Beit 'Abara (The Jordan River)


I woke up excited. "Yes, we're finally coming to Jerusalem tonight!" I even wore the $50 SGD faux fur rimmed hood blue coat I got from Salvation Army. Haha!

To me, going to Jerusalem is the highlight of our 8-day Israel pilgrimage. Before that could happen, we have to stop by the other sites planned for the day. One of them is in the Jordan River.

The Jordan River: Things to Do in Israel

Beat the winter cold with these faux fur rimmed hood blue coats:


Observe how close we're standing from the land of Jordan from the photo above. See that small shack? It belongs to the aforementioned country. The river serves as a border between the two countries, Israel and Jordan.

Could I cross to the other side? As tempting as it looks, no, please don't do it, neither, think about it! There are armed military men guarding the area on both sides. If you value your life, you have to abide by the rules.

Baptisms

Pilgrims come from across the world to be baptized at the Jordan River. Nope, we didn't do it. We visited during winter. The best season to be baptized is around May until mid-October when the conditions are perfect. Learn more here.


The Jordan River: Things to Do in Israel

Biblical Significance

Beit 'Abara is the place where Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:13-17). This event took place very close to where Joshua (Joshua 3), Elijah and Elisha (2 Kings 2:6-8, 13-15) crossed the large loop in the Jordan River opposite the ancient city of Jericho (photo above). 

In the New Testament times, it became known as Bethany, the village of John the Baptist.

Long Drought

Israel is under a long drought for years now. Look at the water level from the photo below compared to the very first photo above. See those palm trees? They're almost swamped!

The Jordan River: Things to Do in Israel
The Jordan River: Things to Do in Israel

We found a white dove! ;)

We didn't stay long. If you're part of a tour group, you know you have to move by the clock. That's fine though, we don't want to miss/rushed from the other sites planned for the day anyway.

Our next stop is at the Valley of the Shadow of Death (Wadi Qelt). I don't know what to expect but I'm ready to be surprised. We're still on the 4th day. I'm convinced we'll encounter more 'oohs' & 'ahhs' from our pilgrimage to Israel.

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I hope our experience at the Jordan River gave you an idea of what to expect during your travel to the site. Have fun! Talk to you soon then. ;)




The Jordan River: Things to Do in Israel