By Judith Goodall -
Five-thousands plus Christians worldwide travelled to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. Thousands of God’s believers were able to experience this wonderful event thanks to The International Christian Embassy.
One highlight of the event was when Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat spoke about Jerusalem and the unity of not only Jerusalem but Israel as a whole. He also spoke about the international community and their desire to split-up the land of Israel.
Mayor Nir Barkat spoke passionately about the unity of Israel and how the country represents a heart that refuses to break. This proved inspiring for all Christians in attendance to this inspiring speech of the Jerusalem mayor.
By Donalda Shell -
International and local Christian leaders met in Jerusalem for the Global Day of Prayer. This day was founded in praying for peace of Jerusalem and has been performed dating back to year 2002. Millions of Christians worldwide representing more than thirty-thousand churches registered for the event. There are numerous underground churches from countries such as Pakistan, United Arab Emirates and China that took part in this glorious event. Unbelievably, a religious figure from Indonesia which holds the largest Muslim population worldwide registered for the event.
The Global Day of Prayer was televised for the viewing pleasure of millions of Christians worldwide who cannot attend the ceremony. The event was hosted by Robert Stearns who co-founded this special day.
By Donalda Shell -
Forty-thousand people stood with the hope of boarding the first 14 light-rail trains Friday afternoon as Jerusalem inaugurated their first light-rail. This is wonderful news for Jerusalem in experiencing the completion of this NIS 4 billion dollar project that has spanned over a decade to complete.
There were obvious technical issues along with delays that were primarily instigated by the huge amount of would-be riders on the first day the light-rail was open for operation. When the train is one-hundred percent operational, it is predicted to carry 100,000 people on any given weekday ranging from 5.30 in the morning past midnight. This is the equivalent to 30 million rides annually.
Train rides on the light-rail were generously offered free to riders on Friday. If you were not fortunate enough to attend the inauguration of the light-rail, there is good news, free rides will continue to be offered during the first two weeks of operation.
By Judith Goodall -
It is that time of the year again for the yearly Jerusalem International Arts and Crafts Fair. The Arts and Crafts Fair has been ongoing for the last thirty-six years! 150 articles and then some nationwide will be participating in the event which will take place at the Sultan’s Pool in the Old City on August 15 through August 27, 2011.
The “Khutzot Hayotzer” is titled with the inspiration of the small crafts and arts lane that is open continuously throughout the year. The Festival will be hosting two artist stalls with one called the Israeli Pavilion. Shoppers and arts and crafts enthusiasts will enjoy a housing works of ceramics, metalwork, textiles, jewelry, paintings and beautiful weavings. Israel’s finest artists will display these items. The other artist stall is titled the International Pavilion, which presents artists from Europe, South America, North America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. A special addition to the International Pavilion will be the beautiful aboriginal Australian art.
There will be an international food fair serving up delicious and exotic dishes from various countries. The cuisine will be featuring foods from countries around the Middle East. For the theater scene, the fair is hosting various theater shows, musical and dance performances. Gidi Gov (August 15), Hadag Nachash (August 21) and Ivri Lider (August 27) and other talented performers and artists will be performing with the backdrop of the main state of the Sultan’s Pool starting at 9.30 pm in the evening.
There will be animation and presentations of Indie-films for your viewing pleasure. Pottery, glass, photography and metal designs will be displayed for viewing and purchase. These fine artistic designs will be made available from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design who is famous for their artistic talent.
The International Arts and Crafts Fair is one of the most popular festivals throughout Israel. This festival has aided in increasing tourism to the area while placing Israel on the map of “must see” countries with the culture it has to offer. If you have not visited this festival, this destination should be on everyone’s schedule in the upcoming week. The food, arts, crafts and entertainment is something not only adults will enjoy but your entire family.
By Alfa Ellita - Jerusalem – A tiny golden bell has been found in Jerusalem, which dates back two-thousand years ago. A sound last heard two-thousand years ago is audible again. The golden bell dates back to the Second Temple period and was discovered around the ruins near the Old City, Israel’s Antiquities Authority stated last Friday.
The bell has been studied extensively with concluding that it was an adornment sewn onto a garment of a senior official. The tiny orb measures one-centimeter in diameter and proves to be an amazing discovery. This discovery occurred during an excavation of the Roman-era drainage channel in the City of David which is an Arab neighborhood of Silwan which lies south of the Old City walls.
The golden bell was discovered inside the main drainage channel taking rainwater from numerous parts of the city to the pool of Siloam, which is mentioned various times in the Bible. No one will ever know who dropped this beautiful adornment however; it proves obvious that the golden bell belonged to the clothes of a wealthy resident. In the book of Exodus, it is often mentioned that tiny golden bells were sewn onto the hems of robes belonging to Temple priests. It has yet to be proven that this particular bell is one of the bells that Bible speaks of within the scriptures.
Eli Shukron of the Israel Antiquities Authority states that the bell likely rolled off someone’s garment and rolled into the drainage channel as its owner was walking by. Shukron states that the tiny-golden bell is a rare find and the Antiquities Authority is excited in conducting future studies. Shukron demonstrated for all to hear the metallic sound, which emitted a clink and a rattle from the tiny golden bell.
By Judith Goodall -
The Travel Leisure’s readers ranked Jerusalem in the 16th annual poll for global destinations, the 11th best city in the world. The criteria for this ranking entail culture, food, shopping and sites to visit. This is a wonderful accomplishment of Jerusalem and proves that Israel has a lot to offer to the world. Jerusalem was also voted the second best city to visit in the Middle East and in Africa in 2011. Tel Aviv ranked third in the poll with Cape Town ranked number 1.
Bangkok was the reader’s choice as the best city in the world in 2011. Following short behind Bangkok was Florence, Rome, New York and Istanbul. Jerusalem ranked 11th globally following Paris.
It is no wonder that Jerusalem was ranked number 11 of best cities to visit globally. Vacationers flock to the Holy City because of the numerous fascinating attractions and activities. This ever-growing metropolis is the home of some of religions most fascinating places.
Jerusalem is known worldwide for their authentic kosher restaurants. One particular restaurant that sticks out in my mind is “Canela”. The meats are seasoned to perfection and are sure to tickle your taste buds. Valet parking is available on Mondays and for music lovers, a pianist playing on a grand piano creates a serene and enjoyable atmosphere while dining. There are numerous restaurants in Jerusalem to be enjoyed.
The museums in Jerusalem are amazing. The Judaic Diaspora offer first-class exhibits featuring not only Israeli art but international art as well. You will discover archaeological artifacts stored in this museum for your viewing pleasure. The Israel Museum hosts half a million exhibits and artifacts that are rotated on a monthly basis. Make sure you check out the collection of ancient documents that include the Dead Sea Scrolls.
By Alfa Ellita -
The Knights of Templar were a group of Christian warrior-monks who dedicated their entire lives to occupying the sacred Temple Mount in Jerusalem after the first Crusade. The warrior-monks safeguarded the sacred temple for traveling pilgrims. The Knights of Templar were dedicated to a life of poverty, chastity and obedience in the hope that these things would lead them to a martyred death on a battlefield.
The description of The Knights of Templar would lead all of us to believe that they were super humans, capable of withstanding life’s temptations but they were in indeed human with exercising chaste, at least with women within their own social class. They were impoverished but the true wealth lay within their organization and the church. Their obedience was evident, especially when it furthered their own goals.
King Baldwin II of Jerusalem formed the knights originally in 1118 A.D with nine members who were French. Shortly afterwards, they found backing from the Roman Papacy which is where the majority of their influence and strength derived from in association with the church.
The Knights of Templar found themselves stationed in the Holy Land for an extended period. During their extended stay, they were exposed to eastern medicine, knowledge, philosophies and religions. The knights were always outnumbered in battle but they continually fought bravely with great combative intelligence. Their bravery has been annotated in history as stoically legendary.
Over the centuries, the Catholic Church and wealthy families funded the conquests of The Knights of Templar with aiding the warrior-monks to amass wealth and power unmatched by any other organization. The knights are responsible for implementing the earliest form of banking with creating checks where people could deposit money in one Templar facility and be issued a check for withdrawal away from the Templar location. The Knights of Templar during the middle ages were the most powerful financial organization in the world.
By Alfa Ellita -
This syndrome is a bizarre phenomenon of people who find themselves victims of their own mind. It has been estimated that the “Jerusalem Syndrome” affects approximately one hundred people annually with forty people requiring admission to hospitals. This statistic was gathered from two million people that visit Jerusalem each year. This syndrome consists of fixations as well as intoxications experienced after visiting the Holy City. This rare travel psychosis was identified in the year 1980 by a Doctor Yair Bar-El of the Kfar Shaul Psychiatric Hospital in Jerusalem.
Sure signs and symptoms of the Jerusalem Syndrome are as follows:
Strong desire to visit the holy places of Jerusalem.
The need to perform purification acts while continually washing themselves
Shaving off their body hair
Cutting their nails
Some people suffering from this syndrome have the compulsion to don white robes while replicating biblical figures. Some popular biblical figures are the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist.
It has been documented that the condition lasts for approximately one week with people suffering this condition running/walking around chanting, singing and delivering sermons (even though they are not certified preachers/rabbis). These people believe that they are living during the era of Christ. Can you believe that 42 people out of 470 have suffered from The Jerusalem Syndrome with 40 of the sufferers surveyed being protestant stemming from mid-American families and not having any history of psychiatric problems?
Why would someone suffer from this rare and bizarre syndrome while visiting the Holy City? Christians not unlike other religious people have the strong desire to feel as close to God as possible. We Christians wholeheartedly understand that we can communicate with God while viewing all of his blessings on a daily basis. The one thing we do not have is the physical aspect of feeling God up, close and personal. Read more >
By Judith Goodall -
The Masada Opera Festival took place on the footsteps of the Masada, in the Judean Desert. The anticipated festival occurred for the first time in Jerusalem with local churches joining in the festival. The festival featured top-class opera performances, which made the festival a wonderful gathering for anyone who loves opera.
The opera performances were amazing!
I was amazed at the first-class performers in the festival. Dimitra Theodossiou, Kirstin Lewis, Micaela Carosi, Marco Berti, Paata Burchuladze, Alberto Gazale, Ambrogio and many others were fascinating to listen to as well as watch. I was not disappointed with any performance and the majestic way they sang the opera songs was enough to make the most experienced opera fan stand in awe.
Do not tell my husband but I think I am in love…with opera
First-class performers for this year’s festival included Dimitra Theodossiou, Kirstin Lewis, and Micaela Carosi, Marco Berti, Marianne Cornetti, Paata Burchuladze, Alberto Gazale, Ambrogio and many others. I always enjoyed opera but even I must admit, the Jerusalem Opera Festival with the breath-taking scenery as well as the melodic operas has made me fall in love.
God’s love was apparent
All performances were truly wonderful however, my favorite part of the performances were of Verdi’s “Aida” in Masada at the Dead Sea. I remember sitting there and hearing the beautiful voices of Arena di Verona conducted by Giuliano Carella while glancing over the calmness of the Dead Sea. After only a few moments of this serenity, I realized that I felt so at peace with myself. Was it the music or scenery? Was it God? I believe firstly, it was indeed God who granted me the opportunity of a lifetime in attending the festival. I felt Gods presence everywhere and when the Israeli Opera Chorus joined in the beautiful performance, I felt tears sting my eyes from the beauty of the moment. I knew wholeheartedly that the music my ears were feasting upon was something only God could be responsible for creating.
I was pleased to find how stress-free the purchasing of tickets was made for tourists. Thankfully, the tickets in Masada and Jerusalem were reserved for tourists with foreign passports. It is always nice to know that tourists are remembered with special events such as the Jerusalem Opera Festival.
Beautiful and historic area
I have to make a special annotation of Masada. This gorgeous place sits atop an isolated rocky cliff just off the western end of the Judean Desert that overlooks the Dead Sea. The locals informed me that Masada is a historical area where remains of King Herod’s fortress was excavated.
The Jerusalem Opera Festival is and was a much-anticipated event for good reason. The opera stars and other talented performers enabled me to enjoy a festival of a lifetime. If you are interested in attending this festival in the future, I wanted to share the link where I purchased my tickets, which is http://www.aida-at-masada.com/. The Festival was an experience I will share with my grandchildren. If you want to feel God’s love and grace up, close and personal, attend this festival. You will not be disappointed with the beautiful scenery, opera voices and the excitement of trodding on such historical soil.