It has been almost 2 months since we spent the day with your touring the Old City and I have been meaning to write ever since. Unfortunately life has stayed one step ahead of me ever since and I just haven’t had a chance. I wanted to thank you for the wonderful tour you gave us. We had an amazing time and learned so much. I know that our goals were very ambitious but you really were able to pack a tremendous amount into the short period. It truly left us wanting to come back for more. I think that what we were most pleased with was your bringing in the frum perspective on what we were seeing. It helped me to relate to so much of what I have learned in Mishnayos and Gemorrahs and Nach. Specifically seeing a house with 12 mikvaos would have confused me. But your explanation of it opened my eyes so much.
Before we came to Israel, I told my wife that I was not promising to come back when each of my next daughters would be there because I just didn’t know if we could swing it. As our trip went on and people asked when we would next be back. I would answer “when my next daughter is in seminary in 3 years.” After we got home and we did more thinking about the trip, we have started considering whether we can come back next summer, over a year before our daughter goes. I am pretty certain that our day with you contributed to some of that desire to return and see what changes between now and then.
Whenever that next trip is, we will certainly keep you in mind in the event we are looking for a tour.
Thank you again and best wishes for a Chag Kasher v’Sameach.
My name is Spencer Polinger. My wife Judith and I with our son and his family (2 adults and 7 children) went to Israel from Dec. 10th thru 23 of 2014. For Judith and I it was not our first trip as we have been in Israel approximately 6 times. We have been on multiple bus tours as well as traveled by ourselves.
Mr. Shaffier showed us parts of Israel that we have never seen before and probably would never have seen with a conventional tourist group. It was amazing how he translated the Torah into pictures and landscape. We went into tunnels and saw burial places of our forefathers. We visited the place where the Holy Ark was kept. Saw a kibbutz where flowers and trees are grown from all over the world. I could go on and on.
What Mr. Shaffier has is very special and needs to be shared. He is very articulate, knowledgeable of history and as it relates to the bible and really enjoys what he does.
We were extremely pleased with the entertaining and inspiring tour that Aaron gave us of the City of David. His expansive knowledge of Tanach, Judaism and current events made history come alive for us and our relatives visiting from America.
Our group included people from ages 8 to 80, and Aaron managed to pace the tour to accommodate everyone. In addition, he was able to answer every question – he has an amazing memory! We’re looking forward to our next tour with him.
Yoseph and Leah Urso
In November of 2011 we were given an exhilarating tour of the Old City of Jerusalem guided by Rabbi Aaron Shaffier. Aaron combines his knowledge of the biblical, cultural, archeological, and political history to provide a rich picture of the development of this “holy city” over the years from biblical times until the present.
We started out tour ascending the ramparts of the walled city just at the entrance to the Jaffa gate and walked north and then east around the Christian quarter to the Muslim quarter where we descended at the Damascus Gate. On that walk Aaron stopped frequently to point out various items of interest of the Jerusalem skyline and their significance in the development of the city, including the great Domes of buildings significant to the Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities.
From there we wound our way through the Muslim shuk where we visited the Kotel HaKatan, a section of the Western Wall located in a narrow alley in the Muslim quarter near the Iron Gate leading to the Temple Mount.Continuing on through the Muslim quarter we stopped at the overlook above Kotel Plaza and then on to visit the fascinating archeological finds from the period of the second Temple at the Burnt House Museum and the Wohl Archaeological Museum in the heart of the Jewish Quarter.
Aaron’s knowledge of these artifacts and their biblical context was very helpful in bringing to life this critical period in Jewish History. We would highly recommend Aaron Shaffier as a tour guide for Jerusalem, and imagine that he would be equally valuable for other tours in Israel.
Cedric and Lauren Minkin
Thank you for spending the day with us and showing us the secrets of the Shomron. We loved the way you kept on pulling out your Tanach and quoting the verses that described the path of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs that we were actually travelling all these years later. The stops in Bet-El and Shiloh really brought this feeling home. We loved the farm in Itamar where the modern day warriors of Israel reside. To round off the day watching the sunset over Shechem, nestled between Har Gerizim and Har Eival was the ultimate bonus. Thank you and hopefully we will be back today with Moshiach!
Yisroel Selwyn and family
…Four years ago we finally had the opportunity to visit Eretz Yisroel for the first time! Aaron took us all around. Not only did we see all the major holy and religious sites that Israel is known for, he took us to locations that are not so well known, unless you have the Tanach in hand!
We hiked, we drove, we walked and we climbed. We stood on the hill where Samson was born and overlooked the valley where he fought the Philistines, we davened at the Kotel Katan, we walked in the footsteps of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Each visit, each site was enhanced with the history and stories that evolved for all these years.
Aaron is knowledgeable of every historic location of Israel – you get the flavor along with our Jewish history. We have been back every year since, and each time Aaron takes us somewhere new to explore and to learn. He can make it as detailed, vigorous or easy as you desire…
Janis and Morris Huberman
To interest an 11 and 14 year old from America and make the sites/sights come alive is not an easy task. Aaron Shaffier did an amazing job of it. Thanks much for making my grandson’s trip so memorable.
We had the pleasure of spending a day of touring with Aaron Shaffier when we were recently in Israel. He is an amazing tour guide-and I know that I am a tough customer when it comes to tour guides. I like guides that talk just the right amount and keep things moving. I get annoyed standing in one spot for too long- I like to move. But to catch all of the interesting things he has to say requires some standing and talking!
As we planned the day ahead of time, Aaron was flexible to spend fewer hours in one spot so we could fit in everything we wanted to do. It worked out great – and I have to say, his time estimates for how long to spend in each location are very accurate.
We looked at the vistas and learned about the recent history of Teqoa. We hiked in areas we had not previously spent time in, and while hiking along an exquisite trail outside of Teqoa, Aaron recounted the incredible history of the area. He is quite knowledgeable and the visit to Herodion was fascinating. We also stopped at kever Rochel, and ended the day at Har HaZeitim.
He was a pleasure to be with and we really appreciated his flexiblity so we could fit everything in!!
Hatzlacha! הג כשר ושמח!
Chana Miriam Huebner
After an amazing day in the City of David and the ramparts I would like to thank you for your generosity in sharing your breadth of knowledge with me. I truly enjoyed the connections you made with the Tanakh, setting all the sites we have visited well into their historical and Biblical context. It was an unforgettable experience!
Sadly it was too short. But I will definitely keep this amazing day in mind and contact you again when I will have another opportunity to spend a full day in the area of Jerusalem. There is a plethora of other sites I would like to see some day.
I wish You and Your family happy Pessah cleaning, Shabbat Shalom lekulam and hag Pessah Kasher
All the Best,
In May of 2013 we (me, my wife and our three kids aged 1 – 5) went on a three day tour with Aaron. We were very excited to see Israel, but at the same time we realized that taking our young kids on a trip abroad could be quite a challenge!
Well, to make a long story short, Aaron met the challenge and demonstrated flexibility, the ability to improvise and he kept things interesting for the kids! As parents of young kids we greatly appreciated this!
For us as non-Jews with a great love for the Tanach, Aaron turned out to be a perfect match! Aaron’s knowledge of the Tanach and the land of Israel is impressive and his ability to explain things is wonderful. We had a really great time and I wouldn’t hesitate to contact Aaron again for a future trip. If you want to have great trip with a great guy, Aaron is your man!
The two days that we toured the area where the Sanhedrin sat and where our ancestors compiled the Mishna and Talmud was a most exciting and rewarding experience for me.
Your knowledge and expertise of this period of our history is astounding and incomparable. The patience you had in explaining the many details of our great Rabbis’ teachings and how they each lived as we travelled from one Makkom Kedusha to another will forever be remembered appreciated. The many stories you related from the Gemorah that were applicable to the actuals sites to which we journeyed was both exhilarating and spiritually uplifting.
You planned our tour meticulously so that in two days we were able to complete all that I could have hoped for and then some. You were calm even when I drove like an Israeli! May Hashem give you good health and strength to provide for many, many others the same experience that I was zocha to have!