ELAL’s New Route to Orlando

ELAL has announced plans to open a direct route between Orlando, Florida and Tel Aviv beginning Summer 2019.

The flights will operate on Tuesdays in both directions. Flights leaving Tel Aviv depart at 00:05 and have a travel time of 13:25, arriving in Orlando at 06:30 on Tuesday morning.

Flights leaving Orlando depart at 11:30 and have a travel time of 12:00, arriving in Tel Aviv at 06:30 on Wednesday morning.

The aircraft for this route will be the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Boeing 777.

Jordan River Aerial Footage

This aerial photo shows the Jordan River flowing into the north end of the Sea of Galilee.
Photo Credit: courtesy of ©BiblePlaces.com

Recent rains have raised the level of the Sea of Galilee, and Arutz7 provides a nice drone video of the Jordan River bringing some of that water into the lake. See the video here.

Visiting Bethlehem’s Church of Nativity?

The star marks the traditional location of Jesus’ birth in the basement of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Photo Credit: BiblePlaces.com/Todd Bolen

Over the last several years, the number of visitors at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem have grown to unmanageable sizes. This growth has caused many visitors to the church to leave before actually getting to visit the basement, the most desired destination in the church.

As a result of the growing numbers of disappointed travelers, The Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Tourism is developing a reservation app that is supposed to help reduce the wait time at the church.

For a more complete report on this development, see this article.

What Happens to Those Papers?

These papers are prayers inserted into the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

These papers are prayers inserted into the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

After visiting the Western Wall in Jerusalem, many visitors wonder about those papers they see stuffed into the wall. Those papers are generally the written prayers that people hope God notices. If that’s the case what happens to them? Are they simply left there forever?

“Each year millions of notes are placed among the stones by Jewish and non-Jewish worshipers from Israel and abroad, including notes sent via the website of the Western Wall, fax and mail.”

Arutz-7 (Israel National News) published an article that answers that question. Read the full article and see the video at the link above.

Holy Sepulchre Closed for 2nd Day

Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a regular tourist stop for most Christians visiting Jerusalem, has been closed for two days (from noon Sunday through Monday, so far) in protest of the Israeli government’s claim that the Church owes several million dollars in tax debt. The leaders of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer opted to close their church building to tourists on Monday in solidarity.

The government insists it is not taxing church activities, which have historically been exempt from taxes. What is in dispute is whether church properties that are commercial and not specifically for religious use should be taxed. The government says yes. The church says no. Jerusalem’s mayor claims the tax debt is 650 million shekels, which is over $186,000,000.

At the time of this writing, church officials remain uncertain how long the church will be closed to tourists.

See the Arutz-7 article here and the ABCNews article here.

Priests pray at the Thirteenth Station of the Cross: The Stone of Anointment in Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre. (Photo: ©2006 Craig A. Dunning)
Priests pray at the Thirteenth Station of the Cross: The Stone of Anointment in Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre. (Photo: ©2006 Craig A. Dunning)