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Mazor Roman Mausoleum – Mazor National Park

This well preserved Roman mausoleum was a family burial vault used in the 4th century. The building has a temple-like façade. Inside are the remains of two sarcophagi. The entrance would have been sealed with a stone door at the time of usage as a burial chamber.

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Samaritan Museum in Kiryat Luza – Samaritan museum on Har Gerizim

The Samaritan museum in Kiryat Luza is run by the Samaritan priest, Yefet ben Asher. The museum displays show a Samaritan Torah scroll, Samaritan matza (unleavened bread for the feast of Passover), a succah, and various other artifacts which represent their culture and religion.

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Oz V’Gaon Memorial – Oz Ve’gaon Nature Reserve in Gush Etzion

Oz V’Gaon nature reserve is a memorial for three Israeli youth who were killed by terrorists in the summer of 2014; the kidnapping and murder was one of the events which led up to Operation Protective Edge (Tzuk Eitan, in Hebrew) against Hamas terrorists.

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Mount Gerizim National Park – Har Grizim Archaeological Site

When the Israelites entered the land, after the exodus from Egypt, Joshua led them here for the ceremony of the blessing and the curse (Deuteronomy 11:29). Mount Gerizim was the mountain of the blessing; from the site, you can see Mount Ebal, the mountain of the curse, on the other side of the city of Shechem (Nablus).

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Amsa Spring in the Shomron – Maayan Amsa near Har Bracha in Samaria

The spring (מעיין עמשא) empties into three pools of varying depths, ranging from about 10 cm deep to 40 cm deep. The site also boasts a number of picnic tables and parking nearby; a lovely spot for a picnic and dip in the water on a hot summer day.

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Abuhav Synagogue in Safed – Sephardi Synagogue with Ancient Torah Scroll

The “Great Synagogue” of Safed was built in the 16th century for the Sephardic Jews of the town. It was destroyed in the earthquake of 1759. Only the ancient torah scroll, which tradition says was written by the 15th century scholar Rabbi Yitzchak Abuhav survived.

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Naburiya synagogue in Biriya Forest – Navoriya ancient synagogue in the Galilee

The town of Naburiya, also known as Nevoraya, was occupied during the first and second temple periods. It was then abandoned for about 200 years before it was resettled by Jews. The village was mentioned in the Talmud. The ancient synagogue dates to the Roman period, sometime between the 2nd and 4th c CE, and was used until the 7th c CE.

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Biriya Fortress in the Galilee – Bnei Akiva and the Palmach built Biriya Fortress

In 1908, Baron Rothschild bought the land for the farmers of Rosh Pina. An attempt to settle the land in 1922 failed; the land was transferred to the JNF. In January of 1945, Palmach members from the Bnei Akiva movement settled the land and built the fortress. In 1946, the British discovered 2 “sliks”, outside the fortress, which were used for hiding weapons. The British evacuated and destroyed the settlement; in their only attempt to erase a Jewish settlement; the settlement became a symbol for the Jews of their determination to settle the land.

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Ancient and Modern Hammat Gader – Ancient Roman Bathhouse and hot springs

Ancient Hammat Gader

Ancient Hammat Gader was a bathhouse located on natural thermal mineral hot springs. Five springs fed the ancient bathhouse, which was the second most luxurious bathhouse in the 4th century Roman Empire.

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En Amir Spring in the Golan Heights – Ein Wassatt Spring near Amir Intersection

There are two small pools at the Amir Wassatt intersection. One is covered partially by a bridge, while the other is exposed. They can be found to the north and west of the ruins of the Emir’s old house. Both pools are covered with green floating plants, which make entry into the pools unappealing.

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Hike in Nahal Peres – Difficult hike in the Peres River in the Negev

The hike in the Nahal Peres riverbed is a classic but challenging hike. It is a beautiful hike with varying elements, past waterfalls in upper Nahal Peres, leading to the famous Peres waterholes, slides in the Peres riverbed, and a steep climb up out of the Nahal at the end.

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Hike in Upper Nahal Og – Very challenging hike in the Judean Desert

This hike in Nahal Og bears no resemblance to the classic lower Nahal Og hike with the three waterfalls. This is probably the most “technically” difficult hike I have ever done, with a number of spots where my fellow hikers had to help each other. Having said that, it was amazing and great fun – but it should not be attempted alone or by inexperienced hikers.

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Circular Hike at Nahal Tze’elim – Challenging Hike in the Tze’elim Canyon to the Ein Namir Spring

Nahal Tze’elim is a riverbed located near the Dead Sea, between the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve and Masada. The river is one of the largest which flows from the Hevron Mountains to the Dead Sea. Three caves were found along the stream: the arrows cave, the scrolls cave, and the skull cave. There are four pools of water along Nahal Tze’elim, the Tzfira pool, the Naama pool, the Ein Namir spring and the Ein Anava spring; this trail passes the Ein Anava spring and the Ein Namir Spring which flows year round with clear water.

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Timna Copper Mines – Ancient Smelting furnaces and Storage Rooms

The Timna Copper Mines are located just outside of the city of Eilat. The copper mines date back to the Egyptian Ramsesside period (13-12 centuries BCE). Inside Timna park, storage rooms and tool production areas were found. Crushed ore and crushing tools were found at the site. Mud for lining the oven and bellows was prepared here. A workshop for pouring copper for producing tools was found. An oven was found, and a slag ditch for disposal of the leftovers from the smelting can be seen. A shrine for the ancient copper workers to give offerings to their deities is also at this site.

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Anne Frank Memorial in the Martyrs’ Forest – Anne Frank Memorial near Jerusalem

Anne Frank is one of the most well known victims of the Holocaust, due to her diary which has been printed in many languages throughout the world. From her hiding place in an attic in Amsterdam, Anne could see a chestnut tree through a window. The tree fell in a storm in 2010, and a project was initiated to commemorate Anne and the tree.

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Family Hike in Timna National Park – Arches and Plates near Eilat

The hike begins on the green trail, which begins just before the arches parking lot. The hike leads through a narrow canyon before climbing up into the hills. On the hilltops, there are many “plates”. These round depressions were once the shafts into the ancient mines, which have since been filled up.

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Deir Qureh village at Gamla – Ancient Chrisian village at Gamla national park in the Golan

Deir Qureh is the runis of an old Christian village from the 4th-5th centuries CE. In the 6th century, a church and monastery were added. The village was abandoned  in the 7th century. In the 13th and 14th centuries, the village was populated again, and a Syrian village was built here in the 20th century.

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Ein Mokesh Spring in the Golan Heights – Landmine spring in the Golan

Ein Mokesh is a spring in the Golan Heights. Located near Kibbutz Ein Zivan, the spring was a popular place to visit even when it was surrounded by a minefield. It has since been cleaned up, so that guests won’t step in the minefield by mistake. However, it has maintained its name “Ein Mokesh”, or “Landmine Spring”, to remind us of the way it used to be.

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Ancient city of Gamla – Gamla National Park in the Golan

The ancient city of Gamla is located in the Golan, in the Gamla national park. Gamla was a Jewish city from the 2nd century BCE, and the first city to fight against the Romans in the Jewish Revolt against Rome (66-73 CE). Sometimes referred to as the Masada of the north, the city was conquered and destroyed in 67 CE.

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Ein Ampi spring in the Golan Heights – En Eucalyptus Spring in the Golan

Ein Ampi, also known as Ein Eucalyptus, is a lovely spring in the Golan Heights. The clear water varies from 0.5 meters to 1.5 meters in depth. Wide stones surround the pool, laid out as steps leading into the water, reminding one of an amphitheater. The eucalyptus trees provide shade even in the heat of summer.

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