Because Israel’s population is mostly Jewish and Muslim, there are less Christmas symbols around the country than you might find elsewhere. However, in the major Christian and religious centers of Nazareth, Jerusalem’s Old City, and Bethlehem in the West Bank, you will find that Christmas is everywhere and the tale is brought to life.
Christmas in Nazareth is a special and interesting time to visit the city, with many special events. In Haifa, the Christian population combine with the other religious groups to put on theHoliday of Holidays event, whilst many events take place in the Old City of Jerusalem - check out all the events for Christmas in Jerusalem.
Belaynesh Zevadia left her village in Ethiopia when she was 13 years old in order to immigrate to Israel. Nearly three decades later she has returned to her hometown, this time as the official Israeli envoy to the African country.
“I left when I was still a child and now I’m back as Israel’s ambassador. This is one of the most moving moments of my life,” Zevadia told Yedioth Ahronoth on Tuesday.
Zevadia visited the local synagogue, which was well-preserved despite the fact the village’s Jewish population has left long ago.
“I prayed at the spot where my father used to pray and cried like a little girl. It was like coming full circle,” she said.
Zevadia also stopped by the school where she used to attend, and sat next to the desk that used to be hers.
“I told the kids I attended their school and they were shocked,” she said.
The ambassador arrived at the village with a group of Israeli eye doctors who work with Eye from Zion, an organization that provides medical humanitarian aid across the globe. The doctors set up two clinics where they are to undertake an eye surgery “marathon,” aiming to restore the eyesight of some 1,000 Ethiopians, including some who have been blind for many years.
The Israeli envoy also visited the Jewish Agency facility in Gondar, and met with Jewish residents who are planning to immigrate to Israel soon.
Deepawali or Diwali is certainly the biggest and the brightest of all Hindu festivals. It’s the festival of lights (deep = light and avali = a row i.e., a row of lights) that’s marked by four days of celebration, which literally illumines the country with its brilliance, and dazzles all with its joy. Each of the four days in the festival of Diwali is separated by a different tradition, but what remains true and constant is the celebration of life, its enjoyment and goodness. (Source: About.com)
Blackwell loves “growing up in a country that honors and keeps the Sabbath… and honor god’s day” because he is a member of the African Hebrew Israelites, and keeps the Sabbath too. Members of his community believe they are descended from the ancient Israelites who fled to Africa and were later taken to America as slaves. In 1969 they came to southern Israel on the heels of a prophecy to establish the Kingdom of God in what they believe is “the land of their origin.” There are now roughly 2,000 of them living communal, vegan lifestyles in what Blackwell repeatedly describes as “the land of milk and honey.”