The Different Names of the Sea of Galilee

THE SEA OF GALILEE

It is the lowest freshwater lake on Earth and the second-lowest lake in the world (after the Dead Sea) at levels between 215 meters (705 ft) and 209 meters (686 ft) below sea level.

The lake is about:

  • 60 miles from Jerusalem and at one time was
  • 13 miles long and
  • 8 miles wide at its greatest extent, although recent changes have reduced its length.

It is approximately:

  • 33 miles in circumference, (13 miles long, and 8.1 miles) wide.
  • Its surface is about 700 feet below sea level.
  • Its area is 64.4 sq mi at its fullest, and its maximum depth is approximately 141 to 150 feet.

The lake is fed partly by underground springs in the lake floor, but its main source is the Jordan River, which flows through it from north to south and exits the Sea at the Degania Dam.  The fresh waters of the lake are clean, and they have always been well stocked with a variety of fish.  (See our video August Personal Get-Away, Yeah for the variety).

If you have visited on any tour group, you will recognize the area pictured above where people get baptized. This is close to the dam as you can see in the back.  The dam regulates water levels in the Sea of Galilee and flows into the Lower Jordan River.

The Sea of Galilee has not always been known by that name.  It has also been known by the following names:

  1. Sea of Kinneret 
  2. Lake of Gennesaret (Luke 5:1)
  3. Sea of Ginosar 
  4. Sea of Galilee (Matt 4:18; 15:29)
  5. Sea of Tiberias (John 6:1; 21:1)
  6. Lake Tiberias
  7. Sea of Minya.

Throughout history, depending on the dominant settlement on its shores, the lake’s name was destined to change.  For long periods of history, it was known as the Sea of Kinneret, Kinnerot, Gennesaret, or Ginosar.

Sea of Kinneret

The modern Hebrew name, Kinneret, “harp-shaped” comes from the Hebrew Bible where it appears as the “Sea of Kinneret” in Numbers 34:11 and Joshua 13:27, spelled כנרות “Kinnerot” in Hebrew in Joshua 11:2. Kinneret was listed among the “fenced cities” in Joshua 19:35.

Jos 19:35, “And the fenced cities are Ziddim, Zer, and Hammath, Rakkath, and Chinnereth,…”

In the Hebrew word Kinneret, we find kinnor which means “harp” or “lyre”, because of the shape of the lake.  The city of Kinneret may have been named after the body of water rather than vice versa.

Sea of Gennesaret

Gennesaret stood in the northwester shore of the sea.  The name is Grecized  form of Chinnereth (Num 34:11; Josh 12:3; 13:27). The name is also used for the “Plain of Gennesaret”.  For beauty and fertility it is called “the Paradise of Galilee.” Its modern name is el-Ghuweir. This city or area is also a place where Jesus visited and performed healing.  In Hebrew, there is no distinction between the words “sea” and “lake”.  The word yam (הים) is used to describe any large and wide body of water.

Sea of Ginosar

Ginosar was founded on the eve of Purim in March 1937 by a group of young Socialist Zionists. Ginosar was originally an agricultural community.

Sea of Ginosar The Babylonian Talmud, as well as Flavius Josephus, a first-century Romano-Jewish historian, mentions the sea by this name after the small fertile plain of Ginosar that lies on its western side.  (2019 population 585)

Sea of Galilee, Sea of Tiberias, Lake Tiberias

The “Sea of Galilee” is used in the gospel of Matthew 4:18; 15:29, (Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, who were fishermen, were called by Jesus to follow him) Mark 1:16; 7:31, and in the gospel of John 6:1 as “the sea of Galilee”, which is the sea of Tiberias a late 1st century BC name.  Be looking for more about the fisherman in Jesus’s day in another post.

Sea of Tiberias is also the name mentioned in Roman texts and in the Jerusalem Talmud, and it was adopted into Arabic as Buḥayret Ṭabariyyā (بحيرة طبريا), “Lake Tiberias”.

Sea of Minya

The lake was known in Arabic as “Bahr al-Minya”, the “Sea of Minya”. This is the name used by the medieval Persian and Arab scholars.

As other places around the lake rose to prominence, such as Tiberias and Qasr al-Minya, the name of the lake also changed to Lake Tiberias or Lake Minya.

Daily monitoring of the Sea of Galilee’s water level began in 1969, and the lowest level recorded since then was November 2001.  Today a “black line” of 214.87 meters below sea level shows the water level had fallen lower than the current black line during droughts earlier in the 20th century.

Increasing water demand in Israel, Lebanon, and Jordan, as well as dry winters, have resulted in stress on the lake. Israel has suffered from a chronic water shortage for years.

Since the beginning of the 2018-19 rainy seasons, the Sea of Galilee has risen considerably and by April 16, 2020, just 16 cm below the upper red line, due to the strong rains and a radical decrease in pumping.

As of April 29, 2020, after almost 30 years in which the shrinking lake retreated further and further from the shore, it overflowed its banks.  Unfortunately, the coronavirus lockdown has prevented the ability for anyone to enjoy it.  (See our brief August Personal Get-Away, Yay video regarding the special activities of the Aqua Kef that people are missing out on.)

We hope you enjoyed this brief history of the Sea of Galilee, the lake that Jesus walked on the water and provided loads of fish for Peter and his brother one special day.

The Sounds of the Shofar

The shofar is a ram’s horn. The shofar is sounded 100 times during a traditional Rosh Hashanah service. And a long and loud shofar blast marks the end of the fast day of Yom Kippur. The blower must first take a big breath, the shofar only sounds when the air blows out.

The trumpet or shofar is for the inspiration, energizing, and motivational sound that flows out in the blowing of the instrument.

For the trumpet blower:

Numbers 10:9-10:
“When you arrive in your own land and go to war against your enemies who attack you, sound the alarm with the trumpets. Then the Lord your God will remember you and rescue you from your enemies. Blow the trumpets in times of gladness, too, sounding them at your annual festivals and at the beginning of each month. And blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and peace offerings. The trumpets will remind the Lord your God of his covenant with you. I am the Lord your God.”

The trumpets sound for many different reasons. It isn’t only the sound, but the way it sounded. Sometimes, it was a short blast, sometimes long, sometimes quiet and sometime loud! At times it was very l-o-n-g and very loud. And it always elicit’s a response from the hearers.

In Exodus it was used to call the people to the mountain to hear from God. One l-o-n-g sound was used to call the people to come; a second one was to bring the people to attention as God was going to speak. This brought much fear and trembling upon the people. God was certainly using this means to get their awareness that He was certainly God!

In Judges the trumpet blast was used to draw the people together to invade the enemy’s camp, then again used to strike fear in the camp they were invading and to catch these people off guard. In this instance it was the sound of the trumpets along with the light from handmade lanterns that so frightened the enemies of God’s people, they all abandoned their camp and ran! You find this fascinating story in Judges 7:16-18. And of course, God’s people won this invasion!

The trumpet horn was used to awaken the people as well, to arouse them to get moving.

For the trumpet sound hearer:

Psalm 58:15-18 “Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance. In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn shall be exalted. For the Lord is our defence; and the Holy One of Israel is our king.

There are four classic shoar blasts each with a special meaning, message, and purpose.  They can also be like a “Jewish Morse Code” by Rabbi Dov P. Elkins.

Here are their blows and their meanings:

  1. Tekia is a single blow. It’s a long, loud blast. If you’ve ever seen a knight or court messenger play a horn or blow a long sound to call attention to a king in a movie, tekiah, is kind of like that. When tekiah sounds, it brings everyone to attention.
  2. The Shevarim is three, broken blows of shevarim, sound like crying. Some scholars believe that shevarim is our tears of sadness, or joy, at another year passing.
  3. The Teruah involves nine or more rapid-fire, or staccato, blows.  Yom Teruah is a ticking clock.  Think of this sound as an alarm clock that you can’t hit snooze on.  The alarm will go off.  Truah is the wake-up call to the new year.
  4. Tekiah Gedolah are three sounds played all throughout the Rosh Hashanah service. And during the final combination, the shofar player concludes with the tekiah gedolah, the great blast, one last, long tekiah to wrap up.

These blasts are blown in a specific sequence climactic sounding to a prophetic time yet to come.

Summing up, trumpets symbolize several events in the Bible:

  1. Beginning of the Sabbath and all feasts
  2. Signifies a Battle cry
  3. The Shofar horn is symbolized to the gathering of Israel
  4. Calling for a solemn assembly
  5. The anointing of a king
  6. Sounds of praise – this warned the people that the time to enter the LORD’s presence was at hand.
  7. Wake Up Call

Rosh Hashanah, A Sabbatical Month

For some, Rosh Hashanah is called the “birthday of the world.” It marks the start of the Jewish New Year and is the only celebrated festival on the first day of the month.  

The two-day celebration of Rosh Hashanah is referred to as yoma arichta – a long day; i.e., the forty-eight hour observance of Rosh Hashanah is considered one extended day.

Rosh Hashanah is the Head of the Year in the month of Tishri the seventh month.  There are two harvest seasons in Israel, the spring early harvest (Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Pentecost), and the fall late harvest (Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacle). Tishrei, the seventh month, is the season of fall feasts.

The late harvest feast is a reminder to the Israelites of their wandering in the wilderness for 40 years before arriving in the promised land.

Rosh Hashanah points prophetically to Yeshua (Jesus), His second coming, and Him truly “tabernacling” – or dwelling – with His people forever to Messianic Believers and many Christians.

It is a time of deep introspection and weighty significance for Jewish people around the world.

(NOTE:  It was not called Rosh Hashanah until the Talmudic times, when a name was taken from Ezekiel 40:1.)

“In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.”  (Leviticus 23:24)

Seven means completion.  This is the Sabbatical month of the year.  Based on the testimony of two witnesses, it officially begins with the witnessing of the new moon by two witnesses testifying to the Jewish leaders who verify the siting.  Word was then spread around Jerusalem into all Israel by messengers and many trumpets being blown to spreading this news. This precipitated large torches being lit from mountain to mountain.  Trumpets were blown spreading this news.  This would be the beginning of High Holy Day, the Feast of Tabernacles that would last for seven days.

Elul is the 12th and final month in the Jewish calendar. It is a month that connects the past year with the coming year—a time when we reflect on where we stand and where we should be going.  September, which is the season of teshuvah (return).  It is a 30-day process of preparation through personal examination and repentance for the coming High Holy Days.  Psalm 27, begins with “The Lord is my light and my salvation,” is also recited at the end of the morning and evening.

Teshuvah, (tshuva) תשובה‎, literally, “return”, a season of transformation precedes the High Holy Days of the fall for Israel: These high holy days are a season of completion, atonement, and harvest. It’s a season of returning to God and embracing his glory.

For 40 days it rained at Noah’s time.  For 29 days they blow a shofar.  The shofar is bent or twisted and is a reminder to surrender, to bend, to turn, to repent. Teruah means to shout, shouting, alarm, sound, blowing, joy, miscellaneous. The Teshuvah is the “day of alarm” for war, “day of shouting” a religious impulse, “day of blowing” for marching, “day of joyful sound” in general.

This is the same “shouting” a battle cry, a shout of joy that brought the walls of Jericho down.  This is an opening up of our spirit to the LORD God and coming to Him.  It is two-way communication between God and His people in the covenant of promise.  The Bible often speaks through the trumpet, proclaiming His news, warning His people, alarming them, and inspiring them.

Examples:

When the ark of the covenant of the LORD came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout.  (Joshuah 6:20)

All the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. (Ezr 3:11)

When the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy: (Ezr 3:12)

The sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.  (Jeremiah 4:19)

They believe that however you responded during this time of repentance is sealed on the Day of Atonement and the judgment is carried out within the next 12 months. Judgments are weights.  National judgments are done with the LORD God’s hand of protection being removed, not His hand to whip, beat, etc.  An example of this is in Nebuchadnezzar’s story.   The LORD God has always had the heart to warn people before He proclaims judgment. He wants to warn the people before the flood, and He warned Nineveh before it was ruined. He does not want anyone to receive the wrath of His judgment.

  • (September 1 – 9) Rosh Hashanah, also known as the Feast of Trumpets, meaning “A day of Shouting”.  This is Yom Teruah – teruw`ah, the Head of the Year, where action is required.

Yom Teruah  teruw`ah is the Day of Awakening, the day of blasting the shofar.

  • The word Teruah does NOT mean trumpet though.  The word is a verb referring to the action of proclamation rather than a noun referring to an object, in this case, the trumpet.
  • The whole focus of the divine appointment called = Yom Teruah is not the instrument but rather the announcement of God being proclaimed through the blowing or the sounding of that instrument.
  • (September 10 – 14)  Yom Kippur the Day of Atonement.  Yom Kippur is a time of fasting, Sabbath rest, repentance and prayer.  The only day the priest would enter the Holy of Holies to sprinkle the blood sacrifice seven times for the sins of the people of Israel for the previous year.  
  • (September 15 – 21) Sukkot is celebrated with the Feast of Booths or Tabernacles being set up for seven days.  It is the final of the seven feasts of the Lord according to Leviticus 23.
  • The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the Lord.
  • besides the Sabbaths of the Lord, besides your gifts, besides all your vows, and besides all your freewill offerings which you give to the Lord.
  • Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the Lord for seven days; on the first day there shall be a Sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a Sabbath-rest.

In September at the Aliyah Return Center (ARC), they geared up for this exciting event.  The original plan was to have a Prayer Valley with many people from around the world attending it located near the ARC in the valley, to build their Sukkot (booth) and provide their ethnic food.  All that changed due to COVID-19.

What is their Plan B?  Zooming or Facetiming online.  The ARC is planning on building one Sukkot and airing the event instead.

Laborers With Christ will miss this event.  We


Read about The Sounds of the Trumpets.

CONGREGATION

A shofar (a Ram’s horn) is blown to begin the meeting of those present in the fellowship.  Most of the time, there is a designated person that receives the honor — and it is a privilege to do so.  Other times someone requests to blow the shofar.  It has a special significance that we hope to share with you in another blog post.

The Torah, an old testament reading is designated to someone ahead of time and the reader gives a little teaching on it.  Les has been asked to read this a couple of times.

Communion is also served every Shabbat as part of the service, held each Friday at 3:30 p.m.  

Praise and worship is also a very vibrant part of this time together.  Unique to this congregation, a home fellowship, is a very special mix of singing Hebrew & English songs.  The Hebrew is written phonetically so you can sound out the Hebrew words, a special treat.  This way, we are able to join in with the worship. Most of the time, when you see Hebrew it is written in the special Hebrew symbols and characters.

And, of course, each service like any other, must have announcements.  These announcements share about needs to the various areas of outreach.

This congregation has an ebb and flow of different visitors from many different places.

  1. Most Sanctuaries are decorated.  A unique and special thing in their home/sanctuary is a huge Torah scroll centerpiece.
  2. the “Sea of Galilee” also called “Sea of Kinneret”.  (The story of this is coming.)

During the month of August (month of Av), the congregation takes the month off from Erev Shabbat fellowship.

August is observed on the ninth day of the month of Av in the Jewish calendar. Av literally means “father.” It is customary to add the name “Menachem,” which means “comforter” or “consoler”.  In this month, both Temples were destroyed and many other tragedies occurred. Yet the Father in heaven is there to comfort and console us.

Erev means evening or evening of in Hebrew. Days in the Jewish calendar begin as the daylight leaves — as opposed to other calendar systems where a day begins at midnight or sunrise (as it becomes light).

The congregation, also known as Poriyah Congregation, is a home fellowship of messianic believers, an international English speaking fellowship since 2005.  It was formed on what they believe to be the New Testament model: meeting in homes governed by many elders.

Another reason they meet in a home is so that much of the funds received are used to help needy families in and around the congregation.  Those areas of giving are to reach out to the desperate and needy, to soldiers, widows, orphans, Arabs, and Druse. We also have a small prison ministry.

Three-thirty was the normal time we traveled up the hill to the upper Galilee in Poriyah in northern Galilee to join this fellowship until COVID-19 struck the world.  Congregation is a 20-30 minute ride skirting the southern shore of the Sea of Galilee then heading towards the west up a hill, to one of the first communities.

The Hebrew word “Poriya” (the name of the village) means “fruitful,” and “Kehilah” (K’hee-lah) means “Congregation,” so the name actually means “Fruitful Congregation.”  

Eric and Terri Morey, who host this fellowship in their home, made Aliyah around 1980.  They met some of the first believers in the modern state of Israel in Rosh Pina (see map); but, after receiving lots of persecution in Rosh Pina the first location, they relocated towards Tiberias.  Desiring to maintain a place for the English speaking international community fellowship, Tents of Mercy helped the Morey’s home cell group get started.

This Congregation has a huge heart for helping those making Aliyah, which is why they are very connected to the Aliyah Return Center (ARC).  Eric was the first to extend a hand of help and fellowship to the ARC.   The Congregation put together 64 scriptures that speak to Aliyah, the returning of the Jews to Israel.  

Poryiah has a lot of houses of prayer and is like a retirement community for believers.  Their home position overlooks the Galilee vallee and these believers have been praying years for the valley and the restoration of the kingdom in the valley.  The ARC is a part of the answer to their prayers helping Jews make Aliyah.

This congregation has an ebb and flow of different visitors from many different places.

  1. Most Sanctuaries are decorated.  A unique and special thing in their home/sanctuary is a huge Torah scroll centerpiece.
  2. Another very special aspect of this home fellowship is the mix of singing Hebrew & English songs.  The Hebrew is written phonetically so you can sound out the Hebrew words, a special treat.  This way, we are able to join in with the worship. Most of the time, when you see Hebrew it is written in the Hebrew symbols or characters.
  3. Another special thing is going back down the hill, and you see the beautiful scenery of the “Sea of Galilee” also called “Sea of Kinneret”.  (The story of this is coming.)

COVID-19 HAS CHANGED EVEN OUR CONSTANT STATUS OF LIFE.

It was part of our regular schedule, but it has been a while since we attended because of COVID-19.  When things started opening up again, most of our Volunteer help was gone and our work increased.

THEN, because of COVID-19 radically changing the Volunteer environment, I became busy preparing for Shabbat.  Les, of course, has volunteered to help me, so we are unable to attend.


This ends our series of what our daily/weekly, more constant schedule looks like.  We hope you enjoyed it!  You can look forward to hearing about other life events here at the ARC and the Galilee that we have promised to share about in other blogs.  To keep in the loop on these events and not miss out, please subscribe.  Thank you for taking the time to stop by and peak into our lives.  Shalom aleichem! (shālôm ʻalêḵem means “peace be upon you.”

SHABBAT

A day of rest that lasts from sundown on Friday evening through nightfall on Saturday night.

There are many things that Orthodox or observant Jews will not do on Shabbat (such as driving, working, or turning on a light switch), there are a host of things they do do in order to make the Shabbat a delightful celebration.

In the words of Isaiah 58:13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:”

You may already know that Shabbat is the weekly day of rest. The celebration begins in Jewish households in Israel and around the world during the Friday night dinner.

A big part of the “delight” of Shabbat is the enjoyment of three Shabbat meals, mainly the first two—Friday night dinner and Shabbat lunch—that are elegantly prepared, preceded by the sipping of ceremonial kiddush wine or grape juice (the best grape juice we’ve ever tasted, by the way), and the breaking of traditional challah bread, and blessings along with songs, inspiring thoughts and camaraderie integrated.

To host this event, much of the meal preparation takes place Thursday and Friday morning.  Shabbat usually starts at sunset for the candle-lighting and prayer. This is a prayer of thanksgiving over the workweek coming to a close of a week of activity, a week of growth, and a tiring week with the celebration of a day of rest and tranquility with a Shabbat rest.

At the ARC, most Fridays receive guests. Every Friday is Shabbat, a special meal is prepared.  This meal is really a celebration meal where guests and the hosts enjoy sharing the experience of five observances that are an integral part of any Shabbat meal. The ARC has had upwards of 80 or so guests that we know of.

These are the blessings (Baruch) observed throughout the Shabbat meal:

  1. Blessing for the Lighting of the Candles
  2. Blessing over the Wine or Grape Juice
  3. Blessing for Washing of the Hands
  4. Blessing over the Challah (braided bread)
  5. Blessing from the head of household (over wives, children, others)

We think this is a special biblical practice that the LORD God instituted for mankind for a reason.  It is not only for health but for remembering Him and honoring Him.

WHO doesn’t like receiving a blessing?

In a separate post, I will share these 5 Blessings practiced at Shabbot and there meaning and why it is a blessing for everyone.

How Sweet!


One Shabbat, we collected our Shabbat meal we had our own private meal.  We are allowed a special weekend off every month, which is such a huge blessing.  We will share about in another blog article.  This was totally acceptable and the kitchen staff at that time enjoyed preparing a special hallah bread for us and a small h’orderves plate just for us.


Here is what comes up next in the line-up of our “semi-“normal” life:

CONGREGATION

The congregation post will conclude the series of our semi-consistent day to day life at the Aliyah Return Center (ARC).

MEALS

ALL MEALS, FOR THE MOST PART, ARE COMMUNAL

Generally, all staff meals are shared and so is the kitchen.  As you may know from our article Our Three Homes, our places of residents are dorm-like.

Right now our staff/volunteer group is very small.  I will introduce you to our new communal family in another post.

For now, lunch takers are 9-10 and supper takers are about the same only with some different people due to schedules.

POSITION CHANGES

For a week, and being very short-staffed, I, Catherine, inherited being the head of hospitality/kitchen, which originally included meals, rental properties, etc.  There simply is not another person to fill this role, and it is a full-time job.

When I was first asked, thankfully, I had another young lady helping with meal preparation named Yola, from South Africa in Cape Town.  We shared kitchen duties include:

  1. Meal planning
  2. I collected the grocery list, sent it to the main office for purchasing for the week’s groceries.  There is a designated budget for meals and other hospitality items.
  3. Organize the kitchen, making sure everything is inventoried for meals and rental properties.
  4. My part was to prepare lunch for our small group of up to 7 to 8 people plus any visitors.

LUNCH:

Most of the time, this is just a couple of sandwich varieties and vegetable tray items.  Pretty simple preparing fresh sandwich spreads and cutting vegetable tray items.  Sometimes reheating leftovers from Shabbat meal is necessary.  Recently, I prepared an eggplant dish just for a new item.  Israeli’s really like eggplant but so does the staff.  I collected 10 different types of eggplant dishes and was prepared to make something new.

THEN, I shared at the end of the month, I would need to step back for a week to work on our newsletter.  They decided to have lunches catered from the local Kibbutz.  They seem very happy with this decision and will continue using this catering service.

My plate is lighter.

SUPPER:

Yola, South Africa, was responsible for the evening meal and does a really good job of throwing things together.  Because she worked in the kitchen differently than I do, and I plan ahead with meal plans, and since she was in the kitchen more, we had an agreement.  You know how it goes when there are two kitchen queens and getting along can happen.  I agreed to help her in a pinch if she needed it preparing supper.

She was on borrowed time though.  We did not know how long she will be around.  She is waiting for news from her consulate as to when she can book her flight to South Africa.  It sounds like it gets really complicated and there are a number of South Africans still in Israel waiting for the skies to open up to return to their homeland.  She did get the news that South Africa was closing their skies and to travel as soon as possible, that their border would not open up again till January.

She is now gone but was very helpful in meal preparation while here.

Because the catering service provides plenty at LUNCH, it was decided that left over’s will be the plan for SUPPER.  They may continue on this course hereafter.


Here is what comes up next in the line-up of our “semi-“normal” life:

SHABBAT

WORK


WINTER WORK HOURS

During the winter, around the time we arrived in Israel, it was cooler.  There was no push to get going (to work) very early. A group called, “The Discipleship Journey for Israel” (DJI) was here and generally visits in the Israeli winter.  It is kept busy most of the morning with work.  The afternoons were filled with speakers and a little free time off.

SUMMER WORK HOURS ( Hebrew: שעון קיץ ‎ sha’on kayits “Summer Clock”)

April-May is regarded as Spring.  April and May’s average highs are around 22-25 C / 72-77 F. Summer is June to September.  June through September and even October present highs of approximately 27-30 C / 81-86 F.

We cannot fathom what true Summer will feel like if May is Spring.  May brought very hot temperatures and so far we have experienced 111 degrees in the afternoon.  Drinking fluids is key to stay hydrated.  Many who work outside during this time take it easier during the afternoon hours.  The ARC starts earlier in the morning when it is cooler to take advantage of two more hours before the heat really hits.

There is a never-ending workload for the few hands since COVID-19.  With the closed borders, ARC’S regular incoming, out-of-Israel Volunteer help is at an all-time low.

Recently, most of the South American team of youth that was here for a couple of months, left June 1st.  Three remain for another 10 days and are now gone.

PTL, the Jewish Agency (JA) has booked our next group to replace the South Americans.  We are learning that the JA is constantly booking these rooms with in-country groups to help with its revenue.  They may be able to help with jobs around the campus.

A NUMBER OF NEW PROJECTS:

  1. The Vertical – I, Catherine, will post more about this is in another blog.
  2. The Cafeteria/Office/Internet for the whole campus. –  All offices will be located in another building, which needs walls torn down, and a new floor plan to implement.  Les will help with this project.
  3. The garden growing season is on hold but not forgotten.  We do have exciting plans to share about this later regarding that.  In the meantime, he is taking care of the newly planted trees around the Golim building, the first place we staying upon our arrival.  Read more about our three homes here.  Learn about the trees by visiting our Instagram posts here.
  4. New International Building set up – This is where our kitchen, meals, and Shabbat will be held.  More on that in another post.
  5. The Aliyah Family House – that houses for right now, Interns and Volunteers, and anyone that wants a place to rent for a weekend.  It is where we held our bible study one evening via Zoom during COVID-19.  The outside is getting a landscaping facelift.  Les has done some work there but for the most part, they are trying to use Israeli workers.

What’s next in the line-up of our semi-“normal” life:

MEALS

The Teardrop

The TEARDROP Driveway

The Tear Drop driveway is a special memorial.  It is a showcase for all who enter.  There are a number of groups, people, visitors supporting Israel.  These people have visited the Aliyah Return Center (ARC) and placed their countries flag to show that they want to bless Israel.

There are a number of ways to support Israel, but for this post, we will focus on the TEARDROP:

  1. These flags last only three months due to Israel’s hot sun and wind.
  2. These flags should be replaced four times a year.  This will help maintain a fresh, well-cared for, bright-looking flags for the teardrop drive as a visual reminder as they enter the ARC, a save haven for the Olim, those who are making Aliyah (returning to Israel).  This is a visual reminder that mentally raises the spirit, as well as, brings a sense of encouragement to all who enter as they see these flags.
  3. They are a testimony and banner of the LORD’S goodness and blessing to Israel.
  4. All who see them will be blessed knowing Israel is supported and remembered.

Les & Catherine DeRoos are serving Volunteers and the Aliyah Return Center (ARC) in Israel.

If your church or group is willing to help support your nation’s flag, these flags are $50.00 apiece and four flags a year comes to $400 a year.  Shipping anything to Israel is far too costly, and the flags are made here in Israel so to expedite replacing the flag in a timely manner is done by sending financial support.

This project is not only to encourage the returning Jews making Aliyah, it is one of many ways to support Jews returning to Israel as they absorb into the Jewish culture and they learn a whole new language, Hebrew.

CONTACT INFO:

  • You are welcome to send support for this encouraging project here.
  • If you have any more questions please feel free to email us at faagric@yahoo.com.
  • Watch The Teardrop at ground zero.

BIBLE STUDY

BIBLE STUDY

At 7 p.m., on Tuesday nights we attend a bible study to which we were invited in the upper Galilee area called Poriya.

When COVID-19 hit, we stopped going.  We attempted to connect through a Zoom meeting like most everyone else was doing, but we were faced with some other problems.

We had to walk into the kibbutz where the Family House is located.  The Family House has a faster internet connection.

The Zoom was just too difficult to keep that going partly because the kibbutz didn’t like everyone going to the Family House which is located in the kibbutz, especially with COVID-19.  Another reason was that the Zoom was cutting in and out and made interaction almost impossible.  A newer Jewish believer attendee was asking all kinds of questions.  We decided to wait until we could all meet again in person.

May 12 was our first night back and we are meeting at 7:00 p.m. Lots of things change in the Summer because it is just too hot.  The temperature has reached 111 degrees but thankfully the higher elevation brings a cooling atmosphere and with it being later in the day we experience lower temperatures as well.

We are currently studying the book of Daniel.  Our leader is a digger and brings depth to the study through historical accounts as well as current world events.  We leave the study with much to think about each week.

July 7 we began meeting again.  We have finished the book of Daniel and are now studying the covenants and shortly on to the book of Revelation.  We are very excited about what we will learn and are looking up for the return of our LORD and Savior.


Here is what comes up next in the line-up of our “normal” life:  WORK

Heat Wave

Our 4th Month in Israel at the
Aliyah Return Center (ARC) began with unusually rainy days and THEN an unusual heatwave hit.


Our temperatures reached 115 degrees with drying winds.

Our plants were progressing very well and in two days we about lost most of them. (pictures below)

Our newly planted trees are well watered, but the heat is trying to burn their tender leaves.  Thankfully, the trees are doing better than the garden plants and shade cloth is the plan for them during the summer.

Our nucleus family disappeared, and we are down to a hand full of full-time Volunteers.

 

 

 

 

 


Has the workload diminished due to the heat?

Uhm, no, not really.  The work continues on, but the helping hands slowed down considerably due to the COVID-19 situation.  There are a number of people that did remain in Israel after flights shutdown, satisfied their mandate to quarantine and few knew about the ARC or heard about it and headed our way…the LORD’s provision.  PTL!

THIS MONTH’S SPECIAL PROJECT

“The Vertical”.  The Vertical is the future 24/7 Worship Center that will also house teams that can stay for a designated time to Worship.  A donation from China was given to renovate this building.  The dedication of this building took place on a very special day called Shavuot (Pentecost), on Thursday the 28th.  There were special international guest speakers and worship songwriters via Zoom in attendance as well as local friends of the ARC.

Even during COVID-19, this project continued to be under construction.  The hope is to post its transformation, so please be looking for images of its transformation.

PICTURES COMING

ONGOING PROJECTS:

These projects are the upkeep of this ARC property.  Aside from ARC’s general vision to help facilitate Aliyah for the returning Jewish people by making sure there is a place for them to stay, there is the ongoing maintenance of these buildings and grounds.  This includes the upkeep of all the buildings on the property that continually are used by other Jewish groups.  BUT, there is a problem…

There are not enough hands to maintain the buildings and grounds.  The ARC facilitates in this area through volunteers that come.  The buildings continue to be occupied by different groups within the country, but with insufficient volunteer’s hands to help in between these different occupants. Since COVID-19, there are no volunteers coming to serve in these areas.

This month alone has seen three groups each staying a few days and a team of pre-army leaders just arrived for orientation.  These pre army groups always come through the JA.  In between groups, there in a need to repair things and make sure everything isworking well.  That’s the ARC’s job.

The ARC received an African tourist named Yola, who is here helping in the kitchen and hospitality area.  She is waiting for flights out of Israel to South Africa are flying again, which means she will most likely stick around till July when those flights are reported to commence flying.  Until then we will enjoy having her around and have fun watching her African culture come through.  Yola is a vibrant, very upbeat, joyful young lady and is willing to put her hands into service wherever they are needed.


OUR CURRENT RESPONSIBILITIES:

LES, is the right-hand person of the project’s manager, Garret.  Together they weed wack, mow, fix broken parts of machines and buildings.

In addition to making sure the nursery plants are doing well, Les makes sure that the newly planted trees are watered, shaded, and fixes most water leaks.  Every plant here has really suffered due to the HEATWAVE Israel had this month.  We are not sure how many nursery plants will survive.

CATHERINE helps out in the kitchen and clean up.  WOW!   Her other responsibilities are keeping you in the loop through the various forms of media (Instagram, youtube, monthly newsletter, and this blog.)


DRUMROLL PLEASE

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