Going on Faith

Spring 2017

The Magazine for faith-based travel planners.

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going on faith [ goingonfaith.com ] BRING IT HOME: Samaria is known for its lush landscapes and many wineries and vineyards. Bring a sampling of the region home to share with friends and family with some locally grown olive oil products, such as herb-flavored olive oil or olive oil soap. Olive woodcarvings are also an unusual souvenir. MUST-DO: Olive oil soaps are a common product in the region. Groups can take a factory tour at the Albader Soap Factory in the Old City and see how they use the same traditional methods to make the soap that they have been using for more than 800 years. MUST-TASTE: Travelers can try kanafeh, a beloved Palestinian dessert made of honeyed cheese and semolina flour soaked in sweet rosewater syrup. Nablus, modern-day Shechem, is considered the best place to eat kanafeh. The Al-Aqsa pastry shop is a favorite stop in the city for the dish. The region around Nablus is also famous for Nabulsi cheese, a white-brined cheese used to make this dessert. Other popu- lar dishes include hummus, falafel, musakhan and lamb. • GOOD SAMARITAN MUSEUM — Named for Jesus' parable in Luke 10, this ancient Ottoman Inn is located along the highway that connects Jerusalem to the Dead Sea. The ancient building has been restored and now includes beautiful Byzantine mosaics and a wide range of archaeo- logical relics from across Israel selected to keep with the spirit of the parable and the nearby monastic community. There is also a section of the museum dedicated to the history and customs of the Samaritan community. • MOUNT GERIZIM — When the Israelites entered the Promised Land, Joshua and the 12 tribes stood on Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal to bless and curse. Mount Gerizim has since been known as the Mount of Blessings. Later, the mountain became the site of worship for the Samaritans. Today, there is an archaeological site that contains Samaritan city and the temple dis- trict. According to Samaritan tradition, Mount Gerizim is also Mount Moriah, where Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice. • ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK OF ANCIENT SHILOH — This archaeological park sits west of the modern-day city of Shiloh. Work at the site resumed in 2010 and has unearthed artifacts such as ceramics, stone walls, stone presses and cis- terns from many periods of history. Also at the site are Byzantin Canaanite ruins. • SEBASTIA — A short distance northwest of Nablus, Sebastia was one of the oldest continu- ously inhabited places in the region. The site is home to Nabi Yahya Mosque, a former crusader temple that many believe is built on the historic site of the tombs of the prophets Elisha, Obadiah and John the Baptist. The hilltop above the city is home to the remains of Sebaste, the remodeled fortress of Herod the Great. • BEIT EL TRAIL — Beit El, or Bethel, is the biblical site where Jacob dreamed of the ladder with angels ascending to and descending from heaven. On the modern Beit El Trail, groups can walk along a scenic path that features two ancient stone wine presses; an olive press; and a large rock, believed to be the spot where Jacob had his dream. Sitting atop the summit is a water tower; from this point, you can see as far as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem on a clear day. FOR CHURCH GROUPS T O P AT T R A C T I O N S Israel Ministry of Tourism www.goisrael.com R E S E A R C H I N G Y O U R T R I P The En Prat Nature Preserve is a popular spot to see exotic animals or outdoor activities like hiking and biking. activities like hiking and biking. spot to see exotic animals or outdoor The En Prat Nature Preserve is a popular PHOTO OP: The En Prat Nature Reserve is a perfect spot for pho- tography lovers. The nature preserve surrounds the spring of En Prat that emerges into a rock pool at the center of a picturesque oasis. Along the stream are many historic sites, including monasteries and a sec- ond-century-BC aqueduct. This area is perfect for leisurely photogra- phy walks among colorful flowers, rare plants and exotic animals, including a herd of gazelles.

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