Unique Sukkot Tours and Activities in Israel

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Looking for things to do on Sukkot in Israel? Unique Israel Tours brings you a sampling of some great options to make your vacation unforgettable on this Festival of Booths.

Four Species Tour

 

Discover Israel’s Biblical nature reserve. Sift through the Bible and rabbinic writings to discover and understand which fruits and plants are required to celebrate the Succot holiday. Explore the many different ways you can build a kosher (and non-kosher) Succah by visiting an outdoor exhibition of full-scale models. Travel to Jerusalem and experience a modern Four Species market where Jews from all walks of life scour the selection for the perfect set – and choose a set of your own.

Enjoy a day of study, discovery and exploration that will help you experience the festival as never before.


 

Tekhelet Tour

 

Come learn how a two-thousand year old mystery has been solved, enabling Jews to return to a forgotten mitzvah! Study history, archaeology and Jewish sources all while scuba diving on one of Israel’s most beautiful beaches. Travel to nearby Zichron Yaakov, one of Israel’s first moshavim (cooperative farms). Experience one family’s emotional journey of hardship and triumph in the Land of Israel in a unique historical museum. No Unique Israel Tour is complete without some succulent local cuisine. Enjoy the daily catch at Atlit’s famous Ben Ezra fish restaurant.


 

Throughout  the year, Unique Israel Tours offers Jerusalem walking tours.

This Succot we will explore and enjoy Jerusalem’s justly famous open air market (shuk). Our tour will eat their way through history and traditions while answering the mystery why, contrary to Jewish law, a famous rabbi is buried is the middle of the adjacent residential neighborhood. We will then walk to Jerusalem’s city hall Succot display and discover the winner of this year’s ‘ecological’ Succah competition. End the day with a short walk through one of Jerusalem’s hidden parks filled with pools and ancient tombs.

 

During Succot as well the rest of the year, Unique Israel Tours will create a customized itinerary, special for your family or group.

Kosher?

Kosher?

Jason’s Tomb

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In the heart of one of Jerusalem’s most affluent neighborhoods we discover a fully reconstructed Maccabean-era tomb. The tomb even has its own address, 10 Alfasi Street. Who’s buried here and why would they be buried in the middle of a residential neighborhood?

(Photo Credit: Dror Avi/Wikpedia)

(Photo Credit: Dror Avi/Wikpedia)

Visitors to Jerusalem’s Old City quickly notice the graveyards that surround it, especially from the East. What most are not aware of is that during the Second Temple period the Old City was surrounded by graves from the west as well. Today, many of Jerusalem’s most upscale neighborhoods were part of an elaborate “City of the Dead” (Necropolis). Our tomb sits at the heart of this ancient city.

After the 1948 war, when Jerusalem was divided into two parts, Israeli Western Jerusalem was built up as a residential area. In 1956, construction was done on Alfassi Street in the Rehavia neighborhood to make way for new residential buildings. When the contractors exploded the bedrock adjacent to 12 Alfassi Street, they discovered the remains of an ancient tomb. Not surprisingly, The City of Jerusalem delayed further construction on this street while the tomb was reconstructed and conserved, eventually receiving its own address.[1]

Inside this upscale tomb (it is in Rechavia after all!) archaeologists discovered several drawings of naval vessels and inscriptions in Aramaic and Greek including one for a man named “Jason” (Yason). Due to the drawings of boats inside the cave, many scholars believe that this “Jason” made his livelihood through the sea. Some have raised the improbable suggestion that he was a navy captain (possibly under Alexander Janeus) or maybe a pirate on the high seas.

The drawings were made in charcoal, so naturally they faded over time. (Photo Credit: Daniel Tsvi/Wikipedia)

The drawings were made in charcoal, so naturally they faded over time. (Photo Credit: Daniel Tsvi/Wikipedia)

(Photo Credit: Dror Avi/Wikpedia)

(Photo Credit: Dror Avi/Wikpedia)

Take note of the structure: the courtyard of the cave, where the deceased was placed during the ceremony, the single Doric column at the entrance to the burial chamber, above which a pyramid was built and the two openings to the two burial caves, one in front and one on the left.

Like most ancient grave sites, there is no entrance fee or opening hours for this site. It is recommended for groups of any size – especially Maccabee admirers.

Meditation:  One of the inscriptions inside the cave reads “שמחו אתם בחיים”, which can be translated either as “you the living, rejoice” or “rejoice in your life” – an appropriate message for every season.

 


 

[1] Trivia: Which recent Academy Award Nominated Israeli film has a protagonist who lives on Jason’s street? (Hint: The answer lies before the question.)

For Further Reading:

 

עמוס קלונר ובועז זיסו, עיר הקברים של ירושלים בימי הבית השני, 2004

לוי יצחק רחמני, קבר יסון, עתיקות ד, 1964

נחמן אביגד, כתובות ארמיות בקבר יסון, עתיקות ד,1964

אוריאל רפפורט, בית חשמונאי: עם ישראל בארץ ישראל בימי החשמונאים, ירושלים, 2013