Gems in Israel
Spotlighting Israel's Lesser Known Tourist Attractions and Travel Sites, the Gems.

January 2000  
ISSN: 1527-9812  
FRONT PAGE

THIS MONTH

Editor's Note
Haifa - A City of Beauty and Coexistence
Beit-Hagefen - Arab Jewish Center
Af Al Pi Chen - A Ship as a Testament to the Ha'apala
The German (Templar) Colony
A Gem of a Marine Archaeological Find
Elijah the Prophet (Eliyahu HaNavi)
The Carmelites
On the Side - Coffee and More
A Beach In Memory of a General
Pilgrims' Crossing
Haifa Tourist Board
Links

Related Articles

Jesus around the Sea of Galilee
Miracle of the Swine
World of the Bible Gardens
Notre Dame Arche D'Alliance
Bethsaida
The German Templar Colony
Guesthouses in Jerusalem
Haifa’s Churches
The Templar Tunnel
The First Meteorological Station - Beit Jamal
Gems in Israel – Touring Israel


Elijah the Prophet (Eliyahu HaNavi)
Elijah's Cave

Elijah is considered a prophet by both Judaism and Islam. He served as the inspiration for the birth of the Carmelite Order (see related article). According to tradition Elijah lived in a cave on Mt. Carmel during the 9th century, in the reign of King Ahab.

In Judiaism, Elijah is a heroic figure. The people of Israel started worshiping the idol Baal (a nature god), at the insistence of Jezebel, King Ahab's wife. Elijah stressed monotheism and said that there was no reality except the God of Israel. As punishment for the worship of Baal he prophesied a great drought, which lasted three and a half years.

According to the story a contest of strength to determine the true deity was held. A sacrificial bull was placed on the altar and four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal called on their god to deliver fire, but to no avail. Then, Elijah's prayers are answered and the bull is consumed by fire. The people take this as a sign and slay the prophets of the false god. Rain begins to fall, ending the drought, and Elijah flees Jezebel's wrath. Later, Elijah is taken up to the heavens in a chariot drawn by fiery horses.

In the Jewish faith Elijah's memory is preserved in a variety of ways. At the Passover Seder a cup of wine is placed on the table, and a door is left open to allow Elijah the Prophet to enter and drink. At every Brit (circumcision ceremony) a seat is set for Elijah. And Jews sing of Elijah at the end of Shabbat, singing "speedily, in our days...along with the Messiah, son of David, to redeem us."

Elijah's Cave is located just a short walk from the National Maritime Museum (the Clandestine Immigration and Naval Museum is just below the National Maritime Museum). The cave is also accessible via a steeply inclined path, from the Carmelite Church on Stella Maris Rd.

Visiting hours: Sunday-Thursday, 8:00 AM-5:00 PM, Friday, 8:00 AM- 1:00 PM

Entry Fees: Free

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