Israel trip in 2022 – 2. Galilee rooftop chats of faith

I like youth hostels, being a single traveller, I’ve used them not just to be cheap, but I actually like to use them to get to know other people.

I’ve met quite a few Israelis in other places, in China, UK, Germany and Hungary.

Israel welcomes Christians, and preaching the gospel isn’t illegal, unless you do with a bribe. It is frowned upon though.

The proposed laws on banning gospel messages in Israel was brought up by only a tiny handful (two) members of the Knesset (Israel’s government) It got Israel’s Messianic movement and evangelical Christians worried for a day, but has been quickly quashed by PM Benyamin Netanyahu.

But I found I can be a bit creative and probe people with some other questions. In this youth hostel they have these rules pinned up.

This hostel has this poster up as they want discourage visitors of being obnoxious and annoying. I totally it get why.

In September 2022 we had the recent death of the Queen. Some German Christians came up to me in the kitchen of the hostel and told me the Queen “can’t of been a proper Christian”, she was only using the title just to meet formalities. I said no, she often talked about her faith in Christ, and explained how she would always make this part of her Christmas speech, something which might not happen in successive rulers. With this, you can get a feel of a not so pleasant vibe which would make others who don’t know Christ would put them of us.

This is the perfect place to chill after seeing places of Jesus around the shore of the Galilee. This is probably the best hostel I have stayed in, in about 20 years of youth hostelling.

Pita, chili layered homous, dates and coffee seems like a good lunch before heading out again.

Later on in the evening, I got chatting to different people hanging out on this roof. Two of them were other young tourists, anoher German guy who had to leave and a Frenchman.

The French lad was a Jew called Hugo he is about 22 I think. I asked him, as you going to move here? he said he was religious but wasn’t really sure if he wanted to be an Israeli. I smiled at him, and told him you should there is a ton of pretty Israeli girls your age here. He laughed.

I got to tell Hugo about the big poster at the side of the road, I asked him “you know this can’t be the Moshiach as he never visited Israel. The Moshiach is Israeli.”

Hugo: “How do you know?”

Me: “Its in Isaiah, in chapter 53 tells you a lot about him. You can read it in the bible, but read if for yourself and not through some religious leader’s interpretation.”

I could see Hugo’s fascination here. I sense one concern though. He would still go and look at a Rabbi’s opinion. Me very quickly prays in a few seconds he would think for himself.

Hugo: “I am going to look this up later”

He got his phone out, which has a Jewish Tankh (whole Old Testament in English and Hebrew), and said he wanted to see what a Rabbi would say.

He brought up the verse and read it quickly, his phone’s screen had a space for a commentary of someone’s interpretation, which was…. empty!! Then he said something quite shocking:

Hugo: “I think this lake has something to do with the Messiah…”

(me quietly utterly beside myself with joy and worshiping the Lord silently)

Hugo decided to head to bed, I said I enjoyed talking with him. I went back out into the street and walked around the seafront giving thanks and praise and glory that this young man seemed curious about the most explicit foretelling of the gospel and also at the place where Jesus did most of his ministry, 100 metres from the edge of the lake.

I stuck to the rules, well I gave him some things that he really got excited about…..

1. Items in the wrong places2. Galilee rooftop chats of faith – 3.

Israel trip in 2022 – 1. items in the wrong places

First of all, I was excited to return back to Israel to see many different old friends and visit and explore a few favourite places I have not seen yet.

I’m up in Tiberias, the lovely city that overlooks the Sea of Galilee. I got to visit a few friends here, and stay in youth hostel and chat to local Israelis and other tourists.

This above picture shows a poster with the word משיח (Messiah) and shows a picture of a bearded hat wearing Ultra Orthodox Jewish man. These posters are put up by the Chabad Lubavitch who consider this man (Rabbi Menachem Mendel Shneerson) to be the Messiah. There are a lot of these posters but this one different as its a paid for advertisement, rather than a fly poster.

Chabad has a religious information building on the shore of the lake and a TV outside that plays some looped video

This gent is not the Messiah. As he lived in New York and didn’t visit Israel once, nor did he fulfill any of the prophecies talked about in the Tanakh (what Christians commonly call the Old Testament) Micah 5:2 tells us where the Messiah would be from – Bethlehem. New York doesn’t have a Messiah, but has good pizzas.

This restaurant is around the corner from the Chabad building.

These pigeons made a nest on this fan!

I would like to see the birds somewhere safe to build their home. Also I really sincerely hope the Haredim (Ultra Orthodox Jews) would know their Messiah as outlined in the books of the prophets.

But, so near, so close, to where he was….

This area is where the Messiah spent time in, I’ll have more to show in the next few days…..

What’s new in Israel of late

What’s different for tourists and volunteers in Jerusalem recently?

As well as big wave of inflation in recent times, mostly as a result by countries printing money to keep things running after the Covid lockdown years, a few frequent instances of terrorism, and in 2023 many Israelis protesting in the streets as a results to changes in government which many to perceive to weaken democracy.

For me as a tourist, it is now 3.9 Shekels to the Pound as opposed to 5.9 – 6.3 shekels ten years ago when I was living there which hurts a bit for us British visitors.

I got to visit last September, so let me explain some of the exciting new discoveries of late in the Holy Land shortly.