Israel 2007



What's covered?

Just before Christmas 2006, I received an email from my very good friend Rick Stone, also known as RoboWizard. "How would you like to go to Israel?" Intrigued I asked what was behind this request. Rick had been asked by Paula Stern of WritePoint to go out there and give a talk to a conference she was organising in January 2007. Paula had indicated that she was still looking for another presenter so when Rick suggested my name, I then got an email from Paula.

I think my reaction was fairly typical and I know that Rick's wife shared the same concerns as mine. Interesting country but they do seem to have a problem with their neighbours and that is exactly how I put it to Paula. She explained the situation honestly and described how security works there, emphasizing that she would be with us pretty much all of the time. The deal was that in return for talking, we would have a week in Israel and be taken around every day except the day of the conference. Some deals you can turn down but that was not one. It also had the bonus that I would get to meet Rick after conducting an email relationship for some years.

The Visit

Suffice it to say that I did feel safe at all times, indeed safer than I have felt at times in the UK! The security is not obtrusive unless there is an alert but you are quietly aware of the precautions being taken. You don't get into a restaurant or shopping mall without a security check but it is all taken as routine and without fuss.

The whole experience was quite unique. Since being a small boy, the idea of floating on the Dead Sea had been a dream, I got to do that. The most moving thing though was being in the room where The Last Supper was held. Regardless of religious beliefs, it was a significant event in history and being in that room is quite something.

Paula was a fantastic host. With a conference to organise, she nevertheless took Rick and me to different places every day. Her husband, Lazer, and her friend and colleague Avigail, made the conference arrangements to make this possible. Rick and I will always be grateful to the three of them. On the Sabbath, Paula would not have been able to drive in from her home outside Jerusalem. Instead Paula's family joined us at the hotel so that we could walk around Jerusalem and we joined in their Sabbath traditions.

In all, it was a fantastic experience that I will always remember and treasure.

View from Room 518 - The Ariel Hotel



Sea level on the road to the Dead Sea






Dead Sea in the distance


Coffee stop





Sea of Galilee and Golan Heights








Tomb of Rabbi Meji Ba'al Ha'ness




Church of Heptapegon - Near Capharnaum











Paula Stern and Rick Stone


Paula Stern and Peter Grainge










Capharnaum - Church of St Peter



















Paula's light lunch. To be fair it looked light on the menu.




The same building close up


The Synagogue






Qumran - Near site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found




En route to the Dead Sea and the Flour Cave







The Dead Sea





On the Flour Cave




























Rick Stone and Peter Grainge by the Dead Sea


RoboWizard teaches his apprentice a new trick

Road block

First Paula asks what the problem is...


... then everyone joins in.

To and around Soreq Cave















Morven Pizanti

Cara Bereck Levy

The Techshoret Conference 2007


Views from Rick's Room

Domition Abbey







One of the gates into Jerusalem



Dome of the Rock


From near The Church of All Nations








Mary's Tomb







One of the gates

The gate through which Jewish people believe The Messiah will enter Jerusalem.


More from near The Church of All Nations



The Church of All Nations


The Church of St Mary Magdelene


Both churches


The Church of St Mary Magdelene


The Dome of the Rock and nearby






Entrance to King David's tomb


Mount Zion




Room where the Last Supper was held








Rick observed the Last Supper was not finished!


More views from Mount Zion




Domition Abbey
















Syrian Orthodox Church - Closed


Edge of Arab Market




This guy was pestering us...


... until Paula had a word with the police!


Church of The Holy Sepulchre



















Loved Rick's 508 compliance comment






The Wailing Wall / The Western Wall





The Dome of the Rock


Views on the way back to the hotel










My room and the Jewish scroll outside


Another light meal for Paula!


A nearby market