If you have ever visited Israel and stayed at a hotel there, you may have noticed that, unlike most other areas in the free world, there was no Bible in your room. This is probably because of reticence by hotel management to supply complete Old and New Testament Bibles for guests in order not to "rock the boat" of Israel’s ultra-Orthodox leadership. If no action is taken about this, Israel will end up being one of the few westernized countries where the Gideon Bible placement is not working. A bit of well-placed "encouragement" by concerned Christians could go a long way to rectify the situation.
There is a simple way by which Christian visitors to Israel can help the Gideons and other Bible distributors to place Bibles in local hotels. When you visit Israel , at each hotel make it a practice to ask for a Gideon Bible—and indicate that you want the whole Bible, i.e., the Old and New Testaments.
Here is how to do it: After you have checked in and gone to your room, look for a Bible. If you do not find one, call the desk. Say that you know the Gideons supply free Bibles to hotels and ask why they do not have a Gideon Bible in your room. Tell the management that as a tourist interested in religion you need a Bible, and ask if they would please have one brought up. (If they do this, you are not obligated to tip the bellman because in Israel all of the hotels add an automatic service charge to the final bill.)
You can also help even before you reach Israel . If you have planned your trip with a tour group, ask the tour agent to request that the hotels on your itinerary have Bibles in the rooms where your group will be staying.
If enough requests of this kind are made, they will go a long way toward influencing hotel managers to accept and place Gideon Bibles in their accommodations. Then many visitors to the Holy Land who may not be familiar with the teaching of God’s Word will have access to it in the very place it was written. We know that God has promised that his Word will not return void, but will accomplish the purpose for which he has sent it, so keep affirming that you want those Bibles in hotel rooms!
Incidentally, if you believe in the Gideons as much as we do at Jews for Jesus, why not send a donation to them to help them buy some of the Bibles they distribute? Their mailing address for contributions is:
The Gideons International
2900 Lebanon Road
Nashville , TN 37214