Beit Yeshua

Israel Trip
22 October 2011
Day 11





12 October 2011

13 October 2011

14 October 2011

15 October 2011

16 October 2011

17 October 2011

18 October 2011

19 October 2011

20 October 2011

DAY 10
21 October 2011

DAY 11
22 October 2011

Liran & Shiri
and the
Soreq Stalactite

One Last Visit
to Jerusalem's
Old City


Ben Gurion

DAY 12
23 October 2011
























































































































Beit Yeshua dances on the Old City Walls in Jerusalem



Isaiah 62
I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night:
ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence,
And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.


Psalm 122:6  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: may they prosper who love you. 


Day 11

The last day of our trip was a "free day" and almost everybody had plans for what they wanted to do.

Liran & Shiri and the Soreq Stalactite Cave

When Curtis and Carolyn decided to make the trip to Israel in 2011, one of the things they new they wanted to do was to meet with Curtis' friend, Liran, and his wife, Shiri, from Bat-Yam (near Tel-Aviv).  Curtis and Liran had been email friends since 1996 - exchanging emails, postal mails, photos, gifts, music - but never had the opportunity to meet previously.  Liran, Shiri & the boys (Tomer & Aviv) had surprised Curtis & Carolyn by meeting them at the Ben Gurion Airport when they arrived in Israel, but the initial meeting was brief because the tour bus was waiting to transport everyone to their hotel in Tiberias.  Curtis and Liran had tried to arrange some time to get together when the 2011 tour group was in Tel-Aviv, but after the Tel-Aviv portion of the trip was cancelled, they decided to meet in Jerusalem on the last day of the trip. 


Liran & Shiri met Curtis & Carolyn in the Prima Kings Hotel lobby at 10:00 am
Making plans for the day
Duke & Myrl, Susan & Paul (not pictured) stopped by to say "Hi"


Liran & Shiri wanted to show Curtis & Carolyn
a part of Israel they had not seen and the decision was made to visit
the Soreq Stalactite Cave on the western slopes of the Judean mountains
Liran & Shiri pose for a photo after we arrive
Carolyn & Liran
Entrance to the Soreq Stalactite Cave & Nature Reserve
Waiting to enter the Cave

The Soreq Stalactite Cave Nature Reserve


On day in May 1968, the sound of blasting echoed across the western slopes of the Judean mountains.  On the face of things, just another blast at the Hartuv quarry that supplies stone for construction, no different than the hundreds that preceded it.  But this blast was entirely different: it revealed a small opening into a wondrous world that had been hidden deep within the earth, concealed from the eyes of all living creatures.  With the blast, the current chapter in the life of the Stalactite Cave began.


The cave is located on the western sloped of the Judean mountains on the southern face of Mount Yaela.  It is south of the Soreq Stream, which gave the cave its other name, the Soreq Cave.  The cave was declared a nature reserve on March 16, 1975.


How is a stalactite cave created?  A stalactite cave is the result of the dissolution and sedimentation of rock.  But can rock dissolve?  It sounds amazing, but the stalactite cave is located in the midst of layers of dolomite rock.  Rainwater that comes into contact with carbon dioxide created a weak acid capable of dissolving dolomite.  Most of the carbon dioxide gets to the water through the soil in which it is found in large concentrations.  This process takes thousands of years.  The rock dissolves along fissures through which water seeps.  Slowly but surely, the water expands the fissures and creates caves.  At this point the process reverses itself: when a drop of water reaching the cave releases the carbon dioxide with which it is saturated, the limestone crystallizes, forming the stalactites, the stalagmites, and the other sedimentary forms in the cave.

The Stalactites and Stalagmites in the cave were beautiful
The orange, green, yellow and brown colors were amazing
Liran snaps a photo of Carolyn, Curtis & Shiri
Liran, Shiri, Curtis & Carolyn pose for a photo in the cave

The Soreq Stalactite Cave Nature Reserve


The visit to the cave is in itself an extraordinary experience.  But the surrounding landscape and the flora on the way to the cave and back are also noteworthy.  The vegetation in the reserve is made up of natural Mediterranean woodland species and planted pines.  On days when the visibility is good, large areas of the Judean lowland can be seen, as far away as Ashdod.

Beautiful scenery in the area
A final photo together as a group
Back to the car
They stopped in Abu Gosh and had lunch on the veranda of this Arab restaurant
Liran & Shiri graciously treated Curtis & Carolyn to lunch ...
... and the food was excellent

Time for a few more photos ...


... and a quick photo of Liran as they left the restaurant


We left Abu Gosh and drove back to Jerusalem.  When we arrived at the Prima Kings Hotel, we spent a little more time visiting with each other before Liran and Shiri had to leave.  Eventually "Good-bye's" were said and hugs were exchanged with promises to stay in touch when we all got back home.  Getting to finally meet Liran & Shiri was definitely one of the high-lights of my trip.


Thanks to Liran for sharing his photos with me


One Last Visit to the Old City

Part of the group, including Doug & Lynda, Chuck & Janice, Duke & Myrl, Gloria & Brittany, Paul & Susan, Jeff and Gid, decided that a perfect way to spend this Shabbat morning would be to walk to the Old City for a last look at things that were happening there.

CLICK HERE to see a map of the Old City in Jerusalem


The group walking through the Mamilla Mall going toward Jaffa Gate
and enjoyed the art displayed there


The Apple & the Snake - and - The Ark of the Covenant - at the Mamilla Mall


The Ark carried on the shoulders of the priests - at the Marmilla Mall


Joseph in Egypt - at the Mamilla Mall


A vendor sets up his cart with pomegranates, oranges and water near the Old City Wall


Fresh bread ...


... another vendor with lots more bread


... and more bread on the inside of Jaffa Gate


... and more bread

... and even more (on the right side of the photo)
Jews inside the Old City on the way to Shabbat services
It appears to be a father and his sons
Two happy guys - Jeff & Gid find a Diet Coke
A look at modern Jerusalem from atop the Old City Walls
A look at David's Citadel from atop the Old City Walls
David's Citadel was one of the places we did not get to visit on this trip
Looking toward the Mount of Olives and the large Jewish cemetery there
from atop the Old City Walls

Psalm 150
1 Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens.
2 Praise Him for His acts of power; praise Him for His surpassing greatness.
3 Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise Him with the harp and lyre,
4 Praise Him with tambourine and dancing, praise Him with the strings and flute,
5 Praise Him with the clash of cymbals, praise Him with resounding cymbals.
6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord.

Jeremiah 31
Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin of Israel:
you shall again be adorned with your tabrets, and shall go forth in the dances of them that make merry.
How can you go to Jerusalem and not dance on the Old City Walls?
Beit Yeshua's Machol Dancers on the Old City Walls
Isaiah 62
6 On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchmen;
all the day and all the night they shall never be silent.
You who put the Lord in remembrance, take no rest,
and give him no rest until he establishes Jerusalem
and makes it a praise in the earth.
A group of IDF soldiers headed toward Zion Gate
Remember to pray for the IDF - for God's protection and wisdom in all they do
A little shopping in the Christian and Armenian Quarters of the Old City
Brittany & Gloria find T-Shirts in abundance
Armenian Pottery
Chuck, Gid and Paul looking for a Yemenite Kippa
A final lunch in the Old City.  Falafel or Shawarma anyone?

A final "daytime" look at the Prima Kings - we'd soon be heading to the airport


Leaving Jerusalem


We all had a wonderful time in Israel, but the day had finally arrived for us to head back to the US.  Bags were packed and set outside our door before dinner so that they could be moved down to the bus.  Usually our dinner time at the Prima Kings Hotel was at 6:30 pm, but on this last day our dinner time was moved to 6:00 pm.  We had to be at the bus at 6:45 to identify our bags and board the bus for the Ben Gurion Airport by 7:00 pm.


At our last dinner at the hotel, one of the waiters gave Carolyn a rose before we departed


Ben Gurion Airport

We arrived at the Ben Gurion Airport around 8:00 pm and proceeded to have our bags x-rayed.  Several in the group were pulled out and questioned about why we had come to Israel and where we had traveled during the trip.  Eventually we got to a line where we were to pick up our boarding passes.  This went pretty smooth for most of us, but there was a father and son on the trip with the same name which caused a little confusion and anxiety - but this, too, eventually worked itself out.  Next in the process was getting our passports stamped - showing that we were leaving Israel.  The entire process took us an hour and a half to 2 hours.  Eventually we did get to the waiting area where our Delta flight would be departing.

Our departure time from Tel-Aviv for those flying Delta was scheduled for 12:05 am and we started boarding the large airplane around 11:00 pm because of the 450+ passengers - after a final check of our carry on baggage.  The majority of the passengers on this flight back to the US were Jewish, who were returning home after having been in Israel for Sukkot.  Each of these Jewish families seemed to have 3 - 5 small children.


We jestfully called this the "Romper Room" flight because of all the kids



Everyone was on the plane and everyone was ready for departure at 12:05 am - but the plane taxied around the runway for at least 30 - 45 minutes before we took off.  They did serve dinner on the air plane around 1:30 am and then most everyone settled back for some sleep.


To see the YouTube Video of Pat Boone
singing the Theme Song from "EXODUS" - CLICK HERE



More Photos and Information From the 2011 Sukkot Trip

Day 1 - 12 Oct 2011

Day 2 - 13 Oct 2011
Day 3 - 14 Oct 2011
Day 4 - 15 Oct 2011
Day 5 - 16 Oct 2011
Day 6 - 17 Oct 2011
Day 7 - 18 Oct 2011
Day 8 - 19 Oct 2011
Day 9 - 20 Oct 2011
Day 10 - 21 Oct 2011
Day 11 - 22 Oct 2011
Day 12 - 23 Oct 2011