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Travel: Tabor Mountain, Israel, Feb 25/2021

When the Jewish month of Adar enters, we are prescribed to act joyful !

So in keeping up with the tradition, we went all the way out.....

Partial lifting of the prolonged lockdown's restrictions, during Purim Holiday,

combined with a fantastic sunny winter weather, inspired us -the city dwellers- to venture out on an explorations, of the country's peripheral treasures. .

The various touring constellations included, a night stay at the foot hill of Tabor mountain in the lower Galilee a group guided tour day to the ancient Beit Shean at the Jordan Valley area, and 2 nights stay with the family, at Amirim in the upper Galilee.

Prior to heading North, in early morning, toward the Galilee, we met our dear friend Yossi, Not surprisingly, he showed up without his wife Shlomit, who only gets busier with aging.. Her calendar gets overloaded with serving on many public boards, lecturing in many academic institutions, and frequent babysitting the grands, thus leaving less and less time for socializing in the fresh air.

At Moshav Amikam, which David and I visited on our previous guided tour to Caesaria (Feb 12th/2021 Check link ), we drag Yossi through the thicket to secret hideout to see the ancient Ein Sabbaraine well, which was part of the ancient water network that supplied the growing water needs of Caesarea since First C AD.

The breathtaking natural beauty of the area, this time of the year, reminds of Toscanna in its Israeli incarnation.

During the hike, from the Moshav's end, along the path of a dry stream and up to the "winter pools" within Alona Forest Reserve, we were greeted by many most docile brown cows, on the hilly backdrop of most green natural pasture feed.

Also surrounded by cactus (zabbar) plants, olive groves, and oak trees., 2 "cowboys" Israeli horse riders, trotted gracefully along the trail.

Unfortunately the ancient "water tunnel" at the Alona Forest is still not open to the public, so we missed refreshing on the "tunnel water" and instead David sipped the freshest "Orange juice" off a deserted small grove, once belonged to an Arab village, situated right, by the tunnel site's entrance..

Tabor Mountain

Later that afternoon the looming Tabor Mountain, bulging out from the flat surrounding at the eastern end of the Jezreel Valley, revealed itself to us, in all its impressive 575 m (1,886 feet) majestic height.. It is known also as the site of few biblical battles,

Driving up the mountain we manged to enjoy, via the deeming light of the last sun-down rays' the spectacular views below, as seen off its peak, A bird-view of meticulously cultivated green fields, vineyards spread, and quint villages, ,springing out of the mountain's foothill, were most pastoral scenery.

The mountain's importance stems from the strategic control it provides at the junction of the Galilee's north-south route with the east-west highway.. The important : Via Maris road junction passed, at its foothill, from the Jezreel Valley northward towards Damascus.

The mountain is mentioned in the Bible, in Joshua 19:22, as a border of three tribes: Zebulun, Issachar and Naphtali.

In Christian tradition, Mount Tabor is the site of the transfiguration of Jesus.

From the 4th AD onward it became a pilgrimage site for. Roman Catholic church of the Franciscan order, named "Church of the Transfiguration" built on the Mount peak.

Shibli and Daburia

The quaint Arab villages of Shibli Umm al-Ghanam (of over 6000) and

Daburiya (over 10,000), near the area where the prophetess Deborah judged, are situated right at the foothill of the mountain, and are worth a visit

In both villages archaeological excavations revealed remains of Mousterian culture and Ceramics from the Hellenistic, Byzantine and Mamluk periods

Kefar Tabor

As not to get up in TLV, at an early Friday morning hour, to be on time for the guided tour of Beith Shean, we booked for the Thursday's night, a non remarkable B&B, at the newer housing expansion, in Kefar Tabor,

The charming village is situated at the plain below, across from the looming mountain facing the Arab Shibli Village .

Founded in 1901 by pioneers of the First Aliya with the assistance of the philanthropist Baron Edmond de Rothschild, Kefar Tabor today, with a populated over 4000, serves as the main Commercial and Tourism hub for the Tabor mountain region.

The core of the village bears a remarkable history, and offers a visit to a Basalt built museum and other sites, including the HaShomer house, the first school and teacher's house (now a library) and a synagogue that was built in 1937.

Unfortunately the sites were still all closed.


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