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Israel Tour's Guide to the Baltics
12 Jul

Israel Tour’s Guide to the Baltics

Lumped together geographically and culturally, the Baltic countries are Europe’s best kept secret. With the entry of each country into the European Union, there’s no better time to visit northern Europe’s crown jewels. Arguably the best way to see the region is through Israel Tour’s Baltic Jewish Heritage Tour. Below, we rank the top attractions in each country, giving you a comprehensive guide to the Baltic nations. Estonia Kuressaare Castle: Built in the 14th century, with some elements added between the 15th and 18th centuries, Kuressaare Castle is a must-see for anyone...

30 May

Israel: Visiting the Old and the New

There are many things to do and see when going on guided trips to Israel. However, there are only two places you can go: the Past and the Present. Do you wish to go exploring the bustling cities and modern-day achievements? Or would you prefer to walk through time and view the remnants of Israel’s famous events? No matter which option you choose, there are plenty of reasons to visit both kinds of locations on your trips to Israel. They each offer a unique perspective on how far the country...

27 Apr

Rebbe El on Travel and Israel – Acharei Mot – Kedoshim 5778

Rebbe El on Travel and Israel - Acharei Mot - Kedoshim 5778   As a result of the observance of Passover for seven days in Israel, and eight days outside of Israel, the Jewish community in Israel and in the Diaspora, have not been reading the same Torah portions since the conclusion of Passover.  However, this week, as we read the double portion of Acharei Mot and Kedoshim, we have finally caught up to the Torah readings - and Israel is also reading Parashat Kedoshim.  Parashat Kedoshim, which means holy, is like...

19 Apr

Rebbe El on Travel and Israel

Rebbe El on Travel and Israel Happy 70th Birthday to Israel !  I am so envious of all those lucky people who are in Israel now, celebrating Israel’s 70th birthday - many of which I know are touring on an ITC, Israel Tour Connection tour. As we celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel Independence Day, and marvel at the many incredible things our favorite 70 year old has accomplished, I wanted to make a list of 70 of my favorite things related to Israel. This list is in no particular order -...

13 Apr

Rebbe El on Travel and Israel – Parashat Shemini – Keeping Kosher

This week’s Torah Reading, Parashat Shemini outlines the basic laws of keeping Jewish dietary laws, the laws of Kashrut. An animal is deemed Kosher if it has a split hoof and chews its cud. A fish is considered appropriate or fit to eat, ie- Kosher if it has scales and fins. Birds of prey are not allowed to be eaten. Bird fit to eat, or Kosher, must be domesticated birds which are not birds of prey.  The Torah provides a list of animals which are deemed not it to be...

11 Apr

MARIE FRANCE ASIA LISTS TEL AVIV AS #1 VEGAN DESTINATION

Listed as well by Lonely Planet as the "vegan nation", Israel has the most number of vegans per capita. And this makes Tel Aviv a "heaven for the herbivores Coming in at first out of ten, Tel Aviv ranks highest on Marie France Asia’s list of top vegan-friendly destinations in the world. “Listed by Lonely Planet as the ‘vegan nation’, Israel has the most number of vegans per capita. This simply means that almost 15% of Israelis are vegetarians while another 5% are vegans. Or in other words, at least 1...

4 Apr

Rebbe El on Travel and Israel – Passover and Yizkor 5778

I hope all have been having a wonderful Passover holiday.  We conclude Passover, as we do Sukkot and Shavuot, and Yom Kippur, with the recitation of the Yizkor, Memorial Prayers.   There is the tradition for many whose parents are still alive, to not stay in the sanctuary during the recitation of Yizkor. However, there are many who have passed, who have no one saying memorial prayers for them.  Hence, even if those who are blessed to still have parents alive, they too can stay in the sanctuary, and recite memorial...

30 Mar

Rebbe El on Travel and Israel – Passover 5778 – Next Year in Jerusalem!

While many people dread Passover, it is my favorite holiday.  Since I was a young child, Passover has held a special place in our family’s traditions, whether it was taking down my mother’s Passover dishes, helping set the Seder table, unpacking the little hens with the bowls underneath it, where we put the eggs, or a new Haggadah each year, to add to my collection of Haggadot. The holiday of Passover is filled with traditions and customs, and it is a great holiday to add your own customs and traditions....

23 Mar

Rebbe El on Travel and Israel Blog Parashat Tzav – Shabbat HaGadol

This week‘s Torah portion is Parashat Tzav, and also referred to as Shabbat Hagadol, the great Shabbat before Pesach. It used to be that the Rabbis would only deliver two lengthy sermons each year, the Shabbat between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, referred to as Shabbat Shuvah and the Shabbat right before Passover, this Shabbat, thus referred to as Shabbat HaGadol. Those were the times that most people would gather in Jerusalem on their way for the pilgrimage to give their sacrifices in Jerusalem. Nowadays we have the honor of...

16 Mar

Rebbe   El on Travel and Israel Parashat Vayikra – Shabbat HaChodesh – Rosh Chodesh Nisan 5778

Rebbe   El on Travel and Israel Parashat Vayikra - Shabbat HaChodesh - Rosh Chodesh Nisan 5778 This week we begin a new book of the Torah, the book of Leviticus,  Safer Vayikra.  This Shabbat is called Shabbat HaChodesh, which is one of the special Shabbatot before Passover, which is either the Shabbat before Rosh Chodesh Nisan, or as it is this year, the actual day of Rosh Chodesh Nisan, the day we begin the new month of Nissan.  If we begin Nisan this Shabbat, that means that Passover is just...

9 Mar

Rebbe El on Torah and Israel – Parashat Vayakhel-Pekudei 5778 – Shabbat Parah – Birkat HaChodesh

Rebbe El on Torah and Israel - Parashat Vayakhel-Pekudei 5778 - Shabbat Parah - Birkat HaChodesh This week we have the double Torah portions of Parashat Vayakhel and Parashat Pekudei and we conclude the Book of Exodus, Sefer Shemot.  With the conclusion of Sefer Shemot, we see the conclusion of the building of the Mishkan, the movable Tabernacle that the Children of Israel, B’nai Yisrael, built while wandering in the desert. It always fascinates me that the Children of Israel had all the supplies they needed to build the magnificent embellishments...

1 Mar

Rebbe El on Travel and Israel – Purim 5778

Purim is often seen as a children’s holiday - because we dress up in costumes, and attend Purim carnivals, and play games, and bring home gold fish that often do not   make it more than 48 hours, but it was fun when we had them.  Children are encouraged to make noise while attending Services, when they hear Haman, the name of the evil person in the Scroll of Esther, the book we read on Purim.  We exchange presents of food, on which we must be able to make at least...

24 Feb

Rebbe El on Travel and Israel –  Shabbat Zachor 5778 – A Shabbat to Remember

This Shabbat is known as Shabbat Zachor, the Shabbat of Remembrance, the Shabbat before Purim.  The final portion read on Shabbat Zachor, the maftir portion, is from the book of Deuteronomy, chapter 25, verses 17 through 19, “Remember what Amalek did to you on your journey, after you left Egypt, how, undeterred by fear of God, Amalek surprised you on the march when you were famished and weary, and cut down all the stragglers in your rear. Therefore, when the Lord your God grants you safety from all your enemies...

17 Feb

Parashat Terumah – Letting God in  

Parashat Terumah - Letting God in   This week‘s Torah portion, Parashat Terumah, has one of the greatest verses all of the Torah. God commands us, (Exodus 25:8)  ‘V’asu lee mikdash v’shachanti b’tocham,’  ‘Make for me a sanctuary, so I shall dwell amongst you.’  And so begins many weeks of Torah readings about the construction of the Mishkan, the Tabernacle, the movable Temple that the children of Israel built while traveling in the desert, as a way to show that there was a place for God to dwell amongst them.  Do...

17 Feb

Parashat Terumah – Letting God in  

Parashat Terumah - Letting God in     This week‘s Torah portion, Parashat Terumah, has one of the greatest verses all of the Torah. God commands us, (Exodus 25:8)  ‘V’asu lee mikdash v’shachanti b’tocham,’  ‘Make for me a sanctuary, so I shall dwell amongst you.’  And so begins many weeks of Torah readings about the construction of the Mishkan, the Tabernacle, the movable Temple that the children of Israel built while traveling in the desert, as a way to show that there was a place for God to dwell amongst them.  Do...

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