Depart from U.S.A. on transatlantic flight, and enjoy a nice meal aboard the plane.
Drive north across the Sharon Plain to the excavations of the ancient city and port at Caesarea National Park Peter’s story, which you began to explore in Jaffa, continues here when he baptized Cornelius the Centurion in Caesarea. It was from this port that Paul set sail to preach in communities all over the Mediterranean, where he was later imprisoned for two years and appeared before Felix, Festus and King Agrippa. All these events are reflected in the ruins you’ll tour, including the Roman theater, the hippodrome and Herod’s palace, as well as mosaics and other remains from the centuries when Caesarea was an important Christian center, and the Crusader walls, moat and gates. Mount Carmel is referenced most often as a symbol of beauty and fertility. To be given the “splendor of Carmel” was to be blessed indeed (Isa 35:2). Solomon praised his beloved: “your head crowns you like Mount Carmel” (Song 7:5). But for Carmel to wither was a sign of devastating judgment (Nahum 1:4). Today two Druze villages are situated on Mount Carmel. The Druze people speak Arabic, live also in the hills of Galilee and the Golan Heights, and have good relations with the Jews of Israel. They are often persecuted by Muslims. Drive through the Wadi Ara Valley to Tel Megiddo the Armageddon of Revelations 16:16. Tour the remains of one of the most intensively inhabited sites in the country with over 25 levels of settlement, spanning some 3,000 years, including walls, gates, palaces and dwellings from the time of King Solomon, King Ahab and the Assyrians. A highlight will be your walk through the water system, one of the great engineering marvels of antiquity. Cross the Jezreel Valley, sometimes called “the battlefield of the Bible” and now Israel’s breadbasket, and drive through Mt. Tabor to hear the account of the prophetess Deborah gathering her forces here in the time of the Judges to battle against Sisera. Stop for a breathtaking overview of the Sea of Galilee and the scenes of Jesus’ Galilee ministry that you will be visiting over the next few days from the Arbel Cliff
Begin your day at Kibbutz Ginosar to see the magnificent display of the wooden Galilee Boat, dating from the time of Jesus. Continue from Ginosar with a boat-ride across the Sea of Galilee, stopping for devotions as the waves lap quietly around the boat, recalling ancient times. Land near Capernaum to visit the ruins of this village, often called the hometown of Jesus, with its synagogue, church marking the home of Peter, and dwellings from the time of Jesus. Next stop nearby where Jesus appeared to the Apostles after the resurrection, where you can go right down to the water’s edge in beautiful surroundings. Nearby is the site of the miracle of the loaves and fishes at Tabgha, with its famed mosaic depicting the two fishes and the five loaves Jesus multiplied. Continue north to the Mount of Beatitudes, the hill where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount to the multitudes that stood below, with a beautiful view of the Sea of Galilee. In the afternoon, visit Tel Dan, one of the most important biblical mounds in the country. Here archaeologists discovered an inscription with the words “House of David,” and you can see a gateway from the time of Abraham, as well as the High Place of Jeroboam and the Israelite gate. Continue to Caesarea Philippi, now known as Banias. Open your Bible among the ruins of pagan temples to consider the words Jesus spoke here: “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” (Matt. 16:13). As at Dan, you’ll also enjoy the natural beauty of Banias nestled on the flourishing banks of one the Jordan’s main tributaries. Overnight in the Sea of Galilee area.
Today you’re heading up to Jerusalem! But before you leave the Sea of Galilee area, we will begin the day with an inspiring visit to Yardenit, the baptismal site located at the Jordan River on the southern tip of the Sea of Galilee. Driving south along the Jordan Valley your next stop will be the ancient city of Beit She’an. On the walls of this once-powerful city that controlled the gateway to the land of Israel the Philistines hung the bodies of Saul and his three sons, whom they had defeated in battle on nearby Mount Gilboa. You can climb to the top of the huge mound of biblical antiquities, and see many magnificent remnants of this city that was the capital of the Decapolis cities where the Gospels say the fame of Jesus spread during his public ministry.Continue down the Jordan Valley, seeing Jericho, and the Mountains of Ammon and Moab in Jordan, as you ascend through the Judean Desert to the Holy City. Before heading to your hotel in Jerusalem, we will stop for a beautiful panoramic view of the city of the Great King, Jerusalem, on Mount Scopus; and open your Bibles to read: “Our feet are standing in your gates, O Jerusalem (Psalm 122:2) and others of the Psalms of Ascent. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Welcome the day with one of the most magnificent views in the world: ancient Jerusalem as seen from the top of the Mount of Olives. Take a walk down the Mount of Olives in the footsteps of Jesus. On the way, stop at Dominus Flevit Church (The Lord Wept), marking the site of Jesus’ weeping over the city (Luke 19: 37-42). At the Garden of Gethsemane at the base of the mountain, you can spend time pondering and praying about the time Jesus spent here with his disciples before his arrest. Enter the Old City via Lion’s Gate, also known as St. Stephen’s Gate to the Pools of Bethesda, where Jesus healed a paralytic (John 5: 2-9). Christian groups love to raise their voices in song at the adjacent Church of St. Anne. Walking up through the Old City streets in the Muslim Quarter this site marks the beginning of the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Sorrows, which tradition says Jesus went with the cross to Calvary. Today, it passes through the colorful Old City markets and ends in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This is the site venerated by the Catholic Religion and the Orthodox world as the place of crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Yeshua. The day will end with a visit to the Garden Tomb. Located 500 meters to the north of the Damascus Gate, this ancient cemetery discovered approximately 130 years ago by the British General Charles Gordon has become a moving site in which to recall the crucifixion and burial of Yeshua, and spend time in these peaceful garden surroundings in prayer, song, fellowship and communion. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Start the day with a visit to Yad Vashem the Holocaust memorial, with its astounding new historical museum, Hall of Remembrance, Children’s’ Memorial and other moving sites.Proceed to Ein Kerem. This picturesque village is full of winding lanes, enchanting architectural features and lush green gardens. There are seven monasteries and convents inspired by various traditions at Ein Kerem. It is said that John the Baptist was born here.Continue to the Israel Museum, home to the most important archaeological discovery of the 20th century – the Dead Sea Scrolls. An impressive model of Jerusalem in 69 CE sets the stage before entering the special shrine that contains the Scrolls. Stop at the square opposite the Knesset, to view Israel’s legislature and see the magnificent bronze menorah with its carvings depicting the biblical history of Israel and Zechariah’s immortal words “…Not by might, nor by power but by My Spirit, says the LORD of host” (4:6)Finish the day with a visit to downtown Jerusalem’s Ben Yehuda and Nahalat Shivat pedestrian malls and meet Jerusalemites over a cup of coffee or a local dish at a cafe or restaurant, or stroll the open-air fruit and vegetable market, Mahane Yehuda.Overnight in Jerusalem.
Visit local congregation of your choice. Afternoon free, to enjoy Shabbat.
Early in the morning we will travel through the Judean Desert to the lowest place on earth, the Dead Sea. We will start visiting Masada, and take the cable-car to the top; the epic place of the Jewish rebellion at the end of the great revolt against Rome nearly 2,000 years ago. The new museum at the visitor’s center reveals the secrets of the daily life of the rebels, the story of the excavations, and how the site became one of Israel’s most important symbols. Next we will travel through the Judean Desert to visit Qumran, where the famed Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Modern scholars place a community of Essenes at this site, and it is possible that John the Baptist spent some time with the community here. In the afternoon, we will enjoy a healthful and relaxing dip in the Dead Sea, the lowest, saltiest body of water on earth and then return to Jerusalem. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Today we will enter the Old City through Jaffa Gate to visit the Jewish Quarter walking by the Armenian Quarter. We will stop at the Cardo and visit some of their shops to admire some excellent Jewish Artist. Then we will go the Hurva Synagogue, one of the largest synagogues in Israel. We will enjoy a delicious lunch in the Jewish Quarter and then we will proceed to the Kotel, the Wailing Wall, for a time of prayer and reflexion. We will continue to the amazing Rabbi’s Tunnels to see remains from the Second Temple Period, and learn some history of the area. Next we will visit the City of David, where it all began; (2 Samuel 5:9) we will enjoy walking in Hezekia’s tunnel (optional walking in the wet part of the tunnel) and then we will visit the Siloam Pool where Yeshua healed the blind man. Night show in the Old City (optional).
Day 10 :
Transfer to Ben Gurion International airport, and travel back to your place of your destination.BOOK NOW!
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