Temple Goes to Israel – Day 9

By |2020-03-26T11:02:44-05:00March 12th, 2020|Categories: Israel|

March 7, 2020 Blog Post by The Abramsons The theme of our final full day was different religions and different groups within the Jewish community vying to decide what will be the soundtrack and face of Jerusalem. This tension can erupt violently, as with the stabbing death of 16 year old Shira Banki by an Ultra Orthodox man at the 2015 Gay Parade. Yet our guide Nathan argued that it can also reflect the beauty of greater diversity than Tel Aviv. Gay Parade attendance in Jerusalem doubled the year after the stabbing and there was even an Ultra Orthodox Rabbi carrying a sign next to Banki’s memorial, [...]

Temple Goes to Israel – Day 8

By |2020-03-26T11:02:51-05:00March 10th, 2020|Categories: Israel|

Machane Yehuda market After several days of bright sunshine and warm winter, a front brought cold and rain,(Sharav), reminding us it is still winter in Israel. Yad Vashem The grey day provided an appropriate setting for our visit at Yad Vashem. There, our guide Natan Landau along with Rabbi Grushcow helped to deepen our knowledge of the Holocaust and that of the Righteous of the Nations. The somber tone of the day was lightened at the bustling Machane Yehuda market where the bright colours of candy, only to be matched by the wafts of spices, of baked breads and freshly ground coffee. The [...]

Temple Goes to Israel – Day 7

By |2020-03-26T11:03:18-05:00March 9th, 2020|Categories: Israel|

Today marks day 7 in our journey!  Sitting here in the lobby of our Jerusalem hotel recounting the day’s events, I am grateful that we have all come to know each other so much better through our shared experiences and also for the care Rabbi Grushcow and our guide, Noam, have taken in shepherding us on this journey. A chance meeting at the entrance to Temple Mount The complex interplay of cultural, religious and political forces in Israel seems to come into sharper focus here in Jerusalem.  During our early morning wait at the security checkpoint at Temple Mount, Noam facilitated an impromptu discussion with [...]

Temple Goes to Israel – Day 6

By |2020-03-26T11:03:05-05:00March 9th, 2020|Categories: Israel|

A Dip In The Dead Sea The Dead Sea gets its name from the fact that no macroscopic plants or animals live there (though some bacteria do) due to high salt concentration. The Dead Sea is actually a lake, not a sea, since it has a single source of water and is not connected to the ocean. It gets saltier every year (though it is not the world’s saltiest lake) since it is landlocked and the area is extremely hot and humid. A Family That Floats Together... The Dead Sea is so salty (33.7%) that it is nearly impossible to drown. The Lowest Place On Earth  The Dead Sea [...]

Journey of a Lifetime: Temple Goes to Israel – Day 5 Petra

By |2020-03-26T11:03:25-05:00March 6th, 2020|Categories: Israel|

We drove an hour from kibbutz Lotan. At the border we debarked the bus and walking, had to pass through 2 Israeli checkpoints before another scrutiny at  the crossing into Jordan. In a van driving from the Israel-Jordan border, our  Jordanian guide Hussein gave us a historical and geographical accounts of the region. Initially we passed mountain ranges made of limestone and granite. Then while on the Kingsway (which has been used since the time of Abraham) the sandstone hills grew upward beside the road. About 1.5 -2 hours later we came to Petra. In 1812 a Swiss explorer discovered this ancient (400BCE-1200AD) city constructed by the [...]

Temple Goes to Israel – Jeeps in the Desert

By |2020-03-26T11:03:34-05:00March 6th, 2020|Categories: Israel|

Welcome to the African-Syrian rift valley! This morning, half of our group embarked on a rugged adventure through this vast basin, surprisingly lush and covered evenly with winter vegetation. This land is scattered with tall escarpements and gulleys, and the ground is very dry. Thankfully, we visited during the winter, so it was not so sweltering hot! Immediately, as we descended down the entrance mountain, I began to appreciate and welcome the tranquility of the valley, extending such a long distance and yet remaining so silent. Although, there was really no time to reflect so deeply, since the stones and potholes in the beaten-earth road became very [...]

Temple Goes to Israel – Day 4

By |2020-03-26T11:03:50-05:00March 4th, 2020|Categories: Israel|

MAKING THE DESERT BLOOM: Monday March 2, 2020 After an Israeli breakfast in the kibbutz near Lakiya, our group split up for the day’s activities.  One group was heading out to do some Jeep tours, while my group was driving out to Sde Boker, the location of the home of the late Prime Ministe David Ben Gurion and his wife Paula.  An important man in Jewish history, PM Ben Gurion’s home was small and modest.  His office was the largest room of the house with an impressive library of books on three walls.  Ben Gurion was born in 1886 in Poland and as an adult immigrated to [...]

Journey of a Lifetime: Temple Goes to Israel Day 3

By |2020-04-06T08:32:58-05:00March 3rd, 2020|Categories: Israel|

Reflections on a dig and a village by Brian Bronfman  The group’s third day in Israel – Sunday, March 1st – started with a fun surprise and finished with thought-provoking interactions.  The two experiences were linked by one thing: the coronavirus… but don’t worry, nobody in or near our group got ill.  Here’s what I mean. Our day was meant to begin with a tour of the Soda Stream factory, but we learned the previous day that it had been cancelled by the company, along with all other tours, because of their fear that visitors could bring in the coronavirus, especially given that even a possibility thereof [...]

Journey of a Lifetime: Temple goes to Israel – Day 2

By |2020-03-30T08:58:40-05:00March 2nd, 2020|Categories: Israel|

We are the Travelers, lovers of Israel, all together eager to live and learn, experience and understand how the old is made the new and discover the new inside the old... Passionate guide Noam, in intellectual tandem with Rabbi Grushcow, makes us witness the complicated birth of the city of Tel Aviv and the state of Israel, as well as the growing art of the murals of the Florentine’s neighbourhood  - sharp witness and active voice for fair, balanced, educated modern times... Rabin Square and Rabin mural... Food for thought... And, the best Hummus in the World at Abu Hassan, in Old Jaffa... Food for the body... [...]

Journey of a Lifetime: Temple goes to Israel – Day 1

By |2020-03-26T11:03:57-05:00March 2nd, 2020|Categories: Israel|

It’s a joy to be writing you from Israel, where we have arrived after some travel adventures. The snow and ice which cancelled some of our flights feels far behind us, and our group of 34 congregants, family members and friends are very happy to be here. We dropped our bags at the hotel in Tel Aviv and made our way to the ancient city of Jaffa. Jaffa is known for being the city the prophet Jonah fled from when God called him - and, more recently, the port where many of Israel’s Jewish immigrants arrived. Noam, our guide, referred to it as the Ellis Island of [...]


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