Tabgha, Bethsaida, Mt. Beatitudes, Capernaum,

Trip Start Nov 03, 2008
Trip End Nov 13, 2008

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Flag of Israel  , Galilee,
Thursday, November 6, 2008

When asked what my favorites of the trip were, I always say the Seas because so many of the things we saw were "supposedly the place" or "believed to be the place", but it's hard to deny the authenticity of an actual body of water as great as the Meditarranean, the Dead Sea, or the Sea of Galilee.  

We had arrived late Wednesday evening to the Kibbutz in Ma'agan, went straight to our units, unpacked and cleaned up for dinner.  Later that evening before turning in for the night, a few of us walked down to the Sea of Galilee to wade in the water and have a brief and informal devotional.  The following morning on my way from my unit to the dining hall, I noticed a beautiful panoramic of the Sea.

After breakfast Bambi and Yuval took us on our 3rd day of touring the Holy Land.  Our first stop would be Tabgha, where 5000 were fed by Jesus who performed the miracle of the Multiplication of the Fish and Loaves.  

On our way to Tabgha from Ma'agan I caught a glimpse of Tiberias, where we would spend some time that evening in the markets, shopping and observing locals dancing to bohemian music on top of a bus that was driving through the city center.

Our second stop, after Tabgha, was the city of Bethsaida which was discovered in 1987, by Israeli archaeologist Dr. Rami Arav. In 1990, Dr. Arav and several colleagues from around the world joined together to form the Consortium of the Bethsaida Excavations Project to uncover the ancient layers of this 21 acre site.

Bethsaida means "House of the Fisherman" and is one of the most frequently mentioned cities in the New Testament.  Peter, Andrew, and Phillip, three of the 12 Apostles, were from Bethsaida.  It is also believed to be a place where Jesus performed several miracles. 

Korazim was the 2nd archaelogical site we visited.  The town's ruins are spread over an area of 25 acres, subdivided into five separate quarters, with a synagogue in the center. The ruins at the site include a large, impressive synagogue which was built with black basalt stones where Yuval sat in what is believed to be "Moses' Chair".

Our next stop, Mount Beatitudes: The Church of the Beatitudes, an octagonal shaped chapel situated atop the Mount of Beatitudes, marks the spot where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount.  It was built after remains of a small Byzantine church were discovered here in 1935.  The modern church was built on a hilltop, not over the ancient church. 

Our group gathered in a shaded area on a hill overlooking the Church of the Beatitudes to listen to Robert read the 8 Beatitudes from Matthew 5:3-10 in English. Yuval then read them to us in Hebrew.  

After leaving the Mount of Beatitudes we went to another location to view a fisherman's boat believed to be from Jesus time.  

Then we boarded an Egyptian style boat to enjoy a ride on the Sea of Galilee.  A St. Peter's Fish lunch was prepared for us upon our return to shore.  YUM!  

On our way back to the Kibbutz in Ma'agan that evening, Bambi stopped in Yardenit, the Baptismal site on the Jordan River, where 2 ladies in our group were baptized. 
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Where I stayed
Kibbutz Ma'agan
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