Caesarea, the capital of Judea for over 600 years

Caesarea made the news again, after an interesting archaeological find was reported in the press. This time it is a mother-of-pearl tablet inscribed with a "menorah", symbol of Jewish identity and revival since the times of the Maccabees and of the miracle of Hanukkah. The find is a testimonial of Jewish presence in the Roman city of the 4th century, at a time when the Empire gradually adopted Christianity. It gives us the opportunity to review the chronicles of this very important city and large excavation site in Israel. It started as a Phoenician harbour, called Strato's Tower, during the Persian rulers who made an alliance with the able Phoenicians to help them compete against the growi

Israel at 69

Ahead of the celebrations of Yom Ha'atzmaut (Independence Day) starting at sunset on Monday 1st May 2017, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) has published its annual report of the population of the State of Israel (in Hebrew on their site). For information in English, you can consult the article in the Times of Israel by clicking here. The growth from May 1948, when the State of Israel was declared, has been constant as shown in the graph provided by the CBS. With close to 8.7 million residents (some Israelis also live abroad and are not part of this number), Israel would be in the 15th position in terms of size as compared to all European Union countries (see figures by clicking here),

From Shoah to Revival

Towards the closure of the Hebrew month of Nisan and at the beginning of the following month of Iyar, visitors in Israel get to be acquainted with a series of commemorations and celebrations, all related to the Shoah and to the foundation of the State of Israel. Here is a short guide to help understand Yom Ha-Shoah (יום השואה). This is the Holocaust Day commemorated in Israel. It has been set since 1953 on the date of 27 Nisan which would have been Sunday 23 April 2017 but, as this day is adjacent to a Shabbat, the commemorations (which always start the eve before) are held on 28 Nisan this year. The date of 27 Nisan was arbitrarily set by the Israeli Government in 1953 because it was initia

The Holy Week and Easter in Jerusalem

The Christian celebration of Easter gives us the opportunity to take a look at the events that took place during the Holy Week, and at its related sites in and around Jerusalem. These sites are well known to the many Christian pilgrims and visitors who come to the Holy Land. Here is a short chronology of these events, as described in the New Testament, and the related sites that can be visited. To do the actual visit of these sites, you would normally follow their location rather than visiting according to the chronology. BETHANY - THE TOMB OF LAZARUS Jesus arrives to Bethany, a village East from the Mount of Olives, to visit one of his followers, Lazarus, who fell ill and actually died befo