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Feeling the stones, experiencing their story

Border Action

Viewing physical changes, in real time, as they are taking place along a countries border, can always be fascinating. Especially if it’s taking place along a fascinating border like the Israeli Syrian border in the Golan Heights.

A tremendous amount has been said and written regarding the Civil War in Syria, over the last several years. What started it, who is against who, Israel’s response out of self defense, the IDF’s medical humanitarian aid and Israel’s initiated attacks in an attempt to stop Iran from gaining a foothold in the region.

In this video we see another angle of this potentially volatile border. Tractors, on the Israeli side, are creating a rampart made out of dirt. it runs parallel to the already existing border fence. The rampart is west of the fence, on the Israeli side. The purpose of this new development is twofold.

1- Protecting Israeli Army patrols that are driving along the border. This is very important with the recent developments of Iranian backed attempts, through their Hizbullah proxies, to gain a foothold on this border. Back in the summer of 2006, an Israeli Army patrol was attacked by a Hizbullah ambush on the Lebanese border. Soldiers were then killed & kidnapped, sparking the second Lebanon war.

2- Stopping attempts of a mass of people from managing to break through the border. Large earth ramparts have been built outside of the Gaza Strip for this purpose. Breaching the Syrian border and having terrorists make their way into the Golan Heights, would be an imminent danger to both Israeli soldiers & civilians.

The fact that I was there and saw this change taking place with my own two eyes, was fascinating.

Politics

Former Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, hosted a US Senator about 30 years ago. They flew together, via helicopter, over the West Bank (who’s biblical name is Judea & Samaria). PM Begin was arguing the case of the strategic value of this area for Israel. Upon landing, Begin turned to the Senator and asked him regarding his thoughts. His response was “you absolutely belong in Judea & Samaria, but you absolutely need to leave the West Bank”. Welcome to politics in the Middle East.
When traveling through Israel, we meander our way through so many political issues, without even realizing sometimes. Israeli Arabs, Palestinians, West Bank, East Jerusalem, Settlements, different citizen statuses & rights, and so much more..So come check it out in the place where it’s happening..

Dead Sea Scrolls

It’s fascinating for anyone who can stand and read an original ancient manuscript. Now, when you talk about reading a 2000 year old Hebrew message on parchment, that can really blow your mind.
That’s how I feel when standing inside the Shrine of the Book with the Dead Sea Scrolls, in the Israel Museum. People often ask me where I enjoy guiding most in Israel. My answer is that it’s not ‘where’, but ‘what’ I enjoy guiding most. The answer is texts. Bringing ancient texts to life in the place where it happened. So for me, reading the original texts of the Dead Sea Scrolls (true, in an artificial Museum..Ok) can really give me chills.
Talking about ancient events, Passover/Pesach is around the corner. I can just imagine one of the writers of the Dead Sea Scrolls writing the story of Exodus 2000 years ago and saying “Wow, now that’s old news, the Jews left Egypt over 1000 years ago..”
Wishing you an enjoyable Pesach

City Of David

Have you ever enjoyed a good sandwich with many layers inside? I’m sure that you have. Jerusalem too has many layers. We naturally tend to walk along the upper layer of Jerusalem and experience it. There are many layers, though, that seek to be explored right underneath our feet. 
The 2000 year old drainage channel in the City of David is one of these places. Situated in the site where the story of Jerusalem began 4000 years ago, this drainage channel is relatively new to some of its older neighboring finds. One of the breathtaking findings inside here is a Western Wall stone that fell into it while the Western Wall was being constructed 2000 years ago. This means that we actually walk under a massive multi ton stone, hanging above our heads, that got stuck in the top of this drainage channel.
Come check it out, just saying..

Independence Hall

One of the cool things about historical sites isn’t just the older history that it represents. Rather, also the modern development of the site can be just (well, almost) as exciting. 

Independence Hall on the viby Rothschild Blvd, in Tel Aviv, does just that. The site at which David Ben Gurion declared Israel’s independence over 70 years ago, was almost forgotten about until 20 years ago. Barely even an afterthought. It started coming to life with visitors thanks to the Birthright program that started in the year 2000. Since then, almost every visitor from abroad has stood in this historical landmark and heard about the dramatic events that lead to the creation of the State of Israel. Of course, we’ll also experience the sites and original sounds from within the room where it really happened. 

Now we’re moving on to the next stage. The Museum was recently closed for major renovations. 3 years and 70 Million Shekel (roughly 20 Million Dollars) is the new big project. What’s it going to look like when the site reopens? Will we be able to actually talk to David Ben Gurion in the 21st Century? Maybe shake Golda Meir’s hand? We’ll just have to wait and see..

Whether it’s feeling the aura of the Western Wall, experiencing the history of the Church of the Holy Sepluchure, or enjoying the smells and sounds of the Arab Market. Jerusalem’s Old City will leave a lasting impression on whoever visits it.

Ancient coin relives our past

Minting coins is one of the ways that a people show their independence & nationality.
This 2000 year old coin is a call from those difficult times. The Jewish residence of Judea were trying to rid themselves of the Roman tyranny..Unfortunately, it ended badly for the Jewish people with the destruction of Jerusalem.

Dig for a Day family fun activity

Israel’s soil holds a lot of secrets in it. It’s out job to dig them up and discover them. Every year there are about 30 pre-designated sites that are dug up with professional Archaeological supervision. Amazing discoveries have been made that help to show us how are ancestors lived in their day to day life throught the highway of history.
Dig For a Day is a unique site in that it’s designated to be a family fun hands on activity, while at the same time being a real live dig with professional Archaeologists digging along with you. This attached video shows some of the digging fun that goes on in the caves at the Bet Guvrin National Park.

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