Please follow carefully the checklist provided in your “Israel in Depth” Study Guide Book. The trip is very casual so expect to wear shorts and a t-shirt daily except in a few religious sites where a “modesty kit” is required, (meaning long pants and covered shoulders). Zip off pants work well and many women find a long loose skirt useful over shorts. Remember, no matter what our day’s activities, we will be representing our Messiah in a land of both Jews and Muslims who will judge Him based on our appearance (i.e. no tank tops or short shorts please).
Temperatures in early spring with lows in the 40’s and highs in the mid-60’s to low 70’s. Bottled water will be provided for you daily and it is very important that you drink a lot of water each day. Electrolyte replenishment through supplements like Gatoraid or Gu can be very helpful. A full brimmed hat is highly recommended.
Israel is an ancient land and archaeological ruins built over 2000 years ago did not meet handicap accessible requirements then or now. We will not be doing any significant hiking on this trip but every site in Israel requires walking, whether at a museum or the Temple Mount. Physical training before the trip that prepares you for 2-3 miles of walking per day is highly recommended. The more you prepare your body, the more you will be able to enjoy the trip and increase your learning and retention.
The heat is a very real concern in Israel, no matter what time you plan on going. Bottled water will be provided for you daily and it is very important that you drink a LOT of water each day. Electrolyte replenishment through supplements like Gatoraid can be very helpful and are highly recommended. A full brimmed hat will also greatly reduce the impact of the heat.
In addition to the heat, there are very few places of level ground in Israel and we will be participating in several intense hikes. We will often walk in rugged, hilly, rocky terrain, frequently uphill. Physical training before the trip that includes both cardio and strength training is required. Climbing stairs (6-8 flights without stopping), riding a bike, long walks or hikes will serve you very well. The more you prepare your body, the more you will be able to enjoy the trip and increase your learning and retention.
We cannot overemphasize the need for good hiking boots/shoes that are broken in and provide good support. Sandals and tennis shoes simply will not be sufficient for the challenges ahead of us. Because we will be “learning with our feet,” unprepared shoes and feet could cause a loss in learning. Following these few guidelines will help to make your trip, and the experience of the entire group, thoroughly enjoyable. (For those participating in the less physically demanding coach tour, good walking or hiking boots are highly recommended. Break them in well ahead of time).
Cameras are highly encouraged and your photos will be fantastic tools to share your experience back home. Make sure to pack your camera in your carry-on bag and not your checked bag. Once our trip has begun, you will not have the opportunity to replenish any supplies so please make certain you have all of your accessories prior to your departure. The bus will be a safe place to keep your bag with any valuables. You will not need any specialized gear for the trip apart from what has been mentioned.
During the course of our trip, we will introduce you to the basics of historical geography in the Bible. However, you will find it very helpful to familiarize yourself with some of the basic maps and information provided in your study guide. What may appear to be cold facts here will be very helpful onsite.
The Shema is the central prayer of Judaism beginning in Deuteronomy 6:4 and was used as a confession of faith and dedication. Since the time of the Second Temple Period, observant Jews have prayed the Shema both morning and night. We know Jesus himself prayed this prayer and offered it up as the most important commandment (Mark 12:29-30).
Shema Israel, Adonai elohenu, Adonai echad, Ve’ahavta et Adonai eloeikah, b’khol levavkah, uve’khol naphshekah, uve’khol m’odekah.
Hear O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one, love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might!
Please begin to hide this prayer away in your heart in both Hebrew and English that we might be able to echo this prayer central to Jesus’ life and teachings. Once you are aware of the significant role this prayer has played throughout our history, you will begin to notice it reflected over and again in the Hebrew Scriptures, the Gospels and the Epistles.
The daily pattern for most days will be as follows: (a less rigorous schedule can be applied for coach and private tours)
Morning Session: Involves walking, teaching, discussion, review of Scripture, time for personal reflection and exploring.
Lunch: Provided in the field. (In light of our demanding schedule, we recommend bringing along a powerbar or snack for between meal times).
Afternoon Session: Activities similar to the morning.
Return to Hotel: 6:30- 7PM.
Dinner: Upon return.
In order to maximize the purpose of our tour, we will limit our shopping excursions to the most valuable spots to provide you with the opportunity to purchase worthwhile remembrances of your trip. Remember, your trip is all-inclusive and you only need to bring additional monies if you plan to purchase souvenirs.
Trip participants are encouraged to read the following:
We highly recommend The Source, by James Michener, an excellent historical fiction book about Israel. Epic of Eden by Sandra Richter will provide an excellent introduction to the Old Testament. The movie “Masada,” staring Peter O’Toole (available through Netflix) will give you additional understanding into that site.
The Israel in Depth Study Tour provides each participant the unique opportunity of dedicating two concentrated weeks to the study of the Text and to experiencing the footprints of our Messiah, Jesus. We invite you to begin preparing now for this adventure through prayer. Seek out a few believers who will commit to praying with you and for you during this time of preparation and during the trip itself. Please pray:
We will be keeping you in our prayers as well.