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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

“HALEL” MUSIC FESTIVAL AT YARDENIT

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On Sunday June 5th 2016 we conducted our very first music festival here at Yardenit. The title that was chosen for this festival is “HALEL” which means in Hebrew “Glory”. The idea was to gather artists from Latin America & Israel to meet here at Yardenit and sing worship songs on the Jordan River banks. The festival was a great success and the 2nd one is already on the making. We thank our partners Debbie & Pablo Bartfeld from Aquarel Tours who organized & produced this festival.

Click here to enjoy: A short clip from the festival

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Three Pilgrimage Festivals

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“Three times a year all males must appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles.” Deuteronomy 16:16

 

There were three pilgrimage festivals in the Jewish tradition that required visiting Holy Temple in Jerusalem. They are called “Shalosh Regalim” in Hebrew – “The Pilgrimage Festivals”. The cycle of these holidays begins in spring and ends in autumn.

All three holidays are connected as all of them have religious and agricultural components. These Holidays are: Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot.

Passover

Passover is a celebration of the Exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt. This was a crucial event in the Jewish history. In Exodus 12:17 God commanded that this festival should be held each year.

 

Its agricultural meaning is in the beginning of the planting season and end of the barley season. Right after the Passover the Jewish people started the barley harvest. Also, after the Passover the Counting the Omer is started to mark when it is permitted to eat the harvested barley.

 

Shavuot

Originally, the holiday of Shavuot began as an agricultural festival. In Hebrew “Shavout” means “weeks” and it is an apex point of the Omer Counting. This festival honors the late spring harvest. It is also called the Festival of First Fruits because first fruits of the harvest were brought by the Jewish people as an offering to the Temple.

The religious meaning of Shavuot was acquired later – on this day God gave the Jewish people the Torah, the Light of the world.

These religious and agricultural components of Shavuot are honored today.

In agricultural communities Shavuot is celebrated to honor the harvest and religiously there is a tradition to study the Torah all night long.

Sukkot

 

Sukkot commemorates the 40 years that the Jewish people wandered in the desert after the Exodus. In Hebrew Sukkot means “tabernacles” and symbolizes the temporary dwelling of the Israelites during that time.

Agriculturally, Sukkot is the festival of the last harvest of the season. The Four Species tied together and moved in a special way symbolize the prosperity and fertility of the Land. Also, it is accustomed to build a “sukkah” – a tabernacle with at least three walls and a see-through roof. During the week of this festival, families are spending time in sukkot, having meals there and even sleeping in it.

During the Three Pilgrimage Festivals even today many people make their pilgrimage to Jerusalem, to the Western Wall. By this pilgrimage they are following the ancient traditions and keeping them alive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The Garden of The Seven Species” joins the luscious Olive Grove

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Visiting and baptizing in the Jordan River at Yardenit is one of the highlights of the pilgrimage tour. To commemorate the event and to deepen links and roots, major leaders of Christian communities are invited to plant a tree at our Olive grove, alongside the riverbank. The Planting in the soil of the Holy land, on the holy Jordan River banks, is a gesture of friendship and support for Israel and Yardenit, and a symbol of the common roots which members of all denominations have in the land of the Bible.

“But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever”

(Psalms  52:10)

Becoming now an abundant Olive Grove, we have recently expanded it, to include all of “The Seven Species”:

“A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey”  (Deut 8:8)

“Everyone will invite his neighbor Under his vine and under his fig tree”    (Zechariah 3:10)

On September, Pastor John Hagee and his son Pastor Matthew Hagee honored us with a visit and planted a Pomegranate tree in the garden.

Also a Fig tree was planted by Pastor Chukwudi Umeasiegbu from Warri, Delta State, Nigeria.
Pastor Matthew Hagee said in the ceremony: “It will grow and give us a reason to come back and visit this tree in years to come”.

Olive tree planting by the heads of the United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI) in North America and Canada, led by Reverend Doctor David K. Bernard.

Few weeks ago, we had the pleasure to once again welcome UPCI. Pastor David J. Sagil led a group of pilgrims to re-meet the UPCI tree and their roots in Yardenit.

Pastor Chukwudi Umeasiegbu from warri, Delta state, Nigeria, and his family planted a Fig tree

Pastor John Hagee and his son, Pastor Matthew Hagee, and the pomegranate tree they planted together.

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The Baptism of Jesus – a unique children’s booklet recently published on the subject of baptism

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The Baptism of Jesus, a unique children’s booklet, was recently published on the subject of baptism. This beautifully illustrated book tells in an engaging rhyming text the story of the inspiring meeting between Jesus and his precursor, John the Baptist.

The Jordan River and the baptismal site “Yardenit on the River” perform a leading role as well. The book combines the Biblical story of the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River with the story of the present day “Yardenit Baptismal Site”, located on the same ancient river.

The author, Reverend Jim Reimann, was an ordained minister and a Bible teacher. During his lifetime he led more than 25 pilgrimages to Israel.

The book is illustrated in watercolor by Najwan Zoubi, a talented young artist from the city of Nazareth in the Holy Land.

A Russian version of the book is also available.

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A New Jordan River Promenade

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A new Jordan river promenade invites groups and other visitors to go down the slopes to assemble, to contemplate and to pray. The promenade runs off the main Baptismal pools, capturing the beauty and the serenity of the flowing river and its banks.

While planning the promenade, our mission was to avoid artificial interferences and to encourage the revival and growth of wild plants which are the indigenous flora. This approach fits together with the ongoing ecological venture to restore natural life to the River.

 

One of the prominent plants of the Jordan Valley is the “Malu’ach” (literally: “Salty”). This Saltbush, which retains salt in its leaves, is mentioned in the Biblical book of Job :

 

“But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock (….) For want and famine they were solitary; fleeing into the wilderness in former time desolate and waste. Who cut up mallows by the bushes, and juniper roots for their meat.” (Job 40:1-4, KJV)

 

The “Malu’ach” plant is still used today at the authentic Arab-Palestinian rural cuisine. Fresh leaves are used for salads, while cooked leaves create a unique soup.

 

Another noteworthy plant is the Creeping Lippia, which has proven itself to be strong and beautiful. Its layers cover the ground with green foliage all year long. During spring and summer additional tiny flowers in pink and purple bloom, supplement the green leaves and create a truly blossoming vision.

At the northern corner, right across the gate, there lies the Olive grove, planted by major pastors, as a symbol of brotherhood and friendship of their congregations with Israel and Yardenit.

 

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Sculptures on Biblical subjects

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“Ruth and Naomi”, “Osnat” and “Elizabeth” are three stunning bronze sculptures, displayed at the entrance to Yardenit to beautify it.
The sculptures are also offered for sale.

 

Osnat is the Egyptian wife of Joseph, the son of Jacob, and mother of two of the 12 Tribes of Israel : Manasseh and Ephraim.

 

Ruth the Moabite and her mother-in-law Naomi, both of whom were poor, went out to gather the remainders of the grain from the fields of Boaz; later Ruth and Boaz would found the dynasty of King David, and Jesus the Messiah would be born from their seed.

 

Elizabeth, wife of Zechariah the priest, who was of an advanced age, was blessed with a child. For five months she concealed it and in the sixth month her relative, Mary of Nazareth – who was also pregnant – came to visit. Mary blessed Elizabeth and the baby bouncing in her belly – Yochanan, later to be known as John the Baptist:  “When Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb”  (Luke 1:41).

 

The sculptor is Anne Tamir, a resident of Israel, whose works have been displayed in exhibitions around the world and have earned her prestigious awards. The sculptures on display at Yardenit are for sale.

 

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Some facts you might not know about the Jordan River and its waters

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  • The Jordan River is mentioned about two hundred times, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. Many of those references are connected with miracles and healing.
  • Already during the first centuries pilgrims to the Holy Land would carry home with them water from the Jordan River, to sprinkle on their fields and orchards, for a blessing. They also used to sprinkle Jordan water on the deck of ships that took them back home.
  • The Jordan River was a constant theme in spiritual songs sung by African-Americans, and for them it represented freedom. The context was the crossing of the Jordan by the children of Israel on their way to the Promised Land – and in parallel, crossing the Ohio River by escaped slaves on their way to freedom. Slaves compared their plight with the plight of the people of Israel and prayed for salvation such as their salvation.
  • The three sources from which the Jordan gets its waters are the Banias River – Paneas (this is the place at which Peter received the key to the Kingdom of Heaven from the hand of Jesus); the Hatzbani River (Nachal Snir); and the Dan River. These get their water from the thawing snow from the mountains of Lebanon and Hermon (Mount Hermon, near to Mount Betarim, where the Divine promise was given to Abraham – the Place of the Old Covenant).
  • The Jordan River has two “parts”: the northern and more mountainous part spills into the north of the Sea of Galilee, near to Beit Saida. The southern part exits from the Sea of Galilee (this is where the Yardenit baptism site is located) and it flows southwards, towards the Dead Sea. The total length of the river is about 100 miles (by air) and about 150 miles, including its many twists and turns.

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Shalom – Hebrew Word of the Month

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“שלום – Shalom”: What lies between “peace” and “Hello”?

In Hebrew, we welcome each other with the blessing SHALOM, when we meet and when we separate (Hello / Goodbye), probably dozens of times a day; yet we do not always recall that – in fact – the meaning of the blessing is: May Peace be with You. How beautiful this blessing is!
Here is a great example:

1 Samuel 25:5-6, King James Version:
5 And David sent out ten young men, and David said unto the young men, Get you up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name: 6 And thus shall ye say to him that liveth in prosperity, Peace be both to thee, and peace be to thine house, and peace be unto all that thou hast. (King James Version)

This, while in the original Hebrew the word SHALOM also appears in verse 5, where in English it is translated as Greet him. And here it is interesting to note that the classic translation to English, by Douay-Rheims of the 16th century, here maintains the spirit of the Hebrew:
5 He sent ten young men, and said to them: Go up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and salute him in my name with peace.

 

 

 

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Welsh Panel Added to the Wall of New Life

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A new and respected member was added lately to the community wall of Christian Faith: a panel in the Welsh language (Cymraeg). This is the 91st panel on the “Wall of New Life”, which is one of Yardenit’s jewels in the crown.

[blockquote3]” In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan: And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove: And a voice came from heaven, Thou art my beloved Son, with thee I am pleased” .[/blockquote3] 
 These three verses from Mark 1:9-11, are quoted in 91 languages ​​and dialects (as of today) on the “Wall of New Life”, which surrounds the Yardenit site. Behind each panel there is a community that has visited Yardenit. Recently another panel was added to the Wall in the Welsh language, and thus the Wall has gained one more respectable representation of the Celtic languages​​.

“The Wall of New Life” welcomes visitors at the entrance and runs along the banks of the Jordan River, following the baptism pools. The multi-lingual wall reveals the diversity of cultures, from which visitors have come to Yardenit to baptize in the waters of the Jordan River. Each panel has been generously donated by various churches, organizations and communities from all over the world.

Panels are individually hand-made by Hagop Antreassian, an Armenian artist from the old city of Jerusalem.
What does the name “Wall of New Life” stand for? According to the Scriptures, when Christians are baptized they emerge from the water ‘alive to Christ’. Here old things become new; Christ changes the old for new and always gives abundant life. After baptism, one becomes a new person, walking in the newness of life:

“Therefore, If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” II Cor. 5:17
 

 

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Trip Advisor 2014 Certificate of Excellence

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Yardenit, the Baptismal site on the Jordan River won a Trip Advisor 2014 Certificate of Excellence!!!

We are very pleased to announce that we have won Trip Advisor’s award for excellence for 2014. We would like to thank everyone who visited Yardenit Baptismal Site in the Holy Land and all of our friends from all around the world who wrote such glowing reviews.

 

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