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28 August, 201128 August, 2011 0 comments Geography Geography

Another Holy Land site, Wadi Rum, was added to UNESC's World Heritage List this summer. The majestic site is situated in mountainous desert terrain in souther Jordan near the border with Saudi Arabia and encompasses over 275 square miles of majestic, mountainous desert including spectacular sand dunes, sheer-sided mountains and dramatic cliffs. The Red Rose Nabatean City of Petra is located close to the Wadi Rum Nature Reserve.

The area is considered part of the ancient Nabatean trade route which leads across southern Jordan west through Israel and into Egypt. The landscape is marked by sandstone and granite mountains, wide valleys and narrow and deep canyons. Most remarkably, jidden within the canyons are numerous ancient rock drawings and inscriptions dating to the Nabataans who controlled the major trade route. In selecting Wadi Rum, the UNESCO website states that:

"Petroglyphs, inscriptions and archaeological remains in the site testify to 12,000 years of human occupation and interaction with the natural environment. The combination of 25,000 rock carvings with 20,000 inscriptions trace the evolution of human thought and the early development of the alphabet. The site illustrates the evolution of pastoral, agricultural and urban activity in the region."


Biblical and classical sources refer to "aram". The book of Job also mentions the land of Uz, which many believe refers to the area as well.

Traveling throug

TagsTags: wadi rum unesco jordan petra 
28 April, 201128 April, 2011 0 comments Geography Geography

In a first known tour of its kind, 25 Ethiopian Catholics made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land designed specifically for them and their specific spiritual needs especially during the Easter holiday.

Usually Catholics from Ethiopia join Orthodox Christians, the majority religion in their nation, on tours to the Holy Land. But this time, the Catholic pilgrims celebrated Easter in Jerusalem and have been touring the entire country in a weeklong visit spiritually catered to Catholics.

Most of the people in the group were in Israel for the first time.

Meaza Yohannes, a Bible teacher, said it is amazing for her to see everything she has been teaching for 20 years  with her own eyes.
catholic, holy land tourism
“The Bible is coming alive,” she told Travelujah. “It is so awesome I cannot even explain. We know what we read in the Bible, but now it is real. This country is rich in culture and rich in history and tradition.”

Ethiopia is the second oldest Christian country in the world, after Armenia. Christians make up about 63 percent of Ethiopia’s population with about 44 percent Orthodox and 10 perce

24 April, 201124 April, 2011 0 comments Geography Geography

From the Holy Fire Ceremony on Saturday to all-night services and sunrise celebrations on Sunday, Christians in Israel reveled in Easter festivities celebrating the resurrection of Jesus.

For many Orthodox Christians, the climax of the Easter season is on Saturday at the Holy Fire ceremony.

Angelina Karageuzian, an Armenian Orthodox Christian, told Travelujah she goes to the service every year - and it never gets old for her. She walked with the Armenian processional to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre at 11 a.m. where she and thousands of other faithful - local Christians and pilgrims alike - waited standing for the ceremony at 2 p.m.

holy sepulchre, tomb, easter“That moment when the light comes out, it’s a different, special feeling,” she said. “I wait for that moment. I am ready to wait for hours for that moment. It is very spiritual.”

Some 10,000 worshippers packed into the Holy Sepulchre for the ceremony including Greek, Russian, Armenian Orthodox and Coptic and Syrian Christians. From early morning, Christians begin to crowd into the Old City to get into the church.

The H

TagsTags: easter holy land 
22 April, 201122 April, 2011 0 comments Geography Geography

“Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle. Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” John 19:17-19

easter, holy land, good fridayThrough occasional rain drops and thick clouds, thousands of Christian pilgrims carrying wooden crosses made their way along the slick stones of the Via Dolorosa to retrace the steps of Jesus as he carried his cross to Gologotha and was crucified on Good Friday in Jerusalem.

The Via Dolorosa, or the Way of Suffering, is marked by 14 Stations of the Cross, where Jesus is believed to have stopped on his way to Golgotha. The final four stations are in side the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Some 100,000 Christian pilgrim
s from Egypt, Ethiopia, Italy, Russia, Armenia, France, the United States a

18 April, 201118 April, 2011 0 comments Geography Geography

Why is this Passover night different from all the rest? Mainly because more and more Christians, both in Israel and overseas, will be partaking in some observance of Passover, a phenomenon that is catching on among many Christians, evangelical and otherwise.

Erev Pesach (Passover Eve) begins at sunset on Monday night in Israel. Jews all across Israel and the world will sit down for the traditional Seder dinner commemorating the miraculous exodus of the Israelites form Egypt. Each year, more Christians join in whether with their Jewish neighbors or at Seder dinners of their own. 

passover, israel, christiansWayne Hilsden, senior pastor of King of Kings Community in Jerusalem, said that Christians have a precedent for observing the Passover: Jesus’ last supper was a Passover Seder with his disciples.

“Celebrating Passover is an enriching experience for every Christian,” Hilsden told Travelujah. “The symbols in the Passover celebration ultimately point to the Messiah. To sever our link with the Old Testament scripture - the root and foundation of our faith - causes Christians to miss out on some very significant spiritual truths.”

Every other year King o

TagsTags: holy land passover 
18 April, 201118 April, 2011 1 comments Geography Geography

Holy Week was ushered in to Jerusalem on Sunday with thousands of Christians waving palms and walking the route believed to be the same one Jesus took when he entered Jerusalem in his final week.

easter, holy land, palm sunday“The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the king of Israel!’ Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written: ‘Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.’” John 12:12-15

Thousands of Christians, both local Arabs and Armenians, plus pilgrims, poured into the alleys of the Old City to attend Palm Sunday services and then left with their symbolic fronds for family dinners or to visit more of the city.

The excitement that always marks this time in Jerusalem was palpable in the Old City on Sunday.  As the week carries on, the anticipation of the holy

15 April, 201115 April, 2011 0 comments Geography Geography

With just a week until Easter, the celebrations that mark Holy Week begin on Sunday just as an estimated 100,000 Christian tourists flood the Holy Land this week to take part in the Easter season.

The Christians from overseas join the 146,000 Christians living in Israel who deem Easter their most important holiday.

This year, both the Orthodox and Catholic Easters coincide on April 24. Passover is in the middle of Easter week, beginning on Monday evening, April 18.

Jerusalem is the center of the Resurrection story. The following is a list of masses, gatherings and special events this week that commemorate the last days and resurrection of Jesus:

Sunday, April 17
easter, holy landPalm Sunday
7 a.m. Procession with Palms and Pontifical Mass at Holy Sepulchre
2:30 p.m. Procession from the Mount of Olives to St. Anne’s Church
the Armenians, Copts and Syrians join together for a processional three times around the rotunda in the Holy Sepulchre, each chantin

TagsTags: easter holy land 
10 April, 201110 April, 2011 1 comments Geography Geography

The Holy Sepulchre is more than just a large, ancient church, but is a holy site for Orthodox and Catholic Christians divided into many smaller chapels dedicated to different parts of the Easter story.

Also known as the Church of the Resurrection, the cavernous church commemorates the hill of crucifixion and the tomb of Christ's burial. It sits on the edge of the Christian Quarter in the Old City and is home to several Christian denominations: Greek Orthodox, the Armenian Orthodox and the (Latin) Roman Catholic are the larger denominations while the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox, the Ethiopian Orthodox and the Syrian Orthodox also possess rights and properties in the building.

Originally built by Constantine’s mother in 330 A.D. on top of a pagan worship site, inside the church many first-century tombs hewn from rock were discovered there, one identified as that of Joseph of Arimathea, used for the body of Jesus after his resurrection.

holy sepulchre, tomb, easterThe Church of the Holy Sepulcher has weathered many attacks during various periods of history in the Holy Land. Most of the present building is the result of 12th-century reconstruction by the crusaders. S

18 January, 201118 January, 2011 0 comments Geography Geography

Tel Aviv Municipality named eight new neighborhoods this week, one of which was after a New Testament figure, Tabitha, well known for her charitable works, and whom Peter raised from the dead. The neighborhood is situated adjacent to the Russian Orthodox church in the southern part of the city, next to Jaffa and very  near the Tel Aviv Botanical Garden. The  grave of Tabitha is also located in this area of the city.

The importance of Tabitha is mentioned in the New Testament in the story of Peter.

Peter was summoned from Lydda (modern-day Lod) to Jaffa, upon the death of Tabitha, known far and wide for her charitable works: "But Peter ... kneeled down, and prayed: and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes; and when she saw Peter, she sat up. And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive. And it was known throughout all Joppa [Jaffa]; and many believed in the Lord."    Acts 9: 36-42,(40-42).


For the Christian visitor to Tel Aviv, what is arguably the most significant reference to Jaffa is the Vision of St. Peter (Acts 10: 1-48). Jaffa is an important Christian site that is generally included in Christian pilgrimage itineraries  because of its connection to St. Peter.


"And he [Simon Peter] became very hungry and would have eaten; but while they made ready, he fell into a tr

TagsTags: tel aviv tabitha 
5 September, 20105 September, 2010 0 comments Geography Geography

The Negev is a paradise for hikers and for those seeking an exciting trek inside Israel's largest desert, local expert tour guide Yoel Oren is sharing his favorites in the post below.


From very short hikes, 2-3 hours long, to 4-5 days of hikng, or even more. If you are trekking the Israel National Trail (INT), then you walk at least two and a half weeks in the Negev! The best seasons for hiking in the Negev are autumn, winter and early spring. During the summer, it is possible to hike early in the morning or in the afternoon, finding a nice shade around noon to keep away from the heat.  In that seaon you rather hike in the more elevated regions, rather than around the boiling rift valley, and you must carry a decent amount of water!

Since we will soon be beginning the best hiking season for Negev, we will provide some suggestions on wonderful hikes.


The East Ramon Trek

This trek begins in Mitzpe Ramon on the west, in altitude of over 900 meters above sea level,

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