NOV 19- SA-arrive Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv and transfer to Kfar Maccabiah Hotel & Suites, 7 Perets Bernstein, Tel Aviv 52109, Israel
NOV 20- SU- early departure, devotional on the bus, travel south near where Samson and Delilah lived, by Bet Shemesh and finally into the Elah Valley where we will visit the site of the historic battle between David and Goliath. Tel Lachish about 40 kilometers from Jerusalem guarded the southern ascent to Jerusalem will be our next stop. We will then travel further south to Beersheva where we will have lunch then we will visit Tel Beersheva. It was the southernmost border of the Israelite kingdom. It is identified in the Biblical phrase “From Dan to Beersheva.” We will see Abraham’s well, the horned altar and the ancient tel. We will continue our drive south deep into the Negev region down route 40 for about 80 km to the little town of Mitzpe Ramon where we will visit the overlook above the huge Ramon Crater and then to Isrotel Ramon Inn Hotel where we will overnight. Our Bible study today will be before our evening meal.
NOV 21- MO- early breakfast, load our bus and depart our hotel in Mitzpe Ramon early and begin our journey north through the Negev Desert. Our daily devotional and then the first stop of the day at Avdat the greatest Nabatean city in the Negev. Avdat peaked as a city on the Spice Route from 37BC until 70AD. It is on a limestone hill overlooking the desert and is on the edge of the Wilderness of Zin that is one of the 7 wildernesses the Bible says Moses and the Israelites crossed in the Exodus from Egypt. Wilderness in Biblical and Middle Eastern terms generally means a desert (unlike what we think of wilderness as a heavily forested area.) At Avdat we will be especially interested in seeing the two churches on the site and the northern churches baptismal fonts. Avdat was destroyed by an earthquake in the 7th century AD and was never reoccupied. Our journey will continue north to Tel Arad an ancient Israelite fortress that is about 18 km west of the Dead Sea and then east descending to the Dead Sea where we will have lunch at Ein Bokek a tourist and therapeutic complex on the Dead Sea shores. After lunch we will visit Herod the Greats Masada and then continue north to visit Qumran were the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Our touring day will end with a quick dip in the Dead Sea so be sure to have your bathing suits ready. Our journey will continue north along the Jordan River into the Sea of Galilee region, thru Tiberias to our home for the next four nights at Maagan Kibbutz Hotel. Our Bible study will be before our evening meal.
NOV 22-TU- breakfast daily devotional and then we journey south to Beit Shean one of the cities of the Decapolis and one of the most ancient cities of Israel. Our next visit will be to Beit Alpha a Byzantine era synagogue located at the foot of Mount Gilboa. We will visit Megiddo next. It overlooks the Jezreel Valley and is one of the oldest cities in the world. Megiddo is built on a mount that overlooks two key trade roads between Egypt and Assyria and the Phoenician cities and Jerusalem. We will travel from Megiddo to the Nazareth Overlook for a panoramic view of Nazareth and the surrounding area. Our drive back to our hotel will be through the Galilean countryside and down to the Sea of Galilee to Maagan Kibbutz Hotel. Our Bible study will be before our evening meal.
NOV 23- WE-breakfast, daily devotional, Sea of Galilee boat ride and then our journey north thru the Golan where we will first visit Ben Tal, and lunch in the Druze Village of Masade. We will then travel to Caesarea Philippi where we will visit the Gates of Hades and Herod Agrippa’s palace. Our next site will be Tel Dan located at the foot of Mt. Hermon and the Golan Heights. This site will include a visit to the high place of Jeroboam, the Abraham Gate from about 1800 BC, and the Ahab Gate. We will complete our touring day by driving south through the Hula Valley and back to Maagan Kibbutz Hotel on the Sea of Galilee. Our Bible study will be before our evening meal.
NOV 24- TH- breakfast, daily devotional and visits to the Christian sites around the Sea of Galilee. This will include the Mount of Beatitudes, Chorazin, Capernaum, and the Primacy of Peter. Our lunch will be at a falafel stand in Migdal. We will now proceed up from the Sea of Galilee into the Galilee region where we will visit Sepphoris a Roman city that has beautiful mosaics and was the capital of the Galilee region during the Roman occupation. Sepphoris was a prosperous town at the time of Jesus and was only a few miles from Nazareth. We will end our tour day with a drive back across the Galilee down to Maagan Kibbutz Hotel on the Sea of Galilee. Our Bible study will be before our evening meal. This will be our last night in the Galilee.
NOV 25- FR-breakfast, load the bus, set our faces for Jerusalem. The daily devotional is on the bus as we drive across the Galilee. Our first stop is Mt. Carmel where Elijah slew the prophets of Baal. On a clear day the view from here is stunning. Back on the bus and drive south through the Jokneam Pass and down to Caesarea by the Sea. We will see the theater, Herod’s house on the sea, the hippodrome and the Crusader City. We will stop for lunch as we sprint towards Jerusalem. Along the way we will read the Psalms of Ascent and discuss current and historical events related to Jerusalem. We will arrive in Jerusalem and go straight to Bethlehem to Manger Square and visit the Church of the Nativity. Afterward we will have a time for shopping in Bethlehem. We will depart Bethlehem and drive to Ramat Rachel where we will be staying in Jerusalem. Bible study will be after dinner tonight.
NOV 26- SA-breakfast then on the bus and we will have our daily devotional at the Promenade Overlook of Jerusalem. We will visit the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane, and the Church of all nations and then up to the Old City of Jerusalem. We will walk into the Old City through what used to be the Sheep Market and enter through the Lion Gate. Our first stop will be the Church of St. Anne and the pool of Bethesda. Continuing up the street we will go to the beginning of the Via Dolorosa at the Ecce Homo Convent where we will visit the Lithostrotos Pavement and then begin our journey on the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We will identify several of the stations on the Via Dolorosa, including a stop at the Russian Orthodox Church and see the Judgment Gate through which Jesus would have passed on his walk to Calvary. Continuing on the Via Dolorosa we will walk around the corner into the complex of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We will have some time for shopping in the Christian Quarter of the Old City and return to Ramat Rachel about 5:30pm for our Bible Study and dinner.
NOV 27-SU- breakfast then on the bus and we will have our daily devotional at the Promenade Overlook of Jerusalem. We will visit the Temple Mount, the Kotel Tunnel and the Davidson Museum and Southern Steps of the Temple. We will walk up to Hurva Square in the Jewish Quarter where we will have our lunch and a visit with Moshe Kempenski at Shorashim. We will have some time for shopping in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City and return to Ramat Rachel about 6:00pm for our Bible Study and dinner.
NOV 28-MO- last breakfast in Israel after which we will load the bus and begin our day with our daily devotional at the Promenade Overlook of Jerusalem. We will begin at the Upper Room. Afterward we will walk over to St. Peter in Gallicantu where we will see the location of Peter’s denial of Jesus, a Roman Stepped Way from the time of Jesus, the Assumptionist Church St. Peter in Gallicantu built over a traditional location for the house of Caiaphas and an overlook of the City of David and a Southern view of the Old City of Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives. Yad Vashem’s Holocaust Museum will be our next stop and then the Israel Museum Shrine of the Book. Our visit to Jerusalem will be completed at the Garden Tomb located not many steps from the Damascus Gate. After the Garden Tomb we will begin our trip to Tel Aviv. We will visit several sites along the way to Jaffa where we will have our evening meal. Then on to the airport for our 11:55pm flight home.
NOV 29-TU- arrive home in the US by late morning