Mitzpe Ramon, a hidden gem on your Holy Land tour

Mitzpe Ramon, a small town in the Negev Desert in southern Israel that sits at an elevation of 2,800 feet overlooking Ramon Crater, is the region where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are thought to have spent much of their lives.Despite security concerns in the Middle East, tourism to Israel increased 3.6 percent last year compared to 2015, according to Globes, an Israeli business news organization.

Florida resident David Lema is one of the reasons why.

The associate professor of theology and missions for New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary’s South Florida campus travels to Israel multiple times a year with student groups.

I recently talked to David about the top places to visit in Israel. While sharing his list of top places to visit in the Holy Land he also talked about places that are not as popular but happen to be among his favorites.

One of those is Mitzpe Ramon, a small town in the Negev Desert in southern Israel that sits at an elevation of 2,800 feet overlooking Ramon Crater, which Lema describes as a sort of Grand Canyon.

“When you look out all you see is the desert, but there is something evocative about deserts.”

He encourages travelers and tour groups to Israel to visit Mitzpe Ramon not only for the view, but because it is the region where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are thought to have spent much of their lives. Some archeologists also say that Bible-era merchants brought caravans bearing incense from Arabia through this region en route to the port of Gaza.

For more must-visit places when you plan your trip-of-a-lifetime to the Holy Lands, be sure to read May’s print edition of the Florida Baptist Witness. It publishes on April 27th.

Keila Diaz is a Miami-based reporter for the Florida Baptist Witness, the official news source of the Florida Baptist State Convention. She can be reached at (305) 724-0544 or via email: keila.diaz@goFBW.com

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