In Galilee we stayed at a Kibbutz. We each had cabins overlooking the Sea of Galilee.
We arrived in time to see the sunset.
The red roofs are the cabins.
We had dinner in the kibbutz dining room and because it was Friday evening, two women in our group and our tour director’s husband performed the Shabbat rituals.
The kibbutz is 50 years old, is about 3 miles by 3 miles in size, and has 412 members. It is located in Golan. Besides farming, they have other businesses including a valve company that has branches in the US, Mexico, Russia, Brazil, and China. They make water and wastewater values – like check values. The company produces the largest percentage of income for the kibbutz. They also have a dairy herd of 500 milk producing cows and a day care for pre-school children. Members of the kibbutz work, but they also hire outside of the kibbutz. They have housing, a medical clinic, children’s areas, community centers, a dining room, a pub, a fleet of cars for the members to use, and bomb shelters. The bomb shelters are required of all kibbutzes since many of them are located along disputed borders. Because of their location, the Israeli government gives them a tax break.
This is the dining room.
This is one of the bomb shelters. Some of the shelters are used for activities – like yoga and meetings.
We visited the cow barns.
One of the members invented a way to recycle cow manure by separating the solids from the liquid. The liquid is treated and used for crop irrigation. Betsey suggested the solids were used for perfume since when the wind was blowing east, some of the aroma was carried to our cabins. 🙂
This is the valve factory. Here is the US website. http://www.ariusa.com/
Since we stayed in the kibbutz cabins, we were invited to participate in the kibbutz experience by doing some work. We peeled potatoes.
While in Galilee we visited a church built to commemorate Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. (The actual site of the sermon was not here, but was close by.) The church was built in the 1930’s and was funded in part by Benito Mussolini.
We also visited Capernaum where Jesus stayed with Peter’s mother-in-law after leaving Nazareth. A very early church was built over her house, and then another church built over that, and even more. Today a church that looks like a space ship sits over the archaeological site.
Next to the site is a Jewish temple that was built on top of an earlier one. The dark stone is the temple that dates from the time of Jesus.
While in the area, we took a short cruise on the Sea of Galilee.
We visited a museum that houses a wooden fishing boat that is 2000 years old. It was discovered in 1986 and the museum displays explain the elaborate process of removing the boat from where it was buried in wet sand and preserving it for display. The wood was so fragile that it was about to fall apart so it had to be held together with sprayed on plastic foam (like insulating material) while it was removed and then chemically treated to stabilize the wood. The process was fascinating.
Jerusalem is next.