A Travellerspoint blog

Israel: World biggest junction

Israel's special location as a bridge between Africa and Europe and Asia is the main reason for being the "holy land" for so many people around the world.

Israel gets alot of attention all over the world , this small piece of land is holy for jews , muslims , christians , druzes and bahaics - all together are more then 50% of the world's population. In the last few thousands of years all major empires did great effort to control this land : the persians , the greeks , the romans , the muslims , the crusaders , the british and more. Even in modern time this small region of the world capture big part of the world's news. We would like to know why ? why here ? what is so unique in this land to get so many emotional responses from most of the people on this planet? We think we have a partly answer for that.

One of the biggest clue for reaching the answer is the massive birds migration which take place twice a year , before the winter the birds fly from the cold continents Europe and Asia to the hot continent Africa and they do the return trip before the summer.
It is clear that the main routes junction in this map is Israel.

Another clue comes from Human Evolution theories , Israel has important role as the main gate between Africa and the rest of the world , atleast twice Huminids were migrated through this gate.

Homo Erectus went out of Africa about 2 milions years ego and Homo Sapiens did it about 70,000 years ego.
Once again we can see that Israel has a special location which is essential in the great movements between the three continents.

Follow this link to see animation of it :

http://www.dnai.org/text/mediashowcase/index2.html?id=981

Another related issue is the fact that fossils founded in several sites in Israel proof that meetings between the Homo Sapiens and the Neandarthals took place in Israel (about 30,000 to 90,000 years ego) , Israel was the most southern point of the Neandarthals population and when the migration of the Homo Sapiens from Africa took place - their first meeting point was right here in Israel.
We think these are good clues for the answer for our question : Israel has a prime geographical location as a main junction in the world

Posted by alonkaf 13:43 Archived in Israel Tagged ecotourism Comments (0)

Land of Galilee - start

I am trying to make full and holistic description of this unique region in Israel

sunny 30 °C

The Galilee is not a large region. A mere 100 kilometers separate its northern border, the peak of Mount Hermon, from its southernmost boundary along the Jezreel Plain, the site of biblical Armageddon.
Its eastern reaches, on the far edge of the Galilee plateau, lie only 70 kilometers from the Mediterranean Sea in the west. But these 7,000 square kilometers encompass amazingly beautiful and contrasting scenery: mountains and valleys, fertile plateaus and stark cliffs, and a glimmering seacoast.
The Galilee’s history starts with the beginning of agriculture.It was here that prehistoric hunter-gatherers discovered the secret of raising crops.The earliest remains of settlements in the Galilee date back four millennia. Canaanites, Israelites, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, and Crusaders all left their mark on the region. For thousands of years, the Galilee was the gateway to the East. Soldiers, adventurers, and tradesman set out to seek the silks of China, the spices of India, and other sought-after goods. Legendary historical figures such as Richard the Lionhearted, Marco Polo, Louis IX, and Napoleon all made their way through its thoroughfares

Miracles and Mysticism
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The Galilee was home to four of the 12 tribes of Israel, as well as many of its prophets, judges, and kings. It was the stage of many biblical dramas including King Saul and Jonathan's battle against the Philistines at Mount Gilboa and Gideon's "water test" to choose warriors before the battle with the Midianites at the spring of Ein Harod.
Throughout the ages, the Galilee has been the land of sages and apostles. Shimon bar Yohai, regarded as the first Jewish mystic, lived in the Galilee in the second century CE. Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimom (Maimonides), codifier of Jewish Law, world-renowned philosopher and court physician to Egyptian royalty, found his last resting place in the Galilee. Jesus came from the Galilee, as did Peter, Andrew, John, and Bartholomew. Jesus’ ministry was mainly in the Galilee, where he imparted the core of his teachings and performed many miracles including feeding 5,000 people with five loaves and two fishes.
The quaint city of Safed , nestled high in the hills, was the center of Jewish mysticism in the wake of the Spanish Inquisition. Rabbis and scholars gathered there to formulate a view of the world that still influences us today. In Talmudic times. The charismatic Yitzhak Ashkenazi Luria, the Lion of Safed, drew hundreds of followers. Safed was one of many hilltop links in a chain of fire signals from the Temple site all the way to Babylon, announcing the arrival of the new month.
The Galilee was also the home of Josephus Flavius (Josef Ben Matityahu) a great scholar who became a general in command of the Galilee. After his capture by the Romans, he began to document the period of Roman rule in the Holy Land. His writings are regarded as among the most accurate of the 1st century A.D.

Natural Beauty

The Galilee’s natural landscapes have made it a focal point for nature conservation efforts. Today, the region has dozens of nature reserves that protect many of its unique natural treasures. The ten small islands along the Mediterranean coast have been declared bird sanctuaries. In the mountains of the Western Galilee, efforts are underway to reintroduce long-absent native animals to the wild. In the Upper Galilee, nature conservation efforts have created one of the largest bird sanctuaries in the world.
The Galilee is home to thousands of plant species including rare wildflowers. The rare Madonna lily, which can grow as high as two meters and blooms in May, is found in the Western Galilee. The trees in the Mediterranean forests are most evergreen, ranging from conifers like the Lebanese cedar to fruit-bearing species such as the olive and the carob. The forests host a rich array of creatures. The region’s wild spices are famous for their medicinal and culinary properties
For hundreds of years, the restful, green Galilee has been known as a place for healing body, mind, and soul.
Many holistic therapists live in villages and small towns in the Galilee, which have become centers for the study, cultivation, and use of herbal remedies, natural therapies, and meditation.
Many spas have been established in the region, offering an idyllic retreat amongst natural vistas steeped in history and tradition.
The Galilee’s rich soil and Mediterranean climate make it an ideal environment for growing the foods that make the Mediterranean cuisine such a healthy one. Sample a wide range of culinary delights utilizing ingredients grown in the Galilee. Visitors can enjoy the unique dishes provided by the Arab and Druze communities living in the region. Specialties include olives, cheese, and wine.

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Posted by alonkaf 13:37 Archived in Israel Tagged ecotourism Comments (0)

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