Tag Archives: Yaffo

Simon the Tanner’s House

St. Peter, regarded as the most important and spokesman of the Apostles, resided in the house of Simon the Tanner in Yafo (Acts 10 6): “He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side”. In this house, St. Peter had a significant dream, which changed the course of history: including gentiles in the newly founded church. Map.

According to tradition, the resurrection of Tabitha also happened on the roof of the house. The traditional site of the house is located here, close to the ancient port. Another Roman Catholic tradition locates the house at St. Peter’s church. The site is located above the ancient port of Yafo, near the lighthouse. You can reach the entrance to the house, but there is no entry inside.

At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devouted and God–fearing. Cornelius gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.

One day after lunch he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!”. Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked. The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.” When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants.

He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Joppa to bring back Peter. About noon on the following day St. Peter was praying on the top of the roof at the Tanner’s house.

While waiting for lunch, he fell into a trance. In this dream Peter saw the heaven opening and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners, containing all kinds of four–footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air (see drawing on the right, with the bag of snakes in the air).

Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” Peter objected: “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” The voice spoke to him “Don’t call anything impure that God has made clean.” This happened three times, and then the sheet was taken back to heaven. While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon’s house was, and stopped at the gate.

Simon-the-tanner's house
Simon-the-tanner’s house

Peter went down to the gate and checked the purpose of their arrival. They told him that their master Cornelius sent them to bring Peter over to Caesarea, as instructed by the angel, in order to hear the words of God. Peter let the three sleep in the house, then joined them on the next day to Caesarea. This dream was a turning point in the Christian history. Peter, regarded as the first Pope, interpreted the dream as a need to convert the gentiles (such as Cornelius, a Roman pagan) and include them in the newly founded church. This was the start of the split from the Jewish religion, where the faith was exclusive.

Simon-the-tanner's house
Simon-the-tanner’s house

According to the tradition, St Peter revived Tabitha on the roof of the tanner’s house. (Acts 9 37, 40): “And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber…. But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up”.

Simon-the-tanner's house
Simon-the-tanner’s house

According to ancient traditions, the site of the house of the tanner is located at this site, close to the ancient port and near the lighthouse. The location is based on the explicit description of Acts (“…whose house is by the sea”). However, the Roman Catholic tradition holds that the house is located at the site of St. Peter’s church.

Simon-the-tanner's house
Simon-the-tanner’s house

 

St. Peter’s Church

St. Peter’s is an old Franciscan Church, located in Old Yafo. It commemorates the visit and miracle of St. Peter in Yafo. St. Peter’s church is located above the ancient port of Yafo, in the modern square of old Yafo (“Kedumim square“). St. Peter’s church belongs to the Roman Catholic order known as the Franciscans.

St. Peter's Church
St. Peter’s Church

The Franciscan order was established by Saint Francis, an Italian who lived in the late 12th century. The Franciscans presence in the Holy Land started in the early 13th C, when they resided in a small house in via Dolorosa. In 1342 Pope Clement VI declared that the Franciscans are the official custodians of the Holy places (“Custodia Terroe Sanctoe”).

St. Peter's Church
St. Peter’s Church

This custody is still in effect to date, and includes St. Peter’s church. The symbols of the Franciscans, as well as common Christian symbols, are seen above the entrance of the west facade. The Crusaders built a church at this site, where according to the tradition was the house of Simon the Tanner.

St. Peter's Church
St. Peter’s Church

It was later destroyed after the defeat of the Crusaders in the 13th century. The church was initially built in 1654 over the ruins of a Crusader church. It was destroyed in the late 18th C, and rebuilt between 1888 and 1894. Renovations were conducted in 1903. You can visit inside the church during visiting hours, entering from “Kedumim” square in Old Yafo.

St. Peter's Church
St. Peter’s Church

Simon Bar-Yonah, later named by Jesus as Peter (“rock”), was one of the 12 apostles of Jesus. He is regarded as the most important and spokesman of the Apostles, and considered as the first Pope. According to the New Testament, Simon/Peter was a fisherman, born in Bethsaida in the north of the Sea of Galilee.

St. Peter's Church
St. Peter’s Church

This fishermen town was the birthplace of the Apostles Andrew, Peter, and Philip (John 1:44): “Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter”.

Andromeda Rock Yaffo

Andromeda Rock Yaffo
Andromeda Rock Yaffo

In Greek mythology, Andromeda was the daughter of Cepheus and Cassiopeia, king and queen of the North African kingdom of Aethiopia.

Her mother Cassiopeia boasted that her daughter was more beautiful than the Nereids, the nymph-daughters of the sea god Nereus and often seen accompanying Poseidon. To punish the queen for her arrogance, Poseidon, brother to Zeus and god of the sea, sent a sea monster named Cetus to ravage the coast of Aethiopia including the kingdom of the vain queen.

The desperate king consulted the Oracle of Apollo, who announced that no respite would be found until the king sacrificed his daughter, Andromeda, to the monster. Stripped naked, she was chained to a rock on the coast. Perseus was returning from having slain the Gorgon Medusa.

After he happened upon the chained Andromeda, he approached Cetus while invisible (for he was wearing Hades’s helm), and killed the sea monster. He set Andromeda free, and married her in spite of her having been previously promised to her uncle Phineus.

At the wedding a quarrel took place between the rivals and Phineus was turned to stone by the sight of the Gorgon’s head. Andromeda followed her husband, first to his native island of Serifos, where he rescued his mother Danaë, and then to Tiryns in Argos. Together, they became the ancestors of the family of the Perseidae through the line of their son Perses.

Perseus and Andromeda had seven sons: Perses, Alcaeus, Heleus, Mestor, Sthenelus, Electryon, and Cynurus as well as two daughters, Autochthe and Gorgophone. Their descendants ruled Mycenae from Electryon down to Eurystheus, after whom Atreus attained the kingdom, and would also include the great hero Heracles. According to this mythology, Perseus is the ancestor of the Persians.

At the port city of Yafo (today part of Tel Aviv) an outcrop of rocks near the harbour has been associated with the place of Andromeda’s chaining and rescue by the traveler Pausanias, the geographer Strabo and the historian of the Jews Josephus.

After Andromeda’s death, as Euripides had promised Athena at the end of his Andromeda, produced in 412 BCE, the goddess placed her among the constellations in the northern sky, near Perseus and Cassiopeia; the constellation Andromeda, so known since antiquity, is named after her.


Old Yaffa Port

The Yafo Port Market, in the Port of Yafo is a unique destination. A converted hangar in the harbor, below the Old City, the Port Market was created in 2012 and features a number of select, high quality food stalls, from gourmet bakeries to an oyster bar, and authentic Middle Eastern foods such as hummus, to high quality sausages. The Port Market also hosts an array of design oriented shops. Map.