Some visitors to Israel come as blank slates, some  have PhDs in Middle East history, and most are somewhere in between. Unless you already have a lot of background, a little pre-Israel reading can do wonders to help absorb the trip's experience.  (Even if a tourist does no reading ahead of time, they will still have a great trip!) 

The most helpful subjects to read about are:

  • the basic stories about the patriarchs and matriarchs (Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob, Leah, Rachel);  
  • Kings David and Solomon;
  • the Maccabees;
  • King Herod, the Roman period and Masada;
  • the Bar Kochba Revolt; 
  • early Christianity and Islam, Crusaders, the British Mandate, the 1948 War of Independence, and the 1967 6-Day War.

Before you feel overwhelmed and go take a nap, here is an easy, enjoyable antidote-----a short video:  "4000 years in 5 minutes":      So sit back, relax, and enjoy the video.

Also, there are short, light, fascinating writings by Ken Spiro.  Each article takes about 10 minutes to read.  Don't worry about memorizing details.  Just getting a hazy, general drift is GREAT.

To see the articles:

  •  Go to ;
  • Type into the search box:   Ken Spiro crash history course
  • Choose any of the following:   #4, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, 35, 36, 37, 42, 45, 63, 64, 68.      
This is like breaking up hard ground for sewing seeds.........Again, whatever you manage to read (or not) is fine. 

Also, don't worry that coming to Israel will be one big history lesson.  Rest assured that it will be a colorful array of experiences

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