5 Reasons to Spend Time in Tel Aviv on a Pilgrimage to Israel
Christian pilgrimages to Israel often focus primarily on the holy sites of Jerusalem and northern Israel, but there are plenty of spiritually significant spots to check out in the thriving contemporary city of Tel Aviv as well. We recommend you include these five sites in your itinerary.
- The House of Simon the Tanner in Jaffa is the location where Peter was praying when he saw the vision of the great sheet filled with unclean animals. This vision led him to convert the Roman Centurion Cornelius in nearby Caesarea. In 1875, a lighthouse was installed on the rooftop, to guide ships and fishing vessels into the Jaffa Port. An Armenian Christian family has owned the house and operated the lighthouse for generations.
- Jaffa Port has been in use consecutively for over 7,000 years! It was the main entrance to the Holy Land for merchants, visitors and navy fleets. Today, it is mostly a recreational area, lined with art galleries, sidewalk cafes and souvenir shops. Above the port is the picturesque Old City of Jaffa, whose narrow winding alleys will remind you of the Old City of Jerusalem.
- Tel Aviv also has an entire museum dedicated to the Bible. The Bible Museum features of biblically inspired art, biblical commentary manuscripts and translations of the Bible. The museum showcases games, stamps and coins with biblical themes. The exhibits are constantly changing, so even if you have already been, a return visit is likely to be just as enjoyable.
- The Russian Orthodox Church of Tabitha's Tomb commemorates Peter's raising of Tabitha from the dead in the Book of Acts. The church is beautiful both inside and out. Its salmon-colored steeple can be seen from afar, and its interior is decorated with beautiful murals and icons. Services are inspirational and often include a choir of unseen women chanting the liturgy a cappella.
- Finish off a tour of Tel Aviv and Jaffa with a dip in the Mediterranean Sea, which was traversed by the Roman conquerors who occupied Judea during the times of Jesus. The beach is clean, and the sea glitters in the sun. It may be too cold to swim in the winter, but you can always sit on the beach and enjoy the sun's rays. Umbrellas and lounge chairs are available for a fee, and many of the beaches feature snack bars or restaurants right on the sand.