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sunny 80 °F


Day 1. Our first day in Israel was cancelled (Israel would not let us dock in Ashdod for reasons unspecified to us), thus all our plans to go to Jerusalem and stay for three days were cancelled too. So the Silver Whisper went to Haifa where we waited for a day while an Israeli team came aboard and tested everyone on the ship twice (nose and mouth). The results came in at 6 pm – no Covid aboard – so we got a yellow sticker on a card. Next was the face-to-face inspection after which we received a piece of paper in Hebrew, stamped, to carry in our passport. We rejoiced but decided it was too late to go out for dinner so we stayed aboard.

Day 2. We went to Zippori/Tzippori/Sephoris, a city with a strong tradition of Mary’s birth in a place marked by a fifth century basilica. Sepphoris flourished in the first century with a major building boom. The poor Jewish town of Nazareth, only three miles away, would have supplied most of the unskilled workers and craftsmen for this extensive construction project. When we were here in 1996, Henry Carse, lecturer from St. George’s, Jerusalem, suggested that the word tekton (usually translated as carpenter) could be better understood as “builder” and this broader meaning would include the work that Joseph and Jesus did here.

What remains in Sephoris today is a fascinating archeological dig with a gold mine of mosaics from Roman times and a 5th century synagogue. We loved it all and are astounded that this history and this beauty remain in such excellent condition.

On the way back to the ship we stopped at the top of Mt. Carmel and looked down at our ship and the absolutely fabulous gardens surrounding the Baha'i temple in Haifa.

Posted by HopeEakins 11:04 Archived in Israel

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Were there many changes over the 25 years since you were last in Sephoris? Are the murals similar to those in Istanbul churches/mosques?

by Seabury

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