Tour of Tel Aviv and Jaffa

Friday, April 22, 2016
Tel Aviv-Yafo, Tel Aviv District, Israel
There are so many stories to be told about every single place we visit here in Israel. Not only stories of God and the journeys of His people, but also of many people who have walked this land throughout history, ancient and modern.

We began our first full day together with a more Mediterranean style breakfast with some of the comforts of home . We were joined by Alejandro and Sue who are currently living and studying in Jerusalem with their little baby boy. Steven gave us a walking tour of parts of Tel Aviv including historical facts about the Rothschilds who were instrumental in building up certain parts of Israel. We passed by Independence Hall on the famous and beautiful Rothschild Boulevard where the signing of Israel's Declaration of Independence took place on May 14, 1948.

We were able to visit to markets. One in Tel Aviv, called the Shuk HaCarmel Market, which seemed like a very typical open air market complete with fresh meats and fruits, fragrant spices (many fragrant things actually - some not so pleasant but very much part of the experience), and any sort of gift or souvenir or household item one might need that isn't too expensive. There were also wine shops and small restaurants serving delicious foods and fresh squeezed fruit juices. Halva samples were often held out to entice buyers .

From there we visited the Jaffa Flea Market. Merchants of wares, old and new flooded the streets while shop keepers and restaurateurs opened their sliding metal doors until mid afternoon when everyone vacated the streets and headed home to their families to share the Seder meal for the Jewish Pesach - the Jews keep Passover at the same time we enjoy the Night to Be Much Observed, the night after Passover. Religious or not, many people enjoy the time off and close their stores for a week. In Tel Aviv many shops still stay open through the week but not on this night.

Tel Aviv is referred to as Tel Aviv-Yafo, Yafo is the Hebrew name referring to the Port of Jaffa which is just south of Tel Aviv. There is much history there. We had the pleasure of taking a tour of the city and port of Jaffa where many interesting historical and biblical happenings happened including the vision Peter had while staying at Simon the Tanner's home, the slaying of a mythical sea monster by Perseus (with the help of the head of Medusa) to save Andromeda, and the massacre of thousands Ottoman Albanians by Napoleon. Jaffa is also the port where Jonah was swallowed by a giant fish as he tried to escape from God. The biblical name for Jaffa is Joppa.

Our day came to a close with a quick hike to the beach in Tel Aviv in front of the Dolphinarium discotheque where, on June 1st, 2001, a suicide bomber killed 21 people and injured another 132. The Mediterranean Sea was beautiful and the sunset ushered in the the beginning of the Holy Day, the First Day of Unleavened bread. We walked another short hike to join our brethren in Shenkin Garden in the middle of the city for a candle (and street lamp) lit Night to Be Much Observed meal. We enjoyed each others' company and expressed the thanks we have for being set free from the bondage of sin so that we can go and live an unleavened life that is pleasing to our God.
Other Entries

Comments

Judy Hooper
2016-04-23

Thanks for sharing your exciting trip. Praying for a safe journey

Laura
2016-04-23

Thank you Lewis! Love reading this blog and seeing the pictures! (and seeing the group also)! :)

Marjorie Ashley
2017-04-13

I am a latecomer to this blog about Israel. I understand they burn their leaven before Days of Unleavened Bread. Makes sense, since putting it off their property would be putting it on his neighbor's property, and someone else dumping theirs on the dumper's property. Might as well not get rid of it.

lewvan
2017-04-13

I don't think I had ever thought about that before. But that is a really good idea. I think I might try burning leavening from now on.

2017-09-23