About a month ago, in early June I had the honor of visiting the Holy Land, Israel for the second time and this trip was absolutely incredible. I haven’t been since 2018 and while I enjoyed myself then, this time surpassed any expectations I had because of my partner Daren, my interactions with those I met, the delicious Vegan food we enjoyed everywhere we went and the immense culture Israel has.
My mind was expanded listening to people speak about how they are coping with the current climate and conditions the country is experiencing. We were hosted by Vibe Israel who extended the opportunity for us to explore the depths of the country and the beautiful people who call it home. I couldn’t possibly fit all of the amazing adventures and eats in one blog and expect you all to feel the full impact Israel had on me so there will be two blogs about the trip, with this one focusing on our experiences and the second showcasing the tasty Vegan meals we had!
There’s so much to recap so let’s jump right in!
When we first arrived in Israel, my love Daren and I did not have our luggage! We didn’t waste our precious time thinking of when it would arrive, but instead took the opportunity to be present and explore Jerusalem as planned. We had a fantastic time from the beginning to the end seeing all the sights and taking in as much culture as we did footage. We traveled to Tel Aviv, Israel, which is known to be a cool city filled with culture and cuisine that was so good!
We had a memorable photo-op on the steps and everyone found a fun way to express themselves.
Our guide was a woman who shared her perspective on religion and spirituality and how each religion came to be and exist. I was glad that the end of the story concluded in understanding and respecting all people and cultures which I believe will help humanity heal. Once we are all exposed to the truth we will be more receptive to the universal law of oneness which proves we are connected and are an extension of each other. This was very prevalent while in Israel. When I travel and explore other countries and cultures, I learn so much about what’s there, what’s missing and what happened beyond what we see on the news. I felt the energy in Israel was sacred and powerful. Each day while we were there, I learned more about what I didn’t know and realized I don’t know much at all. It was a humbling experience.
The Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall or Kotel, is one of the most significant religious sites in Jerusalem, Israel. It is a remnant of the ancient retaining wall that once surrounded the Second Temple, which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. The Western Wall is located in the Old City of Jerusalem and is the western support wall of the Temple Mount, a site revered by Jews as the holiest place on Earth. It is believed to be the closest accessible point to the Holy of Holies, the inner sanctum of the ancient Jewish temple.
The wall itself is made of massive stones and stretches for about 488 meters (1,601 feet). It reaches a height of about 19 meters (62 feet), with a portion of it exposed above ground and the rest extending below street level. For centuries, the Western Wall has been a place of prayer and pilgrimage for Jews from all over the world. It is considered a sacred site where individuals come to offer their prayers, express their devotion, and mourn the destruction of the Temple. Many visitors write their prayers on small pieces of paper, known as kvitlach, and place them between the stones of the wall. We had the opportunity to visit the Holy Sepulchre, also known as the Church of Holy Sepulchre which is a significant Christian pilgrimage site located in the City of Old Jerusalem. It is considered one of the most sacred sites in Christianity and is venerated as the place where Jesus Christ was crucified, buried, and resurrected.
The church is built on the site identified as Calvary or Golgotha, the hill where Jesus was crucified, and the nearby tomb where his body was laid to rest before his resurrection.The original church was built in the 4th century by Constantine the Great, the Roman emperor, and his mother Helena. Over the centuries, the church underwent several renovations and additions.The Holy Sepulchre is jointly controlled by various Christian denominations. The primary custodians of the church include the Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Armenian Apostolic, Coptic Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox, and Syriac Orthodox communities. The church showcases a blend of architectural styles due to the different renovations and additions made over time. It features elements of Byzantine, Crusader, and Renaissance architectural styles.
The church comprises several important sections, including the Golgotha (the site of the crucifixion), the Stone of Anointing (where Jesus’ body was prepared for burial), and the Aedicule (the shrine housing the Holy Sepulchre itself). The Holy Sepulchre attracts numerous Christian pilgrims from around the world who visit to pay their respects, offer prayers, and experience the sacredness of the site. Every year on Holy Saturday, a miraculous event called the Holy Fire Ceremony takes place inside the Holy Sepulchre. The Eastern Orthodox Patriarch enters the tomb and emerges with a flame, which is believed to be a divine manifestation of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Sepulchre has experienced various periods of destruction and restoration due to fires, earthquakes, and conflicts over the centuries. It has been rebuilt and repaired multiple times. The Old City of Jerusalem, including the Holy Sepulchre, was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. It is recognized for its cultural and religious significance.
We experienced breath-taking views and complete serenity when we went to the Dead Sea for sunrise. The Dead Sea is a saltwater lake bordered by Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. It is a terminal lake, meaning it has no outlet, and is situated in the Jordan Rift Valley, which is part of the larger Great Rift Valley system. The Dead Sea is renowned for its high salt content, which is about 10 times saltier than the average ocean. This salinity is due to the high evaporation rate and low rainfall in the region. The surface of the Dead Sea is approximately 430 meters (1,410 feet) below sea level, making it the lowest point on the Earth’s land surface.
This unique geographical feature attracts tourists and researchers from around the world. The Dead Sea is known for its therapeutic properties. The water and mud contain a high concentration of minerals such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, and bromine, which are believed to have beneficial effects on the skin and can help alleviate certain ailments like psoriasis and arthritis. Due to its high salt content, it is nearly impossible to sink in the Dead Sea. The buoyancy of the water allows people to effortlessly float on the surface, making it a popular tourist activity.
The Dead Sea is gradually shrinking in size. Its water level has been decreasing at an alarming rate in recent decades due to climate change, excessive water consumption, and diversion of water sources from the Jordan River, which is the primary water supplier for the sea. The Dead Sea is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors who come to experience its unique properties and enjoy activities such as floating, mud baths, and spa treatments. Several resorts and hotels are built along its shores to cater to tourists.
While at the Dead Sea we participated in a Cacao Ceremony and meditation guided by @mayakramer and @healthysoullab. The experience was both magical and transformative and I am extremely grateful to have done this with my love. The water is normally calm, but on this day they were choppy and tossed burning salt in our eyes which left us blinded for a few minutes at a time. I took this experience as a life lesson to remain calm and humble in times of ‘’rough waters’’, because that’s where the peace lies.
We took a pause from the sunrise activities and got to sleep for an hour to rest and restore. Afterwards, we woke up to an incredible sound healing and yoga session.
We traveled to Jaffa which is a captivating destination with a rich history, cultural diversity, and a thriving arts scene. Its ancient charm, stunning architecture, and culinary delights make it a must-visit place in Israel. Jaffa is one of the oldest port cities in the world, with a history dating back over 4,000 years. It has been inhabited by various civilizations, including the Canaanites, Egyptians, Philistines, Israelites, Greeks, Romans, Crusaders, Ottomans, and modern-day Israelis. Jaffa is located on the Mediterranean coast of Israel, just south of Tel Aviv. It is now part of the Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality and is often referred to as Jaffa-Tel Aviv.
The city is known for its vibrant art scene and cultural heritage. It is home to numerous art galleries, studios, and cultural centers showcasing the works of local artists and hosting exhibitions, performances, and festivals. Jaffa’s Old City is a maze of narrow alleys, ancient buildings, and historic landmarks. It has been beautifully preserved and offers a glimpse into the city’s rich history. Visitors can explore the picturesque streets, visit art galleries, boutique shops, and enjoy the bustling flea market. I got the chance to see a cabbage in a shape I’ve never seen before at a fruit and vegetable stand and was in awe!
Our guide, @hadas.shmueli.nice2meet taught us about the architecture, history, and co-existence the city was known for. In one of the homes, a polygamist family of one husband with ten wives and forty children co-existed in the same space. Each wife had her own bedroom but everyone was under the same roof. I did a poll on my story to see if any of my followers were open to this lifestyle, and most said no, but a few were open to the concept. The large multi-family homes now remain vacant after the war was won and Israel placed barriers to block out those who had left during that time.
The rooftops in Jaffa gave spectacular views of the city below and the sights beyond!
We learned about Ihab and his influential journey of transforming his hate and trauma to love and thus became the leader of a huge peace movement alongside his wife, Ora. I was touched by their Muslim-Jewish love story and the powerful and meditative Sufi dance and song session. We were joined by @hannahshaller, @aubrymarie, @nwoy, @cathymadeofyoga, and @galashraer. I felt so connected with my partner moving beside me during this session. I was surrounded by positivity and high vibrational energy, moving through any negativity, while prioritizing my peace.
We shared an amazing dinner with the Alon family, of which I will talk about during the next blog, but we felt right at home and right with family. We appreciate the Alon family for hosting us in their space!
Upper Galilee is a mountainous region located in the northern part of Israel. It is bordered by Lebanon to the north, the Golan Heights to the east, the Galilee region to the south, and the Mediterranean Sea to the west. The Upper Galilee is known for its stunning landscapes, including lush green mountains, valleys, forests, and rivers. The region’s natural beauty attracts tourists and outdoor enthusiasts who come to explore its hiking trails, nature reserves, and scenic viewpoints.
The highest peak in the Upper Galilee is Mount Meron, standing at an elevation of 1,208 meters (3,963 feet) above sea level. It is a popular hiking destination and is home to the tomb of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, a revered figure in Jewish mysticism. The Upper Galilee has a significant historical and cultural heritage. It has been inhabited by various civilizations throughout history, including Canaanites, Israelites, Greeks, Romans, Crusaders, Ottomans, and more. The region is dotted with archaeological sites, ancient ruins, and historical landmarks, offering glimpses into its past. The Upper Galilee is renowned for its winemaking industry. The region’s climate and fertile soils provide ideal conditions for grape cultivation, and many wineries can be found in the area. Visitors can enjoy wine tours, tastings, and learn about the winemaking process.
We arrived in Amirim Galilee and explored Ester’s place in a natural oak forest with a gorgeous view of the Sea of Galilee, surrounded and inspired by nature. Together, we learned the secrets of plants and natural pharmacy. We were able to practice yoga in some stellar views and forge our own plants for our meal. It was nice to exist with and in nature.
I met a brilliant Herbalist, @bunika_bonanno who shares the same birthday as me and was born in the same year. The more we chatted, we discovered that I am only 45 minutes older than her!
With @romi_gil, I shared morning mindfulness rituals of frankincense oil, basil, and sparkling water. Frankincense infused water helps to circulate blood flow, serves as an anti-inflammatory, and can reduce anxiety.
The trees in the walkway of Rothschild, Tel Aviv brought me back to LA. Rothschild Boulevard is a vibrant and historically rich street in Tel Aviv, known for its architectural beauty, cultural offerings, and lively atmosphere. It continues to be a beloved destination for locals and tourists alike.
Qualia are the raw, subjective experiences that cannot be fully described or communicated to others. They are the “what it is like” aspect of conscious experiences. Qualia with @coralfriedman combined strength, aerobics, mindfulness, and meditation in an all-in-one workout. It was such an incredible, empowering and energizing workout!
On our last day, we spent time on Hilton Beach with the Hilton Bay Surf Academy, it was healing, playful, and nourishing. We did paddle Board Yoga and afterwards acro yoga on the paddle boards. It was so much fun! We took a moment when it was done to sit and reflect while enjoying nature’s wonders.
I connected with the team at @Ronenchen.global which is one of Israel’s most prominent Ready-To-Wear fashion stores. I met and was styled in beautiful designs by the designer Ronen himself! Such a wonderful experience!
There were so many incredible experiences that we had, people we met along the way and food we ate, but the powerful work with Ihab and Ora stole my heart and made a way for so many emotions to flow. Israel was a complete thrill and again I am so blessed to have had this opportunity. Thank you Vibe Wellness!💗🙏🏾💗
The fun doesn’t stop here, be sure to stay tuned for the next blog on all the yummy eats we had on our trip!
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