It's been a couple of weeks since I've posted. The weekend after Pesach, we rented a car and drove down to Modi'in to visit a friend of mine for Shabbat. Modi'in is about halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and it's north side borders the West Bank Armistace line. It was a nice drive, although I missed the turn off for Modi'in from Rd #6 and made it almost all the way to Tel Aviv before I could turn around. But it's been my experience that the best way to find your way around is to get lost and find your way back. So we did.
Otherwise it was a great weekend, too much food and lots of good discussion. Modi'in is a relatively new city being built very close to the town that the Maccabee's had settled before Yeshua's time. We all took a walk up the hill right in the middle of town where the reservoir is built called Titora hill. There are the remains of an old Crusader fort there as well a a very old Israelite dwelling, awesome. I couldn't take any photo's since it was Shabbat, they consider it a form creation, like writing, so it is doing work.
It was amazing how much construction is in progress there, the whole place looks brand new. And this town, they are actually planning. I think it is going to be the bedroom community for Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. I told my friend that I had only one suggestion...street signs, street signs would be good. It only took me three u-turns to find my way out of there.
Since then we have had a steady stream of guests coming and going so we have been staying pretty busy. A week ago a friend of mine from Baton Rouge who has been touring Israel for the last month came by to visit. He and I took a drive up to Mount Tabor. The bottom set of pics is from Mount Tabor. The pictures above are in reverse order from the discussion this week because that is how the blogger software put them, and I don't feel like re-arranging them, so there.
Anyway, Mount Tabor is about a fifteen minute drive from Merchavya to the north east. It is the mountain on which Deborah and Barak ambushed the Midianite army of Sisera as told in Judges 4. It is also reportedly the mountain upon which the Transfiguration of Yeshua occurred. It is about 1400 feet above sea level and is close by Nazereth to the west. So this would have been Yeshua's playground when he was child with his brothers.
Today at the top of the mountain is an old Franciscan monastery that is still in use. The first photo's from the bottom show the entrance to the monastery and the chapel that is in the center of it. It was pretty busy the day we went, there was everything from Franciscan monks to soldiers there. The long distance shots are of the plain of the Galil that Tabor overlooks to the north, east and south, and Nazereth to the west. The one shot with the little girl marching was taken from the entrance toward Nazereth, it is hard to see but there was a company of soldiers coming up the road and she is imitating them.
The two shots above those are of Nazereth.
Next we went to Kfar Kana or Ca'ana as we know it. It is the town where Yeshua attended the wedding feast and turned water into wine. There is a chapel built on the ruins of an ancient house that is reportedly the house in which the feast was held. There is one shot showing the main ruins. Apparently, throwing money into the ancient remains of somebody's dining room holds some magical power. I didn't throw any money in there. The town itself is just to the north east of Nazereth and is predominantly Arab Christian, the next photo's above are of the town and of Nazereth from the road heading south.
We stopped just outside of Kana at a little shwarma place, man was it good! If you've never had shwarma, ya gotta go get some, though I doubt they make it in the states like they do here.
Can anybody guess what they sell to the tourists in Kana?
Yes that's right! Wedding wine! Authentic, made in Kana (wink, wink) wedding wine! I didn't buy any wedding wine.
So that whole trip took us about five liesurely hours, not bad for a morning off.
The next set of photo's are taken from the side of Givat HaMoreh which is right near the Kibbutz, I spoke about this hill in the first post. We had a little spare time during the holidays (which I'll talk about shortly) so one of the other helpers suggested that we take a walk up the hill to see how far we could get. So I said sure! This very nice young lady then proceeded to make a beeline for the top of mount Moreh. Over hill and over dale, through the freshly harvested wheat field and low hanging olive groves, across the dried up wadi (stream bed), complete with nettles and thistles and the fields of rocks. You see, this lovely young lady is nineteen.......apparently, I am not! We made it about two thirds of the way up the hill and ran into a private property fence and could go no further, We also found the end of a very nice road that would have been much easier on the legs and feet. Oh well, it was nice day. I was very tired.
The photo's show the valley between Mount Moreh and Mount Gilboa, this was the valley that Gideon defeated the Midianite's on. There is an Arab villiage there now called Sulam, which means peace.
The last set of photo's were taken in the Great Courtyard on the kibbutz, right outside the guest house. Monday was Yom HaZikkaron (Memorial Day) and yesterday was Yom HaAtzmaut (Independence day). Monday was very solemn here. Everything was closed and there was no singing or music except for the sirens which sounded at sundown Sunday and at noon (the whole country stops for one moment when the sirens sound). Yesterday they made up for it. Lots of fireworks, bands, dancing and speeches. I bought a roast and we had a bunch of folks here for dinner. It was fun. The video is of the crowd singing the national anthem.
The Israeli's are a very, very patriotic people (at least most of them). Yes, I did say patriotic, that is what the rest of the world calls someone who expresses loyalty to thier country. However, when the world refers to Israeli's who do the same thing, they call it Zionism. Go figure.
Anyway, Carin and I are getting ready for a trip to the desert tomorrow. We are going to Eilat at the most southern tip of Israel to visit some friends for the weekend. We plan to return Sunday. It will be a long bus ride, but we have never been to that part of Israel so it should be fun. We're also planning to go see Petra Friday, I can't wait for that.
So that's all for now, gotta finish packing. I'll write more when I get back, I hope to have a whole bunch of amazing new photo's to share.