Last week American astronaut Neil Armstrong passed away at the age of 82. As usually happens when someone famous passes away many stories were shared along with memories of his walking on the moon in 1969. However the following story is the one that caught my eye.
When American astronaut Neil Armstrong, a devout Christian, visited Israel after his trip to the moon, he was taken on a tour of the Old City of Jerusalem by Israeli archaeologist Meir Ben-Dov. When they got to the Hulda Gate, which is at the top of the stairs leading to the Temple Mount, Armstrong asked Ben-Dov whether Jesus had stepped anywhere around here.
“I told him, ‘Look, Jesus was a Jew,’” recalled Ben-Dov. “These are the steps that lead to the Temple, so he must have walked here many times.”
Armstrong then asked if these were the original steps, and Ben-Dov confirmed that they were.
“So Jesus stepped right here?” asked Armstrong again.
“That’s right,” answered Ben-Dov.
“I have to tell you,” Armstrong said to the Israeli archaeologist, “I am more excited stepping on these stones than I was stepping on the moon.”
From the book From Beirut to Jerusalem by Thomas Friedman.
H/T: Menachem Mendel
Hulda Gates: photo source