I mentioned that one of the purposes of this blog is to shamelessly promote some tours that I’m going to be leading. So I might as well get started on doing so:
This is a tour leaving fairly late in April for Israel. I understand that there are still a few open places on it.
This will be my fifth such tour in five years, I think, and it may well be the last public Israel tour that I do for a while. Not that I don’t enjoy doing it. It’s just that I feel as though I’m getting into a bit of a rut, spending the end of every April and the beginning of every May in Israel. There are some other things that I want to do at exactly that time. For four years running, though, I’ve had to turn down an invitation for something else that I really, really want to do, but that always conflicts with this trip.
This is a great tour. We don’t see everything, of course. Four or five years in Israel wouldn’t be enough to do justice to every important site. But we use the time very efficiently, and we pack a lot in. (I always tell people that they’ll need a vacation after they finish this trip.) Have a look at the itinerary: We do the coastal plain, Mount Carmel, the Galilee, the Dead Sea area (including Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, and Masada), and finish up in Jerusalem — the entry to which is still, for me, even after visiting it many times and living there for a total of roughly a year, a very emotional experience.
Some years ago, I took a group of my neighbors over to Israel. (They had been wanting to go with my wife and me for well over a decade, but I just wasn’t doing tours until then.) I remember promising them that they would never read the scriptures the same way after actually being there, and that it would be a life-changing experience for them. Since our return, several of them have told me — separately, and without, I think, remembering what I had said — that their experience there was “life-changing,” and that it has changed the way they read the Old and New Testaments.
Later edit: My wife and I have now agreed to do another tour to Israel in April 2013.