Asia, Countries, Pilgrimage

There’s something about Mary Magdalene

There’s always something old to be found in the Holy Land and this year there’s something about Mary Magdalene.

And as always we have the archaeologists to thank.

Those who ply their trowels 24/7 and 365 days a year have only uncovered Jesus’s pal’s birthplace.

And it’s a sacred place, a 2,000-year-old synagogue from the Second Temple period in Migdal.


And we’ve found some vessels: Drink up

So where are we? Migd-where you say.

Well, Migdal served as the main base for Yosef Ben Matityahu (Flavius Josephus).

And what the Bible didn’t tell us was that he was waging a war against the Romans in the Galilee during the Great Revolt.

This site is also mentioned in Christian texts as the birthplace of Mary Magdalene.

Digging for secrets: The Promised Land

And now we’ve got your attention…

And we can tell you that the newly-excavated synagogue is a broad, square-shaped building constructed from basalt and limestone.

While in a small room on the south side of the hall, a plaster-coated stone shelf was found.

And we’re told the room may have been used to store scrolls…

And maybe (and I’m going straight to hell here) some love letters to J of Nazareth.

Building on history

Big hugs: Jesus and Mary Magdalene

So bringing us up to date, Magdalene’s birthplace comes hard on the heels of the building uncovered in the 2009 excavations.

That was the first synagogue from the Second Temple period found in the Galilee.

Professor Adi Erlich, head of the Zinman Institute of archaeology at the University of Haifa put it all in context.

He said: ‘The stone bearing a relief of the Menorah from the other synagogue at Migdal, suggests that the local Jews saw Jerusalem as their religious centre.’

We dig what you say

Holiest of holies: Jerusalem

While excavator Dina Avshalom-Gorni built on that.

She added: ‘We can imagine Mary Magdalene and her family coming to the synagogue here.

‘Along with other residents of Migdal, to participate in religious and communal events.

‘The exposure of a second synagogue casts new light on Jewish communal life in the Galilee, the area where, according to the New Testament, Jesus performed his miracles.’

At this time of the year we’re all focusing on birth, and a new beginning.

And Israel, which led the way in vaccination roll-out, is born again (they’ve a history for this too) for visitors.

Old and new

Star power: Israel

The Land of Milk and Honey‘s latest campaign, Two Cities, One Break, encourages us to visit Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

They serve as diverse destinations that boast the country’s mineral beaches, Bauhaus architecture, 3,000-year-old history and biblical background.

And you’ll know too that Israel is home to a number of UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the Old City of Jerusalem, Acre and Masada.

Some of which they even share with their neighbours such as the Baptismal Site of John the Baptist along the River Jordan.

And you can take in both on a G Adventures Israel and Jordan trip… they’re pals, you know.

Yes, there’s something about Joseph, Jesus and there’s something about Mary Magdalene.






Asia, Countries, Culture

She Israel beautiful

Say what you will about Miss Universe but the host country are guaranteed to be winners today… yes, she Israel beautiful.

Miss Universe along with Eurovision, the World Cup and the European Championships was my childhood window to the world.

And while the last three will continue to open up our young people’s imagination to unknown countries Miss Universe has been stigmatised.

The model line

Muddy lovely: Emma Rose

Beauty pageants though have survived and thrived as I witnessed for myself behind a queue of fluttering eyelashes in Dublin Airport.

And shoot me but there are worse things to do than wait in line behind beautiful women.

Britain’s hopes rested on the shapely shoulders of Emma Rose Collingridge.

And in time-honoured Universe fashion the East Anglian and her fellow contestants have been showcasing the host country’s charms.

Which in Israel means, of course slapping on the mud in the Dead Sea.

Scrubs up well

High fives: With Big Rapper Jerry in Dead Sea

Of course Emma Rose scrubs up better than fiftysomething beardie Scotsmen from his G Adventures adventures.

Although I have been working on that with the salts I took back from the Dead Sea.

Universe has worked hard to reinvent itself in the face of the Woke assault and stresses that it takes female empowerment seriously.

And so English graduate Emma Jane has been a busy beauty queen.

Now that’s a CV

Sash and carry: Miss Great Britain Emma Rose

She has developed a self-defence programme for women called ‘Draw The line’ to empower women with the skills to defend themselves.

And away from her Miss Universe duties, the 23-year-old balances her part-time modelling career with voluntary work and female rights advocacy.

She also uses her English degree to write articles for recognised platforms on issues such as mental health, bullying, and sexual harassment.

Land of milk and honeys

Marvel East: Middle East beauties

Emma Rose has had, of course, some stiff competition in Eilat.

And, yes, because it’s Universe everybody will be a winner… only there will be only one crowned.

And we know that the champion will commit to world peace.

We will too and celebrate The Land of Milk and some real honeys and say… She Israel beautiful.