|Rachel on our way down to the Jordan Valley|
Usually the faculty go with the students for the entire rotation, and our families join us for a long weekend. But since all the children are now out of school, the families relocate with us for the entire time, staying in the "holiday village" operated by the `En Gev kibbutz right on the Sea of Galilee. The first day is a busy, long field trip, and we knew that being all day on a bus with loud students would be too much for Samuel. So we got permission to leave Jerusalem a couple of days early, which also afforded us one last family trip in the Holy Land.
|The kids with special guests at the Center|
|We started in Jerusalem (A), drove down past Jericho (B), then up the Jordan Valley, after which we cut across and up to Nazareth (C). Also on Sunday's agenda was a stop at Cana (D), and we spent the night at Tiberias (Heb., Teverya).|
Nazareth Historical Village
The Nazareth Village is an evangelical Christian ministry that tries to help visitors see what life would have been like in a small Galilean community at the time in Jesus. Over from the Old City of Nazareth and up the hill a bit next to the YMCA, remains of a first century farm have been found on the site. The vineyards, winepress, and other aspects of the farm have been restored. Actors represent shepherds, farmers, and weavers, and a synagogue of the size and type that would have served Nazareth have also been built on the property.
Having been to Neot Qedumim for biblical flora and fauna, participated in the Jerusalem Center's olive picking and pressing, and having visited the Sidre Weaving Center in the Negev, little of this was new to us. But for one-time visitors, this may be a good way to get a feel for village life of the period, and it was certainly neat for the children to see it on the scale and near the place where Jesus was raised.
|Mock up of the inside of a typical 2-room Galilean house of the period|
|Threshing wheat with a donkey and threshing sledge|
|Rachel loved this little black goat|
|Sam Man on-site!|
|Rachel's favorite goat again|
|"And a man planted a vineyard and a grove of olives, and he built a wall around it, and he built a watch tower."|
|Samuel and Rachel in rebuilt homes|
|This picture from the historical village reminded me of Joseph the Carpenter and Jesus as a boy, but I do not think that the Lord would have looked so bored!|
|Hannah the weaver|
|Home-spun yards and dyeing elements, including onions!|
|Jesus would have prayed and preached in a simple synagogue like this|
I have written on this miracle, in the second section of an article entitled “And the Word Was Made Flesh: An LDS Exegesis of the Blood and Water Imagery in John,” Studies in the Bible and Antiquity 1 (2009), 51–65.
Also in Cana was a lovely little church (also closed) in honor of Nathanael, who was from Cana. In its yard was a cemetery where many local Christians were buried.
|Entrance to the Orthodox complex at Cana. Unfortunately it was closed!|
|Yes, that double-headed yellow banner is the Byzantine imperial flag!|
|The Orthodox church|
|Drawing wine out of the water pots|
|The Catholic complex at Cana|
|Inside the Catholic church|
|"The Wedding at Cana" from the altar piece|
|Remains of earlier churches underneath the Franciscan church|
|The church dedicated to St. Nathanael|
View of Nazareth
We drove back to Nazareth so that Samuel could get McDonalds for dinner. While we were there, we went up on the hill to get some panoramic shots.
|Basilica of the Annunciation in the Old City|
|Remember on panorama shots to click to enlarge|