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22 March, 200922 March, 2009 0 comments Peace Peace

Founded in 2001, PeacePlayers International Middle East  uses the game of basketball to educate and unite Arab and Jewish children between the ages of 10-16 and they base their work on the simple yet powerful premise that "children who play together, can learn to live together."  The program has worked with over 2.400 children and uses basketball as a tool to unite youth in divided communities, to teach life lessons in sport and to develop leaders who will advocate peaceful coexistence with their friends and neighborhs. In addition to playing basketball on integrated teams, Arab and Jewish youth participate in dialogue, life skills sessions and leadership development. Christian and other organizations now have the opportunity to include an exciting peace-focued program as part of a tour to Israel and the Palestinian territories.

 

With a site visit to one of PPI - ME's programs, clients will come away with an intimate look into co-existence. Groups can visit teams in Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, Abu Gosh, and Jaffa. PPI - ME teams are compri

16 March, 200916 March, 2009 0 comments Music Music

Deep in the heartland of Israel, in the area known as the Elah Valley, close to open fields and the JNF's Britain Forest, there is an old Turkish building which was once a Khan or way-station for travellers.

The building houses a musical family. The mother, Kochava Taragan, an accomplished flautist, arranges chamber concerts which are held on the terrace or in the large living room every Saturday at noon. Before the concert everyone is treated to a bowl of nourishing soup with home-made croutons. The chamber ensembles, often including Kochava herself, play a selection of pieces for an hour or two, often interspersed by some words of explanation. Sometimes the birds outside add their own contribution to the music. Afterwards most of the audience repairs to one of the local restaurants for lunch, though if you have not booked a table in advance you might find yourself obliged to go home. Great restaurants nearby include Pa'amon (meat) and Tavlin (Dairy). Both are located on Route 38, near Beit Shemesh.

 

Performances are held almost every  Saturday at 12:30 p.m., and soup begins at 12 p.m. The next performance is on March 27th.

15 March, 200915 March, 2009 1 comments Jesus Jesus

Gospel parables are probably the most widely identifiable teaching form of Jesus. However, readers seldom recognize Jesus' sophisticated skill as a first-century Jewish parabolist. Indeed, many Christians are unaware that his use of story parables is one of the strongest links between Jesus and contemporary Jewish piety. His parables also demonstrate that Jesus taught in Hebrew.


While Christian scholars in this century have written volumes attempting to reconstruct Jesus' parables in Aramaic, they have largely overlooked the simple fact that there exists no story parables in Aramaic, Greek or Latin. All are in Hebrew! In stark contrast to the dearth of story parables in these languages, literally thousands of Hebrew parables are preserved in Rabbinic literature.

In this study of The Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:4-8) we want to look closely, not only at the message of Jesus' parable, but how he told it, with particular attention to its Hebraic elements and its Jewish background. Let me encourage the reader, while we course our way towards the eventual

11 March, 200911 March, 2009 0 comments Biblical Archaeology Biblical Archaeology

An ancient Byzantine era church was discovered recently in the Jerusalem Hills at a construction site in Nes Harim, according to Ha'aretz Newspaper. Local residents unearthed the site which previously had been covered by pine trees and terraces.

The Israel Antiquities Authority exposed the excavated church, which  is paved with mosaics and decorated with an ancient inscription written in ancient Greek.
Dr. Leah Di Signi, a leading expert ifn ancient inscriptions at the  the Hebrew University of Jerusalem,  deciphered the inscription: "O Lord God of Saint Theodorus, protect Antonius and Theodosia the illustres [a title used to distinguish high nobility in the Byzantine period] - Theophylactus and John the priest [or priests]. [Remember o Lord] Mary and John who have offe[red - ] in the 6th indiction. Lord, have pity of Stephen."

As first reported in

The Israel Ministry of Tourism officially announced the upcoming itinerary for Pope Benedict's trip to the Holy Land. The Papal delegation with is to include 40 representatives from the Vatican and approximately 70 representatives of th foreign media, will arrive on May 11th. The Pope will meet with the Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barakat, local leaders, President Shimon Peres as well as the Council of Religious Community Leaders in Israel (the Chief Rabbis, the President of the Moslem Religious Court of Appeals, Christian religious leaders and the heads of the Druze Community). The Pope will also meet with leaders of the Palestinian Authority Mohammed Abbas during his visit to Bethlehem on May 13, 2009. The official itinerary is posted below: •

 

May 11, 2009 - Pope to arrive in Israel; official ceremony with President Shimon Peres and visit to Yad Vashem Martyrs' and Heroes' Memorial of the Holocaust. Pope Bernedct XVI will also meet with the Council of Religious Commuity Leaders in Israel. In the evening there will be an Interfaith Dialogue meeting at Notre Dame Center.•

23 February, 200923 February, 2009 0 comments Geography Geography

With spring in full bloom in Israel, a leisurely stroll through Tzippori, nicknamed by Josephus as "the ornament of the Galilee" is a must see visit for all travelers this time of year. Located in the heart of the Galilee, Tzippori is situated on a hill in the western part of the region, situated between the Tzippori stream to the south (Nahal Tzippori - also happens to be a wonderful place for a hike) and the Beit Netofa Valley to the north. The site is one of Israel's National Parks and is extremely well maintained. A modern visitor center sits at the entrance of the park and English speaking tour guides who work for the park service are available for hire in advance for approximately $150 for an hour and a half tour.

 

Tzippori received its name because of its location on the top of a mountain "like a bird" as written in the Talmud. Visiting today, one can view the remains of a magnificent city with streets, buildings, bathhouse, complete with very well preserved mosaic floors as well as an ancient synagague. A large theatre was also uncovered as well as an ancient water reservoir. For over two thousand years, Tzippori has enjoyed a very colorful history.

18 February, 200918 February, 2009 0 comments Geography Geography

Last weekend we traveled northward scouting sites for a bat mitzvah location. We opted for a return visit to Beit Lechem Haglilit, an idyllic village situated in the hills of the Galilee. Beautiful calanit flowers were in abundance throughout the countryside with cars after cars parked in the endless fields allowing visitors to access the many trails throughout the hilltops where they could admirethe new spring blossoms. The village of Beit Lechem Haglilit is easy to explore by foot or bike and the local historian, Kobi Fleishmann (04-953-2901), will gladly take around tour groups for a two hour stroll through the village by pre-arrangement. Kobi and his family live in a beautiful historic old Templar home and have converted a portion of it to a bed and breakfast as well as a local museum, chronicling the Templar roots of the village as well as the rise of the local Hitler Youth movement, which rose to prominence in this town during the 1930's. Photographs on display in the local museum chronicle this dark period of local history and provide visual evidence of the Nazi Youth parade that occurred in the village to mark Hitler's birthday. The museum showcases much of Kob

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