Old Port of Joppa and Tel Aviv – February 19

Our plan for the day was to walk 25 minutes on the tayelet promenade from Tel Aviv to the old port of Joppa.  Thinking it was cooler than it was, we soon returned to the apartment to change into summer-like wear.  The sun was very warm even with the cool sea breeze and life on the tayelet was active: runners, walkers, bikers, and swimmers.

Jonah 1:3 “But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.”

Joppa is the oldest known port in the world.  Throughout the centuries it has existed, but in recent history was built up and restored by a community of Jewish people.

It was from Joppa that Jonah hitched a ride on a boat to run away from God’s command to go to Assyria.  There was a great storm and Jonah left the boat to save the other sailors.  He spent three days and three nights asleep in the belly of a whale.

Wood for building the Temple came through Joppa from Lebanon.

Ezra 3:7 “Then they gave money to the masons and carpenters, and gave food and drink and olive oil to the people of Sidon and Tyre, so that they would bring cedar logs by sea from Lebanon to Joppa, as authorized by Cyrus king of Persia.”

Peter had his vision of the sheet in the city of Joppa.

Acts 11:5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was.

There were Messianic believers who lived in Joppa.

Acts 10:23 “Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests. [ Peter at Cornelius’s House ] The next day Peter started out with them, and some of the believers from Joppa went along.”

Acts 9:36 “In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor.”

On the tel mound excavations still continue.  Watching the men dig and dust and find another part of a Canaanite rock wall made me wish I was an archaeologist.  An Egyptian gate showed the entryway to the little village.  Around the top, the various gardens were beautiful with views everywhere of the water.  At one garden there was an arch as a memorial to Jacob’s dream, the ram caught in the thicket that became the substitute sacrifice for Isaac, and the miraculous deliverance through the Red Sea.

We decided to eat lunch overlooking the sea.  We tried to open the windows, but the breeze was very strong and cool.  After lunch my husband wanted to go down to the actual port.  Long stone stairways led us to another world by the sea.  I decided that  I was going to take a lot of ‘random’ photos on this day and that’s what I did.

We decided to rent bicycles to return to Tel Aviv.  Of course, we had issues with the machine.  Even some very kind people who tried to help us ‘unlock’ our bikes couldn’t figure out the problem.  Soon others were standing with John trying to figure out the problem.  I’m still not sure what happened, but suddenly our little bar codes worked, the locks clicked and we had our bicycles.

One of the photos that’s in my random shots is of an ambulance.  On the side of the van are the words Magen David Adom.  This is like the Red Cross of Israel since the Red Cross will not work within Israel.  The Magen David Adom is the first response team to emergencies whether it’s a car accident or the aftermath of a bomb.  We have supported the Magen David Adom for many years because we know the importance of quick and reliable medical care in an emergency.  The Magen David Adom also goes internationally to countries to set up triage units when there are tsunamis or earthquakes.  Generally, they are the first international medical teams to arrive, even before the U.S.  If you’re interested in supporting them, there’s a link on the Homepage of this website.

We had a lovely ride by the sea on the tayelet back to Tel Aviv.  We stopped many people to take our picture.  We even met some people handing out tracks for Yeshua.  We have heard from the Messianic Jews here that the hearts of Jewish people are opening to hear about their Messiah.  These street witness people were thrilled to meet us as once again, we are not Jewish, but celebrate the Biblical holidays.  I have come to realize that we are not just unique in the United States, but here in Israel, we’re even more of an anomily.  Everyone says, “You’re  just was Jewish as we are because the Messiah broke down the wall of partition that all may worship together as one people with the Jews.”  Such a simple message, but one that many do not understand especially as one of the nations.

We continued riding past our apartment street to take in all the beach scenes.  People swam, sat at cafes, rode bikes, played volleyball or soccer, and worked out on beach equipment.  Truly, a European/Brasilian experience.

My husband wanted to go into the Mediterranean so we returned our bikes to the station by our place.  He went home to change into shorts and my daughter and I went to the beach cafe owned by our host.  We played a little in the water and had cold drinks: pineapple smoothie, strawberry smoothie and a vanilla milkshake.

About twenty years ago, I received some inheritance money.  My husband and I prayed about who to give some to.  Through some miraculous events, we met a man named Avi who ran a coffee shop in Tel Aviv called Dugit Messianic Outreach Center.  Whenever I considered a trip to Israel, I knew I had to visit this place.  For us, it was another ‘divine appointment’.  We met some wonderful believers while we drank coffee and tea.  We even found out that they have a relationship with a congregation in Boulder, Colorado called Cornerstone.  We know that congregation and the leader, Gene Binder, personally.  It turns out that Dugit is his ‘family’ here in Israel.

A wonderful woman named Sarah invited us to return later that evening for their Live Dugit.  Since our apartment was only three blocks away (how divine is that in a huge city), we returned after we packed for our flight out the next morning.

Our trip to Israel ended with the music of Shaul and Yulia Ben Har.  They play electric violins together and Shaul plays the lute, the horn and even a recorder.  Their music was lively and very Israeli in sound in order to draw people to the door where they can share Yeshua.  They played a few worship songs to Adonai.  We didn’t want to leave, but knew we had an early morning.  We listened to one last set: a medley of songs from “Fiddler on the Roof.” 

As my husband said while walking back to the apartment eating chocolates we bought from a bakery, what a perfect way for the Lord to end our time in Israel.  Tomorrow we leave and we’re all wondering how different security will be from what we know in the U.S.

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