Blog2019-12-20T20:55:30+00:00

Holy Land Travel Blog

The Hebrew Calendar

Did you know that when you are in Israel you will be experiencing two days at once? Israel follows both the Gregorian calendar and the Hebrew calendar, so each day actually has two dates at one time! But what does that mean? What is the Hebrew calendar, how does it work and what are the differences between it and the Gregorian calendar? The Hebrew calendar is a lunar based calendar that has evolved over the millennia, with many influences from the Babylonian calendar. The Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar. According to the Gregorian calendar we are in the year of 2020 A.D., but we are in the year AM 5780 according to the Hebrew calendar, beginning on September 29th, 2019 at sunset. It will end on September 18th, 2020 at sunset. It is mostly used in Israel now as a means of keeping [...]

Israeli Independence Day

The nation of Israel is turning 72! Israeli Independence Day, or Yom HaAtzmaut, is usually filled with barbecues of friends and families, beach days, and lots of fun in celebration of the establishment of Modern Israel and the return of the Jewish people to the Promised Land in 1948. While today’s celebration might not have the mass gatherings that there often is, the spirit of the day is still alive and well and the people will still celebrate! While the actual establishment of Israel happened on May 14th, 1948 according to the Gregorian calendar, the celebration of the day annually occurs beginning the 5th of Iyar. Iyar is the the second month of the Hebrew calendar. Israeli Memorial day, or “Yom Hazikaron” comes the day directly before. Memorial Day in Israel is a very somber day. With the entire country having served in the [...]

UPDATE FROM PHILLIP MEYERS

IMMANUEL TOURS IS STLLL HERE FOR YOU IN THE MIDST OF THE COVID -19 PESTILENCE ! Yes the borders of Israel are temporarily closed because of Coronavirus but our Immanuel Tours office in Israel, with its faithful staff, continues to be active by working from our homes to encourage all those Pastors and Tour Leaders who are wanting to plan for tours and pilgrimages to Israel in the near or distant future. We want to advise all those who have made reservations with us for the remainder of this year that we continue to hold confirmed reservations in hotels and there will be no cancellation fees for the foreseeable future. Our office is still operating with a minimum staff but we shall be ready to fully re-open as soon as the situation allows. We invite you to contact us by e-mail or by phone. [...]

The Jordan River

The Jordan River is arguably the most symbolic body of water not only in Israel, but possibly even the world. While it is not the biggest or deepest river in the world, it is one of the most well-known thanks to its biblical ties and meaning in both the old and new testaments. The Jordan River, also referred to as the River Jordan is a 156 mile river that flows north to south. The headwaters of the Jordan are located in the springs of the Tel Dan Nature Preserve, along with other tributaries. The river feeds into the Sea of Galilee before again continuing down to the Dead Sea. Tel Dan Springs Due to its location, the Jordan holds geographical importance as it flows through not on Israel, but also Jordan, Syria and Palestinian territories. The nation of Jordan and the West [...]

The Sea of Galilee

While Jerusalem is the “City of God” and the site of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, the Sea of Galilee was where most of Jesus’ life and ministry occurred. The region is in Northern Israel, north of the Mount Carmel-Mount Gilboa ridge. The name immediately brings to mind its most notable feature: The Sea of Galilee. The Sea of Galilee is a large body of freshwater mainly fed by the Jordan River. It is the lowest freshwater lake in the world and second only to the Dead Sea for the lowest lake of any kind. It is 33 miles in circumference. While largely known as “The Sea of Galilee”, its official name is actually the Sea of Kinneret in modern Hebrew. This name is actually from the Old Testament. It is referred to as this in Numbers 34:11, Joshua 13:27 and Joshua 11:2. The lake’s name [...]

Passover: The End of the Festival

Passover 2020 has been one like no other around the world, including in Israel where people were under quarantine in an attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus during what is generally a time of family gatherings and travel. It has also however been a time to truly pause and reflect on the meaning and history of the festival as the time then were not easy for those involved either and required much faith. As Passover comes to an end we are reminded of God’s constant faithfulness, even in the most daunting of situations. Most people think of the Passover seder, which happens on the first night of the seven day festival, but there is more to the holiday. Passover: 7 or 8 Days? What many people don’t know is that Passover is longer outside of Israel than it is in Israel. This has [...]

Holy Week – God’s Unchanging Faithfulness

It is no secret that Israel, like the rest of the world, is in the midst of the historic coronavirus pandemic that has put the world’s population on lockdown. This comes at a time of great significance for Israel and the Jewish people and all believers in the Lord, Holy Week. Holy Week Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday and then the beginning of Passover which lasts 7 days, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. Typically this is the busiest week in Jerusalem as Jews and Christians converge. This year the city, like much of the world, is not its normal self. The Kotel (Western Wall) and the Via Dolorosa are quiet. The City of God is quiet. What isn’t quiet is God. His promises are never changing. "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who [...]

Shabbat Hagadol

In Jewish history and culture, shabbat has been an honored and special day every week, as the welcoming of the shabbat happens at sunset on Fridays. Families gather to celebrate Shabbat dinner and take a day of rest to honor the Lord. Once a year this day becomes even more special as the celebration of Pesach (Passover) approaches. The final shabbat before Pesach is called “Shabbat Hagadol” or “The Great Shabbat. This day is called “The Great Shabbat” for several reasons all connected to the Exodus. For one, the slaves in Egypt are said to have purchased their sacrificial lambs on the 10th day of Nisan, the Hebrew calendar’s month that corresponds with March/April on the Gregorian or “civil” calendar. This purchase would eventually provide the needed blood for the door posts of the Hebrew houses to spare them from the plague of the [...]

The Mediterranean Sea

When you arrive in Israel, one of the first things you will see when you get there is no ruins or archeological hot spots, but a big expanse of blue beauty. This body of water might look like any other body of water in the world but it’s so much more important than just that. This is the famous Mediterranean Sea. The Mediterranean Sea is connected to the Atlantic Ocean and almost completely enclosed by land. It is about 970,000 square miles and is around 4,900 feet deep, but at points gets as deep as 17,000 feet deep. In addition to it’s coastline in Israel, it also is bordered by Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Lebanon, Montenegro, Greece, Turkey, Albania, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco along with other territories and islands. In Israel, Tel Aviv is located right on the [...]

UPDATE FROM IMMANUEL TOURS

A state of emergency is in effect in Israel and the staff of Immanuel Tours is in “Home isolation” until this great pestilence, the Coronavirus is finally overcome. Until then we want to assure our Immanuel Tours family that we are committed to continue our ministry to serve the cause of Christian Tours and pilgrimages to the Holy Land, the Land of Israel.  In spite of the fact that our office in Nes Ziona is temporarily closed with just a minimal staff present we continue to work from our homes to reply to e-mails and as far as is possible to be in contact with the many people, pastors and Christian organizations, whom we have served and especially with those whom it has been our privilege to serve for many years. Of course we welcome also those who want to use our services for the [...]

Israel’s Flowers of the Field

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” Matthew 6:28-29 On a hillside in the Galilee, Jesus spoke to a crowd that had followed him, eagerly seeking teaching. This area would have been a perfect natural auditorium, allowing him to be heard by the crowd. With a backdrop and setting of the sea below and birds and flowers all around them, (perhaps evidence that it was spring) He gave the most radical message they had ever heard. The Sermon on the Mount is one of the most well-known teachings of Jesus, recorded in Matthew chapters 5-7. In this sermon, instructions of how to live our lives are condensed into one meaningful and engaging sermon. In [...]

Coronavirus: A Sign of the Times? A Message From Philip Meyers

“He who dwelleth in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of t he Almighty. I will say of the Lord, he is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. Surely he will save from the fowlers snare and from the deadly pestilence”. Psalm 91, 1-3 NIV. The  “deadly pestilence” called COD-19 Coronavirus is certainly a mighty blow upon us and as we remain in necessary isolation at our home in Nes Ziona, we have plenty of time to be still before God and to ponder what it all means for us, our family and friends, and indeed for all mankind. Is God speaking to us in a special way through this pandemic ?  Are we close to the  end of time and the second coming of Jesus, the Messiah ? The verses of scripture quoted [...]

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