Behind the 8 ball.

Breakfast time at Abraham Hostel

I realize I have not been keeping up with things. It seems to be a self fulfilling event. Get behind and realize you just don’t have the time with all kinds of events happening or going to happen and one thing piles onto another.

Well here is the plan. Leaving tomorrow really – even though it’s Tuesday but only 5 minutes into Tuesday. So tomorrow evening I’m at Ben Gurion airport. Go through customs and then security and then check a bag and wait for the Flight. They will start loading us about 11:15pm and the plane takes off at 12:05am Tuesday morning. Usually a 12 hr flight to Boston. But if it’s another Boeing 777 – that was one fast plane – it might be less.

What is the plan? The plan is with all the mountains of pictures and videos and memories – to start posting it all while sitting in my kitchen or living room.

Rosh Hashana – ראש השנה

The moshav has a Rosh Hashanah tradition where a holy man explains all about the horns of different animals and which works the best to make a shofar. Then he encourages – as do the parents – for the children to try making a noise come out of the shofar. The bigger children – say 8 to 12 succeed while the younger learn another lesson in life – failure just encourages you to try try again to be like the professionals 🙂

Sept 23-27th The Plantation

Working for 6 days straight has been a learning experience. Sunday through Friday. 5 days on the plantation about 15 miles away and one day here at the moshav. It is harvest time for the dates and it’s pretty busy. There will be much to say and show in the blog as there will be six days packed into one entry. It was going to be done on Saturday – Shabbat – but we are off to the Golan so it may be put off somewhat.

Rise at 4:30 am take care of the chickens and goats. Be ready with water and some tomatoes, cucumbers and pita bread and a knife and get picked up at 5:45 am. Then we pick up some contract workers from Thailand and we are off to the plantation.

We get onto a machine that lifts 3-4 workers up into the trees where there are pods of dates covered by a net that needs to be open and the ripe dates removed. After 3 hours of that we have many pallets of dates. We then eat “breakfast” and then sort for 2 hours or so. We sort out dates that are not ripe at all, kind of ripe and almost ripe. leaving the ripe ones in trays. Drying of dates happens right there very easily as there is no rain at all for months. No clouds – sunny and very hot up to 40 degrees Celsius (over 100 F).

The heat and the work got to me after the 2nd day and I slept 11 hours.

Sept 21st Shabbat – Ed’s Birthday

There were more people here when I arrived two days ago than there is now. At the moment there are 4. Edward from the UK (birthday today 26), Evie 18 from the UK, Nola from Finland and Sam a Jewish guy – about 21 (my guess) from California. Sam came here via Birthright. He definitely has the California Spirit .

Today is Shabbat ( no work 🙂 . The three cooked Ed a special birthday breakfast. They are wonderfully friendly to each other.

The Kitchen – from left to right Edward, Sam, Nola and Evie (whom you can barely see).

Sept 20th – Concrete Floor

We got up at 5:00am to pour a concrete floor at 5:30am. Ran and Eyal both knew it would be very hot so they wanted to get it done before the real hot hot part of the day. We finished it by 10:00am and then had a break. Soaked with sweat and dirt and concrete we washed all the tools and went in for water and breakfast.

For my last hour I put labels on jars for ‘date honey’ . You can order it off their website and they’ll ship it right to your home. I’ve been looking at their website for a bit and it is not very obvious how that can be done. I will be talking to “Ran” – it is pronounced Ron – and see if it is simpler than I perceive.

Pouring a concrete floor for a new building.

Sept. 19th Left Jerusalem for Hamra, Israel

Woke up 3:00 am knowing I needed to catch a bus to Hamra ( Hamra Picture ) today. Could not sleep. Hopped the tram to the Central Bus Station …. and went in the wrong direction 8-p. Figured that out when I saw station after station that I did not recognize. Hopped off and hopped onto a tram in the other direction and still made it to Central Station in plenty of time.

Got on the bus with whole bunch of military people heading to Beit Shean. Stopped at numerous moshav’s with gates and armed guards at the gates. After a small problem with my “card that would work on all the trains and busses” that would not work on this bus I was able to pay the driver in shequelim and in a small enough denomination. Then they dropped me off at the bus station in Hamra.

Hamra is a small moshav

Bus 943 to Beit Shean passes through Hamra and a bunch of other Jordan Valley moshavim.

The Ancient City of David.

There are quite a few “City of David”‘s . He grew up in Jerusalem, was king for 7 years in Hebron, then there is the ancient City of David that was occupied by the Jebusites – Jebus. Mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible – or Tanakh. In modern Jerusalem there is the very large city of Jerusalem with near to or over 1 million people – certainly over a million if one counts the “Greater Jerusalem” area. Then there is the “Old City” which has עיר דוד (City of David) on the side of the walls.

Then there is the “Ancient City of David” in the Silwan. From Wikipedia: Silwan (Arabic: سلوان‎,[1]Hebrew: כְּפַר הַשִּׁילוֹחַ Kfar ha-Shiloaḥ) is a predominantly Palestinian neighborhood on the outskirts of the Old City of Jerusalem. Forty Jewish families also live in the area. Silwan is located in East Jerusalem. Silwan began as a farming village, dating back to the 7th century according to local traditions, while the earliest mention of the village is from the year 985. From the 19th century onwards, the village was slowly being incorporated into Jerusalem until it became an urban neighborhood.

This is the rediscovered Jebusite City that survived for approximately 1000 years after David and his general took it over. I believe that – “if the Lord tarries” – this “City of David” will become an even more visited site than the Kotel.

Here is the latest on the Pilgrimage Road – as some call it. The discovered road from the Siloam Pool to the Temple Mount.

Sept 15th, 2019 – Jerusalem Israel

“My Beloved” – my wonderful wife Sarah, gave me a book to read on this trip – Hiking Through. It’s one of those books you get and move into like moving to another world.
It is about life through the eyes of a man who lost his wife through “the C word” and needed to discover why God sends earthquakes into our lives. The man quit his job of 25 years and decided to hike the AT. Along the trail God brought healing in many ways.

It is full of great thoughts – here is one:

“I remember a quote from Benton MacKaye, the originator of the AT. He said the ultimate purpose of the Appalachian Trail would be ‘to walk; to see and to see what you see’. How often we witness a scene of great beauty but don’t comprehend what we see. A beautiful sunset, a bright full moon, brilliant stars on a cloudless night. We ar too busy to see. The stresses of life blind us. Our eyes behold, but we do not grasp the greatness of what God has placed here for our enjoyment.”

Thank you My Beloved for allowing me to come here to Israel to experience some “Trail Magic” along my AT. This is my Appalachian Trail.

Sept 14th 2019 – Jerusalem Israel

Breakfast – Abraham Hostel style of course.

After posting a ton of this stuff to the blog for yesterday I decided at noon it was time to get out and enjoy Shabbat in Jerusalem on the street.

The goal of the day would be to visit every “gate” from the outside of the “Old City” clockwise starting at the Damascus Gate where I had my video problem. So I successfully did a video of the Damascus gate. It is in the news often for many reasons – I’ll leave it at that. Hence lots of security.

If you want to find out current events surrounding the Damascus Gate – Google it.

Zedekiah’s Caves – now let the imagination go while what could be hidden in these caves. I’ll give you a hint A of the C.

Below, doors (2) that go to underground places – don’t know where. Across the street there is a quick glimpse at the possible “Hill of the skull”.

Mysterious doors. Golgotha across the street.

Sept 13th 2019 – Jerusalem Israel

A long walk – 5+ miles but somebody has got to do it! 🙂
Outside of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem Israel.
On the way back I grabbed an “Israeli Lunch”. Well that’s what I call it. 🙂
Majestic view
A classic stop in Jerusalem.
Strawberry (and other berries) yogurt blended cold drink. Has to be the healthiest drink one could have.
Shabbat dinner at Abraham Hostel

Day One

Made it to Jerusalem via ElAl Airlines on Wednesday September 11th 2019.

On the bus from Bangor Maine to Boston Massachusetts to Logan Airport

I left the part of my family – Sarah, Esther, Solomon and Ellisheva – with a feeling of “I miss you already” – in my living room as they went off to school.

My 18 year old – Joseph – who is moving to Florida with his brother Josh and nephews and nieces soon – drove with me to the bus station. Bought a ticket to Boston. Had an hour before the bus left so we went to Gabriel, Heather, Liam and Daniel’s house a mile away to hang out for a few minutes.

The bus ride was great – relaxing – used my laptop and connection to the Internet to get caught up on this kind of stuff.

At Logan I was looking forward to the fun of Israeli Security and they did not let me down. After coming to the conclusion that I was an odd duck and not fitting the typical tourist profile they informed me that they would call me later for a special run through of my one bag – one bag seemed odd to them for someone that was planning to spend 42 days in Israel – of luggage.

The old duffer (Paw) and 18 year old Joseph at the bus station

I showed up at the gate at 7:45pm (15 minutes early) for the go through and at the gate no one knew anything. So final boarding time came and then they discovered that the security guys did not do the run through and they brought me to a special room where -after delaying the plane for 45 minutes – they finally got that done and off we went to Tel Aviv.

On the plane I got to sit between two CUFI member Christian brother believers – pastors – one in Montana and one in Reno Nevada. Both had just flown from LA to Boston that day and were now on the plane to Tel Aviv.

They slept about 6 hours of the plane ride – I slept about 3 – landed about 2pm Israel time (7am Eastern) – Sat in the airport and let a few folks know that I actually made it there – many were wondering if I was going to make it on the plane at all – and grabbed a שירות – shuttle bus – to Jerusalem. Checked in at Abrahams Hostle and grabbed some supper from the Shook – market – nearby – ate then had a great nights sleep.

Israel September 10th to October 22nd 2019

In 2014 my oldest son (of 7) Joshua (Josh) said he wanted to bring me to Israel. War broke out between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the trip was cancelled. Josh said we are going anyway and decided to go for it – us two – no guide – no group – just going from one adventure to another. Here is a Facebook page of the trip https://www.facebook.com/events/1710535175841815/ that whetted my appetite for more of the same. So the next year – after meeting a Pastor from Illinois in an online Hebrew class – we went again. Sadly Josh could not come so Fernando and I decided to have our own adventure. Here is a Facebook link to some that trip https://www.facebook.com/Israeltrip2016/ .

I started to think this could become a habit – go every year. But life got in the way in 2017 and then again in 2018. So I decided to roll those two years and 2019 into one big 6 week trip. And if God is willing September 10th I will be going alone on the big one. So far I have a 6 day reservation at Abraham’s Hostel in Jerusalem. So I can tell Israeli security I’m going somewhere when I board the plane. After that I’m looking to the Golan – If you need some background on just what the Golan is here is a good enough MAP . The light area is the Golan. Why go there? Well honestly it is because that is where much of the possible future prophetic events might be taking place. Syria, Lebanon, Hezbollah, Iran, Russia and 10+ other factions are amassing their military there.