links to the land


Aramaic: The Last of the Aramaic Speakers

“The most fluent speakers are all beyond retirement age, and the language is expected to die within a generation. … What makes the effort so difficult is that modern Aramaic is not one language but more like a family of languages, with up to 150 different dialects. None of them sound like the language of the Babylonian Talmud or of Jesus. According to Professor Otto Jastrow, professor of Arabic in the department of Middle East and Asian studies at the Estonian Institute of Humanities of the Tallinn University, ‘a speaker from biblical times wouldn’t understand a single word, or even recognize it’s Aramaic.'”

Beersheba: The Reforms of Hezekiah

“The reforms of King Hezekiah of Judah (716/15–687/86 B.C.; Thiele) are described in 2 Kings 18.”

Google: Google Street View of 7 Biblical Sites

“… until your first (or next) trip, you might enjoy a virtual walk through a few biblical sites via Google Street View. I have chosen 7 biblical sites that allow you to do a little exploring. … Ceasarea … Mount Tabor … Mount Arbel … Sea of Galilee … The Western Wall in Jerusalem … The Temple Mount … [and a] Panorama from the Mount of Olives.”

Military service & ultra-Orthodox Jews: Israel’s Internal Battle Over Ultra-Orthodox Soldiers

“… they are excused from military service in Israel. This exemption to the otherwise universal draft for Israeli Jews has been in existence for as long as Israel has been a country — part of.”

Mount Carmel: Mount Carmel—Three Passes Along the International Highway

“…  geography played a critical role in ancient Israel. God placed the land of Israel in a position as the only intercontinental land bridge between the superpowers of the ancient world. The strategic International Highway, sometimes called the Great Trunk Road or the Via Maris (“Way of the Sea”), ran from the Fertile Crescent all the way to Egypt—the full length of the land of Israel.”

Nabi Samwil (Har Shmuel; Naby Samuel): Nabi Samwil: Just Beneath the Surface, a Thick Layer of Injustice

“The traditional connection, dating to at least the medieval period (but almost surely incorrect), is to the Prophet Samuel — it has been held to be biblical Mizpah and/or Samuel’s burial place. In any event, it has long been important to Jews, Muslims and Christians alike. The Crusaders had a major presence here and called it “Mount Joy”, where pilgrims coming up from the coast gained their first glimpse of Jerusalem. There are remains from many periods, going back to the Iron Age, but the top-most, best preserved level represents an Israeli destruction carried out mere decades ago.”

Nahal Peratzim: Photo of the Week – Nahal Peratzim

“A popular day trip from Jerusalem is to do Masada and Ein Gedi and then end the day with a float in the Dead Sea. I guided a family on this route last week. In thinking about it I want to suggest a different Judean desert trip. Visit the pools and waterfalls at Ein Gedi but instead of doing the crowded Nahal David (a nahal is a dry stream bed) hike to the hidden waterfall in Nahal Arugot, do Masada in the afternoon and end the day with a walk through Nahal Peratzim as the sun sets and the moon rises, a great family hike.”

Pergamon: City of Science … and Satan?

“…  the commanding panoramic view from Pergamon’s 1,000-foot-high perch makes it easy to understand how this city once dominated the entire region.”

Synagogue: One of the Best Preserved Ancient Synagogues in Israel

“Umm el–Q/Kanatir (The Mother of the Arch) is a site located on the upper reaches of the Wadi Samekh, 5 mi. [8.5 km.] east of the Sea of Galilee on the Golan Heights.  It boasts one of the best-preserved ancient synagogues in the land—90% of the remains (collapsed) were still in place after the earthquake of AD 749.  It is in the process of being reconstructed …”

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