SHATNEZ Tours of Israel*Palestine with local journalist David Sheen

of Israel*Palestine
with local journalist David Sheen

In the Torah, SHATNEZ is the strange name given to clothing made from two different types of fibers - threads culled from animals, like wool, and threads harvested from plants, like linen. Some religious Jews frown upon these hybrid vestments and other forms of intermixing, but this Jew sees Shatnez as a positive concept, and aims to reclaim the word. I believe that there is no separate thread, no solitary narrative that explains all of history - in this land or in any other. In order to best understand this country's past, present, and future, we need a much richer picture of our composite reality - we need to study multiple narratives. On SHATNEZ tours, you'll learn about all the different peoples living in the land today, and many of the colorful cultures that have enriched it throughout history: from the first hominid hunter-gatherers to emerge from Africa, all the way down to the two halves of the population presently contesting for control of the country, and lots of competing empires in between. Experience all of 48'Israel*Palestine - with local investigative journalist DAVID SHEEN as your guide.

HOLY SMOKE! After decades in which Israeli authorities arrested bud smokers and weed growers, the country's leaders have finally seen the errors of their ways. In 2019, the government decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana, and in 2020, it announced that it would legalize the consumption of THC products by year's end. Now you and your closest friends can finally experience the Holy Land like it was meant to be experienced - through a purple haze, just like the Jewish priests worshipping the divine essence at the first Israelite Temple in Jerusalem, thousands of years ago. In fact, the very name cannabis comes from the Hebrew "Kaneh Bosem" meaning "fragrant cane". And just as Moses of the Bible journeyed deep into the desert, seeking answers to existential questions from a burning bush, you too will explore the land and its mysteries, guided by native strains of sensimilia. Visit all the most important must-see sites, as well as lots of lesser-known locations that take on added value when lived through the lens of the holy herb. COMING SOON

UNHOLY MOSES! Academics have known for over a century that the Torah texts - the sacred scrolls that all the Abrahamic religions are based upon - were not written by a single all-knowing entity. Rather, they were composed by several Hebrew scribes, hundreds of years after the alleged events they depicted - often erroneously. Millennia later, the ideologies of those scribes (or the people that paid them) are being passed off as God's own. Those ancient authors are still putting their thumbs on the scales of nearly every single political debate, all over the planet - including right here, of course. But here's the twist: while your grandma's tour bus criss-crosses the Holy Land, lapping up ridiculous religious myths, the Secular Skeptic tour takes you to other sites, where modern science has demonstratively proved that all those stories are one big fat load of hogwash. Lessons learned, we then head back to the best beaches, to enjoy this one life we're given - with sea, surf, and sand. Another way we differ from your grandma's tour? We party at much better pubs. COMING SOON

IN SEARCH OF NIBIRU: "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness" - from Genesis 1:26, one of only a few such verses that managed to make it past the final editors of the Torah text, even though it clearly suggests that the God of the Bible was not a single sentient creature, but rather, multiple beings. In the original Akkadian clay tablets that the Hebrew creation myth was copied from, those celestial beings are described as a race of extra-terrestrials that pilot spaceships to Earth and manufacture homo sapiens - us humans - by combining monkey chromosomes with their own alien DNA. Are these Akkadian legends just as far-fetched as the Bible's inception story? Or was the Holy Land once a proving ground for alien astronauts whose raucous exploits were later censored by the pontiffs of monotheism? Celebrate the centenary of the birth of Zecharia Sitchin - author of the best-selling book series "The 12th Planet" - by visiting the sacred sites that are the backdrop to both the tales of the Bible and the long-lost Sumerian stories that preceded them. COMING SOON

TEL AVIV, the first Jewish city to be built in the modern era, was founded just over a hundred years ago. But it first emerged as a Jewish neighborhood of Jaffa, a city with 5,000 years of recorded history, including cameos in the Hebrew Bible. To fully understand how Tel Aviv became what it is - the economic and cultural capital of Israel - you need to know how it evolved from Jaffa, which up until 1948 was the economic and cultural capital of Palestine. Join local journalist David Sheen for an all-day walking tour of the city, visiting historical landmarks and peeling back layers of time. Learn how the ancient port town known to mariners as the "Mother of Strangers" took in successive waves of immigrants, and how those newcomers transformed the "Bride of the Sea" into Silicon Wadi, the modern metropolis it is today. Take the only tour of Tel Aviv - Jaffa that explores a decade of African history, a century of Jewish history, and a millennium of Arab history. Contact David Sheen directly to arrange a day tour for your family and friends, or for your fellow professionals.

DIMONA is best known around the world as Israel's so-called "Samson Option", the location of its semi-secret nuclear power facilities. Picked by Israel's founding father and first prime minister David Ben Gurion to be the country's capital city - even before its very first simple structure had even been erected - this dusty desert town is much more that that. When the United Nations attributed the entire Negev / Naqab desert to the nascent Jewish state in 1947, its leaders tapped North African and East Indian Jews to develop the rural region. African Americans embracing Old Testament worship immigrated in the early 1970s, founding the largest black intentional community in the world, the Hebrew Israelites. And the local Bedouin Arab citizens of Israel adapted themselves to all of the arrivals, evolving from nomadic herders into semi-sedentary satellite communities just outside of town. But at what cost? Meet three of Dimona's local communities, whose stories are also a fractal of Israel's history as a whole. Contact David Sheen directly to arrange a half-day tour for your family and friends, or for your fellow professionals.

ISRAEL * PALESTINE - Most of human history has been lost to us, and that's twice as true in the Holy Land. It's always the victors who end up authoring the history books, and they usually leave out the most interesting bits. Over the decades, however, a handful of scholars have labored away, sifting through the sands of time, peeling back layers of propaganda, and unearthing astounding tales of the most pivotal events in the country's history. Experience the famous sites you know from photographs, with new narratives and illuminating anecdotes that most locals aren't even aware of. Learn the origin stories of Israel and Palestine, and how their competing claims have shaped the fate of the Middle East and beyond for the past century. Not the whitewashed, Disney-fied fables that Karen's kids get spoon-fed on Mirthright, but rather, an iconoclastic retelling of our realities, with all of their complexities and contradictions. Suitable for families, community organizations, and other groups of open-minded travelers. COMING SOON