Tag Archives: Kineret

The “Jesus Boat”

Senior Editor Mandy Katz reports from Israel in her fourth blog post:

Never mind Warren Buffett. If you need proof Israel is a creative, culturally dynamic, technologically advanced economy, there’s a 2,000-year-old boat I’d like you to see up in the Galilee.

The “Jesus Boat” is actually just the 28-foot-long keel and partial hull of a wooden fishing craft. Its crew of local Jews would have used it to troll the inland sea for St. Peter’s fish and other species. But it either sank or was abandoned about two millenia ago. Its remains were preserved in the mud bottom until a drought in 1986, when two kibbutzniks from nearby Ginosar noticed an odd shape in the exposed lake bed.

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Of Politics and Water

Senior Editor Mandy Katz reports from Israel…

A water crisis notwithstanding, tourists are having fun up here in the Kineret, Israel’s name for the Sea of Galilee and its environs. While they might shake their heads at super-long “beaches” where the inland sea once lapped, and might fret over the much more worrisome possibility of pumps’ going dry, they don’t seem particularly concerned about the impending national elections.

Not all tourists here can vote, of course, as they’re a multinational lot. In the national parks, you do hear a lot of Hebrew, as in the verdant spring-fed pools of Tel Dan. The tamer “Gan Yardan” (or Jordan River Garden) park also centers on flowing water, but diverted into masonry channels and pools; around shaded picnic tables, sometimes set right in the shallow streams, multi-generational Arab clans with boomboxes fire up grills, cool watermelons in the water, and watch their children splash. Meanwhile, on sun-baked roads overlooking the Galilee’s depleted waters, German, French, Japanese and English are some of the languages coursing through tour bus microphones, as Christian pilgrims make the rounds of sites commemorating the multiplying of loaves and fishes, Christ’s visitation to Saint Peter and the Sermon on the Mount. Continue reading