Video: When Is It Time to Leave for Israel?

This video by Lori Palantik, a highly respected leader in the Jewish community, is sounding the trumpet call for the return of American Jews to Israel, Now. A very prominent Rabbi told her,”When they start killing Jews in the streets, it’s time”.

Source: Video: When Is It Time to Leave for Israel?


Shivta-A Desert Jewel

The ancient city of Shivta was located in the middle of the Negev desert, about 43 kilometers SW of Beersheva.  Christainity came to the Negev in the fourth century and the remains of two large churches  stand above the ruins today.  The artwork and other artifacts found at the site,  point to the Nabatean, Roman and Byzantine periods. Water channels were extensively built, carrying water throughout the very developed city. Shivta was abandoned sometime in the 10th century, along with the other Nabatean cities along the incense route.  Archeologists today are working to put together pieces of information that they have found, to discover why these cities were abandoned and the nation of the Nabateans disappeared.  The Nabateans are thought to have descended from Ishmael.


A bit of information about Shivta

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Still at work uncovering ancient treasures


A team of archeologists are carefully digging in the sand


A large street in one of the largest Nabatean cities in the Negev

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Remains of one of two churches still visible


Another view of the triple apse basilica, with a long nave separated by two rows of columns



Looking through the doorway into the remains.  Notice the artwork on the top of the doorway.



Workers placing the original stones in the arch.  We watched with baited breath, hoping they didn’t drop the stone and shatter it.


Looking down the wide road. Incredible…

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The Govenor’s house..or the remains of a monastery.  One of the few two story buildings remaining with the top story stones still intact.


The lintel above the entrance is decorated with Christian symbols


Large and well preserved


Overlooking the courtyard of the large “Governor’s Buildng”

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From a distance, this towers above the rest of the city

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Look close at the faded paint inside this church dome and see if you can see a man kneeling…

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Looking into the remains of the other 4th century church

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Cruciform baptismal font hewn out of one piece of rock

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Walking inside the other church remains


Jeff inspecting the arch.  How did they do that?

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These farmers colleccted every bit of water.

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Wonder who walked these streets when this town was flourishing?


Looking from the inside out


Quite a view


Looking out from Shivta across the desert


Narrow is the pathway that leads to life…and home

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A firey sky at sunset taken from our back porch.


Looking back on Hanukkah

We enjoyed being in Israel for Hanukkah.  As part of our celebration experience, we went to Jerusalem for the eighth and final lighting of the hanukkiah light.  It was exciting to be at the Kotel,  with the crowds gathering there in a spirit of expectancy.  The dignitaries came in well-guarded cars, the torches on top of an adjacent building were lit, the music started, the crowd sang and moved with the beat, then a hush settled over everyone, as the Rabbi started the prayers.

Enjoy the sites with us, including a stroll through the narrow passageways of the Jewish quarter of the Old City.  The golden glow of candles shining through the darkness was evident everywhere you looked.



Lighting hanukkiahs at a party.



And then we dance..after eating, of course.

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Here come the troops.

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The city was full of cadets joining the throngs going to the Kotel.

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Couldn’t resist taking a photo of this handsome toddler!

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Here we come…

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On our way through security in order to enter the Western Wall area.

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A mixture of people gathering for the prayers.

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Young boys climbing on the fence, impatiently playing around, waiting for the ceremony to start.


Yes, we are really here!  And it’s not too cold…

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Waiting for the dignitaries to light these torches.

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What a sight to see these 3 foot flames light up the area.

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Another hanukkiah overlooking the Kotel.

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There, it is lit!  The young boy to the right is a teen terror victim.  He got to light one of the candles.

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Father lighting his hanukkiah with his small son looking on.

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Unusual display of candles waiting to be lit. By the look of it, there is a large family behind this!

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Hanukkiahs are put in windows for all to see.

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Look up!

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One of many ways to display the lights!


Lights everywhere!

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A lot of families live here..

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Making our way out..


Images of  Dreidels dancing on the Old City Wall



Visiting Magdala

Magdala is an ancient fishing community situated at the base of Mount Arbel, on the Sea of Galilee.  It is situated close to Capernium and the Mount of Beautitudes.  This is the site of the oldest synagogue excavated in Galilee and a place where Yeshua surely taught and healed the multitudes, including Mary Magdalene (Mary of Magdala) who made her hometown famous.  The Magdala stone was discovered inside the First Century Syngague.  The design appears to be a three-dimensional representation of the Second Temple of Jerusalem and includes the world’s oldest carved menorah.  To see a short youtube presentation on Magdala from Archaeology News Network at



The young boy with the fishes and loaves may have brought his fish from Magdala on his way to listen to the Sermon on the Mount.


Geographical location on Sea of Galilee


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Uncovered steps


Steps to mikvah


Waterways bringing fresh water into mikvah


Still digging

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A view of market place


Looking across the town to the synagogue




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and Now…notice the rosetta design…the logo for Magdala.


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Another view of synagogue

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A group on tour from California


Mosaic still in pretty good shape


Jeff checking out the synagogue

Magdala Stone

One side of the Magdala stone.  The tour guide said they would have put the Torah on this stone to read from it.  “The intricate design appears to be a three-dimensional representation of the Second Temple of Jerusalem”. 

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Another view of the stone.  Notice the Menorah which is the world’s oldest carved menorah.   The Rosetta design on the top is the basis for Magdala’s logo and can be seen in the mosaic design in the synagogue.

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Sue leaning on the remaining synagogue wall

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A great view…


Small rooms, amazing concept of urban living

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Mosaic in the church on site

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She made the town famous



Walk with us in Jerusalem

We spent an afternoon in Old City Jerusalem, visiting the Temple Institute.  They have replicated the items that will be needed in the Third Temple to re-institute temple worship.  They have many beautiful large paintings on the wall depicting Israel’s history, the giving of the Torah, the tabernacle, the first temple period, the second temple period, and what it might look like for the building of the third temple…even with the help of the light rail and cranes!

The priests garments and the High Priest garments, along with the breastplate and turban are on display on mannequins in glass cases.  The alter, the laver, the incense table, the showbread table…it’s all there and ready to go when God’s timing is right.  It really is interesting.  As all museums are, there is a headset audio tour in English.  Sorry, no pictures or videos allowed.  visit their website for more information:  www.temple

But, walk with us through the winding streets and sidewalks and enjoy the flavor of the Old City as we strolled around.

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Our street in Mevo Betar


Mevo Betar, bearing fruit even in the winter season


Barrier to keep stone throwers away


You can see this protects the cars from terrorists throwing rocks


More fences….


Look close at the top of the gray car…a travelling hanukkijah!

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One of the 12 gates surrounding Old City Jerusalem…the Zion Gate

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One of the many sidewalks

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A courtyard, look how clean

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Another walkway winding through the city

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Feeling safe…

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One of the many underpasses to wak through

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A display of the many wares for sale

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A view of the Mount of Olives

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The Western Wall

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Another view of the Western Wall

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The menorah on display, ready for use in the Third Temple

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Another courtyard

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Lighting the second candle for the second night of Hanukkah.

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The Light of the World!

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For rededication…

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The city gate and walkway on top…for the watchmen on the wall!


Dusk is falling…


A box on the outside of the wall . Happy Hanukkah!


These are in the middle of the roundabouts…they are everywhere!


Yummy…Hanukkah Sufganiyot (Jelly Doughnuts) ….symbolize the miracle of burning oil..




We started out our November adventure with a 10 day trip to Cyprus. We attended a wonderful conference with people that represented many nations in the Middle East. It was very informative and well worth our time. We made new friends and contacts that have enriched our lives.

Here are some of the sights we saw from that beautiful island.


And on to Larnaka, driving on the left and looking over the right shoulder at the round abouts!  But the signs are all Greek to us…

The view to the West from our hotel

Locals enjoying the beach and the warm temps


A wonderful Greek pastry and coffee shop in the mountains

A view of the Medeterranean Sea

Driving to the hill country to have supper with young leaders from another ministry

A golden sunset over the city


A tree covered walkway in this clean country


Some beauty


A view to the East from our beachfront

A view of the center that was miraculously provided for Lighthouse Ministries

The ministry center where we had lunch by the pool in the back

Two large warehouses which will store resources to be shipped to the needy

Beginning of a new day


Jeff enjoying a cappuccino during one of our breaks

And the end of a wonderful day as the sun sets over the distant mountains




We had a short three day stay in Ashkelon when we arrived in Israel from Cyprus.  Ashkelon has an amazing history.  Ashkelon (or Ashqelon) began some 10,000 years ago.  The city was founded during the Middle Canaanite period (2000-1550BCE).  During the Israelite period (1200-1000 BCE) Ashkelon was one of the five Philistine cities.  It is mentioned in the biblical eulogy of David for Saul and Jonathan in 2 Samuel 1:20.  Ashkelon is also linked to Sampson, who struck down 30 Philistines in Judges 14:11-19.  The city reached its peak during the Roman period (37 BC-324CE).  It has been a major port city in its long history, as it continues to be today in Israel.  Residents enjoy the water activities along the beachfront of the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. (information taken from the park folder).

Enjoy some of the National Park sights with us!


This speaks for itself, see the city gate in the next picture


The Cannonite City Gate.


The bricks are very old.


Jeff checking out the ancient building materials.

Some of the walls that surrounded ancient Ashquelon


Some of the remaining walls built around the city



Remains of St. Mary Viridis Church, in use during the fifth century.

You can see part of the grottos


A view of the Roman Basilica from the third Century. It was 100 meters long and 35 meters wide. Here was where the public activity of Ashqelon took place.


An ancient well with great quality drinking water.


And this is how you got it up from the deep well.


You can see the shards of pottery mixed in with stone that makes up the walkway today.

A LONG walk to the top of the hill. Sue felt like she accomplished a lot being able to walk and climb the steep hill.


An amazing view from the top

Sue is touching stones that are thousands of years old.


A view of the beach and the ancient port.  You can see some of the modern port off in the distance.

Portions of the Muslim and Crusader walls have been strenghtened by inserted Roman columns


We send you greetings from Ashquelon

An amazing sunset to end our amazing day