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Day by Day
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tuesdayNew York, Istanbul, Tel Aviv
Depart USA ” and said to him, ‘LEAVE YOUR COUNTRY AND YOUR RELATIVES, AND COME INTO THE LAND THAT I WILL SHOW YOU ” ( Acts 7:3 ).
wednesdayTel Aviv, Tiberias
Upon arrival in Tel Aviv our guide who will be with us for the time we are in the Holy Land meets us. Continue in close proximity to Tel Aviv, the main commercial city in Israel. We travel parallel to the coastal plain northwards and go to the famous Sea of Galilee where we check into our hotel for dinner and overnight. “Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying…” (John 1:38-39)
thursdaySea of Galilee, Capernaum, Magdala
This morning we enjoy a relaxing boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, landing at Nof Ginosar where we will see the New Testament Boat found below the sea. Continue our morning tour with a visit to Capernaum, Tabgha and the Mount of Beatitudes.
In the afternoon we stop at Magdala, one of the oldest synagogues dating back to the first century AD. Home of Mary Magdalena and was the fishing center where Peter would have brought his catch to be sold or processed. Our last stop today will be at the Jordan River where we may have the opportunity to be baptized (provided a pastor is traveling on the tour), then return to the hotel in Tiberias for dinner and overnight.
fridayTiberias, Nazareth, Caesarea, Bethlehem
“We are going up to Jerusalem.” (Matt. 20:18).This morning we drive west , traveling through Cana of Galilee where Jesus performed his first Miracle, turning water into wine (John 2). We proceed to Nazareth and ascend the Mount of the Precipice at the brow of Nazareth overlooking the Valley of Jezreel, synonymous with Armageddon.We then drive through the valley to the mound of Megiddo, Har Megiddo in Hebrew, which gave its name to Armageddon. We then ascend Mt. Carmel, site of Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal.
From there we drive towards the Mediterranean coast traveling south along the coastal highway to Caesarea by the Sea. We enter Caesarea Maritima to explore this Roman bridgehead to the east, which became the Christian springboard to the west. After the visit to this ancient harbor, we board our bus and head south to the city of Bethlehem, where we check in to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
saturdayBethelehem, Herodium, Shepherd's Fields, Christmas Festivities
I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11). We begin our day with a visit of Bethlehem itself, walking through the restored old town to the Church of the Nativity and visiting the manger and see the cave of St. Jerome. We then drive to one of the possible sites for Shepherds’ Fields. Continue on for a hilltop for a view of Bethlehem, noting its relation to the rest of the central mountain range, including Jerusalem, as well as to the desert and the area of ancient Moab. This is Herodium, the palace set in a conical mountain built by Herod to mark his tomb. Note the juxtaposition of the two Kings of the Jews. The King Herod buried in great opulence and the King of the Jews born in a humble manger in Bethlehem sitting in the background of the Herodium. Return to Bethlehem where we have time for shopping. This evening return to Manger Square to enjoy the Bethlehem Christmas tree and festivities. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
sundayBethlehem, Masada, Ein Gedi, Jerusalem
This morning we drive to Masada and ascend by cable car to the magnificent ruins of the fortress where, from 70 to 73 AD, Jewish defenders made their last stand in the Judean revolt against Rome. We see the remains of storehouses, cisterns and a sixth-century Byzantine church. Continuing alongside the Dead Sea, 1300 ft. below sea level -- the lowest spot on earth -- we stop at Ein Gedi. Here we will have time to walk to the water falls that David would have used while he was fleeing from Saul. Next we proceed to Qumran and the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. We will have time for those wishing to swim in the Dead Sea before we head up to Jerusalem. We stop on Mt. Scopus for a panoramic view of the Golden City before we continue to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
mondayMt. of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, Western Wall Tunnel
“If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace” (Luke 19:42) Our drive this morning takes us past the Chapel of Ascension and Paternoster to the Mt. of Olives for an orientation view of Jerusalem and the opportunity of a group photograph overlooking Jerusalem. We then walk the traditional Passion walk. We descend to the church known as Dominus Flevit (“Our Lord weeps”).
After viewing the Golden Gate, we walk downhill to Gethsemane, where we take time to meditate on the Gospel text and view the Church of All Nations. Continuing to Mt Zion to visit the Upper Room and the Tomb of King David and then on to the grounds of a church called Peter in Gallicantu, which affords the best view of early Jerusalem from the west. Here, the Assumptions Fathers suggest, was the house where the High Priest Caiaphas interrogated Jesus. Enter the Old City and make our way to the Western Wall Tunnel where we see a model that will demonstrate where we are in location to the Temple in the time of Christ. Continue along the tunnel as we proceed to the Gateway of the Priests entry to the Holy of Holies. Next we proceed to the Jerusalem Archaeological Park where we see the Steps that entered the temple and the Southern Wall. It was here that Jesus would have taught the disciples. See a video that shows the temple as it was at Herod’s (or Jesus’) time. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
tuesdayOld City, Via Dolorosa, Garden Tomb
“He has risen!” (Mark 16:6) After breakfast we transfer to the Dung Gate, where we ascend to the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque, considered the third holiest site of Islam, located on the site of the ancient Temple Mount. Here the first and second Temples once stood.
Just to the north we find the Pools of Bethesda (John 5) and St. Anne’s Church. The church is perfectly preserved from the Crusader period – with remarkable acoustics. Continuing on we see Pilate’s Judgment Hall, the Chapel of Flagellation, Lithostrotos, and the Arch of Ecce Homo (Behold the Man). We then follow the Way of the Cross (Via Dolorosa) through the bazaars as far as the Holy Sepulcher. We board our bus to the Garden Tomb where we will end our day with a special visit and the possibility of having a private communion on the grounds outside the city walls. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
wednesdayJerusalem, Ben Gurion, USA
We transfer to the Ben Gurion airport for our flight home with unforgettable memories to cherish always. Knowing we have walked in the footsteps of Jesus and the early Christians on such a memorable tour will bring new meaning to our Bible reading.
Pre-Tour: Upper Galilee Best of Israel
Day by Day
mondayNew York, Istanbul
Tour members are welcomed to New Yorkfor our departing flight to Istanbul via wide-body aircraft arriving the next day. Meals served on board.
tuesdayIstanbul, Tel Aviv, Tiberias
This morning we will arrive in Istanbul and transfer to our flight to Israel. Upon arrival in Tel Aviv we are met by our guide who will be with us for the time we are in the Holy Land. Continue past Tel Aviv, the largest city in Israel, to the famous Sea of Galilee where we check into our hotel for dinner and overnight.
wednesdayHazor, Dan, Caesarea Philippi
"The Head of all those Kingdoms" (Joshua 11:10) The Sources of the Jordan. This morning our drive takes us to the northern limits of Jesus' travel as we cross the River Hatzbani to Dan. Here we combine a nature walk beside the Upper Jordan with views of the ancient ruins, topped by the Israelite high place that supported a golden calf (I Kings 12). Then a short drive to Banias (Caesarea Philippi), dedicated to Pan the Greek god of pastures, flocks and shepherds; here Peter made his great profession of faith, recognition of Christ Jesus (Matthew 16). Driving along the foot of Mount Hermon, we ascend onto the Golan Plateau for a magnificent view of upper Israel. On our return we will stop at Chorazin and then on our hotel for dinner and overnight. Tonight we join those arriving from the USA who are on the basic tour only.