The Disciple Scroll by Allan Rabinowitz

In 2010, I had the rich blessing to be part of a Down Ancient Paths experience led by my special friend Charles. During our trek through Syria, Jordan, and Israel, we were treated to some of the best guides in the Middle East.  

allanOn a level all his own was a fellow named Allan Rabinowitz. A storyteller extraordinaire, Allan could make mounds of rock come alive, as if ruins whispered their tales into his ears. He has avidly studied the land and the history of Israel for more than 25 years, even hiking large portions of the countryside, including all 1000 KM of the Israel Trail.

But when the “official” tour was done, what Allan really loved to talk about were the Old Testament prophets, specifically Jeremiah. In fact, if one listened long enough, mention might arise of a novel Allan had been lovingly labouring over for years–an historical exploration of the Prophet of Sorrow’s life, as seen through the eyes of his scribe Baruch.  Admiring both Allan’s expertise and passion on his subject matter–and dreaming of writing myself–I asked him questions about his writing process and his plan for publishing.

Upon returning home, I tucked into the back of my mind a note to keep an ear to the ground for Allan’s book down the road.  Re-discovering that note recently, I was pleasantly surprised to finally find Allan’s name on both Amazon (Kindle) and Smashwords (All Sorts of Formats). Apparently, Allan chose to E-publish, meaning you cannot purchase a bound and printed version of his work.

But don’t let that stop you!

(The flip-side is that you can own this treasure for under $4 and read it however you want.)

disciple scrollI just finished the novel and can vouch for its worth.  What a gem!  Even if you’ve never met Allan, you will quickly know that you are reading the work of a gifted storyteller. The days of Jerusalem’s demise at the hands of Babylon come to life in frightening ways, and the life of the prophet Jeremiah becomes vivid like never before as you work your way through these pages.

When I visited with Allan in 2010, he spoke of this novel as if it was the project of his life. So what happens when you take a gifted and passionate individual and then skim off the very best they have to offer over years of their life?

You get something like “The Disciple’s Scroll”.

I hope you will get it!

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Golan Heights

Our final day of travel led us into Israel’s northernmost region, the Golan Heights.  All of this was completely new ground to me.  As well, it was beautiful ground—lush and green—to end the trip exploring.

Tel Dan is a national park containing a gorgeous hiking trail through forest with streams and small waterfalls spread throughout.  The water flowing here feeds into the upper Jordan River before flowing into the Sea of Galilee.  As well, our hike took us right through the ruins of the ancient city here, dating back to 1800 BC!  If you read Judges 18, THAT is where we were (see verse 28-31), in this place where God’s people turned away from Him.  Right in front of our eyes was the site of an altar used in their sacrifices! Continue reading

Sea of Galilee

The Sea of Galilee is not a sea.  It’s actually a lake—I don’t really know why its gets “sea credit”—measuring only about thirteen miles long and 8 miles wide.  I’ve read that a biker can pedal his way around in four to five hours—I hope to do that one day.  But for the smallness of the area, this body of water and its surrounding communities played a massive role in the life and ministry of Jesus.

Today, we worked our way over this area.

Continue reading

Nazareth to Zippori to Cana

Well, this day far exceeded my expectations!  The itinerary listed Nazareth, Zippori (ancient Sepphoris), and Cana.  These three sites are mere miles apart, AND our previous visit to Israel saw us spend several nights at a sweet little guesthouse in the modern-day village of Zippori.  In a sense, I was feeling a bit of “been there, done that”.

Not even close! Continue reading

Caesarea to Megiddo to Tiberias

Bye bye Jerusalem.  Hello Galilee!  Today marks the move into the fourth and final phase of our journey.  Syria done.  Jordan completed.  Tantur finished.  Galilee, go! Continue reading

Mount of Olives

Our final day in Jerusalem began with a tour of the Mount of Olives.  Our bus drove us to the top, which is truly a watershed location.  In a spot clear of buildings, one can look down the slope into the Kidron Valley, on the other side of which is the Temple Mounts and the rest of the Old City.  A swivel of the head has one looking down the east side of the mountain, where the elevation fades out of sight on the horizon, eventually reaching the Jordan Valley, and ultimately the Dead Sea.  From this peak, we wound our way down, beginning in a Palestinian neighbourhood and passing along the way multiple churches and the major Jewish cemetery here.

Besides offering some of the best panoramic views of Jerusalem, the Mount of Olives is the site of numerous significant biblical moments—Jesus’ frequent retreats to pray, his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, his sadness as he gazed over the city whose history was filled with its rejection of the prophets, and his arrest as he prayed his sweating-blood prayer on his final night.  Tradition also holds this as the place of Jesus’ ascension, despite the Scriptures’ silence on that detail. Continue reading