I’m back from a most intense and highly enjoyable journey through Israel and while I organize my thoughts and curate my photos let me provide you with a brief history of this ancient land.

My childhood was full of many epic,  grand scale and sumptuous movies of this holy land and some are still annual holiday favorites:  Ben Hur, 10 Commandments, The Robe, Barabbas, King of Kings, Solomon and Sheba, Exodus, Greatest Story Ever Told, The Bible, The Gospel and many more.

These are not just fanciful stories woven creatively. Here is the truth (no pun intended):

Judaism, Christianity and Islam  all have strong factual ties to this area – these are only a few examples:

  • Jerusalem is the place where Abraham, the first Patriarch of Judaism, nearly sacrificed his son Issac.  Later his grandson Jacob took  the name of  Israel
  • According the Quran, Jerusalem was the last place that the Prophet Muhammad visited before he ascended top the heavens in the 7th Century.
  • Jesus was born in Bethlehem and  Jerusalem is where Jesus was crucified, his tomb is located  and was also the site of his resurrection.

I will add context to these in future posts.  For now, take a quick look at some highlights of Israel’s historical timeline:

17th – 6th Century BCE – Biblical Times

  • c. 17th Century – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, patriarchs of the Jewish People and a belief in one God – settle in the Land of Israel.  Famine forever Israelites to migrate to Egypt.
  • c. 13th Century – Exodus from Egypt: Moses leads Israelites from Egypt, followed by 40 years of wandering in the desert.  The Torah, including the Ten Commandments, received at Mount Sinai.
  • c. 1020 – Jewish monarchy established; Saul, first king.
  • c.1000 – Jerusalem made capital of David’s kingdom.
  • c. 960 – 586 – First Temple, the national and spiritual center of the Jewish people, built in Jerusalem by King Solomon.  Divided kingdom: Judah and Israel.  Israel crushed by Assyrians; 10 tribes exiled (Ten Lost Tribes). Judah conquered by Babylonia; Jerusalem and First Temple destroyed; most Jews exiled.

538-142 – Persian and Hellenistic periods

63 BCE-313 CE – Roman rule

313-636 – Byzantine rule

636-1099 – Arab Rule

1291 – Crusader domination

1291-1516 – Mamluk rule

1517-1917 – Ottoman rule

1918-48 – British Rule

1948 – State of Israel created

There is much to cover besides its rich history – archeological digs, the food,
(and WINE!)  the people, politics, nature (it wouldn’t  be complete if I couldn’t take local animal and natural landscape photos) and of course, some WTDGAP moments.  Hope you will join in the journey over the upcoming weeks!



  1. Wow – what a great start. I was on the trip with you but cannot wait for the next additions! Well done

    • Bill – thanks so much!!!! – it means so much to me when fellow travelers enjoy what I write – I am still going through re-entry mind fogginess but wanted to get the ball rolling – hope you will like the posts to come!

  2. Although it was 40 years ago my memories of living and working there are still precious to me, as are my friendships. thank you Cindy. I will look forward to future posts and your brilliant photography and commenatary.

  3. Also look forward to your writing. It will be fun to see our trip through your eyes.
    Nancy and Dick Davis

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