By Nathan Jones
Welcome back to Tel Aviv, Israel and the 2014 Holy Land Tour!
After some much needed sleep from our long journey, our pilgrims began their first full day exploring Israel. Many got up early to watch the sunrise through the mist that alighted atop the sea-side town and Mediterranean Sea. The weather was abolutely perfect and provided the best views up and down the coast.
Tel Aviv is a new enough city at about 90 years old to be considered Israel's first modern city, but now old enough that it's time for a face-lift. Every street is under renovation to the tune of jackhammers.
Where we visited just south is the biblical town of Joppa, now called Yafo or Jaffa. In the Old Testament, it was the allotment given to the tribe of Dan, the seaport where Jonah set sail to run away from God, and the entry point for the cedars of Lebanon used in the construction of both the First and Second Temple. In the New Testament, it was where the Apostle Peter had his vision from God concerning Cornelius.
- Jerusalem and Tel Aviv hold Purim on different days. Tel Aviv being the party town that it is extends the celebration an extra day.
- Traditionally, Purim enthusiasts are supposed to dress as Esther, Haman and other characters from the book of Esther. Looking at the crowds here, I didn't know so many Ninja Turtles and Disney princesses played a role in the biblical story.
- The entire Mediterranean Sea is off limits during the winter. No even swimming at your own peril.
- Holy Land pilgrims do not watch many blockbuster movies. Rent The Avengers, people!
Tomorrow starts Day 4 as we leave Tel Aviv early and head north up the coast towards Lebanon and then over into the Galilee.