Throughout my life, I have heard tales of this place—the rolling hills, fertile valleys, meandering brooks, and the ever-flowing Jordan River. And, of course, the legendary people who call it home. Now, I find myself here, the sun just beginning to paint the eastern sky with its golden hues as we journey along the well-maintained road leading into the heart of Jerusalem.

My heart races to match the pace of my eager eyes, each scene unfolding a masterpiece I am determined not to overlook. We are swiftly drawn into modern Jerusalem, and I am taken aback by how European it appears. After locating our hotel, we hurriedly stow our luggage, enjoy a brisk shower, and descend the stairs, emerging onto the bustling streets that lead toward the ancient city.

The clock reads just past 7 a.m., and the aroma of freshly baked goods emanates from the open bakeries, tempting passersby with their delicious scents. I observe a devout man bowing his head over a prayer book while a young boy in a yarmulke darts past us, deftly balancing an enormous tray of fresh sweet rolls on his head.

As I step through the gates and into the winding streets, I am overwhelmed by the history surrounding me—the very same streets walked by the likes of David, Jeremiah, Jesus, and Paul. No other city in human history can claim to have produced more influential men and pivotal moments than this one. Jerusalem–the city of the prophets, the city Jesus wept for. It does not disappoint.

The narrow, stone-paved streets, crowded with shops brimming and overflowing with small wares, make you feel as if you stepped back into a world hundreds of years past. The morning light plays brilliantly on the hard stone surfaces and through the colorful textiles and trinkets.

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