Hannah and Je together

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Israel Trip Sixteenth Day: Mount Carmel, Caesarea

Though we have one more day, today is actually the last day in this trip because we will leave the hotel for airport at 1:30 AM.

St. Gabriel Hotel Church at Nazareth

St. Gabriel Hotel Church at Nazareth

Before we left the St. Gabriel Hotel in Nazareth, I went to the Hotel Church. It was not that huge one, but beautiful one. It is not used currently.

Elijah on Mount Carmel

Elijah on Mount Carmel

Then we went to Mount Carmel. Mount Carmel is not just one peak of mountain but a whole range, and we went to the highest point where the Carmelites are living. This is the prophet Elijah’s statue in the yard.

View from the Mount Carmel

View from the Mount Carmel

This is the view from the top of the Mount Carmel eastward. If Elijah competed with other prophets of Baal on this spot, he would have dragged them down to the valley on the picture above (according to Old Testament professor Ted Hiebert). This is such a beautiful view. On clear day, we can see the Mediterranean sea, Nazareth, and whole area.

Caesarea

Caesarea

Then we went to that famous Caesarea. Caesarea is built by Herod the great, named after, of course, Caesar. Herod wanted non-Jewish totally Roman city.

Theatre

Theatre

This is the theatre. You can see the two levels of seats in the restored theatre, but originally there were three levels, containing total five thousand people. It also has many exits for emergency. And they filled the lower part of the stage and floated small boat for the marine scene.

Original Seat

Original Seat

In the picture above, you can easily identify which is original and which is restored seat.

Pontius Pilate

Pontius Pilate

Caesarea is one of the important sites for Christians including Peter’s visiting Cornelius. And there is one more thing for Christians; Pontius Pilate, the name which Christians cannot forget. This is the replica to show what was found. Here we can identify “Tiberius,” the name of the emperor. “…tius Pilatus,” part of the name of Pontius Pilate, and “Praefectus Iudaeae” which means Prefect of Judea.

Carsarean Harbour

Caesarean Harbour

This is the ruin of the ancient harbour.

Hippodrome of Herod

Hippodrome of Herod

There was one more entertaining thing beside the theatre – Hippodrome, the Formula one in the ancient days. This is very impressive to me because of the movie BenHur.

View from the restaurant

View from the restaurant

Then we had lunch all together at the Port Cafe at Caesarea, and this is the view from the restaurant.

Aquaduct to Carsarea

aqueduct to Caesarea

Caesarea was built by Herod, but August borrowed him architects which means this city was not only Roman culture, but also Roman technology. When we say Romans, we always think about two things: Roman Road and Roman aqueduct. Consequently Caesarea also had two aqueducts. And this is one of them.

Depth of the Aquaduct

Depth of the aqueduct

The aqueduct was connecting the city from the spring in the mount Carmel. And the depth of the aqueduct reaches my waist and if we consider the water was constantly flowing, the amount of water was huge.

Beach boy

Beach boy

And I enjoyed the beach of Mediterranean sea. Sadly after I came out of the beach, I cut one of my toes on the asphalt.

Seasons Hotel Lobby

Seasons Hotel Lobby

Then we drove to the Seasons Hotel in Netanya. This hotel is very good. I stayed at crappy hotel in Nazareth for many days, and I cannot even stay one full night at this awesome hotel!

View from the room

View from the room

This is the view from my hotel room.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Israel Trip Twelfth Day: Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, and Chorazain

Today was certainly New Testament Day, and especially Gospel Day.

Nazareth View from Saint Gabriel Hotel

Nazareth View from Saint Gabriel Hotel

This is the Nazareth view from the hotel. It is quite foggy and could not see far down there.

Cana

Cana

While we were driving down, our local guide identified us Cana where Jesus performed his very first miracle. He said wine is very precious gift because it means one years labour and huge portion of wealth. And if you do not provide enough wine in such events like wedding, it is permanent disgrace to the family. And how much it would be gossiped in that small town. Jesus literally saved the family. And George said that Jesus was not sitting with his mother in the feast because that is the Jewish tradition and culture that time. Even now they are separated in the synagogues.

Church of Beatitudes

Church of Beatitudes

First destination was the Church of Beatitude where Jesus preached the famous sermon on the mountain. On Matthew text, Jesus was on the mountain top, and it begins with Jesus sitting down. In Jewish tradition, rabbi stands normally, but when he sits, that means he is serious about his on-coming speech. So when Jesus sat down, everyone must have been quiet. And a beautiful church was built upon the rock which is believed that Jesus preached on.

Here is Matthew 5.3: “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Between the two Hieberts

Between the two Hieberts

They are my favourite professors at McCormick and they are husband and wife. Such a beautiful couple.

With George, our local guide

With George, our local guide

Then we went to Galilee and had worship on the “Jesus” boat. The service was good. We read Psalm 150 in different languages of English, Korean, Spanish, Hebrew and Arabic. Arabic was read by our local guide George. He is the best guide I’ve ever met.

2000 Years old boat

2000 Years old boat

This boat was found under the mud in the Sea of Galilee and scientist concluded this boat is about 2,000 years old. At Jesus days, there must have been so many boats on Galilee, and this is one of them. There is also possibility that Jesus was on this boat at least once. And the boat is made out of twelve different trees.

Migdal

Migdal

This is archaeological site of ancient Migdal. And there is huge construction is going on to build a Magdalene Centre and resort. Our famous Mary Magdalene means Mary from the town of Migdal. Galilee area is the core place of Jesus ministry. We had lunch here.

Herod's Massacre

Herod’s Massacre

I forgot the name of this mountain. Our local guide said that there was rebel against Herod among Jewish people around here, and they fled to that mountain. And Herod commanded his solders to push and throw all the rebels off the cliff. And the people in Galilee saw that.

Church of Peter's Primacy

Church of Peter’s Primacy

And we went to Peter’s Primacy Church. Peter and his fellow disciples came here and were fishing after the death of Jesus. And Jesus came here and prepared the fire and meal. Then John found the Lord and told Peter. After that Jesus asked Peter if he loves him three times. This is the Church built to commemorate it.

This is John 21.15: “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.”

One of seven springs

One of seven springs

This area is known as Heptapegon which means seven springs in Greek. We did not have time to go for it, but I ran and found one of the seven springs.

Olive grinder

Olive grinder

Then we went to ancient Chorazin, one of the three towns Jesus cursed. This is small town, and the people here must have been more conservative, and relatively closed-minded stuck in tradition and religion. That is why Jesus came here and worked so hard to change them. This is ancient olive oil press.

Peter or Peter's mother-in-law's house

Peter or Peter’s mother-in-law’s house

This is Peter’s house in the town of Capernaum. Many of the holy places are just to commemorate and/or the actual locations are in dispute. But this one is 100% legitimate, without any dispute. That means Jesus actually ate, slept, rested, preached, healed and talked there. It is most probable that Jesus walked through the whole town. And there is Jewish synagogue during Jesus time. Jesus went, read scripture and taught there.

Stairway to the roof

Stairway to the roof

This is the house next to Peter’s and you can see the stairway to the roof. In Gospel, good friends carried their paralysed friend to the roof and lowered him down. This is how. And the roof is usually covered with just leaves and straws woods. So it is easy to open.

Sunset in Capernaum

Sunset in Capernaum

This is beautiful sunset. And my crude camera cannot contain the beauty of it.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Israel Trip First and Second Day: Flight

As part of school course, I took Israel Trip in this J-term. Its departure was from O’Hare Airport at Chicago Wednesday 8th of January, 2014.

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Lufthansa – German Engineering

It was my first time using Lufthansa. It was good overall and I noticed that the flight attendants are healthier than other airlines, and they smile less.

Waiting for the flight. I was lively at that moment.

Waiting for the flight. I was lively at that moment.

After the two painful flights, I realised that the flight is the worst part of the good trip. But if I think about how much time I can save and how safe it is than in older days when people travelled by ships, I am so thankful about the painful flights.

The plane from Chicago, USA to Frankfurt, Germany was so big with ten seats on a row and it is even double-decker. Ten seats on one row means only two can have window view while other 80% of the passengers cannot see outside. And Lufthansa did something for the poor 80% passengers.

Window view for everyone

Window view for everyone

On the personal screen, you can see the window view as if you are on the window seat. The only thing not right was that it showed daytime view when we flew during the night. And by the screen there was a button.

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And it even comes out like the shown picture above. I had no idea what that is for. I discussed with my classmates sitting next to me. I spent hours in vain to figure it out. Finally I asked a flight attendant, and she said it is for coat hanger! We were all shocked and said that it is true German Engineering which Americans can never understand.

Meal on the way to Frankfurt

Meal on the way to Frankfurt

The flight is painful, mostly because of the insufficient leg room. But what makes it better is of course food. The meals were very good overall. They asked me if I wanted vegetarian meal and I answered that I wanted predator’s meal, and I’ve got chicken.

Frankfurt Tram

Frankfurt Tram

We landed on Frankfurt on time. And we walked a lot to gate C13. We walked, walked, and walked. Then we got on the tram to another terminal. And after the tram, again we walked, walked and walked.

What was impressive to me was smoking zones – glass boxes. And I went into a rest room and found the manager’s picture for that rest room.

The one in charge of the rest room

The one in charge of the rest room

The gate C13 is dedicated to the planes whose destination is Israel. I always thought the American Airport security check is the worst in the world, but Frankfurt gate C13 security check is even worse than any American airport. Professor Ted said that it is because the planes are going to Israel. Other gates whose planes are going another places, the security checks are not like that. This one reminded me the special (in good and bad aspect) situations of Israel.

Frankfurt gate C13 after the security check

Frankfurt gate C13 after the security check

The plane to Israel was delayed about an hour. So we waited a bit. I think it was kind of nothing. On January 1st, my niece waited six more hours at O’Hare Airport in Chicago.

Walking on the cloud

Walking on the cloud

In the plane, I was sitting next to a Jewish guy. He is very kind and nice even though he was wearing all black and hats. A big hat, and another small one inside, called Kipa (כיפה). He explained that kipa has many different colours and patterns and that means something, like dark black is orthodox Jewish.We talked a lot during the flight. He strongly suggested me to visit Masada. He also taught me Toda Adonai (תודה אדון) which means Thank (you) Lord. One interesting thing was that he distinguished strictly between the religious Jewish and secular Jewish.

Finally ארץ ישראל (Land of Israel)

Finally ארץ ישראל (Land of Israel)

Finally I saw the Land of Israel with the Mediterranean sea. I was goose bumped and thrilled just to see it down from the sky.

Cute Village near Tel Aviv

Cute Village near Tel Aviv

And finally we landed on Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. It was very nice airport, probably better than most Airports in America.

Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel

Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel

Before the trip I was told, the immigration may stamp on separated paper in case I ask for. It was necessary for those who want to travel to other surrounding countries after Israel because those countries will not let you in when they find the Israeli stamp on your passport. So I asked for it just in case, and they replied that they do not stamp any more, instead, they gave me a bar code.

With Ted Hiebert

With Ted Hiebert next to the bus

Ted Hiebert is the leading professor for this trip with his wife Paula. He is the OT professor at McCormick Theological Seminary, and one of the greatest OT scholar of our times, and the translator of Genesis for Common English Bible. He recently promoted to the position of Vice President at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago.

The Bus was very good. It even provides free Wi-Fi.

This Bus is so good.

This Bus is so good.

We went from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by this nice bus, and checked in White Sisters Guesthouse in Palestinian area of Jerusalem. After check-in, some of us walked outside along the Wall of Old City where the Gate to Damascus is. This gate is very probably St. Paul stepped out when he began his journey to arrest Christians. Not the same exact gate, but the gate at the same place.

Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral

After we saw the Notre Dame Cathedral, we went back to the Guesthouse and had dinner.

Dinner at Guesthouse

Dinner at Guesthouse

This was just the humble beginning of the glorious meal.

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