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

October 2012
Sar-El News Scroll



In This Issue

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Greetings and shalom!
We've been so pleased to see many of you with us this fall.  Please read on to stay connected and to hear of all the latest happenings at Sar-El and in Israel. 
Help us spread the word: feel free to forward this newsletter on to your friends, family and churches! 

Many Blessings,
Samuel Smadja

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What's New In Israel

New Incoming Tourism Campaign Launched:

Riding the wave of a record-breaking year in tourism thus far, The Ministry of Tourism is asking for the help of Israelis at home and abroad to push a new $1.55 million project. The "Invite a Friend" campaign encourages Israelis to do just that: invite friends, colleagues and family from around the world to visit Israel. Invitations will be sent via a special website, Facebook and Twitter. Not only does the chance to win a vacation package motivate Israelis to participate, but so does the economic stimulation it will provoke: for every 36 tourists that visit Israel one new job is created. The campaign will last nine weeks and is set to start October 23rd.  


airport Ben-Gurion Airport awarded Roll of Excellence:

Israel's international airport was one of five airports to be given the Roll of Excellence Award by the Airports Council International (ACI). The ACI honors airports which have achieved excellence in service quality and passenger satisfaction, based on the results of interviews carried out among thousands of passengers in airports around the world. Passengers rate their satisfaction on flight preparation, check-in and security check waiting times, as well as the number of luggage trolleys. Ben-Gurion was placed in first to third place in 2007-2011 among airports in the Middle East. ACI Director-General Angela Gittens expressed her hope that Ben-Gurion Airport would remain a model of excellence in service quality. Ben-Gurion Airport won the 2012 award along with the airports of Beijing, Cape Town, Guayaquil and Kuala Lampur. 


Points of Interest
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First Camp  at Gilgal  
This month we are focusing on the geographical center of Israel, the modern day city of Ariel, Samaria. A location not often visited by tourists, Samaria hosts several attractions.   From Samaria you can look upon or visit Joshua's burial site. Not far is the city of Shiloh where Hannah prayed for a son and where Samuel was born. Shiloh used to be the ancient capitol of Israel, before King David made Jerusalem the capitol. Whether you take several days to travel through Samaria or just come for a day to study the sites, standing atop the hills of the Biblical Garden of Samaria is a great place to start your tour of Israel.

The Garden of Biblical Samaria
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Moses on Mt. Nebo



The Garden of Biblical Samaria in Eshel Hashomron was established in 2001 in response to a lack of knowledge about the true roots of Israel. Jews and Christians alike can walk, smell, and taste the Bible while learning about the history of the Jewish people in the Land through this educational project. The Garden focuses on the beginning of the settling of the Children of Israel in the Land of the Bible.    




bible gardens samaria-gilgal
Crossing the Jordan River 

From every corner of the Garden you can see and experience the atmosphere of the Bible. With its unique location in the heart of the country the Gardens focus on Biblical accounts which emphasize educational aspects to the visitor, and national themes which highlight the Jewish people's belonging to the Land. A guided tour of the Garden includes the story of Moses on Mt. Nebo, crossing the Jordan River after 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, the first camp at Gilgal, the story of Joseph and his brothers, the building of the altar on Mt. Ebal
and the dream of Jacob's Ladder.


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Jacob's Ladder

The various Biblical models found throughout the grounds were designed and built by Israeli artists and faithfully represent the events described in the Bible. The powerful experience of the guided tour will cause the visitor to feel uplifted and will be one of the high points of his visit to Israel!


Founders of The Biblical Garden of Samaria expect that it will become in the near future one of the most desired Biblical attractions in Israel. There are several tour options: a day tour of 1.5 - 2 hours, or a longer evening tour with multimedia effects. Lunch can also be arranged with the tour and depending on what time of year the guests visit, they can include time for a swim at Eshel Hashomron's pool which is located adjacent to the Gardens.  


Sar-El News

JHOPFAN All Nations Prayers Convocation:

We were honored to work with Jerusalem House of Prayer for All Nations for the 25th anniversary of their annual All Nations Prayer Convocation. Over 2,000 pilgrims gathered for the Convocation from over 180 nations in addition to 1,000 local Israeli day visitors. It was an exciting moment to see every nation imaginable come together with one goal in mind: to pray for the peace of Jerusalem!


Praise the Lord with Matt and Laurie Crouch and special guest Pastor Joseph Prince

TBN Israel Tour:  

What a tour! We are happy to report that this year's tour was a great success. In cooperation with our agents from around the world we hosted the first international TBN Israel tour with over 1,700 participants from Singapore, South Africa, Holland, the United States, the Caribbean and Russia. Pastor Joseph Prince of New Creation Church in Singapore joined as the special guest speaker who shared at three main events: at the Haas Promenade and 

TBN event at the Southern Steps in the Old City

Southern Steps in Jerusalem as well as at the Roman Amphitheater in Caesarea. As one of the tour participants wrote to us " it was quite a sight to behold and a powerful experience to be a part of; to see Christians from the nations and local Messianic Jews gathered together in Israel, Jew and Gentile worshiping the same God together was a very special moment." Tourists also had the privilege to be with Matt and Laurie Crouch, as well as TBN Founder Dr. Paul Crouch. We invite you to join us next year for a spectacular tour!




ICZC Feast of Tabernacles Event:  

The International Christian Zionist Center of Jerusalem held its annual Feast of Tabernacles conference. This year the 500 guests took part in the Jerusalem March to show their support for Israel, marching through the streets of Jerusalem alongside other pilgrims from the nations, local Israelis, marching bands, IDF soldiers, street artists, dance groups and more. The group also did baptisms at Qaser El-Yahud, met with a high-ranking IDF officer and enjoyed powerful evenings of worship in the Valley of Hinom in Jerusalem.


ICEJ Feast
Courtesy of ICEJ
ICEJ Feast of Tabernacles:

We were also honored to once again have with us many hundreds of visitors from around the world who attended the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem events at the Jerusalem Convention Center. Every year thousands of Christians from the Nations gather in Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles with the Christian Embassy.



Spiritual Insights

Threading A Needle    by Joseph Frankovic  

Editor: David Bivin of


Over the past few years, I have reflected much on the phrases "to enter the kingdom of heaven" and "to inherit eternal life." One important conclusion that I have reached from reading early rabbinic literature and Matthew, Mark, and Luke is that these are two independent concepts sharing a fuzzy area of overlap. Much of the confusion stems from their temporal relationship. Although the kingdom of heaven is anchored in the present, it never ends and, therefore, persists into the future. Eternal life belongs to the future, but whether or not a person will inherit it, his or her deeds among the quick here on earth influence that decision.


In my opinion, a pressing question for Protestants (for Evangelicals in particular) is the following: Are entering the kingdom of heaven and inheriting eternal life identical accomplishments? Or asked another way, are the respective entry and inheritance requirements synonymous? If not, then those teaching in our churches should clarify the difference. It may be of enough significance to precipitate a revision of doctrine.


The Rich Young Man story is recounted in each of the first three Gospels. I have noticed that when an expositor explains it, he or she usually depicts the young Jewish fellow in an unflattering way. Either doubt is cast on his sterling record for keeping the commandments, or he is described as avaricious. I am inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt and credit his claim about his devotion to Torah. Note, too, that this passage begins with his question about inheriting eternal life, but ends with Jesus' famous saying about a camel squeezing through the eye of a needle as a metaphor for a man of means entering the kingdom of heaven (or God).


After asking his question and emphasizing his fidelity to the commandments from his youth, the man pressed Jesus. He apparently wanted to know if there were yet more - something beyond keeping the commandments and inheriting eternal life. Jesus indicated that there is something more by offering him this option: "Sell all that you have, give the proceeds to the poor, and follow me!" Had this young man complied, he would have acquired treasure in heaven and joined Jesus' band of disciples. In Synoptic parlance, he would have entered the kingdom of heaven.


Just like Peter (Luke 5:11) and Levi (Luke 5:28), this man received an invitation to follow. But unlike them, he could not leave everything behind and, therefore, walked away sad. Jesus then seized the moment to make a fiscally challenging declaration: "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!" In the light of Jesus' remark, the tax collector Levi had done the unanticipated. A wealthy man, he had left everything behind and followed (i.e., entered the kingdom of heaven).


This interpretive approach to The Rich Young Man accepts the exchange between Jesus and the anonymous interlocutor more or less at face value. It is a simple reading of the passage without the intrusion of doctrine or dogma. Nevertheless, I am challenged by its implications. For example, I have become more conservative in applying the phrase "to enter the kingdom of heaven." Although I may be a good candidate for inheriting eternal life, because of my modest pantry of faith and good works and God's overstocked warehouse of grace, I shy away from describing myself as having entered the kingdom of heaven. I reserve such accolade for a saintly few. In essence, re-reading The Rich Young Man story has compelled me to lower the spiritual assessment of my own life, while raising the standard of entry into the domain of Jesus' lordship.  

A Word from Samuel

I would like to thank everyone who has visited Israel with us this year and look forward to greeting those of you who are on your way.  As we round out the year we couldn't be more pleased with the number of visitors we have served in 2012.  Sar-El was blessed in September to serve several conferences with over 1,500 participants per conference.  We are in the midst of high season with more than 1,000 visitors per week; and that is only until the end of October!  We know that God is faithful and we thank Him everyday for the partnership of our Christian friends throughout the world.  As many of you are looking forward to the Fall and Winter holidays, we in Israel are at the end of our holiday season.  We started the Jewish New Year with high expectations of another successful year with the support of all of you.


On another note, I recently read a statement given by Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, at an open debate on the Middle East.  I thought it was well said and wanted to share; you can read it here.  With the upcoming U.S. Presidential Elections I pray for God's will to be done in America and that whoever takes office will remember the importance of standing with Israel.



Many Blessings,
Samuel Smadja
Sar-El Tours & Conferences

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