Israel Study Tour with The Friends of Israel

October 16-26, 2015

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We’re Here!

Hello from Israel! My name is Sarah Fern and I will be recording our journey through Israel for The Friends of Israel’s (FOI) Up to Jerusalem Tour.

We are in beautiful south Tel Aviv for the night. Our hotel is overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. I don’t think we could have a prettier view of the sea.

Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv
The biblical town of Joppa is today known as Jaffa. This was the main port of the coast before the Israelis constructed the ports of Haifa and Ashdod. The modern city of Tel Aviv was founded on the outskirts of Jaffa in 1909 and today it encompasses the ancient city. Tel Aviv means “the Hill of Spring” and it is the same name as the city of a settlement in Babylon during the Exile (Ezek 3:15). Today the Tel Aviv area is the largest metropolitan area in Israel.

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Our flight was pretty smooth and very full. After a short drive through Tel Aviv we checked into our hotel and had a wonderful buffet dinner on site. Some of us ventured down to the sea for a nighttime view of Joppa (modern day Jaffa).

Tel Aviv is a modern city with many young people of all backgrounds. It reminds me of New York City in a lot of ways. Looking out at the sea among so many modern buildings, it’s hard to picture King Solomon’s boats bringing cedar from Lebanon for the first Temple. Or Paul heading for his missionary journey just north of here. But so much of our Judeo-Christian history is right here. It’s overwhelming to think it all started here.

We have a fantastic tour guide, Miriam Feinberg Vamosh. Miriam is back this year to teach at each site. We’ve got an early morning tomorrow. Headed to Joppa at 8 am.

Israel Fact of the Day:
Only about 30% of Jewish Israelis follow Sabbath laws.

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