Timeless Treasures: A Journey Through Greece’s UNESCO-listed Historical Sites
Apr 4, 2024

Get ready to discover the marvels of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, those remarkable places that showcase the best of our shared human heritage. Greece, nestled in the Mediterranean, is home to an impressive 19 of these treasures, ranging from ancient ruins to serene monasteries, and idyllic seaside villages. Join us as we take a leisurely stroll through some of these enchanting sites.

Athens Acropolis

Exploring the Acropolis is undoubtedly a highlight of any visit to Athens. Perched majestically above the city, this ancient citadel boasts a collection of iconic buildings that have stood the test of time. Among these architectural marvels are the Parthenon, the Propylaea, the Erectheion, and the Temple of Athena Nike.

Constructed during the Golden Era of Athens in the 5th century BCE, the Acropolis stands as a testament to the city’s victory against the Persians and the birth of democracy. Crafted by master craftsmen of the time, the Acropolis is a living legacy of classical artistry and innovation.

At the heart of the Acropolis lies the Parthenon, a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, patron deity of Athens. Designed by the brilliant architect Iktinos and adorned with exquisite sculptures by Phidias, the temple exudes classical elegance with its 136 fluted Doric columns, each meticulously carved and arranged.

Acropolis, Athens

From its days as a place of worship to its subsequent transformations into a Christian church and later a mosque, the Parthenon has always been a symbol of resilience and fortitude. Tragically, the temple suffered destruction during clashes between Venetians and Turks in the 17th century. Today, the Acropolis stands as a timeless emblem of ancient splendour. Each stone tells a story, each column whispers of a bygone era, inviting you to delve deeper into the rich tapestry of Greek history and culture.

Below the grandeur of the Acropolis lies a bare marble hill known as the Areopagus, or Mars Hill. Dating back to the 8th century BCE, this site served as the supreme court of the ancient city of Athens. Its members, Areopagites of aristocratic origin, held lifelong tenure as the city’s highest magistrates. Here, the Areopagus presided over trials of grave offences such as murder, bribery, and treason. It was upon this venerable hill that Apostle Paul delivered his famous speech about the identity of the “Unknown God”, as recounted in the biblical account of Acts 17.

Mars Hill, Athens

Ancient Delphi

Lying on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, high above the Gulf of Corinth, Ancient Delphi reigned as the supreme oracle of antiquity. Known far and wide across the ancient Greek world and beyond, it was revered as the omphalos, or navel, of the world and the sacred sanctuary of the Greek god Apollo.

Temple of Apollo, Delphi

Dating back to the 8th century BCE, this sanctuary was home to the renowned oracle of of Delphi, presided over by the priestess Pythia, famed for her prophetic abilities. Seekers would flock to her for guidance before embarking on significant undertakings, recognizing her counsel as invaluable throughout the ancient world.

One important destination not to be missed is the Archaeological Museum of Delphi, housing an impressive collection of artifacts unearthed from the site and the surrounding region. Among its treasures are marble statues, coins, jewellery, and other relics of the past. Particularly notable are the renowned exhibits of the Charioteer and the Sphinx.

Delphi was also the home of the Pythian Games, the second most important athletic event in Greece after the Olympics. Beyond its religious and athletic significance, Delphi wielded political influence serving as a unifying force among the region’s city-states. Nevertheless, with the rise of Christianity, Delphi gradually declined, marking the end of its ancient prominence.

Join Us on the Adventure of a Lifetime!

Save the dates! Join us on a remarkable journey through the heart and soul of Greece from October 25 to November 05, 2024. Experience an epic adventure filled with discovery, adventure, and moments that will last a lifetime. Secure your spot now for an extraordinary experience that will leave you mesmerized. Book today and make memories to treasure forever!

Tour dates: 25 Oct 2024, Friday – 05 Nov 2024, Tuesday

Click here for tour details. Register today!

For more information on our destinations, click on the following: Israel | Jordan | Turkey | Greece

Unveiling Greece’s Top 5 Compelling Reasons: Prepare for an Unforgettable Journey!
Unveiling Greece’s Top 5 Compelling Reasons: Prepare for an Unforgettable Journey!
Mar 5, 2024

Dive into a world where ancient legends intertwine with breathtaking landscapes, where every corner holds a tale waiting to be discovered. Here are our top five reasons why your next adventure should lead you to the captivating shores of Greece

Immerse Yourself in the Embrace of History

Step back in time and walk in the footsteps of legends. Greece, the cradle of Western civilization, unfolds a rich tapestry of history and culture at every turn. Explore unparalleled archaeological wonders, from the iconic Acropolis to the mesmerizing ruins of Delphi. Unravel the mysteries of ancient myths and legends as you delve into the heart of this Mediterranean gem.

Acropolis, Athens

Follow the Path of Apostle Paul

Embark on a spiritual journey as you retrace the footsteps of Apostle Paul. From Philippi to Athens, immerse yourself in the profound heritage of faith and redemption that spans centuries. Stand in the very places where history was made, where lives were transformed, and where the message of hope still shines brightly.

Paul’s Prison, Philippi

Discover the Enchantment of Greek Islands

Indulge your senses in the allure of Greece’s stunning islands, each a haven waiting to be explored. Feel the vibrant energy of Mykonos, where windmills twirl against azure skies. Surrender to the serenity of Santorini, where whitewashed villages perch on volcanic cliffs overlooking the boundless Aegean Sea. And discover the allure of Patmos, where Apostle John penned the Book of Revelation. With every island offering a unique charm, endless wonders await your discovery.

Oia Village, Santorini

Enjoy Blissful Mediterranean Climate

Experience the irresistible charm of Greece’s Mediterranean climate, drawing travellers year-round to its captivating landscapes. From the azure Aegean to the rugged mainland, each region offers its own unique weather experience. Summer reveals sun-drenched days, perfect for exploring islands and lively beaches. Spring and summer present mild temperatures, ideal for discovering ancient ruins and quaint villages. Winter brings a serene ambience, perfect for immersing in culture and festive celebrations. Greece’s weather provides the backdrop of unforgettable adventures, whether basking in the summer sun or cozying up during the winter months, ensuring every visit is a delightful escapade.

Meteora

Delight Your Palate with Greek Gastronomy

Treat your taste buds to the delights of Greek cuisine. From freshly caught seafood to succulent grilled meats, every bite is a celebration of Mediterranean flavors. Relish the elegance and tradition of Greek dishes, prepared with care and passion.

Join Us on the Adventure of a Lifetime!

Save the dates! Join us on a remarkable journey through the heart and soul of Greece from October 25 to November 05, 2024. Experience an epic adventure filled with discovery, adventure, and moments that will last a lifetime. Secure your spot now for an extraordinary experience that will leave you mesmerized. Book today and make memories to treasure forever!

Tour dates: 25 Oct 2024, Friday – 05 Nov 2024, Tuesday

Click here for tour details. Register today!

For more information on our destinations, click on the following: Israel | Jordan | Turkey | Greece

Jewish New Year in Israel | Rosh Hashana 2023
Rosh Hashana 2023
Sep 12, 2023

Shana Tova! Happy New Year!

Rosh Hashana is a two-day holiday that celebrates the start of the new year according to the Jewish calendar. This year, Rosh Hashana begins in the evening of Friday, 15 September 2023 and ends in the evening of Sunday, 17 September 2023. Rosh Hashana commemorates the creation of the world and begins a 10-day period called the High Holy Days that ends on Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement. During Rosh Hashana, people take time to review the mistakes they made in the past year, and they also plan the changes they hope to make in the new year.

Blowing of the Shofar

The blowing of the shofar is an essential part of Rosh Hashana. It is said that the sound of the shofar is a call to repent and a reminder for Jews that God is their king. Tradition requires the shofar blower to play four sets of notes on Rosh Hashana: tekiah, a long blast; shevarim, three short blasts; teruah, nine staccato blasts; and tekiah gedolah, a very long blast.

Symbolic Foods

On the two nights of Rosh Hashana, Jews enjoy a festive meal. In many families, women and girls light the candles at different times before sundown on the first night of the holiday and after nightfall on the second night of the holiday. The meal begins with Kiddush, a blessing over kosher wine, round challah bread often studded with sweet raisins, and other foods that express positive wishes for a plentiful, spiritually uplighting, and sweet new year.

Symbolic foods include apples dipped in honey representing the hope for a sweet year ahead, a fish or ram head signifying the desire to be at the head of the class, pomegranates symbolizing the wish to have a year full of mitzvot and good deeds, and carrot tzimmes as a symbol of prosperity and good fortune.

Shana Tova

It is very festive in Israel around the time of Rosh Hashana. Friends, neighbours, family, shopkeepers, and sometimes even strangers in the street often greet one another with the Hebrew phrase, “shana tova”, meaning “for a good year”. Shops and markets are very busy because people are stocking up on food for meals, and gifts for relatives and close friends. There is also a lot of traffic on the roads in the lead-up to the festival because Israelis are travelling around the country to meet up with families and friends.

To a happy, healthy, and a sweet new year!

For more information on our destinations, click on the following: Israel | Jordan | Turkey | Greece

The Seven Churches of Revelation in Turkey
Apr 20, 2023

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.” Revelation 1:11, NKJV

The apostle John wrote the book of Revelation while in exile on the rocky island of Patmos. He was told to write and send it to the seven churches, the revelation of Jesus. The messages to the seven churches are timeliness, applicable since the 1st century and to all generations of the church since.

Ephesus: The Loveless Church (Rev 2:1-7)

The first letter is written to the church of Ephesus. The city had one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the famous Celsus Library, the façade of which still stands today. The church receives perhaps one of the best commendations a church ever receives but they were rebuked for leaving their first love. Hard-working for God but the church had lost their love of Him and other people.

Smyrna: The Persecuted Church (Rev 2:8-11)

Smyrna is the only one of the seven that still exists today as a major city. It was a beautiful city and frequently referred to as “the Ornament of Asia”. It was famed for its schools of medicine and science, fine library, and athletic contests. The letter has no censure for the church but commendation and encouragement for their faith.

Pergamos: The Compromising Church (Rev 2:12-17)

Due to its natural elevation, Pergamos was considered impregnable, with many kings depositing their treasures here for safekeeping. It was the seat of the Roman province’s supreme court. However, Pergamos was a centre of pagan worship. The church is commended for its faithfulness but rebuked for tolerating false teachings.

Thyatira: The Corrupt Church (Rev 2:18-29)

Thyatira was not a naturally strong city; it had been captured, rebuilt, and destroyed many times. In later years, the manufacturing industries came to prominence and were known for their trade guilds, a situation of work that made it very difficult to be a Christian. The message rebukes the church for tolerating a false prophetess who led many astray and urges the church to repent.

Sardis: The Dead Church (Rev 3:1-6)

Sardis was founded in the 12th century and became the capital of the Lydian kingdom, one of the richest kingdoms of the ancient world. Carelessness, sleepiness, and overconfidence led the city to its destruction. Like the city, the church started with great promise but quickly faded. The letter urges the church to wake up and follow the way of the Lord.

Philadelphia: The Faithful Church (Rev 3:7-13)

Philadelphia was known as Decapolis and sometimes called “Little Athens” due to the magnificence of its public buildings. The modern name of the city is Alasehir which means “city of God” or the “Red City”. The message to the church reveals perhaps the best condition of any of the churches. This small but exceptional group of believers remained faithful whilst many others did not.

Laodicea: The Lukewarm Church (Rev 3:14-22)

Laodicea was an incredibly wealthy and well-ordered city with proud, arrogant, and self-satisfied inhabitants. They were accustomed to leisure, pleasure, and entertainment. The letter gives the church no affirmation and calls it lukewarm, neither cold nor hot. Their level of self-awareness is non-existent, and they do not know that they are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.

Seven Churches of Revelations with Troy & Cappadocia Tour

The Seven Churches of Revelation are an important part of Christian history and offer valuable lessons for Christians today. From 16 Oct to 27 Oct 2023, we will rediscover the Seven Churches of Revelation in Turkey. For more information on the tour, please click here. Sign up today!

For more information on our destinations, click on the following: Israel | Jordan | Turkey | Greece

When is the Best Time to Visit Israel in 2023?
Sep 28, 2022

Really, any time of the year is the best time of the year to visit Israel. The weather in Israel is actually quite moderate, so any time is a good time for you to comfortably travel throughout the country, but each season offers advantages.

Visit Israel in the Spring

March to May

Spring is a busy time in Israel with the celebration of Purim in March, the Passover taking up a week in April, the commemoration of Israel Independence Day and Memorial Day as well as the Jewish festival of Shavuot in May. Since so many locals are outside having fun during spring, expect some places to get crowded. Late spring is also a wonderful time to enjoy Israel’s picturesque nature spots, trails and landscapes.

Purim Celebrations

Visit Israel in the Summer

June to August

Although it gets pretty hot during the day in the summer months in Israel, there are still plenty of things that you can do to beat the heat. It is the best time to hit the countless beautiful beaches in Israel, with some of the best beaches located within the vicinity of Tel Aviv. You can consider travelling to the many oases, streams, nature springs, and adventure spots in the high mountains for a breath of fresh air as well as gorgeous views. Scuba diving in the depths of the Red Sea is another great way to spend your summer in Israel.

Tel Aviv Beach

Visit Israel in the Fall

September to November

The fall in Israel offers moderate temperatures, with warm days and cool nights. It is the time of many festivals, both religious and non-religious. The High Holiday seasons of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot occur between September and October. It can be a special experience for you to see and watch as the festivities and celebrations unfold, especially in Jerusalem. For birdwatchers, you must visit the wetlands of the Hula Valley in November to see the migratory birds.

Hula Nature Reserve

Visit Israel in the Winter

December to February

If you do not mind wearing a moderately heavy coat and are prepared for some rainy days, it is a nice time to visit Israel in December and January. The crowds of the fall have gone, so you will have more space when you visit the most popular attractions. For those who plan to go skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking and sledding, travel up north to Mount Hermon in the northernmost tip of Israel, the only snow-capped mountain of the country. For hikers, late winter is a great time to explore the hills of Judea, Galilee and the Golan Heights that are covered with wildflowers and grass, just bring your rain gear.

Mount Hermon

For more information on our destinations, click on the following: Israel | Jordan | Turkey | Greece

Corinth Archaeological Site
Sep 13, 2022

Surrounded by fertile plains and blessed with natural springs, ancient Corinth was a powerful city-state with two harbours, making it one of the richest cities of the era. In the Roman period, the city was a major colony. Corinth was a place of religious variety, with the worship of Greek and Roman gods and goddesses, local deities, and cult heroes. Today, the ancient city lies in ruins.

Acrocorinth

Paul’s Ministry

Corinth was important in the missionary activity of the apostle Paul. There, he met and worked with the Jewish tentmakers Aquila and Priscilla, and he began preaching in the synagogue every Sabbath trying to persuade Jews and Greeks (Acts 18:1-4). But the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive. Nevertheless, he founded Christian assemblies there.

After these things Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them. So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers. And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks. – Acts 18:1-4 (NKJV)

Temple of Apollo

The site today is dominated by the imposing Temple of Apollo, one of the oldest and most important temples in Greece. It had 6 columns on each narrow side and 15 columns on each long side, with each Doric monolith column over 7m high. At present, only 7 columns remain standing.

Fountain of Glauce

The Fountain of Glauce, a water supply installation, consisted of four reservoirs and four draw basins. According to Greek narratives, Princess of Corinth, Glauce was to be married to Jason who abandoned his wife Medea who spread poison to the veil of Glauce. When Glauce put it on, it took fire and Glauce threw herself into the fountain in a vain attempt to put out the fire. Hence, the fountain was named after her.

Fountain of Glauce. Photo Credit: Joyofmuseums Wikimedia Commons

Bema

Most of the other surviving buildings date from the 1st century CE in the Roman era. The Agora was once surrounded by public buildings, small temples, shops, and the famous bema where officials gave public addresses and heard legal cases. The Bible tells us that the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him to the bema for judgement by Gallio, the proconsul of Achaia (Acts 18:12-17).

Berma of St Paul. Photo Credit: Berthold Werner Wikimedia Commons

Discover Greece with 3 Nights Iconic Aegean Cruise (Limited Seats Available)

Join us and visit and explore the places where Paul preached to the ancient Greeks in our Discover Greece and Aegean Cruise Tour.

Tour dates: 12 Mar 2023, Sunday – 22 Mar 2023, Wednesday

Click here for tour details. Register today!

For more information on our destinations, click on the following: Israel | Jordan | Turkey | Greece

Aboard the Aegean Cruise
Aug 31, 2022

The 3-night all-inclusive cruise aboard Celestyal Olympia is an affordable way to island hop and see the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea. It is a hectic and busy cruise, with ports of call at Mykonos, Kusadasi, Patmos and Santorini, but it is perfect for sampling the various islands, history, and culture. Their specially designed shore excursions are central to the Celestyal experience.

Patmos – Visit to St John’s Monastery and Grotto of Apocalypse

Patmos is mentioned in the Book of Revelation. See the Cave or Grotto of the Apocalypse where Apostle John is said to have received a vision from Jesus. Next, walk along picturesque alleyways winding up to the Monastery of St John and see the Byzantine Church of St John adorned with important frescoes from several periods of history.

I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. – Revelation 1:9 (NKJV)
Cave of the Apocalypse, Patmos Island
Monastery of St John, Patmos Island

Kusadasi – Visit to Ephesus

Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and one of the Seven Churches of Revelation, is a fabulous open air archaeological wonder. Wander through the Agora, the magnificent and restored Library of Celsius, the marble-paved Main Street of Curetes, the Great Theatre and the excellently preserved Terrace Houses.

Curetes Street, Ephesus
Library of Celsius, Ephesus

Santorini – Visit to Oia Village

Santorini, with its soaring landscapes and whitewashed houses, is described as one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Oia Village is perched on the rim of the Caldera, the remains of a volcanic eruption. Stroll the marble-paved alleys, visit the adorable shops, and capture the moments on camera.

Santorini at night

Discover Greece with 3 Nights Iconic Aegean Cruise

Join us and tour across the endless blue seas and extraordinary mountain ranges of Greece, on foot and aboard the Aegean Cruise.

Tour dates: 12 Mar 2023, Sunday – 22 Mar 2023, Wednesday

Click here for tour details. Register today!

For more information on our destinations, click on the following: Israel | Jordan | Turkey | Greece

Let’s travel to Greece in 2023!
Aug 17, 2022

Greece is blessed with an exceptionally beautiful nature and striking landscape. Greece has a long history and innumerable stunning monuments to prove it. It was in Ancient Greece that philosophy has its roots, where democracy was born, where theatre came to life, and it was home to both the ancient and the modern Olympic Games.

Athens

UNESCO world heritage sites

Greece offers the world over 100 outstanding archaeological sites, with theatres, public assembly buildings, temples, public markets, revealing a history exceeding 5,000 years. Greece is home to some very interesting UNESCO world heritage sites: the beautiful monasteries in Meteora, the amazing Acropolis in Athens, the Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki and the many archaeological sites scattered all over the country.

Meteora
Thessaloniki

Greek Islands

The thought of Greece conjures up images of the islands and the splendid beaches. Santorini is probably the most famous island in all of Greece. Greece has also some incredibly beautiful sunsets and crystal blue waters. Aboard the Aegean Cruise is one of the best ways to explore the different islands at every port.

Santorini

In The Footsteps of Paul

Greece is also home to the noteworthy route that Apostle Paul took to spread the word of God in a time when polytheism was practised. This route comprises of places such as Kavala (Neapolis), Philippi, Thessaloniki, Veria, Athens, and Corinth.

Kavala
Veria

Discover Greece with 3 Nights Iconic Aegean Cruise

Join us and tour across the endless blue seas and extraordinary mountain ranges of Greece, on foot and aboard the Aegean Cruise.

Tour dates: 12 Mar 2023, Sunday – 22 Mar 2023, Wednesday

Click here for tour details. Register today!

For more information on our destinations, click on the following: Israel | Jordan | Turkey | Greece

Tree Grown From 2,000-Year-Old Seed Has Reproduced
Jul 27, 2022

“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree.” Psalm 91:12 (NIV)

In 2005, a team of researchers first tried to germinate a 2,000-year-old seed found in 1963 by archaeologists from the ancient fortress of Masada.

2,000-year-old date seed. Photo Credit: Guy Eisner

It sprouted and the researchers named this Judean date palm Methuselah, after the oldest man in the Bible who lived to the age of 969 (Genesis 5:27). Methuselah is a father. It has been successfully pollinated with another date palm, which is producing offspring.

Methuselah in 2019. Photo Credit: Arava Institute

Date palms once flourished in the valley from the Galilee in the north to the Dead Sea in the south. They were an important source of food, shelter, and medicine. Over the centuries, the Judean palm was decimated by years of war and foreign conquest. Some 800 years ago, the Crusaders destroyed the last remaining specimens, rendering the plant extinct.

The seeds of Judean date palm turned out to have remarkable longevity. Over the following years, the scientists were also successful at growing six more trees from seeds found mostly from Masada or Qumran where the world-renowned Dead Sea Scrolls were unearthed. Scientists pointed out that the Dead Sea, being the lowest point on Earth, has a special thick atmospheric layer that protect the seeds from harmful cosmic radiation.

Qumran National Park

You can see these amazing Judean date palms at Arava Institute Research Park in Kibbutz Ketura.

For more information on our destinations, click on the following: Israel | Jordan | Turkey | Greece

What to do in Israel | Western Wall Tunnels
Western Wall Tunnels
Jul 13, 2022

You will surely see the Western Wall when you visit the Old City of Jerusalem. The Western Wall is the only remains of the retaining wall surrounding the Temple Mount, the site of the First and Second Temples of Jerusalem, held to be the most significant site in the world for the Jewish people.

To celebrate the arrival of Shabbat, there is always a large crowd at sunset on Friday. The Western Wall Plaza is a popular site for bar mitzvahs which are usually held on Shabbat or on Monday and Thursday mornings. This is an excellent time to visit as the area is lively with families singing and dancing as they approach.

Western Wall Tunnel Tour

The part visible to all at the Western Wall Plaza is a small section (70m) of a much larger, mostly underground wall that stretches almost 500m long. Its greatness is truly awed when you descend underground to the Western Wall Tunnels. Walking through the tunnels, it is possible to see an ancient aqueduct, water pits, old cisterns, and Second Temple-era homes. You also get to touch the original and special stones from various periods. Many of these building stones are huge. The largest of these is the Western Stone, measuring up to 13m long and weighing over 500 tonnes.

If you are interested in a deeper look at the history of the Western Wall and Temple Mount, then this tour is worth 75 minutes of your time.

For more information on our destinations, click on the following: Israel | Jordan | Turkey | Greece

What to do in Israel | The Temple Mount Sifting Project
The Temple Mount Sifting Project
Jun 29, 2022

In 1999, Wakf bulldozers illegally ascended the Temple Mount and surreptitiously removed 9,000 tons of ancient soil, laden with countless invaluable artifacts, without proper archaeological care, and dumped close to 400 truckloads of it all as “garbage” in the Kidron Valley.

Two archaeologists realised that this dumped soil is a potential treasure-trove of archaeological information about the Temple Mount. In 2004, they founded the Temple Mount Sifting Project which has grown into the world’s largest communal antiquities salvage effort, attracting hundreds of thousands of volunteers and tourists from across the globe, and unearthing over half a million valuable finds.

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Ana al’ain Wikimedia Commons

Every bucket of earth that is sifted contains fragments of pottery, glass vessels, metal objects, bones, worked stones and mosaic tesserae stones, spanning from the First Temple period to the present. Every stone has a historical meaning and background. They might have been used in the Temple, in the streets of ancient Jerusalem, the same stones that probably kings and prophets had walked on.

“For her stones are dear to your servants; her very dust moves them to pity.” Psalms 102:14, NIV

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Ana al’ain Wikimedia Commons

The Temple Mount Sifting Project is a splendid way to experience the work of an archaeologist while helping find artifacts that continue to shape the understanding of the history of this ancient and holy place. The opportunity to search through piles of history is surreal. Every bucket is filled with potential and the anticipation of what will be found is exciting for every participant. Each find made is exhilarating, whether small or large. For the geologists and archaeologists, the hard work of cataloguing is just beginning. For the tourists, it is fun, educational, and relaxing – dump each bucket onto a wood-framed screen mounted on plastic stands, rinse off any soil with water from a garden hose, and then pluck out anything of potential importance. A great way to spend an hour or two!

For more information on our destinations, click on the following: Israel | Jordan | Turkey | Greece

What to see in Israel | City of David
City of David – Where King David Built His Kingdom
Jun 8, 2022

Do you know that the City of David is older than the Old City of Jerusalem? In fact, it’s considered the birthplace of Jerusalem, the place where King David built his kingdom.

City of David

The entrance of the City of David is decorated with a harp, closely associated with David who took a harp and played with his hand to calm King Saul from his bad moods (1 Samuel 16:23).

“And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him.” -1 Samuel 16:23 (NKJV)

Descending the stairs into the Large Stone Structure, the possible remains of King David’s palace or the Jebusite fortress that David captured. The foundations are visible at the top of the massive Stepped Stone Structure, believed to have served as a retaining wall for the palace or the fortress.

At the bottom of the massive wall is the House of Ahiel (based on the finding of a potsherd with the name Ahiel), a four-room house designed with a kitchen, storerooms, residential rooms, and a place for the cattle. In one room, a limestone toilet seat was embedded in the plaster floor, with a cesspit beneath it. The house had a central courtyard that was open to let in light since there were no windows in the house.

Hezekiah’s Tunnel

The Hezekiah’s Tunnel was first designed to bring water from the Gihon Spring to the Siloam Pool, as documented in the famous paleo-Hebrew inscription that was etched into the tunnel wall, describing the excavators, working from opposite ends, calling to each other near the completion of the project. Visitors get to wade through this tunnel. It is wet, dark, and exhilarating! If this dark and winding tunnel is too daunting, an adjacent Canaanite tunnel provides a well-lit and dry-shod alternative. Both tunnels lead to the ancient Siloam Pool, said to be the place where Jesus healed a man who had been blind since birth (John 9).

HALLELUJAH Nighttime Presentation

Not to be missed is “Hallelujah”, a spectacular multi-sensory night show displayed on the ancient walls of the City of David, telling the story of the rebirth of ancient Jerusalem, under the open night sky.

For more information on our destinations, click on the following: Israel | Jordan | Turkey | Greece

What to see in Israel | Garden of Gethsemane
What is the meaning of Gethsemane?
May 25, 2022

The Garden of Gethsemane is a remarkably beautiful garden, across the Kidron Valley on the Mount of Olives, where Jesus went with His disciples to pray after the Last Supper just before He was betrayed and arrested (Mark 14:32-41).

“Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” – Mark 14:32 (NKJV)

Mount of Olives, Jerusalem

What is the meaning of Gethsemane?

The name “Gethsemane” is made up of two Hebrew/Aramaic words “Gat Shemanei” which means “olive press”, suggesting that the garden was an olive grove complete with an olive press where harvested olives were processed, crushed and the olive oil extracted.

Today, the garden has manicured and tended flower beds surrounding a protected area that includes eight magnificent ancient olive trees, with some said to be at least 900 years old, still producing olives.

Garden of Gethsemane

Adjacent to the garden is the Basilica of the Agony, also known as the Church of All Nations, that enshrines a slab of rock where Jesus is believed to have been praying before His arrest. The church was constructed with support from 12 different nations, thus the name “the Church of All Nations”.

Inside of Church of All Nations

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Dung Gate | The Gates of Jerusalem
How did the Dung Gate get its name?
May 11, 2022

The Dung Gate is one of the gates in the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, built in the 16th century by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. Until the end of Ottoman Rule, the gate was merely a tiny doorway in the wall for pedestrians and pack animals to pass through. It was enlarged by the Jordanians who controlled the Old City between 1948 and 1967. After the Old City of Jerusalem was reclaimed by Israel paratroopers in the Six-Day War, the gate was restored.

How did the Dung Gate get its name?

The Dung Gate is first mentioned in Nehemiah 2:13 where the prophet examined the walls of Jerusalem which had been broken down and its gates which had been destroyed by fire. The gate is so named because of all the scattered rubbish and soil dumped out into the Valley of Hinnom below, each time Jerusalem was destroyed. When the First Jewish Temple was still in place, all the garbage and ash from sacrifices were taken out of the city through this gate into the valley to be burned.

“After dark I went out through the Valley Gate, past the Jackal’s Well, and over to the Dung Gate to inspect the broken walls and burned gates.” – Nehemiah 2:13 (NLT)

Today, the Dung Gate is the main entry to the Jerusalem Archaeological Park and Davidson Centre, home to archaeological finds and displays from the First and Second Temple periods. The Dung Gate is the most convenient of the Old City of Jerusalem’s seven gates for visiting the Western Wall and the Jewish Quarter.

Photo Credit: Ludvig14 Wikimedia Commons

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10 Interesting Facts About Israel
Apr 27, 2022

Israel may be a tiny country in the Middle East region, but it has many interesting facts. Here is our list of 10 remarkable facts.

Fact #1

Israel is the only country to have revised a dead language and made it the national language. Eliezer Ben Yehuda developed a modern Hebrew vocabulary, combining brand new and ancient Hebrew words. Hebrew became the official language of the Jews in 1922, a testament to the hard work and success of Ben Yehuda and his fellow Zionist pioneers in spreading the language.

Fact #2

The Mount of Olives is the oldest continuously used cemetery in the world. Many Jewish people since biblical times have requested to be buried here, hoping to be first in line when the Messiah comes on the Mount of Olives. Many ancient monumental Jewish tombs line the hillside.

Fact #3

Israel is one of the few countries in the world that has a mandatory military service requirement for women. Women have served in the Israel Defense Forces since its establishment in 1948. Today, women make up about 40% of conscript soldiers and 25% of the office corps.

Fact #4

Scientists in Israel managed to grow fresh dates from 6th century seeds found at Masada and Qumran. Hannah, one of the Qumran trees, was pollinated by Methuselah, a 2,000-year-old seed found in excavations in Masada and grew dates, a type that has not been tasted since the times of Jesus and the Maccabees.

Fact #5

In Israel, a meal without a salad is not a meal. You can find Israelis eating Israeli salad for breakfast or dinner or as a side dish for lunch. Traditional Israeli salad is made from fresh cucumbers, tomatoes and onion. Israeli salad goes well with some of the best Israeli foods such as shakshuka, in a pita together with falafel, sabich or any other street food, or as a side during a picnic or BBQ.

Fact #6

Israel Postal Company receives letters from around the world and from people of all religious denominations that are addressed to God or Jesus. Israel Post keeps the letters in a department until they are placed once a year, ahead of Rosh Hashanah, into the cracks of the Western Wall.

Fact #7

Israel has five out of seven natural erosion craters in the world. Ramon Crater in the Negev desert is the world’s largest, measuring 40km long, about 2 to 10km wide and up to 500m deep. Ramon Crater forms Israel’s largest national park, a place for hiking, camping and other outdoor activities.

Fact #8

The glue on Israeli postage stamps is kosher. These stamps are certified kosher by the chief rabbis of Israel.

Fact #9

Israel is the biggest junction in the world for migratory birds. Every spring and fall, over half a billion birds touch down at Israel’s nature reserve and marshes to rest and refuel. People from around the globe flock to Israel to see a high diversity of feathered species from desert birds to wetland fliers to migrating flocks.

Fact #10

Israel is number 1 in the world in water recycling. About 90% of the wastewater generated in Israel is recycled and reused mostly for agriculture and trees. About 60% of the domestic drinking water supply in Israel is provided by desalination.

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Jewish Holiday in Israel | Passover 2022
Passover 2022
Apr 12, 2022

Passover 2022 begins at sundown Friday, 15 April and ends at nightfall on Saturday, 23 April 2022, that is, the Hebrew calendar dates of Nissan 15-22. Passover or Pesach is an annual weeklong festival commemorating the Biblical story of Exodus where God freed the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt.

Israelites leaving Egypt. Photo Credit: Sue Bentley / FreeBibleimages.org

The Story of Exodus

Moses went to Pharaoh and asked that he let the Israelites go free from Egypt. Pharaoh said no, so God sent down 10 plagues to force the king to change his mind. The tenth and final plague was the most drastic: the killing of the firstborn sons by the angel of death. The Israelites were spared from the plague because Moses told them to mark their door posts with lamb’s blood so that the angel of death would pass over them. Thus, the name “Passover”. Pharaoh’s son died from the plague. In his grief, Pharaoh ordered Moses and the Israelites to leave Egypt.

Israelites marking their door posts with lamb’s blood. Photo Credit: Sue Bentley / FreeBibleimages.org

The people were happy but mistrustful of Pharaoh, afraid he would go back on his word again. In their haste to leave Egypt, the Israelites could not let their bread rise and so they brought unleavened bread and followed Moses into the desert. In commemoration of this, Passover is also called the Festival of Unleavened Bread where only flat unleavened bread or “Matzo” is consumed.

Seder

Passover is celebrated with great pomp and ceremony, especially on the first night, when a special family meal called the seder is held. During the seder (meaning “order” in Hebrew), family members eat, pray, drink, sing, discuss current social justice issues and tell stories as prescribed by the Haggadah, the Passover book.

The Sedar plate holds five or six items, each of which symbolizes a part of the Passover story. Parsley symbolises the new spring. Charoset, a sweet mixture of apples and honey, represents the mortar that the Israelite slaves used to construct buildings for Pharaoh. A bitter herb, often horseradish, associates with the bitterness of slavery. A second bitter herb, often Romaine lettuce, is used. A roasted lamb shank bone serves as a visual reminder of the sacrifice that the Israelites offered immediately before leaving Egypt. A roasted or hard-boiled egg represents a sign of new life.

Want to greet your Jewish friends a happy holiday? The greeting for Passover is simply “Chag Sameach!” (Happy Holidays) or “Chag Pesach Sameach!” (Happy Passover Holiday).

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Purim The Most Fun Jewish Holiday
Mar 16, 2022

Purim 2022 begins at sundown on Wednesday 16 Mar 2022 and ends at nightfall on Thursday, 17 Mar 2022, that is, on the Hebrew date of Adar 14. Purim, also called the Festival of Lots, is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from the cruel Haman in the ancient Persian Empire; a story recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther. Purim celebrates the strength and resilience of the Jews.

In the 4th century BCE, the Jewish people lived under the rule of the Persian King Ahasuerus who had his wife, Queen Vashti, executed for refusing to follow his orders. The king decided to arrange a beauty pageant to find a new wife. Esther, a Jewish girl, caught his attention and became his new queen.

Esther crowned as queen. Photo Credit: Sweet Publishing / FreeBibleimages.org

Meanwhile, the Jew-hating Haman was appointed prime minister of the empire. Fuelled by his hatred for Mordecai, the leader of the Jews and cousin of the new queen, Haman convinced the king that the Jews were rebellious and should be exterminated. With the king’s consent, Haman threw lots to determine the date for the execution.

Haman speaking with the king about the Jews. Photo Credit: Sweet Publishing / FreeBibleimages.org

Queen Esther asked the king and Haman to join her for a large feast. During the meal, Esther revealed that she was a Jew and pleaded for the Jews. She accused Haman of plotting the annihilation of her people. The outraged king ordered that Haman be hanged and that Mordecai be appointed the new prime minister. His first decree granted all Jews the right throughout the empire to defend themselves against their enemies. On Adar 13, the Jews mobilised and killed many of their enemies. After an exhilarating victory, the Jews rested and celebrated on Adar 14.

King and Haman went to the banquet Esther had prepared. Photo Credit: Sweet Publishing / FreeBibleimages.org
Haman was led out to be executed. Photo Credit: Sweet Publishing / FreeBibleimages.org
Jews gathered to defend themselves. Photo Credit: Sweet Publishing / FreeBibleimages.org
Mordecai recorded these events and sent letters to the Jews asking them celebrate this victory every year. So the celebration was called the Feast of Purim. Photo Credit: Sweet Publishing / FreeBibleimages.org

Purim begins with a day of fasting and reading the Book of Esther in the synagogue on the eve of Purim. On Purim (meaning “Lots” in Hebrew), the Jews exchange gifts and make donations to the poor. They eat a celebratory feast as well as triangle-shaped foods such as kreplach and hamantaschen pastries (“Haman’s ears”). When Jews meet each other, they say “chag Purim sameach” or “Happy Purim”. The day is filled with lots of fun, customs and traditions such as dressing up, carnivals and drinking.

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What to see in Israel | Beauty of the Olive Tree
Beauty of the Olive Tree
Mar 1, 2022

“ …a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey…” (Deuteronomy 8:8, NKJV)

The olives trees in Israel have been around for centuries. It is mentioned many times in the Bible, indicating the great significance of the olive tree in biblical times. It is one of the seven species in the Land of Israel. The olive tree is extremely symbolic for the Jewish people. An olive branch stands on either side of the seven-branched menorah in the emblem of both the State and the Israel Defense Forces. The dove that returned to Noah’s ark carried an olive branch in its mouth to symbolise the end of the flood and the return of life to earth. Today, the olive branch is an international symbol of peace.

Olive oil has been more than just a food to the cultures of the Mediterranean region. It has been used for lighting, cooking, medicinal purposes, and moisturising skin. The oil of its fruit has anointed the noblest heads throughout history. Olive wreaths have also been given out to crown victorious athletes of sport as well as victorious generals of war.

The olive tree is among the oldest known of cultivated trees in the world. It can grow up to 6m high. Its trunk is thick and twisted with a silvery foliage. It has long roots that penetrate down to the deep, damp layers of the soil, making it capable of surviving through Israel’s dry summers. Its flowers appear in late April and during May. Olive trees start providing fruit when six years old and over. Its fruit grows during the summer, remaining green until November when it ripens, and its colour becomes purple black. It contains a high ratio of oil and is rich in Vitamin A.

In Israel, olive trees grow wild and are also cultivated. They are known to live longer than most other fruit trees. Some of the ancient trees now growing in the Galilee and the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem are thought to be at least 900 years old and beyond. Olives are now one of the most important fruits grown in Israel, with olive plantations in the mountains of the Galilee, on the coastal plain, and in the mountains of Samaria and Ephraim. While wild olives are reproduced from seeds, cultivated olives are planted using shoots that grown at the base of another olive tree. Psalm 128:3 uses this imagery in comparing children to olive shoots around the table.

Olive Trees at Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem
Olive shoots around the Olive Tree

Where can I buy Olive Oil products?

Today, many people recognise the health benefits of a diet rich in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and at the same time, are embracing a revival in the culture of bath and body products that use olive oil and oil extracts as their primary ingredients.

Olea Essence from the Sea of Galilee has an offering of olive oil and olive-based skincare that is eco-responsible and fully natural. You can check out this collection of products at Rock Gifts & Book Centre at The Star Vista #02-07 or visit their website https://rockonline.sg/collections/olea-essence

For more information on our destinations, click on the following: Israel | Jordan | Turkey | Greece

What to see in Israel | Zedekiah’s Cave (Solomon’s Quarries)
Zedekiah’s Cave (Solomon’s Quarries)
Feb 15, 2022

There are several stories about the mysterious Zedekiah’s Cave, a 5-acre underground limestone rock quarry under the Old City of Jerusalem. The stones for Solomon’s temple may have been hewn from this cavern, which is why the site is sometimes called Solomon’s Quarries. By Jewish tradition, it is the cave through which King Zedekiah snuck out of Jerusalem, escaping the Babylonians, hence its name Zedekiah’s Cave. Herod the Great used this quarry for his numerous construction projects including the renovation of the Second Temple.

The stones quarried from the cave are known as Melekh stone which is a high-quality type of limestone which had been used to craft many of the magnificent buildings in Jerusalem since biblical times. Suleiman the Magnificent apparently mined the quarry to build the present-day city walls. The cave was later sealed to prevent enemy attacks and its existence forgotten.

The cave was rediscovered in 1854 when an American missionary named James Turner Barclay discovered the entrance after his dog ran into a small opening that had been revealed by heavy rainfall. In the 1880s, a German religious cult moved into the cave but was eventually evacuated by the German Consul in Jerusalem after many fell ill from living in the damp conditions. The Freemasons believed that King Solomon was the Grand Master, and they regarded this cavern as the ideal location to hold their first ceremony in 1868. The Freemasons of Israel continue to hold an annual ceremony in it every year. The last known use of the quarry was for the building of the clock tower that once stood above the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem Clock Tower above Jaffa Gate / Photo Credit: MadainProject

At first, Zedekiah’s Cave was a small, natural cave. It became a quarry, possibly the largest quarry of Jerusalem in antiquity, and a large space was created following the many quarrying operations carried out there for centuries. After the narrow entrance, the cave slopes down into a vast auditorium-like chamber that leads into many “galleries” carved out by ancient stonecutters. At the back of the cave is a tiny spring known as “Zedekiah’s Tears” in keeping with the tragic story of the blinded king who shed upon losing his kingdom and seeing his sons executed by the Babylonians.

Today, the cave is a major venue for concerts and cultural performances throughout the year. The concert area inside the cave provides a unique experience for both artists and audiences with its exceptional acoustics.

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What to see in Israel | Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem
Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem
Jan 18, 2022

The Cardo Maximus

The Cardo Maximus or simply the Cardo was Jerusalem’s main street during the Roman and Byzantine times. It was the north-south thoroughfare running from the Damascus Gate through the middle of the city to the Zion Gate. It was the commercial avenue of Jerusalem for almost 500 years.

Photo Credit: Carole Raddato Wikimedia Commons

In the 2nd century, the Roman Emperor Hadrian rebuilt Jerusalem as a Roman polis called Aelia Capitolina and added the Cardo in the north of the city. In the 6th century, the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I extended the Cardo further south to the area of today’s Jewish Quarter, thus linking the two main churches of Byzantine Jerusalem, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Nea Church. In the 12th century, the Crusaders built a bazaar along part of the road.

Jewish Quarter

Excavations in the Jewish Quarter have revealed a portion of the Cardo exactly as depicted in the famous 6th century Madaba Map, the oldest surviving detailed cartographic depiction of Jerusalem. The Byzantine map portrays the Jerusalem’s Cardo as a colonnaded Roman-style road. The Cardo was an exceptionally wide boulevard with a central lane, open to the sky, for the passage of carriages and animals. The original roadway was flanked on both sides with colonnaded, covered walkways that fronted on market stalls.

Madaba Map

The exposed southern section of the road, 4m below the present-day street level, reveals the Byzantine Cardo level. Archaeologists have uncovered beautiful limestone columns, intricately carved Corinthian-styled capitals and large flagstones that paved the street. Part of the Cardo has been restored to show how the stalls and shops would have been in the ancient times. The shopping section of the Cardo is beneath a beautifully vaulted ceiling and modern stores are housed in the ancient Crusader shops that line the Cardo. Today, visitors can stroll through the Cardo just like the residents of Jerusalem used to in the 6th century.

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What to eat in Israel | A Bowl of Delicious Hummus and Warm Pita for Dipping
A Bowl of Delicious Hummus and Warm Pita for Dipping
Jan 4, 2022

Israelis, Palestinians, Egyptian Arabs, Greek and other Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries all claim hummus as “their own dish”. No one really knows for sure the origin of hummus.

Hummus is a creamy dip typically made with a blend of chickpeas and tahini, a paste made of ground sesame seeds, and then olive oil, salt, lemon juice and garlic are all added on top. Chickpeas were known to be cultivated in the Mediterranean. They were one of the earliest crops and people in the Middle East have eaten chickpeas since ancient times.

Different culture has their own twist on the hummus recipe and their own way to indulge in hummus. In Israel, fresh hummus is smooth and fluffy, made with a lot of tahini. Israel locals “wipe” hummus with fresh pita. Hummus in Israel is not an appetizer; it is usually a meal on its own.

Tourists to Israel know that no visit is complete without eating plenty of hummus. Hummus is eaten almost daily – you will find it in most of the Israeli sandwiches and pitas. The important part of hummus is using good quality ingredients and making it from scratch, resulting in a wholesome hummus that is rich in protein, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B6, fibre and potassium. It is a delicious dip that is enjoyed by all cultures.

While we wait to travel to Israel soon to enjoy the good, fresh hummus, we can treat ourselves to a hearty hummus meal at Pita Bakery, Israeli cuisine at Miznon Singapore or “hummus in the pan” at Dewgather Café. Perhaps you can try to make homemade hummus on your own. For those who have it convenient and quick, you can find ready-made hummus in our supermarkets. Bon Appetite!

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What to see in Israel | Largest Holyland Model in the World
Largest Holyland Model in the World
Dec 14, 2021

The Holyland Model is probably the largest model in the world depicting Jerusalem in the year 66 AD when the city was at the height of its glory, shortly before its destruction by the Romans in 70 AD.

Also known as the Model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple period, it was built between 1962 and 1966 by Professor Michael Avi Yonah, a leading scholar in ancient Jerusalem. At the time of the model’s construction, Jerusalem was divided by a border, drawn following the 1948 war. Most of the city’s historical and holy sites, located in and around the Old City, were under Jordanian rule, and Israelis had no access to them. Since there was no access to the sites, the design had to rely on earlier excavations, ancient texts, writings of Flavius Josephus, historical sources, and the Bible.

The model, measuring 2,000 square metres and in a 1:50 scale, was commissioned by Hans Kroch, the owner of Holyland Hotel, in memory of his son Jacob who fell in the War of Independence. The Holyland Model became a popular attraction for both Israelis and international tourists alike. The model features several notable and important structures such as Herodian Temple, Antonia Fortress, Royal Stoa, Southern Wall and Eastern Gate.

When the time came to move the model elsewhere, the Israel Museum was deemed the most appropriate site. In 2006, it was sawn into 100 parts and later resembled in the Museum campus. The relocation of the model from the hotel to Israel Museum has greatly enhanced its status as both a national exhibit and a scientifically accurate representation of ancient Jerusalem.

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What to see in Israel | Mahane Yehuda Market
Jerusalem’s Oldest and Largest Outdoor Market
Nov 30, 2021

Jerusalem’s Oldest and Largest Outdoor Market

If you are a market person, a visit to Mahane Yehuda is a must. The lively atmosphere is filled with the scent of fresh falafel and the sound of more than 250 haggling merchants, selling everything from aromatic spices to souvenirs. You can do all your shopping here whether it’s for Israeli cheese, halva, pastries, fresh and dried fruits, and gifts. Just about anything you can think of.

It is especially nice to come to the market just before a Jewish holiday such as Passover or Rosh Hashanah. The hustle and bustle of this vibrant marketplace is electrifying. You can feel the holiday is in the air. It is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon moving from food stall to food stall, noshing your way through the market.

The market dates to the Ottoman period. An empty lot, it was developed by local peasants who brought produce to sell in this central location. Slowly the open grounds were turned into an organized market. The peasants took it upon themselves to build their own shops and storage facilities. Over the years, the market expanded and continued to develop. Today, it is a bustling marketplace and a neighbourhood that intertwines food, drinks, music, and shopping. It has also become a yuppie hub with designer boutiques and top chef restaurants. Mahane Yehuda simply represents the heart of Jerusalem, integrating the old and new.

No matter when you visit, the market is crowded. Be prepared for extremely heavy crowds on Fridays when Jerusalem residents are stocking up for the Sabbath. The market is open from Sunday morning through Friday afternoon. It’s free to explore. Come and lose yourself to all the colours, scents, and sounds of the Mahane Yehuda Market.

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What to see in Israel | Best 3 Biblical Gardens in Israel
Best 3 Biblical Gardens in Israel
Dec 10, 2020

Have you ever wondered what bible gardens are and what took place in them? Gardens of the Bible were places of loveliness, sanctuary and sustenance. It is referred to as a place of shelter, recognised as a place of provision of food and seen as a place for quiet retreat. It is also a setting to meet with friends.

Israel has some of the best landscaped gardens with a biblical theme. These gardens feature cultivated collections of plants that are mentioned in the Bible. Some of these biblical gardens also display objects to illustrate biblical stories or to demonstrate how people lived in biblical times.

Jesus’s crown of thorns possibly made from this thorny tree which can be seen at Neot Kedumim.

1. Neot Kedumim

Take a journey to the world’s only biblical landscape nature – Neot Kedumim, spread across 625 acres of restored land. The reserve is a remarkable place for the family and especially people wanting to get a glimpse into the landscape of ancient Israel, as reflected in the Bible.

To create the biblical park, thousands of tons of soil were trucked in, reservoirs were built to catch runoff rainwater, ancient terraces, wine presses and ritual baths were restored, and hundreds of varieties of trees and plants were cultivated. You can find the seven species – olives, wheat, barley, figs, pomegranates, dates and grapes. You can see plants and trees, water and agricultural fittings such as cisterns, oil presses, wine presses and threshing floors as they were thousands of years ago. This amazing biblical reserve won an Israel Prize in 1994 as a model of restoration ecology. The park also offers additional activities such as tree planting and sheep herding.

Sheep Herding at Neot Kedumim.

2. Nazareth Biblical Village

Go back in time to the first century to witness first-hand daily life at the Nazareth Biblical Village in the Galilean city where Jesus once lived and walked. This open-air museum provides a 3D experience focused on showing examples Jesus used in His teaching. The Village is the ideal place for anyone looking for a one-of-a-kind experience where the crossroads of first century and present meet. It makes a biblical first century come alive for visitors.

Synagogue at Nazareth Biblical Village.

You meet costumed staff and pose next to them. All this deepens your experience and captures it as a photographic memory. You see villagers praying in the period synagogue, milking goats and practising their trades. You visit a reconstructed first century tomb, a watch tower, an olive press, a carpenter shop and a weaver’s room. In spring, you smell the blooming wildflowers. Donkeys and chickens roam about the grounds. In summer, you see grapes being pressed for wine and in the fall, you see the olive harvest.

Joseph is busy with his carpentry work at Nazareth Biblical Village.

3. Yad Hashmona Biblical Garden

Yad Hashmona Biblical Garden gives visitors a glimpse into the spiritual, physical and agricultural world of the Jewish people in the land of the Bible. The lovely biblical garden includes an ancient wine press, an olive press, a burial cave, a ritual bath, an agricultural tower, a Galilean-type synagogue and a Bedouin tent. You find a variety of biblical plants and trees as well as reconstructed facilities from biblical times.

Olive Press at Yad Hashmona Biblical Garden.

The skilled guides of the garden take you through a journey of biblical stories such Ruth and Boaz, spiritual symbolism and the parables of the New Testament. Not to be missed – the biblical meal with Jesus Passover experience, a sumptuous culinary trip to the past. The meal comprises greens, lentils, meat pottage, stuff chicken, dried fruit and Haroset served with grape juice and tabun baked pita.

Biblical meal with Passover experience.

The site is also home to the Yad Hashmona Country Hotel, surrounded by stunning views of the evergreen Judean Hills and the Mediterranean coastal plain. It is a great place for spiritual rejuvenation during your stay at the hotel. In addition, you can visit the nearby biblical city of Kiriath Jearim known for the house of Abinadab that guarded the Ark of the Covenant from the time of Samuel until the time of David.

View from Yad Hashmona Biblical Garden.

Our Lord Jesus says in Song of Songs 8:13 (NLT), “O my darling, lingering in the gardens, your companions are fortunate to hear your voice. Let me hear it, too!”

For more information on our destinations, click on the following: Israel | Jordan | Turkey | Greece

The Dead Sea | A Must-Visit in Israel
Aug 21, 2020

Dead Sea Israel – Your Next Spa Vacation

The Dead Sea is really a wonder. Just effortlessly float on your back and enjoy the Mediterranean sun and splendour of the desert around you. Not to worry – you can’t sink in the Dead Sea. It is immeasurably beautiful with milky blue water and shores encrusted by white salt deposits. The Dead Sea rewards each visitor with an unforgettable experience. Wade into the salty water, scoop handfuls of black mud and slather it on your body for a photograph.

Dead Sea – Quick Facts

It is not a sea but a lake, bordered by Israel and Jordan. The evaporation hovering the Dead Sea gives a constant haze over its surface. The Jordan River flows into the Dead Sea, but it has no exit point so that the rich minerals build up within the Dead Sea water. Due to the high salt content of the water, no living creatures can live in the sea except for microscopic creatures such as bacteria and microbial fungi. In recent decades, the Dead Sea has been rapidly shrinking.

Photo by Google Maps

Dead Sea – In The Bible

It is known by a few different names in the Bible, including the Salt Sea, the Sea of the Arabah and the Eastern Sea. It has been mentioned several times in the Bible.

An advancing force of Ammonites and Moabites was on their way from beyond the Dead Sea to fight King Jehoshaphat.

“After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to wage war against Jehoshaphat. Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar” (that is, En Gedi). Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord ; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.” – 2 Chronicles 20:1-4 (NIV)

Read the full story here – 2 Chronicles 20

Ezekiel prophesied that the Dead Sea will one day flow with fresh water and fishermen will be able to cast their nets from shore.

“He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh. Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds—like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea. But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt. Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.” – Ezekiel 47:8-12 (NIV)

Read the full prophecy here – Ezekiel 47

Zechariah also echoed this same prophecy that life-giving waters will flow where today the Dead Sea water is salty.

“On that day life-giving waters will flow out from Jerusalem, half toward the Dead Sea and half toward the Mediterranean, flowing continuously in both summer and winter. And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day there will be one Lord—his name alone will be worshiped. All the land from Geba, north of Judah, to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, will become one vast plain. But Jerusalem will be raised up in its original place and will be inhabited all the way from the Benjamin Gate over to the site of the old gate, then to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s winepresses.” – Zechariah 14:8-10 (NLT)

Read the full chapter here – Zechariah 14

Dead Sea Minerals – A Vital Secret

The Dead Sea is full of superb minerals which can help keep your skin healthy, smooth, young-looking. Dead Sea beauty treatments make use of the mineral rich Dead Sea mud dug out of the banks and floor of the Dead Sea. The mud and minerals from the water are used in creams, anti-aging remedies, make-up, face masks and more. People suffering from skin disorders are often told to soak in the Dead Sea. They visit the Dead Sea to take salt baths and mud treatments to improve various conditions and illnesses such as psoriasis, arthritis and various allergies, and get their skin revitalised. The Dead Sea air has a low pollen and allergen content, making it ideal for those with respiratory problems. The air is also high in oxygen which is great for overall well-being.

Dead Sea – Spa Resorts

In ancient times, the Dead Sea was a sought-after destination for royalty such as King Herod and Queen Cleopatra who visited the Dead Sea to enrich their bodies with the essential minerals of the water and mud pools. Consider spending a night or two at the Dead Sea. This will enable you to soak in the therapeutic waters across two days and will allow plenty of time to indulge in a few spa treatments offered by many of the hotels that line the shores. You can enjoy a full health club and spa that offers natural thermal and mineral body treatments. You can cover your body from head to toe in the all-natural nurturing Dead Sea mud, leaving your skin soft and fresh, and your soul with an experience of a lifetime. You can also enjoy a soothing massage. There are many suitable alternative accommodation options such as hostels, guest houses and cottage style units at local kibbutzim. Prices tend to be cheaper, and you mostly won’t have access to an on-site spa or health club – but you will certainly experience stunning sunrises and sunsets alongside local flora and fauna, which is just as pleasurable.

Dead Sea – Beaches

It is possible to visit the Dead Sea as a day trip from Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. Top choices for day trippers are Neve Midbar Beach and Kalia Beach. You can find mud to slather yourself in and showers to use when you’re ready to wash off. Other amenities include changing rooms, lockers as well as a café to satisfy your appetite with lovely views of the turquoise waters of the Dead Sea and the surrounding golden-brown mountains. It’s ideal for people of all ages, families and couples.

Excursions Around The Dead Sea

There are interesting places to visit nearby the Dead Sea. The sites can easily be worked into a full day itinerary or spread over two days.  Along the shore of the sea are several biblical locations: the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, the desert wilderness of Ein Gedi where David took refuge, the Jordan River Baptismal Site and Jericho city. Other attractions on the western shore include Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered and Masada (as seen below), the royal fortress of King Herod which stands atop a cliff with views over the Judean desert.

Dead Sea – A Must Visit

When it is safe to travel again, do consider a trip to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth at 434m below sea level and the hottest spot in Israel. The Dead Sea is not just your average beachside vacation – it’s a complete world of attractions and leisure sites throughout the entire local desert region. At the same time, take the relaxing opportunity to hover on the water surface, while your skin enjoys all the benefits of the salt and minerals.

Create a DIY Dead Sea Israel Spa Day at Home

Now that you have more time due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it is a good time to pamper yourself. Try a DIY Dead Sea Spa Day at home. While there’s nothing like a real-life Dead Sea spa experience to make you feel rejuvenated, it may add a little comfort to your day and improve your overall feeling of wellness. Your body will thank you. You can coddle yourself with Dead Sea minerals, from bath soak and body scrub to hair care, facial mask and anti-aging treatment. You can get some of the popular Dead Sea mineral products like Ahava, Premier or Seacret online. Enjoy!

For more information on our destinations, click on the following: Israel | Jordan | Turkey | Greece

Winepress, Vineyard and Winery Visits in Israel
Aug 9, 2020

Where to go in Israel? | Winemaking and Winery Tours

Photo by Dalton Winery, in the Galilee Region

Ancient Winemaking in Israel

Israel has a long history of wine production, dating back to biblical times and continuing to modern day. Hundreds of winepresses are found in the fields, villages and cities of the Holy Land. The ancient winepress was a giant, hallowed out rock where the grapes were brought and crushed by the feet of the workers, extracting the juice to make the wine. Many vineyards and winepresses are found in most of the biblical places and ancient sites, in Galilee in the north, Golan, Shomron, Judean Hills and the Negev Desert, in the south.

Photo by Reader Digest’s Great People of the Bible and How They Lived

The Bible has References to Wine, Winepress and Winemaking

It’s no secret that wine flows freely in biblical stories. Grapes are one of the seven species connected to the land of Israel along with wheat, barley, figs, pomegranates, olives and date honey. Vineyards and winemaking were common in agrarian Israel. Wine was an essential part in the worship of the people of God in both Old and New Testaments. Wine was used in celebrating the Passover. Wine is associated with life and God’s blessing. Wine was used in the Scriptures as symbols of many important truths: Jesus turned water into wine at the Cana wedding and the Passover cup at the Last Supper was filled with wine.

Rediscovering the Promise of the Land

Ancient Israel must have been one of the earliest wine-producing countries. Wine production came to a halt with the Muslim conquest in the 7th century AD and did not start up again until the arrival of Baron Edmond de Rothschild in the late 19th century. Israel has gone through ups and downs within the wine industry but today the Holy Land is returning to a world class wine status.

Israel is renowned for its agriculture. Its Mediterranean weather and fertile soil give the wine an ideal foundation of producing the perfect grapes. Israel’s viticulturists are forward-looking. Most of Israel’s wineries are technologically innovative and they engage internationally trained winemakers, with experience in major wine producing countries. Israel is honing the art of winemaking to vie with some of the best in the world. Today, hundreds of wineries, ranging in size from small boutique enterprises to large companies, are producing Israeli wines.

Winery Visit in Israel

Consider a half day or full day trip to discover some of Israel’s wineries – you can enjoy an array of experiences such as wine education, cheese and chocolate tastings, chef restaurants, vineyard tours and beautiful scenery. The winery tour includes wine tasting and takes you to see the winemaking process first-hand. You get to learn about how good quality wine is produced by traditional winemaking techniques combined with new technology and how variations in the soil and climates are reflected in the wines. You get to tour around the vineyard on a jeep, a memorable experience full of scents and tastes in the fresh air of the hills. Call us for your private Israel wine tour on your next visit to Israel. We are happy to provide an itinerary and pricing on just about any tour you would be interested in. Click here if you are interested in organizing a private tour.

Photo by Psagot Winery, in the Judean Hills
Photo by Golan Heights Winery
Photo by Tamar Sokolski – Golan Heights Winery
Top 11 Foods You Must Have in Israel
Jul 13, 2020

Israeli Cuisine – Hummus, Falafel and More

Think of Israel cuisine and we probably picture bowls of hummus for dipping, pita breads stuffed with falafel and salads of finely diced tomatoes with plenty of herbs and olive oil. Think again … there’s a whole lot more to this. The Israeli cuisine is unbelievably diverse, a blend of local dishes and dishes brought to Israel by Jewish immigrants. Israeli food is probably one of the healthiest foods in the world. Here are some dishes we think you will love to try when you are next in Israel or cook in your very own kitchen.

What to Eat in Israel?

1. Shakshuka

Shakshuka is a good choice for breakfast. It is a dish of eggs poached in a tangy sauce of simmering tomatoes, olive oil, peppers, onion, garlic and spices. Some will add spinach, feta cheese and other ingredients to the mix. It’s nourishing, filling and it’s simple to make with this recipe.

2. Shawarma

Shawarma is a popular Israeli street food classic made of grilled beef or chicken heavily marinated in olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and warm spices. It can be served on a plate surrounded by colourful vegetables including tomatoes, onions, shredded lettuce and pickles or simply in a wrap.

3. Falafel

Falafel is a great snack by itself. It is a deep-fried ball made from ground chickpeas, fava beans or both, herbs and seasonings. It is usually stuffed into pita bread or served atop fresh greens. How to make perfectly crispy falafel?

4. Ptitim

Ptitim also known as Israeli Couscous is a great meal for kids. The tiny pasta pearls are made from semolina flour, dried and then toasted to give a nutty flavour. It is known colloquially in Israel as “Ben-Gurion’s rice”. Just add anything in it … carrots, tomatoes, corn, peas, any herb or spice … and make it your own style as you like.

5. Challah bread

Bread comes with every meal in Israel but be sure to try the Challah bread made with eggs, flour, butter, yeast and sugar. It is a simple recipe. The most important thing is the braiding. Try this at home.

6. Hummus

Hummus is a creamy dip typically made with a blend of chickpeas, tahini, salt, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic.  It is a meal on its own or we can eat it with different veggies, use it as a salad dressing, spread it on two pieces of toast or create a fancy grain bowl. Try this recipe at home.

7. Baba ganoush

Baba ganoush is simply aubergine mixed with tahini, lemon juice, garlic and whatever other flavours you want to add, and served with bread, crisp vegetables and pita chips.

8. Latkes

Latkes are popular Israeli potato pancakes, made from mashed or grated potatoes, flour, eggs, onions and finely crushed matzo crackers.

9. Kanafeh

Kanafeh is a thin vermicelli-like cheese pastry soaked in sweet sugar-based syrup, topped with ground nuts like pistachios.

10. Baklava

Baklava is very rich in aroma and flavour. It is prepared from phyllo dough sheets with butter and pistachios, cashew nuts and walnuts, soaked in sugar syrup or honey.

11. Halvah

Halvah is crumbly and dry. It is made of tahini from typical chocolate and vanilla flavour to pistachio, cinnamon flavour and many more flavourings.

So here it is, the top 11 foods that you should try when visiting Israel! Even though travelling may not be possible during this season, we can stay home and try the above recipes. Have fun!

Lord, bless the food before us, the family beside us and the love between us. Amen!

Stay Home Now, Travel Later
Jun 24, 2020

While we aren’t travelling now, that doesn’t mean we should stop the travel inspiration from coming. We can think about all the places we have been and all the places we hope to see sometime soon. This is also a great time to buckle down and save money for our next travel since we are not out social spending.

Plan your next trip with us

It is more realistic to look at trips that must be planned and take more coordination than an average weekend vacation. What kind of trip do we want to take in the future? Is it going to be a tropical holiday? Is it a safari in Africa? Is it a destination that we just haven’t been before? How about considering your next travel journey to Israel and the other Bible lands such as Jordan, Turkey or Greece? Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for travel inspirations! Visit our website for more information or drop us an email so we can contact you!

Stay home now, travel later

Now’s the time to perfect our travel photography skills. When everything is online, we can easily find tips and tutorials to improve our skills. So when that big trip comes up, we are dialled in.

Here’s a tutorial on 5 Tips for your Best Iphone Photography:

Maybe we have a ton of travel photos just sitting in our laptop or phone, waiting to be printed. Now is the time to get those printed and used for something creative – be it a scrapbook, a travel journey or a picture frame hung on our wall.

Check out Photobook Singapore, where we can print your photos on a mug, phone case, tumbler, calendar or make them into a beautiful photobook:

Try this easy-to-follow workout for beginners:

We will travel again soon. In the meantime, stay safe!

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

Consider a trip to Israel in 2020!
Jan 20, 2020

If you’re looking for the best destination to visit in 2020, we suggest Israel.

Israel is a country of immense natural beauty, amazing culture, countless historic and religious sites and unbeatable history. Israel is probably the only country in which you can visit tip to tip in less than a day. Driving from the Red Sea resort town of Eilat on the southernmost tip to Metula in the mountainous snow-capped Golan Heights in the north will only take you six hours. So even if you only have a day, come to Israel!

It is every believer’s dream to visit the Land of the Bible. For those who have visited Israel they would say that their trip was incredible in every sense of the word. There was something throughout the trip that touched them, personally and spiritually. Many would even say that they left a piece of themselves over there and they have full intentions of going back to Israel.

Here are the three main reasons why you should visit Israel.

1. The Bible will vividly come to life

You’ll never read the Bible the same after walking the paths of Jesus and trekking the land where Joshua battled, Elijah called down fire and David reigned. The land and people, sights, sounds and smells will forever influence you. These encounters will shape the way you understand and read the Bible.

Ayalon Valley
Valley of Elah

2. Israel has a diverse landscape

The north is green and lush with mountains overlooking vistas of valleys and fields and rivers and lakes. In the centre of the country, you have the modern high-rise buildings of Tel Aviv, contrasting with the ancient alleyways of the Old City in Jerusalem. The south offers the Negev’s natural resorts and parks. Right at Israel’s southernmost tip, there is Eilat, with its Red Sea oasis. From swamps to lakes, craters to mountains, Israel has literally got it all.

Northern Israel
Tel Aviv
Jerusalem
Southern Israel

3. Because it has the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth

No trip to Israel is complete without covering yourself in mud and floating in the buoyant Dead Sea. The mud baths are also supposed to do wonders for your skin and are said to having healing powers.

Dead Sea
Dead Sea

So join us on an awesome trip to Israel at least once in your lifetime!

Click here for more information on our available tours.

Build Your Own Trip
Jan 20, 2020

Everyone has their own style when it comes to travelling. Whether you’re travelling with friends and family or if you choose to go solo, there is never a right or wrong way to do things. However, there are some differences if you choose to participate in either a private or a group tour

Group Tour

A group tour with a fixed departure date offers you the opportunity to meet new people along the way and mix with like-minded travellers, in some cases, from all over the globe. If guests were attracted to the same itinerary, chances are you will have something in common. You will share a tour guide and a bus driver, but their special treatment makes you feel like part of a friendly family. With a group of any size, there is bound to be time spent on waiting and herding participants of the tour. The itinerary is set well in advance and is not available to be altered by participants. Typically, a group tour helps keep the tour price manageable when compared to a small, private tour.

Private Tour

It allows you to choose your own departure date and duration and tweak the itinerary according to your desires. It is exclusively for you and your travel party. You will have your own personal tour guide, with a private vehicle and driver. No other guests will join this tour so you can enjoy your privacy. It is also useful for those who need special care, including older relatives, young children or disabled travellers. This simply translates into greater flexibility, better comfort and personalised service. A private tour is usually costlier than a group tour. However, a private tour doesn’t just have to be for two. With sufficient numbers, this private tour can be arranged for a similar price to a group tour.

Click here for more information on our available tours or here to organize a private tour.

Oberammergau: The Passion Play 2020
Sep 12, 2019

Oberammergau is a small village nestled into one of the most stunning, unspoilt regions in Germany – Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria. This charming village is known not only for its once-in-a-decade Passion Play, but also for its beautiful façade painting (Lüftlmalerei) at the house walls and for the art handicraft of the professional woodcarver (Herrgottschnitzer).

Garmisch Partenkirchen

Nearly 400 years ago, the history of the Passion Play began. Back in 1634, the town of Oberammergau was hit by a devastating plague. The townsfolk vowed that they would perform the Passion of Christ once every ten years if that plague spared them. Believing themselves to have been spared by the grace of God Himself, the villagers kept up their end of the bargain, and in 1634 the people of Oberammergau produced the first ever Passionsspiele. The promise has been kept until today.

Passion Play

The Passion Play is an important event in the life of Oberammergau residents and one which they embrace with enthusiasm. Hundreds of locals put up an unforgettable show that is attended by over 500,000 people from all over the world. The show is complete with impeccable costumes and makeup, haunting music, brilliant scripts, and gorgeous settings. Each performance is held in two sittings – each lasting for two and a half hours – with a three hour break in between. The play is performed in German but booklets with translations in other languages are available. In 2020, it will be performed for the 42nd time by the inhabitants of the village from 16th May 2020 to 4th October 2020 at the Passion Play Theater.

Passion Play Theatre

Besides enjoying the once-in-a-decade Passion Play at Oberammergau, you will also get to visit many fabulous landscapes of Germany. Read here for more information.

Interested in our tour to Germany in July 2020, click here for more information.

Fabulous Landscapes of Germany
Aug 29, 2019

Germany is a country full of interesting sites, rich culture, vibrant cities, stunning historical architecture, sprawling alps, winding rivers, lush valleys and elegant castles. Here are some attractions that you get to visit when you join our July 2020 tour.

Neuschwanstein Castle, Fussen

Neuschwanstein is an impressive fairytale-like castle that inspired Walt Disney to create his most famous park, Magic Kingdom. Surrounded by sweeping valleys, towering mountains and beautiful lakes, Neuschwanstein is best viewed from Marienbrücke, or Mary’s Bridge — a bridge over the Pöllat Gorge that offers stunning views of the castle and the scenery around it. The name Neuschwanstein means ‘New Swan Castle’ and was inspired by a famous 19th-century opera, Lohengrin.

Castle Neuschwanstein

Berchtesgaden

A village of 7,000, tucked against the sheer walls of the Bavarian Alps.

Berchtesgaden

Heidelberg Schloss, Heidelberg

Though now in ruins, Heidelberger Schloss (Heidelberg Castle) remains an impressive structure that can be seen from nearly anywhere in Heidelberg. Nestled in the rich green forest of the Königstuhl hillside, some 80 metres from the rest of the city, the castle can be reached by funicular railway or by stairs. Once at the top, soak in the views of the city below (including the Neckar River and the Old Bridge), take in the impressive Renaissance architecture, and roam the castle’s gardens.

Heidelberg Castle

Zugspitze

The highest peak of the Wetterstein Mountains as well as the highest mountain in Germany at 2,962 m above sea level.

Zugspitze

Insel Mainau, Lake Constance

Floating in Lake Constance, near the city of Konstanz, you will find a small garden island named Mainau. Covering about 110 acres of land, the island is nicknamed ‘Flower Island’ as it is covered in parks and gardens teeming with vibrant, colourful flowers and about 500 species of trees, along with beautiful sculptures and fountains.

Island Mainau

Schaffhausen (Rhine Falls)

The Rhine Falls remains Europe’s largest and most powerful waterfall.

Rhinefall Schaffhausen

Cable Car Ride over River Rhine

Enjoy the spectacular views where the Rhine and Moselle rivers meet.

Cable Car ride over River Rhine

Drosselgasse, Rudesheim

At the heart of Rüdesheim’s old town, you will find the charming Drosselgasse, a cobbled street filled with historic buildings, restaurants, bars and shops. At 144 meters in length, the street is lined with some of the city’s best entertainment venues where you can enjoy regional dishes and wines as well as energetic live bands.

Drosselgasse, Rudesheim

Besides the beautiful landscapes Germany has to offer, what makes year 2020 special is the once-in-a-decade Passion Play at Oberammergau. Read here for more information.

Interested in our tour to Germany in July 2020, click here for more information.

Experience Paul’s World of Greece
Jun 26, 2019

Paul and his companions set out from Troas and sailed across to the island of Samothrace, and on to Neapolis the next day. Paul landed on the European mainland for the first time in 51AD. Paul travelled inland along the Via Egnatia to Philippi where he first preached the Gospel. Paul and Silas continued their preaching in Thessalonica and Berea. Paul alone left for Athens where he preached in the synagogue and discussed with the Greek philosophers in the ancient agora. Paul moved on to Corinth where he lived and worked with Aquila and his wife Priscilla. During the 3rd Missionary Journey, Paul and Timothy made Ephesus their base for three years. The places that Paul visited are still existing as well as his message.

Kavala (Ancient Neapolis)

Kavala, Greece

During Paul’s day, Neapolis (meaning ‘the new city’) was a prosperous port serving the city of Philippi. Today, Kavala is a beautiful and historic town built amphitheatrically along the length of the sea. It boasts a unique character combining the modern contemporary buildings on the west side of the city to the traditional old houses of the eastern side. You can still stroll along the busy harbourfront with its countless fishing caciques moored along the waterfront or relax at nearby bustling harbourfront eateries.

Philippi

Philippi, Greece – Photo by Hercules Milas

Philippi was valued in antiquity for its nearby gold mines. The city prospered in the Roman imperial era and after a visit from Paul, became an important centre of early Christianity. Philippi continued to flourish as a major Byzantine city.

Today, you can still walk on the original route of the stone-paved Via Egnatia, stroll across the remains of the Roman forum, see the remains of the two Basilicas and sit in the Roman theatre. You can see the traditional site of Paul’s prison which is an old water cistern that was transformed into a small church. Neaby is the unique octagonal Baptistery of St Lydia, built beside the River Zygaktis. In the book of Acts, Paul and Silas went to the riverbank just outside the city and began to speak to the women gathered there.

Thessalonica

White Tower in Thessalonica, Greece

On reaching Thessalonica, Paul and Silas preached in the Jewish synagogue on three consecutive Sabbaths. Not surprisingly, this caused a turmoil among some of the Jews. Once again, Paul and Silas were forced to escape from Thessalonica in the night.

Thessaloniki is now the second largest city in Greece full of life and vibrancy. When you climb up to the Byzantine walls, you see a sprawling city with the old and new coexisting wonderfully. You cannot miss the White Tower, the former prison, standing along the beach promenade. You can see several monuments including the impressive circular Rotunda, the famous Arch of Galerius, and the restored ancient amphitheatre, an arched street and a marketplace at the Roman Forum.

Veria (Ancient Berea)

St Paul’s Tribune in Veria, Greece

In Paul’s day, Berea was a prosperous Roman city with a large Jewish community. Today, the modern Saint Paul’s Tribune (“Bema”) features two modern mosaics – one depicting the vision of a man from Macedonia and the other showing Paul preaching to the citizens of Berea. The mosaics are located at the top of Paul’s steps where it is believed that Paul addressed the crowd.

Athens

Athens Acropolis, Greece – Photo by Greece Tourism

Athens, capital and largest city of Greece, is a city full of colours and surprises with elements of ancient glory. Monuments of all historical periods are spread around the town, from ancient times to modern era. Do not miss the Acropolis standing on the highest spot of the city. Just below the Acropolis is the Areopagus where Paul delivered his famous speech about the identity of “the Unknown God” as recorded in Acts 17. Other city highlights include the impressive Hadrian Arch, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Panathenaic Stadium and the imposing Hellenic Parliament House at the east side of Syntagma Square. Admire the neoclassical architecture as you walk through Plaka and the multicoloured Monastiraki with its flea market.

Corinth

Corinth Canal, Greece

Stop by the famous Isthmus that connects the mainland of Greece with the Peloponnese Peninsula. The Isthmus is 6.5km wide and the Corinth Canal is constructed at the narrow point of the Isthmus. Here is where the Aegean meets the Ionian Sea.

The ancient town of Corinth was one of the richest towns in Ancient Greece where Paul lived and preached for two years. You can see the ruins of various buildings including the Agora, the 6th century Temple of Apollo, baths and a basilica. The Corinth Archaeological Museum provides a comprehensive view of finds from the archaeological site.

Ephesus

Ephesus Theatre, Turkey

Kusadasi (which means “bird island”) is a lively resort town in the Aegean region of Turkey. It is the coastal gateway to Ephesus.

Paul and Timothy lived in Ephesus for three years. They stayed in the home of Aquila and Priscilla. Paul preached in the Jewish synagogue in Ephesus but when some of the Jews began to criticise, Paul abandoned the synagogue and moved to the Lecture Hall of Tyrannus. Ephesus had many pagan temples, the most important of which was the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. Today, visitors can explore the ruins of Ephesus. See the marble latrines of the ancient public toilets. Sit in the Great Theater that could 25,000 spectators, possibly the largest outdoor theatre in the ancient world. Follow the Priest’s Way to the celebrated façade of the Library of Celsus.

The House of the Virgin in Selcuk

Tradition says that the House of the Virgin Mary is where Mary, the mother of Jesus, spent her final days of her life. The small stone building consisted of a bedroom and a kitchen. Currently, the restored house serves as a chapel.

The Basilica of Saint John in Selcuk

It is believed that John spent his last years in the area and he was buried on Ayasuluk Hill. The once-great basilica was built by Emperor Justinian I in the 6th century. It stands over the traditional burial site of John. It is an atmospheric site with excellent hilltop view.


Greece should be in every traveller’s wish list. The country is the perfect place for an enjoyable holiday. Greece is famous for its beautiful landscape, long coastline with amazing beaches, sunny weather and rich history. Plus, Greece is also a significant biblical place that traces the footsteps of Paul on his journey to spread the word of God.

Paul’s missionary journeys changed the world, and when you, too, follow In the Footsteps of Paul, you will see the New Testament coming alive in a whole new way!

See the ancient marketplaces of Thessaloniki and Philippi, explore the archaeological ruins at Delphi, stand on the spot in Berea where Paul preached, take in the awe-inspiring views of Meteora, enjoy an exciting four-day Greek Isle cruise to Mykonos, Patmos where John wrote the Book of Revelation, Rhodes with its Crusader-era Masters Palace, Heraklion, beautiful Santorini, a stop in Kusadasi with a chance to see fascinating Ephesus, view the ruins of Corinth where Paul lived and worked with Priscilla and Aquila, and see the Acropolis and Mars Hill where Paul stood to deliver his famous Areopagus sermon about the ‘Unknown God’.

Sign up with us today for an exciting journey in the Bible lands!

Click here for our available tours.

Other Treasures of Greece and Island Hopping with Celestyal Cruises
Jun 26, 2019

Greece has history at every turn. All around the country and the islands, there are ancient sites of various historical periods: from remains of ancient Greek temples to Byzantine monasteries and Neoclassical mansions. Some of the most interesting archaeological sites include the Acropolis of Athens, the Sanctuary of Delphi, the Palace of Knossos in Crete, Ancient Olympia and Mycenae. Greece also boasts of many World Heritage UNESCO Sites such as Rhodes medieval town, Meteora, Delos Island and Saint John monastery in Patmos Island.

Cruises in Greece is the best way to see the Greek islands. The four-day cruise aboard Celestyal Olympia from Piraeus would take in the majestic and picturesque Mykonos, Kusadasi, Patmos, Rhodes, Heraklion and Santorini. It is a hectic and busy cruise, but it will be rewarding! It is perfect for sampling the various islands, cultures and history!

Delphi

Delphi, Greece

Sitting on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, Delphi is a famous sanctuary, dedicated to the Greek god Apollo and home to the Oracle of Delphi. In the ancient times, it was believed that Delphi was the centre of the world (the navel of the Earth). When asking for a prophecy, people would come with valuable offerings to the Oracle of Delphi. Delphi had many treasuries to guard these gifts such as the Treasury of Athenians. Before entering the temple, pilgrims had to wash in the Castalian Spring. When Christianity became the dominant religion of the Byzantine Empire, the oracle of Delphi was closed as a pagan place. The Archaeological Museum of Delphi hosts findings from the site and the region. The most famous exhibits are the Charioteer and the Sphinx.

Meteora

Meteora, Greece

Meteora is truly one of the most impressive rock formations in the world with its ‘hanging monasteries’. Monks and hermits have been finding refuge in this unique rock formation for more than a thousand years. The word Meteora means literally “hovering in the air”. Of the 24 monasteries that were built between the 13th and 16th century, only six eastern Orthodox monasteries remain in place on these ancient structures atop its massive rock pillars and the village and countryside below.

Heraklion, Crete

Heraklion, Crete, Greece

Crete is an island blessed with a diversity of the landscape: the rugged mountains, the endless beaches and the turquoise seas, the many cities and villages, and stunning countryside. The island is the birthplace of the first advanced society on European soil, the Minoans. Heraklion is the largest city of Crete and famous for the Palace of Knossos, a well-restored and sprawling work of Arthur Evans who spent much of his life and his inherited fortune to make Knossos what it is today.

Rhodes

Palace of the Grand Master, Rhodes, Greece

Rhodes, the largest and most popular island of the Dodecanese island group, is known as the “Knights Island” with a rich historical past. The ancient city of Rhodes was designed by the greatest city planner of antiquity, Hippodamus of Miletus. Stone walls, stone-paved alleys, elegant mansions, and a medieval castle – all things of a medieval fairy tale! The Palace of the Grand Master and the Street of the Knights are certainly the highlights.

The Palace of the Grand Master was originally a Byzantine fortress built at the end of the 7thcentury AD. It was converted by the Knights of the Order of Saint John into the residence of the Grand Master of the order and the administrative headquarters of their state. It had 158 rooms with only 24 open to visitors. The rooms have antique furniture, exquisite marbles, sculptures, carpets and fine Oriental vases. The floors are paved with a mosaic of ancient Roman and Byzantine art. Today, this magnificent building is a museum.

Mykonos

Mykonos Greece

Mykonos, the famous island in the Aegean! Everywhere you look, there is a maze of white-washed alleyways. Give yourself some tome to wander, getting lost in the narrow streets is half the fun. Little Venice is made up of homes that were built in the 18th century and have their foundations in the sea. The Windmills is another attraction. Powered by the north wind, these windmills used to ground grain into flour until the early 20th century. There is time before the cruise departs to check out some of the best restaurants in the Mediterranean.

Santorini

Santorini Greece

Santorini – the precious gem of the Aegean! It is famous for its stunning caldera, the volcano, and the romantic sunset. Perched on the edge of steep cliffs, the villages of Santorini offer an amazing view of the Aegean Sea and the submerged volcano. Spend some time exploring Oia and Fira with the traditional Cycladic architecture.


Greece should be in every traveller’s wish list. The country is the perfect place for an enjoyable holiday. Greece is famous for its beautiful landscape, long coastline with amazing beaches, sunny weather and rich history. Plus, Greece is also a significant biblical place that traces the footsteps of Paul on his journey to spread the word of God.

Paul’s missionary journeys changed the world, and when you, too, follow In the Footsteps of Paul, you will see the New Testament coming alive in a whole new way!

See the ancient marketplaces of Thessaloniki and Philippi, explore the archaeological ruins at Delphi, stand on the spot in Berea where Paul preached, take in the awe-inspiring views of Meteora, enjoy an exciting four-day Greek Isle cruise to Mykonos, Patmos where John wrote the Book of Revelation, Rhodes with its Crusader-era Masters Palace, Heraklion, beautiful Santorini, a stop in Kusadasi with a chance to see fascinating Ephesus, view the ruins of Corinth where Paul lived and worked with Priscilla and Aquila, and see the Acropolis and Mars Hill where Paul stood to deliver his famous Areopagus sermon about the ‘Unknown God’.

Sign up with us today for an exciting journey in the Bible lands!

Click here for our available tours.

Aboard the Aegean Cruise in Greece
May 13, 2019

Greece is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world today, with more than 200 inhabited islands, a plethora of rich historic sites, picturesque beaches and monumental mountain ranges. Located at the intersection of Europe, Asia and Africa, Greece sits on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula, sharing land borders with Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria and Turkey.

Boasting the longest coastline in the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676km, mainland Greece is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, the Cretan Sea, the Ionian Sea and the Aegean Sea – the last of which can be explored via an Aegean cruise to some impressive destinations in Greece, including Mykonos, Kusadasi, Patmos, Rhodes, Crete, and Santorini, among others.

Iconic Windmills / Mykonos
Palace of Knossos / Crete

Aboard the Aegean cruise, you can experience the beauty of Greece on a journey like no other. Exploring Greece via the Aegean Sea is a classic experience of discovery for those encountering Greece’s beauty for the first time: cruise along endless blue waters seeing swaying windmills and striking cliffs and greet legendary ancient cities at every port.

Aegean Cruise

One noteworthy journey is the one to Santorini, so don’t forget to take in the picturesque landscapes, sunsets and crystal blue waters in between photographs while you’re there. While in the capital of Santorini, Fira, bask in the panoramic views of the island’s dormant volcano and soak up the magnificent sunsets as you go on an adventurous hunt for the mythical lost city of Atlantis. Furthermore, in just a mere 11km away, find an oasis of beauty and calm amidst the traditional whitewashed houses and history-rich blue-domed churches in the village of Oia.

Santorini / Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric

Join us on the biblical Greece and Aegean Cruise in March 2020. This tour offers you a great combination of pilgrimage and sightseeing in some of the most spectacular places in Greece.

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Greece, the Cradle of Western Civilisation
May 13, 2019

Greece, also known as the cradle of Western civilisation (where democracy, Western philosophy and literature, major scientific and mathematic principles, among others were birthed), is more than just a beautiful scenic country often portrayed in shades of pristine white and blue.

Greece is also home to the noteworthy route that Apostle Paul took to spread the message of Christ in a time when polytheism (worship of multiple deities) was practised. During his missionary journey in Greece, Paul preached the news of Jesus in many coastal cities and trade route towns, including Samothrace, Kavala (Neapoli), Philippi, Amphipolis-Apollonia, Thessaloniki, Veria, Athens, and Corinth.

Apostle Paul visited Veria (historically known as Berea) and preached the gospel as recorded in Act 17.

Paul’s missionary journeys and experiences are recorded in the New Testament through the books of Acts and his letters to the churches. The purpose of all Paul’s missionary journeys was the same: proclaiming God’s grace in forgiving sin through Christ.

Join us on the biblical Greece and Aegean Cruise in March 2020. This tour offers you a great combination of pilgrimage and sightseeing in some of the most spectacular places in Greece.

Philippi

Philippi was the first European city in which Paul preached. Lydia, a merchant from Thyatira, became the first convert in Europe (Acts 16:13-15).

Archaeological Site of Philippi / Photo by Achilleas Savopoulos

Thessalonica

On reaching Thessalonica, Paul and Silas went about preaching in the Jewish synagogue on three consecutive Sabbaths but some of the Jews became jealous. They gathered scoundrels from the agora and caused a riot. Paul and Silas were forced to escape from Thessalonica (Acts 17:2-9).

White Tower, the symbol of the city

Athens

Paul made a famous speech to reason with the Athenians who had erected an altar with the inscription “to an unknown God” at the Areopagus (Mars Hill) as chronicled in Acts 17:15-34.

Mars Hills

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The Route that Apostle Paul Followed in Greece (Part 2)
Apr 29, 2019

Thessaloniki

Preaching Christ at Thessalonica

Acts 17:1-3, NKJV
“Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.””

During Paul’s second missionary Journey, he visited Thessalonica with Timothy and Silas. For three consecutive Sabbaths, he visited a Jewish synagogue to preach about Jesus Christ. Many believed what he said but certain Jews who were envious of the Gospel formed a mob and started a riot. The riotous crowd went to the house of Jason seeking Paul and Silas but they were not found. Instead they dragged Jason and some brethren to the city magistrate and accused them of wrongdoing. However, after a short while, the rulers of the city let them go.

Paul and Silas were soon sent by the brethren out of the city to Berea, about 72km to the west of Thessalonica.

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Berea

Ministering at Berea

Acts 17:10-11, NKJV
“Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”

When the news of Paul and Silas preaching in the synagogue reached the Jews in Thessalonica, they came to Berea to stir up the crowds. Immediately the brethren sent Paul away, to go to the sea and brought him to Athens.

Read part 1 and part 3 here!

Feast of Unleavened Bread (Chag HaMatzi)
Apr 19, 2019

April 22-29, 2016

Scripture references: Exodus 12:15-20

Exodus 12:17, NIV
“Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.”

Today, Jewish families all over the world eat only unleavened bread during Passover and the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This feast commemorates the unleavened bread that the Israelites took with them when they were freed from bondage in Egypt. They had to flee so quickly that there was no time to let their bread rise.

Photo credit (unitedintheword.blogspot.sg)

During the days before Passover, their homes are cleaned to remove any trace of leaven so as not to cause defilement during the feast. Leaven is often used as a symbol for sin in the Scriptures, so its removal from the home is symbolic of purification from sin.

Matzah, the unleavened bread used during this feast, is pierced and striped — a perfect symbol of Jesus on the tree.

Photo credit (sevensinthebible.com)

Today in Israel, there is a seven-day holiday for the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Deuteronomy 16:3, NIV
“Do not eat it with bread made with yeast, but for seven days eat unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, because you left Egypt in haste–so that all the days of your life you may remember the time of your departure from Egypt.”

Spring Season for Israel’s Brilliant Flowers
Apr 16, 2019

As the weather warms up, there are plenty of orchards and flowers in bloom. See the variety of flowers scattered around the nation, colouring the fields and gardens in red, purple, yellow and white tiny dots.

Passover: The Story of Exodus
Apr 16, 2019

Passover or Pesach is a widely observed Jewish holiday commemorating the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. It also celebrates the story of the Exodus and the birth of the Jewish nation after being freed by God from captivity under the leadership of Moses. Passover commences on the 15th of the Hebrew month of Nisan and lasts for eight days: in 2019, from the evening of Friday, 19th April to the evening of Saturday, 27th April.

Spread over the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, the story of the Exodus tells of the enslavement of the children of Israel in Egypt, and how God helped the children of Israel escape from their slavery in Egypt by inflicting ten plagues upon the Egyptians, before the Pharaoh released his Israelite slaves.

Ten Plagues of Egypt / Image Source

In the story, the Israelites were instructed to mark the door frames of their homes with the blood of a slaughtered spring lamb, so that the angel of death would know to pass over those Hebrew households, thus saving the firstborns in these homes. The tenth and worst of the plagues slain every Egyptian firstborn, and terrified of further punishment, the Egyptians convinced their leader to release the Israelites and Moses quickly led them out of Egypt. However, the pharaoh changed his mind soon after and sent his soldiers after them. As the Egyptian army caught up to the fleeing Hebrew people at the edge of the Red Sea, God performed a miracle by parting the Red Sea for Moses and his people to cross to safety, then closed the passage and drowned the Egyptians.

Parting of the Res Sea / Image Source

Jews observe this festive week with several important rituals, including a traditional Passover meal, the removal of leavened products from their home and substitution of matzo for bread, and the retelling of the Exodus story. When the Pharaoh released the Israelites, it was that they left in such haste that they could not wait for bread dough to rise or leaven. Thus, in commemoration of this, the Passover is also called the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the Torah, where only Matzo (flat unleavened bread) is consumed during this celebration. As a tourist in Israel today, you can experience a traditional Passover meal at the Yad Hashmona Biblical Garden.

Passover Celebrations / Image Source

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Walk the Via Dolorosa
Mar 14, 2019

The Via Dolorosa, or “Way of Suffering” in Latin, is a processional route in the Old City of Jerusalem. The route is established by tradition and widely recognised as the path that Jesus would have walked while on His way to the crucifixion. Over the centuries, the route has changed several times. The original street level where Jesus would have walked is about 6 metres below today’s street level. There are fourteen stations along the Via Dolorosa route, with five stations inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Church of the Holy Selphure / Photo Credit: Israel Tourism

The route begins at the Praetorium where Jesus was tried and convicted, near the Lions’ Gate in the Muslim Quarter and ends at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Christian Quarter. It travels through busy streets lined with snack bars and tourist shops.

1st station of the Via Dolorosa / Photo Credit: landlopers.com

Some historical points of interest include the reconstructed Ecce Homo Arch of the Sisters of Our Lady of Zion, and underneath that convent are stone pavings of The Lithostratos or “The Pavement”, where Jesus was condemned by Pilate (John 19:13–15). The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a fascinating complex of structures of different medieval architectural history. The Church is always packed with noisy tourists and pilgrims, all drawn to pay homage to their Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Remains of Ecce Homo Arch in Israel

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Purim The Deliverance of the Jewish People
Mar 13, 2019

Purim is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people from Haman, who was planning to kill all Jews. This event took place in the ancient Achaemenid Persian Empire and was recorded in the Book of Esther. It is celebrated annually per the Hebrew calendar on the 14th day of the Hebrew month Adar. Purim 2019 will begin in the evening of Wednesday, 20th March and will conclude in the evening of Thursday, 21th March.

As recorded in the Book of Esther, after the destruction of Judah, the Jews were held in captivity by the Babylonian Empire. When the Persians conquered Babylonia, Haman, adviser to Persian King Ahasuerus, plotted to “destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews—young and old, infants and women and children—on a single day” (Esther 3:13 NIV), but was ultimately defeated by Mordecai and Ahasuerus’ newly crowned queen, Esther. Purim, which directly translates to “lots”, refers to Haman selecting the massacre date of the Jews by throwing and drawing lots.

Esther 7 (NLT) – The King Executes Haman / Photo Credit: http://www.freebibleimages.org

This Jewish holiday is observed and celebrated with the reading of the Megillah (Book of Esther) in the synagogue; donating monetary gifts to the poor; exchanging reciprocal gifts of food and drink; and se’udat Purim, a festive celebratory meal with wine and alcoholic beverages. Other celebrations include street parades and carnivals, people dress up in costumes and wear masks symbolizing Esther’s concealed identity.

Celebrating Purim in Israel

Furthermore, at Purim, Jewish treat themselves with hamantaschen, which are triangle-shaped pocket pastries commonly filled with fruit jam, cheese or poppy seeds, and claimed to be named after Haman, as he wore a hat with three corners.

Photo credit: http://archive.lakanto.com/kosher-lakanto-in-hamantaschen-cookie/

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Grace 2016 TBN Israel Tour With Pastor Joseph Prince
Mar 4, 2019

Praise the Lord for a wonderful time in Israel over the past 2 weeks! About 1300 participants from all over the world came to Israel for Grace 2016 TBN Israel Tour with Pastor Joseph Prince.

There were 3 live events with Pastor Joseph Prince where he shared the gospel of grace.

24 February 2016 – 1st event at Southern Steps, Jerusalem

Southern Steps is the flight of stairs that led to the main entrances of the Temple Mount. It is certain that Jesus had to climb these steps to enter the Temple. This is also probably the place where the 3,000 were baptised when they were saved on Pentecost.

It was actually raining in Jerusalem a few days before the event, but look at the clear blue sky! How faithful is our Lord Jesus that He knows the desires of our hearts!

Pointing to the one that deserves all the praise and worship.

John 1:17 (NIV) – “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”

26 February 2016 – 2nd event at Tzemach Beach by the Sea of Galilee, Tiberias

Here, at the Sea of Galilee was where Jesus rebuked the winds and the sea, taught from Peter’s boat, and walked on water. It is also the lowest freshwater lake in the world!

Matt & Laurie Crouch welcoming the crowd! We are thankful for the both of them and the TBN team for organizing this event where we get to listen to the gospel of grace by the Sea of Galilee.

Here, Pastor Joseph Prince shared the secret of John and that is to lean on Jesus’s love for us and not to depend on our love for Him.

New Creation Worship led the people into praise & worship, singing songs about the Lord’s love and grace for us.

There is freedom in the house of God for He has turned our mourning into dancing!

“You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!” Psalm 30:11-12 (NLT)

28 February 2016 – 3rd event at Caesarea Maritima, Caesarea

Caesarea Maritima is where Peter preached the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ to Cornelius’ household, placing them among the earliest Gentile believers of the New Covenant. This paved the way for Christianity to spread to all nations.

Welcoming the participants from all over the world!

Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and the beautiful sunset!

At the last session of Grace 2016 TBN Israel Tour, Pastor Joseph Prince shared about the high priest’s garment.

To catch these events, TBN will be broadcasting them at the following timings (Pacific Time):

Session 1 – Feb 28, 7 pm PT

Session 2 – Mar 13, 7 pm PT

Session 3 – Mar 20, 7 pm PT

For those who have missed session 1, you may catch the replay at iTBN archives – http://bit.ly/G16TBN1

Top Things To Do In The Galilee
Feb 13, 2019

Sitting in Northern Israel, between the Golan Heights and the Galilee region, is the Sea of Galilee. Known locally as Lake Kinneret, the Sea of Galilee is the lowest freshwater lake on earth, spanning approximately 21km long and 13km wide and resembling the shape of an ancient lyre. The Sea of Galilee is not only Israel’s main water source but it also boasts an amazing surroundings of mountains and beaches.

The area around the Kinneret is an important and relevant site in Jesus’ ministry – He walked on the water of the Sea of Galilee, He taught the crowds by the shore, He delivered the Sermon on the Mount, He healed the sick and He fed 5,000 people with just five loaves of bread and two fishes.

Today, you can take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. But what you may find more historically significant are the remains of a small fishing boat, alike Peter’s boat. During a drought in 1986, two brothers from a kibbutz discovered this relic, and this Ancient Galilee Boat is now currently on display in the Yigal Alon Center. There, you can learn more about how the boat was moved from the wet land to dry land, or take the exit at the back of the museum and embark on a boat ride of a lifetime.

While in the area, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Capernaum, with its spectacular ruins of a first century synagogue (built over a pre-existing synagogue from the time of Jesus) and the home of Peter. Take a seat on stone benches or walk around the hometown of Jesus, where He performed many miracles, and don’t forget to take in the beauty of the sea whilst at the shoreline of Capernaum.

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Discover Caesarea Philippi & Tel Dan
Feb 13, 2019

Elevated over 350m above sea level, at the southwestern base of Mount Hermon, lies the ancient Greco-Roman city called Caesarea Philippi which became the religious centre for worship of the Greek god, Pan. The Greeks named the city Panias in his honour.

The region of Caesarea Philippi was the furthest north Jesus took His disciples. It is believed that near Caesarea Philippi, Jesus declared that He would establish a church, and gave authority over it to Simon whom He renamed Peter.

Just 6km west of Caesarea Philippi is Tel Dan, now a nature reserve with a remarkable archaeological site that is home to extraordinary remains of Canaanite and Israelite cities. During the Canaanite period, this city, known then as Laish, expanded and grew into a large Canaanite city – it was strategically located at the intersection of major ancient trade routes. Furthermore, during biblical times, many families from the tribe of Dan were forced out of their home by the Philistines, and thus relocated to the area near Laish, on the foothills of Mount Hermon, for its fertile valley and abundance of water.

This city was destroyed and rebuilt 20 times over 3,500 years, but underwent the most extensive damage during the defeat of the Kingdom of Israel by the Assyrian Empire in 722 BCE, and was never fully reconstructed to its former size and prominence.

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The Rose-Red City of Petra
Jan 8, 2019

Petra: A UNESCO World Heritage site & one of the New Seven Wonders of the World

Hidden behind soaring cliffs is none other than Jordan’s most prized tourist attraction, the prehistoric Jordanian city of Petra. Commonly known as the Rose-Red City, for its impressive monuments carved into the sandstone-coloured mountain, or the Lost City of Stone, for it was an uninhabited ruin for centuries, this ancient city was declared UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985, and in 2007, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

This city’s architecture is the legacy of the Nabateans, who beyond their remarkable stone-carving abilities, proved great innovation in trade and irrigation systems in the middle of the desert. Thanks to the Nabateans, people today get to witness the magnificently carved Treasury, with a façade so impressive from its sheer scale, down to its intricate detail. This city was ultimately conquered by the Roman Empire in 106 AD and its significance in international trade declined due to the necessity of sea trade routes. Today, the city’s tombs (many of which have been looted by thieves), demonstrate a combination of Nabatean and Greco-Roman architectural styles.

Watch and admire the Nabateans remarkable stone-carving abilities:

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The Ancient City of Ephesus
Jan 4, 2019

A city with its history dating back to 6000BC

As one of the best preserved and restored cities of the Ancient era, it’s no wonder the ancient city of Ephesus was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2015. Located about 80km south of modern-day Izmir, Turkey, this city is home to one of the seven churches of Revelation mentioned in the Bible. Its rich history dates to 6000BC and comprises temples, theatres, libraries, statues and houses.

Considered to be strategically located in ancient standards, this monumental city centre was once an esteemed port city and an important cultural and commercial centre in the Mediterranean region. This site boasts the remarkable Library of Celsus, the Great Theatre that could seat about 24,000 people, the Temple of Hadrian and the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Uncovered at the ancient city of Ephesus were also Terrace Houses of Roman nobles and the Cave of Seven Sleepers, aqueducts, commercial and state buildings, agora, and other significant monuments and embellishments, including even public toilets and a brothel.

Even though the region was destroyed by the Cimmerian invasion early 7th century BC, Ephesus was one of the wealthiest cities in the Mediterranean world while ruled by the Lydian kings. Furthermore, the city was regarded as a centre of learning, and women enjoyed equal rights and privileges to men. Throughout history, Ephesus survived numerous attacks and was conquered many times over, and its archaeological remains thus include Hellenistic and Roman settlements.

The ancient city played a crucial part in the spread of Christianity, from Saint Paul and Saint John visiting and reproving the cults of Artemis in 1st century AD and succeeded in converting many to Christianity. Additionally, Mary, the mother of Jesus, was believed to have spent her last here with Saint John – you can even visit her house and John’s tomb there.

Watch to see how beautiful this ancient city is:

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Christmas in Israel
Nov 28, 2018

Where to celebrate Christmas in Israel?

In Israel, Christmas is not considered a publicly celebrated holiday. But even so, celebrating Christmas in the Holy Land can be a meaningful and memorable experience for Christians if you know where to go. So, which places should you visit this holiday season? Word on the street is that the best places for Christmas include Bethlehem, Old City of Jerusalem, Jaffa (Tel Aviv) and Nazareth.

Bethlehem

At the birth place of Jesus, Bethlehem, an impressive and famous midnight mass is held every Christmas Eve. Here, the Church of the Nativity, which is one of the oldest surviving Christian churches, honours the place where Mary gave birth to Jesus. At the main square, Manger Square, people of all walks of life come together to celebrate.

Jerusalem

On Christmas Eve, join fellow Christians in the Old City of Jerusalem, walking the Via Dolorosa route. There is also a Christmas Eve mass at the magnificent chapel of the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center that was built by the Vatican in the 19th century.

Jaffa

Jaffa’s old-world vibe and its winding alleyways beautified by art galleries and historic stone buildings are even more spectacular during Christmas, when they’re adorned with Christmas trees, lights and Hanukkah menorahs. The Jaffa Flea Market, the Jaffa port that hosts a Christmas market and local church doors welcome people of all shapes and sizes.

This photo of Jaffa Old City is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Nazareth

Believed to be Jesus’ hometown, Nazareth, is home to Israel’s largest Christian population. Here, the festive seasons’ celebrations start early with the light of the Christmas tree in early December. Its city streets are decked out with decorated trees and outdoor street fairs commemorating both Christmas and Hanukkah. Come Christmas Eve, enjoy an elaborate and colourful Christmas Eve parade and fireworks that conclude at the Church of the Annunciation.

Hanukkah: Feast of Dedication or Festival of Lights
Nov 28, 2018

How did Hanukkah come about?

About 200 BCE, Israel was ruled by Seleucids (an empire ruled under the Greek law) and under the charge of King Antiochus Epiphanes. He wanted all the empire to follow Greek ways of life and the Greek religion. He took control of the Temple in Jerusalem and banned practising the Jewish faith and religion. Many Jews were killed for their faith. However, Judah Maccabee and a small ally of faithful Jews revolted against and defeated the Seleucid monarchy and its powerful armies. It is said that when Judah and his followers went into the Temple, there was only enough oil to burn for one night, but that it miraculously lasted for eight nights.

The dates of Hanukkah and Christmas might well be associated, because the rededication of the Temple to the Lord took place on the 25th day of the Hebrew month called Kislev.

Photo credit (Taken by Noam Chen for Ministry of Tourism)

Hanukkah Traditions

Hanukkah is traditionally a family celebration. It is customary to light the candles on a hanukkiyah, which is lit every night for eight nights. Children and households play the dreidel games. They eat fried and oily foods as a reminder of the miracle of the oil. Many Jews give gifts during the holiday.

Photo credit (Taken by Dana Friedlander for Ministry of Tourism)
Jordan Explorer
Oct 17, 2017

Only have a week for your next vacation? How about spending a week somewhere you have never been and never thought of? Jordan! You can still squeeze in many of Jordan’s hot spots without feeling rushed.

So why Jordan?

Jordan offers a glimpse of everything: Petra’s treasury, Jerash and its ancient Roman ruins, the Bedouin heritage at Wadi Rum, the wildlife of Mujib Biosphere Reserve and the magnificent view of the Dead Sea.

Step back in time to the Roman Empire

The Decapolis was an alliance of ten cities. All but one were on the east side of the Jordan. Even Amman was once called Philadelphia and part of the Decapolis. Today, you can still trace history at the Citadel with its impressive Greek and Roman ruins. Jerash, dubbed the “Pompeii of the East”, is a large and fascinating archaeological site. Its ruins are said to be best-preserved Roman ruins outside of Italy. Roman-era cobblestones still bear the ruts of ancient chariot wheels. The impressive Hadrian’s Arch was built to honour the Roman Emperor Hadrian’s visit to the city in AD 129. Bordered by 160 iconic columns, you cannot miss the Forum (Oval Plaza).

Petra, more than just one building

The tombs and monuments of this ancient metropolis, carved deeply into the reddish cliffs, are like nothing else on earth. Petra was an ancient Nabatean city that was once an important crossroad between the Middle East with Europe and Asia. Today, being one of the “new seven wonders of the world”, Petra is a vast city that takes at least one full day to properly explore. You can see varying blends of Nabatean and Greco-Roman architectural styles in the city’s tombs. You must not miss the Treasury, being the most well-known, without venturing off the main path. Continue your walk to the Royal Tombs and Roman ruins. For those with enough energy, make the trek up to the massive Monastery for its splendour.

The Dead Sea, the lowest natural spa on Earth

You must experience the feeling of floating in the Dead Sea without any effort at all. Once you walk in, your body instantly bobs to the surface, leaving you free to lie back and relax. After your swim, slather yourself in Dead Sea mud, known for its restorative properties. Who knows, you may leave feeling ten years younger! Return to the hotel to enjoy a spa treatment and watch the sunset across the water.

Mujib Biosphere Reserve, the lowest nature reserve on Earth

Bordering the Dead Sea at 416m below sea level, the Mujib Biosphere Reserve surrounds a deep and majestic canyon that cuts through the rugged highlands and drains into the Dead Sea. Hike through the reserve and discover its rich biodiversity of over 300 species of plants, 10 species of carnivores, rare specious of mountain animals, numerous species of resident and migratory birds. See the rich vegetation in the wadi beds and look out for at least 9 species of birds of prey known to breed in the reserve.

Camp under the stars with Bedouins

Be transported to a completely different time and world! Wadi Rum, a stunning desert in southern Jordan! Discover this protected wilderness of towering cliffs and striking ochre dunes from a jeep. After seeing your first golden-red sunset you will never want to leave. By night, walk under the brilliant stars, hear Bedouins tell stories of their culture and stay in a traditional Bedouin camp in the desert.

Snorkel the vibrant reefs of the Red Sea

Dusty from the desert? Head for the gorgeous reefs and beaches of Aqaba, a resort city by the Red Sea. The Red Sea boasts some of the world’s finest scuba diving and snorkelling, a full range of water sports. Expect to find a wide range of marine life including more than a thousand species of fish and 200 species of coral. You may spot manta rays, sea turtles, and dolphins. Expect the water to be a little chilly since it is winter time.

Mount Nebo – View of the Promised Land

From Mount Nebo, you can take in the dazzling view Moses supposedly beheld so long ago. He saw the Promised Land – the vast ridges of the Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea, Jerusalem and Bethlehem. At the top of this hill sits a stone memorial to Moses and the newly restored Byzantine church, built by monks in the 3rd or 4th century AD.

Bethany Beyond The Jordan, the Baptism Site

The area is associated with a few Bible stories. Near here, it is believed that Joshua led the Israelites across the Jordan River to the Promised Land after the waters miraculously stopped flowing. Here, Elijah was believed to be taken up to heaven in a chariot of fire. Jesus came here to be baptised by John the Baptist. Here was where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist.

Photo credit (international.visitjordan.com)

Call us today and book your tour to Jordan – a new adventure awaits you!

TBN with Hillsong Israel Worship Experience Tour – Sea of Galilee
Nov 22, 2016

This tour will be taking place from 18 April to 28 April 2017. The tour includes 3 awesome praise & worship services with ministry guests Brian and Bobbi Houston (sharing) and award-winning Hillsong United worship team in Jerusalem, Galilee and Caesarea.

Click here for more details about the tour.

Sea of Galilee

Another highlight of this tour is the opportunity to get on board a boat on the Sea of Galilee. I believe this place needs no introduction.

The blue water of the Sea of Galilee, set against a green and brown background of surrounding mountains, creates a lovely scene! Here, Jesus gave more than half of His parables and performed most of His miracles. Here, Jesus calmed a storm and He walked on the water. Here, you get to walk the paths Jesus walked, visit Peter’s house in Capernaum, and even see a boat from His time that was discovered in 1986.

Imagine yourself as one of the disciples who were caught in the storm. Experience the peace they would have felt when Jesus came onto their boat.

Prepare some bread and you will see many seagulls flying around your boat!

Sign up with us today for a one-of-a-kind tour and get ready for an exciting journey and an intimate time of praise and worship led by Hillsong UNITED!

Hillsong UNITED singing Oceans at the Sea of Galilee. Enjoy and be blessed!

TBN with Hillsong Israel Worship Experience Tour – Mount Arbel & Dead Sea
Oct 6, 2016

Follow in the footsteps of Jesus as you journey through the land of Israel and attend three praise & worship sessions led by Hillsong UNITED in Jerusalem, Galilee and Caesarea. What better place to worship our Lord Jesus than the land of Israel? Click here for more details about the tour.

Mount Arbel

After visiting Mount of Beatitudes and experiencing the Sea of Galilee boat ride, the group will visit Mount Arbel the next day. Mount Arbel known for its stunning view is located in the lower Galilee region that overlooks the Sea of Galilee and the areas where Jesus spent most of his earthly time ministering.

From the Arbel, we see it all! The view is panoramic. We see the green fields of wheat and barley, almond and fig groves and orchards of olive. We see sites of religious and historic importance on the shores of the Kinneret. On a clear day, we see the Golan Heights across the water, towering above the lake, and to the north, the snow-covered Mount Hermon.

Here we see pilgrims on the way to the top of Mount Arbel. The climb is not steep and it’s manageable. If you are worried about the climb, start with simple exercises now. We have about 6 more months to the tour!

Once you reach the top, pick a spot and just enjoy the serenity of the place. At the same time, try to spot for Tabgha, Capernaum and Bethsaida.

Dead Sea: The lowest point on Earth

The Dead Sea also known as the Sea of the Arabah or the Salt Sea is roughly 9.6 times saltier than the ocean which makes it difficult for animals to flourish. The mineral content is so high that nothing lives in it.

Because of this, anyone can float in the Dead Sea!

No holiday in the Holy Land would be complete without a photograph of yourself sitting bolt upright on the surface! Join in the fun and experience the acclaimed healing powers of the water and mud at the Dead Sea.

While you are on the way down to the Dead Sea, you may be able to spot some Ibex as well!

Sign up with us today and get ready for an exciting journey and an intimate time of praise and worship with our Lord Jesus in the land of His promise led by Hillsong UNITED!

Hillsong UNITED worshiping at Mount Arbel and Dead Sea. Enjoy and be blessed!

TBN with Hillsong Israel Worship Experience Tour – Mount of Beatitudes
Sep 15, 2016

If you have been following us, you would know that the TBN Hillsong Worship Experience Tour 2017 is open for registration! Or you have heard about it but still undecided?

Follow us as we share about the various significant sites in Israel that you will be visiting.

This unique tour will be taking place from 18 April to 28 April 2017. This tour will lead you in the footsteps of Jesus as you step into the pages of the Bible and will also give you the opportunity to worship God in Jerusalem, Galilee and Caesarea. Click here for more details about the tour.

Today we bring you to the place where the famous Sermon on the Mount was preached.

Mount of Beatitudes

The Mount of Beatitudes is believed to be the setting where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount.

Matthew 5:3-11, NKJV

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.”

The word “Beatitudes” originates from the Latin word “Beatus” which means “Blessed“, the prefix of each verse as seen above.

As you walk down the plantation through a dirt road, marvel at the beautiful landscape and expansive Sea of Galilee views from Mount of Beatitudes. Within sights are the scenes of many of the events of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee.

“And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them...” – Matthew 5:1-2, NKJV

Have you ever wondered how the multitudes could hear Jesus even without the technology of microphone and speaker?

When you are there, do a role play where one of you climb up the hill and read out the Sermon on the Mount. You will be surprised how clear the voice travels down to where you are! God’s creation is simply amazing!

Depending on the time you arrive, you may also catch the beautiful sunset as you walk back to your coach.

Come and experience being present at the sites where Jesus preached, walked and performed miracles. Photos can never bring out the true beauty of Israel!

Sign up with us today and get ready for an intimate time of praise and worship with our Lord Jesus in the land of His promise led by Hillsong UNITED!

Hillsong UNITED worshiping on the Mount of Beatitudes. Enjoy and be blessed!

TBN with Hillsong Israel Worship Experience Tour – Old City of Jerusalem
Aug 29, 2016

If a tour to Israel is something you would like to consider, we invite you to join us at the TBN Hillsong Worship Experience Tour 2017. This unique tour will be taking place from 18 April to 28 April 2017 . This tour will lead you in the footsteps of Jesus as you step into the pages of the Bible and will also give you the opportunity to worship God in Jerusalem, Galilee and Caesarea. Click here for more details about the tour.

Follow us over the next few weeks as we share about the various significant sites in Israel that you will be visiting.

The Old City of Jerusalem

The glorious charm of the Old City of Jerusalem that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The Old City brims with opportunities for you to connect with the city’s magnificent past, history, culture and spirituality. Originally built by King David in 1004 B.C.E., the Old City has always been considered the center of the world. Ancient maps show the three continents known at the time: Europe, Asia, and Africa with Jerusalem at their center. As a pilgrim, walking through the narrow streets and alleys within the Old City, you are passing through history and tracing the footsteps of Jesus, Him being at the center of it all. The very walls and stones of the Old City relate many time-honored biblical tales. The Old City is home to many significant biblical sites including Temple Mount, Western Wall and Via Dolorosa.

Besides the city’s rich history, the captivating beauty of the Old City also comes from its colorful markets and the maze of pathways that leave many wanting to explore more.

A Pilgrim Song of David

Psalm 122, MSG
1-2 When they said, “Let’s go to the house of God,” my heart leaped for joy. And now we’re here, O Jerusalem, inside Jerusalem’s walls!
3-5 Jerusalem, well-built city, built as a place for worship! The city to which the tribes ascend, all God’s tribes go up to worship,
To give thanks to the name of God — this is what it means to be Israel. Thrones for righteous judgment are set there, famous David-thrones.
6-9 Pray for Jerusalem’s peace! Prosperity to all you Jerusalem-lovers! Friendly insiders, get along! Hostile outsiders, keep your distance!
For the sake of my family and friends, I say it again: live in peace! For the sake of the house of our God, God, I’ll do my very best for you.

You want to come to Jerusalem because at the Mount of Olives you can behold the city spread out before you. God said of it, “My Name shall be there” (1 Kings 8:29). You want to be on that spot where the Angel of the Lord stopped Abraham from laying his hand on his son Isaac. You want to stand at Golgotha and behold an empty tomb. You want to walk up the steps leading to the Temple where Jesus once climbed. Because this is what you seek, this is what leads you to Jerusalem.

Sign up with us today and get ready to experience an intimate time of praise and worship with our Lord Jesus in the land of His promise led by Hillsong UNITED!

Catch a glimpse of Hillsong UNITED worshiping at the Old City of Jerusalem and Golan Heights.

Feast of Pentecost (Shavuot)
Jun 16, 2016

June 11-13, 2016

Date in Hebrew calendar: 6th and 7th of Sivan (May-June)

Scripture references: Leviticus 23:16; Exodus 23:15-19; Acts 2

Shavuot is known as the Feast of Weeks or Feast of Pentecost. It celebrates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai and commemorates the wheat harvesting in the Land of Israel.

Photo credit (cbsnews.com)

Shavuot concludes the daily counting of the “omer” barley offering at the Temple which begins on the second day of Passover.

Photo credit (israelnationalnews.com)

For Christians, Pentecost celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the first disciples with tongues of fire and other languages and marks the birth of the church.

Photo credit (en.wikipedia.org)

On Shavuot, it is customary to decorate the homes and synagogues with branches and flowers to remember the blossoms of the Land of Israel. It is a widespread custom to stay up the entire night learning Torah. At synagogue services on Shavuot morning, the Book of Ruth is read to describe the grain harvest in ancient days. Cheese cakes, honey cakes, and other dairy food are eaten to remember the Land of Israel as it was described as a “land flowing with milk and honey”.

Photo credit (rodwhitesblog.wordpress.com)

It is a Jewish tradition to eat dairy foods on the first day of Shavuot. Just to name a few reasons:

  • The receiving of the Torah at Mount Sinai occurred on Shabbat when slaughter and cooking are prohibited. So the only alternative was to eat dairy which requires no advance preparation.
  • The sweet nourishing value of Torah is likened to “honey and milk under your tongue” (Song of Songs 4:11). Many Jewish families, before discussing Torah at home, will place a drop of honey on each child’s tongue so the children will always associate the learning of the Torah as sweet.
  • The Hebrew word for milk is chalav. The numerical value of chalav is 40. The Jews eat dairy foods on Shavuot to commemorate the 40 days that Moses spent on Mount Sinai receiving instruction in the entire Torah and the 40 years the Jews spent wandering the desert.
Israel: A Land of Contrasts
Jun 9, 2016

While the mention of places such as Jerusalem and the Sea of Galilee evoke sentiments of the country’s religious importance, Israel has another side to it that makes it an exciting and fun place to be.

Mount of Beatitudes

As you walk down the plantation through a dirt road, marvel at the beautiful landscape and expansive Sea of Galilee views from Mount of Beatitudes.

Tel Dan Nature Reserve

Close to the borders of both Lebanon and Syria, Tel Dan boasts extensive excavations, having hosted both an ancient Canaanite civilization and the Israelite tribe of Dan. Stroll through luxurious foliage and spend some time at the wading pool… a little piece of heaven.

Hezekiah’s Tunnel Tour

A highlight of the visit to the City of David where you experience an amazing engineering feat: the 1,500 foot long tunnel created by King Hezekiah to protect Jerusalem’s water source (the Gihon Spring) from the invading Assyrians.

Dead Sea Float

Dive in and experience the acclaimed healing powers of the water and mud at the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth. It is true what people say about the Dead Sea – just about anything floats, and you will have an amusing time playing around with the buoyant effect it has on your body.

Timna National Park

Timna is the site of the world’s first copper mine. You will see exciting finds near the spectacular Solomon’s Pillars, being natural structures formed by centuries of water erosion through fractures in the sandstone cliff until it became a series of distinct, pillar-shaped structures.

The Rose Red City of Petra

Carved directly into vibrant sandstone cliff faces, Petra was once a thriving trading centre but today is declared a UNESCO World Heritage site and named one of the new seven wonders of the world. You can see varying blends of Nabatean and Greco-Roman architectural styles in the city’s tombs, many of which were looted by thieves and their treasures thus lost.

Give us a call today on (65) 6295 5193 or contact us here and find out more about this tour.

We say to you – visit Israel – it will be by far the best vacation experience of your life!

The Route that Apostle Paul Followed in Greece (Part 3)
Jun 7, 2016

Besides visiting the sites that the Apostle Paul went as mentioned in part 1 and part 2, you can also enjoy a cruise to several ports of call such as Mykonos, Kusadasi, Santorini, etc and you can also sign up for a shore excursion at each port of call! Read on to find out more.

Iconic Aegean Cruise

Kusadasi, Turkey

Take a shore excursion to discover the ancient ruins of Ephesus and House of Virgin Mary.

Paul at Ephesus

Acts 19:1, NKJV
“And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples”

It was here in Ephesus that a man name Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Diana started a riot, unhappy that he was losing business and profit because of Paul. Paul persuaded many people saying “they are not gods which are made with hands”, turning many away. After this incident, Paul departed to Macedonia.

Photo credit (travelandbeyond.org)

Mykonos, Greece

Greece’s most famous island, a whitewashed paradise in the heart of the Cyclades.

Photo credit (carmensluxurytravel.com)
Photo credit (worldalldetails.com)

Heraklion, Greece

Join a shore excursion to explore the island where the Minoan civilization once flourished.

Santorini (Thira), Greece

Site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in the world and what remains today is a submerged volcano and a caldera.

Patmos Island, Greece – UNESCO World Heritage Site

A significant Christian pilgrimage site where John wrote the Book of Revelation in the Holy Cave of the Apocalypse.

Photo credit (palandhatty.blogspot.sg)

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Athens

Disembark at Athens where Paul addressed the Areopagus.

Acts 17:21-23, NKJV
“For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing. Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription:
TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.
Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you:”

After this, Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth.

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Meteora – UNESCO World Heritage Site

A bonus site for all!

Meteora literally means “middle of the sky”, “suspended in the air” or “in the heavens above”. It is known for its spectacular rock formations and the 24 monasteries that emerged on the countless summits of the rocks from the 14th until the 16th century. These monasteries were built by monks using ropes, folding ladders, nets and baskets to carry the construction material to the top of the rocks. Today, only 6 monasteries are left.

Pilgrims from all over the world come to visit this holy site today as it was regarded by the early Christians as the perfect place for absolute isolation, a place for spiritual elevation.

If you would like to discover more about Greece, contact us to find out more!

The Route that Apostle Paul Followed in Greece (Part 1)
Apr 28, 2016

The Route that Apostle Paul Followed in Greece passes through places where the Apostle preached and forms an ideal combination of pilgrimage and sightseeing in some of the most beautiful places in Greece. His journey in Greece is a route that can touch not only the believers but also everybody who loves history.

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Kavala (Ancient Neapolis)

Photo credit (conference.iabl.org)

Acts 16:10-12, NKJV
“Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them. Therefore, sailing from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and the next day came to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is the foremost city of that part of Macedonia, a colony. And we were staying in that city for some days.”

Paul disembarked for the first time on European soil after a journey lasting two days at Neapolis, on the site where today’s Kavala was later built.

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Philippi

After walking 15 km northwest along Via Egnatia from Neapolis (Kavala), they arrived in Philippi. Philippi would most likely be the first place in Europe that hosted Christian congregation.

The Philippian Jailer Saved

Acts 16:24-26, NKJV
“Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.”

Lydia Baptized at Philippi

Acts 16:13-15, NKJV
“And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there. Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.”

Photo credit (holylandphotos.wordpress.com)

Lydia was probably the first person who converted to Christianity in Europe. Although we do not know the exact location today, a small church has been built at the spot where it assumed that Lydia was baptized.

Read part 2 and part 3 here!

Feast of First Fruits (Bikkurim)
Apr 21, 2016

April 23-24, 2016

Scripture references: Leviticus 23:9-14; 1 Corinthians 15:20-23

The Feast of First Fruits is held on the Sunday following the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of the First Fruits are referred to as one feast.

The original Feast of First Fruits was celebrated in Spring to acknowledge the early crops. It was a thanksgiving offering to God. The Israelites brought the first sheaf of the harvest – the first fruits – to His Temple as a wave offering.

Photo credit (janediffenderfer.wordpress.com)

Since the Temple is not available today, the Feast of First Fruits is no longer celebrated the same way. Feast of First Fruits is now celebrated by counting of the Sheaves (Omer) to Shavuot (Pentecost), fifty days later.

1 Corinthians 15:20-23, NKJV
But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.”

Festival of Freedom
Apr 15, 2016

Pesach (Passover), April 21-22, 2016

Scripture reference: Exodus 12:1-14

Passover or Pesach celebrates God’s protection over the Israelites during the tenth plague in Egypt – the killing of the firstborn. God ordered the people to take a lamb, slaughter it and sprinkle its blood on the lintel and doorposts of their home. At midnight, when the angel of death saw the blood on the doorposts, he passed over their homes, sparing them from the plague. Finally, Pharaoh let the Israelites leave Egypt.

Photo credit (ricochet.com)


The Passover has been celebrated for thousands of years on the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month of the Jewish calendar, Nisan. Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples on the night of the Last Supper.

Today the Passover is celebrated in Jewish homes with a family ceremony – the Seder (Order).  There is a prescribed order to the meal with prayer, food and drink. Each person is to recount the story of Passover as if he himself had been redeemed. They eat traditional symbolic foods to remind themselves of the suffering of their ancestors in Egypt and of that miraculous deliverance from bondage.

There are six traditional items on the Seder plate. Each item has its own symbolic meaning. Find out more here or watch the video below.

Feast of Lots (Purim)
Mar 23, 2016

Date in Hebrew calendar: 14th and 15th of Adar

Scripture references: Esther 9:20-22

Purim is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people in the ancient Persian Empire from destruction in the wake of a plot by Haman, a story recorded in the Book of Esther.  It’s a story of mystery and intrigue as Queen Esther and her uncle, Mordecai, uncover and foil Haman’s plot saving the entire Jewish population.  A two-day holiday was instituted to commemorate this event.  Even though God is not mentioned in this book, His hand can be clearly seen in the many miraculous twists of the story.

Today, Purim is celebrated in Jewish homes and schools as children dress up in costume, put on plays re-enacting the Purim story, and give each other gifts of Haman’s Ears cookies and other treats.  In the synagogue on the evening of Purim and on the following morning, the entire Book of Esther is read.  Everyone is provided with or brings their own noisemaker so that whenever Haman’s name is mentioned, the congregation will drown out his name.  Although Purim is a joyous light-hearted event, it recalls great danger, great deliverance and the great faithfulness of the God toward those who trust in Him.

Photo credit (Roni Schutzer/Flash90)
Photo credit (Gershon Elinson/Flash90)
Photo credit (http://archive.lakanto.com/kosher-lakanto-in-hamantaschen-cookie/)