Price range
From $4990 per person
Upcoming Date
19-30 December 2022
Tour Time
12 Days (Inc. Arv./Dpt.)

Highlights

Desert night experience
Jeep ride in the Golan Heights
Chocolate workshop
Boat ride in the Dead Sea
Be an archeologist for a day
Bike and ride through the Hula Valley
Food tour in the Carmel Market
Go on beautiful nature hikes
Graffiti tour and creative workshop

Itinerary

1 - Monday (December 19) : Shalom and welcome to Israel

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Activities:

  • Welcome to Israel

  • Arrival at Ben Gurion Airport - You will be greeted at Ben Gurion Airport by your driver and guide, who will transfer you to the hotel.

  • Check-in & Dinner at the hotel

  • South: Kedma hotel, Sde Boker

Overnight: South: Kedma hotel, Sde Boker
Meal Plan: dinner

2 - Tuesday (December 20) : Desert Splendor

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at your hotel - Every day you will enjoy a delicious Israeli buffet breakfast.

  • Begin at the beautiful lookout over Tzin River Bed and visit the grave of Ben Gurion - David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, whose vision for settling the desert is continuing to bloom. Throughout the day, you’ll see his vision come to life.

  • Hike in the Ein Avdat oasis - Located in a beautiful canyon in the Negev desert. The Ein Avdat Spring flows down in a waterfall towards an 8-meter deep pool of water. The canyon is part of Nahal Zin, which is the longest wadi or dry riverbed in the Negev desert.

  • Authentic delicious Bedouin meal and camel ride

  • A fun Jeep Tour in the Ramon Crater - From the top of the Atzmaut Ascent and descend into the Makhtesh and cross to Wadi Ramon. Continue to the summit of Mt. Gvanim which offers a stunning view of the entire Makhtesh and from there along Wadi Gvanim then continue to the Ein Sahronim spring and the nearby Nabatean ruins. During the jeep tour you will have time to hike various parts of the crater.

  • Head back to the hotel for dinner and get ready for the night activity

  • Magical desert night experience: star gazing, bonfire and smores - Guided star gazing in the Negev Desert (weather pending)

  • South: Kedma hotel, Sde Boker

Overnight: South: Kedma hotel, Sde Boker
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch

3 - Wednesday (December 21) : Digging to our past

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at your hotel & check-out

  • Beit Guvrin - be an archeologist for a day - Archaeological Seminars invites you to experience the thrill of unearthing the hidden past on Dig-for-a-Day, our ground-breaking archaeological experience designed for active travelers of all ages. Tour the national park and discover what's hidden underground in the Land of Thousands of Caves.

  • Lunch at Iza Pziza Goat Farm - In Moshav Tal Shahar at the foot of the Jerusalem Mountains and the heart of the agricultural fields is a family goat farm called "Iza Pziza" which includes a small herd, a dairy and a visitors' center with a cheese shop. Eat a light meal, taste cheese and meet the goats.

  • Ayalon Institute - Visit the Ayalon Institute, a clandestine ammunitions factory built in 1945 by the Haganah. In just three weeks, preparations for the factory were completed and it was code named the Ayalon Institute. Above ground, it appeared to be no more than a kibbutz. However, located eight meters below ground, this was the country's largest bullet factory. It has been said that the bullets manufactured at the Ayalon Institute played a crucial role in the success of the War of Independence.

  • Travel to Jerusalem & check-in to your hotel

  • Dinner on own

  • Jerusalem: Herbert Samuel

Overnight: Jerusalem: Herbert Samuel
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch

4 - Thursday (December 22) : Jerusalem of Gold

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at your hotel

  • Begin the day with a visit to the Israel Museum - Visit the unique collections and expansive grounds of the Israel Museum, the country’s national museum. Linger over the renowned international and Israeli art, the world’s most complete Judaica collections and the charming Billy Rose Sculpture Garden. You can also visit the Shrine of the Book, home to the exceptional archaeological finds of the Dead Sea Scrolls and other rare ancient manuscripts.

  • Sche'cheyanu from the magnificent Mount Scopus lookout - Mount Scopus, or “tzofim” in Hebrew, is one of the tallest hills surrounding Jerusalem. This hill is the place to go for the finest views of the Old City, the Dome of the Rock, and the sprawl of New Jerusalem.

  • Lunch at the Arab Market - Browse in the famous Arab shuk (market) in the Muslim quarter. Check out the local hummus and sweets Its many stalls sell spices, pastries, pottery, sheepskin, embroidered clothes and so much more. Meet store-owners whose stores have been in their family for generations.

  • Tour of the Jewish Quarter - The Jewish Quarter is best known for the Western Wall, but there’s a lot more to see and do here. See archaeological finds from First and Second Temple periods, Roman ruins, and vibrant synagogues, learning institutions which jostle for space in these busy stone streets. Take time to browse through the local art galleries in the ancient Roman Cardo.

  • Proceed to the Kotel (The Western Wall) - Sacred because it is one of the last remnant of the Second Temple that was destroyed by the Romans. Feel the stones that have witnessed so much in the history of the Jews. Place your special and personal prayer in the cracks of the stones.

  • Family Dinner in a restaurant (not included)

  • Jerusalem: Herbert Samuel Hotel

Overnight: Jerusalem: Herbert Samuel Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch

5 - Friday (December 23) : From Holocaust to Redemption

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at your hotel

  • Visit the museum at Yad Vashem - Israel’s National Memorial to the Holocaust. Tour this memorial to the darkest moment in world and Jewish history, its children’s memorial, and exquisite gardens. Yad Vashem is an unforgettable place of tribute and remembrance. You'll be guided by a member of the Yad Vashem staff.

  • Kids Track: Jerusalem Biblical Zoo - The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens in Jerusalem is one of the most beautiful and relaxing places in Jerusalem. The vast grounds and beautiful landscape along with the wide selection of animals make this a MUST SEE for kids and adults.

  • Lunch at the Machane Yehuda Market - After a meaningful morning focusing on our past, we will head to the present and modern day. In the heart of Jerusalem, a bustling multi-ethnic market bursting with life, art, and flavor, a tasting tour through Machane Yehuda market is an adventure for your taste buds. Enjoy the hustle and bustle with all the rich fragrances, colors, and sounds this iconic Jerusalem market offers.

  • Afternoon optional tour of Bethlehem with a local guide - Begin with a home hospitality and lunch at your Palestinian Christian guide's home. Visit the traditional birthplace of Jesus. The Church of the Nativity is thus one of the oldest Christian churches in existence. During the Crusades it was a primary place of pilgrimage. See artwork by the infamous Banksy on the security barrier (separation wall) and spend some time discussing his increased presence in the West Bank since 2003. (tour not included)

  • Proceed back to your hotel, relax & get ready for Shabbat

  • Shabbat Friday night Dinner with a local familyhabbat of a Life Time - Experience an authentic Shabbat at the home of a host family in the heart of Jerusalem.

  • Jerusalem: Herbert Samuel Hotel

Overnight: Jerusalem: Herbert Samuel Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast, Friday night home hospitality

6 - Saturday (December 24) : The Lowest Place on Earth

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Activities:

  • Early breakfast & check-out from hotel

  • Begin your day with a special Dead Sea Boat Ride and kayak - On a small group motorboat or in kayaks see amazing salt formations and scenery. During this unique experience, you will enjoy the wondrous muds, salt pearls, salt diamonds, water springs streaming to the sea and sink holes filled with sweet water. Learn about the ecosystem and the environmental issues connected to the Dead Sea. **Boat tour is suitable for kids age 4 and older. Kayaks age 8 and up.

  • Continue with a tour of Masada National Park - Ascend the mountain on a cable car to explore Masada, scene of the epic stand by Jewish rebels at the end of the Great Revolt against Rome nearly 2,000 years ago. The new museum at the Visitor Center reveals the secrets of the daily life of the rebels, the story of the excavations, and how the site became one of Israel’s most important symbols.

  • Lunch on rout

  • Head north through the Jordan Valley

  • Optional stop: Tamar Bakfar - Learn about the centrality of the date to Israeli culture and taste samples of different dates.

  • Dinner near the Kinneret

  • Check-in to your hotel - Please note: check-in time on Saturdays is at 6:00 pm.

  • Nof Ginosar, Kibbutz Ginosar

Overnight: Nof Ginosar, Kibbutz Ginosar
Meal Plan: breakfast

7 - Sunday (December 25) : The Golan Heights

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at your hotel

  • Begin with a magical visit to the ancient Jeiwish city - Ein Keshatot - Also known as Um el Kanatir, home to a Jewish village from the Period of the Mishna and Talmud, with a magnificent synagogue in its center. Enter a synagogue that features the original Ark Complex – the most preserved and magnificent ever to be discovered in Israel. The synagogue was excavated and reconstructed with advanced technological methods, and today it stands at a height of one story. The Ein Keshatot site also offers a visit to the village spring, which flows into ancient pools, surrounded by shaded areas.

  • Track 1: De Karina Boutique Chocolate Factory - DeKarina Chocolate workshop on Kibbutz Ein Zivan in the Golan Heights: Taste some of the finest chocolate in Israel and then make some of your own to take home.

  • Track 2: Pelter Winery - The Pelter Winery was established in 2005 and is a study in Terroir. Taste the wines made from grapes grown on the rich Golan soil and hear the story of the winery. Together with the wine, enjoy local cheese.

  • Afternoon continue with a jeep tour of the northern Golan Heights - While traversing the rich landscape, learn about the history, flora, and fauna of the area. Stop for a lookout over the border with Syria from Mt. Bental to get a better understanding of the geography and strategical roll this region has for the State of Israel. Your local guide touches on the nuances of living so close to the Syrian border and what that has meant for Israel as it relates to security and humanitarian issues. At Marom Golan, you'll also learn about the Kibbutz and the ideology behind of this unique communal life.

  • Dinner at a local restaurant

  • Nof Ginosar, Kibbutz Ginosar

Overnight: Nof Ginosar, Kibbutz Ginosar
Meal Plan: breakfast

8 - Monday (December 26) : Abundance

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at your hotel

  • Begin your day with a nature hike in Tel Dan - The national park combines a lush nature reserve with a biblical archaeological experience with an easy trail for all ages. At the heart of the park is “Tel Dan”- the capital of the ancient northern Israeli biblical kingdom.

  • Agamon Hahula-National Park - At one time, the Hula Valley was an important resting place for migrating birds and many species of rare fish and plants creating a wonderland of flora and fauna. In 1948, the government decided to drain the swamps and pond and convert them into agricultural fields. Due to efforts to conserve at least part of the original landscape the Hula Valley Nature Reserve was the first nature reserve in Israel. Explore the magnificent bird sanctuary on a motorized golf cart, stopping on the way to do some bird watching.

  • Lunch on rout

  • In the afternoon explore Rosh Pina - The earliest major wave of immigration, the First Aliya, created small agricultural colonies along the coastal plain. Rosh Pina, established in 1882 on deserted rocky land, was the first settlement in the Galilee. Walk along the historical main stoned paved street, explore the local artist's studios, and hear about the story of this place.

  • Harp Musical Workshop - In Rosh Pina, enjoy a Harp Workshop with harp maker - Scott Isacowitz, who founded Woodsong Harps and fulfilled his life-long dream. In this musical workshop, Iscacowitz will play on the various instruments he built: Celtic harps, Door Harps, Belly Harp and more.

  • Druze home hospitality and cooking workshop - Together with your hosts in their private home, prepare traditional Druze Galilean dishes and then enjoy the feast you create. Learn about Druze culture and history from your hosts and from the food you eat.

  • Nof Ginosar, Kibbutz Ginosar

Overnight: Nof Ginosar, Kibbutz Ginosar
Meal Plan: breakfast, Druze home hospitality for dinner

9 - Tuesday (December 27) : What These Shores Have Seen

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Activities:

  • Breakfast & check-out from hotel

  • Travel to Rosh Hanikra - ("Head of the Grottos"), with the stunning chalk-white cliffs at Israel’s northernmost coastal border. Enjoy the view of the Mediterranean coastline stretched out before you, then take the cable car down beneath the cliffs to the grottos below and tour the system of underground marine caves eroded by pounding waves over thousands of years.

  • Visit the unique Tunisian Synagogue - The Ohr Torah Tunian synagogue in Akko is unique even in a land of synagogues. Built by a community of Tunisian Jews from Djerba, it offers four stories of glorious mosaics and stained-glass windows both inside and out, showing a varied range of stories, plants, and animals.

  • Lunch at a local street food restaurant

  • Drive south along the coastline and tour Caesarea National Park - On the Mediterranean coast - Caesarea, one of Israel’s most impressive archeological sites. A national park where amazing ancient harbor ruins, beautiful beaches, and impressive modern residences sit side by side. The city was initially built by King Herod in the 1st century BC, who dreamed of a major seaport to connect the Province of Judea with Rome. For this purpose, the king's men designed an entirely artificial harbor that was in use for about a Millenium. The city became a central city in Roman and Byzantine times as can be seen from the massive archeological remains on site. View the spectacular Roman amphitheater, still used as a performing venue today and the hippodrome that held 20,000 spectators for chariot races.

  • Drive to Tel Aviv and cehck-in to the hotel

  • Dinner on own

  • Tel Aviv: Dan Tel Aviv

Overnight: Tel Aviv: Dan Tel Aviv
Meal Plan: breakfast

10 - Wednesday (December 28) : Israeli Creativity

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at your hotel

  • Begin Tel Aviv visit with a tour of the picturesque Jaffa old city - Discover the ancient and modern situated side-by-side. Stroll through the alleyways of the Old City filled with artist studios as well as archaeological discoveries. Discover which Jewish and Christian stories took place in the city.

  • Wind your way through the Flea Market - Which features everything from antiques to hip new clothing and design stores, galleries, cafes, restaurants, and bars.

  • Continue with a visit of the American-German Colony - In 1866, a group of 150 Christian Americans from Maine and the New England region, led by the eccentric (some say charlatan) preacher George Adams, left the United States, where the Civil War had just ended. They carried with them their faith, and the materials to rebuild their houses in the Holy Land, sailing 42 days to the disease-ridden Middle East. Join a fascinating journey that weaves its way through religious fervor, nationalistic jingoism, renewal and modern speculation to create a uniquely Tel Aviv neighborhood. Today, the neighborhood has both crumbling ruins and new villas- meticulously preserved 150-year-old homes next to four-story buildings with luxury apartments. Visit the Maine Friendship House and Immanuel Church, walk through the surprising streets, and learn the stories of the place.

  • Graffiti tour and workshop - Tour the dynamic neighborhood of Florentine, Tel Aviv’s most bohemian and upbeat neighborhood and learn about contemporary Israeli culture through the writing on the wall, graffiti, bumper stickers and even painted garbage bins. In recent years Tel Aviv has become Israel's capital of urban art. Take part in an interactive fun graffiti workshop, where you'll make something on your own and take it with back home.

  • Dinner on own

  • Tel Aviv: Dan Tel Aviv

Overnight: Tel Aviv: Dan Tel Aviv
Meal Plan: breakfast

11 - Thursday (December 29) : The First Hebrew City

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at your hotel

  • Check out from the hotel - Check-out time is at noon. You are welcome to leave your luggage with the concierge in the luggage room. Closer to date we will ask to keep one room for an additional night for luggage and showers if needed before the flight (late check-out is not included).

  • Architecture tour of the White City - Rothschild Boulevard was one of the first streets to be built in the city of Tel Aviv a little over 100 years ago. In the heart of the “White City”, is lined with Tel Aviv’s iconic architecture, the Bauhaus style, which led to its recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Many of these buildings have been beautifully restored and now house the offices of financial institutions, creative firms, cafes, and luxury residences. Explore the multiple architectural styles that can also tell the story of the First Hebrew City.

  • Continue with a tasting tour at the Carmel Market - (Shuk HaCarmel), the largest market in Tel Aviv. Touring the market reveals the taste of the ages of Tel-Aviv in the youthful atmosphere of the city's central market. The Polish, the Persian, and the Yemeni... in this case, it is not the start of a joke, but the fascinating culinary traditions that mix in this place. The established market that was founded over 90 years ago, can now reveal its secrets, stories, and legends to you. (The tasting tour replaces lunch)

  • What is Israeli Art? - In this dynamic tour we'll figure out what makes Israeli art into what it is, and what’s it relationship with the Zionist narrative as well as the international art world. This tour through the extensive Israeli collection at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art is an amazing way to visually explore the Israeli narrative from the early 20th century until today. What is the story the Arts Establishment tells about Israeli Art?

  • Free time to explore on own

  • Farewell dinner at a restaurant TBD

  • Airport transfer to BNG Airport

Overnight: Airport transfer to BNG Airport
Meal Plan: breakfast, Tasting tour at the Carmel Market

12 - Friday (December 30) : Shalom U'leitraot

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Activities:

  • Fly back home

  • We look forward to hosting you again in our beautiful country

Overnight: We look forward to hosting you again in our beautiful country

FAQ

What about COVID-19?

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Though we hope this will be a non-issue come April 2023, the situation regarding COVID-19 is fluid and changes often, based on what is happening across the globe. We will continue to update you regarding current guidelines. That said, as you prepare for your trip, we suggest the following:
  • Health Insurance It is a condition of your booking through Via Sabra / Israel4All, as well as the State of Israel, that you obtain travel health insurance which includes coverage for COVID-19.
  • Travel Insurance In addition, we strongly recommend that you purchase full travel insurance which includes coverage for ‘cancellation under any circumstances and for any reason’. It is recommended to purchase insurance as soon as the booking is made, as this coverage is often dependent on purchasing as close to the time of booking. You can purchase travel insurance through our partner, Travel Insured, an experienced company and one of the largest in the industry, through this link.
  • Closer to the trip, we will publish details about relevant COVID guidelines and testing requirements for before, during, and after the trip.

General guide for tipping

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Tips are not included in the cost of a tour and are always at your discretion. Having said that, in Israel, it is customary to add a gratuity of 15-20% at a restaurant and to tip your guide and driver. For all groups ranging from 2-6 people, it is suggested that you tip the tour guide $70 -$100 (from the group) per day. For groups larger than 8, it is recommended to tip $8-$12 per person, per day + 50% for your bus driver. Please note! Unless stated otherwise, on our group tours, the hotels, restaurants with meals included and serving staff is being generously tips by our staff - on your behalf. If you are not sure, check with your guide or operator for further details.

What are check-in /check-out times?

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Sunday through Friday, check-in time is generally 3PM. On Saturday, check-out is usually one hour after sunset (the end of Shabbat). These times may change depending on the season. It is important to note however, that check-in on Saturday will be at night (usually 2 hours after Shabbat ends - sunset). Check-out is generally before noon, no matter the day of the week (except Shabbat). Please take into consideration the check-in / check-out times when scheduling your flights. In most instances, we are able to arrange for early check-in / late check-out when needed.

Are medical and travel insurance necessary? Where can I purchase it?

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Health Insurance It is a condition of your booking through Via Sabra / Israel4All, as well as the State of Israel, that you obtain travel health insurance which includes coverage for COVID-19.

Travel Insurance We strongly recommend that you purchase full travel insurance which includes coverage for ‘cancellation under any circumstances and for any reason’. It is recommended to purchase insurance as soon as the booking is made, as this cover is often dependent on purchasing as close to the time of booking. You can purchase travel insurance with our partner, Travel Insured, an experienced company and one of the largest in the industry through this link.

Is there someone who can assist with booking flights?

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If you are interested in assistance with flight booking, please refer to our travel partner, Riverdale Travel, for direct bookings. Flights for Experience Israel 2023 will be available to reserve beginning June 1, 2022. If you have any questions or would like to book your flight, please contact Kathy at kathy@riverdaletravel.com.
 
You may also purchase travel insurance by clicking here.

Terms of Payment

Deposit is due immediately to secure the booking.

Balance for the trip is due no later than 45 days prior to first day of trip.

Please refer to our full Terms and Conditions here.

Cancellation Policy

Bookings can be cancelled within 48 hours, with a full refund.

Should it be necessary to cancel or postpone the tour due to force majeure circumstances, or Israeli government-imposed/air flight restrictions related to COVID-19,  a full refund may be possible, minus a $200 per person service fee.

For cancellations made:

  • Up to 45 days prior to departure, any payments made above the deposit towards the tour will be refunded. The deposit is non-refundable
  • 45 to 30 days prior to departure, 50% of the total tour cost per person will be refunded
  • 29 to 8 days prior to departure, 25% of the total tour cost per person will be refunded
  • 7 to 0 days prior to departure, the client will incur 100% of the cost of the tour

Should members of a group booking cancel their participation, their deposits cannot be applied to the balance payment of other group members.

All cancellation requests must be made in writing.

What’s Included
VIP airport assistance upon arrival v
A private, licensed, English speaking tour guide and transportation v
Bottles of water, as needed, and snacks v
Hotel accommodation v
Meals as listed in the itinerary v
Fees for sites and activities listed v
Group transfers to & from the airport v
Activities that are mentioned as suggested/optional v
Airfare v
Travel Insurance (recommended) v
Transportation in the evening for dinners and time on own v
COVID-19 health insurance coverage (required) v
Testimonials
“Best Vacation Ever! My wife and I just returned from our first trip to Israel. We've traveled domestically and overseas many times. This was absolutely the best trip we've ever taken. I know many people who have gone to Israel and made lots of recommendations to go here, go there, etc... Ros and the crew at Via Sabra were absolutely fantastic. From shaping the trip to meet our schedule, finances, desires, etc... Via Sabra hit the mark on the nose. They made the trip easy from the gitgo with VIP service to and from Israel; no long lines to wait in and an expert on both ends of the trip to help us navigate the airport, customs, passport control, VAT refunds, baggage and our transport to and from the airport. We had a magnificent guide, Mark Kedem, who was made the trip even more enjoyable; beyond our expectations. Mark has an uncanny knowledge of all aspects of Israel including the geography, history, architecture, food, how all the religions interact, etc. It was like a great history class in-country with great food. Mark also steered us to off the beaten path places and restaurants that were truly memorable and unique. We plan to go back to Israel soon (hopefully next year) and will definitely use Via Sabra and Mark again. They're worth every penny!!!!”
Joe M
2019
“An Experience which was Perfection! Via Sabra is an incredible company which we both recommend highly. They created an extraordinary trip for my husband and me. They spent a great deal of time developing a good sense of who we are and our interests. They then planned a trip which was perfectly geared to us. They surpassed all expectations which we had and no request was too much for them. We explored history, culture, religion, politics and Israel’s splendid food and wine all highlighted by exceptional guiding. ”
Debbie
2020

Early bird special - $200 off per person.

Available only between October 1-10, 2021!!

Registration for the trip will open on October 1. Fill out this form to be notified when registration for the trip opens, so you can take advantage of early bird special pricing!

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