Land of Israel

Abraham’s Well

The city of Beer Sheva recently built a magnificent visitor’s center around Abraham’s well, and I highly recommend visiting either on your own or as part of a tour with me. But first a bit of background. In the book … Read More

notes shoved into cracks in the Western Wall

Old City Poems

I confess to writing poetry instead of listening to the tour guide. This was the result! … Read More

Mt. Bental: The Valley of Tears and Israel-Syria Border

Mt. Bental: In one site you can see deep into Syria, the border area, the site of one of the great tank battles of the 20th century, Israel’s tallest mountain, and also enjoy a good cup of coffee. … Read More

David v. Goliath, The View from Tel Azeka and the Elah Valley

This is where Israelite pride was restored, the Philistine yoke thrown off, and the meteoric rise of the future king David began. See and learn more from the vantage point of Tel Azekah overlooking the site of the battle. … Read More

idf soldier stands next to tank by flag at sunset

In Praise of the Brave IDF Heroes on the Gaza Border

If you only get news about Israel from CNN you may think that headline must be either satirical or written by a moral monster. Think again, and have a listen. … Read More

jersualem flag two blue stripes with city seal lion

Jerusalem Day, Yom Yerushalaim #51

Today in Israel we celebrate the day 51 years ago when Jerusalem was reunified under Jewish sovereignty for the first time in two thousand years! … Read More

Making Sense of ‘West Bank,’ ‘Judea and Samaria’ and areas ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’

The origin and meaning of terms referring to the ‘West Bank’ or ‘Judea and Samaria’ and the different areas there are really confusing. Here’s what they mean and how they got to be as they are now. … Read More

Saul’s Death and David’s Curse: Mount Gilboa

Saul’s death, David’s curse, Gideon’s army, Elisha’s miracles, and more took place here in the Jezreel valley. … Read More

Staying Safe in Israel, Summer and Winter, Advice and Resources

Ten teenagers on a school hike were recently killed in a flash flood. The most dangerous thing for a tourist in Israel is the weather. Here are some tips to keep yourself safe. … Read More

Israel’s 70th Independence Day

On the 5th of Iyar 5708 (May 15, 1948), the two thousand year dream of an exiled people to return home was fulfilled. Three years after the Holocaust, the Jewish state took up arms, with the help of G-d, to chart our own destiny. And we have the audio!!!

Fire up the grill and have a listen to prepare for Thursday’s festivities! … Read More

How Much Should I Tip in Israel?

One of the most common questions I’m asked as a tour guide in Israel is, “How much do I tip …?” Here’s the answer for the most likely cases! … Read More

The Jewish Calendar and Your Israel Trip

If you don’t plan your trip to Israel with the Hebrew calendar in mind you may be in for some rude surprises! Here’s everything you need to know. … Read More

Rabbi Eitan Dancing

5 Non-Tourist-Sites to Transform your Israel Trip

Want to tour in Israel but avoid the standard tourist sites? Here are 5 ways to add a touch of local flavor and culture to your time here. … Read More

Muslim Prayer Beads from Nazareth White Mosque

Divided Roads

When I was in the tour guiding course we went to Nazareth and visited the White Mosque. It’s a beautiful old mosque, made of white stone, rising above the alleyways of the old city. An elderly man showed us up to … Read More

elah valley tel azekah shefelah israel day tour

Layers: Tel Me a Story (The Land of Israel, Jerusalem, and the layers of history and meaning that define it)

In ancient times before the written word there was a tribe, worshipers of the gods of the land. They walked along footpaths into the hills of the high country between the great sea and the sea of death, where nothing … Read More

Jerusalem Stone, Hulda Gates arches filled in

Layers: The Story of Jerusalem Stone

The story of how a dead crustacean 70 million years ago became part of the holy landscape, the Western Wall, and a worldwide symbol of Jerusalem. … Read More

Remains of haritoun ancient monastery, rubble in pillar shape, towers over steep tekoa canyon

Wild Places in Israel, Close By

There are wild places, where you can experience nature a mere ten minutes away from Jerusalem. … Read More

adam bridge jordan valley israel side border

Crossing the Jordan

Here, in this nondescript bend in a small river, deep in the wilderness of the desert an hour drive from Jerusalem on modern highways, is the point of transition from wandering to homecoming, from paganism to monotheism, from personal striving to striving for (and with) God. … Read More

Is it Safe to Travel to Israel?

The short answer is yes. Traveling to Israel is safe. The slightly less comforting answer is that it is as safe as anywhere in the world today. … Read More

Red Winter Flowers in Israel

Winter Is Coming – Visit Israel!

Trudging through slush on your way to the subway or the el-train, bundling up before heading out, and piling layer upon layer on the kids before having to take them all off again for the first one that needs to … Read More