Culture of Israel
Immersing in the cradle of civilization is both enlightening and grounding. Experience how Israel’s landscape and culture have been shaped by the millennia of human activity on its soil. Descending into the Western Wall tunnels is essentially a convergence with the bedrock of humanity. Qumran - one-time home to the Dead Sea Scrolls and ancient Essenes sect - is an archeological treasure trove.
North, a walk through Beit She’an is like wading through the tide of history; its tel (the Hebrew name for abandoned ruins that often appear as hills in the countryside) is a historical layer cake that tells the fascinating story of a rich period full of power and culture shifts. South, Avdat (Oboda or Ovdat) dates back to the Nabateans in the 3rd century BCE, when it was an important stop on the spice route in the Negev highlands. On the coast, the ancient city of Caesarea was built by Herod the Great in the first century BCE, and is best known for its highly sophisticated ancient aqueducts.
On the shores of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), the ruins of the talmudic city of Zippori were once home to the luminous Sanhedrin - the great Jewish rabbinic court. In the desert, Masada’s ancient fortress rises high above the otherwise flat landscape, the defiant legacy of the great roman-era tragedy of a hilltop Jewish community. As they say: “There is nothing new under the sun,” (Ecclesiastes 1:9) and that couldn’t be truer in Israel.