Israel – Journey to the Holy Land

As we are approaching good friday, end of this month, starting this week until end of the month, we have special article contributed by Gelo on Israel. Hope you enjoy and inspire your next trip.

The succeeding places that we visited are the Holy Places in the perspective of Christian faith; however some of these places are common with other monotheistic faith.

To set everyone’s expectations in terms of the authenticity of these places, based on books and articles, they are recognized as “Traditional” sites.  Since many of the sacred sites in the Holy Land no longer exist in their original form. Structures have been erected, leveled by invading armies, rebuilt and destroyed again . . . and again.

Rather than becoming distracted by the question “Is this the exact spot?” it is better to focus on what happened. What matters to Christians is the belief that God the Father sent his Son on earth for the salvation of the human race.

We hired the service of Sam Salem, as our guide to visit these three cities: Hebron, Bethlehem and Jericho – they are all within West Bank, which is under Palestinian border. Notice their national flag along the city:
Hebron

Hebron
This city is most notable for the traditional burial site of the biblical Patriarchs and Matriarchs and is considered the second-holiest city in Judaism after Jerusalem. The city is also venerated by Muslims for its association with Abraham and was traditionally viewed as one of the “four holy cities of Islam.”
Hebron

Tomb of Patriarchs, King Herod’s compound and Crusader’s church, now use as Mosque.  The Patriarchs and Matriarchs of Jewish people are: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah, who’s relic are are believed to be enshrined in the underground chambers in this complex.
Hebron
Hebron
Hebron

Their traditional burial sites are marked by these Cenotaphs:
Hebron

Known entrance to the cave, where the oil lamp is lowered:
Hebron

Hebron

Bethlehem
Almost everybody knows that this is the birth place of Jesus Christ, however during this trip; I learned that the Hebrew Bible also identifies Bethlehem as the city where King David was born.

Church of the Nativity
Bethlehem

Exterior of the Church of Nativity
Bethlehem

Notice the small entrance on lower right, it is named as The Door of Humility, main entrance into the Church.

Interior of the Church of Nativity
Bethlehem
Bethlehem

This fourteen-point Silver Star, beneath the altar in the Grotto of the Nativity, marks the traditional spot believed to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ by the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Bethlehem
Bethlehem

Milk Grotto
Bethlehem

Nearby along the south side of the Church of the Nativity leads to the Milk Grotto where according to Christian tradition, the Holy Family took shelter during the Slaughter of the Innocents and stayed there for a short time hiding from Herod’s soldiers.
Bethlehem
Bethlehem

It is here where Mary nursed her child Jesus Christ before going to Egypt. It is said that a drop of the Virgin’s milk fell to the floor of the cave, turning the rock white and giving rise to the chalky stone.

Jericho
The Christian Gospels state that Jesus passed through Jericho where he healed blind beggars and inspired a local chief tax-collector named Zacchaeus to repent of his dishonest practices.

Elisha’s Spring:
Jericho

Mount of Temptation
Jericho

Sycamore Fig Tree of Zacchaeus
Jericho

Rose of Jericho
JerichoThe plant have the remarkable ability to survive in a curled up, dormant, brown, desiccated state for years, and then open up and turn green with a bit of water.

The succeeding 3 holy sites: Nazareth, Capernaum, and Jordan River, are located within Israel borders (northern part). We joined the day tour via Noah Tours contact: nili@noahtours.com , she’s a kabayan working in Jerusalem.

Nazareth
One of the holy site in Nazareth is the Church of Annunciation:
Nazareth
Nazareth
Nazareth

According to Roman Catholic tradition, this is the place where Angel Gabriel visited Virgin Mary (Annunciation) took place.
Nazareth

Surrounding the compound, are wall murals of the Virgin Mary depicted by different countries wearing their native dress:
Nazareth
Nazareth
Nazareth
Nazareth
Nazareth

Inside the church at the lower level is the Grotto of the Annunciation, believed by many Christians to be the remains of the original childhood home of Mary.
Nazareth

At the back part, there is the St. Joseph’s Church which marks the traditional location for the workshop of Saint Joseph.
NazarethNazareth

Nazareth

Walking past the market alley (beside Church of Annunciaion), is the Synagogue Church.
Nazareth
Nazareth

Nazareth

Capernaum
Capernaum is a fishing village located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Capernaum

Archaeological excavations have revealed two ancient synagogues built one over the other.
CapernaumCapernaum

A church near Capernaum is said to be the home of Saint Peter.
Capernaum
CapernaumCapernaum

After the tiring walk under the heat of the sun, a must try lunch few kilometers away is the: Saint Peter’s fish (aka: Tilapia), which is catch from the Sea of Galilee:
Capernaum
CapernaumCapernaum

The actual fish doesn’t taste great, what’s nice are the side dishes and dips.

Tabgha
Less than 5 KM from Capernaum is the town of Tabgha.   It is the traditional site of the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes and the fourth resurrection appearance of Jesus.
TabghaTabgha
Tabgha

Tabgha

Under the altar table is a block of limestone venerated as the table of the Lord. In front of the altar is a restored mosaic of two fish flanking a basket of  loaves.

Jordan River
Yardenit Baptismal Site, is a baptism site located along the Jordan River in the Galilee.
YardenitYardenit
Yardenit

The Jordan River is a river in Southwest Asia which flows into the Dead Sea. It is considered to be one of the world‘s most sacred rivers. It originates approximately 200 meters above sea level on the slopes of Mt. Hermon, Israel. It ends its course at the lowest spot in the world, the Dead Sea , at 420 meters below sea level. Along its course, the Jordan feeds two lakes: the Hula (now almost completely drained) and the Sea of Galilee.
Jordan RiverJordan River
Jordan River

Jordan River

Submerging into the river is free of charge.  However, using their bathroom has a fee.  One can also buy their white gown, bath towel, and a certificate.  But due to the big fish (Catfish) around the river, we are not keen to deep our whole body, instead we just enjoy their free fish spa!
Jordan River

Hope you learned and enjoy this first part of the Holy Land blog, next part will be all about Jerusalem (Old and New)!

Share
This entry was posted in Food, Israel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Israel – Journey to the Holy Land

  1. Sri Utami says:

    Awesome ….. and I am very keen to go there one day ….. :)

  2. Mona says:

    Thanks for sharing =)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>