Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry



Churches Churches Everywhere!

Needless to say, there are LOTS of churches in the Holy Land. Like the relationship among different groups of people, the church situation is….complex. There are: Muslim, Catholic, Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Armenian, Druse, Coptic, and even some Baptists and other Protestants tossed in for good measure.

In many cases churches share; literally, they share the same building. In some cases, different denominations are allocated specific time when they have “possession” of a building. Some buildings have sections for each, such as a Catholic section, a Coptic section, and an Orthodox section. Some holy sites are actually commenorated in two or more locations, with each church claiming they have the “real spot” where an even occurred.

In the Jewish holy places one must cover their head; in the Catholic churches one must remove their hat. Anybody can go into the Temple Mount area where the Dome of the Rock is, but Jews and Christians cannot pray or make any  overt “religious” actions.

There are laws, treaties, and status quo agreements.

It’s all very complex and hard to understand. One thing is easy to understand, though. The architecture, engineering, artisan-ship of many of these various places of worship is outstanding, and worth appreciating regardless of one’s beliefs.

On the left is the Greek Orthodox Monastery on the Mountain of temptation. The two on the right are Greek Orthodox Churches near the Jordan River.

The Church of the Primacy of Saint Peter

Church of the Loaves and Fishes

Carmelite Monastery on Mount Carmel

church mt carmel monastery

Church of the Mount of the Beatitudes

Church of the Nativity

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Chapel of the Condemnation and the Church of the Flagellation

Church of Saint Peter’s Denial

Church of All Nations

Chapel at the Shepherd’s Field

The Dome of the Rock

Various Mosques

Random People of Israel

Life in the Holy Land is….complicated. I won’t even pretend to try to describe all the different peoples living there today, as even those who live it every day probably don’t understand all the intricate relationships that make every day life possible. From the outside looking in, it seems as if the strife, trouble, and violence is ongoing and daily. To a certain extent, it really is; on the other hand within the confines of the Nation of Israel today, some semblance of getting along seems to happen fairly often. This is just sort of a snapshot of the folks we saw during our trip. Blessings and enjoy!

Gideon’s Spring

gideon spring

The desert Mountains of the Judean Wildernes are made of limestone and just full of caves. This was one above Gideon’s spring

gideon spring cave.jpg

This should be instantly recognizable as the very picnic tables where Gideon and his men rested after their war with the Midianites.

gideon spring picnic.jpg


This is modern day Jericho. We were fortunate to be able to drive through the town, as in the past it has been the site of considerable conflict, from simply rock throwing to rocket launching. It’s formally Jordanian, now Israeli, but still Arab Palestinian in populace. It’s very complicated over here. In fact, it is so complicated even people in the middle of it do not always understand the relationships that drive things.

This is a Sycamore tree. It’s not my friend Zacchaeus’. It may or may not even be in the right spot. I had to include it, of course.

jericho symcamore

The Hyrax

Proverbs 30:26

The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks;


A hyrax, or rock badger on the trail to Gideon’s Spring

Just Us

I know, I know. You all want to see pictures of the Holy Land. Too bad LOL. Us standing on a rock in the Sea of Galilee. Quite cool, actually!


The Mountain of Beatitudes

This, of course is where the definitive sermon in the history of the world took place, The Sermon on the Mount.

It’s sort of a B Site. It happened on this mountain somewhere most likely, but the exact place is not clear. There is a beautiful church and and Monastery up there, though.

Day One, Or is it Day 2?

Well, it’s been awhile since I have traveled to foreign lands, and I had forgotten how odd it can be! We left Arkansas on Tuesday morning and now its suddenly Thursday morning! Actually, as this picture was taken, it was 230 in the morning Israel time. We were both wp-1488420459091.jpgwide awake , ready to get something done. I suspect later in the day, we will both be ready to fall asleep. That is the nature of jet lag!

We are excited to begin the “official” tour today, and have a event packed 10 days coming up. So far the most exciting thing has occurred in the Little Rock Airport, when my laptop kept alarming, so I was selected for additional very “thorough” screening. Did I say very thorough? Only a proctologist would be more thorough than that TSA guy. Just saying.

So, here we are day two, or one, or something. I suppose it doesn’t really matter.

Supper was really good last night here at the Leonardo Plaza Hotel in Netanya. Netanya is more or less a suburb of Tel Aviv, so by all intents and purposes we are in Tel Aviv. That was an interesting trip into the city. Apparently the population of Tel Aviv is about a half million, but well over a million actually work in the city. There was LOTS of traffic.

Back to supper! It was very good overall. It was a buffet just full of various Middle Eastern and Israeli foods. Lot’s of chicken, which is always a winning proposition. The salad bar was truly outstanding! I will have more detail on the food as I learn what some of the food items actually are!

We have our first full day today, led by our Driver Awad, and our guide Moshe. Moshe(Moses) has already assured us that we won’t wander the desert for the duration of our trip. On our agenda for today(This was copied right off the Facebook page of our Tour Leader, Brother Neal Clark):

Well today we began our Tour of the Promise Land, we plan to Visit Caesarea By The Sea, The Ancient Water Aqueducts,The Mediterranean Sea ,then on to Mt Carmel Where Elijah killed the prophet of Baal, The River Kishon ,Visit The Valley of Megiddo,Solomon’ Stables, We are planning to a Falefal for Lunch today ,then on to Nazareth, The Beautiful Jezreel Valley, The Brow of the Hill, Cana of Galilee ,Horns of Hetton , we Continue on our journey through the Mountains of Galilee to our Hotel on the Banks of the Beautiful Sea of Galilee at Tiberius for Dinner & Over Night !!

That’s all for now, dear readers. As I wake up randomly in the middle of the night, I am sure there will be more!





Little Rock National Airport 

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