Archives for December 2009

A Look at Biblical Jerusalem

Ancient burial caves in the village of Silwan, across the Kidron Valley from Ir David / City of David

This past Friday’s class focused mainly on Biblical Jerusalem. By exploring its history both through the archaeology and through the Biblical texts, we were able to formulate a picture of what makes this small piece of real estate so important in the context of world history. I’m sure I’ll have more to add once we actually take our tiyul around the area of Ir David / “The City of David.” But I did want to discuss a few interesting points that came up.

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Tour: “In the Footsteps of David and Shimshon”

Overlooking the Shefela (Lowlands) from Beit Meir on a cloudy day.

We had our first siyur (tour) this past Tuesday. Entitled “In the Footsteps of David and Shimshon (Samson),” it really encompassed a few different subjects that all related to the area around the city of Beit Shemesh. We also spent some time at the beginning of the day in moshav Beit Meir, at the very end tip of one of the ridges of the Judean Hills. This gave us the chance to get a good overview of the geography of the land (though it would have been a much better view if the day was sunnier, rather than alternately cloudy and rainy, with only brief respites of sunshine).

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Israel’s Airline Wars

The view from my window on my Aliya / Immigration Flight

There seems to be a lot of jostling going on in Israel’s airline industry lately. Ideally this will lead to increased competition, which should benefit the consumer, if corruption doesn’t preserve the status quo. But what I find most interesting is the backstory to this long-running dispute.

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Started Up

Sunrise over Har Zeitim/Mt. of Olives & Har HaBayit/Temple Mount

So, first off, I want to apologize for my recent “radio silence” — I had another post ready to be written, but then I got ill with tonsillitis (and here I thought it was mainly a kids’ disease!), and am only now recovering. That post will follow soon.

But we had our first class this past Friday morning, so I wanted to discuss it briefly.

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Mid-Chanukkah Update

A few of the items I purchased for my course.

A few of the items I purchased for my course.

I just wanted to post a little update, now that the course is finally starting. But first, I wanted to apologize to y’all.

My website was down for over a day this weekend, due to issues with my hosting company’s servers. They migrated my site to a different server, and this hopefully solved all of the problems. So if you came to the site but found it wasn’t working, and then you came back again, I thank you for your tenacity!

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The First Step

Me stepping into the chilly water running through Hezekiah's Tunnel.

Me stepping into the chilly water running through Hezekiah's Tunnel.

So, tomorrow’s the big day: my tourguide course begins! We’ll be having an orientation, and perhaps a first “class” as well (I’m not really sure).

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Want to Come to Israel? Win a Trip!

The promotional mini-site

The promotional mini-site

Here’s a new promo from the Israel Ministry of Tourism tied to Chanukkah and offering a chance to win an El Al flight to Israel!

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Hopefully a Good Sign

Wild thistle in Ein Hod

Wild thistle in Ein Hod

Though the start of my course was delayed a few weeks, we are supposed to have our first orientation/classes this Friday, December 11. One of the things people always bring up is how this can be a difficult profession, due to its operating largely at the whims of the tourism industry. And that industry naturally has its ups and downs.

Still, I try to remain hopeful, and look out for positive signs.
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What’s This All About?

The Kotel / Western Wall at Birkat HaChama - the once-in-28-year commemoration of Creation

The Kotel / Western Wall at Birkat HaChama - the once-in-28-year commemoration of Creation

I’m glad you asked! Or, if you didn’t, then allow me to put a few choice words into your mouth — in particular the above words.

Although a bit of this information is already covered on the About page, I wanted to give a bit of an intro here, explaining why I am writing this blog now. And also perhaps tell you a bit about what you can expect to see in these “pages” in the future.

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