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Holly places

Mount of Beatitudes
Towering 120 meters above the Sea of Galilee and offering the country’s most magnificent view of that shimmering blue lake, the Mount of Beatitudes is a favorite site for today’s tourists. In an area overlooking the Sea, Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount. Some late traditions of Christianity place this mountain on the area in which Jesus picked his 12 apostles. The mountain is topped by a Catholic chapel built in 1939 by the Franciscan Sisters with the support of the Italian ruler Mussolini. The building which was constructed by the noted architect Antonio Barluzzi is full of numerical symbolism. Inside the church hangs the cloak from Pope Paul VI’s visit in 1964.
Distance from Ein Harod: 60 k”m , 50 min.

The site of the ancient fishing village of Capernaum is located on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee,
2.5 kilometers northeast of Tabgha, and some 15
kilometers north of Tiberias. The town is first mentioned in the New Testament, where it figures prominently in the Gospel narratives as the place where Jesus lived during much of his ministry in the Galilee. Several of the Apostles – Simon, Andrew, James and John – lived in the village, and Matthew was a tax collector there. Archeological evidence indicates that the town was established at the beginning of the Hasmonean Dynasty (the earliest coins found at the site date from the 2nd century BCE). The village was “re-discovered” in 1838 by the American biblical geographer Dr. Edward Robinson. In 1866, the British explorer Captain Charles W. Wilson identified the ruins of the synagogue, and in 1894, a portion of the ancient site was purchased by the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land.
Distance from Ein Harod: 60 k”m , 50 min.

The Galilee Bethlehem
The Galilee Bethlehem is located approximately ten Kilometers northwest of Nazareth. Evidence shows that it was a Jewish settlement until some time after the fall of the Second Temple (destroyed c. 70 CE by the Romans). In the Jerusalem Talmud it is referred to as “Beth Lechem Zoria”, as it was part of the kingdom of Tyre at the time.Because of the history of the place, and its proximity to Nazareth, some historians claim that it may be the true place of birth of Jesus. The site featured the ruins of a church and a synagogue until the late 19th century, and was found to have archeological evidence of a prosperous city; many scholars place Beth Lechem of Galilee as one of the birth places of Rabbinical Judaism.
Distance from Ein Harod: 42 k”m , 40 min.

Mount Carmel
Mount Carmel is a coastal mountain range in northern Israel and the West Bank, stretching from the Mediterranean Sea towards the southeast. The range was traditionally known as the vineyards of God, and archaeologists have discovered ancient wine and oil presses at various locations within it. The range is a UNESCO biosphere reserve. Between 1930 to 1932, Dorothy Garrod excavated four caves, and a number of rock shelters. Garrod discovered Neanderthal and early modern human remains, including the skeleton of a Neanderthal female, named Tabun I, which is regarded as one of the most important human fossils ever found. The excavation at el-Tabun produced the longest stratigraphic record in the region, spanning 600,000 or more years of human activity, from the Lower Paleolithic to the present day, representing roughly a million years of human evolution. In mainstream Jewish, Christian, and Islamic thought, it is Elijah that is indelibly associated with the mountain. In the Books of Kings, Elijah is described as challenging 450 prophets of a particular Baal to a contest at the altar on Mount Carmel to determine whose deity was genuinely in control of the Kingdom of Israel. Though there is no biblical reason to assume that the account of Elijah’s victory refers to any particular part of Mount Carmel, Islamic tradition places it at a point known as El-Maharrakah, meaning the burning. In 1958, archaeologists discovered something on the mountain range that resembled an altar, which they assumed must have been Elijah’s altar. A statue of Elijah in the crypt of the Carmelite monastery on Mount Carmel is, according to Carmelite tradition, the crypt that was originally the Cave of Elijah. A Catholic religious order was founded on Mount Carmel in the 12th century, named the Carmelites, in reference to the mountain range. The order was founded at the site that it claimed had once been the location of Elijah’s cave, this, perhaps not coincidentally, is also the highest natural point of the entire mountain range. A Carmelite monastery was founded at the site shortly after the order itself was created, and was dedicated to Mary, in her incarnation as sea star (stella maris in Latin) – a common medieval presentation of Mary. During the Crusades the monastery frequently changed hands, frequently finding itself to have become a mosque; under Islamic control, the location came to
be known as El-Maharrakah. In 1799 the building was finally converted into a hospital, by Napoleon, but in 1821 the surviving structure was destroyed by the pasha of Damascus. A new monastery was later constructed directly over a nearby cave; the cave, which now forms the crypt of the monastic church, is termed Elijah’s grotto by the monks. One of the oldest scapulars is associated with Mount Carmel, and the Carmelites. According to Carmelite legend, the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was first given to Simon Stock, an English Carmelite, by Mary, the mother of Jesus. The Carmelites sometimes refer to Mary as Our Lady of Mount Carmel, in honour of the legend, and celebrate a feast day dedicated to her in this guise, on July 16.
Distance from Ein Harod: 52 k”m , 45 min.

The Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee is Israel’s largest freshwater lake. At 209 meters below sea level, it is the lowest freshwater lake on Earth and the second-lowest lake in the world after the Dead Sea, a saltwater lake. Due to its low-lying position in the rift valley, surrounded by hills, the sea is prone to sudden violent storms; hence the New Testament story about Jesus calming the storm. Indeed, the main feature of the lake seems to be its ever-changing character. Christian religious texts call it Lake of Gennesaret or Sea of Gennesaret, after a small fertile plain that lies on its western side. The Arabic name for the lake is Buhairet Tabariyya meaning Lake Tiberias. Other names for the Sea of Galilee are Ginnosar, Lake of Gennesar, Sea of Chinneroth, kineret and Sea of Tiberias (Roman). The Greeks, Hasmoneans, and Romans founded flourishing towns and settlements on the lake including Gadara, Hippos and Tiberias. The first-century historian Flavius Josephus was so impressed by the area that he wrote, “One may call this place the ambition of Nature. Much of the ministry of Jesus occurred on the shores of Lake Galilee. The Synoptic gospels of Mark Matthew and Luke describe how Jesus recruited four of his apostles from the shores of Lake Galilee. One of Jesus’s famous teaching episodes, the Sermon on the Mount, was given on a hill overlooking the lake whilst many of his miracles were also recorded to occur here including his walking on water, calming a storm, and his feeding five thousand people (in Tabgha). In 135CE, the second Jewish revolt against the Romans, called Bar Kokhba’s revolt, was put down. The Romans responded by banning all Jews from Jerusalem. The center of Jewish culture and learning shifted to the region of the Kinneret, particularly the city of Tiberias. It was in this region that the so-called “Jerusalem Talmud” is thought to have been compiled. In 1187, Saladin defeated the armies of the Crusades at the Battle of Hattin, largely because he was able to cut the Crusaders off from the valuable fresh water of the Sea of Galilee. In 1909 Jewish pioneers built their first cooperative farming village (kibbutz), Kvutzat Kinneret which trained Jewish immigrants in farming and agriculture. Later, Kinneret pioneers established Kibbutz Degania. It was fitting, therefore, that the Kinneret was the cradle of the Kibbutz culture of early Zionism and the birthplace of Naomi Shemer and the burial site of Rachel – two of the most prominent Israeli poets. The many historical and spiritual sites around the lake, especially its main town Tiberias, are visited by millions of local and foreign tourists annually.
Distance from Ein Harod: 40 k”m , 35 min.

Mount Tabor
“The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fulness thereof, thou hast founded them. The north and the south thou hast created them: Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in thy name.”(Psalm 89:1-12)

Mount Tabor is located in Lower Galilee, at the eastern end of the Jezreel Valley,17 kilometres west of the Sea of Galilee. It is believed by many to be the site of the Transfiguration of Christ and site for the battle between Barak and the army of Jabin, commanded by Sisera. It is also known as Har Tavor, Itabyrium, Jebel et-Tur, and the Mount of Transfiguration. From the peaks of the mountain, the Israelites attacked and vanquished Sisera and the Canaanites. In the days of Second Temple, Mount Tabor was one of the mountain peaks on which it was the customed to light beacons in order to inform the northern villages of holidays and of beginnings of new months. According to Christian tradition, Mount
Tabor is the site of the Transfiguration of Christ, during which Jesus began to radiate light and was seen conversing with Moses and Elijah. The earliest identification of the Mount of Transfiguration as Tabor is by Origen in the 3rd century. It is also mentioned by St. Cyril of Jerusalem and St. Jerome in the 4th century. It is later mentioned in the in the 5th century Transitus Beatae Mariae Virginis. In 1101, when Crusaders controlled the area, the Benedictine monks rebuilt a ruined basilica and erected a fortified abbey. Currently, on the mountaintop there are two Christian monasteries. In 1924, an impressive Roman Catholic church of the Franciscan order was built on the peak of Mount Tabor, Church of the Transfiguration. The church was built upon the ruins of a Byzantine church from the fifth or sixth century and a Crusader church from the 12th century. The Greek Orthodox church, sacred to the Transfiguration of Christ, is located nearby.
Distance from Ein Harod: 20 k”m , 15 min.

The Yardenit baptismal site is situated at the southern end of the Sea of Galilee, at the place where the Jordan River flows out of the sea on its way down to the Dead Sea. People come from all over the world to visit this unique site. John baptized many people in the water of the Jordan. When he baptized Jesus, he saw the Holy Spirit descend in the image of a dove. According to John the Evangelist this was at Bethany in eastern Trans-Jordan. Later, Jesus returned to the Jordan with many of his students; he baptized a large number of people, this time on the western bank of the Jordan. Pilgrims and adventurous travelers described the descent to the Jordan, baptism and sailing as one of the most exciting events of their journey in the Holy Land. The northern part of the river, between the Sea of Galilee and the meeting of the Jordan and Yarmuk, where the Yardenit Baptismal Site is located, is the only place where it is still possible to be baptized in the flowing water of the Jordan River, and experience a sense of purification and spiritual rebirth. Realizing the importance that the natural surroundings play in providing the peace and tranquility that Christian pilgrims look for when visiting the site, a path was opened allowing pilgrims to observe the natural flora and fauna alongside the Jordan River, enabling those who wish to conduct services in the natural surroundings.
Distance from Ein Harod: 40 k”m , 35 min.

The Mount of Precipice
Breath-taking panorama from the city’s highest point, about 2 km to the south-east of the city. The Mount of Precipice, also known as the Mount of The Leap of the Lord and Jabal Kufsi in Arabic, is traditionally the place in the Bible where the people of Nazareth took Jesus to hurl him into the abyss below. The Mount has been developed into a tourist area, with a viewing platform which overlooks the whole of the Jezreel Valley, from Jordan and the Gilad Mountains in the east, past Mount Tabor (the site of Jesus’ Transfiguration) to Mount Carmel, Haifa and the Mediterranean Sea in the west. The area also includes the Cave of the Leap (Kufze cave) — an archaeological site of worldwide importance discovered in the 1970s. Thirteen human skeletons and over 60,000 artefacts dating back 50,000 years, to the Late and Middle Stone Ages, were unearthed here.
Distance from Ein Harod: 23 k”m , 25 min.