Be’er Sheva – The traditional site of Abraham’s Well where he watered his flocks thousands of years ago.
Ein Gedi – The place where David fled to escape King Saul, Ein Gedi has one of Israel’s
most important archaeological sites, which
includes the mosaic floor of a 6th-century
Bethlehem – A spot deep inside the Church of
the Nativity is believed to be the cave where
Mary gave birth to Jesus. Though the church
is quite ornate, it can only be entered through
a small, nondescript door, symbolic of hum-
bling oneself to approach the Christ Child.
Jericho – The place Joshua conquered after
a seven-day march around the walls, Jericho is also known as the oldest continuously
inhabited city in the world. There are lots of
ruins from various eras of Jericho’s 12,000-
year history. Don’t miss the Greek Orthodox
St. George’s Monastery on a nearby mountain. The prophet Elijah is said to have lived
in one of the nearby caves.
Bethany – The home of Mary, Martha and
Lazarus, this is where you can enter what
was purportedly Lazarus’ tomb. You can also
see a house that may have belonged to the
Bet Guvrin / Maresha – The remains of a
Crusader castle and 800 bell-shaped caves
believed to have been excavated for chalk,
Bet Guvrin features Byzantine and Roman
Jerusalem – Includes an amazing number of
sites. The Tower of David Museum houses art and history exhibits and offers great
views of Jerusalem ( www.towerofdavid.org.
il). Take an early morning walk on the ramparts of the Old City Walls, a 4-km tour
above the Old City, including the Muslim,
Christian, Jewish and Armenian quarters,
Continued on next page
worth a float in the buoyant water. Be sure
to see both Qumran, some ruins near the
caves in which a shepherd found the Dead
Sea Scrolls in 1947, and Masada, where in
66 AD a band of Jewish patriots overtook the
mountain palace of King Herod. Seven years
later, as the Romans approached, the 900 remaining Jews committed suicide.