Our Trip to Israel  2005



Art of Israel


















Carolyn and I have been involved with the Messianic Movement since the 1980s and have long talked about going to Israel.  In October 2005, we made our first trip to "the Land" that God refers to as "the Apple of His Eye" (Zech.2:8).  We'll never view scripture the same after being there.


Eight of us from North Carolina hooked up with a larger group of Americans in Boston, who were part of an even larger group from around the world (United Kingdom, Holland, Germany, Austria) who were meeting up with Barry Segal to tour, and then be involved with his Sukkot Celebration in Jerusalem.

We arrived in Israel at Ben Gurion Airport the day before Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement).  After meeting up with our tour guide, we were transported by bus to Tel Aviv. Our accommodations in Tel Aviv were at the Dan Panorama Hotel.  It was a wonderful place to stay.  If you're ever in Tel Aviv, I highly recommend the Dan Panorama.  The room had a beautiful view of the Mediterranean Sea, the food was excellent, and those working there were courteous and friendly.

Tel Aviv is a modern city with lots of people and lots of traffic on the streets, but just before sundown the streets emptied of traffic and stayed empty for the next 24 hours for Yom Kippur.


"You'll Never Be the Same" YouTube Video by Amick Byram



Tel Aviv

No Traffic on the streets during
Yom Kippur
Lynda, Carolyn & Curtis enjoy the Mediterranean Sea The shorelines of Tel Aviv on the Mediterranean Sea
We gathered beside the Mediterranean Sea on Yom Kippur to pray for Israel and the Nations. Charles Russell blows the shofar as we begin our time of prayer. The food in Israel was wonderful.  Kosher meals were provided at all restaurants.


Joppa is Hebrew for "beauty" and was known as Jaffa in ancient times.

King Solomon brought cedar trees from Lebanon to be used in the temple through the port city of Joppa (2 Chronicles 2).

To avoid taking the word of the Lord to Nineveh, Jonah sets sail from Joppa (Jonah 1).

Peter raised Tabitha from the dead in Joppa (Acts 9).

Simon Peter lived in Joppa (Acts 10:5).

Looking at Tel Aviv from Joppa The Statue of Faith in Joppa showing Jacob's Dream (Left), Sacrifice of Isaac (Right) & Fall of Jericho (Top).



The city of Caesarea was built by Herod the Great.  Herod built Caesarea on the coast between two sandy coves in an area that had previously been settled by the Phoenicians.  During a 12-year construction period, he built a port city that was only equaled and topped by Jerusalem itself.   Herod dedicated his port city to Caesar Augustus.

It was at Caesarea where Simon Peter converted Cornelius, who became the first non-Jew to believe in Yeshua/Jesus. (Acts 10)

Philip, the evangelist, lived in Caesarea with his four daughters who prophesied (Acts 21:8)

Paul was imprisoned in Caesarea. (Acts 25)

Looking toward Herod's Amphitheater in Caesarea View of the rock-cut ornamental pool in Herod's Promontory Palace

The Roman Theater

An aqueduct frames the beach in Caesarea


Israel's rolling hills are are absolutely beautiful.  Nazareth is part of what scripture refers to as the Galilee.  Today, Nazareth is a city of approximately 70,000 and Israel's largest Arab city.

Yeshua/Jesus was raised in Nazareth (Mathew 2:23; 21:11; 26:71; Mark 10:47; Luke 4:16).

Mary was living in Nazareth when the Angel Gabriel appeared to her foretelling the birth of her son, Yeshua/Jesus (Luke 1:26-31)

Typical housing in the town of Nazareth

An olive tree in Nazareth

Nazareth Village
Nazareth Village brings to life a farm and Galilean village, recreating Nazareth as it was 2000 years ago during the time of Yeshua/Jesus.

A typical carpenter's shop in Nazareth during the time of Yeshua.

Doug examines the olives on the olive trees.

Lynda looks at the pomegranates that seemed to be growing everywhere we went.


Terraces are built to protect the topsoil and keep it from washing away

Typical buildings during the time of Yeshua/Jesus

Curtis reading in the synagogue much as Yeshua/Jesus would have done


Luke 4:16  And he (Yeshua) came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

17  And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias (Isaiah).  And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it is written,

18  The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

19  To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

20  And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down.  And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

21  And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.




Nazareth Village

During the time of Yeshua/Jesus, Zippori was the capital of the Galilee area.  Also known by its Greek name, Sepphoris, Zippori was rebuilt by Herod Antipas and located 4 miles from Nazareth where Yeshua grew up. Zippori was a booming town.  Described as the "ornament of all Galilee", Zippori had 10,000+ residents where nearby Nazareth was populated with only 300 - 400 people .  Zippori is the birth place of Anna and Joakim, the parents of Mary, the mother of Yeshua.


Archeological remains from the town of Zippori.  Steps lead to one of many mikva'ot (ritual baths).  From the acropolis, the city expanded over the slopes of the hill in all directions.


A view of Nazareth from Zippori

The Amphitheater in Zippori where seats had been cut into the hillside

The Citadel was erected during the Crusader period above the ruins of an ancient building.


A closer look at the
Amphitheater in Zippori

Caves were everywhere all over the countryside in Israel, even Zippori

The mosaic tile floor is called "The Mona Lisa of the Galilee"

Mt. Arbel

Mt. Arbel, above the Sea of Galilee and Galilee Valley, was one of my favorite locations in Israel.  The views were breathtaking.


What a view!


From atop Mt. Arbel, you could see the Sea of Galilee, the Mount of Beatitudes (where Yeshua's Sermon on the Mount took place), where Yeshua cast the demons out of the man and they went into the pigs then ran into the sea, where Mary Magdaline lived, and so much more.


Three-Fourths of Yeshua's ministry took place in this area around the Sea of Galilee.

Sea of Galilee

The Sea of Galilee is the largest area of fresh water in Israel.  While in Tiberias we took a wonderful boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, and visited the Jesus Boat at Kibbutz Ginosar. 

The boat was discovered by two brothers, Moshe & Yuval Lufan, in 1986 during a time of drought when the waters of the Galilee had receded more than usual.  The boat conclusively dates to the 1st Century and the time of Yeshua. 

Is it actually the boat that Yeshua/Jesus rode in with his talmadim (disciples)?  That is inconclusive, but there are no accidents with God.  The brothers reported that a double rainbow appeared in the sky when they found the boat.


Yeshua first sees Simon Peter and Andrew at the Sea of Galilee and calls them to come and follow Him (Matthew 4:18).

Yeshua walks on the water (Matthew 14:25).

Yeshua feeds four thousand in the mountains above the Sea of Galilee (Matthew !5:29-39)


The Jesus Boat in Galilee dates from the time of Yeshua.

Boat ride on the Sea of Galilee.

Bob, Leslie, Lynda, Doug & Carolyn.

Mt. Tabor Gideon's Springs

Mt. Tabor is the traditional site believed to be the Mount of Transfiguration.  We took our bus to the base of Mt. Tabor, but had to ride in taxis to the top because of the extremely curvy and steep road.  What an experience!  You've not ridden in a taxi till you've been in one with an Israeli driver going up the mountainside to Mt. Tabor!  During the time of Yeshua, it would have been a rugged half-day hike.

From Mt. Tabor we went to Gideon's Springs, the location where God gave Gideon direction on how to battle the Midianites.


The battle between Deborah and Barak versus Sisera took place on Mt. Tabor (Judges 4)

God gives Gideon direction on how to choose the three hundred who will battle against the Midianites (Judges 6-8)

The Mount of Transfiguration
(Matthew 17:1-9)

Judges 7:7 And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that "lapped" will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand:


Matthew 17
 1 And six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and brought them up
     to a high mountain by themselves.
2 And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as
     white as light.
3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.
4 And Peter answered and said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make
     three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and behold, a voice out of
     the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!"

6 And when the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were much afraid.
7 And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, "Arise, and do not be afraid."
8 And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one, except Jesus Himself alone.
9 And as they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, "Tell the vision
     to no one until the Son of Man has risen from the dead."


Qumran & The Dead Sea

Our trip through the deserts of Israel were very informative.  I guess I had seen too many movies filmed in the deserts of Saudi Arabia with its rolling sand dunes, because the deserts in Israel were nothing like I had imagined them. 

The hills were covered with rocks and caves, yet shepherds still keep their flocks of sheep and goats in the area.

God hasn't forsaken his covenant with Israel, any more than He could forsake His covenant with us through Yeshua.  Scripture says He will regather His people, and the desert shall "blossom as the rose".


Isaiah 35:1 The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice
     (Hb: Guwl - to spin around), and blossom as the rose.
2  It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice (Hb: Guwl - to spin around) even with joy and singing...


We visited the area in Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947 by an Arab shepherd boy.  How interesting that they were found just before the "rebirth" of Israel as a nation in 1948. 


From there we went down to the Dead Sea, the lowest elevation on Earth.  It's called the Dead Sea because nothing lives in it, and is six times as salty as the ocean.  The Dead Sea is fed by the Jordan River.


The desert was not what I had expected.  It was rockier with more hills.

Caves at Qumran where the Isaiah scrolls were found in 1947.

View with the Dead Sea
in the background


Bedouins discovered this cave in August of 1952.  14,000 fragments of scrolls were unearthed.
 Fragments were pieced together to produce 530 scrolls.

John the Baptist's Cave

Discovered in August 2004, John the Baptist's Cave is located in the actual village area where John lived and can house up to 30 people.  Archeologists unearthed objects used in ancient purification rituals, including a mikvah.  John's image can be seen carved on the wall of the cave. 

Scientists found numerous ceramic pieces in the cave, dating from the 1st century A.D.


Addition excavations around the cave area.

Entrance to the cave

John's image on the cave wall


Doug goes into the cave for a look

Dirt is removed to more fully reveal the inside of the cave

Drawing showing the carving of John

Additional Lodging

We stayed at the King Solomon while we were in Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee.

The last week of our trip we stayed at the Ramat Rachel  in Jerusalem.

Greg & Linda Lilge joined us at the Ramat Rachel and showed us additional sites.


We had spent the day in the desert: at Qumran, the Dead Sea and John the Baptist's Cave.  The sun had set and we were finally back on the bus and headed for Jerusalem.  Our bus went through a tunnel, and as we exited it, there is was ... JERUSALEM.  Even though it was evening and the skies were dark, it was aglow from the lights of the many buildings.   It was an awesome experience to realize that we were in the city that God loves ... the city where He lives (Psalm 135).


Psalm 102
21 To declare the name of the LORD in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem

Psalm 125
2  As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth
   even forever.

Psalm 135
1  Praise ye the LORD.  Praise ye the name of the LORD; praise him, O ye servants of the LORD.
4  For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.
21  Blessed be the LORD out of Zion, which dwelleth at Jerusalem.  Praise ye the LORD.


The next morning we were off to the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Garden Tomb, and the Western Wall.  All structures in the city of Jerusalem are required to be built or capped with Jerusalem Stone.  As the sun begins to set, you can truly see "Jerusalem, of Gold".


Carolyn and I are looking at the Eastern Gate (Golden Gate) and the Old City from the Mount of Olives.


Deuteronomy 28
40  Thou shalt have olive trees throughout all thy coasts...


The Eastern Gate

The Southern Wall of the Old City


The Old City Wall

The Dung Gate is closest to the Temple Mount

The Eastern side of the Old City Wall


Some of the olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane are 2000 years old and were around at the time of Yeshua.  Even though they were burned by the Romans, olive trees are hard to kill and eventually grew again from the root.  Sounds a bit like the Jewish people, huh?

Various sites around Jerusalem have been suggested for the site of Yeshua's crucifixion and burial.  However, in recent times, only two have been deemed worthy of serious consideration. The traditional site lies within the area now occupied by the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, in the Christian Quarter of the Old City.

The other location is a rocky hill north of Jerusalem's Old City named in honor of the British military hero General Charles Gordon, who promoted the site in the 19th century. Near Gordon's Calvary is a quiet garden, with a rock-hewn tomb popularly called the Garden Tomb.  This is the one we visited.


The Garden of Gethsemane The Hill of the Skull The Garden Tomb




Lynda took this photo of me, Carolyn, Doug, Leslie & Bob on the steps of the church in the Garden of Gethsemane.

We went to the Western Wall, inside the Old City, during Sukkot to pray.  Women went to the right side of the wall, while men prayed on the left side.  Men were required to wear a keepa/yarmulka when going to the wall to pray.

Entrance to the Western Wall A view of the Western Wall inside the Old City of Jerusalem
Sign pointing toward the Western Wall Another view of the Western Wall Jews gathering to pray at the Wall
We got rained on inside the Old City Heading to the Upper Room and posing for a photo before we go in
Old City Gates

I found the gates of the Old City fascinating.  First of all, they're mentioned in scripture.  Secondly, none of them look the same.  There are eight gates, or entrances, to the Old City.  They are Zion's Gate, Herod's Gate, the Damascus Gate, the Dung Gate, the New Gate, the Lion's Gate, the Jaffa Gate and of course the site of the Golden Gate (or Eastern Gate).


Psalm 122
1  I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.
2  Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem.
6  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper that love thee.
7  Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within they palaces.


The Lion's Gate

Jaffa Gate

Zion's Gate

The Lion's Gate is so named because of the four animals that decorate the gate's fašade.  Can you see them in the picture?  It's also called St. Stephen's Gate. 

It is named because the road from it leads to the port city of Joppa.  It is the only gate on the western side of the Old City.

Armies have assailed these stones for centuries; they are gone, and yet these stones remain. This gate leads to the Jewish Quarter.


The Eastern Gate

The Damascus Gate

The Dung Gate

This sealed gate on the eastern side of the Old City wall is believed to the gate that Messiah Yeshua will walk through when He returns to Israel

Located on the northern wall, it is the busiest and most magnificent of all Jerusalem’s gates.

Found in the south wall, this gate is closest in proximity to the Temple Mount. Since the 2nd century, refuse has been hauled out of the city through this gate.

David's Citadel

David's Citadel was built by King David.  It was not part of our original tour, so our friend Greg took Doug, Lynda and me to see it.


From the wall, archers were protected from aggressors.

Located right by the Jaffa Gate on the western side of the city,
David's Citadel is one of the most prominent landmarks in Jerusalem.


Doug, Lynda, Greg and I walk around inside David's Citadel.

Looking out a-top of the Citadel

The Citadel is an easily recognizable site in the Old City.


Just like in the song, Doug & Lynda "Rush on the City, and Run on the Walls".


Dancing in Jerusalem

Looking toward the garden area in the center of the Citadel

Doug & Lynda pose for a photo.


Can you tell we love to dance?  Here we are dancing at David's Citadel again.




Psalm 149:1-3  Praise ye the LORD.  Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation
     of saints.  Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.  Let
     them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.



Zechariah 14
16  And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem
     shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of

Sukkot (also called the Feast of Tabernacles) has been one of my favorite Biblical festivals ever since Carolyn & I started learning about the Hebrew Roots of our Christian faith.  Prophetically it reminds us of a time when Messiah Yeshua will return to "Tabernacle" with us. 

SiSigns of Sukkot could be seen everywhere inside of Israel.  We saw our first Sukka in Tiberias the day after Yom Kippur, but it wouldn't be our last.  They were everywhere in Jerusalem and the Old City.


Carolyn greets passers-by "Hag Sameach" ... Happy Holiday.


A sukka outside our window in Tiberias (The Sea of Galilee).font>

Two Sukkot inside the Old City

It's not unusual to see Sukkot on top of apartment buildings.


Lynda & Curtis enjoy a Falafel under the Sukka at a Jewish Quarter Falafel Stand.

A place for singing and outdoor performances

There was even a sukka at the Western Wall



Barry & Batya Segal sing at the Sukkot Conference he sponsors in Jerusalem.

The Benote Tzion Dancers perform

Neil & Jamie Lash Of "Jewish Jewels" were two of the many speakers at Barry & Batya's Conference.


Finding others to dance with
wasn't hard.

Doug, Lynda & I dance in a small group at one of the morning sessions.

Everyone is involved in the excitement, including dancing under the silks.

The Jerusalem Parade

14,000 people participated in the annual Sukkot holiday Jerusalem Parade this year.  The parade was originally a military parade, but eventually Christians asked if they could become part of the parade to show their solidarity and support of Israel.  Believers from all around the world, carrying flags and banners, some in costume, joined the Israelis as they marched through Jerusalem.


Carolyn is all smiles and ready
for the fun to begin.

Leslie gives out US flags
to an Israeli family.

A young Jewish couple comes up to Carolyn and asks, "Why did you come to Israel?"


The Israeli Army with their flags

Denmark shows their support.

Indonesia was there.


So was Portugal

Folks on stilts

Elaborate costumes


Here comes the USA

Doug & Lynda

The Benote Tzion Dancers


Carolyn showing her love for Israel

Carolyn and me


Israeli soldiers at the back of the Parade collect flags from the other nations as they walk.

Greg, Linda, Bob, Leslie, Curtis & Carolyn walk with the soldiers.  Doug & Lynda are behind us.

Israelis all along the way shook your hand, thanked you for coming to Israel.

The People

Israel is alive with many different ethnic groups.  The Old City is divided into four quarters: the Jewish Quarter, the Christian Quarter, the Armenian Quarter, and the Muslim Quarter.


Ultra-Orthodox Jews
head into the Old City

Shopping at the Shouk

We even had a Sukkot meal with Eleora, a Jewish believer living in Jerusalem

Shopping on Ben Yehuda Street, the Jewish Quarter and the Shouk

How can you go to Israel without shopping?  There was shopping everywhere you went.  The one concern with shopping in Israel is "Will all this stuff fit into my suitcase?"


In the Jewish Quarter of the Old City

Shopping on Ben Yehuda Street

Big Discounts for Having Courage, Loving, and Supporting Israel


Stopping to get something sweet to eat at the Shouk


Greg and Doug can't pass up the bread.

Clothing and "What-Nots"

Dried fruit and nuts




Fish of all kinds



Oranges, naturally green in Israel

Who says only women like to shop?


It's important for us to realize that in these final days before Yeshua returns, that we stand with Israel.  The U.S. is pushing for a Palestinian state.  God has strong words about dividing the land of Israel.

Joel 3
1  For behold in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and
2  I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead
     with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the
     nations, and parted my land.

The current map of Israel is in Orange.  The disputed parts are in Yellow.  Israelis were forced to leave the Gaza Strip in the Fall of 2005 and a week later Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast of the U.S.

Genesis 17
7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.

Genesis 15
18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.

This is certainly much larger than they currently control.

In 1947, the land of "Palestine" was divided into two parts.  Half (more like 3/4) was given to the Arabs living in the area and was called Jordan.  In 1948, Israel became a "reborn" nation and acquired the other part.  Now, the nations of the world want Israel to give up half of what they possess so that the "Palestinians" can have a state of their own.  They actually already have one - it's called Jordan.

It's important for you to know the truth about the land of Israel, and that God has given it to the Jews as an "everlasting possession".


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Next Year in Jerusalem!