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

November- December 2014
Sar-El News Scroll
In This Issue

Quick Links

Shalom from Jerusalem!
On behalf of everyone here at Sar-El Tours, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a blessed Hannukah and Season's Greetings for the holidays ahead. I hope that you enjoy this special holiday edition complete with some of our favorite Hanukkah treats!

Please feel free to share this with your family and friends.

God Bless,
Samuel Smadja


Like us on Facebook

What's New In Israel

 National Treasure!

The National Treasures Department of the Israeli Antiquities Authority has opened an on-line site to share archaeological finds from Israel with the general public. With regular updates, selected artifacts will be posted to this site so that you can keep up with all the latest discoveries from the comfort of your own living room! You can view the site here.


Image & story courtesy of Tower of David Museum 

The Tower of David   

has opened the Citadel moat and "Kishle", a building constructed in 1834 by the Egyptian ruler Ibrahim Pasha  and subsequently used as a military compound, police station and prison over the years.
Excavation work uncovered archaeological finds from the First Temple Period, Herod's palace, and ancient pools from the Middle Ages. Until recently, this site was limited to select groups but now that renovations are complete, it is fully open to visitors.




Direct flights between Boston and Tel Aviv 

Photo courtesy of El Al, story from Israel Travel News & El Al 



Due to the 16% growth in the Boston- Tel Aviv market over the past three years, El Al has announced that it will be providing direct flights between the two cities on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Starting in June 2015, these new flights will add to already existing services from JFK, Newark, Los Angeles and Toronto.    





Photo courtesy of Free Israel photos Story from Ynet 

From Finland to Eilat!  

Finnair, the Finnish Airline company, will be offering weekly flights to Eilat starting in October 2015. With direct flights already well and established between Helsinki and Tel Aviv, Finnair has fixed its sights on the place where the sunshine reigns almost 360 days a year...can you blame them?




Points of Interest


This year, the eight day Festival of Lights (commonly known as Hanukkah), begins at the end of November. Hanukkah is the celebration of the re-dedication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem when the Jewish Zealots, known as the Maccabees, rose up against the occupying Greeks during the second century B.C. While Hanukkah means "dedication" in Hebrew, it is also referred to as "The Festival of Lights" in memory of the legend of the miracle of the jug of oil used to light the Menorah (Candelabra).   


When Judah Maccabee, the leader of the Jewish uprising, and his brothers overthrew the Greeks and reclaimed Jerusalem, they found that the temple had been defiled and Hellenist rituals had been conducted within it. Pagan statues had been placed in the once holy Temple and pigs were sacrificed on the Altar; the practices of Judaism and Temple worship had been outlawed under Greek rule.


It was amidst this devastation and defilement that the Maccabees began restoring the Temple in order to worship in Spirit and in Truth.They were distressed when they found that there was only enough pure oil to keep the Temple Menorah lit for one day. Miraculously, according to the legends of the Sages, this small amount lasted for the entire time that it took to produce more holy oil: eight whole days. We see in this story, the power of the few against the many.  A small band of dedicated Jews were able to overthrow the powerful Greek army and restore Temple worship.  A small jar of oil kept the Holy Candelabra lit for 8 days.  As the prophet Zechariah proclaimed "Not by might, not by power but my Spirit saith the Lord."


Some of the customs of this joyous holiday are to eat oily, fried foods such as Latkes (potato pancakes) and doughnuts called  "soufganiot." in celebration of the legend of the Temple oil, and the lighting of  the Hanukkiah- a special nine-branched Menorah.


The ninth candle of the Menorah is referred to as the servant candle and lights all the other candles, adding one more on each successive night. During the 8 nights of the holiday, children play with a four sided spinning top (dreidel or sevivon). On each side is a different Hebrew letter:

נ (Nun)

ג (Gimmel)

ה (Hey) 

ש (Shin) 


These letters stand for the phrase "Nes Gadol Haya Sham" or "Great miracle happened there". Dreidels used in Israel have the letter פ (peh) instead of the letter ש  (shin), which then alters the meaning to "Great miracle happened HERE!". After lighting the Hanukkiah, families will often sit together and play with their dreidels. According to the side that the dreidel lands on determines whether the player must give up a piece of chocolate or fruit or gain another. It is thought that this game was first played to disguise the fact that Jews were reading the Torah when this was forbidden by the Greeks.

Add a description
Image courtesy of Jewish Bazaar

Hanukkah Recipes- Try them for yourself!   
With the holiday season upon us, why not try something a little different? Here are a couple of Hanukkah recipes you can try- they are so good you really could make them anytime of the year!

Cinnamon Doughnuts


  • 1(12 ounce) package refrigerated biscuits
  • 2 cupsvegetable oil
  • 1/2cupsugar
  • 1 teaspooncinnamon

Separate biscuits and stretch slightly to enlarge them. Poke your finger through center of each one to form doughnut hole. Heat oil in small size skillet (you can also use a deep fryer) to about 350�F. There should be enough oil to float the doughnuts when cooking, so the amount of oil used will depend on the pan size. Place several doughnuts in the oil and fry until golden brown on first side then turn over to finish! Place cooked doughnuts on paper towel to drain slightly. In a bowl to which you have added a mixture of the sugar and cinnamon (you can vary this depending on your own taste), place one or two doughnuts at at a time and coat both sides.     


Vanilla & Cinnamon Apple Latkes

Here is a twist on the traditional potato latkes (a Hanukkah favourite) made with apples instead...


Ingredients: (makes 3 dozen)

2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

4 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

� teaspoon salt

2 cups orange juice

1 cup 2% milk

4 eggs lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2-3/4 pounds apples (6 large apples) peeled and shredded

� cup canola oil



Combine the confectioners' sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside

In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in orange juice, milk eggs and vanilla until blended. Fold in apples. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Drop batter by � cupfuls into oil, press lightly to flatten. Fry in batches until golden brown on both sides using remaining oil as needed. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mix and tuck in!




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

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 between  Wednesday 20th to Sunday 25th May, 2015.


 Dr. Ossie Mills and members of the E21 team have been here with us in Jerusalem in the last two weeks to finalise plans. We encourage you to join us for this once-in-a-lifetime event here in Jerusalem. A detailed itinerary of the Congress itself is available on E21's website: We invite you 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. 


Time is moving quickly and many of the rooms we reserved at local hotels are already taken! If you intend to celebrate Pentecost 2015 in Jerusalem, please have your local Travel Agent or Pastor contact us at our dedicated email address to discuss pre and post tour options in addition to the Congress itself. 





Sar-El News
It has been a busy past two months here with many groups enjoying the cooler weather (and the blessing of rain) here in Israel. Here are just a couple of the groups we have been privileged to welcome over the last month:

Jesus Calls Ministry
Jesus Calls' meeting in the Pavilion

It was a privilege to once again serve Dr. Dhinakaran and his ministry Jesus Calls. Over 500 people mostly from India joined us in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Tiberias, taking in the ancient Biblical history for themselves and watching their Bible come to life before their own eyes!


King Jesus International Ministry

The Garden Tomb

We were blessed to have Apostle Guillermo Maldonaldo, senior pastor and founder of King Jesus International Ministry (Ministerio Internacional El Ray Jesus) here in Israel in November. Over 260 people, mostly Spanish Speakers from the United States, Mexico, Columbia, Spain and other Spanish speaking countries joined him on a tour throughout Jerusalem and the Galilee, experiencing the Sea of Galilee by boat as Jesus did and holding baptisms. Apostle Maldonaldo led a communion service at the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem, a time which was particularly blessed and called the highlight of the tour for many people.



Perry Stone speaking to the group overlooking Jerusalem. Image courtesy of Perry Stone's Facebook page


Perry Stone & Voice of Evangelism

In cooperation with Noseworthy Travel, Evangelist Perry Stone toured through Israel with us once again last month. A total of over 300 people in two tours visited Bethlehem, enjoyed the sights, sounds and tastes of Jerusalem, followed Jesus' footsteps in the Galilee and were baptized in the Jordan River which has been blessed by the recent winter rains. The groups were blessed by the daily sharing of The Word with Perry at various sites across the country. 







 Green Valley Restaurant

We are excited to announce new site for groups to visit and enjoy lunch- The Green Valley Restaurant in Jericho. With a delicious menu offering local delicacies and mouth-watering meals you will not go hungry after stopping here! The restaurant is part of a Christian ministry in Jericho involved in reconciliation between Jews and Arabs, in particular with the younger generation and is headed by Taysir (Taas) Saada. If you are interested in adding this to your itinerary, please have your local travel agent contact our office. 



A Word from Samuel


Dear Friends,


As we enter the season of holidays once more I am reminded of the scripture which we all know so well- "I AM the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12.  


The Festival of Light, Hanukkah begins next week, soon to be followed by Christmas and New Year. One of the things that Hanukkah celebrates as mentioned earlier in our newsletter, is the miracle of the oil that kept burning for 8 days until the new oil for the Temple Menorah was completed. At Christmas the world remembers the birth of the True Light of the world and the verse I mentioned is often quoted. I want to encourage you with a thought: the winter season is the darkest time of year, but in it we celebrate The Light. So even at the darkest of times, we can "...hold fast to the hope that we confess" (Hebrews 10:23); the Light of the World, Yeshua, who is "...the same yesterday, today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).  


As we approach the New Year, I want to thank each of you for your love and support of Israel. We are truly blessed by you and look forward with joy to what the Lord will do in the upcoming year. May you be richly blessed in all that you do and may you know His Peace. "For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given and the government will be on His shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6). My prayer for you this New Year is that you will "be filled with all hope and joy as you trust in Him" (Romans 15:13).



May the Lord bless you and keep you in this year to come,



With blessings from Jerusalem,






Samuel Smadja

Copyright © 2011 Sar-El Tours & Conferences. All Rights Reserved.