Thursday, May 4, 2017

7 days in Israel, my journey to the Holy Land, part 7

"nachim", "women"-you can see a man praying on the other side
April the 25th

Second trip to Tiberias

Visiting rabbi Akiva's tomb and back to the Sea of Galilee

This time, there is no choice left, but returning to the Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv. But this time I know how to reach floor 7, platform 2 and also that I will be taking Egged bus 836. My timing is perfect. The bus to Tiberias will depart at 7:42 am. Some Nigerian lady is engaging a conversation with me in English. Apparently she settled to Israel with her whole family for a year. We are traveling together to Tiberias.
Traveling for the second time feels much better; I am more familiar now with the route and the places. We are entering into Tiberias and I notice a shield in Hebrew and in English mentioning the direction to rabbi Akiva's tomb. I am asking the bus driver to leave me here. He kindly accepts my request. 
A lot of people are advising me to take another bus to reach my destination, but, as the good walker I am, I decide to take the ride on foot. It takes me around 40 minutes. The location of rabbi Akiva's tomb is quite high. The landscapes, houses and buildings are really beautiful and the temperature is just perfect: 30°C. 30°C in Galilee is much more bearable than the equivalent temperature in Paris, because there is always a slight wind to soothe the sensation of heat.
I am admiring the landscape. It is easy to imagine rabbi Yeshua walking here...

I am reaching a "gan yeladim", a kindergarten. Some person is there for vegetables delivery: I am asking him for directions in Hebrew: " ani rotsa lalechet lekever rabbi Akiva", "I'd like to go to rabbi Akiva's tomb"..." ze karov", he answers, it is near, as he is pointing towards the place. A few stairs to descend, and here I am, to one of the holy places of Judaism.

lady leaning on rabbi Akiva's tomb and praying

Rabbi Akiva is a very much respected rabbi from the 1st century who is considered as the "chief of sages". He became a martyr because of his faith. Many people in Israel honor his memory and I consider that coming to this place was mandatory for me as well.
The memorial of rabbi Akiva is divided in two sides ( men and women). I accessed the women section and also had access to a library containing the Tehilim and other writings in Hebrew.

I remember seeing a writing about the way of the wicked and way of   the tzaddik as i opened a book in the other room.

Some old lady addressed to me in Hebrew, but I apologized, because I didn't understand what she was telling me. I told her that my Hebrew was limited. "Ze besseder", it is ok, she answered with a smile.
I experienced much kindness in this place.

At the end of my visit, i waited for bus Nr 6 to take me back to Kinneret. At the bus stop, I had a small conversation in Hebrew with a lady of Russian origin. While being inside the bus, I realized that I had reached some heights. The panoramic view of Tiberias was just splendid. Something very pure emanates from this city.

It took a little bit of this area with me some pine, some flower and a tree leaf, because I want to carry a little bit of Galilee with me every day in Paris. Here I recognize the post office that is close to the Sea of Galilee, so I am ready to step out.

Kinneret is welcoming me back again. I want to breathe that air and touch this water again. 
I am taking time to visit places I didn't see last time, like this Scottish St Andrew church. The building is abandoned, but the garden inside seems to be regularly be taken care of.

I have also seen an orthodox church and a "St Peter church" in the same area.

greek orthodox church in Tiberias

There is a huge commercial area along Kinneret. They are selling cards, clothes and food. I had the curiosity to explore upstairs and, to my greatest surprise, I found a huge Messianic shop with quantities of books, Bibles, Jewels, cards, Shofars, menorahs...and the testimony of a Jewish believer in Yeshua our Messiah. I exchanged a few words with her.
Unfortunately, I forgot to take some pictures. There were free gifts. I took two books, one in English and one in Hebrew. The first one is a translation of Matthew from the Aramaic and the second one in Hebrew recalls the story of some Messianic is completely in Hebrew ( without vowels) and I will have to make some real progress to be able to read it completely!
The third free gift I took from there is a blessing: the Aaronic blessing and Our Father written in Hebrew.

I was feeling hungry, so I stopped at a small restaurant to order some falafel with vegetables and some fresh apple juice.

Between the Sea of Galilee and me, it is a never ending love story. It is endless like Yeshua's beautiful heart.  I am deciding to explore more of the lake.
Here I am, exploring another side of Kinneret! I also decide to collect some more stones. One of the stones I am holding into my hands is reddish-brown and is shaped as a heart...another wink from my beloved rabbi Yeshua!

A lot of families are enjoying the sight of the lake, and my heart is happy. I want to praise our Lord for all the gift He offered me on that day. He made me part of the Galilean landscape!

My mouth shall be full of praise for our beautiful Lord.
I am so grateful that my eyes have been granted to see Galilee on three occurences.

This beautiful memory will be engraved into my heart, eternally.

Copyright© by Isabelle Esling

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