Why is Israel So Special?

How can a country smaller than Vermont, with a population of less than 10 million people, demand so much of the worlds attention? Every president during my lifetime has committed great amounts of energy to find peace in the Middle East, but only find frustration. There is much more to Israel than headlines.

The battle over the land of Israel or Palestine is nothing new. The entire Old Testament in the Bible is mainly about the land. God promised the land to Abraham, called Moses to lead the people to the land, and had King David establish Jerusalem as the capital of the nation and Jewish religion.

Israel’s history turned really sour when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (Iraq today) captured the country and enslaved it’s citizens. Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the beautiful Temple of God that King Solomon had built. This all happened over 2,500 years ago! I find it interesting that after the Persians (Iran today) had taken over Babylon, King Cyrus allowed the Jewish people to have their land back and rebuild their temple. the book of Ezra tells this story. Continue reading

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Weather in Israel

Hot Israel

Hot Israel

In Israel, weather is a “hot” topic – a bad summer means particularly high temperatures and humidity, unlike Europe where it means a particularly cold and rainy season. While tourists flock to Israel to lie in the sun, Israelis leave the country in droves to get away from the summer heat.

In 2010, Israel weather forecasters saw the hottest year since records began. It started in early Spring with excessive heat waves and reached a peak in August with average temperatures over two degrees higher than in previous years. On one of the days, the meteorological office in Be’er Sheva, in the south of the country, recorded an all time high of 43.8 degrees celsius!

According to a study conducted at Tel Aviv University in Israel, weather in the Middle East is being affected by global warming, as everywhere else. Hotter summers and shorter, drier winters are going to be the trend for the future. The study also predicts more extreme weather conditions with heavy rains and storms in the winter and hot, dry heat waves in the Spring and Autumn. Continue reading

Israel: Rich in History and Heritage

Israel

Israel

Israel is a place seeped in history more than almost any other country. It is a truly remarkable place to visit, with its rich cultures, amazing sights, friendly people, and a feeling of fulfillment for when you return home. Israel features wide open places for sunset viewing and watching sunrises flash over the horizon. Once day breaks, you can thread your way through the city and view the shops, eat from street vendors like one of the locals, and participate in religious festivities if you are so inclined.

Israel is rich in archaeological discoveries. Do some research before visiting to find out what sites you can visit in person. Travel with a guide or take a chance and ride a camel from dig to dig. There are any number of ways to get around in Israel; do something that sounds fun, something you never thought you might do. Have a blast in the process and build up plenty of stories to tell your friends and family once you get home. Don’t forget that Israel lies on an ocean coast, so when you decide you’ve finished exploring the inland areas, take a moment to check out the beaches and all the wonders they hold. You can relax on the sand or swim with dolphins. The hardest part about being in the wonder of nature in Israel? Choosing what to do next. Continue reading