johnathan, my friend

i am proud to be able to call you that – my friend! you are an intelligent, knowledgable, sensitive, and fun to be with photographer and i greatly enjoyed each of these traits! thank you for your perspective and insights on life, family, history, faith, photography and for your companionship throughout the week!

and what a week it was!

here’s a short summary of the 1st part (more to come in a few days):

touchdown, tel-aviv int’l airport

Megiddo lies southeast of Haifa and at the western end of the Valley of Jezreel. Throughout history it served as a vital strategic site along the road from Egypt to Syria and Mesopotamia and was the scene of many biblical battles. In the New Testament Book of Revelation it is marked as the site of the last great battle of the world – Armageddon. Archeological excavations have revealed the remains of twenty distinct periods from 4000 BCE to 400 BCE.

The Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth. Traditionally the site of Annunciation of the birth of Jesus. Turned into a place of worship on the 1st and 2nd centuries. Early sources refer to the location as the House of Virgin Mary. This claim is supported by numerous inscriptions on the walls mentionaing Mary, that were left by pilgrims and visitors in early christianity. In the year 427 AD the first Byzantine church was built on site. A Crusade church was built on the ruins of the Byzantine church in the 12th century. The current Basilica was built on the ruins of four earlier churches and was consecrated in 1969.

Synagogue Church, a 12 C AD Crusader Church. Traditionally, the church was built above the original location of the Roman period Synagogue where Jesus first learned, prayed and later preached as a young man.

Monastery of Franciscan Friars on Mount Tabor, Israel.

YMCA Peniel in Tiberias Israel. The building, also known as the Harte Villa, was built for Dr. Archibald Harte, General Secretary of the Jerusalem YMCA in the 1920’s. After Harte’s death it became one of YMCA’s guest houses. Photo displays antiquities and furniture in Middle eastern style.

The Mount of Beatitudes refers to a hill on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, between Capernaum and Gennesaret (Ginosar). in northern Israel where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount. The present site is also known as Mount Eremos. A Byzantine church was erected near the current site in the 4th century, and it was used until the 7th century. Remains of a cistern and a monastery are still visible. The current Roman Catholic Franciscan chapel was built in 1938. Pope John Paul II celebrated a Mass at this site in March 2000.

Domus Galilaeae, near Korazim, situated above the Sanctuary of Beatitudes, toward the top of the mountain known as the Beatitudes, directly in front of Lake Tiberias, the Sea of Galilee. It serves as an international center for Seminarians to complete their formation before being ordained, for studies and retreat. Construction began in January 1999, with the laying of the first stone, which contained a fragment of the tomb of St. Peter, blessed by the Holy Father. Pope John Paul II visited on March 24 2000.

Capernaum,  Kefar Nachum, which was a settlement on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. The site is a ruin today, but was inhabited from 150 BC to about AD 750. The town is mentioned in the New Testament: in the Gospel of Luke it was reported to have been the home of the apostles Peter, Andrew, James and John, as well as the tax collector Matthew. In Matthew 4:13 the town was reported to have been the home of Jesus himself. According to Luke 4:31-44, Jesus taught in the synagogue in Capernaum on the sabbath days. In Capernaum also, Jesus allegedly healed a man who had the spirit of an unclean devil and healed a fever in Simon Peter’s mother-in-law. According to Matthew 8:5-13, it is also the place where a Roman Centurion asked Jesus to heal his servant. A building which may have been a synagogue of that period has been found beneath the remains of a later synagogue.

 The Greek Orthodox Church at Capernaum,  Kefar Nachum

$4 for a bottle of Jordan River water at Yardenit baptism site near Tiberias. This site is believed by some traditions to be the actual site where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist (Matthew 3: 13 : “Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John”).

Qaser El Yahud, near the Jordan River. Traditionally the site of crossing of the Israelites into Canaan and the site of baptism of Jesus by John. Many churches and abbeys were built to accommodate Christian pilgrims.  The site is usually closed off to visitors due to its proximity to the Jordanian border.

An abandoned Franciscan chapel at Qaser El Yahud

Qumran National Park in the Judean Desert. It was at this location that in 1947 Beduin shepards discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls preserved in a cave. The scrolls give evidence of a Jewish sect that lived here seeking spiritual purity.

A glimpse of the Dead Sea through a window hole at Masada National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Judean Desert. A complex of palaces and fortifications built y Herod the Great overlooking the Dead Sea was the location of mass suicide by Jewish  fugitives of the Roman Empire.

Neve Zohar hotels reflecting in the Dead Sea

Self portrait at Metzokei Dragot

part 2 in a few days.

oh, and i’m sure johnathan will have a lot to say and show.




Filed under holyland, israel, johnathan thomas, johno, photo, photograph, photographer, photographers, photography, photos

5 responses to “johnathan, my friend

  1. Nir, all of Johnathan’s friends are looking forward to hearing about your adventures. We’re very glad you got to meet and travel together.


  2. sansoucy

    Amazing photography! It must have been surreal to capture it all in person.

  3. Johno

    I want to add this… You, my friend, are a good photographer.


  4. Great Pictures! Photography was an early interest of mine. Can you tell me more about the Neve Zohar hotel.

  5. nir

    shalom aharon!
    there are several hotels at neve-zohar.
    what do you want to know?

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