Sar-El Tours & Conferences - 'For the Lord your God brings you into a good land.' (Deut 8:7)

April
2015
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Shalom from Jerusalem!

Pesach (Passover) is here and we are well and truly enjoying the Spring after a heavy winter season of rain and snow. I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of everyone at Sar-El to wish you a blessed Passover and Easter season. I hope that you will enjoy this latest edition of our newsletter, please feel free to share this with your family and friends.


God Bless,
Samuel Smadja

 

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What's  New In Israel
Israel 2015 Elections

Last month as most of you will know, we once again celebrated our democratic rights and had the most recent Elections here in Israel. I would like to thank you for your prayers for Israel during the last few months and for your continued prayerful support in the
coming weeks as the new government starts to take shape. We pray that the Lord will give our leaders wisdom in all the decisions that lie ahead of them.
 


Arkia Airlines

Image courtesy of Arkia Airlines, text courtesy of Israel Travel News 
Arkia Israeli Airlines will soon be offering flights from Tel Aviv to and from North America and the Far East.  Arkia has already purchased two Airbus A330-900neo planes and  plans to add another two planes in the near future. Arkia expects to start flying to the Far East, utilizing long-haul craft within the next three years. Two configurations will be available; one with 310 seats, both economy and business class with lie-flat seats, and the other with 354 seats, with economy and premium economy seating. The new aircraft will feature an advanced entertainment system that offers laptop internet access and advanced wireless cell phone service. Arkia will be the first Israeli airline with wide body Airbus craft. 
 

 
Urban Nature Park in Jerusalem

The 60 acre urban park is located between Begin highway, Katamon neighborhood and near the new Pais Arena and Malha Mall. Twenty years of legal battles have finally resulted in the establishment of the park, and consequently, the preservation of the gazelles' habitat. Developers have tried to build on the land due to its prime position in the city, but local residents and the Jerusalem Municipality strongly opposed any development and proposed the park be founded.
Image and story courtesy of Israel National News
 


In the past, the land was used for fruit orchards and the herd was gradually cut off by building and new highways so they remained, leading the parkland to be named "Gazelle Valley". Visitors can enjoy walking and cycle trails, ponds, bird-watching workshops  and  can borrow binoculars, deck chairs and mats.

 


Points of Interest

Knesset Museum

The Israeli parliament, the Knesset, is working on establishing an educational and historical museum to commemorate its history and activities. The future museum is scheduled to be housed in the Old Knesset building on King George street in downtown Jerusalem near Ben Yehuda Street. Auditoriums will be built, classrooms and administrative rooms installed and the cafeteria restored. The building facade is to be renovated and returned to its previous state.
Photo courtesy of the Knesset website, text courtesy of Israel Travel News


According to the Knesset website, "The museum's goal will be to provide visitors with a  taste of the Israeli parliamentary experience and its history...while enlightening them on how sovereignty is created and allowing them to explore the basic values of Israeli democracy." 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Time

 

Just to remind you that on the 27th March, our clocks went forward one hour in accordance with daylight saving. Summer is on the way! As the season shifts, here are a few inspirational quotes about Time:

 

"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once" Albert Einstein

 

"All we have to do is to decide what to do with the time that is given to us"

 J.R.R Tolkien in The Lord of The Rings

 

"To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven" Ecclesiastes 3:1

"And know that I am with you always, yes, to the end of time" Matthew 28:20

 

   

 

The First Bible Marathon
Image and text courtesy of Israel Ministry of Tourism

Marathon season has started here in Israel with the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem marathons already having taken place. Now, the first Bible Marathon will take place April 9th, 2015, with runners following in the footsteps of the first marathon man who ran the 42km from the battlefield at Eben Ezer (modern day Rosh Ha'ayin) to Shiloh.



In the beginning of the Book of Samuel it is written "then a man of Benjamin ran from the battle line the same day, and came to Shiloh with his clothes torn". The "man of Benjamin" runs from Eben Ezer to Ancient Shiloh to tell of the end of the war between the Israelites and the Philistines.The runner's mission is to inform Eli the priest of Israel, of the defeat in the war, the death of his sons and the capture of the Ark of the Covenant.

Many centuries later after the Six Day War, the founder of the Maccabiah games Yosef Yekutieli, set out to measure the length of the course from Rosh Ha'ayin to Shiloh in the Benjamin region. He was amazed to find that the length of this historic path precisely matched that of the modern marathon- 42 kilometers (the official length of the Olympic running contest determined in 1908 at the London Olympics).

It is in this unique atmosphere that the first marathon in history is renewed, in an athletic event
that will include hundreds of runners from Israel and over seas.The runners travel the course of the Man of Benjamin, culminating in a huge, exciting EXPO event among the ruins and mosaics of ancient Shiloh.

Runners can choose from three options:
  • 24 km full marathon from Rosh Ha'ayin to Ancient Shiloh
  • 15 km heat start at Ariel University, finish at Ancient Shiloh
  • 5km popular run around Ancient Shiloh

 
Sar-El News
Office Hours in April

As we enter the beginning of April, we would like to inform you of our office hours during the coming month.

This year Pesach falls on the Israeli weekend (Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th April), coinciding with Easter weekend. During the week of intermediary days of Pesach (Hol HaMoed) our offices will be open as usual. The last day of Pesach will be celebrated on Thursday evening 9th and Friday 10th of April.

Thursday April 9th 
 - Erev Pesach (eve of the last day of Pesach) - our offices will be closed from 13:00  (1PM) Israeli time

Friday April 10th      
        - The last day of Pesach - our offices will be closed all day
 
 
Wednesday April 22nd
- Memorial Day for fallen soldiers and victims of terror attacks (Yom HaZikaron) - our offices will be closed from 13:00 (1PM) Israeli time
 
Thursday April 23rd
- Independence Day (Yom Haatzmaut) - our offices will be closed all day
 

 

Join Us in Jerusalem!
Next month in Jerusalem! Empowered 21 Global Congress 20-25 May 2015

Last Chance! We encourage you to join us for this once-in-a-lifetime event here in Jerusalem next month.

As we have shared in  previous updates, Sar-El has been selected as the preferred provider for Empowered 21's Jerusalem Global Congress which will take place 20-25 May, 2015.

A detailed itinerary of the Congress itself is available on E21's website: www.jerusalem2015.com. We invite you to take this last opportunity to celebrate with us and thousands of Christians from around the world for this momentous occasion that coincides with the celebration of Pentecost, the Jewish Biblical Feast of Shavout. 
 

 If you want to celebrate Pentecost 2015 in Jerusalem, please have your local Travel Agent or Pastor contact us at our dedicated email address  E21@sareltours.com to discuss pre and post tour options in addition to the Congress itself. 

 

 

 

 

A Word from Samuel

"And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever. It will come to pass when you come to the land which the Lord will give you, just as He promised, that you shall keep this service. And it shall be, when your children say to you, 'What do you mean by this service?' that you shall say, 'It is the Passover sacrifice of the Lord, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households.'" So the people bowed their heads and worshiped."
Exodus 12:24-27

 

 

Dear Friends,

 

 

This weekend we will sit with our families and celebrate the Passover holiday.  Just as the Lord instructed Moses and the Israelites, He also commands us to observe Pesach forever- it is a testimony to His greatness. We remember God's faithfulness to us in bringing us up out of Egypt and into the Promised Land.

 

 

As many of you know, for seven days we do not eat bread (products with leaven/yeast in them) and our homes are emptied of leaven products. "So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses." Exodus 12:14-15 

 

 

During the Passover Seder (literally: order) the seder plate is the centerpiece of every table. We sit together and read the Haggadah (the recounting of the exodus from Egypt). Throughout the night, we sing traditional songs, recite blessings for food and drink, read appropriate psalms and the youngest child asks the traditional four questions: Why do we eat unleavened bread, why do we eat bitter herbs, why do we dip our food, why do we eat in a reclining position?  These questions are answered as the Seder progresses and is explained. 

 

 

 

Together with the matza and wine, the Seder plate contains specific items to cause us to remember the first Passover:

  

    • Maror and Chazeret - the bitter herbs (horseradish) symbolizing the bitter, hard life in Egypt
    • Charoset - a sweet apple and walnut mixture to represent the clay used by the Israelites during their labor for the Egyptians
    • Zroa - usually a lamb shank bone in remembrance of the first passover lamb
    • A Roasted egg - eaten as a reminder of the destruction of the Second Temple
    • Karpas - a green vegetable, usually parsley, dipped in salt water- a symbol of the bitter tears of slavery

 

This year Pesach coincides with Resurrection weekend. At this time of the year 2000 years ago, Yeshua celebrated the Passover with his disciples in Jerusalem. This week, Christians from around the world joined local Believers in celebrating Palm Sunday; the day on which Jesus entered Jerusalem and the crowds cried "Hosanna."  Within less than a week, even those closest to Him betrayed Him and just before the Passover Holiday was to begin, the Romans nailed Him to the cross. The good news is that after the Holiday Sabbath, when those few who remained faithful came to the tomb to anoint His body for burial, they were surprised to find that He was not there. He had risen and fulfilled the role of the Sacrificial Lamb for all who would put their faith in Him.

For us as followers of the Messiah, we celebrate this holiday with complete joy: that the Lord took us out of Egypt and into freedom and that through the death and resurrection of the Messiah, we have been brought out of the bondage of slavery to sin and into the Kingdom of His wonderful light ( 1 Peter 2:9).

Throughout the Passover ceremony, there are hints of Yeshua. The Afikomen (the middle of three matzah pieces) is broken, wrapped in a linen cloth and hidden. Similarly, Yeshua was broken for His people Israel and for the whole world, His body wrapped in linen and laid hidden in the grave for three days. During the Seder, we drink four cups of wine. The first is called Kiddush, meaning sanctification, the second is called the cup of plagues. The third cup is known as either the cup of blessing or redemption. The fourth is called either Hallel (praise), acceptance, or call it the cup of Elijah. At the Passover meal before His death, Yeshua called the third cup "the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you" (Luke 22:20). Today when we celebrate Pesach, we have this great hope; the redemption of Israel! Not only do we celebrate the miracle of the Exodus from Egypt but also, the return of the Jewish people from the nations to the Land as is promised in Jeremiah 16. This generation is truly a generation that can say "As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of the north and from all the countries where He had banished them" (Jeremiah 16:15) - Amen!


 "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever...who made the great lights- His love endures forever, the sun to govern the day, His love endures forever, the moon and stars to govern the night...to Him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, His love endures forever, and brought Israel out from among them, His love endures forever, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, His love endures forever!" (Psalm 136:1,7-12)


May you and your family be blessed this Passover and Easter season!




   

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