Israel – Clifton’s Birthright Trip

August 14 – 26, 2008

Shalom! OR 658

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Your departure date is August 14, 2008. Your group is BR1018.

Taglit-Birthright Israel: Orani

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In the summer of 2008, I was fortunate to go on my birthright trip to Israel with some of my best friends.

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The nation of Israel was not born in the heart of man – it was conceived in the mind of God. He chose the land of Israel and found a man, Abraham, who was willing to leave everything familiar behind and travel to a place he did not know. (Genesis 12: 1 3)

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THE OLD CITY OF JERUSALEM

The Western Wall, the Kotel, is the most significant site in the world for the Jewish people. Located in the Old City of Jerusalem we know that it is the last remnant of our Temple. Jews from around the world gather here to pray. People write notes to G-d and place them between the ancient stones of the Wall. It has also been called the “Wailing Wall” by European observers because for centuries Jews have gathered here to lament the loss of their temple.

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CAESAREA

Caesarea is a city of the past and the future, the new opposite the ancient. Today, it is one of Israel’s major tourist attractions and an increasingly popular place for Israel’s elite to make their homes.

Caesarea (40km north of Tel Aviv) was the culminating vision of Herod the Great (37 b.c.–4 b.c.), who created a new, spectacular classical Roman city by the sea to rival Alexandria as the greatest metropolis of the Eastern Mediterranean. Since it had no natural port, he built a vast artificial harbor. On the empty sands, he constructed theaters facing the sea, temples, hippodromes, palaces, colonnaded avenues, and markets. A thousand years later, the city was reborn as a Crusader fortress, but after the Crusades, the ruins of the city were covered by sand and forgotten.

Today, the romantic ruins by the sea have become Israel’s most photogenic and lively archaeological site, dotted with great eateries smack dab in the middle of the ruins. Not far away is the ancient aqueduct that brought water to the ancient city of Caesarea, 9 kilometers.

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KIBBUTZ

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MOUNT BENTAL – GOLAN HEIGHTS

Mt. Bental is a dormant volcano located in the Golan Heights. In 1973 this area was the site of the Yom Kippur War between the Israelis and the Syrians, with Israel winning the fight over the land.

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SAFED

Safed is one of Judaism’s “four holy cities of Israel” along with Jerusalem, Hebron and Tiberias. The term “four holy cities of Israel” was coined in the 16th century when these cities banded together for charitable purposes under the leadership of Rabbi Moshe Alshich, together with Rabbi Yosef CaroRabbi Yitzchak Luria and Rabbi David ibn Zimra (Radbaz). The Ari Sephardic Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in Safed, was built in the sixteenth century on the northern edge of the Sephardic neighborhood.

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SUNRISE AT MASADA

When you glance at it from the highway, Masada looks much like any other mountain in the Judean desert. Yet it was on these heights, and in the middle of this dreary landscape, that King Herod the Great erected a luxurious desert fortress. And it was here, as well, that a group of besieged and desperate Jews fought the Romans with inhuman valor, then placed their belongings in a corner, set each pile afire, and committed a well-publicized mass suicide.

Masada is an ancient Roman fortress and is synonymous with Jewish resistance to Rome in the Great Revolt (66-73 CE)

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https://www.timesofisrael.com/masada-tragic-fortress-in-the-sky/

 

THE DEAD SEA

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THE NEGEV

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The Negev desert is a vast and sparsely populated piece of land which accounts for over half of  Israel’s Area.

EIN GEDI

The oasis of Ein Gedi is a strip of three miles along the steep slopes of the Judean Desert curving down to meet the western coast of the Dead Sea.

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