Category Archives: Galilee

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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Tomb of Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai – Grave of Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai in Tiberias

Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai lived in the first century CE. He was one of the tannaim, a Jewish sage during the time of the second temple and a leader of the Jews after its destruction. He was a major contributor to the Mishnah. His grave is located next to the grave of the Rambam in Tiberias.

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Choni Ha’Maagel’s tomb in the Galilee – Cave of Honi HaMaagel in Hatzor HaGlilit

Choni HaMaagel, the circle maker, lived in the first century BCE. He was known for his prayers for rain. The story told in the Talmud is that when it did not rain, the Jews would come to him for help. On one occasion, he drew a circle and stood inside it; he prayed for rain until it came, refusing to leave the circle until God answered his prayers.

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Dona Gracia House in Tiberias – Dona Gracia Museum in Israel

The Dona Gracia Museum in Tiberias portrays the life history of a remarkable woman. Gracia Mendes Nasi, known as Dona Gracia, was born to a Jewish family in Lisbon. Her family fled from Spain to Portugal during the Spanish Inquisition in 1492, but was forcibly converted along with all the other Jews in Portugal in 1497.

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Keshet Cave in the Galilee – Maarat Keshet – Arch cave in the Galilee

All that remains of the Keshet Cave is a huge arch. Most of the roof of the cave collapsed sometime in the past, but the immense arch provides a view of the Mediterranean, the Betzet Creek, and the Carmel Mountain ridge. Rappelling from the arch is very popular, due to the 50 meter drop on both sides of the arch.

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Metsad Abirim in the Galilee – Fort of Knights in the Abirim nature reserve

Metsad Abirim, the “fort of knights”, is the remains of a Crusader building in the Galilee. The building was made of large stones with a border around the edges; it was probably a fort or fortified farmhouse. The site is known as the Fort of Knights because the inhabitants were probably knights.

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Tel Megiddo National Park in Galilee – Armageddon in the Galilee

Megiddo National Park is a tel in the Galilee in Northern Israel, with 26 layers of ruins. Tel Megiddo was the site of many important battles in the past, and is the site known as Derech HaYam, or “The Way of the Sea” in the Torah, and Armageddon in the New Testament. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Tel Hai Museum in Israel – Roaring Lion Memorial in Tel Hai – Memorial for Eight Hashomer Guards

The Tel Hai Memorial located in the Upper Galilee in Israel, was built in memory of the eight guards who were killed while defending the Tel Hai settlement. The Museum shows the original buildings and the battle room explains the battle.

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Beit HaShomer Museum in Kfar Giladi – Bar Giora and HaShomer Movement

The Beit HaShomer museum is located in Kibbutz Kfar Giladi in the Upper Galilee. The museum tells the history of the Bar Giora underground security organization, which was established in 1907 to guard the Jewish settlements from Arab attackers. Bar-Giora later became the HaShomer movement, which was the precursor to the Israel defense Forces.

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Hurshat Tal National Park – park with man-made swimming pool in Galil

Hurshat Tal national park is located in the Galil, near Kiryat Shmona. One of the tributaries to the Dan River cuts through the park, flowing through a large man-made pool with freezing cold water. The water is 12 degrees C (55F) all year round. The pool is sectioned into a shallow area and two deep areas, and lifeguards are in attendance.

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Rosh HaNikra grottoes – Grottoes and history at Rosh HaNikra

Rosh HaNikra is a chalk mountain range on the Mediterranean Sea, at the Israel-Lebanon border. The white chalk cliffs provide a great view of the Sea and the Galilee. The Sea carved out many grottoes in the soft chalk rock over thousands of years, which have been connected by a man-made tunnel.

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Akko Prison – Acre prison for Jewish resistance fighters during the British Mandate

The citadel of Acco was used as a prison during the British Mandate period. The British imprisoned political prisoners in the jail and used the gallows for hanging prisoners. In 1947, twenty seven Jewish prisoners were freed in a jail break at the Akko prison.

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Templar Tunnel in Acco – Tunnel from Templar Fortress to the Acre Port

The Templar Knights built a fortress in Acco in the 12th century CE, after the fall of Jerusalem to Saladin. The fortress was built on the southwest corner of the city, so the Knights built a 350 meter long tunnel connecting the fortress to the port on the southeast side of the city.

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Hike to Monfort Castle from Park Goren – Monfort Fortress in Galilee

Monfort Castle is the ruins of a 13th century Crusader fortress in the Upper Galilee in Israel. The fortress is located in the Nahal Kziv nature reserve. The ruins of the fortress, perched majestically on a cliff above the Kziv river, are a popular tourist site.

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Ayoun Nature Reserve – Ayoun stream and waterfalls – Iyon Stream in the Galil

The Iyon (Ayoun) Nature Reserve is located in the Upper Galilee (Galil in Hebrew). The Iyon Stream (Nahal Iyon) begins in the Iyon Valley in Lebanon, about 10 kilometers north of the nature reserve. The stream flows strongly in the winter and spring months, but in the summer it is diverted for farming. The Iyon stream is one of the tributaries to the Sea of Galilee (Kineret Sea)

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Dan Nature Reserve in the Galilee – Tel Dan excavations

The Dan River, which runs through the Dan Nature Reserve in the Upper Galilee (Galil in Hebrew), is the largest tributary to the Jordan River. The river contributes about 240 million cubic meters of water to the Jordan River – about the same as contributed by the other tributaries combined.

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Yehiam Fortress National Park – Yehiam crusader fortress protects settlers in 1948

Yehiam Fortress (Mivtzar Yechiam, in Hebrew) National Park is a Crusader fortress in the Galilee. The fortress was destroyed by the Baybars in 1265. The settlers of Kibbutz Yehiam used the fortress walls as protection during the Israeli war of independence.

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Bar’am National Park – Baram Forest in the Galilee – Ancient Synagogue in the Galil

Bar’am was an ancient Jewish town during the time of the Mishna. It was a wealthy town, since it had two synagogues. The larger synagogue, dating back to the 2nd or 3rd century, is a beautiful synagogue. Little remains of the smaller synagogue. Remains from the original town can also be seen.

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