Wednesday, November 11, 2015

So Much to Learn

So much to see.  So much to learn.  So much to digest.  We'll do what we can.

It was north to Hazor, pronounced with a long "a" and a German "ts" for the "z": "hay-tsor" or "hayt-sor."  We're near the northern point of Israel with Lebanon to the west and Syria to the east but still not visible despite our perch on the top of a tel on the top of a hill.  The ruins are of a Canaanite time which show evidence of destruction from great heat as seen in the cracked foundations.  Since everything seems to be masonry, whay could burn?  Some interior walls were lined with cedar, there was wooden furniture and perhaps the olive oil from the presses spilled and supported the fires.  The Israelites did the destrustion and built the next layer.  A massive open dig well where women would descend and ascend with their jars of water was a spectacular site.

The Jordan River's source is in this area, three mayor springs.  We passed over the first and stopped at the second one where the walk was often over large round bolders with the spring water running beneath and around and as a strong stream on one side.  It was a nature walk, if you will, but ended around a bend with a large wall of smoothly rounded boulders, the ruins of the city of Dan.  After some stories and explanations (so much to see and learn and digest) we looked out over the valley from the ruins of the temple to Lebanon on the left and Mt Hermon on the right.  Headed back down by another route we passed debris and trenches from a recent war, the six-day war of 1967, I think, only to find the ruins of the gate to the city covered in plastic since the portective structure was badly damaged.  Through these gates Abraham and Sarah probably walked.

The third spring that was a source of the Jordan is called the Gates of Hell.  It is thought that this is here Jesus went when he learned of the beheading of John and where he asked the questions about whom the people and they, the disciples thgouth he was.  Peter says "You aree the Christ, Son of the LIving God." or something like that in his native language.

The spring came forth from a deep hole in a cave which today is dry due to shifting o the earth.  Temples and monuments have been built here in ancient times and their ruins are evident including the Temple of Pan. (So much to learn and remember.)

Lunch was at a Druze village with local foods followed by a stop along the road to take picturs of Syria across the valley.  Damascus was just 35 miles to the the east.  The fotification on the Israel side was impressive, but what whate was seen, unseen and told to us.

The final stop of the day before the hotel was a winery when we learned that the winery had vinyards from the northern hills of the Golan Heights where the grapes grew in a cool high country to near the Sea of Galilee where the climate is a bit warmer and the soils of a different flavor.  This variety of grapes allowed the winery to combine flavors and winemaking techniques to create some fine wines.  There was sampling and buying and a final ride to the hotel in the dark

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