Day of arrival – various arrival times- Overnight Jerusalem.
We start our tour with a visit to the IsraelVision TV Studios in Mevasseret Zion. We will then visit Kissalon, the planned site for our new media studio in the Hills of Judea, hear about the geography and history of this region, and visit the “Scrolls of Fire” monument that commemorates the holocaust and the resurrection of the Jewish people. Towards noon we will drive to Kibbutz Tzuba, were we shall visit the Cave of John the Baptist^, with its water-system from the First Temple period, and the oldest inscription mentioning John the Baptist. In the afternoon we drive to the Canada Park to walk along the remnants of the Roman city Emmaus, where Jesus was first seen after his resurrection, and where the great battle of Joshua against the Canaanites at the Valley of Ayalon took place. Overnight Jerusalem.
We leave Jerusalem for a tour in the old city of Jaffa, one of the ancient gateways to the Holy Land: through it’s port the Cedar trees for Salomon’s Temple were brought, the prophet Jonas tried to flee God, but most importantly: It was in Jaffa where Christianity began to be spread among the nations. Here St. Peter lived in the house of Simon the Tanner and had the “Vision of the Flesh”, and here he made his first miracle by healing the little girl. Today Jaffa’s renovated alley-ways attract many artists, who have their galleries there. We drive to Caesarea Maritima*, the magnificent port-city built by King Herod the Great. From here St. Peter went to Rome and started with his first miracles. In Caesarea’s well-preserved theater an inscription of the procurator Pontius Pilate was found. We continue our drive along the shore of the Mediterranean Sea to the modern port-city Haifa, situated on the slopes of the evergreen Mt. Carmel. The view from this mountain is famous for its beauty. On Mt. Carmel we visit the Muhraka^ monastery, where Elijah had his glorious competition against the 400 Baal Prophets. The view of the Jezreel Valey, Mt. Tabor, and Samaria enables us to understand this and other biblical events. Overnight Tiberias.
Visit Zippori* (Sapphoris) in lower Galilee. It was here that the Jewish Mishna was sealed. In Zippori we can still see some well-preserved mosaics, a theatre, and a synagogue, all together in one place. Then we drive to Kefar Kedem^ in nearby Hoshaya, were we can experience life in Biblical times. Today we will also eat together a special Bible-style lunch^ at the site. In the afternoon we will drive to the Arbel-Cliff in order to enjoy the view over the Sea of Galilee, were we will also spend the rest of the day. Overnight in Tiberias.
oday we visit the places where Jesus acted around the Sea of Galilee: Capernaum^, with Peters House and the famous Synagogue, enjoy the view from Mt. of the Beatitudes^, where the “Sermon on the Mount” was given, and the reconstructed church at Tabgha, where tradition puts the miracle of the Bread and The Fish. We will also sail on the sea in a boat^ similar to the boat used by Jesus and his disciples. In the afternoon we drive to Hamat Gader^, the hot springs of ancient Gadara, were we spend the rest of the day. Overnight in Tiberias.
On our way towards the Jordan valley we visit the ancient synagogue of Beth Alpha*, famous for its mosaic-floor. We travel along the Jordan Valley, past Jericho, and pay a visit to Qumran, the place where the known “Dead Sea Scrolls” were found. Then we continue along the shores of the Dead Sea to the Oasis of Ein Gedi. We will drive up to the Field Study center from where we can enjoy the view of the flourishing valley where King David hid from Saul. Now it’s time to float in the Dead Sea and enjoy the rest of the facilities our hotel has to offer! Overnight in Ein Bokek.
After breakfast we drive to Arad, to the house of the Christian artist Rick Wineke. Rick has created the “Wall of Tears”, which makes a connection between the Holocaust and the Crucifixion. Rick will talk with us about his life, his works, and his beliefs. Then we drive back to the Holy City – Jerusalem!
We will start with a visit of the Wailing Wall and the Temple Mount (if open to visitors) and then widen our knowledge about this magnificent House of the Lord in the Davidson Center, were, in addition to the newly excavated stairs, purification baths and other sites by the Southern Wall of the Jerusalem Temple, we can experience the thrilling experience of the Pilgrimage to Jerusalem in an audio-visual presentation. Overnight in Jerusalem.
This day is dedicated to the New City of Jerusalem: We will start with a thorough visit of Yad Vashem^, Israel’s official and central Memorial of the Holocaust. At the Israel Museum^ we visit the “Shrine of the Book”, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are exhibited, and the 1:50 Model of Jerusalem during the Second Temple Period (the time of Jesus). We will also visit the “Menorah” (Candelabra) situated in front of the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament. We will spend the rest of the afternoon in the colorful Mahane Yehuda Market. Friday afternoon everybody is busy with the last preparations for the Sabbath – an experience we don’t want to miss. Overnight in Jerusalem.
We start the tour with a panoramic view of the Old City of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. A leisurely walk takes us down to the Garden of Gethsemane, were we will visit the “Church of all Nations”. We cross the Qidron valley, stop at the monument for the Israeli paratroopers who liberated Jerusalem, and enter the Old City, like them, through the “Lions Gate”. We walk along the beginning of the traditional “Via Dolorosa” –Jesus’ “Way of Suffering” and visit the “Lithostrotos”^ –a Roman pavement where you can see some engravings like the ones the Roman soldiers made when they played and gambled about Jesus. We will also see the Old City’s “Suq” –Turkish bazaar, with its colors and odors of the Orient. The Jewish Quarter on the Sabbath is the real opposite to the “Suq”. We will end the day singing and praying at the “Garden Tomb”, also known as “Gordon’s Golgotha”. The quit garden that reminds us of the crucifixion is the perfect place for our last prayers on this year’s tour.