Arbel and the Balance of Community and Solitude

This is the fourteenth post in a series of reflections on my trip to Israel last summer (to read them all, click here). June 25, PM After leaving the impressive ruins of Beth Shan, our group went north to Mount Arbel, which is just west of the Sea of Galilee. There we had lunch (our standard bologna pitas) … Continue reading Arbel and the Balance of Community and Solitude

Beth Shan and Looking for the Unimpressive

This is the thirteenth post in a series of reflections on my trip to Israel last summer (to read them all, click here). June 25 AM On the day after going north of the Sea of Galilee to the Golan Heights, we went south 12 miles to a place that was called Beth Shan in the Old Testament. … Continue reading Beth Shan and Looking for the Unimpressive

Caesarea Philippi and the Gates of Hell

This is the twelfth post in a series of reflections on my recent trip to Israel (to read them all, click here). June 24 PM On our day in the Golan Heights, we went north all the way until we reached a place called Banias, near the foot of Mount Hermon. Today it is part of the Hermon … Continue reading Caesarea Philippi and the Gates of Hell

Gamla, Masada, and Symbolism

It's been over a month since my last post about my trip to Israel last summer, but it's a rainy day and my wife is out of town, so now is as good a time as any to get back to it. This is the eleventh such post (to read them all, click here). June 24 AM On … Continue reading Gamla, Masada, and Symbolism

Galilee and the God of the Ordinary

This is the tenth post in a series of reflections on my recent trip to Israel (to read them all, click here). June 23 On our first morning in Galilee, we took a bus from our hotel in Tiberias up to the Mount of Beatitudes. The bus dropped us off next to the Church of the Beatitudes, … Continue reading Galilee and the God of the Ordinary

Arad and Contextualization

June 22, PM This is the ninth post in a series of reflections on my recent trip to Israel (to read them all, click here). Our group's last stop of the afternoon, before getting on the bus and heading north along the Jordan River Valley to Galilee, was at the top of a windy hill. To the … Continue reading Arad and Contextualization

Ein Gedi and Water

This is the eighth post in a series of reflections on my recent trip to Israel (to read them all, click here). June 22, AM On the morning after hiking in the dry Wadi Qelt, we went to a place where water was abundant. Ein Gedi is on the west side of the Dead Sea, and … Continue reading Ein Gedi and Water

Ain’t No Wadi Like a West Bank Wadi

… cause a West Bank wadi is hot. This is the seventh post in a series of reflections on my recent trip to Israel (to read them all, click here). On the morning of June 21, our group headed north from our hotel along the Dead Sea and into the West Bank. We went for … Continue reading Ain’t No Wadi Like a West Bank Wadi

Advice About Visiting the Dead Sea from Someone Who Went There Once

I’ve been writing reflections on the pilgrimage to Israel I took in June of this year. To read all of them, click here. Here are nine pieces of advice I gleaned from the two days I spent at the Dead Sea last month: When you’re going down the steep descent toward the water your ears … Continue reading Advice About Visiting the Dead Sea from Someone Who Went There Once

Lachish and Signal Fires

I’ve been writing reflections on the pilgrimage to Israel I took in June of this year. To read all of them, click here. June 20, PM Our group’s last stop on our first full day in Israel (after Azekah, Beth Shemesh, and Mareshah, where we had lunch in an olive grove—not to be confused with … Continue reading Lachish and Signal Fires