November in Jerusalem

December 31, 2000

Someone recently asked me why we are traveling to the Holy Land in November. The answer is two-fold. First, the weather in Israel can be unbearably hot during the summer months. During November the days will be warm and the nights cool, thus making for an excellent traveling environment. Second, tour prices are lower in November than during the summer or during the Christmas and Easter holiday periods. This enables us to reduce the cost by hundreds of dollars per person.

I also understand that there is some concern about recent events in the Middle East. Is it safe to travel to the Holy Land? Again, the answer is two-fold. First, the media has greatly exaggerated the instances of violence. After all, who wants to watch a film of people living together peacefully? Gunfire always makes a better picture. Taken as a whole, Israel is one of the safest spots on earth. Second, during the tour we will receive constant updates regarding any disturbances. We simply won’t go to any location where there is the slightest possibility of problems.

Having said all that, I would now like to invite you to join us for this once-in-a-lifetime tour to the land of the Bible. Marlene & I will be leading the tour along with Cliff & Phyllis Raad and Bob & Jean Boerman. So far over 60 people have signed up to go with us. The dates are November 5-14, 2001. The tour begins with a flight directly from O’Hare to Tel Aviv on El Al Airlines. We will visit Caesarea, Megiddo (site of Armageddon), Nazareth, Cana (where Jesus turned water into wine), and Capernaum (the headquarters of Jesus’ ministry). We’ll take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee and tour the excavations at Jericho. We’ll spend four nights in Jerusalem. Our time there will include visits to Masada, the Dead Sea and Bethlehem. A highlight will be sharing communion together at the Garden Tomb, not far from the spot where Jesus rose from the dead.

One of the best parts of the tour will be an optional excursion into Jordan. There we will travel down the east side of the Dead Sea (passing not far from biblical Sodom and Gomorrah), stopping at Mount Nebo, the place where Moses took his famous view of the Promised Land shortly before he died. We will spend a night at Petra, the famous “rose-red” city. In the morning we will ride horses through the narrow passageway to visit the beautiful temples carved out of the rock. Then it’s back to Jerusalem and the next day back to Chicago. That part of the tour ends on November 16.

A trip to the Holy Land is not a vacation; it’s a pilgrimage. Won’t you consider joining us? If you’d like a brochure with all the details, call the church office (708/386-3900) or send an e-mail to

Do you have any thoughts or questions about this post?