Ferrell Jenkins (May 31) wrote a very fitting tribute to Eliemelech Ben Meir, a guide he has used in Israel for two decades. Elie died May 23, following a stroke. Also Barry Britnell (who is currently leading a tour in Israel) made a nice post here.
I also wanted to share a few memories of Elie, whom I first met in 1999. I began taking groups to Israel in 2009. I never considered asking for any guide except Elie. He and driver Fawzi were close friends. Elie always wanted to be sure I put in a request for Fawzi to be our driver.
I selected a few photos from this past Oct. 2013, that are from a variety of places.
At Dan, the northern most city in ancient Israel, and the site of Jeroboam’s shrine, which was condemned by faithful prophets.
In Jerusalem our group saw the “wailing wall.” At our approach to the site Elie was giving info and instructions.
At the Jordan River, at the traditional site of the Jesus baptism, there is a high water mark for Jan. 1, 2013. Though the Jordan does not flood as it did in biblical times (see here), it still gets well out of its banks at times as this photo shows. (click to enlarge photo; see info on board upper left).
Of course Masada has tremendous historical significance.
At Masada in particular Elie would remind everyone to bring their water.
This sampling also represents somewhat of the tremendous variety within the land of Israel itself. Elie was versatile and well equipped to help us very literally “from Dan to Beersheba.” I hate to say goodbye to old friends. He will be missed.