With a new school year around the corner…pop quiz! Which one of these statements about King Herod is FALSE?

A) King Herod was known for being extremely friendly.
B) King Herod was King of Judea from 37-4 BCE.
C) King Herod attempted to kill Jesus as a baby.
D) King Herod had astonishing architectural achievements in the Holy Land.
E) King Herod died in Jericho.

If you thought A) was false, then you are correct!

King Herod was not known for his friendliness.  He suffered from immense paranoia which led him to killing many he felt threatened by, including a wife and two sons.  In the New Testament, it mentions King Herod killing the male babies in Jerusalem so there would not be anyone to heir the throne after him.  Although his personal life and kingship were ugly, his architectural achievements were the complete opposite.  Here are a few of his major accomplishments you will see on a Holy Land tour.

The Second Temple (Jerusalem): The Second Temple construction began in 20 BCE, and was destroyed in 70 CE.  The remainings of this Temple are the outter walls, which includes the Western Wall–the holiest site for Jews today.  It is holy because it is the closest remaining wall to where the Temple used to stand. The Dome of the Rock is situated where the Temple itself was located.

Fun fact: This is a place for prayer, and often people write their prayers on pieces of paper and stick them into the cracks of the wall. Everyone is welcome to participate!

Masada Fortress (Judaean Desert): Masada was built between 37 and 31 BCE and was the first fortress King Herod built while in power.  Besides the magnificant view overlooking the Dead Sea, Masada is most known for the Siege of Masada from 73- 74 CE.  Years after the death of King Herod and soon after the destruction of the Second Temple, Jews hid in the abandoned Masada Fortress.  They fought and prevented the Romans from entering the Fortress for some time.  Eventually, the Romans got up to fhe Fortress, however, everyone there was dead–the Jews committed mass suicide to prevent becoming prisoners of the Romans.

Fun fact: The Siege of Masada symbolizes Jewish heroism and is used for Nationalistic purposes.  Therefore, this site is used for tourism as well as ceremonies for the Israeli army.

8955b2f543914708e1c650354bbd5c05 Caesarea Maritima (Caesarea):  This port city was built between 25-13 BCE and its ruins include the city walls, castle, theatre, and aqueduct.  The city was continuously used, and after King Herod, was ruled by Arabs and Crusaders.  This city is a must-see sight for Christian tours to Israel.  It is located where the Pilate Stone was found.  This stone mentions the name “Pontius Pilatus,” who, according to the New Testament, was the one who ordered Jesus to be crucified. Historians think that Pilatus lived in this city.  Additionally, this was where Peter baptized the first gentile convert.

Fun fact: This is a fun place for all groups, including for children.  Since the theatre is still in tact, it is a fun opportunity to show off your acting skills 😉

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Categories: Tours

Every holiday has its star food. Whether its Easter with chocolate eggs, or potato latkes and donuts during Hanukah, or Ramadan’s delicious Qatayef pastry, there is always a special food that is synonymous with a holiday.

Making honey

Making honey

And honey claims lead billing during the Jewish high holidays.

A bowl of honey is a traditional ‘dip’ eaten throughout the Jewish holiday period  – eaten  in hope of a sweet new year. Dipping apples in the honey reminds us just how sweet life can and hopefully will be in the coming year. Abbie Rosner, author of “Breaking Bread in the Galilee, cites Nogah Reuveni, one of the pioneering scholars of the Holy Land’s biblical landscape, who observed that of all the seven species, one is not a plant or plant product. Most of us might think of honey as coming from a beehive, but actually, it can refer to any sweet syrup made from boiled-down fruit. Reuveni thought that honey made from dates, known as Silan, was the seventh specimen which would make it consistent with the other products on the list. Silan is a popular authentic type of syrup that is quite similar to honey, and considered the authentic sweet Holy Land syrup.

With the late summer harvest now in full swing (one can easily enjoy a day out picking apples, pomegranates, peaches, grapes and more), tasting honey is also a late summer ritual in this biblical landscape. The Israel Honey Board is now holding its annual Honey Festival (August 22 through September 27) and if you are on a tour to Israel or the Palestinian Territories you can easily participate in the many kid-friendly activities that are underway throughout the region.

Honey manufacturing visitor centers focusing are offering a variety of fascinating activities focusing on the world of bees and honey, meeting with beekeepers, honey tastings, and learning about the importance of bees pollinating flowers in order to make fruit and vegetable plant food. Bees are critically important to the world, not only for the honey they product but because of their participation in pollination.

Below you’ll find a listing of several honey making visitor centers offering festival-related activities and tastings. Call before you go to find out the hours of operation and the exact times and costs for any special activities that are going on during the festival.

Galilee and the North

Kibbutz Shamir – Apiary of the Galilee Kibbutz Shamir

Within this visitor center you can watch the activities of the bees and the queen bee through the glass. Visitors learn about the health qualities and enjoy tasting the finest products directly from the source. A nice film on the life of bees and how all the hive products are produced including honey, beeswax, propolis, pollen (pollen), and bee venom production process. In addition to the apiary the center also produces olives.

Phone: 04-6947826046947826

Manot

Venus Reuben beekeeping since 1984 celebrates 30 years of service. Today, 650 Honey Reuben and another 300 hives and queens increase the powder, making the Galilee Flowers Beehive particularly large breeding farm.

There is a visitor center which tells varied activities on the world of bees, honey and more. Beehives tour includes the movie “Sweet Honey Queen to” explain the world of bees, self harvesting experience, viewing glass hive bee activity, “beehive kids’ craft corner with corner with wax sculptures, costumes, reading and research. “The Time Tunnel” – represents a unique way to teach kids about bees and honey since then includes the stories of the Bible.

Phone: 0544967420

Pek’in – Orchard Hive Pekiin

Founded by Jamal price Peqi’in village in 1977. Hir invites families and children enjoy a unique combination of rural tourism in nature Druze variety of educational activities and knowledge of the world of the bee. Visitors will learn about the process of honey production, the sundials and the history of the village Peqi’in Druze community.

Beehives, Workshop candles by rolling slabs crude beeswax special thread, decorative candles with colored sequins and pins. In addition, basket weaving can join to fill bottles with colored sand, petting zoo and spend petting zoo, camel riding, BBQ picnic benches and more.

Phone: 052-2477897

Machman im Honey

Machmanim was established in 1980 as a small apiary Galilee. Beehives and bees are handled carefully, allowing them to collect high-quality honey which come from within the flower nectar found in nature. You can come and visit the beehives and hear the ‘Natural Therapy’ healing products bees, pollen, propolis, bee venom therapy, honeycomb, and more and enjoy activities such as creating beeswax candles decorated and other workshops.

Tour “Through the Bible to nature”, a biblical village eco tour that combines visiting beehives, activities and preparation respecting nature: whole wheat bread, natural honey preparation of milk, tahini and sesame, white, hyssop herb tea. Visitors tour the observatory Michmanim, Khan stone, magnificent views, tour and tasting beds perfume ancient cuisine flavors.

Phone: 04-9881337, 052-2476768, Website: www.michmanim.co.il

Moshav Shedmot Devora –Tabor bee

Renowned Beekeeper Boaz participated in the 2014 in the international competition in Canada earning third place in the world. During “Honey Festival”, visitors are invited to watch a movie about the competition, children will enjoy being made up as a bee and other including a tour of the site. guidance on how to prepare honey and the learning about the importance of nature. Bees visit the observatory and increase patrol in silk cocoons thousands (only in Israel). Children enjoy a variety of creative activities such as preparing a chocolate honey, candle wax, plaster decoration, sign and cape bee room, living area with the option of hand-feeding pygmy goats and a giant bee going around among the guests. Honey Festival will be possible during the trip by tractor and wagon (extra charge).

Phone: 04-6769598, 050-5637645 Website: www.dvorat-hatavor.co.il

Alon Hagalil – Alon Ophir Apiary

The visit to this center in the northern Galilee includes a movie on the world of bees. Watch the bees inside the beehive glass, how they make the honey, meet the beekeeper and learn about the various products of the hive. Preparation of candle wax, tastings and more.
Who want to be able to tour the winery and taste the next Yiftachel wines.

Phone: Zvika 052-2824644 Website: www.yfw.co.il

Emek Hefer Apiary

View a short film for the whole family to our wonderful world of bees, the structure of the hive, collecting nectar to make honey and the importance health person, workshops for children on the subject of bees, honey and blossom, and a lecture accompanied by slides for adults, meeting area with a beekeeper apiary Emek Hefer to open a hive and demonstrate his work.

Factory store tasting of a selection of honeys, pollen (pollen), royal jelly and more. A tour of the factory and packaging production lines is also available.

Phone: 04-6370105Web-site-hefer.com/ http://www.emek

Central Israel

Kfar Bilu A – Inter Bee Farm Village

Lin’s Farm is a family farm that has been more than thirty years the bees are part of the family. Dedication in taking care of bees and honey production respondents Love-natural, pure, delicious and nutritious. To foster economic approximately 1000 hives around the country, where the economy shop with a natural delicacies produced in Lynn bees and honey are based on quality raw materials.

Visitors learn about the similarities and differences between the bee family man, dressed in work clothes with the help of bee keepers and games, creative activities, watch video and learn about glass hive field work, the communication between the bees, the queen, active and males.

Phone: 0542207965Website:www.linfarm.co.il

Kfar Chabad – 0333339606367

South (depending on the security situation)

Kibbutz Yad Mordecai –House of Honey and the Bee – Sweet experience in Kibbutz Yad Mordechai

Yad Mordechai Apiary was established in 1936 and is now the largest apiary in Israel, numbering about 5,000 hives. Visit Honey and Bee House “is a showcase for the world of bees, hive and the routine work of beekeepers. Visit suitable for all the family and includes: Opening honeycomb behind a glass wall, meeting with beekeepers demonstrate their work, display a hive of glass illustrates everything that was happening in the hives, watching a movie depicting the honey production and operation of honey harvesting, baking honey cakes, tasting different kinds of honey, creating candles beeswax, explanations of the bees in the hive family structure, living in it, explanations of health products that are produced from the hive, royal jelly, propolis, pollen, and more. Instead shop for Honeycomb.

The activities are part of an integrated card activity tourist resorts Yad Mordechai (driving a tractor and wagon, “a grouping of time” type recovery tank battle site and watching the milking barn).

Reservations: 08-6720559, 052-3923104 Website: www.ym-tayarut.co.il
052223923104

Moshav Ein Yahav – Porat apiary honey from the Desert

When love bees and desert growing art she met a charming attraction Prairie “art and agriculture meet in the desert” – a world of bees, colony formation presentation in memory of holidays Porat, founder session and meeting with artwork of Chacha Porat, including the works of bronze, iron and wood.

Apiary Porath introduces the visitors to the wonderful world of the honey bee, and the most important animal in the most fascinating lives today, a creative and unusual way. Museum space, in the light of special lighting and desert never displayed apiary bee close-ups ever, thousands of bees flying metal museum space, hives containing bees transparent low-down busy work diary. In addition, there is a movie about a world of bees and shop to buy honey, olive oil and wine. In addition, there is a possibility the meeting and dinner in the dining room of the old eye and view the presentation about the establishment.

Phone: 052-3666032 or via the website: www.45c.co.il

For more information visit this website.
Additional information on the festival site Honey Council – www.honey.org.il

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Categories: events, Food

Sacred Music Festival to strike a chord of unity in Jerusalem

This September, the city of Jerusalem, through its Jerusalem Season of Culture, will issue a clear and pure call to the peoples of the world to ascend to Jerusalem and celebrate with sounds of unity and compassion. Beginning September 9 through September 12 Jerusalem will host a musical journey that spans continents, definitions and faiths. Over 150 artists, 60 of which will be coming from overseas, will take part in the festival’s performances and offer audiences an experience of healing, spirituality, hope and some heavenly music

Due to the hostilities in the south, Jerusalem cancelled and postponed dozens of cultural events that were to be part of the Jerusalem Season of Culture’s annual slate of special events. However, with the renewed quiet, the city of Jerusalem is proud to announce that the Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival will take place as originally scheduled in collaboration with hundreds of leading artists from Israel and across the globe and the festival will begin on September 9 and is to span four days..

Performances will take place in unique and historical venues in Jerusalem including King Herod’s fortress – the Tower of David, situated just inside the Jaffa Gate, Zedekiah’s Cave, where the stones used to build Solomon’s Temple were quarried -just south of the Damascas Gate, and at the Music Center inside Mishkenot Shaanim. Performances will unfold under the night sky and are sure to off a multi-sensory and mesmerizing experience embracing all sacred traditions.

Whether you are visiting Jerusalem for the evening or on a  Holy Land tour, pilgrimage tour to Israel, or any other Christian or cultural tour, make sure to join the festivities while staying in Jerusalem.

Participating artists include: The Klezmatics with Joshua Nelson (USA), Agama Naná Vasconcelos (Brazil), Naná Vasconcelos (Zimbabwe), Orchestre Chabab Al Andalous (Morocco), Ehud Banai, Piris Eliyahu and many more.

Calendar of events for Jerusalem's sacred music Festival

Calendar of events for Jerusalem’s sacred music Festival

 

The schedule of events for the festival is as displayed below.

For tickets:

Please call 972-2-6535854, or email box@jsoc.org.il

For more information visit the Jerusalem Season of culture website.

 

 

 

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Categories: Culture, events

No Holy land travel experience is complete without tasting your way through the myriad of cultures present all over this land. And while ice cream and sorbet may not be traditionally Israeli or Palestinian dishes, they are still quite popular in the Holy Land, particularly during the hot  summer months.  The sorbet and ice cream here are fresh and rich in taste and are worth eating…often.

So, to all the ice cream and sorbet lovers wondering what the Holy Land offers in this all important food category, this post is for you.

I recently happened upon an unusual ice cream store where I was introduced  to a world of new frozen flavors, many of which were inspired by the many cultures present in this region.

Mousseline Store

photo courtesy Jessica Curhan for Breakingbreadjourneys.com

Unlike other ice cream stores, you won’t find typical chocolate, vanilla, or coffee at Mousseline.  Rather,   flavors like wasabi, berry cheesecake, basil, and olive oil and interesting Middle eastern inspired sorbet flavors such as grapefruit-basil, sour cherry, lemon-mint, and almond are a few of the unique tastes offered.

Mousseline is located in Jerusalem’s Machane Yehuda (also known as the Jewish shuk) situated in the west side of Jerusalem.  The store prepares its ice cream using  the freshest ingredients from within Machane Yehuda market, producing a regular supply of incredibly fresh and tasty frozen flavors.

During my first visit to Mousseline, I was intimidated by all the unusual flavors. I did not even know which one to try first! Luckily, the friendly staff allowed me to sample as many as I wanted and even suggested which ones to try.

Mousseline's grapefruit basil sorbet

Mousseline’s grapefruit-basil sorbet, photo courtesy Jessica Curhan for Breakingbreadjourneys.com

The phrase I repeatedly used was,“ef-shar li-tome? meaning “may I taste?” No need to worry, though,  the staff speaks fluent English (and perhaps even other languages).

With pressure mounting after several samples, I ultimately decided on the grapefruit-basil sorbet. Two thumbs up!

An Israel cultural tour will most likely include a visit to the Machene Yehuda shuk. Make sure you take the time to walk around and not only see the different stands selling colorful fruit, vegetables, nuts, candy, pastries and more but taste your way through as well. To know a people is to know their food.

Which flavors would you like to taste?

For more information about the store and its location, click HERE.

For the store’s website (in Hebrew), click HERE.

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Categories: Culture, Food

The route to finding those unique one-of-a-kind souvenirs is one of the most delightful pastimes of any Holy Land tour. Of course there are numerous  galleries to choose from and a dearth of souvenir shops eagerly willing to take your money. But what is most memorable is finding that special something just when you least expect it.

That’s exactly what happened on a recent trip to Mizpe Hayamin hotel, a charmingly rustic organic spa property nestled in the Galilean hills overlooking the Sea of Galilee, the Hula valley and Golan Heights that lay beyond to the east. Drawn there for some rest and relaxation (during the most recent spate of hostilities) we participated in the hotel’s daily organic farm tour led by a local agricultural expert and Galilee resident. It was during this two hour walking tour that we happened upon a small art gallery situated in an area that we never would have found had our guide not walked us through the small building behind the property en route to the fields. The gallery offers a unique array of handmade jewelry, ceramics and other items made strictly by renowned artists from all over the Galilee who the hotel owner has cleverly brought together under one roof. The back room featured a temporary exhibition by artist Aviva Sawicki, a local Galilean resident, who has specialized in recycled paper for the last 13 years.

Aviva Sawicki recycled dress design

Aviva Sawicki recycled dress design, photo courtesy Elisa Moed for Breakingbreadjourneys.com

In this new exhibition, however, Sawicki focuses her attention on recycling one of most detrimental of products in terms of its environmental destruction – plastic bags. She fuses together colored bags to create lovely, vibrant dresses in the hope that her creations will provide a greater awareness of environmental issues. By focusing on dresses – she effectively reminding us that we are a consuming society. According to her website, one of Sawicki major interests is to focus her work on materials used daily and to hopefully leave a tangible record of our world in the 21st century.”

Mizpe Hayamim was an incredibly relaxing hotel and I give it the highest recommendation for people seeking a quiet respite, unparalleled spa services, and excellent food- but discovering this charming art gallery was a huge and unexpected bonus.

To learn more about Anna visit her website.

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Categories: Art, Culture

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