Sar-El Tours & Conferences - 'For the Lord your God brings you into a good land.' (Deut 8:7)
December 2011
Sar-El News Flash

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Season's Greetings from Jerusalem! 

Please have a look at our most recent News Flash for all the latest in Israel and at Sar-El Tours.  I hope you enjoy it!

I wish you a very pleasant holiday season filled with hope and peace, family and friends and many joyful moments.

Happy Holidays from the Sar-El family to yours!

Samuel Smadja
Sar-El Tours & Conferences
8 Ha Hoshen St.
Mevaseret Zion, 90805

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What's New In Israel


gospel trail
Gospel Trail Marker
 The Gospel Trail:
Recently launched by the Ministry of Tourism, the 62 km (38.5 mi.) trail follows what is believed to be the path Jesus took when he left his hometown of Nazareth for Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee shores, where much of his ministry took place. The trail, which can be done on foot, by bicycle, horse or car, is expected to be visited by 200,000 Christian tourists a year. The Gospel Trail is one part of the Ministry of Tourism's economic and tourism plan to increase the amount of pilgrims and tourists to the Galilee region. The plan is that this will also attract new businesses and entrepreneurs to the region that can provide services to the increased amount of visitors to the Galilee.  


hannukahFestival of Lights: This holiday season, tourists and locals alike can enjoy  classic traditions for Hanukah, the Festival of Lights. Israeli homes, as well as  storefronts and government offices, display Menorahs (Hanukkiyahs) which  are miniature versions of the original Menorah from the Temple. Every night of  the festival one candle is lit with an extra candle added each night. Around  every street corner you can find an array of sufganiyot (donuts), the oil they're  fried in a symbol of the miracle of Hanukah. Israeli cities are host to many  family-oriented festivals in city squares and malls, like the Holiday of Holidays  Festival in Haifa, which celebrates Hanukah, Christmas and Eid-al-Adha of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim religions.  


Bethlehem Christmas decorations

Bethlehem Visits: With Christmas quickly approaching, it only seems fitting to mention that there has been an increased openness in the number of visitors going into Bethlehem.  This is welcome news since every year Christmas Eve services and a carol sing-a-long are held in Manger Square and the Church of the Nativity, the traditional site of Jesus' birth. Across the street tourists can also visit the Church of St. Catherine for a Midnight Mass. It is important to note that all visitors entering Bethlehem must have their passports with them in order to enter the city, and even more important to exit!


Site News & New Sites


Neot Kedumim: 

"So long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night shall not cease" (Genesis 8:22)


"A land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates , olive oil and honey" (Deuteronomy 8:8)



neot kedumim4
Visitor Harvesting the Land 

You are invited to visit this site and take part in reviving the ancient land of milk  and honey. Neot Kedumim is a reconstructed biblical landscape reserve of 620  acres situated in the heart of Israel on the foothills between Jerusalem and Tel  Aviv. It was built out of love, with the Bible in one hand and a shovel in the other,  with the intention of "attaching photos" to the text of the Bible. While there  tourists  can: walk in the landscape that Jesus knew and loved; visit the ancient  agricultural installations like the wine press, the oil press, the water cistern, the  threshing floor and the watchtower over the vineyard; become familiar with biblical  plants like the hyssop and the sycamore; and get to know the seven varieties of  fruits that the biblical land is blessed with, and where the parables and symbols  used by Jesus in his teaching come to life. At Neot Kedumim all of your senses are used to evoke the spiritually uplifting experience of understanding the text of the scriptures (old and new) in their context.  


Torah Scribe at Neot Kedumim 


Tourists experience a classical biblical tour of ancient    

agricultural installations, biblical hospitality in Abraham's' tent and get  

a taste of biblical living: sheep herding, meeting a Torah scribe,  

planting a tree etc.  For more details please be in touch with your local  

travel agent.





New Complex at Masada: Visitors to the historical and  breathtaking site Masada near the Dead Sea will be pleasantly  surprised by the new food court area. To be visited before or after a  tour of the archeological site, groups can now stop for a coffee break, do some shopping or just take in the view. The complex boasts a souvenir shop, Masada photography store, Ahava beauty shop, pharmacy, McDonald's, Cup o' Joe Café, ice cream and frozen yogurt bar, Pillsbury bakery and fruit juice bar. Tourists will enjoy this new  modern oasis in the middle of the desert as they explore the wonder  that is Masada.



Sar-El News

Sid Roth:
In cooperation with Noseworthy Travel, we were happy to host Sid Roth's tour of 200 passengers. Traveling the country on five buses the group experienced Israel firsthand with the founder of It's Supernatural! & Messianic Vision. A highlight of their trip was an awesome time of worship and fellowship together at the Garden Tomb where Sid spoke. Using every last minute of their time in Israel, the group had a fantastic final dinner at Neot Kedumim: excellent family-style food in a beautiful atmosphere; a trip to be remembered!


perry stone
Perry Stone in Israel
Perry Stone:
Once again we had the privilege to serve Noseworthy Travel on the operation of Perry Stone's annual tour from Voice of Evangelism. The group of more than 300 passengers traveled the country and shared a family Thanksgiving meal together at the Leonardo Plaza hotel in Tiberias overlooking the Sea of Galilee. Perry Stone himself even carved the turkey! While at the Jordan River over 200 members were baptized. In addition the Perry Stone media team, Manna-fest, filmed footage for several programs that will be aired in 2012.


Lighthouse Chapel:
We were very excited to prolong our busy season into the first week of December by receiving over 500 members of the Lighthouse Chapel tour to Israel! This was our first time to be able to serve this growing and powerful ministry based in Ghana lead by Presiding Bishop Dag Heward-Mills and his wife First Lady Adelaide Heward-Mills. In addition to the participants from Ghana, there were those from Switzerland, Great Britain, Belgium, the United States, South Africa, Ivory Coast, Togo and other African Nations where the message of Lighthouse Chapel has been spread. The tour was concluded with a gala dinner at the Banquet Gardens at Ramat Rachel. The Banquet Gardens were beautifully set up and decorated to receive this unique international group before they were sent home on their different flights. 


Things of the Spirit

Celebration of Miracles

by David Bivin of Jerusalem Perspective


Hanukkah and Christmas take place at the same time of year: in the month of December. The 8-day holiday of Hanukkah (mentioned in John 10:22, and by the first-century historian Josephus [Antiq. 12:323]) begins on the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev. This year, the first candle of the hanukkiyah (candelabrum) will be lit on the eve of December 20th. 
Both Hanukkah and Christmas celebrate miracles of light: Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, the light of the world, while Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Temple by the Maccabees (more than 100 years before the time of Jesus), who, when they liberated the Temple, found only enough ritual olive oil to keep the Temple menorah burning for a day. Miraculously, however, the menorah kept burning for 8 days, until new oil could be pressed.  
Hanukkah is one of the most popular holidays in Israel. People sing unique Hanukkah songs, spin dreidels (tops), eat sufganiyot (jelly-filled donuts) and latkes (potato pancakes), and give Hanukkah gelt (money) to children. The nes (miracle) of Hanukkah is retold in homes and synagogues. 
In the midst of the holiday buzz, don't forget to take the time this season and reflect on the everyday miracles in your lives. May we also remember to celebrate the great miracles that God has performed on behalf of his chosen nation Israel, as well as the miracle He gave to everyone through His son Jesus the Messiah! Even today miracles still happen in the land of Israel at the Hanukkah-Christmas season and at other times of the year! Come, visit the land and see for yourself.



A Word from Samuel
smadja family
Samuel with his wife and children
As 2011 comes to a close, we reflect on all that has happened in the last 12 months. Despite a year of uncertainties in the region, we at Sar-El Tours had an excellent year and we couldn't have done it without you. So for lack of a better word, I graciously thank you! Thank you for believing in Sar-El, and thank you for your commitment, team work and faithfulness!
To make 2012 an even better year, I ask that you encourage your friends, churches, pastors, and co-workers, to come and visit the Holy Land. Share your stories and experiences in Israel and help enable others to experience a once-in-a-lifetime trip! We at Sar-El would be more than happy to receive them and serve them just as we have served you. 

From my family to yours, I wish you a very happy holiday season. I pray you will be filled with the joy and peace that is found in Yeshua our Messiah, share meaningful moments with loved ones and friends, and may you be richly blessed in the year to come!  

Samuel Smadja
Sar-El Tours & Conferences

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