At 474 meters above sea level, the Muhraka is the third-highest peak of Mount Carmel.
It is noteworthy for the Biblical story associated with it and commemorated by a Carmelite monastery, and for the sweeping views it offers.
The Bible tells the story of Elijah the Prophet, who believed in the one God of Israel, and his struggle against the pagan prophets of the god Ba'al. Both Elijah and 400 Ba'al prophets met on Mount Carmel, each offering a sacrifice to his god. Elijah's God responded to his prayer and his fire consumed the sacrifice. The pagan god Ba'al showed no sign of response to his prophets, even after Elijah mocked them and suggested to them to shout louder. After this proof of principle Elijah killed many Ba'al priests with his sword.
The Carmelite monastery on this spot was erected in 1868. A statue of the triumphant Elijah with a sword in his hand stands near the entrance to the yard. This statue was made by a sculptor from Nazareth, about 1964. It replaced an earlier statue which was vandalized by Ottoman soldiers during WW I. The old statue actually depicted a different Elijah, his head bent down after the battle, tormented by having had to slaughter so many pagan priests.
Through the small souvenir shop, a flight of steps leads to the roof. The view is breathtaking: The whole Jezreel Valley lies at your feet, with Mt. Tabor, the mountains of Nazareth and the Gilbo'a mountains on the horizon.
In the southern outskirts of Daliyat el Karmil there is a little monastery called Muhraka. This is the highest point on the Carmel. The monastery stands in the place where, according to tradition, the prophet Elija conflicted the 400 false prophets.
From the roof of the monastery there is a great view of the Jezreel Valley, stretching eastwards from the Carmel to the Jordan river. According to the Bible, right after the conflict, prophet Elija went to King Ahab's palace down in the valley.
See more in the travelogue.
Daliat El Carmel is a Druze village situated at the top of the Carmel mountain range, in the midst of a natural park, south-east of Haifa. The village is named after the many vineyards around it (‘Dalia’ in Arabic means vine). This village, covering about 10,000 sq.km., is the largest Druze settlement in Israel with a population of approximately 13,000 people. The villagers are known for their hospitality and this I can vouch for. Some years ago a crowd of friends and I were touring in the vicinity and one of my friends said he knew somebody who lived there, who he knew through his work. He made contact with his friend and all of us were invited to his home. Immediately we were all served tea and coffee and lots of food was spread on the tables.
This is a great place for shopping; souvenirs, tablecloths, glassware, wooden furniture, etc., etc. Many Israelis came here on Saturdays and after shopping go to eat in one of the restaurants, where the food is always tasty.
Great places to eat here and there is a choice of restaurants. This one is family owned and I came here with my boyfriend, his daughter Amy, visiting from America and my daughter Keren. One of the waiters there, who was helping out, studied at college with Keren, so we had extra good service! The service in these restaurants are always good anyway. We started off with having to chose what salads we wanted on the table (lots to chose from) and we were also given humus and Laufer bread (Arab bread, large thin and tasty). We ordered extra salad and some chips, and Marvin and Amy ordered pieces of chicken on skewers, and of course we all ordered cold drinks. I can't remember the exact bill, but it was very reasonable. Then we were given black coffee and sweet arab cake. I then went to the shop next door, which you get to via the restaurant and which is owned by the same family, and bought myself a wooden plate with a nice coloured tile in the middle for putting hot dishes on - don't forget to haggle here. A nice day's outing.
The Druze religion is highly confidential. Its secrets are revealed to only a handful of men which dedicate their lives to it. The Druze believe in reincarnation and they must work for their living. That is actual workm with the hands. So, you can see a Druze medical doctor goes to his apple orchard after the work in the clinic.
Notice the Druze flag which can be seen in any Druze village either on the Carmel, the Galilee or the Golan heights.
If you should choose to make the drive up the Carmel there are a few things you should be on the look out for:
1] Obviously if your the driver pay attention to the road and pull over to enjoy the views.
2] Plan for a lot of traffic at the town of Isfiya. On a Saturday it can be slow going and maddening.
3] When entering Daliyat el-Karmel you must wait in traffic up hill before you get to the main drag where all the shops are. Make sure you give the driver in front of you ample room to roll backwards should he do so. Also make sure that the person driving in your car is good at driving a manual stick if that's the car you've rented.
4] Parking can be a difficulty so be on the lookout for any place that you can find.
Favorite thing: One of the most beautiful houses in Daliyat el Karmil is Oliphant's house. Nowadays this house serves as a memory place for the Druze soldiers who were killed in the different wars of Israel. The house which resides on a hill facing the sea was the home of Sir Lawrence Oliphant and his wife Alice who lived here more than a century ago. It is claimed that they were involved in some less than orthodox sexual relations during that time... Lady Alice used to bring local youngsters and have sex with them while Sir Lawrence was watching. But, I'm not sure if you will find details about it in most history books...