First thing in the morning, we boarded a boat on the Sea of Galilee. The boat took us to the north end of the sea and dropped us off in Capernaum. The boat ride was really cool! The captain did a fishing net demo - see picture below. Did you know that tilapia is indigenous to the Sea of Galilee and is also called St. Peter's fish? Also, when Jesus told his disciples that a city on a hill could not be hidden, he was standing in full view of Safed, the highest city in Israel.
|Safed - Highest city in Israel (City on a Hill)|
|Net casting demo|
|Synagogue made with white stone|
Our bus met us after a tour of the excavated Capernaum, and we headed up the Golan Heights toward Mt. Hermon, Lebanon, and Syria. One of my favorite spots of the entire trip was Cesaerea Philippi. Located at the base of Mt. Hermon on the Israel side, there was a former pagan worship grove there, called Paneus (today, Baniyas). There is a giant cave on the site that was known as "The Gates of Hades." This is where Jesus and His disciples were when Peter declared Jesus to be the Messiah. When Jesus said that the Gates of Hades would not prevail against His church, he was sitting by this cave! Seriously, I felt like I was in a Ray Vanderlaan DVD.
|The Gates of Hades|
|Source of the Jordan|
After visiting this fabulous area, our tour continued along the Golan Heights near Mt. Hermon (we were within two miles of Lebanon and the Hezbollah), where we were then able to stop and view the border with Syria. The Golan Heights was acquired by Israel after the six day war of 1967, and then almost lost when Syria and Egypt attacked Israel on Yom Kippur 1973 (the holiest day of the year for Israel). The tiny remnant of IDF soldiers were able to stave off the huge number of attacking Syrians until backup could arrive 24 hours later. Ninety percent of those soldiers lost their lives in this battle.
|The Boat Mystery|