Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sunday Tours

So it has taken me a quite a long time to put up and describe our last weekend of touring...but we did soooooo much!!! Plus, the internet here is slow and takes like 2 hours to upload all of my pictures..I guess I could delete some of them but they all become precious to me!!!!
So, after a good , long, air conditioned nights sleep at our hotel in Arad we woke up and ate a wonderful breakfast.....including chocolate cake!!
We then headed towards Tel Arad...about 20 minutes from modern Arad. I put a lot of descriptions up with the pictures themselves but basically it was a Canaanite Village that was later taken over by the Israelites and they built a fortress there. They ( the israelites) turned a shallow cistern into a pretty impressive well and we all prayed that we wouldn't find anything that deep to dig out!!
They also had a Holy of Holies that was laid out like the one found at the temple in Jerusalem ( accept they added a pagan goddess standing stone since they mixed the religions of the Northern and Southern tribes.
Next was Beer Sheva where Abraham and Abimelech, two leaders of the ancient world, met over seven lambs and a well, which became known as the 'Well of the Oath' (in Hebrew, Beersheva). "Then Abraham complained to Abimelech about a well of water that Abimelech's servants had seized. So Abraham brought sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelech, and the two men made a treaty. Abraham set apart seven ewe lambs from the flock, and Abimelech asked Abraham, ‘What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs you have set apart by themselves?’ He replied, ‘Accept these seven lambs from my hand as a witness that I dug this well.’ So that place was called Beersheba, because the two men swore an oath there" [Genesis 21:25-31]. Thus it was here that Israel’s first conflicts over grazing land and water rights were resolved. You can see the well right at the entrance of Beer Sheva.
I overcame a fear of underground caves as well at Beer Sheva....really it was peer pressure but I am so glad I went in and saw the water system for this ancient city.
After that we headed to the Meditterrean Sea to do some swimming and eat lunch. The beach was hot and there was not a lot of people there. We were there though on a work day ( sunday) so that might explain the low numbers. We ate pizza and chips and then waded into the water. We would have jumped in but we only had an hour and a half to eat lunch and get back on the bus so we opted to stay dry. There were black flags that created a square in the water where you could swim. Our group didnt know that so the people who did swim were yelled at in Hebrew....and didn't know what to do until someone came over a loud speaker and said " if you want to swim, come here". Side note- the men here like speedos.
After that we went to the Valley of Elah...where David slew Golaith. I guess coming to Israel as a Christian I thought that places where such big events happened would all be set apart and on a road. WRONG. Our tour bus had to stop on the side of the highway and we had to dodge traffic to get down under an old bridge to see the Valley where they fought. It was just a bunch of americans standing out in this field taking tons of pictures while people on the highway whizzed by. However, you have to consider that only about 130,000 Isrealis are Christian while a majority are Jews and Muslims.
Finally, we headed back to Neve Shalom to do some laundry, eat dinner ( PITA PIZZA AGAIN :)) and attend an optional Vespers meeting. The speaker was a professor from Oklohoma and he talked about David and Goliath which was neat since we were there 2 hours earlier. We also sang and recited some verses...a lovely way to end our weekend..tomorrow morning its back up at 4:15 and hitting the ground running!!!

Pictures from Tel Arad, Beer Sheva and the Valley of Elah

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you all were floating on salt cloud nine to me!