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“After the Lord Jesus had talked with them [apostles], he was taken up to heaven and sat at the right side of God.” (Mark 16:19)
After his resurrection, Christ appeared to his disciples many times. However, after 40 days since he was brought back to live, Jesus rose up to heaven. According to Evangelist Luke, it happened close to Jerusalem, in the area of Mount of Olives, on the way to Bethany.
While Roman Catholics and Protestants in Israel and across the world celebrated Easter Sunday on March 31 this year, for hundreds of millions of Eastern Orthodox in Russia, Ukraine, Greece, the Holy Land and elsewhere the highlight of Easter 2013 came on Saturday, May 4 when tens of thousands of the faithful packed Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulcher to witness the Holy Fire ceremony marking the resurrection of the Christian messiah.
The pageant, observed according to the Julian calendar which the Orthodox cling to, was already established in the ninth century when Bernard the Wise was told that an angel lit the fire on Easter night, explained Armenian historian George Hintlian. By Crusader times it had become a famous miracle. In Ottoman times horsemen stationed in the church courtyard carried the flame to Bethlehem and Nazareth. By the 19th century the fire was transported by steamer from Jaffa to the Greek Orthodox churches of the eastern Mediterranean.
Like the Olympic Torch, today the flame is taken by chartered jet to the monasteries on Mount Athos near Thessaloniki, and to Russia. As well, the colorful ceremony is broadcast live in countries like Serbia and Bulgaria, and throughout much of the former Soviet Union.
During the annual ritual carried out in the presence of many thousands of Armenian, Greek Orthodox, Coptic and Assyrian faithf
Sabastiya, located in the northern West Bank, is a small Palestinian village with a charming old town consisting predominantly of Mamluk and Ottomoan style architecture. However, the complex history of the village traces its roots back thousands of years earlier, with significant archaeological remains in and surrounding the village.
In the vision of Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat and deputy mayor Naomi Tsur, green is the new gold. The two politicians hope to bring 10-million tourists and pilgrims to Jerusalem by the end of the decade, up from the current four million, by branding the holy city as both an environmental mecca and pilgrimage destination for the world's four billion Jews, Christians and Muslims.
Pursuing that agenda, Tsur - who founded the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel before entering municipal politics - orchestrated the First International Jerusalem Symposium on Green and Accessible Pilgrimage which opened here Sunday at a multi-faith gala at the landmark YMCA.
Amongst the highlights of the five-day congress, which coincides with Earth Day on April 22, was the display of 18 "Cool Globes" on exhibit at the nearby Mamilla Mall. Each of the five-foot diameter orbs artistically showcases a different solution to climate change - from solar power to rooftop gardens, and green buildings to fuel efficiency.
Initiated in Chicago in 2006 by environmental activist Wendy Abrams as a public art project dedicated to increasing awareness of global warming and climate change, "Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet" sponsored an exhibit of 125 sculptures decorated with solutions to global warming. The works were on prominent display in Grant Park near the Field Museum of Natural History, the Shedd Aquarium and the Lake Michigan bike path
Beginning at sundown on April 14, Israel will begin its annual Memorial Day celebration (Yom Hazikaron. Across the country relatives of fallen soldiers and victims of terrorist attacks will gather at cemetaries and at their homes in remembrance of their loved ones. At 8 pm this evening a siren sill sound for one minute marking the beginning of Memorial Day. At 11 pm tomorrow, April 15, a two minute alarm will sound after which memorial day services will be held at locations across the country.
Each year Israel stops to remember those who fell in its defense and in terror attacks. As the sirens sound, people will stop on the street, halt their vehicles and get out of their cars, stand in their places of work, or at school, in order to remember those who have been killed.
In honory of Memorial Day, Prime Minister Netanyahu met today withBen Reuven (David Herman), the song writer that wrote "The Yonatan Victory March", in 1976 which was written in memory of the Prime Minister's brother, Lt.-Col. Yonatan Netanyahu, and sing it.
Reuven told Prime Minister Netanyahu, "Like I wrote on the back of the disc, I am among the millions of people around the world who were deeply impressed by the daring and heroism of the Entebbe operation. I wrote the song and set it to music almost 40 years ago out of the urge to express my admiration for the great achievement of the Entebbe operation and the late Yoni Netany
When following in the footsteps of Jesus most Christian pilgrims will, at some point during their Holy Land tour, find their away onto a Holy Land Sailing boat going across the Sea of Galilee, taking in the numerous holy and historical sites that are situated along waters edge. And some groups may make their way to the Yigal Alon museum to view the historic first centery "Jesus Boat" that was exposed several years ago in very shallow waters of Lake Galilee.
But what most people don't know and what marine archaeologists have yet to understand is that lying 8 or 9 meters underneath the surface in the southwest corner of the Sea of Galilee lies an impressive rock structure weighing close to 60000 tons, in the shape of a perfect circle.
Shmulik Marco, a senior researcher in the Geophysics Department of Tel Aviv University, made the discovery in 2003 using a sonar. The discovery was recently published in the "|International Journal of Nautical Archaeology" It is believed that the structure was put together on dry land and later submerged in rising waters. The stones are about a meter long and the overall size is close to 60 meters in diameter and 10 meters high.
So far there has not been a dig carried out at the site, however, archaeologists believe it is an early Bronze Age structure and that it may be connected to the nearby ancient city of Beit Yerah
Huddled in a hidden alley in East Jerusalem, hundreds of Christians from all corners of the world waited quietly in the crisp pre-dawn air to enter the idyllic Garden Tomb. They had come to commemorate the resurrection of Christ, and they would not remain quiet for long.
Having attended the Garden Tomb's long-running "SonRise Service" in the past, though admittedly not for a number of years, it was striking how much it has changed. While still a solemn and reverent gathering, there was an undeniable freshness, even a youthfulness that lent itself to a truly celebratory atmosphere.
The setting couldn't have been any more perfect. Garden Tomb Director Richard Meryon reiterated something he has said several times in the past: "Some believe this to be the authentic tomb of Christ. But the truth is that it doesn't matter, because the tomb is empty, and that is what we are here to celebrate." Meryon has stressed before that whether or not it be the authentic location, the Garden Tomb serves as a visual teaching tool to bring worshipers closer to the reality of what Christ did for them.
As the sun crested the nearby Mount of Olives, the Christians filling every corner of the Garden Tomb's peaceful sanctu
“Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull”. (Jn 19:17)
Jesus Christ was unjustly pronounced to death, however, he did not oppose to the given sentence for it was his wish and act of an unconditional love to die for our sins and be a redeemer to us. He was crucified and later entombed on a hill called Golgotha in Aramaic, Kranion in Greek, and Catvary in Latin, which means ‘skul’. This was also the place of his resurrection.
Christians visiting the Holy Land in the spring sometimes fail to appreciate the link between Passover and Easter: Jesus came to Jerusalem in April circa 34, making his triumphal entry on the Sunday of the last fateful week of his life, in order to offer a Passover sacrifice at Herod's magnificent newly-built Temple.
He celebrated the Passover seder feast that Thursday night, an event commonly referred to as the Last Supper. Returning with his apostles to their encampment at Gethsemane on the nearby Mount of Olives, he was arrested that evening after being betrayed by Judas.
On Friday, the holy day of Passover, Jesus was tried and then crucified. His corpse was hurriedly placed in a new sepulcher or family tomb belonging to Joseph of Arimathea near to the Skull Hill execution grounds (believed by some to be located adjacent to what is known as the Garden Bomb) to so as not to violate the Sabbath that began Friday shortly before sundown. Sunday morning it was discovered that the rolling stone sealing Jesus' tomb had been shifted, and the sepulcher was empty. Jesus had arisen.
When it came to actually specifying the date in which Easter would be celebrated annually, the Church fathers wanted the holiday to closely follow Passover, after all, that was when Christ died. But interestingly, in determining the date of Easter, Christianity did not make Easter's date dependent on Passover and, in fact there are years when Easter falls almost a full month in
“They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I pray.’” (Mark 14:23)
It was in the Garden of Gethsemane on the foot of the Mount of Olives where Jesus was pointed out by Judas Iscariot to be arrested by the Roman soldiers and the Temple guards, who were sent by the chief priests and the teachers of the Law. Christ knew that his hour was near, so he decided to speak to God the Father. In his prayer he hoped that he would not need to suffer much, however he agreed to all God’s will. “Father, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” (Mark 14:36)