Some places are special. Some people are special. Occasionally, you get both and this weekend in Tiberius was one of those double wins!
Since last year when we dropped in on Avi to visit for an afternoon, I have wanted to return and rest a few days while drinking in the atmosphere and incredible views from her sunny overlook of the Sea of Galilee. She humbly refers to herself as ‘God’s Inkeeper’ and though she does not have a business or official B&B, somehow, travelers find their way to her door for fellowship, a respite and a few night’s stay in their sojourn about the Land of Israel.
In the final stags of arranging to occupy one of her four bedrooms, we were delighted to find out that two other couples that we know, one from Holland and one from Texas, would be there the same weekend. And, our dear friends from Holland, the Hoogendorns, were bringing another couple making for a very full house and Avi volunteering to occupy the couch so we would all have beds! What a hostess!
Previously, I relayed out adventure getting to Tiberius and settling in, so I won’t recount that, but I did get a picture of the street sign where she lives. It means, ‘one of His people.’ Interestingly, Avi has hosted travelers in Israel for nearly a decade, the first seven of which were on a street named ‘watchman.’
On Preparation Day, all in the house volunteered to help in the project of running downtown before stores closed to secure some prepared dinner for Erev Shabbat and Shabbat afternoon. She led us to a neat business that had a huge selection of food that we could load into tins, weigh and pay for, to eliminate the hassle of grocery shopping and meal prep. Perfect!! More time to talk and catch up with the Stevens and the not-yet-arrived Dutch contingent.
Once back at Avigail’s, we relaxed in preparation for Shabbat. I took the time to bask in the late afternoon sun on her patio surrounded by chirping birds and breezes off of the Kinneret while reading a book. Kelly, my wife, actually did a complete workout on the atroturfed side patio before we all got showered up for Shabbat. As dinner was heated on a new hotplate, the Hollanders arrived and the real fun began!
We had a grand time around the Shabbat table followed by a little more fruit of the vine and eventual retiring to the living room. Conversation and catching up with old friends lasted deep into the night when I finally faded around midnight. It was not until late the next morning that I found out the girls didn’t give up until almost 3 a.m., then Avi beat us all out of bed to have an amazing spread laid out for brunch. By about 1 pm we were rejuvenated and ready for a lively Shabbat worship and Scripture discussion as we dug into Metzora.
Shabbat in Tiberius
Shabbat ended with a walk to the crest of a hill overlooking the Sea. I took pictures of a half dozen different kinds of flowers as well as a few snaps of the walk. Then we again sat for hours just talking about the wonders of Adonai, His Torah and the work He is doing in the Land and among His people.
This morning, we all parted company, but it was ‘lehitra’ot’ (‘see you later’) because most will arrive here tomorrow with Avi and the Stevens planning a visit to the Ani Yosef location in Giv’at Yearim some time next week. It truly was a special weekend in a special place with very special people. And, the hostess was amazing.
If you are on the Hebraic/Messianic ‘walk’ and are looking for a special place to fellowship or stay a few days at the very reasonable suggestion of 170NIS per person/night, I recommend you drop Avigail an email at
firstname.lastname@example.org . She is a wonderful attentive hostess who answers Abba’s call to be a watchman, one of His people.