My family and I had the wonderful privilege of traveling to Israel a few months ago. The trip was for a little over two weeks, but it seemed like a month (!) in a good way. Below are a few photos of some of the places we visited. It was 7 of us that ventured out into this beautiful adventure, 3 generations… grandpa (my husband’s dad), my husband and I, his sister and her husband, and our two daughters. Our goal was to experience Israel in a different light through cultural immersion and visiting places not part of normal itineraries. We rode in buses, trains, and walked about 7 to 8 miles per day! (Unfortunately, the pounds did not shed!) My husband, Nestor, was our tour guide who did a fantastic job of sharing history through Jewish and Messianic perspective.
Memories from Israel
At the famous spot with the Old City of Jerusalem and the Dome of the Rock in the background. The rock underneath the Dome is called the “foundation stone” as Jews believe that this is the spot where God began to create the world.
On the road side by the Dead Sea. Across the Dead Sea is the country of Jordan. We drove this way at night on our way to Eilat (Red Sea). Seeing the cities of Jordan illuminated at night from the valleys to the mountain tops was an amazing view!
With our little family group at Yafo (Jaffa)… a sea port from where the prophet Jonah fled to Niniveh.
In Cesarea… amphitheater built by King Herod the Great… absolutely magnificent. You can speak with your normal voice from way at the bottom and the person all the way at the top seats can hear you clearly.
At the Kotel (Western Wall) where Jews pray daily for the return of Messiah and the peace of Yerushalaim (Jerusalem).
The Menorah made of pure gold ready for the Third Temple. In 70 CE, Roman legions under Titus retook and destroyed much of Jerusalem and the Second Temple (where currently the Dome of the Rock exists). Jews expect to build the final and Third Temple some day and they are preparing for it.
Family baptism at the Jordan River, where Yeshua (Jesus) was baptized.
In Eilat, the southern most part of Israel. The ocean in the back is the Red Sea where God parted the waters for the people of Israel to cross from Egypt into the Promised Land.
Celebrating Shabbat (and my “N”th birthday!) with Michael and Patricia who serve as elders at King of Kings Community, a Messianic congregation (Messianics are Jews who believe in Messiah Yeshua, Jesus); and are also parents of the senior pastor. I’ve not met a couple that after many years of marriage remain so genuinely in love. It’s beautiful to watch!
Our daugters, Gianna and Nathalia, with Israeli soldiers. The soldiers are very young… and everywhere!
At Masada… where Jews encamped after they rebelled against the empire of King Herod; built between 37 and 31 BC. King Herod built this palace as a vacation spot with all the luxuries of the day.
The Church of the Sepulcre where it is most likely where Jesus was burried and resurrected. The other place is the Garden Tomb.
Inside the Western Wall tunnels… this huge wall is actually ONE stone! Our ancestors were unbelievable geniuses.
Our tour guide explained on the video screen above how much larger the Western Wall acutally is. The red rectangle section is actually what we see, but the whole Temple Mount wall extends way out the left and right! Toward the left is a section where you get to be the closest of the what was the Holy of Holies section of the 2nd Jewish Temple before it was destroyed.
At Mount Arbel overlooking the Sea of Galilee, the place where Jesus did most of his ministry.
We got to see a wedding at the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth. In the basement is the huge stone cave where it is believed Mary received the news from the angel Gabriel that she was the chosen one to bring Jesus the Messiah into the world.
Visiting with Holocaust survivors after going through the Holocaust Museum really brought their stories to life.
At the U.S. Embassy recently moved to Jerusalem. Recognition of Jerusalem by the United States as the capital of Israel has blessed Israelis.
The U.S. and Israel flags on the boat that took us into the Sea of Galilee.