Home » Uncategorized » Tel Aviv – Old Meets New

Tel Aviv – Old Meets New

After our late arrival, we took an opportunity to sleep in a bit before starting our day at eleven. However there were several early birds who took advantage of our hotel being a block away from the beach.

Our first stop as a group was in Jaffa, called Joppa in English Bibles. This is the city where Jonah boarded a ship heading for Tarshish and where Peter raised Tabatha from the dead then had a vision about clean and unclean animals that prepared him to share the Gospel with gentiles (Acts 9-10).


Jaffa is an interesting mix of old and new. You look up from ancient ruins to a view of the modern skyscrapers of Tel Aviv towering over the Mediterranean shoreline.

On the left is an Egyptian gate. Top right is the ruins of a Greek wall excavated a few feet up the hill from the Egyptian ruins. The Greeks built on top of the Egyptian wall. Bottom right is buildings from the time of the Ottoman Empire, the most recent layer of history in this location.

While in the Muslim part of Jaffa, built as part of the Ottoman Empire, we visited the shop of a Yemeni Jewish silversmith. Jews in Yemen were not allowed to own land or do much else, but they were allowed to make jewelry. When forced to flee Yemen, these Jewish silversmiths were able to take the tools of their trade and their skills with them. The jewelry is crafted by melting down silver, pulling it to make wires and intricately weaving and shaping the wires together. I suggest learning more by clicking here.

After taking this all in, we headed to Independence Hall and learned about the founding of Tel Aviv and the State of Israel. In a nutshell, Tel Aviv was the dream of a man who wanted to create an intentionally Jewish neighborhood that would become a new old city. When deciding what to name this city, the founders chose the archeological term “Tel” – a hill created when layers of civilizations are built on top of each other – and the Hebrew word for spring, “Aviv,” to convey newness.

We are in for another full day tomorrow and we appreciate your prayers for continued health and strength.

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