Visiting Israel

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JohnDB

Well-known member
Jan 16, 2021
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#1
Since I have visited Israel within the last ten years...

People got questions...
And I got answers from my personal experience. I didn't use a guided tour...we went as we seen fit and just bummed around. We used air b&b to make our reservations for hotels or homes and had a time of it.

We caught a sharut (bus/shared cab) from the airport to Jerusalem. They don't accept any currency except for Shekels (dollars are worthless there except for a very few places)

Most taxis you catch on the road will be over the top expensive. So grab them from the hotels or concierge or restaurants or wherever....but DO NOT flag one down. They will charge outrageous prices.
 

JohnDB

Well-known member
Jan 16, 2021
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#2
Anything?
 

JaumeJ

Senior Member
Jul 2, 2011
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#3
While your were there did you notice any strong similarity to the original Israel with the government being the writings of the Old Testament.? I saw none whatsoever.
I did, however, take a cheroot from Tel Aviv across the country to Jerusalem. My stay there was brief, six months, but I love the people of Israel, but the politics are just that. Politics, mostly designed to expand the lands and gain wealth.
I am glad for the disappointments for they led me to understand that it is there as the land of fulfilling the prophecies and nothing more.
Allwho love God are the Issrael of God, none others.
 

JohnDB

Well-known member
Jan 16, 2021
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#4
While your were there did you notice any strong similarity to the original Israel with the government being the writings of the Old Testament.? I saw none whatsoever.
I did, however, take a cheroot from Tel Aviv across the country to Jerusalem. My stay there was brief, six months, but I love the people of Israel, but the politics are just that. Politics, mostly designed to expand the lands and gain wealth.
I am glad for the disappointments for they led me to understand that it is there as the land of fulfilling the prophecies and nothing more.
Allwho love God are the Issrael of God, none others.
What I did notice is that hate and age went hand in hand.

The older the people the more obnoxious and hate filled they were generally speaking. The younger generation...the kids in the IDF and College age kids or just getting out of college or Service. They really didn't have much in the way of hate for their neighbors going on.
But they all told tales of going out on patrol looking for the terrorists. A lot of phoney calls were always made. They would know the outcome every time before they searched...if the person was young they would find nothing...no evidence of anything other than being slightly antisocial.
If the suspect house was older...they would find everything from explosives to terrorist literature.

Most of the younger generation were kind and helpful and had a sort of self sufficiency...and if they were in sales... obnoxious.
 

Going_Nowhere

Well-known member
Nov 10, 2019
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#5
Did you have a case of Jerusalem syndrome while you were there? 😵
 

JohnDB

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Jan 16, 2021
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#6
The food?

Expensive and not as good as Europe.
I like pork products. I like pizza. I like bacon cheeseburgers. I love good bread with butter and honey.

All these things were in short supply and not very good there. What was local fare was rather expensive and not as good as other travel destinations. Alcohol and tobacco products were outrageous in price.
Palestinian foods weren't much better but did have some spice.

Also...if you happen to get an upset tummy from the brown pepperoni (no red food coloring) and need some Pepto bismal... you are going to have to bribe the pharmacist for it. (Understanding of American people) I highly recommend bringing your own. It's a controlled substance there.
 

JohnDB

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Jan 16, 2021
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#7
Did you have a case of Jerusalem syndrome while you were there? 😵
No...
Never felt the need.
I did hear about it but didn't experience it personally...the bed linens remained on the bed at all times.
 

JaumeJ

Senior Member
Jul 2, 2011
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#8
The food?

Expensive and not as good as Europe.
I like pork products. I like pizza. I like bacon cheeseburgers. I love good bread with butter and honey.

All these things were in short supply and not very good there. What was local fare was rather expensive and not as good as other travel destinations. Alcohol and tobacco products were outrageous in price.
Palestinian foods weren't much better but did have some spice.

Also...if you happen to get an upset tummy from the brown pepperoni (no red food coloring) and need some Pepto bismal... you are going to have to bribe the pharmacist for it. (Understanding of American people) I highly recommend bringing your own. It's a controlled substance there.
You are right ab out the food preparation. It was very good on the Kibbutz where I stayed, working of course. The people were wonderful there, and they wanted me to stay. I said that I am not Jewish. They said,"So what.).
I chose a non-religious Kibbutz, and it worked out well.
 

JohnDB

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Jan 16, 2021
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#9
One of the most remarkable things in Israel is Sunrise.

This is going to require a bit of geography knowledge to understand.

Most of Israel is below sea level. This includes Tiberius lake (sea of Galilee) So there is usually that sea haze everywhere.

As the sun rises over the Himilayan mountains in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India it races across the deserts of Iraq, Iran, and Jordan. It is light outside for hours before sunrise. And the temperature is pleasant.

Then, once the sun comes up over the Golan heights you can use the thermometer as a fan because it's moving that fast. And it gets immediately HOT. At least a 20-25 degree Fahrenheit change in the span of 15-20 minutes.

The night life in Israel is extensive. It appears to be their social hours as the shops and restaurants and shopping malls (in Jerusalem the old train station has been converted into a mall) are filled with people where during the day they remain mostly empty.

Listening to the party boat on Lake Tiberius play Bon Jovi with a disco ball playing with the lights was a bit much for having a religious experience...but we did find it amusing.
 

JohnDB

Well-known member
Jan 16, 2021
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#10
You are right ab out the food preparation. It was very good on the Kibbutz where I stayed, working of course. The people were wonderful there, and they wanted me to stay. I said that I am not Jewish. They said,"So what.).
I chose a non-religious Kibbutz, and it worked out well.
Which Kibbutz did you stay at? There aren't that many there anymore.
 

JaumeJ

Senior Member
Jul 2, 2011
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#11
Which Kibbutz did you stay at? There aren't that many there anymore.
Kibbutz Mishmar HaNegev (Guardian of the Negev). I worked first in the pardes(orange groves), then they put me in the assam(grainery mixing feed for the livestock), and finally in the chicken rasing area (the lool). I thoroughly enjoyed working in each place, and they liked me working in each place. I was tending about 300,000 chickens.

I brought a box with a variety of Burpee seeds. The children started a garden with them. As far as I know it may still be going now. That was in 1972.

During the Fesstival of Lights there was a parade, and one of the children, seeng me passively watching them, ran over, took me by the hand and I was converted from a bystander to a participant in the parade. The boy, Yaron, gave m his torch to carry. I never felt so humbled. But that was then and now is now. God bless you. I lvoe your posts on Israel. Nothing wrong with being truthful, nothing at all.
 

JohnDB

Well-known member
Jan 16, 2021
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#12
IMG_20160722_044208156.jpg
Sunrise on Lake Tiberius (Sea of Galilee)
 

JaumeJ

Senior Member
Jul 2, 2011
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#13
Achav ani rotze medaver lyla tov mpo. Now I would like to say good night from here. All love in Jesus Yeshua.. you brother in "Spain...
 

JohnDB

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Jan 16, 2021
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#14
Achav ani rotze medaver lyla tov mpo. Now I would like to say good night from here. All love in Jesus Yeshua.. you brother in "Spain...
It has been wonderful talking with you as well.
May the Lord bless you with some wonderful dreams tonight.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
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#15
Interesting...was there much troubles/hassles at the border? Like checkpoints etc.

What were some of the memorable biblical sites you saw? Did you feel closer to God while you were in Israel or Jerusalem?

Where there many trees...if so what were the most common ones you saw.
 

JohnDB

Well-known member
Jan 16, 2021
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#16
Interesting...was there much troubles/hassles at the border? Like checkpoints etc.

What were some of the memorable biblical sites you saw? Did you feel closer to God while you were in Israel or Jerusalem?

Where there many trees...if so what were the most common ones you saw.
Checkpoints weren't really an issue. We are obviously Americans and tourists...the whole place seems to revolve around separating us from our money.

The biggest hassles were the taxi's. They kept trying to rob us for exorbitant prices for cab fare. Trying to get anywhere that didn't have the means to call one for a return was always the biggest hassle. Or they would drive around in circles to run the meter up.

Israel is really small. It's not as big as the state of TN. In the picture of sunrise above there are two separate towns mentioned in scripture...and one that is referred to but not really mentioned well and a fourth that we were using to take the picture. You can't see them because of the haze and time of day...but you could see them at midday or at night.

Trees and vegetation?
Israel uses "soaker hoses" that drip water directly at the base of plants.
Whenever there's water there's all kinds of plants and animals and stuff...where there's no water...just rocks. And in some places not even the rocks and dust.

There's a chain link fence separating Israel from Palestinians...it has gates in it every so many miles. There's nothing as lonely as an IDF soldier guarding a gate.

And a word about Palestinians. Their government is wholly corrupt. They don't have garbage trucks...so the landscape in Palestinian areas is full of trash. They barely have some water in some areas. They of course do not have any public works that sees to it that there's shrubs and trees along the roads...if you can really call them that. Hezbollah (the church and not the terrorists) actually does some community projects for children and adults. But from my understanding they have taught Americans how to abuse charitable giving. A million dollars raised for a $5,000 well is the norm...and likely the well will only be half dug.

There's not a lot in Palestinian areas that are of interest. There are a few. Caleb's Valley in Hebron (crappy mall). Bethlehem...
Cesarea Phillipi and the Pan Sanctuary/church...the spring that caused Jesus to say "upon this rock".
(Requires a hike)
Then there's where David was dodging Saul...the spring at the bottom of the crevice. (Names are driving me nuts this morning)

Palestinian areas are more where you need to be careful. Israel itself is fine...the taxi's are the worst of the lot there and IDF is on EVERY corner. (Police state) You are perfectly safe from everyone except salesmen.

Elijah's cave is going to be interesting. (North) the Jews have the bottom and it was closed for Purim while we were there. But the Catholics on top don't have Purim and actually this was an excellent location to buy souvenirs in their gift shop. They even took American dollars. I even ate a few ripe blackberries growing there...they were going to rot otherwise. But NOBODY argues about how fire came down and cooked that black basalt into white marble...the top of the cave shows that quite easily.

The location Where Jesus got baptized is a kibbutz... another excellent place to hang out. Gift shop was only moderately pricey. They got many Arc of the Covenant there. But the bottles of water are what you are after there. Maybe even getting wet yourself.

IMG_20160722_143159391.jpg
 

Lanolin

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Dec 15, 2018
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#17
taxis do that everywhere...not just Israel. I dont know if uber is any different. Some places are just tourist traps.
Did you have a dip in the Jordan river?

Unless there is a local collection scheme then most places are going to be full of trash. The richer areas still generate trash they just dump it somewhere else.
 

Lanolin

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Dec 15, 2018
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#18
Interesting about. the trees...or lack of them. I guess it doesnt rain that much there and they need to get all their water from the river or underground. Israel is right near the desert...
 

JohnDB

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Jan 16, 2021
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#19
taxis do that everywhere...not just Israel. I dont know if uber is any different. Some places are just tourist traps.
Did you have a dip in the Jordan river?

Unless there is a local collection scheme then most places are going to be full of trash. The richer areas still generate trash they just dump it somewhere else.
The Temple mount is a classic example. The Israeli side of it and Old City Jerusalem is clean and clear of any and all trash. But the Palestinian side is littered with debris and wrappers...

That picture above by the sign...that stone is called Jerusalem stone. Everything is made of it. It has a unique look. And if they can't get any they make the concrete look like it with surface treatments.

The place where Jesus was baptized in the Jordan river...
Unique place.
This is where the Israelites first crossed over into Israel as well... hasn't changed at all in the 5,000 years.

It currently is a Kibbutz. Beautiful place. And of course I went into the water. Nice stairwell and area there for doing just that. And you can rent some baptism robes and a dressing room or change into a bathing suit in public.
Public functional nudity is common there. (You don't wander around naked) but nobody will raise a fuss. We ran into an Austrian family there who wanted to baptize their baby so mom and grandma changed clothes right in front of my wife and I. But watched to see if we were going to yell or something.
We didn't. They played in the shallow water for a while and we just took in the sights and sounds.

One thing to note...
It's not that deep..
Maybe waist deep at best (for short people) at the dug out place.
And I can't imagine Jesus rolling around in the mud...the other bank isn't so sloped and is steep.

IMG_20160721_104008794.jpg
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
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#20
cool...I cant imagine it being too deep otherwise people would drown

Hmm with the clean vs dirty place I kinda wonder if the israeli side just dumps their trash to the palestinian side.

I know in my experience working in local govt that is what people do...and they would also dump their trash in the rivers as well. But if there isnt any tax collection going on to pay for rubbish removal (or its too expensive) it just doesnt get done. If they dont collect enough to pay for rubbish removal then you get less maintenance done and the place just goes downhill very fast. It needs to be done every week, even every day (sweeping, weeding etc) but if there are no staff to do it or they dont get paid much it will soon look shabby.