Tiberias city centre and Muriels and Maimonidies

Some of the hotel complexes and apartment blocks in Tiberias look concrete and utilitarian, but this one is a bit more interesting; on each floor are circular logos of different species of crops that is popular in Jewish culture.

This painting on the wall is pretty nice too:

It combines a faux set of railings and balconies to match the rest of the block but also images of what the city overlooking the water in ancient times.

Founded in 20AD and named after a Roman emperor of almost exactly the same name, today Tiberias is just a Jewish city but has Arab Israelis living in the outskirts of town and many neighbouring Arab towns close by.

This iron structure doesn’t look like a normal religious shrine, but its a significant place for Orthodox Jews as the grave site of famous Jewish philosopher Maimonides.

Like the Kotel in Jerusalem and Rachel’s Tomb close to Bethlehem, praying is done in separate for men and women.

 


 

Lots of Judiaca items in neighbouring gift shop, not just souvenirs for Christians!

This is part of an ancient wall around the city which was destroyed, not by conflict but by an earthquake in the 11th century.

There has been no less than 16 earthquakes affecting the greater Galilee area, including a big one killing 600 in 1837, and also a big flood in 1934.

This mosque is empty and abandoned.   Many Islamic countries where Jews once live, including Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Morocco etc have destroyed old synagogues as after people started to move to Israel in large numbers, here buildings of all types of faiths that are not used are always kept as part of history, as it seems there is a great deal of respect put on history of all (Roman, Byzantine, Persian, Islamic, Crusader Ottoman and Jewish) eras of people dwelling here.

A day in my work in the GalileeThe Jesus boat in GinosarThe Kinneret LakeTiberias evening light showPreaching and miracles of Jesus in CapernaumTiberias city centre and Muriels and Maimonidies

Akko – Just Islam here?

Akko is a very Islamic city, its not near any of the Palestinian territories, however Akko was run by the Eastern Empire (also known as Byzantine)  in 395AD, about 900 years before Islam came about.

The bible only mentions it once in Judges 1 : 30-32.

Here you can see the familiar upright pencil shaped minarets the accompany mosque and buildings that are under Islamic authority.

From a distance its noticeable that this tall thin tower is a tiny bit lop sided.  This ought to be concern, seeing as one ancient one fell over in Morocco recently, resulting in about 75 people dead.

As other parts of the city are needing extensive work done on them like this below building is crumbling.  This court yard is called Khan al-Umdan and was built by the Ottoman Turks in 1784.

Whilst editing this I have just found the bit of nougat I forgot I had which was 10 shekels off the young chap who took this photo for me, he had all kinds of other nut cake and halva and Turkish delight on a stand here.

I set out to see if there was any part of Christianity here, and if there are Arab believers today.  There were of course, Crusades here, which is a regrettable part of history, from people calling themselves Christians acting in no way Christians should be.

There are symbols of a Jewish community in the old city as you can see below, and I went in a synagogue which was a few metres away from a mosque.

Unlike Jerusalem’s old city which has more defined quarters for the different communities with in the walls, here its more tricky to find where Jews and Christians live.  Are things peaceful between Arabs and Jews here?  Well I guess for most part, I do remember seeing on the news about some problems in the past sometimes.

Left: Seems to be a church here, in a cellar type building.  Right: Small synagogue tucked away.

I didn’t find any churches that were open for casual visits whilst I was there.  This one was an attractive looking building but it was locked.  Of course its hard to tell if some churches are actual operating places of worship or just dusty bits of history.

The other little known faith that is here I have read about is the Baha’i faith, which has origins from Iran, and has a unusual temple with big gardens up in Haifa, but also has a place here.  I don’t know much about this though or get time to see it.

Its only when I got back home, I have found on the web Evangelist Baptism Church Akko, which has a mixture of Arab and Jewish believers in Jesus.  Check out their site here.