Magdala

A short account of Magdala (Migdal Nunia, Taricheae) given by Gilad Suffrin your Israel & Jerusalem private tour guide

“And now Vespasian pitched his camp between this city and Taricheae, but fortified his camp more strongly, ….. for all the innovators had gotten together at Taricheae, as relying upon the strength of the city, and on the lake that lay by it……….
This was the upshot of the sea-fight. The number of the slain, including those that were killed in the city before, was six thousand and five hundred.” (Josephus- Jewish Wars 3:10)
“And after sending away the crowds, he got into the boat and went to the region of Magdala….” Matthew 15:39
“And also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out…” Luke 8:2

A bit of history
During the Hellenistic Period, in the 2nd century BCE, a small town was built on the shores of the Sea of Galilee next to the slope of Mt. Arbel and opposite the Golan Heights. In the 1st centuries BCE and CE, the town expanded further to the north and grew into a city of about 10,000 people. In Aramaic, the local language, the city was known as Migdal Nunia (The Tower of Fish), and in Greek, it was known by two names, Magdala and Taricheae (The Place of Salting Fish).

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Beit She’arim

A short account of Beit She’arim, given by Gilad Suffrin your Israel & Jerusalem private tour guide

Amidst a small, lovely park in the lower Galilee, in very quiet surroundings, lies the most fascinating Jewish cemetery in the country – a true necropolis. Why here? What is the story behind it? How old is the site? How large? Why was it declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO? All of these questions will be answered when you visit Beit She’arim.

A unique figure

Rabbi Yehuda Hanassi (the patriarch) was the most outstanding Jewish religious and political authority of his time – the end of the second and beginning of third centuries CE. His vast knowledge, wealth and more than all – his writing and editing the most important codex of laws since the Bible, the Mishna, that became the most important manual for Jewish life – made him famous through the entire Jewish world.

So, what’s the connection to Beit She’arim?

Since the first century BCE, Beit She’arim was an important Jewish town in the lower Galilee. Rabbi Yehuda lived there and in Tzippori for most of his life, and was buried nearby when he died circa 217 CE. So great was the adoration for him that Jews from surrounding countries wanted to be buried near him. Throughout the third century, hundreds of men and women were buried in a series of burial caves, creating this amazing necropolis – all of it in honor of Rabbi Yehuda Hanassi.

What is there to see?

The full tour of the site takes you to many of the 30 burial caves, some small and some very large. You can see the ornate doors at the entrances to the caves, the different types of burials and the decorations added to the caves, especially to the sarcophagi of various individuals. In some caves, you can find the most dominant Jewish symbol – the menorah.

Tel Aviv

A short account of the Tel Aviv, given by your tour guide Israel.

History

Until the late 1800’s, the only city on the central coast of the country was Jaffa, mostly populated with Arabs, but still has a small Jewish community. Only in 1906, did the idea of having a modernized independent “Hebrew city” come up. In April of 1909, 66 families started the process of building the new Tel Aviv.

Little Tel Aviv developed very quickly by Jewish immigrants in the 1920’s and 1930’s. They brought the Bauhaus style of architecture, developed here to the “international style” for which Tel Aviv is known. The so-called “White City” has been declared as World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The city today

 

What are the attractions?

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