A Travellerspoint blog

Israel Day 3

1/1/2019 (Happy New Year!)

sunny 64 °F

This morning was a bit more difficult to get started than the previous ones. Not only were there more loud people out celebrating the new year, but a desperately needed nap earlier in the afternoon set off my sleep cycle a little. Oh well.

The first thing we did today was visit the ancient city of Capernaum, the headquarters of Jesus' movement and his home during his central Galilean Ministry. The archeology there is truly fascinating. The remaining stones are beautifully engraved in Jewish traditional shapes, and some of the remaining temple structure still exudes a sense of majesty and wonder. Apparently, Capernaum is one of the few places in Israel that can be definitively marked as a specific biblical site, rather than labeled by tradition or guess. Considering this certainty, the temple that still partially stands here was visited and taught in by Jesus. Along the side of the temple we could see the black stones that mark the first century temple that stood in the area first, which was later build over in the third century evidenced by the larger white stones. I wish I could include all of the historical and spiritual intricacies here, but one could easily write novels upon novels about any one of these places.

Marked by a church suspended over a portion of the archeological site is the location where Jesus is thought to have lived. Apparently, this site was labeled by secret Christians in the 6th century with a series of stones, and Christians since have revered the site. After fleeing from Nazareth, Jesus lived in this place and healed the paralyzed man lowered through the roof. It's amazing to see and tough a place that is so many times older than my own country back home.

After Capernaum we headed further down the Sea of Galilee to another church on the coast. I believe the site is called Tabgha, and it was founded to commemorate what is thought to have occurred there: Jesus' appearance to his disciples after his resurrection. In the book of John Jesus calls out to Peter on his boat and tells him to throw his nets onto the other side, which miraculously results in them catching 153 fish (which, because hebrew letters have numbers that correspond with them, is a theologically significant number meaning "I am God"). Anyway, the shore was beautiful and we were able to go down to the water. The shore was littered with tiny, beautiful shells, and I collected some to bring home.

After this, we went to lunch. I am usually excited about food, but this... was a bit difficult for me. According to our tour guide, the specific restaurant we went to had a delicious fish to represent the fish Peter caught in the Sea of Galilee that had a coin in its mouth. Needless to say, our server brought out a tray of whole, cooked fish. While everyone else began to tear into the fish and take out their spines, I sat there feeling queasy. I understand that eating a fish whole is virtually the same as eating it fillayed, but I simply couldn't do it. I will say, the whole meal was pretty funny and we all laughed and had a good time. After the meal we had the chance to go on a boat ride out onto the sea of galilee, and it was so so beautiful. I made sure to have a little titanic moment with some friends haha.

We had two more stops before the end of our scheduled day. The first was to The synagogue of Magdala, the area where Mary Magdalene is thought to have lived. The archeological site there is pretty newly discovered, and revealed a lot of information about Judeo-Chrisitan worship from the time of Jesus. There is also the foundation for a market, which Jesus most certainly visited at some point in his life and ministry.

The last thing we did before heading back to the hotel for dinner was visit the Yardenit- the Baptismal sites on the waters of the Jordan river. Nine people from our group chose to be baptised in the river, so they were given robes and brought down to the river while the rest of us watched. It was cool to see them and imagine this occurring thousands of years earlier. What an amazing thing to witness.

That's it for today! Tomorrow we leave this area and travel to Tel Aviv, where we will be spending the night. After that it's on to Jerusalem!



Posted by emschroen 10:27 Archived in Israel

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Whats the matter? Dont like your food staring back at you? XD

by Tinarkii

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