Home > Uncategorized > Journey Through Israel – Day One

Journey Through Israel – Day One

Like almost everything I’ve written in my life, this is a first draft that I’ll try to update as my schedule allows.  I’d like to fill in some links so that people who are unfamiliar with the Bible or the places we saw can click and get more info – maybe tonight!

For those readers who are unaware, I went with a group to Israel through Educational Opportunities January 14-23.  This group was led by my bishop, Charles Crutchfield, who wanted to take as many of the people he ordained during his first quadrennium as he could.  I counted fourteen of us in the last group picture I have from my camera.  It was a great trip for many reasons, but part of what made it great was spending time with my colleagues – my friends – for a week.  

My first thoughts about this trip will always begin with our flight from Newark to Tel Aviv.  We had to go through extra security to get into the boarding area – something for which I was thankful.  Sitting in that area I watched several Jews, some I might incorrectly call “orthodox” for I have no idea what their background was, pray before we boarded.  I was struck by their body motions and how active they seemed to be in prayer.  When we boarded, I shared a row with a Jewish woman who was as delightful a person as I have ever met.  I’ve never had good luck with seat mates on flights, but I sincerely enjoyed talking with her.  She had children in Jerusalem and was on her way for a visit.  She taught me how to ask if food was spicy in Hebrew so I wouldn’t get anything I might regret.  It was such a pleasure to finally have a good airplane seat mate experience.  We didn’t talk a whole lot, however, as I popped a couple of Tylenol PM so I would sleep as much as possible on the way over.

I awoke in time to hear the breakfast announcement.  My stomach somehow knows!  When I opened my eyes I saw several men and boys with their tallit, tephilim, and prayer books standing and bending at the waist in prayer.  This was not what I was expecting to see but I watched in awe.  Well, awe and fear that one of them might be too close to the emergency exit handle but the announcement of breakfast seemed to get most of the cabin back in their seats.  I ate and later was able to look out my window and see Greece.  It wasn’t long until I was able to see the coastline of Israel and touch down in Tel Aviv.

Once we cleared customs and got our luggage our tour began.  We boarded a bus driven by a Palestinian guy named Khalil and guided by an Israeli woman named Tsippi.  I’ll probably write more about this later, but Khalil was awesome not only as a bus driver but as a guy.  It was a pleasure to have him in our company.  We took off for Caesarea Maritima, just up the coast from Tel Aviv.  This is where the events of Acts 23-26 took place.  Paul was imprisoned and spoke before Felix, Festus, Agrippa, and Bernice.  It was also the place where I got to see and touch the Mediterranean Sea for the first time in my life.  

We didn’t stay long in Caesarea before boarding our bus and driving to Megiddo – the infamous Armageddon.  It was fascinating to stand on this hill and to be able to see Mount Carmel to my left (it’s where Elijah put the smack down on the prophets of Ba’al), Nazareth in front of me, and Mount Tabor (where Deborah and Barak put the smack down on Sisera’s army).  We got to see a city gate and an altar from the Bronze Ages and a water tunnel from the Iron Age.  I also ate an $18 lunch there, something I avoided doing from then on!  After Megiddo we went to Nazareth to see the Church of Annunciation – a shrine to the news Mary received from the angel, that she would bear the messiah by the Holy Spirit.  After a quick look through the church we headed to Cana, the place where Jesus’ first miracle took place and we saw a church that commemorated the turning of water into wine.

After the church in Cana, the sun had gone down and we were exhausted so we got back on the bus and went to Tiberius, a city on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee.  Tiberius would serve as our home for three days.  Our bags were taken to our rooms and then we ate dinner and crashed into our beds.  It was a long day but the next one would begin early so we needed to get a good night’s rest.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. No comments yet.
  1. March 6, 2009 at 8:46 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: