Senior Travel to Israel, Historical as well as Religious

Jan 6th, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Travel

For a Jew, the land of Israel is more than a place. It is a body for the soul of a people. As Yom Kippur is to the Jewish year, so Israel is to the Jewish space: a place to find where you began, where you belong and what you truly are. A Jew does not travel to Israel, s/he returns there. Tourists of all ages would benefit immensely prior to a visit to the Holy Land to bone up on its history.

The name “Israel” means either “one who fights victoriously with God” or “a prevailing prince with God.” Its history goes back even further than 2000 BC, in fact, some believe that the selection of Israel as a special nation was part of God’s plan from the beginning of time. The history of Israel as detailed in the Bible encompasses around 1800 years. It proclaims a dynamic account of God’s miracles, judgments, promises, and blessings. Israel begins as a unilateral promise to one man, Abraham. Your visit to this site will help you to discover—and uncover—where Israel is in the heart of a Jew, and where the Jewishness is within the heart of Israel. Most folks who travel to Israel do not need a host of reasons to visit.  If you need a few reasons, try this site as it has 55 suggestions including making the Bible come alive.

The Jewish Learning Institute has a video on Jerusalem (“The City of Gold”) that may provide a good overview of the city prior to your arrival. Jerusalem is the modern Capital of Israel. Jerusalem is one of the most extraordinary cities in the world, presenting a unique combination of ancient history, spiritual sanctity and colorful cultures. Founded by King David, Jerusalem is sacred to the three principal monotheistic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Jerusalem is old. In 1996 Jerusalem celebrated its 3,000th birthday. Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) is young. 30% of Jerusalem’s population is under the age of 12. Jerusalem Top Attractions are the Western Wall , Machane Yehuda Market, The Dome Of the Rock and The Church of the Holy Sepulchure and many more are there for you to discover.

Defying warfare and time, Jerusalem’s architecture remains in remarkable shape – you could spend days (or weeks) getting lost in its labyrinth of alleys and bustling bazaars. The Old City is surrounded by relics of ancient and modern times. To the south lies the City of David (the original Jebusite city). Predominately Palestinian East Jerusalem is home to consulates, museums and the Garden Tomb (the possible crucifixion site), while West Jerusalem has the Israeli capital building and a patchwork of secular and religious neighborhoods.

GoIsrael has ten interesting virtual tours of Israel including a mobility challenged tour for senior who require special needs.  A friend just returned from Israel where he and his wife and several relatives spent two weeks including living in a kibbutz.  He emphasized that nothing underscores the variety of Israel’s attractions more than realizing that within a few hours you can go from the snowy heights of Mount Hermon to the Judean Desert and the saltiest sea on earth, the Dead Sea, while visiting ancient biblical cities, covered markets and a high-rise metropolis on the way. This is what makes Israel truly a destination with something for everyone.  He even was able to swim in three famous sea sites.

Undoubtedly you will land in Tel Aviv where you  may indulge your urban tastes. Classified by geographers as a “world city,” it offers museums, opera, theater and dance, fine restaurants and more.  Tel Aviv is a  World Heritage Site and by now if you have been following my senior travel blogs, you know I am a first-class World Heritage Site admirer.  Present day Tel Aviv is one of the liveliest cities you will come across anywhere in your travels.

You will visit several cities in Israel and Trip Advisor and it’s loaded with Things to Do In Israel with attractions by city. A side trip to Haifa will be worth your time.

My hero Rick Steves has a site entitled “Why Visit Israel?”.  He shares “Israel is worth your time. Its sights, ranging from Biblical ruins to Crusader fortresses to WWII memorials to cosmopolitan cities, are breathtaking. Israel is also easy to tour — its excellent bus system puts any city within reach.”  A word of caution: The Sea of Galilee is the gateway to the Golan Heights. While hotel signs remind visitors, “If shelling starts, pull shades and extinguish lights,” the recent stability and calm has been a boon to the area’s tourism. 

Shalom! jeb

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