Israel is the land where so many past events in the Bible occurred. It has so much history with different religions and cultures that have been around for over 4,000 years. This is where Jesus Christ had lived, walked, preached, died, rose again and ascended into heaven. This is also the place where the prophesied events like the assembly of the armies for Armageddon, the rebuilding of the temple, and the Lord’s second coming will occur.
Geographically speaking, Israel is located in Southwest Asia, between the head of the Gulf of Aqaba and eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. It extends for 420km from the northern border with Lebanon and Syria in the Golan Heights to Eilat , the country’s port on the Gulf of Aqaba in the south.
Israel’s climate is Mediterranean in the north and arid in the south. During the summer, the entire area is dominated by a subtropical high that brings cloudless sky and no rainfall with an average temperature that range from 18˚ to 32˚ C. In wintertime, Israel’s northern half receives moderate rainfall with temperatures averaging 14˚ C along the coast and 9˚ C in the mountains.
Israel is known for its variety of attractions; it is what makes Israel a true destination. Within a few hours you can go from the snowy heights of Mount Hermon, then proceed to the Judean Desert. All the while, the saltiest sea on earth, the Dead Sea, can also be passed by after a visit from the ancient biblical cities, covered markets and a high-rise metropolis. Here are some of Israel’s regions that make it remarkable.
Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. It is the Holy Land for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. For the Jews, Jerusalem is the site of their ancient Temple and their historical capital; for the Christians, Jerusalem is the site of many events in the life of Jesus Christ; and for Muslims, Jerusalem is said to be the place where Muhammad has risen towards heaven.
The City of Gold, as it has come to be known in Hebrew, is a fascinatingly unique place where the first century blends in with the twenty-first century, and where picturesque ancient neighborhoods nestle amongst glistening office towers and high-rise apartments.
Jerusalem is divided into a few districts, like: The Old City together with its walls is a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO. The city is a sanctuary for Jews, Muslims and even Christians; The West Jerusalem, also known as the New Jerusalem is the modern commercial heart of the city; The East Jerusalem is where you can find most of the Arab people; Me’a Shearim, the area of Jerusalem – which is inhabited mostly by Ultra-Orthodox people considered as Jews.
The German colony, is a neighborhood found in the south-east part of Jerusalem, it is a perfect spot to drink, unwind and eat in restaurants; Ein Kerem, a secluded area found in West Jerusalem which is surrounded by the beautiful hills will trees like cypress and olive. Also, it is known to be John the Baptist’s birthplace; and Talpiot, found in the southern part of West Jerusalem which is considered as a highly commercialized and industrialized neighborhood.
Jerusalem is the perfect place where Christians can retrace the steps that Jesus Christ had left in the sands of history. It is also a popular place for the Muslims because it is where the Dome of the Rock, the most popular and oldest Islamic site, is found.
Bethlehem is the cradle of Biblical History. This is where Jesus Christ was born and is where Muhammad was believed to have prayed on his way for Jerusalem.
Tourism is Bethlehem’s primary industry and estimates roughly for about 65% of the city’s economy.
The Church of Nativity, one of Bethlehem’s major tourist fascinations, should be visited especially if you’re someone who prays for world peace. It draws Christian pilgrims from around the world because this is where Christ the Savior was born. The Church of Nativity stands in the center of the city over a grotto called the Holy Crypt, where Jesus was brought to the world. This building is the oldest church in the Holy Land.
Originally built by Constantine’s mother St. Helena in the 4th century, was conquered and destroyed, and was burnt to the ground, was rebuilt again by Emperor Justinian in the 530s. It was reprieved from the destruction of the Persians in 614 A.D. The redemption was because of the depictions of the Magi on the walls. Not too far away from it is the Milk Grotto where the Holy Family took refuge on their Flight away from Herod’s infamous slaughter order. The next-door is the cave where St. Jerome spent thirty years translating the Hebrew Scriptures found in the Qumran caves into Latin.
Nazareth is an agricultural town in southern Galilee about 15 miles southwest of the Sea of Galilee and twenty miles from the Mediterranean westward in the basin of the hills of the lower Galilee. Nazareth was the hometown of Jesus Christ.
Nazareth inspired Jesus in the early years of his life until the beginning of his ministry. The main events in Jesus’ life, concerning Nazareth are the annunciation of his birth, his childhood and early manhood experience and the collision with his fellow citizens.
Nazareth is the largest Arab city in Israel with a population of 60,000 Muslims and Christians. Half of which are Christians and half are Muslims: both live together in a balanced, harmonious and congenial co-existence. On the ancient hillsides of Nazareth are picturesque and breath taking red roofs on fine constructed white stone churches. The tip of which overlooks the panorama of the entire Jezreel Valley.
Being one of the most important Christian holy sites in the world, Nazareth has always been a remarkable paradise and haven for Christians pilgrims. The Middle Eastern atmosphere combined with the warm hospitality of its people makes the place very exciting and amazing for any of its foreign visitors. Yet the spiritual serenity and peace provided by the diverse Christian orders in their beautiful Churches and Monasteries are still not lost.
Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee or Lake Kineret is Israel’s biggest and most popular fresh water reservoir. It is also the country’s biggest and most accessible source of drinking water. Prior to that reason, the Sea of Galilee has become a notable symbol in their nation and known to be a first-class tourist attraction.
Historically, some of the ministry of Jesus Christ occurred on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. The Synoptic gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke describe how Jesus recruited four of his apostles from the shores of Lake Galilee: the fishermen Simon and his brother Andrew and the brothers John and James. One of Jesus’ famous teaching episodes, the Sermon on the Mount, is supposed to have been given on a hill overlooking the lake. Many of his miracles are also said to have occurred here including his walking on water, calming a storm, and his feeding five thousand people.
The different beaches which surrounds the Sea of Galilee differs only to maintain the local geography of the place, thus – it projects wonderful views and attractions in every spot. Stretching above the shores of the western and eastern seas is the rise of the mountains of Galilee and Golan. The northern winds will lead you to the Belt Tsida valley and the streams of Golan, while opposite north you will find the Jordan estuary – which flows south toward the dry desert regions.
Since the bodies of water flow from one direction to another, some of the beaches have rocky sand while others developed softly textured sand. Over-all, the beaches are great and entertaining which offers different attractions for all age groups.
The Western Wall
The Western Wall, sometimes referred to as the Wailing Wall or simply the Kotel, is an important Jewish religious site located in the Old City of Jerusalem.
For many years now, many people visit Western Wall to simply pray and have a peace of mind. The Western Wall is not a part of the temple, but a structure made to continue Herod the Great’s structure which also holds Solomon’s stables. This is where the Jewish people practice writing their prayer requests on a piece of paper and placing it on the gaps or cracks found in the wall believing that God will hear their prayers and respond to their cry.
The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is the lowest place on Earth. The extreme amount of salt in the area makes it impossible for any life form to grow. It has attracted visitors from around the world. The Dead Sea supplies a wide variety of products like balms for mummification and potash for fertilizers. People also use the salt and the minerals from the lake to create cosmetics and herbal sachets. The water of the Dead Sea contains and provides 26 essential minerals.
Some of the benefits that the Dead Sea minerals provide are: exceptional relief for skin ailments such as psoriasis, eczema, acne and wrinkles; help with supplying vital energy to skin cells that is essential for regeneration and hydration; help the body balance it’s essential minerals, and many other cosmetic benefits.
Going for a swim will be an extraordinary adventure in the Dead Sea. The possibility of sinking in this salt water is almost impossible. One can just lie down on her back and relax, whether she knows how to float or not.