Revisiting Israel – Day One

It's been nearly ten years since we visited Israel, but the memories and the pictures are something I return to daily. (The pictures are a great help with visualizing the stories I write.) We took about 1400 pictures during our ten day trip, and I have since uploaded many of them onto Facebook and Flickr (see links on the sidebar at the right), but neither place carries the journal of what we saw and did there. I posted seven parts to that journal here in March 2008, but noticed when I went back to find those postings that all of the pictures were missing! Not sure what happened there, but somehow in the transfer from one website to another, they didn't make it through. So I decided to post the journal (with pictures) again for those who might have missed it and don't want to wade through my archives to find them. For more photos of the trip, please visit Flickr or my Facebook Page.

Day One

Arriving at Ben Gurion Airport2
Arriving at Ben Gurion Airport2
Streets of Jaffa1
Streets of Jaffa1

March 5, 2008 we arrived at Ben Gurion Airport, bleary-eyed and suffering from jet lag around 7:30 p.m. or 19:30 Israeli time. (They keep military time, which took a bit of an adjustment when reading the tour bus clock.) Our flight was delayed due to weather in Detroit and Atlanta. I have never seen such black clouds up close and personal. Outside our window the sky was a sea of black with an orange tint bracketing the horizon. At times the blackness rose up and blotted the color raising angry wisps of smoke our way. We flew on through it with a bit of a bumpy ride. I was amazed at my total lack of fear. Part of the way I put my Ipod on shuffle and the first song to play was “It Is Well With My Soul.” Every song that played through that flight was one of trust and peace. And I didn’t pick which songs would play.

Once we did arrive and headed to our tour bus, some of our group had trouble with passport control, causing us another delay, but we eventually made it to the hotel around 9 p.m-ish.

After we dumped our luggage in our rooms, our first adventure was a mile walk through Tel Aviv to the 4000-year-old town of Jaffa (known as Joppa in the Bible.)

Jaffa means “pretty” and I would agree this area along the Mediterranean Sea is a pretty sight. Our guide pointed out a bush there that medical researchers are exploring as a possible help for people with diabetes. Interesting…

Stairway of Jaffa
Stairway of Jaffa

The walk through this area within Tel Aviv took us down what seems like a typical city in any other town in the world until you get to this little section that has stood here for 4000 years. Jesus would have known this spot, as would David and probably Abraham if they went that far over to the coast.

But Jaffa (Joppa) is most famous for the place where Jonah caught the ship to Tarshish when he ran away from the Lord’s command to go to Ninevah to preach repentance to the people there. It is also known in the book of Acts as the place where the apostle Peter prayed and God raised the woman Dorcas from the dead. (Acts 9)

By the time we finished our quick tour of Jaffa, we were thoroughly exhausted. Even my attempts to journal the events show a shaky hand because I could not stay awake! The next day was even busier, but more on that tomorrow…

Shalom~