The story about the Scots Hotel St. Andrew's -a famous hotel in Tiberias
The Scots Hotel St. Andrew's is a hotel in Tiberias, Israel that is owned and managed by the Church of Scotland. The hotel was founded in 1885 by David Watt Torrance, a 23 year old surgeon from Airdrie, Scotland, in order to set up the Scottish "Mission of the Jews" in the Holy Land. The hotel is open to all regardless of race, creed, class or color.
The David Building was a hospital that was opened on 1st January 1894. Present at the opening ceremony were the local Chief Rabbi, the Governor, the Muslim Mufti, the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox priests, the local Chief Judge and many others from the local communities. The song a hymn in Arabic and a prayer was said. The governor and Mrs. Torrance performed the opening ceremony. initially, the hospital offered general care, and later became a maternity Hospital. in 1959, with the opening of a new state-run hospital it was no longer needed. it was closed down and re-opened two years later as a hospice for pilgrims, which later developed into a guest house. The policy of welcoming everybody regardless of race, creed or color initiated by Torrance is still in force. Local people have stayed and eaten breakfast in the room in which they first sow the light of day when it was the delivery room. in the summer, Torrance would travel amongst the nomadic peoples and in the cooler months they would travel to Tiberias. On one occasion, a huge Bedouin warrior was seen crawling on his hands and knees up the stairs to the wards because he had never seen a two-story buildings before
The port of the upstairs lounge area was once an operating theatre with huge windows providing good light. The Ceilidh Bar and other rooms either side of it at the head of the stairs were the wards, female on the left, male on the right, Muslim in the middle. There were eight beds in each ward and six cots distributed as required. Torrance held weekly services in Arabic and English. They were received sometimes with silence, sometimes with abuse and sometimes with response and debate. Torrance believed however, that real communication of the Gospel came in the unconditional acceptance of the sick. From the roof terrace, one can see the mixed nature of old Tiberias with the Great Mosque, St.Peter's Roman Catholic Church and several Synagogues. The modern high-rise hotels show that Tiberias has become a town built on tourism. Rev. Andrew Bonar who was in the original exploratory team of 1839 predicted, "Tiberias will one day become one of the most important winter resorts in the world". Tiberias now has over 6000 hotel beds with more being added. The Scots Hotel contributes 140 beds to the total, and through the ethos of the place provides Christian hospitality to all people regardless of race.
The old church building is a place of worship that has been the central focus of the spiritual life of the mission since about 1930. The building was originally a school, but was turned into a church sanctuary in the 1890s. The church is named after St. Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland.
David Torrance was a doctor who moved to Tiberias to help the people there. He was very successful and helped a lot of people, even though it was difficult. He had a lot of children, some of whom became doctors too.
David Torrance was a missionary who served in the Tiberias Mission. He was ordained a missionary minister by Glasgow Presbytery in 1895. His main tasks were in educational work, both formal and religious. John Soutar was also a missionary who served in the Tiberias Mission. He is buried in the same graveyard as David Torrance.
The Beach Tower is part of the old city wall that was first laid on this site by the Crusaders. Donna Gracia, a Portuguese Jew, rebuilt the walls with the help of her nephew. In the 18th century, the Bedouin leader Daher Al Omar rebuilt the walls again. Part of the original Roman city wall can still be seen over by the hot springs. By the time Dr. Torrance arrived, the city was squashed into the 34 acres that the Crusaders had walled in after the earthquake of 1034. The city was under Turkish control and administered by a local Arab Governor. Because of this structure, the locals thought that Torrance would never be allowed to own land or build a hospital. The Turkish authorities were suspicious of anything that missionaries did. Torrance obtained all the land he wanted by means of regular conversations with the owner who was a Mufti, a local Muslim leader. Torrance never expressed an interest in the land but was finally offered it for 60 British Pounds. He immediately built two residences, one for the minister in 1891 and one for himself a year later. For a hospital building, a special deed of permission (a firman) was needed.
The book is about a doctor named Torrance who goes to Constantinople to help people. He is able to do this because he is a very determined person and because he has the support of the local officials. He is seen as a very compassionate person and is one of the first healers to work in that area in a long time. He attributes his skills to his faith in Christ.
The Manse is a house that was built in 1890. It is a big house with many rooms. It became a hospital for women and children in 1921. A Turkish man bought the land for the hospital, but he decided it was too hot in Tiberias so he sold it cheaply to Torrance.
The Present It is unthinkable that any church would voluntarily abandon work on the shore of the Lake that saw so much of Jesus' ministry. The potential for the site to be used for the furtherance of the Kingdom is so huge that the response needed to be one of great vision. in 1999 the General Assembly of the church of Scotland overwhelmingly caught the vision. We are now at the beginning of fulfilling that vision. By erecting a new building and refurbishing and upgrading the existing ones, we are now in a position to offer Christian hospitality to all - pilgrims from overseas and groups and individuals from Israel who seek rest and opportunity for reflection in conditions of unsurpassed comfort and service. The gardens have been landscaped and replanted with a variety of flowers and trees. The views from almost everywhere on the premises are wonderful, whether they be of the Lake and the Golan Heights beyond (on clear winter days even snow covered Mount Hermon looking like a long low cloud is visible) or of Bereniki and the Swiss Forest above the town. Situated as it is, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, the Scots Hotel is ideally positioned for exploration of the north of Israel whether it be holy sites associated with the birth of Christianity, ancient sites that speak of the history of this land and region or the wonders of creation in the spring flowers and migrating birds.
The Church of Scotland is a branch of Christianity that started in Scotland. It is also known as "The Kirk" and people in it are called Presbyterians. The Church of Scotland believe in democracy and that everyone is equal in the eyes of God.