S: Israel 2012
FC: Israel 2012
1: Leave JFK Airport New York City February 15 | Arrive Ben Gurion Airport Tel Aviv February 16 | All My bags are packed, I'm ready to go...
2: Zikhron Ya'aqov o | Emmaus o | Kibbutz Ha Goshrim o | Cana o | o Capernaum | Safed o | Jaffa o | o Masada | o Sderot | Taghba o | Sea of Galilee | o Qumran
3: Day 1 After a long 10.5 hr. flight from JFK, the 32 folks from the VA Interfaith Tour Group land in Tel Aviv around 5:30 p.m. local time. We enthusiastically meet Ron,our tour guide for the duration of the trip; board our bus and travel north to Zikhron Ya'aqov, a Jewish settlement, circa 1880. We tour/have dinner at the Carmel Winery, founded in 1882 by Baron de Rothschild. | S
4: Zikhron Ya'aqov o | Emmaus o | Kibbutz Ha Goshrim o | Cana o | o Capernaum | Safed o | Jaffa o | o Masada | o Sderot | Taghba o | Sea of Galilee | o Qumran
5: Our first 3 nights are at the Kibbutz Guest House Ha Goshrim | Upper Galilee | Lodging | Delicious Middle Eastern Fare | Bomb Shelter
6: Zikhron Ya'aqov o | Emmaus o | Kibbutz Ha Goshrim o | Cana o | o Capernaum | Safed o | Jaffa o | o Masada | o Sderot | Sea of Galilee | o Qumran
7: The Jewish Friday night sabbath service liturgy originated in Safed. | Day 2 Safed and The Golan Heights | A View of the City | The Blue Synagogue
8: A Rainy Day in the Golan Heights | Our first look at the Jordan River while on an off-road jeep ride (below). | Atop the Golan Heights...the view below is from inside the De Karina Chocolate Factory...the rain turned into 6" of snow later that night.
9: Adjacent to the chocolate factory is a boutique wine shop...the vineyard only produces 7,000 bottles a year. No machines are used in making the wine. | A less rainy picture of the Golan Heights beyond the Sea of Galilee. The Golan Heights borders Syria and was captured by Israel in 1967, during the Six Day War.
10: Zikhron Ya'aqov o | Emmaus o | Kibbutz Ha Goshrim o | Cana o | o Capernaum | Safed o | Jaffa o | o Masada | o Sderot | Taghba o | Sea of Galilee | o Qumran
11: Day 3 The Sea of Galilee and Surrounding Area Cana, Jordan River, Mount of Beatitudes and Capernaum
12: Cana Site of Jesus' First Miracle - turning water into wine for the wedding party in which Jesus and his Mother, Mary, were guests.
13: Type of cistern used to store water. | Visitors write and leave notes at location of Miracle. | Town of Cana
14: Scenic Views of Galilee | Our Guide, Ron | Toosie, Larry & Maggie
15: Windblown Jolene & Mary | Meg & Amey
17: The River Jordan | Larry Reading Scripture | Baptisms Taking Place
18: St. Peter's Fish (Tilapia) Lunch Overlooking the Sea of Galilee
19: The Jesus Boat (2000 Years Old) | A fishing boat from the time of Jesus was found in 1986 submerged in the Sea of Galilee and carefully extracted and restored.
20: City of Tabgha | Site of Multiplication of Loaves & Fishes Miracle | Site of House of Mary's Mother
21: Mount of the Beatitudes Site of Sermon on the Mount Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven...Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted...Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth...Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled...Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy...Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God...Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God...Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven... Matthew 5: 3-10
22: Capernaum A small fishing village where Jesus first called his disciples after leaving Nazareth. The home town of Peter. | Jesus performed eight miracles in Capernaum and scripture says he lived with Peter and his family. | Foundation of Peter's House
24: Zikhron Ya'aqov o | Emmaus o | Kibbutz Ha Goshrim o | Cana o | o Capernaum | Safed o | Jaffa o | o Masada | o Sderot | Taghba o | Sea of Galilee | o Qumran
25: Day 4 Nazareth & Caesarea | Church of the Annunciation | Nazareth
26: Grotto of the Annunciation | The site where the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary... | ...announcing that she was to conceive and become the Mother of Jesus, the Son of God.
27: Site of the Carpentry Shop of Joseph
28: Met with a Sufi Muslim. The Sufi's are a very small minority of Islam. | Muslim Worship Place & Sign
29: Caesarea | Our First View of the Mediterranean Sea | A city built by Herod the Great between 22 & 10 BC with a large harbor, hippodrome, aqueduct, amphitheater, temples, etc.
30: Scenes of the Amphitheater | C A E S A R E A | Jolene & Rebekah
31: Ancient Racetrack | Another day with a rainbow...
32: Zikhron Ya'aqov o | Emmaus o | Kibbutz Ha Goshrim o | Cana o | o Capernaum | Safed o | Jaffa o | o Masada | o Sderot | Taghba o | Sea of Galilee | o Qumran
33: Day 5 Jaffa & Tel Aviv | Walking tour of Old Jaffa, an ancient city that served in Biblical times as Jerusalem's seaport.
34: The "Jack and Larry" Show | View of Tel Aviv from Jaffa
35: 3 nights in Tel Aviv at the Dan Panorama Hotel overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. | Hall of Israeli Independence
36: Israel of the Future? At BetterPlace, test drove an electric car that many hope will be part of Israel's future.
37: A fun evening at Punchline, a karaoke restaurant. | Nancy/Susan/Toosie | Jo | Toosie
38: Zikhron Ya'aqov o | Emmaus o | Kibbutz Ha Goshrim o | Cana o | o Capernaum | Safed o | Jaffa o | o Masada | o Sderot | Taghba o | Sea of Galilee | o Qumran
39: Day 6 Sderot | "Life under fire" in this town near the Gaza Strip. Since 2007, 771 rockets and 857 mortar bombs have been fired at Sderot from Gaza. | A Meeting with the Mayor | Bomb Shelters Attached to Apartments | Rocket Remains
40: Zikhron Ya'aqov o | Emmaus o | Kibbutz Ha Goshrim o | Cana o | o Capernaum | Safed o | Jaffa o | o Masada | o Sderot | Taghba o | Sea of Galilee | o Qumran
41: Emmaus | Jesus appears on the road to Emmaus after the resurrection | Larry reading from Luke 24: 13-35 | Approaching Jerusalem
42: Jerusalem The Holy City
43: Mamilla Hotel (where we stayed for five nights) and Mall | Lynn, Toosie, Susan, Kim, Nancy, Jo & Mary
44: Entering the Jaffa Gate into the Old City
45: The Western Wall | The Western (Wailing) Wall of the ancient Second Temple (destroyed in 70 AD by the Romans) is Judaism's holiest site. | Mary, Jolene, Kay, Betsy & Carolyn
46: Roadbed from Herod the Great (Jo and Mary's Feet) | Tour of tunnels beneath the Western Wall down to the street-level of the Roman Empire, some 70 feet below today's plaza. | On-going Excavations
47: The Way of the Cross
48: Stations of the Cross I. Jesus is condemned to death II. Jesus takes up the cross III. Jesus falls the first time | IV. Jesus meets his Mother V. Simon from Cyrene carries the cross VI. Veronica wipes the sweat from Jesus' face | VII. Jesus falls for the second time VIII. Jesus consoles the women of Jerusalem IX. Jesus falls for the third time X. Jesus is stripped of his garments . | XI. Jesus is nailed to the cross XII. Jesus dies on the cross XIII. Jesus is taken down from the cross XIV. Jesus is laid in the Tomb
49: Church of the Holy Sepulchre Built over the Crucifixion of Jesus on Golgotha
50: The Garden Tomb | Possible location where Jesus was buried & resurrected.
51: A replica of the stone rolled in front of the tomb.
52: Dedicated to the 6 million killed in the Holocaust | Our tour guide at the museum (L); a moving memorial for the 1.5 million children who perished - a darkened room with thousands of lights (below) | The Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum | Day 8
53: Grave of Golda Meir, PM from 1969-74 (R) Grave of Theodore Herzl, Founder of Modern Zionism (below) | Grave of Menachen Begin (PM from 1978-83) and His Wife (below) | Israel's National Military Cemetery
54: Dr. Danny Tirza, architect of the security wall & fence that separates the border of Jerusalem from the West Bank, joins our tour as we visit the border and suburban neighborhoods...he discusses the need for the fence and how and where it is being built. | Day 9 The Security Barrier
55: Suicide bombers have decreased significantly since the fence was built. | Border Crossing
56: View From the Top of the Mount Mount of Olives
57: ...it was here that Jesus wept over Jerusalem... | ...it was here that Jesus mounted the donkey on Palm Sunday... | View of the Dome of the Rock
58: The Garden of Gethsemane ...it was here that Jesus agonized in the garden... | ...it was here that Jesus ascended into Heaven.
59: Marbeth descending the Mount of Olives | The Church of the Assumption and one of the possible Tombs of Mary
60: Zikhron Ya'aqov o | Emmaus o | Kibbutz Ha Goshrim o | Cana o | o Capernaum | Safed o | Jaffa o | o Masada | o Sderot | Taghba o | Sea of Galilee | o Qumran
61: Day 10 Qumran, Masada & the Dead Sea | Qumran - Site of the Dead Sea Scrolls
62: The Caves Containing the Scrolls Were First Discovered in 1952
64: Excavations | Views of Caves...
65: ...and Terrain
66: Zikhron Ya'aqov o | Emmaus o | Kibbutz Ha Goshrim o | Cana o | o Capernaum | Safed o | Jaffa o | o Masada | o Sderot | Taghba o | Sea of Galilee | o Qumran
67: Masada The isolated flat top commands the surrounding desert. Masada has a place in history first as Herod the Great's opulent 18 acre palace-fortress (50 BC - 4 AD) and later as the site of the last stand (73 AD) of 960 Israelites against a legion of Rome following the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
68: Ride a Cable Car or Take a Strenuous Walk to the Top | A Spectacular Mountain/ Plateau
69: Approaching the top by cable car... | while others decide to walk up...
70: The Ramp (far right) Built by the Romans in 73 AD | On Top... | ...of the World | A Replica of the Palace
71: Where Did This Little Guy Come From? | Excavated Walls from the Time of King Herod | Dead Sea in the Background
72: Zikhron Ya'aqov o | Emmaus o | Kibbutz Ha Goshrim o | Cana o | o Capernaum | Safed o | Jaffa o | o Masada | o Sderot | Taghba o | Sea of Galilee | o Qumran
73: The Dead Sea
74: The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth at about 1,300 feet below sea level. It is composed of two shimmering blue lakes, linked by a canal and fed by the River Jordan to the north. Sparkling chunks of salt crystals float on the lake and can be scooped up from the sandy bottom.
75: It's true...you can float without any effort whatsoever...so much fun!!! | Across the sea are the Moab Mountains of Jordan
76: Zikhron Ya'aqov o | Emmaus o | Kibbutz Ha Goshrim o | Cana o | o Capernaum | Safed o | Jaffa o | o Masada | o Sderot | Taghba o | Sea of Galilee | o Qumran
77: Day 11 City of David and Bethlehem | The City of David is the oldest settled neighborhood of Jerusalem. It is the place where King David (1010-970 BC) built his palace and established his capital.
78: Ongoing Excavations Show the Remains of the Ancient City of David
79: Bethlehem It was here that David was born and anointed, and since Joseph was of the house and lineage of David he brought Mary, his wife who was with child, to Bethlehem to register for the census.
80: Manger Square | The Church of the Nativity... the Oldest Christian Church in the World | The small entry door (versus the larger arch entry) was created by the Ottoman Empire to keep the horses out of the church.
81: Stain Glass Windows (above/left); Interior of the Church (below)
83: Grotto of the Nativity (L) - One of Christendom's Holiest Sites "In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid; for see I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people, to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger." Luke 2: 8-12 | Site of The Shepherds' Field | The Star shown on the left marks the spot where Christ was born.
84: Bethlehem is in the West Bank and under Palestinian Authority. When we crossed the border between Jerusalem and the West Bank, we obtained an escort of Palestinian armed guards. | A welcome sign on City Hall with the inscription (in English) "Pray for the Freedom of Palestine " (R)
85: Our armed escort sharing the road... | ...with a shepherd and his flock.
86: New and Old Friends Agudas Achim Synagogue and Westminster Presbyterian Church, Plus One | The VA Interfaith Tour
87: Jo, Ron, Mary | Dottie & Mary
88: Olive Grove | Karen at JFK | Mount of Olives (R)
90: Sea of Galilee
91: Jack | Ron | World's Oldest Cemetery (L) | A Jerusalem Kitty
92: Day 12 | L'tza'ari, siyyamnu. Hebrew for "To my regret, we concluded." | Leave Tel Aviv to New York City February 27
93: I'm leaving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again... Oh, babe, I hate to go!