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Saxum Visitor Center in Abu Gosh: a new look at the story of Jesus

I found out about the Saxum center at the IMTM-2019 tourism exhibition in Tel-Aviv, where it was presented as a new interactive center dedicated to the period of Second Temple and Jesus story. 

I was intrigued, but also confused – usually Christian places of interest in Israel are positioning themselves separate from the Judaism. While more then a million tourists from Christian countries come to Israel every year, unfortunately few of them actually understand the links of Jews to Christianity and the links of Jesus to Judaism and the Roman conquest of Judea. 

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Levinsky market

The Queen of Spices from Levinsky Market

Do you know the smell of black pepper? The taste of cinnamon? I also thought I knew before I visited "Tavlinsky" store at Levinsky market in Tel-Aviv. It came out there is a huge difference between the spices you buy in a supermarket and freshly ground spices – like between a ringtone music and a symphony concert. 

The name "Tavlinsky" is a wordplay. "Tavlinim" mean "spices" in Hebrew. And the address of the shop is Levinsky street 57. We got there with a self-guided mobile culinary tour Bitemojo – I wrote about it in my recent article. "Tavlinsky" is the last stop of the Tel-Aviv vegan tour. But obviously this place is not only for vegans. 

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City of David

The City of David – Where Jerusalem began

When we say "the Old City of Jerusalem" we picture the Jaffa gates, the ramparts, The Holy Sepulcher Church, Via Dolorosa, etc. But the walls of what we know now as "the Old City" are actually not so old – they were build in the 16th century A.D., when Jerusalem was took over by Ottoman Turks and ruled by Suleiman the Magnificent.

Let's go deeper in history – to the tenth century B.C.  This was the time when King David conquered the city of Jebus from Jebusites tribe, renamed it to Jerusalem and established it as the first capital of the United Kingdom of Israel. For the first time the twelve tribes of Israel are unified to one state. Just imagine, this was 3000(!) years ago. Two and a half centuries before Rome was even founded! 

The real ancient Jerusalem – the City of David – is located just outside the Old City Walls, 5 minutes walk from the Dung Gate.

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The Kishle in the Tower of David – Jerusalem Time Travelling Machine in a Room

An archaeologist working in the Old City of Jerusalem resembles a kid in a candy shop – everything around is so exciting! Although when in 1999 the archaeologist Amit Re'em started the excavations of Kishle – former Ottoman military barracks (the word "kışla" in Turkish means "barracks") he did not expect to find anything extraordinary.

Reality exceeded expectations by far. 17-meter-high archaeological section, which visitors of the "Tower of David" museum can see now, is a "layered cake" of all eras of Jerusalem's history. 

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The Shrine of the Book in the Israel Museum: from ancient scripts to nanotechnologies

Would you ever believe that the entire Bible text may fit onto a nano chip of a sugar grain size?! Now it is a reality, and you may see it in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. This incredible exhibit was created for the 50th anniversary of the museum in the laboratories of Technion Institute in Haifa. The engraved text needs to be magnified 10,000 time so a human eye can read it!

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