Gems in Israel
Specializing in custom private tours of Israel and Israel's Lesser Known Tourist Attractions, the Gems.

August/September 2002  
ISSN: 1527-9812  
The Valley of Elah
Tel Aphek- Antipatris
Mt. Tabor
The Miracle Vacation in Had Nes

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The Valley of Elah
by Julie Baretz

Lupine - by Tamar Levi The Valley of Elah is best known as the scene of the Biblical battle between David and Goliath (Elah means terebinth, a tree commonly found in this area). The brook of Elah, which lies in the heart of the valley, is a seasonal creek that runs dry in the summer months. Most probably the brook from which David chose five smooth stones in preparation for battle, it is the ideal place to reminisce about what is arguably the most famous story from the Bible. Don’t get your hopes up over the possibility of discovering a stray bolt from Goliath’s armor, or the ancient rubber band from David’s sling – the only thing remaining from this three-thousand year show-down is the scenery. Nonetheless, the story takes on a whole new dimension when you read it from the site of the action. So choose your favorite translation, insert your bookmark at 1 Samuel 17, throw your hat in the car and set off on an easy drive from both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv (see end for directions).
Tel Aphek- Antipatris
by Yael Adar

Tel Aphek- Antipatris Located in the Sharon Plain, on the outskirts of Petah Tikva, at the headwaters of the Yarkon River, Aphek was among the earliest (fortified) royal Canaanite cities. It guarded the Aphek Pass of the Via Maris. This is the place where the Israelite's suffered one of the most devastating defeats – the loss of the Ark of the Covenant, to the Philistines. Paul was taken here on the way to Caesarea, according to the Acts of the Apostles.
Mt. Tabor
by Julie Baretz

Mt. Tabor Mount Tabor rises softly, but powerfully, from within the verdant triangle of the Jezreel Valley. A uniquely rounded mountain at an altitude of about 1800 feet, its contours may be viewed and unmistakably identified from miles in any direction. The gentle curve of the summit is crowned by an oblong edifice known as the Church of the Transfiguration. This church, built over the medieval remains of an earlier building, commemorates the New Testament story from Matthew 17:1-9, where Jesus is recognized as the Son of God in the company of Moses, Elijah and three of his disciples. Despite a dispute about the actual location of the events from the text, a visit to Mt. Tabor is a highlight on many Christian itineraries - its spiritual significance, the madcap ride to the top and the stunning view from the summit attract multitudes of pilgrims. However, the site is less familiar to Jewish tourists who regularly bypass it, unaware not only of the breathtaking view but also of the Biblical significance of Mt. Tabor.
The Miracle Vacation in Had Nes
Over a Hundred B&Bs
by Michal Anosh

If peace and quiet, a fabulous view, - all in the heart of nature are your idea of a great get-away, come and join us in Had Nes, a tiny village on the north end of the Kinneret/Sea of Galilee. Had Nes means “One Miracle” and when you see the view, you’ll know what we mean. Actually, the name is comprised of the first letters of former settlements in the Sinai (Haruvit, Dikla and Neot Sinai). Despite its name, none of the former Sinai settlers ended up here. Had Nes is located just up the hill from Park Ha'Yarden (Jordan Park) and sits right on the edge of the Yehudiya Nature Reserve.
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