We’re Going to Israel!
April 23 - May 4
This is it! Today Fran and I are headed to Israel!
It’s her first time, and my first time in 25 years. I didn’t think it would be this long but it just never worked out to go. But now is the time. We’ve been preparing for months – new passports, new luggage and other things. After all this prepping and packing today is the day. First the flight to New York, a brief layover, and then the long flight to Tel Aviv. I can’t say that I look forward to the flight but I just keep the final destination in mind.
When I went in 1993 I just wanted to get my feet on the Land. Not just on the tarmac (which is how we deplaned in 1993) or in the terminal or on the street but on the Land itself – the dirt. Hebrew has a special word for this: Eretz. It means “land”, but to the people of Eretz Israel, it means much more. I wanted to stand in that special dirt and run it through my fingers. After we went through customs and got to the hotel I went outside – stood on the land, knelt down and touched it with my fingers and pressed the palm of my hand against it. Then I walked out to the beach on the Mediterranean Sea, took off my shoes and walked barefooted along the sandy shore. Here I was, at last.
I had first wanted to go to Israel in 1970—it took 23 years before I made that first trip. And soon I will be there again. The question is: Why Israel? Why did I want to go as a young man and why do I want to go now? That is a long story but I can give a short answer.
There are countless historical sites in Israel that have a great deal of meaning to me. I enjoyed visiting many of them on my first tour—the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, the Golan Heights, the Jordan River, the Dead Sea and Jerusalem, just to name a few. But the real benefit was just being there—walking the Land. As I walked I had a certain contentment, a peace, a settled-ness that is difficult to describe.
Gertrude Stein once said, “America is my country, and Paris is my home.” Substitute Paris with Israel, and I feel like I understand her completely. When I was in Israel, I simply felt at home. How can that be since I have never lived there? I don’t know but that’s just the way it is. I thought I would go back every year.
Side by Side
This trip is even more special because Fran will be joining me. She has ministered by my side all these years, developing a great love for the Land, and the People rooted in it, while never having visited. But now we can share this adventure together, just as we’ve shared so much else in life.
The tour will be led by Tom & Leah Blake, who lived in Israel for three years, and now lead the Remember Jerusalem ministry. Tom is also an elder at Kingdom Living Messianic Congregation. Here is the tour itinerary, for those who’d like to follow along:
We promise to try to put the cameras down long enough to see the Land through both eyes at once. But we also promise to bring you with us, through the sights we encounter, and insights we gain along the way. If you don’t already follow us on Instagram or Facebook, please take a moment to click those buttons. We’re so thankful for your prayers, and for your interest in the work of Our Father Abraham.