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I have taken this photo on the external wall of the museum of Degania, that is the first kibbutz created in Palestine in 1910 by a small group of twelve russian and ukrainans jews, ten men and women.
In those years jews were escaping Russia, theater of pogrom and any kind of oppression by the tzarist administration. According to the zionism many of them tried to find a refuge in the land of Palestine, that at the time was a territory under the rule of turkish empire.
The group bought, by a cristian arab family, a small extension of land near the southern shore of the lake of Tiberias where they started a socialist inspired community, name Degania which means cornflower.
The life was really hard because of the hot weather, droughty land in summer and humid in winter.
The principles of the community were manual work and the sharing of the commodities.
The original of this picture was taken three years after the start of the kibbutz when other young people joined.
Written Aug 17, 2011
Better known as the place where Whitney Houston made a spectacle of herself while being baptized in the waters of the Jordan River. As with most holy sites in Israel, you'll find the old conundrum of "It took place here"; "NO - it took place over there!" and the site where Jesus was baptized is no different. (note: the site where Jesus was baptized is most likely along the road toward Jericho and is off limits to visitors except for once a year during a holy day. It's along the Jordan/West Bank border and is heavily guarded by the Israeli military. We tried to get through anyways during a trip there in December, and were of course, stopped.)
If you want to see people dressed in white robes and full body immersion, stop by this place and get your fill. Otherwise, you can visit any place along the Jordan River and rest assured that the waters running through it are the same ones that sprang forth during Biblical times.
Updated Dec 14, 2009
Hiking in Israel during the summer is not that easy. Most places are too hot for real hikes. So, most Israelis will look for places with water for the summer. One of the best places is the nothern-east corner of the Kinneret. There are two streams flowing into the lake in that area, Nachal Daliyot and Nachal Meshushim. These streams do all the way from the Golan heights to the lake. This is the perfect hike for summer. It's quite an easy walk, there are plenty of trees and shade and most of the walk is in the water. In some parts some swimming is required.
Written May 19, 2005
If you like hiking, there are plenty trails in the Kinneret area. A nice and not too difficult hike is Nachal Amud. There are two section of the wadi you can hike in, the upper one near Kfar Shamay a little after Zefat. The lower one, shown here, is the end of the wadi, where it flows into the Kinneret. Not too far from Kibbutz Hukkuk. This is also where the pillar, the wadi is named after, is found.
The two sections are completely different, the upper one has water throughout the year and flows in a thick natural forest, the lower one is much wider and has less water, there are much less trees here and the landscape is more rocky. Here you will find narrow canyons and caves (some of which had pre-historic men living in them).
Updated Apr 24, 2005
Sure, I lived on a Kibbutz for some of the time during the four and a half years I spent in this most beautiful part of Israel - BUT, you can support yourself in other ways!
Get a room at the local Youth Hostel. Go to all the SMALLER Hotels and guesthouses, Bars and the like and offer yourself as a cleaner, ironer, maintenance man/gal - etc..
Go to the bigger Hotels and offer your services as an entertainer. Make sure that you can do it though ! Don't try to get away with attempting to put yourself forward as a singer/guitar player if you only know twenty songs and make an effort to learn at least a few songs in Hebrew. I sang and played at several bars and the Plaza Hotel (that was the largest Hotel back in the late seventies early 80's!) and earned a fortune, got my food free and had a great time. I cooked in a convent, I ran a Bar for a Moshavnik, who although he had bought the bar had not the slightest idea of how to run one! I scrubbed guest house floors, I taught English after a year, when my Hebrew was passable and it worked a treat. DON'T get into any jobs where you have to declare what you earn, otherwise you'll end up in trouble. You could actually stay there for years like this, travelling around Israel to different places for different seasons. It's easy.
Only trouble now is that your travels within Israel may be greatly limited because of Road Blocks for Security. This you'll have to figure out yourself as it was not a problem when I lived there. You will not be able to travel as freely now at all. BUT, hey! you're a traveller aren't you? You'll take you chances and tread new ground. Just take care, that's all. Good luck!
Written Aug 30, 2003