Tag: Israel

Touring Israel’s Upper Galilee

Israel’s Upper Galilee is famed for many things, including natural beauty, archaeological ruins, and being the source of the Jordan River. Visitors could easily spend much time in this region, touring parks, ancient sites, museums and towns like Kiryat Shmona and the fascinating mystical jewel known as Safed. The towering forests and rippling waterways of…

New museum houses the Jesus Boat

Yuval Lufan has the craggy face and rough hands of a fisherman who goes out onto the Sea of Galilee nightly with lanterns that attract the fish into his nets. Born on the shores of the lake about 50 years ago, he says he has dreamed since he was a boy of finding a significant…

Travel: Bird-watching in Eilat, Israel

Dr. Reuven Yosef, one of Israel’s best-known ornithologists, has won a $25,000 (US) enterprise award from the Rolex Watch Company for transforming a garbage dump into a bird sanctuary outside the burgeoning tourist resort of Eilat on Israel’s 11-km-long strip of Red Sea coast. Born in India, Yosef came to Israel at the age of…

Descent into history: the Western Wall tunnels

Standing in an underground chamber boasting Roman pillars and cobblestones from Herodian times, the group of about 40 tourists in Jerusalem’s Western Wall tunnel, including myself, listened as the guide explained that we had reached the end of the tour and had to retrace our steps back some 450 meters to the entrance. This was…

Community mourns passing of Pierre Elliott Trudeau (2000)

Note: This obituary appeared in the London Jewish Chronicle shortly after Trudeau’s passing on September 28, 2000. Former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, who died last week at the age of 80, is being remembered as a staunch defender of minority rights and a friend of the Jewish community. Trudeau served as prime minister…

A visit to Zippori in Lower Galilee

The Talmud says that the town of Zippori, in the Lower Galilee northwest of Nazareth, was so named “because it is perched on the top of a mountain like a bird [zippor].” Also perched on this picturesque mountain, roughly 1,800 years ago, was the Sanhedrin, the grand rabbinic-judicial council of ancient Israel, whose head, Rabbi…

Another side of the Kinneret

“We’re just about to cross the River Jordan,” says our guide, Mike Rogoff, as our van approaches a bridge traversing a gulley of greenery. “So don’t blink and don’t sneeze, or you’ll miss it. This is not the St. Lawrence. The people who wrote those marvelous spirituals — ‘the River Jordan is deep and wide’…

Neot Kedumim: Biblical nature reserve

“A staff shall grow out of the trunk of Jesse, and an offshoot shall flourish from its roots.” — Isaiah 11:1. Multitudes of biblical and Talmudic-era plants grow at Neot Kedumim, a 625-acre nature reserve that was once so barren that its founder had to cart up topsoil from the valleys to cover the rocks…

A goat farm near Jerusalem

Shai Zeltzer, wearing a long white beard and white apron, brings a sampling of white goats’ cheese to our table at his goat farm in Sataf in the Judean hills, a few miles outside Jerusalem. Many Israelis regularly make the drive through the region’s winding hills to buy Zeltzer’s cheeses, which have won acclaim in…

The Israeli Supreme Court

“Justice, justice, shall you pursue.” — Deut. 16:20. Ten years after it opened, Israel’s magnificent Supreme Court building still embodies the ideals of a just and humanitarian democratic society, and still remains what my guide, Amir Orly, calls “the pearl of Israeli architecture.” The structure sits in an exclusive and stately setting in central Jerusalem,…