Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Holy Land is Calling

Deseret Book’s Israel - Fall 2008
by Deseret Book
Israel: Where Inspiration Awaits You
Holy Land in the fall: 2008
Hosted by: Dr. Kaye Hansen
The long awaited opportunity to visit the land where Jesus lived and taught once again awaits visitors; places you only heard about from Bible stories will come alive. Your scriptures will jump off the pages as Dr. Kaye Hanson shares her insights and a wealth of understanding of the land, its history, its future, and it’s Holy Son.

Day 1, Tuesday October 7, 2008: Today you will leave home and start your magnificent journey to Israel.

Day 2, Wednesday October 8, 2008: Tel Aviv – Jaffa -
Welcome to Israel! As you begin your journey in this ancient land, you will notice that the mountains have hidden secrets and the old ruins have legends. For 3,000 years on this small patch of land, men have toiled and battled; prayed and worshiped; and added their own small humanity to the history of this country. Listen and let the land of Israel tell you the stories of its past. Sitting on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, Jaffa still stands as one of the world’s oldest ports. Tradition claims that Jaffa was settled by Noah’s youngest son when the Flood receded; and ever since it’s founding, Jaffa has been a center of commerce, activity and historical events. Located in one of the small alleyways, visit Simon the Tanner’s house that remains a monument to the wonderful revelation Peter the Apostle received to go and preach the gospel to all the world. Depending on your arrival time, you will have free time to stroll the beach in Tel Aviv or take a short nap in your room at the Grand Beach Hotel(or similar) before our group welcome dinner and meeting.

Day 3, Thursday October 9, 2008: Caesarea - Mt. Carmel - Megiddo - Nazareth – Village of Cana – Tiberias -
“And on the morrow, they entered into Caesarea…Cornelius thy prayer is heard.” Enter Caesarea, remains of a city founded by Herod, residence of Pontius Pilate and a prison for Paul. Sit in the well-preserved amphitheater overlooking the blue sea and hear the story of Paul’s conversion of the Centurion. The scenery begins to change to the beautiful green pastures and high rolling hills of the Jezreel Valley as we approach Mt Carmel where the prophet Elijah and the priests of Baal contested their faith. Not far away is Megiddo, the tragic site of ancient bloody battles where nations were won and lost. Upon these same tragic fields, the great and terrible last battle of Armageddon will be fought. Journey next to Nazareth, the quaint town where Jesus Christ spent his childhood, learned his earthly vocation as a carpenter and grew and waxed strong in spirit. We will see the village of Cana, where Christ turned water into wine before heading to Tiberias where we will spend the night.

Day 4, Friday October 10, 2008: Tiberias Branch - Mt. Tabor – Nazareth – Sea of Galilee - Today we will return to Nazareth to visit the Church of the Annunciation where the Archangel Gabriel delivered his message to Mary that she would give birth to Jesus. We will spend time at the Church of the Synagogue, a location similar to one Christ would have taught at. “And he lifted up his hands and blessed them…while he blessed them, he was carried up into heaven.” Mount Tabor is one of the mountains traditionally claimed to be the site of the transfiguration of Jesus Christ. You will thrill to the almost hair-raising ride up the mountain, but once at the summit, you will feel the peace and calm of the surrounding valley. Your trip to the North would not be complete without a stop by the newly purchased and dedicated LDS branch building in Tiberias. You will travel to the shores of the Beloved Sea of Galilee. You will sail upon the Sea to view the area of Jesus Christ’s early ministry. As the wind carries your boat, note the halo of mountains that surrounds its shores. It is special moments like this for which you came to Israel.

Day 5, Saturday October 11, 2008: Capernaum - Mount of Beatitudes - Dan Caesarea Philippi - Golan Heights –
A visit to Capernaum, the place where Jesus lived and recruited His first followers is on the agenda for this Sabbath. Stand on the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount, after a brief Sacrament Service, and ponder the great events that took place here. You will also travel further north in order to walk through the nature reserve of Tel Dan, sight of Jeroboam’s ancient Temple in Solomon’s divided kingdom. At Caesarea Philippi, Jesus Christ proclaimed his divinity to his disciples, ordained Peter, and declared revelation to be “the rock” upon which the church was built. Pass the Golan Heights as you travel back to the valley of the Galilee.

Day 6, Sunday, October 12, 2008: Jordan River - Bet She’ an – Gideon’s Spring – Jericho – Bethany – Jerusalem -
Today you will stop to visit the Yardenit Baptismal Site on the banks of the Jordan River. It is here that people from around the world, representing diverse denominations, still come to be baptized. You will then take a short ride to the ancient tel of Bet She’an, where 6,000 years of civilization seem to unfold among the ruins. It is believed to be the very Bet She’an of the Old Testament where the former King of Israel, Saul, was fastened to the city wall without his head by the conquering Philistines. Leaving the fertile valleys of the Galilee, we will stop at Gideon’s Spring, where the great lesson of trust was taught between God, Gideon, and his warriors. We visit Mt. Gilboa. It was here that Saul, the first king of Israel and his sons died fighting the Philistines. We will then travel down the Jordan Valley on our way to Jericho, the oldest city in the world. Leaving Jericho, we pass the Judean Wilderness where the Savior had his 40-day
spiritual experience and continue to Bethany, a small town on the other side of the Mount of Olives, to see the tomb in which Lazarus was raised from the dead by Jesus. At last you will ascend to the beloved city of Jerusalem where we will stay for 6 nights at the Sheraton Plaza or similar.

Day 7, Monday, October 13, 2008: Western Wall – Davidson Center – City of David – Hezekiah’s Tunnel –
This morning you will be welcomed to Jerusalem from a beautiful overlook of the city. Afterwards the group will continue to the Old City. The Western Wall is the most important site in all of Jewish civilization because these rough massive stones are all that is left of the great Second Temple. Revered and honored, the Jews wait and hope for the day they will rebuild their third and final temple upon these sacred remnants. You will also visit the Southern Steps of the Temple Mount, and walk the paths Jesus trod. The archeological park of the Davidson Center gives you the chance to see recently unearthed ruins as well as see a virtual tour of how the Temple Mount might have been during Herodian times. The oldest part of Jerusalem is located on a ridge that slopes downhill where the present Old City of David now sits. Whether you choose the dry or wet tunnel, the tour of Hezekiah’s Tunnel will be something you will never forget. This remarkable structure hid Jerusalem’s water supply from the Assyrians and thus saved the city from destruction.

Day 8, Tuesday, October 14, 2008: Old City- Dome of the Rock - Room of The Last Supper – Caiaphas’ House -
Above the western wall is Mount Moriah where the Islamic shrine, the Dome of the Rock, is located. Other stops today will include the House of Caiaphas, which owns the dark and sad dungeon that once imprisoned the Savior. To experience the cold dismal cells and feel the sorrow and grieving of such a place, brings understanding and gratitude to our hearts. Entering the oldest quarter of Jerusalem, follow the winding alleys and crowded streets to the Pools of Bethesda. You will also visit St. Anne’s Cathedral and Sister of Sion. Discover the ancient city beneath the modern streets where the old paving stones are carved with Roman games. Visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, erected over what some believe to be the possible site of the crucifixion. Located in the old quarter of Jerusalem, is the site believed to be the Room of the Last Supper. Devoid of gilded statues or ornate chapels, the quiet simplicity and elegance of this room helps one to focus on the words of Christ and the poignant last moments with his beloved disciples. (B,L,D)

Day 9, Wednesday, October 15, 2008: Ein Gedi - Qumran - Dead Sea – Masada -
We enter the strange and barren desert of the Dead Sea. Once the Biblical Lands of Moab and Edom, the Dead Sea basin has been a refuge to prophets, zealots and outcasts throughout time. Buried in the beige limestone bluffs, the ruins of Qumran still tell the story of the Essenes, a reclusive Jewish sect that buried the now famous Dead Sea Scrolls. Further south lies Ein Gedi, the oasis where David hid from King Saul. From the desert floor, ascend by cable car to the spectacular cliff-top fortress of Masada, where a community of 960 Jews preferred death at their own hands to the indignity of surrender to the overwhelming Roman forces. While at the Dead Sea, you cannot miss the opportunity to enjoy a dip in the buoyant waters and bathe in the wonderful medicinal mud! Even Cleopatra sent her slaves to retrieve this magical mud in order to preserve her legendary beauty.

Day 10, Thursday, October 16, 2008: Israel Museum - Shrine of the Book - Yad Veshem Holy Land Model -Bethlehem - Shepherd's Field -
Discover the treasures of the Israel Museum and the Shrine of the Book, the site chosen to house the Dead Sea Scrolls. This unique building is shaped like the ancient pottery in which the precious scrolls lay hidden for thousands of years. We will also visit the Holy Land Model, a unique scale model of Jerusalem at the time of Christ. The model visually explains the layout of the ancient city as well as the design and magnitude of the Second Temple. One of the most memorable pages of Jewish history unfolds as we visit Yad Veshem, the official memorial to the six million Jews who perished in the Nazi-wrought Holocaust in Europe. Music, bells and churches adorn the little town of Bethlehem for it was here that the Light of the World was given mortal life. Pilgrimages, sacred holidays and festivities occur all year long to celebrate the birth of Christ. Tradition holds that the small humble inn with just a stable for lodging was located where the Church of the Nativity now stands. Shepherds still tend their flocks on the fields overlooking Bethlehem just as they did over 2,000 years ago when the angel appeared bringing them glad tidings of great joy. Gathered on these fields, we sing the beloved hymns and listen to the wondrous story – a Christmas celebration to be cherished for years to come.

Day 11, Friday, Friday, October 17, 2008: Mt. of Olives – BYU Jerusalem Center – Free Time -
This morning you will have another view of Jerusalem, from the Mt. of Olives. After which, we will visit the BYU Jerusalem Center for a brief tour and to attend a short organ concert. The setting of this magnificent building will warm your heart as you learn the story of how the Center came to be. Afternoon will bring you time to finish any shopping you would like to do or return to visit any sites you would have liked to linger longer at. You may want to plan on spending a portion of your free time at the Western Wall just before sunset to see the Bride of the Sabbath Celebration. Your heart will be left with the question, “Do you welcome the Sabbath in such a joyous manner?”

Day 12, Saturday, October 18, 2008: Mount of Olives - Garden of Gethsemane - Garden Tomb Begin with a visit to the Orson Hyde Park on the Mount of Olives and then attend Sacrament Services at the remarkable BYU Jerusalem Center. The full-length windows of the chapel reveal a breath-taking view of the Old City and the Dome of the Rock. At the beautiful Garden Tomb, there is a limestone hill, which many revere as Golgotha, site of the crucifixion. Just around that hill is an old cemetery with an ancient tomb that once held the Savior’s mortal body and saw its glorious resurrection. There is a sign on the door of the tomb that says, “Do not look for Him here for He is risen”. You will never forget this moment in your life as you look for Him, not in the tomb but within your own life. Casting one’s eyes to the south our gaze rests on the Mount of Olives on whose slopes the Garden of Gethsemane lies nestled. Feel the powerful spirit in the Garden as you envision the momentous events, which took place at this sacred site. You’ll have ample time to spend in thought at both the Garden of Gethsemane and Garden Tomb. Late evening departure for USA.

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