On the second night of our Israel tour, the group stayed on Kibbutz Maagan Eden. Since I lived on a kibbutz for over two and one half years in my early twenties, I am very partial to kibbutz life. This particular kibbutz in the north is so beautiful and peaceful, nestled on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. I just love staying here because the view of the sea is spectacular, and the surrounding areas are lush, bursting with native trees, bushes, and flowers.
After a wonderful sleep, we enjoyed a great Israeli breakfast of salads, scrambled eggs, fish, and cottage cheese. Oh how that meal brings back memories. For more kibbutz stories from my life read here and here.
Next we visited the Mount of Beatitudes. This is where Jesus feed thousands with the little boy’s offering of two loaves and fishes. The above photo is a view from the mountain where the miracle was performed.
What a great touring group! We are having so much fun.
Next stop: Caparnaum. We enjoyed the ancient synagogue where Jesus taught. In this spot of excavations, menorahs and stars of David were found carved into the ancient stones.
Next we went on to Bethsaida, and later we ate lunch on the shores of the Galilee. Yes, we had the typical St. Peter’s fish. It is tilapia and wonderful. This particular fish is called St. Peter’s because it carries its babies in its mouth until they hatch. When it is not carrying babies, it holds a stone or something in its mouth. During the time of Jesus, it was not unusual to find coins in these fishes’ mouths. The fish would pick them up from the lake bottom. Jesus told Peter to take the coin out of the fish’s mouth and pay both their taxes in Matthew 17:24-27.
After lunch, we had a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. We sang and danced on the boat. Then on to a baptism service in the Jordan River. Eight were baptized. Two for the first time. It was so precious.
This was the perfect ending for a perfect day.
Some of the staff in the old Roman city.
We had a really sweet time of worship at the Garden.
The church at the garden was gorgeous. Everyone enjoyed grabbing a few moments to be alone with God and contemplate, meditate on the sacrifices of Jesus.
We arrived as the sun was setting over Jerusalem. A grand ending.
We enjoyed a great Shabbat meal at the Olive Tree Hotel after getting settled in rooms. We are staying in our apartment now while the group is in the hotel. We will be joining the tour each day from home.
Today was a free day of shopping and seeing some of the Old City.
Tomorrow and the next day, I will go to the Dead Sea with a dear Israeli friends for a special get away, so I will miss the tour for two days.
But a little mineral-water spa pampering sounds perfect right now…