Tiberias: the Sea of Galilee ( Kinneret)
All pictures are taken from my cell phone. Please ask before using them. This trip was very personal and I'd like to keep my photos personal, so kindly ask prior any use.
Six o' clock and I am up. 6 :40 I am ready. Greeting the hotel receptionist, I am now enquiring about reaching the " tachanat hamerkazit", the Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv. After 4h30 of flight, I am not keen on going there by bus. The receptionist kindly provides me with a map of Tel Aviv and shows me how to find my way. I am exploring the streets of Tel Aviv in the early morning.
Beth ha knesset gadol: big synagogue on Allenby street, Tel Aviv
I am asking an old man for confirmation about direction and he answers " yachar, yachar", straight away, straight away. I thank him and I am continuing my way.
Right, then turning right: here I am, at the Central Bus Station. It is 7:30. If you've never been there before, this place is truly a maze.
Some clerks are simply despising tourists. Even when speaking Hebrew, it is hard to get info. Even some bus drivers don't know. I am eventually finding a bus driver who is able to inform me.
It is bus 836, platform 2 on the seventh floor.
"Kama zman?" " how much time?", I am asking..."Od shaa", " in an hour", he replies to me...
Oh Lord! An entire hour to wait before departing for Tiberias! That's so long.
After one good hour of wait, bus 836 arrives on platform 2. I am stepping into the bus. Now this is exciting: I am on my way to Galilee! The travel lasts 2 hours and a half, which leaves plenty of time to take pictures from the bus window
Now I am reaching Tiberias main bus station. I can see the lake from afar. I am so hungry, I am starving, so I am buying a vegetarian sandwich at the bus station.
Again, I am asking for directions: the Sea of Galilee is 5 minutes away.
The Sea of Galilee
I have been told about the land of Israel since my early childhood. I've read so many Bible stories. I've imagined the prophets and the sages of Israel. I've pictured Yeshua walking on the Sea of Galilee...and in 2017, when my feet stepped towards the Sea of Galilee, Kinneret has overwhelmed my soul. The softness of light blue and light green and the divine veil that covers Kinneret grabbed the abyssal depths of my soul. My eyes had been granted to exceptional sight of divine evidence. I felt my human nothingness in front of holy whispers of perfection. Tears were running from my cheeks in an uncontrolable manner. I wept like a baby. Here I was, in front of this pure, mystical lake, I had read about over 1000 times.
« Yeshua went to the lake of Galilee »...Yeshua, your presence was hitting me hard in the gut. Although you were not visible to my eyes in this very moment, I felt the strength of your Spirit and saw my human weakness that just wanted to implore you, Lord have mercy over my little soul.
The Sea of Galilee is one of these places from which emanates a special strength. Do not come there unprepared, rather ask Yeshua to show you how to become more humble. Within a few minutes I was confronted with our Lord's immense might. I probably felt like Shim'on Kepha as he witnessed the miraculous fishing for the first time. I implored Yeshua for His compassion, because, in one second, my human nothingness was flashing before my eyes.
I wanted to share my emotions with other people, but not everybody was ready to listen. I exchanged with a couple of Americans who were exploring one side of the lake, but they said to me that Yeshua's miracles occured on the other side. So I decided to begin with the left side of Kinneret. I was about to do it, when I was interrupted by some orthodox Jew who greeted me with a smile.
Yitzhak in search of Rivka
My speaking partner was some real practicing Jew ( the ones with beard and hat). I was very surprised that he had addressed to me. We started exchanging in Hebrew and in English. I explained to him that it was my first trip to Eretz Israel. I added: "with such surroundings, one can only believe in HaShem!".
The man introduced himself to me as Yitzhak. I presented myself as Isabelle. Yitzhak had a warm smile on his face. As he took my hand, I thought that he wanted us to shake hands, so I didn't object at all. But he started caressing my hand and made a sudden move to draw me towards him. It was now obvious to me that he wanted me to kiss him. I withdrew my hand and stopped him politely. I looked into his eyes and said: "Yitzhak, I didn't come to the Holy Land for that purpose..."
He apologized, seemingly disappointed. From his Hebrew, I understood that he was looking for a wife.
He seemed to be a soft and nice person, but I had a strong committment towards the vows made to Yeshua about solely belonging to Him when He encountered my path. I had to be faithful to the lover of my soul.
Exploring the lake and walking in Galilee
After this strange venture, I started exploring the lake from the left side. HaGalil, Galilee, was so beautiful. As I keep walking, sometimes on the streets, eyes upon the mountains and sometimes leaving the streets to go back to the lake, I thought of Yeshua many times. I started singing " Shir lamaalot", the song of ascents from Psalm 121.
Yeshua, my beloved, it was such a strong feeling to walk on the very soil that you walked 2000 years ago!
The Jewish sages state that, if you drink Kinneret's water, you will become very Torah-savvy. I didn't drink it, though. I plunged my hands into it and I withdrew some stones from the water. I also put a few drops onto my arms.
One of the stones was shaped as the state of Israel and, believe it of not, had a Y graven into it. I saw a wink from my Savior, as I observed this strange stone.
The hot weather ( 30°C) was such a change from freezing Paris at this time of the year!
On my way back ( I think that I have been walking for a few kilometers), I sat down at a Café and ordered some " mits tapuach" ( apple juice). I soon regretted my choice, because I was bothered by some noisy Israeli family, so I left quite soon.
I then stopped at a post office to send my father some postcard, then prepared myself to return to the Tiberias bus station. By chance some sherut driver was looking for clients returning to Tel Aviv and offered the ride for 40 shekels.
Back to the hotel, I called another Nathalie ( one of my friends living in Ashod whom I was supposed to meet, but who encountered serious health problems) and the other Nathalie ( my new friend) who advised me about my upcoming trip to Jerusalem for the next day.
Copyright© by Isabelle Esling