• Historic Sites

    From Dan to Be’er Sheva

    You will love Dan.  It is beautiful and green and peaceful.  For many years, the Canaanites controlled the land north of Galilee. Finally, Dan (one of the 12 tribes)  conquered the city Laish in it was renamed Dan and set the borders of Israel “from Dan to Beersheba”. Dan is located at the food of Mt. Hermon and controls the head waters of the Jordan River.  It was a central point of conflict in the 1967 and 1973 wars between Israel and its neighbors.  Who ever controls this area controls 63 billon gallons of water per year. The Golan Heights is east of the Sea of Galilee and is occupied…

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    Ein Gev

    What a fun field trip. For the last week, we have been with the students on their tour of sites around Galilee. We have learned more than we can write, eaten more than we want to say, and we have run faster than we are able. We stayed on the shores of the Sea of Galilee in a kibbutz called Ein Gev. We road the bus, walked the trails, and actually were able to keep up! One afternoon we all rented canoes and floated down the Jordan River.  One of the students climbed on a tall bridge and jumped off into the water and, of course, dislocated his shoulder. And,…

  • Historic Sites

    Bethlehem

    This post is for Maggie who asked if we saw the manger where Jesus was born. We didn’t see the manger, but we saw a cavern where some think Jesus was born. Helena was the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine.  She traveled to the Holy Land around 326 AD and tried her best to locate where Jesus was born.  She identified a cave and build the Church of the Nativity over it. It is the oldest Christian Church still in use. Many people lived in caverns. Animals also stayed in some of the caverns for protection. St. Jerome was a Christian monk that lived in a number of caves…

  • Historic Sites

    Midreshet Ben Gurion

    Drive south from Be-er Sheva for an hour, with nothing but desert and warning signs, and you arrive at a small Oasis called Midreshet Ben Gurion.       It is here that  David Ben- Gurion asked to be buried.  He is the national founder of the State of Israel and served as the first Prime Minister.  He led Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and resigned as prime minister in 1954. David Ben-Gurion   If I were an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural, we have taken their country.” In our state there will be non-Jews as well — and all of them will…

  • Historic Sites

    The Upper City

    During the time of Christ, wealthy priests lived in the “upper city” just west of the temple.  The 10th legion of the Roman army destroyed the temple 9 August 70 CE.  One month later they destroyed the Upper City. After the 1967 war, Israel started to rebuild Jerusalem. They discovered 6 of the large priest homes. They preserved the homes and built the city above their discovery and these homes can be viewed in the underground Wohl Museum.    The homes of the priests Had ritual baths (mikvah) Had bowls to wash their feed Were all large with about 600 square meters (Today in Jerusalem a 600 sq. Meter home…

  • Historic Sites

    Broad Wall

    A study of the walls of Jerusalem is a study of the history of Jerusalem King David at age 30 conquers  the Jebusites and rules for 40 years. 2 Sam 5:4 King David levies a tax to build: His house, the Lord’s, house, and a wall around the city, 1 Kings 3:1 When Shalmaneser destroys the northern Kingdome (722 BC),  many flee to Jerusalem. Perhaps it was during this time that Lehi’s early family migrated from the north to Jerusalem.  The tribe of Menashe is from the North. The City expanded to the West Later, Hezekiah rebels against paying a tax o the Assyrian Empire. Hezekiah prepares for an attack…

  • Historic Sites

    Herodian

    One last reminder:  please stay of the antiquities. Don’t walk on the walls. They are 2000 years old. We are at the “Leisure” site of King Herod’s palace, south of Jerusalem. The swimming pool is large enough for boat races. In the center is an island for food and shows. Before we could turn around, the students were on the island taking pictures and one of the young men who must have missed the announcement, climbed upon one of the rocks on the 2000-year-old island. The rock fell off and the young man fell with it, breaking his arm.   Herod the Great was driven to build. The Herodian was…

  • Historic Sites

    The Temptation

    Following his baptism, the Savior wanted to be alone. He wanted to  think about his baptismal covenant, his  mission, and to draw closer to his Father.  He traveled a short distance from Jericho to the barren mountains to the west.  There he spent 40 days fasting and praying. It often seems that when ever we make a new commitment with the Lord, the adversary goes the extra mile to tempt us.  “Naked and arid like a mountain of malediction, rising precipitously form a scorched and desert plain, and looking over the sluggish, bituminous waters of the Sodomitic sea – thus offering a sharp contrast to the smiling softness of he…

  • Historic Sites

    Monastery of St George

    Around 480 AD, a monastery was built here in the Wadi Quilt.    This wadi, or canyon, is located about 30 minutes west of Jerusalem on the way to Jericho. There seems to be a legend behind every monastery and this location is no exception.  The first tradition  is that Elijah stayed here on his way to Sinai for  3 years and 6 months and was fed by ravens.   The second tradition is that it was here that the father of the Virgin Mary, Joachim, was praying for his wife, Ann, when an angle appeared and told him that Ann was expecting a child.  It was plenty warm:  107 degrees. …