Part I: Introduction
Part II: Rockets, Jerusalem, and the Kelev
Part III: The Incomparable Boaz Shalgi
Part IV: Sacrifice and Courage at Masada, Qumran, and the Dead Sea
Part V: Between Two Caesareas

a man in sunglasses standing in front of an ancient amphitheater

Boaz at Caesarea

When planning a trip, I always enjoy the ability to research not only the logistics of a trip, but getting a sense of the history of the area as well.  This was a bit of a problem with Israel, because the history is so immense.  There was so much to see, and so little time.  Through a friend of a friend, we found Boaz Shalgi.  Boaz, and his wife Magie, own a travel service called EDI Travel.

My hesitation for using a guide was mainly driven by pride, but I got over that and reached out to Boaz.  To my amazement, he himself was available to lead us on our journey.  Usually, the president of a well-known agency would delegate this to someone else, but Boaz took time from his schedule and led us on an incredible journey.

a group of men standing on a stone ledge

My brother and Boaz near the Golden Gate (Mount of Olives in the background)

The reason I’m dedicating an entire post to Boaz is simple: he turned a good trip into an unforgettable trip.  While the trip would have been beautiful and the experience memorable, the context he added to each site added significance and meaning to each step we took.  He was equal parts storyteller, historian, tour guide, politician, and friend.  If guiding tours is an art, Boaz Shalgi is your Rembrandt.  While I do remember most of what he said, what left an impact on me is the emotion he constantly displayed, specifically at Masada and the Valley of Tears.

a group of people walking down a path

My brother and Boaz at Masada

The thing I enjoyed most about Boaz was he wasn’t just pressing play in his mind and reciting a bunch of facts to us.  Throughout our travels, he showed great interest in getting to know my brother and me.  He was also a master of corny jokes, for better or worse I guess!

This post isn’t intended to be an advertisement for Boaz, although I’m happy to endorse him and would hope any readers considering a guide in Israel would reach out to him.  It’s simply me saying that sometimes the best thing to do is let someone else handle the dirty work, you’re on vacation after all!

a group of men standing on a street

Our friend Boaz at the conclusion of our tour (Upper Galilee)

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