I bet most of my readers can’t guess what it is.  #1, of course, is the Western Wall.

#2 is not:

  • The Machpelah in Hebron
  • Masada
  • Qumran
  • Bethlehem (think Ruth and David)
  • Joseph’s Tomb, or anything in Shechem
  • The Temple Mount, the City of David, or anything in Jerusalem

In fact, it’s not anything related to the Bible at all.

Nor is it the tomb of Rambam (Maimonaides), Rabbi Akiva, Rabbi Nahman, or Rabbi Judah the Prince.  Nor is it connected to any of the famous rabbinic cities, including Tiberias, Sepphoris, or Yavneh.

The honor of the most visited Jewish religious site belongs to the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai on Mt. Merom.  Each year hundreds of thousands visit the site for the Lag B’omer celebration; more than a million visit annually.


If you were planning to visit the archaeology wing at the Israel Museum in, oh, the next 2-3 years, you’re going to be disappointed.  According to the museum’s website, the wing “is currently closed for comprehensive renewal and will reopen to the public in 2009-2010.”  It really is a shame that they cannot renovate a section at a time, so that a portion of the exhibits are open to the public.  Or create a temporary exhibit of the most important finds.  Until then, the public can visit the lousy Rockefeller Museum (some great finds, but poorly displayed and described), the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv, or the Hecht Museum in Haifa.

Safe prediction: the museum wing will not finished when they say.

Israel Museum from east

Dismantling of the western ramp to the Temple Mount is discussed in these articles by Haaretz and YNetNews (discussed previously on this blog here and here; cf. also here).  The new information is that the ramp will be a bridge, crossing from the Jewish Quarter on the Western Hill.  There’s also the possibility that the earthen mound would be removed but the ramp not replaced at all.  The old news is that work will begin on this any day.