There comes a point on every tour that the group begins to gel. It takes on a degree of community as friendships are forged and people become comfortable with one another. It’s all about trust in relationships, isn’t it? Couple this with the deep passion for understanding and insights that God is giving and you have the makings of even more spiritual depth and intimacy. We are having a great time!
We started the day on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. A beautiful morning with views of the Golan Heights directly to the east and the city of Tiberius on the west side of the Sea. It’s actually a lake 15 miles long and 8 miles wide. We reflected on what we are learning. The days are so full it feels like we have been here a couple weeks. This is day five.
We headed off to Katzrin. A third century village in northern Israel where our Jewish friends guide us through what it was like to live in the culture of the time. We participated in wine making as we crushed grapes with our own feet. Wow! And, then consumed the product. Can you believe it? We made bread and ate it with olive oil, goat cheese, and jam. We also learned the process for olive pressing.
The ancient Jewish farming village of Katzrin was built around a spring, which still flows. Although there were standing ruins on the site, archaeological excavations have increased the number of accessible ancient buildings. An ancient synagogue was discovered in 1967 and excavated between 1971 and 1984. Other parts of the village were excavated beginning in 1983. Some of the buildings have been reconstructed on their ancient foundations and furnished with replicas of household goods and tools
We then ventured up to Bental (a military bunker), on the Israel, Syrian border while Ronen our guide taught us about the history of the 1967, 6 day war, and the Yom Kippur war of 1973. He also explained the current geo-political situation in Syria and the tragedy the people of this land are enduring. 700,000 people have died. It’s awful and it seems no solution is being proposed.
We drove down the mountain to Caesarea Philipi. This godless district at the time of Christ was dominated by the pagan worship of Pan. This is where Jesus brought his disciples and asked in Matthew 16, “Who do you say that I am?” And, “That the gates of Hades”, will not prevail over the work of the church. It is a sobering sight to see this giant, dark hole in the side of a mountain that represented the underworld and the great abyss. It was Jesus backdrop to these bold proclamations.
This abundant water supply has made the area very fertile and attractive for religious worship. Numerous temples were built at this city in the Hellenistic and Roman periods.
A visit a boutique winery and the hospitality of the owners was a wonderful way to end our days travels. It’s back to EIN GeV to enjoy a Shabbat dinner. It’s Friday and at sunset Israel will shutdown to focus on rest and worship. Shabbat Shalom!
Featured Upcoming Tour
GTI Signature Tour: Israel & Jordan
Septemer 5-17, 2020
Experience Israel & Jordan for 11 days in the context of biblical history and personal faith.
View Itinerary & Register