Thursday, October 18, 2007
Day 3 Israel -- Galilee
Our first stop today was the city of Safed overlooking the Sea of Galilee. Safed has received some international attention lately because it is the center of the flourishing Kabbalah movement--Madonna has visited here. It is a charming town with a WONDERFUL art district. We visited several very old synagogues--one very conservative (I was asked to wear a scarf because I was showing too much skin.) and one more liberal. Both were still active congregations with great histories.
After Safed, we descended into the Hula Valley where we had a wonderful lunch of falafala--the best meal on our trip so far. However, it was the Israeli equivalent of a greasy spoon. After our lunch, we went to the Tel Dan Nature Reserve where we saw the beautiful River Dan--one of the three sources of the Jordan River. The water was crystal clear and rushed over the rocks. At the reserve we also saw some of the ancient ruins of the city of Dan, including the high place that awas so highly criticized in the books of 1 and 2 Kings. We walked through the ancient Israelite gate--3000 years old or so. In addition, it was pointed out that Jesus would have walked this way when eh and the disciples left Capernaum to go to Ceasarea Philippi for safety.
And that is where we went next-- Banias or better known to us Ceasarea Philippi where Peter made the great declaration, "You are the Messiah, the son of God." It is located on the Banias River, another one of the sources of the Jordan. There we saw the ruins of a Temple to Pan.
Our final stop was the site of a famous battle from the Six Day War in the Golan Heights (actually Banias was also in the Golan Heights).
Well, I've already taken over 1000 pictures--I hope some of them are good! Tomorrow we leave Galilee and head to Jerusalem for Shabbat.
I have to apologize for the typos and any grammatical errors. By the time I sit down to blog each night I am mentally exhausted. But this has been and continues to be great. I can't wait to get home and reflect on it all, but right now all I can do is report.
I miss everyone and I truly wish you were here. You must make this pilgrimage some time!