Such was the case on Sunday as we took a walking tour with a guide (something that is worth doing no matter how many times you've been there).
One of the unique moments for me was going onto the rooftops above the Arab Souk (market) and looking into it from above. From the same vantage point, you could see all 4 quarters...the Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Armenian.
I had always wondered why the Armenians had their own quarter (as the other ones certainly made sense), but our guide explained it as the fact that the Armenians were (apparently) the first country to fully adopt Christianity and thus received a quarter of their own.
Another was discovering small synagogues tucked away into corners and back alleyways, inlaid with fantastic and inspired designs.
The guide had a nice graphical illustration (looked like the South Park characters) that showed who ruled Jerusalem all the way from the time of the First Jewish Temple until the modern day.
Again, one of those things you kind of know, but seeing it all laid out on a timeline helps you internalize just how deep, rich, and complicated this place has always been.
Being there, walking the ancient streets, passing through the walls...you just know that the people in foreign capitals who are trying to impose a solution...well, I think there's a lot of wishful thinking there.
Of course, the highlight of the day was, as usual, the visit to the Kotel-the Western Wall, where we were able to put in notes (as is the custom) expressing the prayers which we hope God will answer, and say additional prayers. My girls were there with some of their cousins, which made the visit all the more meaningful.
What's so inspiring to me about Jerusalem is how it can be experienced over and over again while being both new and old.
It's almost like pulling a layer back on history and your soul at the same time whenever you go there and explore.
BONUS: Thanks to reader Billy for sending in this video in response to yesterday's post.