Tour The Holy Land With Rabbi Rami
Join us in this outer journey triggering an inner awakening of the perennial wisdom at the mystic heart of four faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Baha’i.
As we explore historical and religious places holy to these four religions, we also immerse ourselves in their sacred texts, mystical teachings, and contemplative practices to recognize and reclaim the shared wisdom to which all humanity is heir. We will discover the core teachings of the Jewish kabbalists and Hasidim, walk in the footsteps of the historical Jesus and plumb the depths of the Cosmic Christ, open to the truth of Islam and Sufism, and engage with the universalist message of Baha'u'llah.
Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award–winning author of over thirty books on religion and spirituality. Rami received rabbinical ordination from the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, and holds a Ph.D. from Union Graduate School. Rami was initiated into the Ramakrishna Order of Vedanta Hinduism by Swami Swahananda in 2011. Rabbi Rami writes the Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler column for Spirituality & Health magazine, and hosts the magazine’s weekly podcast, Essential Conversations with Rabbi Rami.
Gordon Peerman, an Episcopal priest and psychotherapist in private practice in Nashville, TN, has taught Buddhist Christian Dialogue at Vanderbilt Divinity School and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at Vanderbilt’s Osher Center for Integrative Health. He leads One River Wisdom School Nashville, which meets weekly at Second Presbyterian Church. Gordon is the author of Blessed Relief: What Christians Can Learn from Buddhists about Suffering.
October 4 – 14, 2018:
Thursday, October 4
Departure from the U.S.
The day of departure has arrived. We’ll check in at our preferred departure city and travel overnight to Israel. Our adventure is beginning! [Pricing is based on flights from the East Coast, with other departure cities available upon request.] (D-in flight)
Friday, October 5
Arrive Tel Aviv, Haifa
We’ll touch down at Ben Gurion Airport. Following customs formalities and baggage claim, we will meet our Israeli tour guide and board the waiting motorcoach for the drive to our hotel in Haifa. After checking in and a chance to freshen up, we’ll enjoy a welcome dinner and a night of well-deserved sleep. (B-in flight, D)
Saturday, October 6
Our first full day in Israel will be spent exploring Haifa and Mt. Carmel, including the Stella Maris Monastery and the Bahai’i World Center with its magnificent gardens. We’ll then travel to Nazareth, where we’ll check in at our hotel for dinner and a two-night stay.(B, D)
Stella Maris Monastery. this center of Carmelite spirituality is rooted in spiritual direction. We begin our inner walk by inviting lady Wisdom (Chochma, sophia, Hikma) to direct our spiritual unfolding over the coming days.
Baha’i World Center, Gardens, and Shrine of the Bab. Baha’i is an example of emerging spiritual universalism. We will delve into the core teachings of Baha’i and offer prayers of peace in the shrine.
Sunday, October 7
Caesarea Maritima, Megiddo, Mt. Precipice, Nazareth
We’ll get an early start today, traveling to Caesarea Maritima and Megiddo. Upon return to Nazareth, we’ll explore the Old City, including the Church of annunciation and remains of the rst-century home at the sisters of Nazareth convent. (B, D)
Caesarea. This historically rich and important archeological site is also the port from which st. Paul (Rabbi Saul) departed on his first mission. We will spend some time liberating the radical Paul from the harmful teachings promoted in his name, and focus on the universal wisdom that makes him so valuable to us all.
Megiddo (Armageddon). The future site of the world’s end, Megiddo invites us to explore the relationship between religion and violence, and the ever–present danger of religious tribalism advancing a zero-sum worldview that threatens the flourishing of human life.
Church of the Annunciation. Built on the site of Mary’s home where the angel Gabriel appeared to her and announced that she would be the Mother of god, the Church of the annunciation will provide us with the perfect setting to explore the Divine Feminine of whom Mary is but one archetypal incarnation.
Monday, October 8
Safed, Magdala, Sea of Galilee
Safed and Magdala await us today.Then we’ll head to Tiberias, where we’ll take a boat ride on the sea of Galilee and view the “ancient Boat” at the Yigal Alon Museum. Then we’ll settle in at our hotel along the shores of the sea of Galilee. (B, D)
Safed. After the expulsion of the Jews from Spain (1492), Safed slowly became the Kabbalistic capital of the Jewish world. We will explore the teachings of Rabbi Moshe Cordovero, one of the greatest Kabbalists, as we sit in his academy founded in 1550.
Magdala. The hometown of Mary Magdalene is our “stage” for exploring the importance of Mary in the life and teaching of Jesus, and delve into the wisdom of her gospel.
Tuesday, October 9
Mount of Beatitudes, Bet Shean, Jericho
Our day begins at the Mount of Beatitudes. Leaving Galilee, we will stop at Bet Shean, the largest archaeological site in the Holy land. Then drive down the Jordan River Valley to Jericho. (B, D)
Mount of Beatitudes. The Beatitudes are the core teachings of Jesus. Gathering at the place where he delivered them, we shall take a deep dive into the inner meaning of these timeless and challenging teachings.
Wednesday, October 10
Masada, Ein Gedi, Qumran, Jerusalem
Today we’ll tour the Dead Sea area, stopping at the north end of the Dead sea and traveling to Masada, whose summit we’ll reach by cable car. We’ll also visit Ein Gedi, an oasis in the wilderness where David hid from saul, and Qumran. our day concludes by taking time to oat in the Dead Sea, and we’ll then head to Jerusalem. (B, D)
Qumran. The home of the Dead sea scroll community is our setting for exploring the message of the essenes and the importance of the scrolls.
Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the outer destination of our inner journey. While this City of Wholeness and Peace (Yeru–Shalem) rarely lives up to its promise, it is the promise that shall be our focus. We will spend the evening in contemplative conversation and prayer preparing ourselves for a three-day dive into this most amazing city.
Thursday, October 11
Our day begins with a visit to Yad Vashem, followed by a visit to the israel Museum. Here we’ll see a model of rst-century Israel and shrine of the Book, which tells the story of the Dead Sea Scrolls. We’ll then visit the great synagogue with is façade based on the second temple and breathtaking sanctuary; Machane Yehudah (the Central Market); and Meah Shearim—one of Jerusalem’s oldest neighborhoods. We’ll also have a chance to do some shopping on Ben Yehudah street. (B, D)
Yad Vashem. This memorial to the murder of six million Jews during the Holocaust invites us to own the shadow side of humankind.
Friday, October 12
We’ll take an excursion to Bethlehem. Upon return to Jerusalem, we’ll have some time to explore the old City and shop the Cardo before it closes. This was Jerusalem’s main street in ancient times and it is now a vibrant shopping area, known for artwork and specialty goods. We then plan to experience the welcoming of shabbat at the Western Wall, followed by a shabbat service at the hotel led by Rabbi Rami and Dr. Peerman. (B, D)
Church of the Nativity. Built over the birthplace of Jesus, the Church of the Nativity offers us an opportunity to birth the inner Christ and reclaim the wisdom Jesus taught.
Tomb of Rachel. Associated with fertility, the tomb of Rachel is a place of prayer for all who wish to give birth to new ways of being that promote universal justice and compassion. It is here that the kabbalistic practice of the red thread originated, and we will use our visit to give and receive the red thread of blessing knotted with the seven knots of remembrance, and worn on the left wrist.
Umar Mosque. Named after Umar ibn al– Khattab (581–644), the second Caliph of islam, the Umar Mosque is the perfect place to explore the perennial wisdom of islam.
Welcoming the Sabbath Bride. Rami and Gordon will introduce us to the Queen of Heaven and the sacred Feminine embodied in the mystery of shabbat.
Saturday, October 13
We will spend the day in the old City of Jerusalem, opening to the inner meaning of the spiritual suffering as we walk the Via Dolorosa, and cruci xion and resurrection at both the Church of the Holy sepulchre and garden tomb, and offering private prayers and setting of spiritual intentions at the Western Wall. our inner journey ends with
A healing circle before we board our bus and drive to Ben Gurion Airport, where we’ll check in for our overnight flight. (B, D)
Sunday, October 14
Our journey concludes in the U.s. (meal in-flight)
A note from Rami and Gordon:
While we have a lot planned for this trip, facts on the ground will determine just how much we can accomplish. Our hope is to add a visit to the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount, but politics may make this impossible. Our concern is to honor the sites we visit and the religions that hold them sacred, and we will adapt our offerings so as not to disrespect either. In addition, if time and energy permit, we will begin each morning with meditation, and end each evening with spiritual “debriefings” and meditation.