While wine may not be everybody’s “cup of tea,” the fruit of the grapevine is not only a frequently mentioned biblical staple, but is part of a growing, dynamic and popular industry in the modern State of Israel today.

We know that vineyards were part of ancient Israel’s agricultural backbone as we find them often mentioned not only in Old Testament texts, but also in the New Testament parables of Jesus. No doubt, wine was a common and regular part of the nation’s culture, and we find it mentioned in many biblical stories. In fact, the vine is one of the symbolic elements that speak of the peace, stability and prosperity that God desires to grant His people, as it is written in I-Kings 4:25, saying, “And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, each man under his VINE and his fig tree, from Dan as far as Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.”

Jesus Himself spoke of grapevines often and inserted wine right into His Covenant Meal during the Last Supper He celebrated with His disciples in the upper room in Jerusalem. He also left this directive with His disciples, saying, “I am the VINE, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5).

Wineries can be found all over Israel since the soil, topographical conditions and weather patterns are favorable, with new wineries popping up with fresh and exciting wines each year. In fact, our Sar-El offices are located in the heart of the grape-rich Judean Mountains outside of Jerusalem, and we, along with neighbors and friends, will be enjoying the annual month-long regional wine festival that kicks off this coming weekend, continuing until December 22nd. The festival features wine tastings in various pastoral locations, live concerts, guided tours of wineries and vineyards, nature walks, culinary events and a whole lot more.

The opening event of the wine festival takes place tonight, November 29, at the Messianic village of Yad Hashmona where 33 participating wineries will offer unlimited tastings alongside specialty food booths. Our regional municipality, called the Yehuda Regional Council, is presently in the process of gaining international recognition as an “official wine region.” Once recognized, our little part of Israel will be recognized by wine connoisseurs worldwide in the same way they recognize the region of Tuscany in Italy or Burgundy in France! Not bad for little Israel.

Traveling throughout Israel with our Sar-El groups you won’t be able to miss the vineyards all over the land, as the fruit of the vine is fast becoming a symbol of Israel’s resurgence and resurrection. As it is written in Ezekiel 28:25-26, “Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘When I have gathered the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and am hallowed in them in the sight of the Gentiles, then they will dwell in their own land which I gave to My servant Jacob. And they will dwell safely there, build houses, and plant VINEYARDS; yes, they will dwell securely, when I execute judgments on all those around them who despise them. Then they shall know that I am the LORD their God.”

Join us in Israel and experience the word of God coming to life right before your eyes.

Blessings from Jerusalem,
Samuel Smadja