Israel The Promised Land, A Place To Visit – By Darling Amin
Israel As A Tourism Destination
Israel, a Middle Eastern country on the Mediterranean Sea, is regarded by Jews, Christians and Muslims as the biblical Holy Land. Its most sacred sites are in Jerusalem. Within its Old City, the Temple Mount complex includes the Dome of the Rock shrine, the historic Western Wall, Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Israel’s financial hub, Tel Aviv, is known for its Bauhaus architecture and beaches.
The Sea of Galilee, also Kinneret or Kinnereth, Lake of Gennesaret, or Lake Tiberias, is a freshwater lake in Israel. It is approximately 53 km in circumference, about 21 km long, and 13 km wide. Did you know – Israel’s largest freshwater lake, the Sea of Galilee (also known as Lake Kinneret) divides the Golan Heights from the Galilee in the northern part of the country.
Masada is an ancient fortress in southern Israel’s Judean Desert. It’s on a massive plateau overlooking the Dead Sea. A cable car and a long, winding path climb up to the fortifications, built around 30 B.C. Among the ruins are King Herod’s Palace, which sprawls over 3 rock terraces, and a Roman-style bathhouse with mosaic floors. The Masada Museum has archaeological exhibits and recreations of historical scenes. Did You Know – The cliffs on the east edge of Masada are about 1,300 feet (400 m) high!
Ein Gedi, literally “spring of the kid” is an oasis and a nature reserve in Israel, located west of the Dead Sea, near Masada and the Qumran Caves. Ein Gedi was listed in 2016 as one of the most popular nature sites in the country.
Mount Zion is a hill in Jerusalem just outside the walls of the Old City. The term Mount Zion has been used in the Hebrew Bible first for the City of David and later for the Temple Mount, According to this verse, Zion is synonymous with city of God, and it is a place that God loves. Zion is Jerusalem. Mount Zion is the high hill on which David built a Temple.
Israel As A Country
In 2017 alone, an estimated 3.6 million tourists visited Israel – the Middle Eastern country that’s regarded as the Holy Land. With its pristine beaches, amazing weather, sacred sites, and diverse culture, there’s no shortage of amazing things to do in this quaint country. If a trip to Israel is on your bucket list, you probably have your itinerary mapped out, from visiting the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to floating in the Dead Sea. But if you really want to make your stay enjoyable, you can’t ignore this list of things you should NOT do when visiting this sacred country.
Things Not To Do In Israel
1. Don’t Smoke on Saturday
Israel has been constructing its anti smoking ban, which intends to impose a ban on cigarette advertisements and restrict smoking in public places. While the details of the new law are still being ironed out, visitors should definitely adhere to no-smoking signs and refrain from lighting up on Shabbat – a religious day that starts at sundown on Friday and ends at sundown on Saturday evening. If you must smoke, make sure you do so in private and far away from an Orthodox Jew who may find your smoking habit offensive.
2. Don’t Eat Without Tipping
In Israel, the waitstaff at restaurants and cafés don’t receive a salary, so they solely rely on the tips from generous patrons. Of course, your gratuity should be based on the level of service you receive, but most customers don’t leave without plopping down at least a 10% tip before heading for the exit.
3. Don’t Skip the Flea Market in Jaffa
Located in the southernmost part of Tel Aviv, the port city of Jaffa has biblical and mythological roots. The harbor town is perfect for those who enjoy wandering down quaint alleyways, sightseeing, and people watching. It’s also the location of a bustling flea market that’s open six days a week, and vendors sell everything, from antiques to handmade items. Once you’re done scouring the treasure trove of merchandise, you can stop by one of the market’s restaurants or coffee shops that line the picturesque streets.
4. Don’t Forget to Indulge in Kosher Italian Food
You’ll find no shortage of kosher eateries throughout the country, but for a truly unique dining experience, look no further than Anna Italian Cafe in Jerusalem. This restaurant is all about serving up high-quality kosher meals with an Italian twist. You can feast on everything, from gnocchi to Napolitano pizza and delectable tiramisu.
5. Don’t Hesitate to Ask Questions
If you find yourself lost within one of the country’s many cities, or you just feel like sparking up a conversation, don’t hesitate to chat up a local. Israelis are naturally friendly, and on top of that, they’re proud of their country. They’ll gladly give you directions and clue you in on the best tourist sites to visit. Generally, no topic is off-limits, whether it be a question about the country’s politics or the best place you can purchase the most delicious falafel.