Judaism and Christianity are very different religions. Or are they? Let’s understand together why we do things the way we do. What 1st Century Jewish traditions and customs led to today’s Christian way of doing things?
Is Judaism today the same as it was back then?
Together we will learn how similar we truly are and how much we share in common. While it is possible to do it from back home, it’s going to be much easier and understandable to do it here, not to mention a lot more fun.book now
Day 1: Spirituality in the Galilee
Discover Safed (Tzfat), one of Judaism’s four holy cities. We’ll wander its ancient alleyways and discover the secrets of the Kabbalah (Jewish Mysticism) which developed here 500 years ago. Expect beautiful synagogues, stunning vistas, and remarkable tales.
We’ll then descend to the Sea of Galilee, pausing on the Mount of Beatitudes to reflect on Jesus’ famed Sermon on the Mount. We’ll follow in his footsteps, descending the mountain by foot to the shores of the Sea of Galilee, passing Tabgha (marking the feeding of the 5000 and Jesus later appearing to Peter following his resurrection) and reaching Capernaum, where Jesus made his home following his expulsion from Nazareth.
We’ll see the house we believe he lived in, and the ruins of a remarkable synagogue.We’ll continue to a local restaurant for a traditional lunch of St Peter’s Fish (other options available for non-fish eaters!) and conclude the day with a restful boat cruise on the very waters where Jesus once walked.
Day 2: Revolution in the wilderness
After checking out we’ll drive south through the Jordan valley, part of which is in the West bank. We’ll use the driving time to get a better understanding of the political situation in the West Bank and Israel’s relationship with Jordan, before arriving at the Ein Gedi desert oasis. We’ll take a short walk in this marvel of nature and will pause by one of the waterfalls to discuss Saul and David’s meeting here.
Our next stop will be the UNESCO World Heritage Site Masada. After a quick lunch we’ll ascend by cable car and will explore the ruins of this remarkable desert fortress built by King Herod 2000 years ago, and discover the tragic end of its final defense.
Before driving up to Jerusalem, we’ll pause at a private Dead Sea beach for some well-earned relaxation. Float on these saline waters and you’ll come out rejuvenated – guaranteed!
Overnight at hotel in Jerusalem.
Day 3: Holiness in Jerusalem
We’ll open our day with a spectacular panoramic view over Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. We’ll use this view to locate and understand the key sites in the story of Jesus in Jerusalem, before descending the mountain, just as he would have done, to the Garden of Gethsemane, where we’ll reflect on Jesus’ final moments before being arrested.
We’ll continue to the impressive excavations in the Davidson Center where we’ll be able to transport ourselves 2000 years back in time and walk on the very stones that Jesus and his disciples would have walked on in the time of the Second Temple.
We’ll pause at the Western Wall (also known as the Wailing Wall) to soak up the atmosphere, and after a great local lunch, will walk the ancient pilgrim route known as the Via Dolorosa, or the Stations of the Cross, marking Jesus’ path with the cross from his trial until his crucifixion. The route culminates at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, believed to be the location of Jesus’ crucifixion and burial and venerated by many as one of the most important holy sites in the world.
We’ll conclude our day with a visit to the world-class Israel Museum, home of the Dead Sea Scrolls and a remarkable model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period that we will use to trace our footsteps from today’s tour in the modern city.
Optional (If on a Friday): In the evening return to the Western Wall plaza to experience the joyous ‘Receiving the Shabbat’ Jewish prayer service. Continue for a traditional Shabbat dinner at a local home or at the hotel.