Please excuse my absence from this column for a couple weeks, we were in Israel, “The Blooming Desert”. You can’t come away from a visit to Israel and not be impressed with the biblical prophecy “The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus,” in Isaiah 35:1. Everywhere you look from the mountains in the north to the desert in the south, the land is being cultivated. Olives, bananas, citrus, date and coconut palms and vegetables everywhere you look. But you hardly ever see a tractor or a barn. I continually was asking myself “How do they do that”?
We took a couple days to visit my son who is studying at the University of Tel Aviv and then to join up with a tour group to see the rest of the country as well. That’s a senior’s prerogative , right?
Here are some impressions besides the Blooming Desert:
Tel Aviv, a modern city on the Mediterranean coast with a population of 3.8 Million people, about 2/3 the size of metro Atlanta. I lost count of how many high rise sky scrapers are under construction. The main tourist attraction in Tel Aviv are the spectacular beaches. There are 13 in total and each one has been equipped with free changing rooms and toilets,
Capernaum, Jesus made Capernaum his home during the years of his ministry: “Leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum” (Matt 4:13). It’s on the northwest coast of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus’ home synagogue is there. I can imagine him ministering there to the people and interacting with his disciples on the shore of Galilee.
Golan Heights, forms the northeast border of Israel with Syria. It is a heavily defended and strategic area for Israel that they gained from Syria during the Six day War in 1967. There’s a memorial at the border with Tanks to commemorate the surprise attack from Syria on Yom Kippur. You can almost see Damascus from the border and you get a real sense of what the bible calls “Wars and Rumors of Wars” in Matthew 24:6.
The Jordan River, which flows into the Sea of Galilee in the North and out to the Dead Sea in the South. It’s where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist 2000 years ago and where thousands of tourists from all over the world are baptized daily. Pretty special!
The Dead Sea, in the Negev desert on the southern part of Israel. Much larger than I had in my mind. A very unique experience to actually stand straight up in its waters without touching the bottom. Curious sun-bathing, sea-floating tourists everywhere!
Jerusalem, one of the oldest cities in the world, in the Judean mountains between the Mediterranean and Dead Seas. Filled with visitors from all over the world representing three major religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Soon to be home of the New US Embassy, as of May 14th, the 70th anniversary of the modern state of Israel.
If you get a chance to visit Israel yourself don’t hesitate, it will make your faith bloom just like Israel’s desert!
Thanks for reading All About Seniors….see you next week!
Bill Milby, CSA, is a Certified Senior Advisor and a Director of Visiting Angels® of Macon, a non-medical, living assistance service for seniors. If you have questions or comments about this column you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo care of: Celebrity Cruises