March 18 - April 2, 2019 | 16 Days

Land of the Gods — From Jerusalem to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, take a pilgrimage to the land where it all began. Walk where Jesus walked, take a cruise on the Sea of Galilee. Visit the Old City of Jerusalem and enjoy sweeping views from the Mount of Olives, visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Visit the ancient 'Rose Red' city of Petra, carved from multi-hued rocks and admire fortresses from the Crusade period.

Pic by: Dollarphotoclub

The Ancient Tel of Megiddo

One of the most impressive sites in the Lower Galilee region of northern Israel, the ancient tel of Megiddo, literally has layers of history to explore—26 distinct civilizations, to be exact! A tel is a layered mound containing ruins of ancient cities built one on top of the other.

In biblical times, Megiddo held strategic importance because of its location on the Via Maris (“way of the sea”), the major trade route of the ancient Fertile Crescent, which connects Mesopotamia and Egypt. Dotted with date palms and olive trees, Megiddo overlooks the lush Jezreel Valley, the site many Christians believe is the staging ground for a prophetic final battle where the enemies of God will experience ultimate defeat (Revelation 16).

Believed to have seen more battles than any location in the world, Megiddo’s roughly 10-acre summit became home to centuries of fortified cities. Archaeologists have uncovered 26 layers of settlements dating back to the Chalcolithic period (Copper Age). Excavators uncovered a 5,000-year-old temple considered one of the largest structures of its time, that is dated to the Early Bronze Age.

The first four layers contain a Canaanite city, where priceless ivory and jewelry were discovered. Visitors can also see a stone altar used for ritual sacrifices from the same period. Two elongated buildings comprise a 9th-century chariot city and stables, attributed to King Omri or King Ahab.

Possibly the most impressive construction at Megiddo is the underground water supply. Because of its reputation for being continually besieged, engineers during the reign of King Ahab undertook a massive tunnelling project to protect their only water source, a natural spring, allowing the city’s residents to access the spring, but not their enemies. Visitors today can descend into the tunnel and walk its length to emerge at the spring, outside the city. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, visitors to Megiddo can spend several hours touring the excavation sites, as well as the park’s museum, which contains a model representation of the original structures.

10 Facts about the Sea of Galilee

  1. It’s the largest freshwater lake in Israel — 64 square miles, nearly the size of Washington, D.C.
  2. The Sea is known by many names and is referred to by Israelis as the “Kinneret,” which is Hebrew for “violin,” considered to be the shape resembled by the lake.
  3. Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount, one of his best-known discourses, is believed to have been delivered on a small hill on the lake’s northwestern shore.
  4. It is Israel’s largest source of fresh drinking water, supplying about one-third of the nation’s annual water requirement.
  5. The Sea has become a pilgrimage site for many Christians and is believed to be where Jesus walked on water.
  6. Its closest major city is Tiberias, which is along the lake’s west edge and is considered one of Israel’s holy cities.
  7. The Sea is located in northeastern Israel, near the borders with Jordan and Syria.
  8. Visitors often also stop by ancient natural hot springs that are nearby and are believed to have healing effects
  9.  The Sea is a significant source of commercial fishing and the surrounding area grows cotton, alfalfa, bananas and dates.
  10. Twelve Hezbollah rockets hit the city of Tiberias on the shore of the lake during Israel’s 2006 war in Lebanon.

Israeli Breakfast Of Champions: Shakshuka

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Serving Size: 4 - 6

3 Tbsp canola oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 large jalapeno chile, cored, seeded and chopped
7 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 can (28-oz) whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp ground caraway
1/2 bunch Swiss chard or spinach, stemmed and chopped
8 - 12 large eggs

  • Heat the oil in a large skillet.
  • Add the onions and sauté over medium heat until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the bell peppers and jalapeño and cook just until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and sauté for another 2 minutes.
  • Slowly pour in the tomatoes.
  • Stir in the bay leaf, sugar, salt, paprika, cumin, pepper and caraway and let the mixture simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Layer the Swiss chard leaves on top.
  • Crack the eggs into the tomato mixture.
  • Cover and simmer for approximately 10 minutes or until the whites of the eggs are no longer translucent.
(Recipe courtesy of Balaboosta by Einat Admony)

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