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  • Norine Rae

Enjoying Life in Zichron Ya'acov

Updated: Jul 29, 2018

Zichron Ya'acov looking out at the Mediterranean.
Stunning view of Zichron Ya'acov

Exploring the Sites in Zichron Ya'akov, Israel

It’s always a huge blessing to travel to Israel. This is my third trip, my first was when I studied at Jerusalem University Collegein 2011, and last year I was able to visit for two weeks on my way home after spending time doing ministry in Africa and Egypt. Since this is the 70th year anniversary of Israel becoming a nation, I had been praying for an opportunity to go again. Fortunately, I was invited to housesit for a friend of a friend. Now, the first lesson here I believe is to give thanks for friends. They are the greatest of treasures.

So, now I find myself just outside of Haifa in the quaint town of Zichron Ya'akov. My mission - to write, pray, build relationships, and basically thrive with God’s chosen people. Israel seems like home every time I come. I’d like to see myself helping others here, but so far I’m the one who has been overwhelmed by the love and support of those I meet each time I step out the door.

You see, I don’t know Hebrew, even though I studied ancient Hebrew in Seminary. I’m giggling now, but during those arduous days of study it was quiet a different emotion. A professor once told me that learning a new language is painful. That is truly the case for me and even learning English hasn’t been easy.

But, knowing English is a great gift as most people around the world speak it to some degree. People are gracious and help me all the time. Actually, I believe this is part of my ministry. I have discovered that as people help you, they let their guard down.

There is a mutual benefit. I’ve built many relationships by simply loving well as I go through life day to day. For instance, few days ago I got locked out of the house where I’m staying. I went out to water the plants in the backyard. When I tried to get back into the house I discovered that the sliding glass door had automatically locked and this was a first for me. I had never seen sliding doors do this before. I found myself outside without shoes, phone, or keys and couldn’t get back in. The great benefit to this story is I got to meet my neighbors who came to my rescue. What delight!!! They called for help, gave me water, as it was “blooming hot” outside, and stayed with me (talking) till the house was open.

My neighbor shared information about local attractions and also some of the history of the area. I learned the Rothschild’s founded the city in 1882. I was encouraged to visit local sites such as the beautiful Ramat HaNadiv gardens where Baron Edmond James de Rothschildand his wife where buried in 1954. The city of Zichron Ya’akov is actually named in memory of his father, James Mayer do Rothschild (James is Jacob in Hebrew). Zichron Ya’acov is one of the oldest Jewish settlements (Romania pioneers), and the Rothschild’s helped to establish the century old Carmel Winery. I’m looking forward to visiting the winery soon.

Zichron Ya’akov is also known for the notorious Nili spy ring during World War 1. This clever group (Sarah Aaronsohn and brothers) provided intelligence to the British agents regarding the Ottoman’s positions. As you can see, Zichron Ya’akov has much to offer with Mount Carmel, and Caesarea just minutes away. In fact, I went swimming at the ancient aqueducts a few days ago.

I’m going to share more stories each week about to time here in Israel. I hope you enjoy the journey through my eyes. I could tell you so much more of just my experiences today. The people and the places truly make each day worth celebrating. It’s been quit the adventure.

Thank you Lord for guiding my foot steps today...


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