Jerusalem is one of the world's top tourist destinations. Given the fascinating history of the nation of Israel, there is plenty to see and do when you visit the city. When you visit Jerusalem, you will quickly discover how many nations have left their mark on her history. Here are a few places that you should plan to visit during any tour of Jerusalem:
Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial
Following WWII, many European survivors of the Holocaust immigrated to Israel. Indeed, much of the 20th century of the country has been influenced by those horrible events and the promise of Israeli Jews to never forget and remain vigilant against such atrocities occurring in the future.
Old City of Jerusalem
The Old City of Jerusalem is among the most popular places to visit. Here you will find David's Tower, the Wailing Wall, and the Golden Menorah. There are also plenty of shops and restaurants that are all eager for you to drop by and relax for a while.
Tisch Family Zoological Gardens
This 62-acre zoo houses over 140 species of animals. Every species mentioned in the Bible is represented, as are many endangered species from around the world. There is even a full size replica of Noah's Ark for you to explore and enjoy.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
According to Christian religion, this is the site of the crucifixion and the tomb of Jesus. It is one of the holiest places in the world and is a prime pilgrimage destination. It is also a favorite destination for non-Christians who enjoy studying history and architecture alike as the church is among the oldest in the world.
Tours of the Israeli Parliament take place on Sundays and Thursdays. If you are interested in learning about politics and the Israeli government, this tour is well worth taking the time to enjoy.
Al Aqsa Mosque
The Al Aqsa Mosque is one of the holiest sites in Islam. If you are a Muslim, it is a must visit destination. Unfortunately, the site is not open to non-Muslims, however, you can visit many of the sites that are located nearby.
Liberty Bell Park
Israel and the United States have a long history of friendship, and in honor of that relationship, Jerusalem is proud to have their very own copy of the Liberty Bell. The park is a great place to relax and enjoy spending time with friends and family following a long day of sightseeing.
To learn more about visiting Israel and learning about the fascinating history of Israel, contact Texans for Israel at 800-518-5334. We would be happy to share more suggestions of places to visit and ways you can learn more about the fascinating history and culture of this nation.
photo credit: Werner Kunz
via photopin cc
The holidays are a time to spend together with your closest friends and family as you celebrate your love for one another. Around the world and across cultures, the spirit that is shared during holiday festivals is the same. Whether you celebrate Chanukah or Christmas, Thanksgiving or Chusok, the spirit is the universal thread that binds us all together. Of course, sometimes these holidays overlap and that presents an interesting conundrum for people in cross-cultural environments. For instance, this year the first day of Chanukah overlaps with the American holiday of Thanksgiving. So, what are Jews to do in this situation? Why not celebrate both!
This year, American Jews will be celebrating Thanksgivukkah. It's two holidays wrapped into one and will pay homage to both holidays. On November 28th, the turkeys will be stuffed, the potatoes will be mashed, the latkes covered in cranberry applesauce, and the carrot tzimmes will be overflowing from the plates. The first night of Hanukkah will coincide with Thanksgiving on Nov. 28. This is the first occurrence in 125 years (1888). Technically the two holidays fell on the same day in 1861, but President Abraham Lincoln did not formally establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday until 1863. There's a lot of speculation and theories about when this anomaly will occur again (some peopke are saying this century while others claim it will be thousands of years). To be safe, we're just going to say it won't happen again for a while.
The point is, this is a big deal, people! In the City of Boston, Mayor Thomas Menino has officially proclaimed the holiday as "Thanksgivukkah" and the name is spreading like wildfire around the country. There is even a rumor that there will be a turkey-shaped menorah donated to the Massachusetts State House to honor the occasion which they are calling a "Menurkey."
Naturally, the convergence of these two holidays is highly symbolic. Thanksgiving being the day when Americans honor their Pilgrim ancestors and pay homage to the magnificent blessings they enjoy throughout the year. This connects well with the story of the Maccabees who were also seeking their religious freedom and sought out new opportunities to pursue their own religious beliefs. Indeed, this is an ideal opportunity to stand together as Christians and Jews and celebrate the blessings of religious freedom.
Don't let this once in a lifetime opportunity pass you by. Combine the best foods from both holidays, mix up the decorations and use colors and symbols from both holidays in your home. Most importantly, be sure to take a look at the Thanksgivukkah Facebook page to see how others plan to celebrate this year's unique opportunity.
We at Texans for Israel can’t wait to celebrate Thanksgivukkah! This is a very special holiday for Christians and Jews alike, and is a perfect example of what we are all about! Whatever holiday you may be celebrating this week, we hope it is filled with much joy and love.
Happy Thanksgivukkah, Y’all!
Our first real winter cold front has arrived! Before we know, we'll be snowed in! Next week will be Thanksgiving 2013 and for our Jewish friends Hanukkah begins on the same day that we are having Thanksgiving Turkey! (more on this unique hybrid holiday next week!)
I am going to let you in on a little secret today also. Next week is exciting because we are going to have a VIP from Israel come and visit us! So let me give you a few clues who this VIP from the Land of Israel is!
Many years ago the core group of Texans for Israel became friends with a young dynamic Israeli that had more energy than anyone we had met in a long time. This guy was on a mission from God and instantly became one of our closest brothers, one of our best friends, and a man that has helped us understand our mission here at Texans for Israel!
The man we are talking about is now also a Rabbi and one of the young leaders of Israel. When we met this him years ago, we knew one of these days God had big plans for him and we were right!
The friend, Rabbi and brother we are talking about is Jeremy Gimpel! We can’t believe he has time to come to the Great State of Texas. We are lucky to be blessed with his visit for a few days. Jeremy is a filmmaker, TV host, journalist and educator. If you have ever read any of his op eds in the Jerusalem post, you can truly see what a talent he is. But also he is now the Deputy Director for the World Mizrachi Movement, which is one of the oldest Zionism movements in the World. You know how you call people triple threats? Well, Jeremy is a triple threat times three!
Last week I was so blessed to be with Elie Pieprz, another great friend from Israel. We spent Shabbot with Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg in San Antonio, and also had meetings in Austin and Dallas. God has blessed us with some amazing friends from Israel. It’s hard to believe we get the blessing of hosting Jeremy and having a chance to catch up with him. He’s such a busy man, and we are so grateful he is making time for us at Texans for Israel.
We have a lot of questions for Jeremy and we look forward to hosting our dear friend for a few days!
One of these days we hope to take a Texans for Israel tour to Israel. When we plan to head over, we hope that you will join us. It’s time for Texans living all over the world to get to know our Jewish brothers and support them, as they are a light unto the nations. We as non-Jews have a big job to be Watchmen on the Wall, and help support and protect The Land and the Wonderful People of Israel.
Please join our cause and become a Texan for Israel, and get to know these exceptional people, like Jeremy Gimpel, who work so hard every day to make Israel a better place and the world more aware of our connection to Israel.
More and more, as I read the Word of God, He shows me, yet, another reason why I am to love the land of Israel and support their God-given right to own that tiny parcel of land. It is almost like He is sending me one of those Facebook "Pokes" that we get from time to time from friends. Yes, I am a friend of God and I love the way He gets His point across to us.
Psalms 114:2 says, "Judah became God's sanctuary (the Holy place of His habitation), and Israel His dominion. Dominion...hmmm...one of those words you know, but it helps clarify to look it up.
Dominion (noun): "supreme authority, domain, absolute ownership. Synonyms: see power, sovereignty, supremacy." We make such a big deal about the Native Americans having the right to their land, why not Israel? Don't get me wrong, I am all for the Native American and their causes. My great-grandmother was American Indian, born on a reservation. We don't question their ownership and independent governing powers. Why do we questions Israel's?
Having five children and six grandchildren has made me, out of necessity, fairly pragmatic. Have you ever noticed when you get two or more 3-year-olds in a room together, things can quickly turn ugly? Their mindset is: "If I want it, it's mine; if I see it, it's mine; if I THINK it is mine, it's mine… IT'S ALL MINE!"
As I see it, much of the world today has a 3-year-old mentality regarding Israel. But God's Holy Word is very clear about this issue. It is HIS land, his property, and He won't let anyone take it away. As I used to tell my teenagers when they were inclined to do something that I had explicitly told them not to do: "Go ahead. Give it a go and see how that works out for you." God is a powerful being and I am not willing to go against what He says on any issue. Period. Especially when it comes to His beloved Israel.
Whether you genuinely support Israel for your own causes, or believe you should support Israel because of God’s Word, that is entirely up to you. I’m not going to beg you to support Israel. I’m not going to pester you into volunteering your time to help the Israeli people. I will, however, ask you to just think about what God said in the Bible. You can interpret it any way you like. My interpretation of God’s Word is as clear as the dictionary’s definition of Dominion. The Jewish people are our brothers and sisters, and more importantly, God’s children; and it is my duty as a Christian and a global citizen to love my Jewish family, their land and support their cause.
photo courtesy of domdeen / Free Digital Photos
The past few weeks I have talked about that we at Texans for Israel are proud to support CUFI, Christians United for Israel. Today, I’d like to talk about another one of our favorite supporters of Israel. The name of the organization is GLC, also known as God's Learning Channel!
I am not sure how long I have been associated with GLC, but it has to be at least 10 years or more. I remember years ago driving to Midland and Odessa, Texas and getting to meet Al and Tommie Cooper for the first time. This couple loves the Lord with all their heart, and they also love and support the land and people of Israel. I have to say that these two people over the years have become family to me and have discipled me to be nearly a Zionist as much as they are!
Just like myself, Tommie and Al have learned and lived through what God has taught them through the years. We all go through the good, the bad and the ugly times. That's just part of life, is it not? Like I have said before, Al and Tommie are the real deal!
Al and Tommie are blessed to have great kids, and I am so pleased to tell you that their daughter Amy has taken on the Manager of the Station. She has done a wonderful job in being true to the Mission of the Station, and has made the station greater and sharper. Thanks to this family, GLC is becoming a class act TV station.
When you watch GLC, you truly learn Biblical truth. I feel like I am a better disciple and a more informed person thanks to GLC.
Through the years, most of the teachers on GLC have become close friends of mine. It is hard to support a ministry if you don’t trust and respect the people who run it. I want Texas for Israel’s friends and supporters to know that we strongly support the teachers and management of God’s Learning Channel. These people are men and women of integrity!
We believe GLC is a guiding light in a dark world, and the Coopers are spreading truth that needs to be heard!
We encourage you to support GLC. This is good, fertile soil, so please plant your seeds of support for the God of Israel, and our Messiah. GLC teaches the truth about replacement theology, and one day, the fruit of the work will be seen all over the world.
Thank you, Al, Tommie, Amy and Rik, and everyone at GLC for being there for all of us.
Are you educating yourself about Israel or is your head in the sand? The reason I ask this is because I talked to a so-called spiritual person the other day, who is so-called a lover of God, and Jesus. They told me they did not have time to worry about Israel, its politics, people, its economy, and of course, the news! This statement took me aback I must admit!
Rather than sticking your head in the sand suffocating in oblivion, let’s be watchmen! Things are changing. If you are not understanding the times that we are in, you’re in for a surprise.
You don’t have to read the news every morning with your cup of coffee to realize the times are a’changing. You don’t have to watch the news every evening to know that the world you were born into is not the same one you will die in. If you took the time to read the headlines or zapped through the news channels for a moment you would instantly see the world’s transformation!
The Bible says pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Enemies are all around The Land that God Loves! Here are just 8 reasons we should pray and work to help Israel.
Saudi Arabia: Aging leadership and domestic challenges
Egypt: Unrest, economic collapse and lawlessness
Iran: Nearing nuclear, cyber-warfare; missiles are aimed at Israel
Lebanon: Dominated by terrorist Hezbollah
Turkey: Strained relationship with Israel
Syria: Civil war, chemical weapons and 100,000 killed
Gaza: power struggle with Hamas Palestinian authority
Jordan: traditional pro-western rule under challenge economic problems
If you are too blind to witness what’s happening in the world, at least look at your own country, your state or even your community. There are people without jobs and starving right here in Amarillo. The reason I’m saying all this is because it’s not all about you, people, and it’s time to think of others. As I said, it’s time to pull your head out of the sand!
Israel is under a lot of pressure. The President of the United States seems to be doing a lot of secret things to not support Israel, and I must say, I’m not happy. But what can a single person do? That’s why it’s critical we all come together and become watchmen for not only Israel, but also our own nation!
We as believers in the Bible and citizens of the United States need to be aware of what’s going on. We must use our resources to do good, speak the truth and ask, the King of the Universe to do his thing and guide us!
Please check out this episode of The Watchman with Erick Stakelbeck as he discusses the dangers surrounding Israel!
photo credit: Learning Futures Festival 2010 via photopin cc
Israel may be a tiny nation, but its history is enormous. There is so much to see and do that a short two-week visit is barely enough to scratch the surface. Here are some popular sites and attractions in Jerusalem and across Israel that you might want to add to your itinerary when you go.
Neve Tzedek, in Tel Aviv
If you enjoy the cafes and bars of Europe, then this is one district you don't want to miss. It is open 24 hours a day and you will find everything from Japanese cuisine to traditional European fare on display for you to savor.
Carmel Market, in Tel Aviv
This little market is reminiscent of the streets of old Marakech. Within the stalls and shops, you will find everything from clothing to trinkets for sale. You will also find plenty of spices, fresh fruits, vegetables, and even a smattering of antiques to purchase.
Located along the coastline, this ancient city still bears the influence of King Herod along its skyline. While new architecture and distinctly modern homes are creeping onto the landscape, the Hippodrome, ancient theatre, and aqueduct are still plainly visible and a simple joy to visit. Outside of Rome, there are few places on earth where there is so much Roman architectural influence for you to enjoy in a single place.
Bethlehem is one of the most popular destinations to visit, especially around Christmas. Since it is located in Palestinian territory, you will need your passport to visit. That said, visiting isn't that difficult and there is a bus from both Ramallah and Jerusalem that will take you directly to the Church of the Nativity.
En Gedi National Park
This oasis in the desert is located on the shores of the Dead Sea. It is rich in both natural beauty and history. There are deep canyons surrounded by some of the most magnificent vegetation this side of Asia. When you go, make sure to pick up some of the natural perfumes that they make from the naturally growing plants and trees in the forest.
This port city is Israel's window on the Mediterranean. Through the port the goods of the world flow and this makes Haifa one of the most diverse and interesting cities in the country. You can relax by the beach or take a tour of the port and the business districts that are dotted throughout the city.
When you are ready to visit this fascinating country, contact Texans for Israel at 800-518-5334. It is our mission to build bridges of understanding and openness between our two countries. To that end, we would be happy to answer your questions and provide more suggestions for things to see and do when you go. Whether you love history, art, food, architecture, beautiful beaches, or simply great company and a relaxing atmosphere, we can tell you exactly where to find what you are looking for.
Planning to visit Israel? Ask us a question! We have traveled to and visited Israel many times and would love to help you have a better experience!
This is a question I ask myself all the time. And I must admit, it really drives me mad sometimes!
I just returned from one of the greatest, most rewarding weekends of my life. I spent the weekend in San Antonio celebrating the 32nd Night to Honor Israel. Every year our friends who love Israel have the opportunity to support and donate to Israeli charities. Most of the recipients are indeed Orthodox Jews who don’t believe in Jesus. But that has never deterred me because I have found I as a Christian have so much in common with the Jewish people. And that’s why I support the wonderful nation of Israel and its people.
I would like to tell you my viewpoint about Christians giving back to Israel. First, let’s just remember that Jesus (Yeshua) was Jewish. He loved his brothers and sisters in Israel. Did you know the second testament, which we call the New Testament, is a Jewish book written to Jews, about Jews. The authors were even Jewish! If it weren’t for the Jews, we would not have what today we call Christianity! Sorry, Constantine, you were kind of a bad guy!
In the past, I would say that my family and I, and my father’s business gave millions of dollars to good causes. Pastor John Hagee has taught me so much, and one thing is to Bless Israel. You probably already donate your time and money to a cause that is important to you, whether it be a local arts institution, animal welfare or for children. However, as Christian, have you ever thought about supporting Israel?
While I love my church and I am a devout Christian, I still visit and support Israel. I believe we all should give with no strings attached! Once I told one of my pastors that I give to Jewish organizations and his response was very disappointing. He told me, “Mike, you should be giving to organizations that lift up the name of Jesus!” Well, of course I disagreed. Sorry sir, but I think God knows what I am doing and I think Pastor Hagee has the right Ideal!
As I mentioned earlier, we should give with no strings attached. We should bless the Nation of Israel and the Jewish people with our love, kindness and generosity! We are world citizens, and as world citizens don’t you think we should uplift other citizens, no matter their faith, beliefs or culture? I certainly do! I think the Messiah knows our heart is in the right place and He helps us to know who we should support — Israeli causes or non-Israeli causes!
Sunday night in San Antonio, John gave millions of dollars to Great Deserving Charities of Israel! I would urge you to give, too, if you are able. $5, $500 or $5,000 — the number does not matter. It’s the fact you donated or participated that counts.
We at Texans for Israel want to continue to do beautiful things so please join us and remember the words of Genesis:
“Now the LORD said unto Abram: 'Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto the land that I will show thee. And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing. And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.' So Abram went, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him; and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.”
I thought it would be interesting to include the Hebrew words for Genesis Chapter 12 as well!
וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל-אַבְרָם, לֶךְ-לְךָ מֵאַרְצְךָ וּמִמּוֹלַדְתְּךָ וּמִבֵּית וְאֶעֶשְׂךָ, לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל, וַאֲבָרֶכְךָ, וַאֲגַדְּלָה שְׁמֶךָ; וֶהְיֵה, בְּרָכָה.אָבִיךָ, אֶל-הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר אַרְאֶךָּוַאֲבָרְכָה, מְבָרְכֶיךָ, וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ, אָאֹר; וְנִבְרְכוּ בְךָ, כֹּל מִשְׁפְּחֹת הָאֲדָמָה. וַיֵּלֶךְ אַבְרָם, כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר אֵלָיו יְהוָה, וַיֵּלֶךְ אִתּוֹ, לוֹט; וְאַבְרָם, בֶּן-חָמֵשׁ שָׁנִים וְשִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה, בְּצֵאתוֹ, מֵחָרָן.
Well, today is a big weekend for me. This morning I flew to San Antonio and will be with friends from all over the USA, world, and of course, Israel! Pastor John Hagee will be donating gifts and giving funds to many of Israel’s charities.
For years I have been coming to this weekend here in San Antonio. It is just a wonderful festival of love, a time to see old friends and make new friends! Pastor and Mrs. Hagee are the REAL deal! They know how to put on a party, let me tell you!
A Night to Honor Israel will be Sunday Night. I decided to come down to the Hill Country a bit early because of all the festivities and socializing are just too good to pass up. All of us that are a part of the Christians United for Israel love Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg, our Christians United for Israel (CUFI), San Antonio Rabbi, Aryeh Scheinberg (pictured above).
While I am a Non-Jew, God-fearing Christian, I do have many friends that have allowed me to go to Synagogue with them throughout the past few years. To have the opportunity to go to Shabbat services at Congregation Rodfei Sholom is truly a blessing! The people there are the most wonderful group on the face of the earth.
It will be such an honor to get to be with our beloved Rabbi and his congregation.
We have so much to learn from our Jewish Brothers, and being able to hear the Torah portion tonight while sitting at the Shabbat table with friends from Israel will be the highlight of my life! God is so so good to me!
Well, cowboys and cowgirls, it’s time for me to get ready for Shabbat, so I hope you all have a wonderful Sabbath. This Texan that loves Israel and the Jewish people is ready for a great weekend. I will report next week on all these events.
We are such a blessed group here at Texans for Israel! We get to meet and work with such wonderful, intelligent people that move and shake this world! One of my personal heroes that I would like to introduce you to is Daniel Lapin, an award-winning American Orthodox rabbi, public speaker and author.
A few years ago while I was visiting Israel, I became friends with Asher and Ruthie Abraham. Ruthie's dad is Rabbi Lapin. I told Ruthie at the time how much I respected and admired her father, and that I couldn’t wait to meet him one day.
Well, that day of wishing to meet Rabbi Lapin came a few years ago! A group of us went to hear and meet many of our Jewish friends from Israel in Dallas, Texas. It was a great moment to shake hands with these leaders and fellow Israeli supporters. We learned we have many mutual friends and family!
One of my other great heroes is Dave Ramsey, and it was through Dave’s recommendations that I began reading Rabbi Lapin’s books. Like Ramsey, Rabbi Lapin is a truly gifted writer and author. He has been on Glenn Beck’s show many times, too. Rabbi Lapin is just a blessing to the non-Jewish/Christian community because he helps us understand so many things we need to know about the Torah and the Bible!
Rabbi Lapin and his beautiful wife, Susan, have a really neat website and blog. Susan recently wrote an article about Hobby Lobby and I just love it! I thought you might, too.
So in your reading and studying, be sure to put Rabbi Daniel Lapin on your list to bless your life, He is an inspiring coach, mentor and role model. I’m so grateful to have met him. I hope one day you do as well! Be sure to check out his book, "Thou Shall Prosper," too!
Rabbi Lapin has not just influenced me personally, but he has also touched Texans for Israel as a whole. So, thank you, Rabbi, for all that you do!