit in this post here, but I did want to discuss a few interesting points from throughout the day. I also want to discuss two recent news stories that relate to things we learned about.

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What’s a Tell?

Tel Beit Shemesh

No, I’m not talking about a poker tell. I’m talking about the kinds of tells that you hear about whenever your travel to Israel (or other parts of the Middle East). Tel Arad, Tel Be’er Sheva or Tel Maresha, for example.

(By the way, you may have noticed the change in spelling from “tell” to “tel.” If so, 10 points for you. More on that distinction later!)

So, what is a tell, anyway?

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