Israel: Stories from the Holy Lands

Israel: Stories from the Holy Lands
80 minutes
Format: DVD
Available: Now

WinnerWinner - 1999 Silver Telly Award

In the city of Tel Aviv, we'll be visiting the tourist mecca of Dizengoff Street with its outdoor eating places, and stop by Joppa, one of the world's oldest seaports, where Jonah set sail.

In Nablos, the largest city on the West Bank, we pass by wheat harvesting, a stone cutter's shop, and visit Jacobs Well.

We meet, at Mt. Gerizim, the holy mountain said by the Samaritans to be the site of Abraham's near-sacrifice of Isaac, some of the 250 Samaritans who live in a village nearby. These people, ancient religious offshoots from the Israelites, allow us to see them at worship.

Caesaria, the Roman and Crusader ruins built by Phoenicians, again by Herod the Great, and again by the Crusaders, is the site of many famous battles.

Jerusalem wallsThrough the Sharon Plain is Carmel National Park, Israel's largest national forest preserve. We pass through the hilly vistas of this mountain range on our way to Daliyat el-Carmel, a Druze village and its market of Druzewares.

In Haifa, Israel's 3rd largest city, we visit a modern shopping mall, see the gold-domed Baha'i Shrine that overlooks the harbor and visit the Clandestine Immigration and Naval Museum. Acco (Acre), another ancient seaport, was a major seaport at time of the Phoenicians, but Romans, Crusaders and Turks have all left their mark. We tour the town, visit the Mosque of El-Jazzar and the Crusader's subterranean city.

Not far from Acco, we visit a modern day kibbutz to experience this unique Israeli lifestyle and see how it works today.

At Israel's northernmost point on the Mediterranean border, we find sea-carved caves, grottoes and chalk cliffs at Rosh Hanikra. Heading into the lush, fertile Galilee region is the Crusader castle of Montfort and the city of Metulla with its "Good Fence" on the border between Israel and Lebanon.

On the southern slope of Mt. Hermon, is Banias Springs, one of the three sources of the Jordan River. We see a temple built to Pan, join an archeological dig and roam through the wilds of this ancient site.

Our tour down the Jordan River valley takes us past the ruins of Gamla, an ancient city, where like Masada, the Jewish inhabitants committed mass suicide when trapped by the Romans in A.D. 66. Now it is the home of Griffin Vultures with 7-foot wingspans.

Jesus & PeterWe continue down the Jordan River to the Sea of Galilee with its Christian sites and Roman era cities; Capernaum, where Jesus preached, the Church of the Beatitudes, site of the sermon on the mount, Tabga and the Church of the Multiplication with its mosaic floor depicting the miracle of fishes and loaves and Tiberius, founded by Herod Antipas.

Also in the Galilee, we meet a modern-day shepherd who lives with his family in a packing crate and view the farming and fauna of this productive region with its miles of olive groves.

West of the Sea of Galilee lies Nazareth, where Jesus grew to manhood.

The Basilica of the Annunciation, one of the most revered shrines of the Christian world, marks the traditional site of the Annunciation to the blessed Virgin Mary. North of the Basilica is the Church of St. Joseph, built above the traditional site of Joseph's carpentry shop.

In Cana, we visit a church commemorating the first miracle of Jesus; turning water into wine at a wedding.

Close by is Mt. Tabor, the traditional site of the transfiguration of Jesus.

Continuing down the Jordan River Valley, is Belvior, a Crusader fortress, built by Knights Hospitallie of St. John - and the last Crusader stronghold in Israel.

KarkhoumWe also see the archeological digs at Bet Shean, one of the oldest cities of the ancient near-east, destroyed by an earthquake in 749 A.D.

Our drive down the West Bank brings us to Jericho to view its foundations, over 10,000 years old. Jericho is considered the oldest-known city on earth, but we also see Jericho today.

Nearby stands the Mt. of Temptation where Jesus was tempted by the devil.

Our trip through the Judean Desert recalls scenes of some of Joshua's toughest battles during conquest of Canaan. On our way is Wadi Kelt and the Monastery of St. George, built on a rock ravine by Greek Orthodox priests in the 5th Century.

Further south, lies Qumran with its ruins of an Essene Monastery, 2,000-years-old, and the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947.

We stop at the Dead Sea, 1,300 feet below sea level (the world's lowest point), view some of its salt formations and watch as people attempt to swim.

The ancient mountaintop fortress of Masada where Jewish zealots besieged by Romans in A.D. 70 committed suicide rather than surrender.

At the southern end of Israel, at the northern tip of the Red Sea, is the city of Eilat with its coral reef and meet an ornithologist who is fighting to save the bird habitat. We also visit nearby Hai Bar, an animal preserve.

In the Negev Desert is Mt. Kar Kom, what some archeologists say could be the real Mt. Sinai. Our full-day climb on this holy mountain rewards us with documentation of ancient altars, petroglyphs and anthropomorphic rock formations.

In Bethlehem we see the Silver Star in the Grotto of the Basilica of the Nativity, built over the traditional site of the Manger, the birthplace of Jesus. We also visit an olive-wood-carving factory and go home with a woodcarver to meet his family.

Dome of the RockFinally our tour ends in Jerusalem, the center of the spiritual world for three religions. We explore the "New City" outside the ancient walls including: the Knesset - Israel's Parliament, the Supreme Court Building, Yad Vasheum - Israel's Holocaust Museum, the cemetery that contains Scheidler's Tomb, the Garden Tomb - representative of the site of Jesus' burial.

In Old Jerusalem, we visit many of the famous churches and sites important to Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths as well as tour the Arab Suq (market) of the old city. We see the Mt. Olive Southern Temple Mount Area with steps used by Jesus, the Western (Wailing) Wall and walk the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

We have for sale Christmas tree ornaments made in Bethlehem ...made of olive wood actually grown in the region. These ornaments depict various scenes surrounding the birth of Christ and other traditional Christmas motifs.

If you purchase these ornaments you will be making a connection to Bethlehem itself ...not only in possessing objects from there, but in the olive wood nourished and grown in the soils of the Holy Land. The making of these ornaments are depicted in the film, Israel - Stories From the Holy Lands. We see some citizens of Bethlehem working the olive wood, and we see a young Palestinian man and his wife producing these Christmas decorations in their home.

Adnan Ayesh and his wife, Samya, have been making these ornaments as they struggle to support themselves and their six a land where life has grown quite difficult.

You may purchase these decorations directly from Trailwood Films, and the proceeds will go to help Adnan and his family of deserving children. Or, you may go the the web site below and purchase directly from Adnan.

We have known Adnan and done business with him for years and can vouch for his absolute honesty and integrity. You can rest assured that purchases can be made with confidence from this site, and in doing so you will not only have a precious part of the Holy Lands, but will be helping someone who is determined to succeed in spite of so many obstacles stacked against him.


Dale and Sandy

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dvd $19.95