Bethlehem’s Top Attraction

One of the most popular tours to Israel is to the city of Bethlehem. This sacred Christian city is one of the top things to do in Israel. Visitors usually choose to take an organized tour to Bethlehem rather than traveling independently due to the fact that Bethlehem is in the West Bank. Reaching Bethlehem involves crossing a border and heightened awareness of security. The Church of the Nativity is Bethlehem’s top attraction and one of the most popular places to visit in Israel.Site of the Nativity, Bethlehem The Church of the Nativity marks the place believed to be where Jesus was born. It was on this spot that the nativity story unfolded. Arriving in Bethlehem for a national census Joseph and the pregnant Mary found no room available. Eventually they were offered to spend the night in an inn keeper’s manger where he kept his animals.In the 1st century animals were often kept in caves near or behind the family home. For this reason the “manger” which is encompassed by the Church of the Nativity is in fact a grotto. People often envision the manger as a barn and are surprised to find that it was a small cave or grotto. In the heart of the Church of the Nativity is the Sacred Grotto. A silver star marks the site on the ancient stone floor within the grotto.History of the Nativity SiteThe earliest mention of the manger site in Bethlehem was by Justin Martyr in c.160 AD followed by mention by Greek historian Eusebius of Caesarea. The structure we see today was commissioned by Christian Roman Emperor Constantine and his mother St. Helena in 326 AD. The church was built around the Sacred Cave. The original structure was replaced in 530 AD by a larger church but parts of the Constantinian floor mosaics can still be seen.Miraculously the church was not destroyed when the land came under the rule of the Persians and later Muslim rulers. During the Crusader era of the 11th century Baldwin I and II were crowned in the Church of the Nativity. Under the Crusaders the church was renovated and redecorated. The church remained untouched under the Mamluks and Ottomans although precious marble was removed by the Ottomans for use in construction on Temple Mount. Today the church is shared by the Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Churches.Highlights of the Church of the Nativity, BethlehemFeatures of the church to notice include the Door of Humility, a small entrance floor designed so that you have to bow to enter, thus showing respect. The Ottoman doorway was also intended to prevent looters entering with their carts. The church nave is lined with 44 columns each with paintings of saints and Mary with baby Jesus. The paintings date back to the Crusader era. The majestic columns are made of pink-hued limestone and date back to the 4th century structure. Also see the remains of 12th century wall mosaics and the 6th century baptismal font. Before leaving the church see the 6th century bronze gates at the southern and northern entrances to the Grotto.
By Petal Mashraki
2 min

Welcome to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport

Ben Gurion Airport (Tel Aviv airport code TLV) is Israel’s main airport located 19 km from Tel Aviv’s city center and 40 km from Jerusalem. The airport is among the top five airports in the Middle East thanks to its excellent design, service and because it is one of the world’s most secure airports. The security at Tel Aviv airport is high priority due to the delicate political situation in the region. In 2004 the airport opened after extensive renovations, modernization and the addition of Terminal 3. Today the airport has two terminals; Terminal 1 for domestic and low-cost international flights and Terminal 3 for international flights.Ben Gurion Airport ServicesAt the Tel Aviv airport you will find travel agent representatives; car rental companies; ATMs; a place to buy a local mobile phone SIM and convenience stores. There is an excellent information desk and customer service counter. You will find signage in English, Arabic and Hebrew. There is multi-level parking for both temporary and long-term parking. Throughout the Tel Aviv airport there is free WiFi. The airport is fully accessible. There is an airport synagogue.Tel Aviv Airport FeaturesThe airport’s stunning duty-free hall has a circular design with a dramatic ceiling-to-floor waterfall in the center. There are duty-free stores selling a range of local and foreign products. While you do some shopping and wait for your flight you can enjoy a meal or drink at one of the restaurants and cafes. Throughout the airport the ceilings are high giving an open-plan spacious feel. Although there are no hotels in the airport complex there are several hotels near Ben Gurion in Tel Aviv.Ground TransportationArrival and departure routes from Tel Aviv airport are via private vehicle, taxi, public bus and train. There is a pick-up and drop-off point for passengers and an easy to find taxi station right outside the arrivals hall. You can catch the Ben Gurion airport train to cities across the country including Tel Aviv city center, Jerusalem and Haifa. If you have a layover in Ben Gurion you can arrange a day tour where you are picked up and dropped off at the airport. Travelers on a package tour are usually picked up at Ben Gurion.
By Petal Mashraki
2 min

Israel in 5 Days

Many people take a short vacation to Israel and try to fit in as much as possible. Even if you only have five days in Israel you can cover a good deal of the country, especially if you take one day Israel tours. If you land at Tel Aviv airport and base yourself in Tel Aviv you are sure to see the top Tel Aviv attractions. The rest of the country can be seen with Israel tours. Here is how you could divide your time to see as much of Israel as possible in five days.Israel in 5 DaysMany people take a short vacation to Israel and try to fit in as much as possible. Even if you only have five days in Israel you can cover a good deal of the country, especially if you take one day Israel tours. If you land at Tel Aviv airport and base yourself in Tel Aviv you are sure to see the top Tel Aviv attractions. The rest of the country can be seen with Israel tours. Here is how you could divide your time to see as much of Israel as possible in five days.Day One – JerusalemJerusalem deserves a whole day to itself. There is a lot to see and some of the country’s most important sites are here. Christian travelers will enjoy visiting the Biblical sites on the Mount of Olives and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Jewish travelers should visit the Western Wall, the most sacred Jewish site in the world. Muslim travelers are going to want to visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. All visitors to Jerusalem should spend time in the Old City. If you are interested in art don’t miss the Israel Museum. To learn more about the Holocaust go to the Yad VaShem Museum. There are many things to do in Jerusalem!Day Two – Southern IsraelThe top two attractions in southern Israel are the Dead Sea and Masada. You can visit both these attraction on a one day tour. Other sites you could consider including in your day in the south are Jericho and the baptismal site of Qasr el Yehud. Christian travelers may prefer a one day tour to the Dead Sea and Bethlehem. Alternatively Bethlehem can be combined with a visit to Jerusalem or Jericho.Day Three – Galilee and Golan HeightsIn one day you can cover the attractions around the Sea of Galilee and visit the Golan Height. Nazareth is also in the Galilee and is a great alternative for Christian travelers. Yardenit is a baptismal site on the River Jordan which can be included in Christian tours to the north.Day Four – Coastal CitiesA coastal cities tour takes you to Caesarea, which has an excavated ancient Roman port city; Haifa famed for its bay and the Baha’i Gardens; the Crusader city of Acre and to the sea caves of Rosh HaNikra.Day Five – Tel Aviv or PetraIf you have managed to see the top Tel Aviv attraction in the evenings during the last four days you might like to take a one day tour to Petra, Jordan. If you have been too busy touring the rest of the country then spend a day exploring Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv has stunning beaches; markets; historic Bauhaus architecture and is connected to the ancient port city of Jaffa.
By Petal Mashraki
3 min

Why you should Visit Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Israel has some incredible museums; among them is the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. The museum focus is on modern and contemporary art and also holds Old Master (16th-19th centuries). In addition the Tel Aviv Museum of Art has one of the world’s largest Israeli art collections. The museum is spread through three venues – the Helena Rubinstein Pavilion; the Main Building and the adjacent Herta and Paul Amir Building.In addition there is a youth wing; a Sculpture Garden and Art Education Center. The museum holds collections of classic and contemporary art with a focus on Israeli art. If you are looking for things to do in Tel Aviv then this Tel Aviv museum offers unbeatable value for money. Entrance is reasonable and all visitors under 18 years old enter for free.Tel Aviv Museum of Art holds Diverse Art Genres and MediumThe museum’s art collection has pieces representing many of the dominant modern art movements by leading artists. See work from French art movements; Impressionism; Post-Impressionism; German Expressionism; Futurism; Fauvism; Russian Constructivism and Surrealism movements. In addition there are works by the greatest artists of the early 20th century. In addition to paintings you can see sculptures, prints, drawings, architecture, photography, installations and visual arts.Tel Aviv Museum of Art displays works by Leading ArtistsAmong the prominent artists included in the museum collection there are pieces by Picasso; Chaim Soutine; Joan Miro and Roy Lichtenstein who’s created a mural specifically for the museum entrance. The museum holds works by Friedericke Maria Beer; Gustav Klimt and Kandinsky. You can see works by Pollock; Andre Masson; Richard Pousette-Dart; Yves Tanguy and Roberto Matta. The museum also holds work by van Gogh, Marc Chagall, Pissarro, Reuven Rubin and Anselm Kiefer. Among the outstanding Israeli works there are pieces by Nahum Gutman; Itzhak Danziger; Aviva Uri; Moshe Gershuni and Michal Na’aman.Tel Aviv Museum of ArtVisit the Tel Aviv Museum of Art for its Impressive GalleriesIn 2011 the Amir Building was added adjacent to the main museum building. The building holds an Israeli Architectural Archive and galleries focused on visual arts and photography. The innovative museum building was designed by leading architect Preston Scott Cohen and features 1718 m² of gallery space on five floors.Permanent and Temporary ExhibitsIn addition to the permanent collection on display the museum features temporary exhibits by well-known artists and group shows. It is also a popular venue for special events like screenings, shows and festivals.
By Petal Mashraki
2 min

What to Expect from Israel Weather

The short answer to “what to expect from Israel weather” is sunshine! The weather in Israel is generally hot, sunny and pleasant most of the year. If you are planning a trip to the Holy Land you probably won’t encounter any problem with the weather in Israel.From about April to October there is continual sunshine and from November to March the weather is cooler with occasional rain storms and cloudy days. December to February are the wet months and July and August are the hottest months. Tel Aviv has an average of 3300 sunshine hours a year.Tel Aviv, Haifa, Herzliya and Natanya WeatherAlong the west coast of Israel (Tel Aviv, Haifa, Natanya) the weather is hot and humid in the sunny months and mild and rainy in the winter. You can enjoy the sea breeze which helps to cool down the coast. The average temperature in Tel Aviv is about 14(°C)-18(°C)in January and 26(°C)-30(°C)in August, the country’s hottest month. The sea is warm enough for swimming from about June to November.Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth WeatherInland cities like Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth which have elevated locations experience colder winters than the coast. The winter is still mild compared to Europe but it does get cold. In January and February the elevated cities and the Golan Heights mountain range can experience snow. The weather is particularly chilly in Jerusalem at night. During the hotter months of the year the inland cities do not have the same high level of humidity as the coast. Average temperatures in Jerusalem are about 6(°C)-12(°C)in January and 20(°C)-29(°C)in August.Israel Weather North and SouthThe weather in northern Israel is hot in the summer but the cooler months are similar to those in southern Europe. The mountain tops can be covered in snow and the rainfall allows for the thriving farmlands and vineyards. In Tiberius on the edge of the Sea of Galilee average temperatures are 8(°C)-17(°C)in January and 23(°C)-36(°C)in August.In the southern region of Israel there are dry deserts which experience harsh summers and hot winters spotted with heavy downpours. Summer is not the best time to visit southern Israel and the temperatures are unpleasantly hot. In Eilat, Israel’s southernmost city the best time to visit is not necessarily in the hottest months of July and August. You can enjoy a sunny beach holiday in Eilat in spring and autumn. Sunshine is virtually guaranteed year-round in the Dead Sea and Eilat regions. Average temperatures in Eilat are about 10?C-20?C in January and 26(°C)-38(°C)in August.SharavDuring the summer months Israel can experience heat waves, called “sharav” or “hamsin.” The air becomes dry and extremely hot as the wind blows in from the Egyptian desert. Temperatures can reach about 40(°C). The sharav usually ends with a down pour of rain which settles the heat and dust providing relief from the heat.When to Visit Israel and What to PackYou can enjoy a sunny holiday in Israel virtually year round. Just be prepared for cloudier days in the winter months and the occasional rain. No matter when you visit be sure to pack a light sweater, light jacket or sweat shirt for the cooler evenings. If you will be based in Jerusalem or the Golan Heights warmer evening clothes are even more important.
By Petal Mashraki
2 min

Visiting Eilat

The city of Eilat is located at the southernmost point of Israel. For this reason it is not always included in travel itineraries. Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and other top destinations in Israel are relatively close together but reaching Eilat requires a short flight or a long drive.However leaving Eilat off your travel itinerary is a big mistake! Eilat is unlike any other city in the country.Eilat is the ultimate beach resort city and the Eilat weather is perfect. From early spring to late autumn the Eilat weather is sunny and virtually without rain. Summers are very hot and humid while the winters are cooler with occasional showers. Eilat is located on the edge of the Red Sea where there is crystal clear water and coral reefs close enough to the shore to explore safely and independently. You simple have to rent a snorkel and wade into the water to see the tropical fish and coral reefs. The Red Sea is Eilat’s major attraction. There are many beaches and companies offering boating excursions and water sports. Eilat is home to the Dolphin Reef, a unique site where dolphins are free to come and go from an enclosure where they are fed and cared for. The dolphins move between the open sea and the enclosed area while people come to see them being fed and even to dive with the dolphins.Eilat HotelsSome of Israel’s finest hotels are in Eilat. Eilat hotels offer resort-style accommodation with lavish swimming pools, all-inclusive deals, entertainment and stunning sea views. There are Eilat hotels to suit every budget from hostel accommodation to five star luxury. Among the Eilat hotels there is a hotel which is adults-only; a hotel which is focused on offering sport activities and several spa hotels.Queen Of Sheba HotelEilat AttractionsIn addition to the beach, water sports and dolphins Eilat has many land-based attractions. There is King’s City, a theme park featuring stories from the First Testament and the Coral World Underwater Observatory, an aquarium complex on the Red Sea. At night you can enjoy a waterfront market; a musical fountain; clubs; bars or go to the IMAX Theatre. If you go into the surrounding desert you can visit Timna Park, an area of natural rock formations, stunning scenery and archaeological sites.DelphiniumShopping in EilatEilat is a Free Port Zone which means that there is no value added tax on items you buy. Shopping in Eilat is cheaper than in any other part of the country and the city boasts several malls. The Ice Mall is a large shopping complex built in a circle around a huge ice rink. You can rent skates or watch ice skating performances which are presented regularly throughout the day in the summer.mallGetting to EilatThe easiest and fastest way to reach Eilat is to fly from Tel Aviv to the Eilat airport. The flight takes about 30 minutes. There are flights from Tel Aviv’ Sde Dov Airport and from Ben Gurion. The Eilat airport is in the city center so on arrival you will already be close to your hotel. Alternatively you could take a bus to Eilat or an organized tour. Along the way see sites like Masada and the Dead Sea.
By Petal Mashraki
2 min

Wonders of Christian Bethlehem

According to an ancient Hebrew saying, “a man is the fruit of his home’s landscapes.” The Christ is no mere man, of course, but as God sent His only begotten son to walk among us, we should feel blessed for having the opportunity to know Him and walk in his footsteps, as well as witnessing with our own eyes the environment in which He was born.For that reason, many Christians choose to take a tour of Christian Bethlehem. In order to provide themselves with best and most convenient tour possible, many Christians choose to take a Bein Harim guided Israel tour and receive information about the place from experts who know all there is to know about Jesus Christ, the city, and its connection with Christianity throughout the generations.Where it All BeganTwo thousand and so years ago, a most miraculous thing has happened: a baby was born in a manger. That was, without a doubt, the most significant birth in history. In Christianity nativity holds a significant place; knowing the stories of the miraculous conception, of the holy night and the wise magi is a part of the core education of any Christian. Bethlehem, the town in which the Christ was born, is a spring of Christian tourism and sightseeing, and a guided tour will relate the story and connect it to specific sites in the city in a way that’ll move you and set your imaginations and hearts reeling.What it is TodayWhen the word Bethlehem rises to mind one could not be held guilty if he or she thinks of faraway biblical times, but as we know Bethlehem is not just a city of the past. Adorned with amazing churches built by many congregations during many different periods, filled with many significant museums and artifacts and containing beautiful natural surroundings, while Jesus’ birth is of course the city’s main attraction, it is far from being the only one. A good tour of the city will not only enlighten you as to what the city was, but also show you what it is today.What to see: The Church of Nativity, standing above the place where Jesus was born, is a beautiful and amazingly preserved byzantine church from the 4th century.Where to eat: Ha’agala, a country café located a short car drive or a beautiful bike ride away from Bethlehem, is a charming place for those who want to combine great food with relaxation. Ha’agala, Ha’Horesh 3, Alonei Aba.Where to sleep: Talitha Kumi Guest House is known for high standards and great service, and is just five minutes’ walk from the most important destinations. B’eit Jala 7.
By Petal Mashraki
2 min

Amazing Spring Break Tours to Israel

You can spend your spring break doing many things. Chances are, there are pretty good partying going on wherever you came from, and if you think of Israel as your spring break destination, it means you want more. You want to party, sure, but for you that’s not enough. So let us tell you how you can combine your big chill with a spiritual journey, in one of the most amazing Israel tours offered by BeinHarim Tours.Masada: The Epic MountainMasada, an ancient Jewish fort seating on top of a square shaped mountain in southern Israel, is known as a place where Jewish warriors fought Roman soldiers until the bitter end; rather than surrender and convert, the people of Masada chose instead to take their own lives and remain faithful to their God.If you were to come by Masada during the sunrise, you might be surprised by the amount of praying people you will see. Masada is not just a mountain; it is a monument of great spiritual importance. While there are means of transportations to the top of the mountain, many tours prefer to take the longer way and make the challenging climb to build Masada as a spiritual journey which makes it absolutely unique.What to see: during the evening, an impressive multimedia light show takes place on the Masada site and retells the story of the battle for Masada.Where to eat: Taj Mahal resturant, located in Ein Bokek, is a great eastern food place with cheerful atmosphere and unique dishes. Located at Leonardo Inn Hotel in Ein Bokek.Where to stay: Harrods Dead Sea hotel is close to both Masada and the dead sea. The hotel is known for its spectacular design and great service, and is completely Kosher.masadaThe Dead Sea: The Earth’s Lowest Point is also Its Most RelaxingThe Dead Sea is a beautiful and unique place. Considered the lowest point on earth’s surface, the Dead Sea is filled with helpful minerals, great views and great weather. Because of its proximity to Masada, nearly every day tour of the ancient city is supplemented by a visit. If you like combining exciting travel with relaxation, make sure to get a tour of Masada that includes the Dead Sea.What to see: the best thing to do is go on a hike. Get yourself a guide and go hit the mountains!What to eat: Auvers, a restaurant located in Ein Gedi kibbutz, stands in front of an impressive and ancient baobab tree and serves some of the best food in the area. The restaurant is located in the Ein Gedi Hotel.Where to stay: David Dead Sea Spa Resort is a professional hotel which had become a favorite for many Israelis because of its great service and short distance from the dead sea.the dead sea
By Petal Mashraki
2 min

Catholic Tours to Bethlehem from Tel Aviv

Where It All HappenedAccording to an ancient Hebrew saying, “a man is the fruit of his home’s landscapes.” The Christ is no mere man, of course, but as God sent His only begotten son to walk amongst us, we should feel blessed for having the opportunity to know Him and walk in his footsteps, as well as witnessing with our own eyes the environment in which He was born. Though the spiritual distance could not be greater, the actual distance between Tel Aviv and Bethlehem is quite manageable, which makes it an ideal tour for any Catholic that wants to combine a visit in the lively metropolis with a spiritual experience.Where It All BeganTwo thousand and so years ago, a most miraculous thing has happened: a baby was born in a manger. That was, without a doubt, the most significant birth in history. In Christianity nativity holds a significant place; knowing the stories of the miraculous conception, of the holy night and the wise magi is a part of the core education of any Christian. Bethlehem, the town in which the Christ was born, is a spring of Christian tourism and sightseeing, and a guided tour will relate the story and connect it to specific sites in the city in a way that’ll move you and set your imaginations and hearts reeling.What it is TodayWhen the word Bethlehem rises to mind one could not be held guilty if he or she thinks of faraway biblical times, but as we know Bethlehem is not just a city of the past. Adorned with amazing churches built by many congregations during many different periods, filled with many significant museums and artifacts and containing beautiful natural surroundings, while Jesus’ birth is of course the city’s main attraction, it is far from being the only one. A good tour of the city will not only enlighten you as to what the city was, but also show you what it is today.What to see: The Church of Nativity, standing above the place where Jesus was born, is a beautiful and amazingly preserved byzantine church from the 4th century.Where to eat: Ha’agala, a country café located a short car drive or a beautiful bike ride away from Bethlehem, is a charming place for those who want to combine great food with relaxation. Ha’agala, Ha’Horesh 3, Alonei Aba.Where to sleep: Talitha Kumi Guest House is known for high standards and great service, and is just five minutes’ walk from the most important destinations. B’eit Jala 7.
By Petal Mashraki
2 min

Easter Pilgrim Tours to Israel

Christians planning a special trip to Israel for Easter can opt to take a number of tours which include religious ceremonies, touring religious sites and seeing the rest of the country. The highlight of an Easter pilgrim tour is the Palm Sunday Procession. If you are taking an Israel tour during Easter then make sure the Palm Sunday procession is included in your itinerary. As Israel is a Jewish country the Easter holiday is not a national holiday – there is no school vacation or day off work for Israelis over Easter. However in the cities with significant Christian populations there are celebrations and religious services. The cities with the highest concentration of Christians in Israel are Nazareth and Jerusalem.Easter Christian Pilgrim ToursMake sure your Easter pilgrim tour includes visiting major sites in Israel like the Dead Sea, the Sea of Galilee and Tel Aviv. However you will find that most Easter activity takes place in Jerusalem. Easter celebrates the resurrection of Christ. All the events of Passion Week leading up to Jesus crucifixion and resurrection took place in Jerusalem. On a pilgrim Israel tour you will visit sites where Biblical events took place during Passion Week. If you are interested in a fantastic Christian-orientated Easter pilgrim tour which combines religious ceremonies, the Palm Sunday Procession and top attraction in Israel then contact Bein Harim Tours.The Palm Sunday Procession Palm Sunday is celebrated by Protestants and Catholics with a procession which goes from the Mount of Olives to the Old City retracing the route Jesus would have taken as he entered Jerusalem. On an Easter pilgrim Israel tour you can join in the procession and with other Christians you can wave palm fronds, sing and pray. The procession culminates at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old city. This church was built over the site where Jesus was crucified and where he was laid to rest. At the end of the procession the Orthodox and Armenian Christians together with other denominations continue the procession inside the Holy Sepulchre.Maundy ThursdayAn Easter pilgrim tour will take you to the Room of the Last Supper on Mount Zion where Jesus and his disciples ate.church of the holy sepulchreGood FridayOn Good Friday it is traditional for Christians to join others along the Via Dolorosa where prayers are held at the Stations of the Cross. The procession is led by Franciscan Friars. Some denominations hold ceremonies at the Garden Tomb on Good Friday. On Holy Friday there is a very unique event, the Ceremony of the Holy Fire. During this ceremony one of the religious leaders goes into the Tomb of the Holy Sepulchre and lights a candle. When he emerges the light is passed from person to person in the crowd as they each light a candle.Easter SundayOn Easter Sunday and Easter Monday there are religious services in churches across Israel. The most important being those of the Holy Sepulchre. A sunrise service is held for Protestants at the Garden Tomb.
By Petal Mashraki
2 min

Tel Jericho (Tel es-Sultan)

Tel Jericho is an archaeological site in the northeastern section of Jericho also known as er-Riha, Yeriho, Tel es-Sultan and Eriha. The tel (mound or hill) was the location of ancient Jericho and today is a UNESCO World Heritage Site within the Palestinian Authority West Bank. The site is located in the lower plains of the Jordan Valley, about 10 km north of the Dead Sea at 250 meters below sea level. It is close to the Ein es-Sultan spring.Jericho is believed to be one of the oldest cities in the world that has remained permanently inhabited from the 10th millennia BC. The site of Tel Jericho is identified with ancient Jericho which is mentioned in historical documents and the Bible. Today at the site visitors can see the excavated structures which once formed the core of Jericho cityTel es-SultanExcavation HistoryArchaeologists first started investigating Tel Jericho in 1868 when Charles Warren made a preliminary survey of the site on behalf of the Palestine Exploration Fund and concluded that there was nothing to be gained by further exploration. He had sunk several shafts in the earth and missed the Neolithic tower. A more extensive excavation was conducted by Austro-German archaeologists led by E. Sellin and C. Watzinger in 1907-1909. These early explorations uncovered Bronze Age fortifications. In 1930-1936 further excavation work was done by G. Garstang.A fourth excavation project was carried out in 1952-1958 by Kathleen Kenyon. During this excavation the stratigraphic history of the site was determined and the findings were published in 5 volumes. It was Kenyon who documented the discovery of the Neolithic tower (8000-7000BC) which was 8 meters tall. More recently La Sapienza University in Rome has resumed excavation on behalf of the Palestinian Department of Antiquities. During the excavations a clear picture was formed of the cultural history of Jericho over the past 10,000 years.Tell Jericho HistoryThe oldest remains on the site come from the Natufian culture (10th-8th millennia BC) and an early Neolithic settlement from c.9600 BC is evident with round houses of mud bricks and a circular tower remaining from Pre-Pottery Neolithic A period fortifications. The next historic period evident at the site is the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B period where houses were rectangular and made of elongated bricks. Skulls were found below the floors of these houses. This phase of human history shows the transformation from hunter-gatherers to a domestic settlement with a more complex society. During the Early Bronze Age Jericho was a major urban center and in the Middle Bonze Age II massive fortifications were built as well as a revetment wall supporting the slope of the tel.Archaeologists should have found evidence of Joshua’s famed “fallen walls of Jericho” during the 14th century BC (Late Bronze Age) but there were few remains found from this period and experts believe the city ceased to be an urban center. Biblical scholars explain this by saying the walls were swallowed up. There were few remains from the subsequent Iron Age and Persian period. During the Greco-Roman era the center of ancient Jericho shifted to Telu Abu Alyeq and the ancient site now known as Tel Jericho remained uninhabited.Finding at Tel JerichoThe archaeological site of Tel Jericho is a 21 meter high mound which covers approximately an acre. During excavations remains were found of potter, tools, graves, grain storage jars, clay figures, beads, personal belongings and furniture. There is a stone tower built in approximately 8,000 BC. This structure is unique for that period and a structure of this kind and age has not been found anywhere else in the world. West of the watch tower is a trench where you can see the remains of a mud brick wall dating back to 2300-2000 BC when it formed part of the Canaanite city walls. Biblical scholars say that this could have been part of the house of Rahav the harlot who lived by the city gate. An ancient gateway has been discovered 7 meters underground. The gateway is believed to have been built in 1900 BC-1550 BC. The gate was originally flanked by two towers with walls 7 meters thick and a base 3 meters wide.
By Petal Mashraki
3 min

Daily Sightseeing Tours in Jerusalem

Jerusalem holds many marvelous sights; from history to scenery, from the architectural wonders to the bustling markets, there are many ways to enjoy and explore this one-of-a-kind city. Because Jerusalem is so rich with things to see and do, a day visit is often not enough to absorb all that it can offer. This makes Jerusalem a prime spot for tour packages in Israel, which spread the Jerusalem experience over the length of a few days and makes sure that the traveler sees all that he or she has to see of this truly amazing city.Bein Harim Tours offers many such packages in varying time lengths, which enables travelers to optimize their exposure to the city and match it with their own timetables. From two-day tours of the classical sights to five-day tours focusing on the Jewish or Christian heritage sites in the city, Beinharim Tours’ Israel tour packages have something for everyone. So what are some of the most magnificent sights you could only hope to see on a prolonged tour package? Read on to find out.jerusalem old city viewThe Cardo: The Roman Main Street in the Heart of the Ancient CityIn roughly four thousand years of existence Jerusalem was conquered many different times by many different nations, amongst which were the Romans who had control over the city from -63 B.C. to 324 A.C., and who had an important part in both Jewish and Christian history. The Romans were well known for installing their unique brand of architecture in their colonies, and Jerusalem was no exception. Of course, today one sees very little Roman contribution either in the old or new parts of the city; but if one knows where to look, one could still see their historic footprints in the city that never forgets. One of these incredible hidden wonders is the Roman Cardo, the main street of Jerusalem during the Roman and Byzantine periods, which was in part excavated and stands today as it would have more than two thousand years ago. Since many visits to the ancient city tend to focus on the stories of still functioning cultures, the Roman part of Jerusalem’s history is something which most visitors ignore. During a tour package, however, this is exactly the sort of sight which brings an unexpected side of the city to light, which is exactly what a good tour should do.Walking in Jesus’ footsteps on the Via DolorosaToday, the Ancient City is an active market full of lively smells, colors and sounds. It is hard to imagine the time when people walked through these streets with crosses over their backs, yet not only did this happen but even Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon could not match in importance those made by Jesus on the Via Dolorosa, the path of suffering in the ancient city, to Golgotha, the site of crucifixion. While the journey itself is not very long (without dragging a cross on your back, that is), it gives the perfect setting to relate the story of one of the most influential figures in human culture, and having the length of time to visit all the relevant stops along the way boosts the experience and the immersion to another level.In every major city, many of the best parts are kept from the eyes of casual viewers. BeinHarim Tours designed the Jerusalem Pearls tour packages to make sure that you can see them.For more Information about day tours in Jerusalem, check out these amazing Jerusalem day tours by Beinharim Tours at the following link:https://www.beinharimtours.com/jerusalem-area-tours/
By Petal Mashraki
3 min

Places to Join Kabbalat Shabbat Friday Prayer Services

Israel is a very spiritual place for several religions but the Jewish faith is definitely the one which you will encounter more readily in Israel. If you want to learn more about Judaism or get a taste of how Judaism is practiced in Israel it is not a problem. You can walk into any synagogue at any time of the day and pray or ask the people there about their faith. If you would like to join in and pray with them that is also not a problem but perhaps the most interesting and moving pray time is the one right before sunset on a Friday night. The Friday evening prayer service is called “Kabbalat Shabbat.”What is Kabbalat ShabbatKabbalat Shabbat means receiving or welcoming the Sabbath. The Kabbalat Shabbat prayers take place just before sundown on a Friday in synagogues across the country. Shabbat is the Jewish holy day; a day of rest, prayer and contemplation. You can attend the Kabbalat Shabbat prayers in any synagogues or try one of these ideas where the prayers are specifically for new comers, secular and religious Jews, visitors and locals alike.Kabbalat Shabbat at Tel Aviv PortAttend the Kabbalat Shabbat service as you sit opposite the sea on the Northern Deck promenade of Tel Aviv Port. The services take place every Friday at around 6:30 pm from June 27th to August 28th. The service includes prayers, music, poetry reading and even dancing. The standard prayers are interspersed with modern Hebrew poetry and both traditional and classic tunes. Each Friday 800-1,000 people attend from all walks of life and religious traditions. There are visitors from all over the world, locals who enjoy the outdoor service with the sunset as a backdrop and others who have not found a welcoming place in conventional synagogues. The service is run by the Tel Aviv congregation of Beit Tefilah, a pluralistic and diverse group which includes both religious Jews and secular Jews who want a little Jewish tradition in their lives and to be part of a community.Kabbalat Shabbat at the Port of JaffaThe Kabbalat Shabbat services in the Port of Jaffa are run by the Daniel Centers for Progressive Judaism. The Daniel Centers focus on bringing Israelis and Jews together from different walks of life, traditions, sexual orientations and cultures. They spearhead egalitarian efforts to create an alternative to Orthodox Judaism while recognizing the Jewish values which tie them to their heritage. The services in Jaffa are held throughout the year at 6 pm in summer and 5:30 pm in winter. They also have a Saturday morning service at 9:30 am. The service is conducted by one of the Daniel Centers Rabbis and Cantor Freddie Peer.Kabbalat Shabbat at the First Station JerusalemThe Kabbalat Shabbat program at Jerusalem’s First Station (New Jerusalem City Square, 4 David Remez St.) is a pluralistic fun, family event with lots of music and dancing. This Kabbalat Shabbat is organized by the Ginot Ha’ir Community Council. While here you can enjoy the restaurants and stores at the First Station.Kabbalat Shabbat at the Western WallJerusalem old cityThe Western Wall is the holiest Jewish site in Israel; it is the site of daily prayers by devoted locals and visitors to Israel. On Friday nights there are evening prayers according to the Orthodox traditional. The service consists of silent prayers, singing, prayers said out loud by all the worshipers and the occasional spontaneous dancing. These are the same prayers which have been said by Jews across the globe for thousands of years. Men and women are invited to join in but unlike the other Kabbalat Shabbat options mentioned above at the Western Wall men and women pray separately. You will notice different groups praying in their own way, to their own melodies and dressed in different traditional Shabbat attire. It is also necessary to respect local religious traditions of modesty by covering your shoulders and legs. Women should bring along a head covering. There are yamakas and shawls available for those who do not bring their own.
By Petal Mashraki
3 min

The Red Sea Jazz Festival

The Red Sea Jazz Festival is an annual event held in the gorgeous beach resort city of Eilat, Israel on the edge of the Red Sea. The festival is now in its 29th years and since its initiation the festival has grown in size and importance. The Red Sea Jazz Festival plays an important role in fostering Israeli jazz talent and has also earned itself a reputation in the international jazz scene. The event takes place over four days in August at the music-inspired Prima Music Hotel and other Eilat venues.jazz festival In 2016 the Red Sea Jazz Festival will host a special tribute to the Israeli jazz; there will be 30 performances spanning the full spectrum of the Israeli jazz scene, showcasing the multicultural tapestry of Israeli jazz. The festival will include Israel’s greatest jazz performers who have established careers both in Israel and internationally. At the festival there will be both veteran pioneer artists responsible for establishing the jazz culture in Israel and new up-and-coming Israeli artists. This year the festival will follow a new format to salute the legendary Israeli jazz artists with original productions showing the development of jazz through the generations. In addition there will be several big name international acts including The Chick Corea Trio which will perform the final show of the festival. There will also be performances by Avi Lebovich and The Orchestra; Aharale Kaminsky; Albert Piamenta; Guy King; TATRAN; Quartet to Afrika; Shlomi Shaban; Shalom Hanoch and Maya Belsitzman among others.Few festivals manage to continue for 30 years and this is a testament to the strong legacy and unique character of the event. In addition to the live performances the festival offers other special events like the Red Sea Jazz Festival Young Jazz Program. Young musicians will be able to join a workshop run by some of the festival performing artists. The festival will also host the Israeli Jazz Convention, discussion panels, lectures, master classes, workshops for the public and in the mornings special jazz performances geared towards children aged 5-10 years. One of the traditions of the Red Sea Jazz Festival is the Jam Session held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel poolside. The jam session starts at 11pm and the jamming continues into the night. Throughout the festival there will be a sunset jazz cocktail event on Mosh’s Beach near the Eilat Port. Entrance is free and the cocktails will be accompanied by a selection of young bands. At the end of Tuesday evening performances the party continues with a celebration of swing and jazz with DJ Yossi Swing.Queen of Sheba hotel EilatEilat is the ultimate beach resort; during the festival visitors will be able to enjoy the incredible Red Sea where there are natural coral reefs, schools of tropical fish and even dolphins. There are water sports for the whole family, cruise excursions, dreamy beaches and amazing malls. Eilat is a duty-free port city so you can shop-til-you-drop. Be sure to visit the Ice Mall which has an ice rink in the center. Visitors can also take excursions into the surrounding desert to places like Park Timna, the Dead Sea and Masada. From Eilat there are convenient day trips to Petra, Jordan, one of the seven wonders of the world. Eilat has wonderful restaurants, many specializing in seafood and you will find that Eilat hotels rival the best beach resort hotels worldwide. Visitors can enjoy the Red Sea Jazz Festival and a fantastic holiday.Practical Information:When: 27-30 August. Performances and events take place throughout the day from 10am to 1am.Where: At select Eilat venues including the Crowne Plaza Hotel; Jazz Cinema; Port arena; Red Note and the Sea Club.Admission: You can purchase tickets for individual performances or buy a festival Platinum Pass to cover all 4 days of the festival plus the final Chick Corea Trio concert; Wide Pass to cover 4 days of all festival performances not including the Chick Corea Trio concert; Daily Pass covering all performances for a specific date not including the Chick Corea concert or a Young Pass for free entry to all performances for those under 21 years.
By Petal Mashraki
3 min