Celebrating the Real Israel

By Benjamin Levitt,
International Logistics Manager for Jewish Voice

Greetings and shalom from Jerusalem!

Whew! This one word sums up our exciting and meaningful whirlwind tour of the beautiful and historic country of Israel.

We have traveled from the historic port of Yafo through the modern mega-city of Tel Aviv, through Roman ruins, lush valleys, the hillsides of Nazareth, the breathtakingly beautiful waters of the Galilee, the majestic slopes of Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights, the prophetically significant stones of Mount Megiddo (Armageddon), the peaceful waters of the Jordan River (for a baptismal service), the arid banks of the Jordan Valley, and the desert wilderness of the Dead Sea, all the way up to the bustling city of Jerusalem.

Our journey has taken us from north to south, east to west, and back again, across a Land that for more than 1,900 years was either a distant memory or a prayerful dream for the Jewish People.

It has been a blessing to travel the roads, meet the People, see the sites, hear the stories, and together marvel and rejoice in what the Lord has done in only 62 short years since the rebirth of the Modern State of Israel in 1948.

Admittedly, this tour, like many trips to Israel, has been like trying to drink from a fire hydrant: Impossible to take it all in! Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Bernis and our experienced Israeli tour guides have taught us so much. We have learned facts and heard stories and perspectives we will ponder for months and years to come after we return to our homes around the world.

We have cherished the quiet moments at places like the Pool of Bethesda, where Yeshua (Jesus) healed the paralytic, or the summit of Mount Carmel, where Elijah demonstrated the all-surpassing power of the Lord of Lords above other gods, or the Kotel (the Wailing Wall) in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Each of us, in our own way, has had amazing experiences. We have enjoyed getting to know friends in our large group of 115 trip members, and will continue these short- and long-distance relationships after we return home.

Of special significance has been the fire, which is finally under control in the north of the country. Having seen the beauty of the Land God has chosen, and having made friends with many Israelis, we are touched in a personal way and mourn that lives and land in the Promised Land should be lost. Thankfully, the Lord has kept us safe.

Finally, we have all been surprised to see how, contrary to so much of what we see on Western news broadcasts, Israel is anything but a Land of tanks and sand dunes and rockets. As we walk the streets here, we sense a peace (a shalom) that we know must be supernatural. We see families, communities, farmers, workers, students, young and old, living and working together toward peace and survival and growth even as they are surrounded by nearly 80 million people in a dozen nations who would rather they were not here at all. We will take this experience home with us and tell others to come experience Israel—the real Israel—for themselves.

As we have driven the roads, which were once dirt paths, from Jericho to Jerusalem, from Yafo to Caesaria, from Galilee to Judea,  the Bible has become “3-D” for us. As we see the restoration of the People of Israel to the Land of Israel before our very eyes, prophecy has become especially real and our faith has been strengthened in the God who makes and keeps all His promises. It is bittersweet as we return to family, friends, and loved ones but leave a Land and a People we have grown to love even more.

Thank you for your prayers for our team. Pray that the Lord would seal experiences, sites, Scriptures, and relationships in our hearts that would change us. We are each already planning our next trip, so come with us!

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Want to go to the Holy Land with us?  Don’t worry if you missed our tour this year. You can always start planning for our 2012 Israel Tour (specific tour dates to be announced closer to the event). In this economy, it’s wise to start saving in advance. Even saving just $100 a month can add up fast. Consider planning your trip and then be watching for updates on our Israel Tour page.

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