Events in Israel

Israel’s events calendar is packed with exciting things to see and do. Some of the best events Israel has are held during national holidays like Hanukkah in December, Purim in March, Passover in April/May, and Sukkot in September/October. Special holiday events include costume parties during Purim and the lighting of an eight-candle menorah during Hanukkah week.

Annual events in Tel Aviv include the exciting White Nights when there are street parties throughout the night; the Tel Aviv Eat culinary festival, and the art and design festival, Fresh Paint. If you’re interested in events in Jerusalem, check out the Festival of Lights when the Old City is lit up with light installations; the Jerusalem Wine Festival, and the multi-disciplinary Israel Festival. Other top events in Israel include the multi-faith Holiday of Holidays in Haifa, and the Karmiel Dance Festival.

Sports enthusiasts will love the Tel Aviv Night Run; the Dead Sea Marathon, and the Jerusalem Marathon. There are regular basketball games and football matches in large venues. Music events in Israel include the Jazz Festival in Eilat; the Midburn Festival in the Negev, and the Klezmer Festival in Safed. Christians can enjoy the Palm Sunday Procession, and the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve in Bethlehem. Jewish visitors should attend services at the Western Wall, and Muslim tourists can experience the Eid al-Fitr celebrations and prayers on Temple Mount.

Israel Summer Festivals 2013

During Israel’s summer season which lasts from June to the end of August there are a number of festivals and special events which are worth attending. Here are a few of the highlights of Israeli summer events and festivals.June 27 White Night International FestivalTel aviv white night 2013Spend the night in Tel-Aviv when the restaurants stay open all night and there are late night performances both in cinemas and on the streets. Craft markets and musical performances pop up on the streets of Tel-Aviv throughout the night and the main event is the International Marathon of Jazz and Avant-garde Music which is held in the Einav Culture Center.June 5-13 Jerusalem Light festivalThe streets and walls of the Old City are brought to life by displays of light sculptures, light designs, light statues, instillations, projected images and live performances. Entrance is free and visitors can wander the streets admiring the light displays,July 23-25 Karmiel Dance FestivalA huge gathering of over 10,000 dancers perform in 80 events in the town of Karmiel. Together with the performances there are audience participation dances, workshops, public folk dances where anyone can join in and other events like a market, food stalls etc. Over 25,000 visitors are expected to attend the annual festival in 2013.August 5-8 Israeli Wine Tasting festivalHeld at the Jerusalem museum the entrance fee gets you a wine glass for unlimited tasting, cheese tasting and entry to the museum galleries. The event takes place in the museum gardens and is accompanied by live jazz performances. The price is approximately 80NIS.August 15-28 International Arts and Crafts FestivalArtists and craft makers from around the world gather here to display and sell their creations. The event takes place just outside the Jerusalem Old City walls in the Jerusalem Arts and Crafts Art Amphitheater while concerts play in the nearby Sultan’s Pool. The festival takes place in the evening from 6pm to 11pm and is closed on Friday.August 6-8 International Klezmer Festivalklezmer festivalThis uniquely Jewish form of music is celebrated for the 23rd year in several venues throughout the country, the best known being in Safed where 45 performers showcase “Jewish soul music”. In Safed 8 stages are set up throughout the city and other events are held like craft fairs, tours and kid’s shows. Klezmer music is from the Hassidic tradition of Eastern Europe and groups of musicians play classical instruments to a unique rhythm. Entrance to all performances is free.August 22-23 Jerusalem Beer FestivalJerusalem is not just a holy city it is also a great city for the young who want a good party, for example the annual beer festival offers a chance to sample beers from around the world and enjoy the street party atmosphere. Both craft beers and mainstream beers are served from stands set up in the Old Train Station compound. There are food stands, live performances and stalls selling souvenirs and crafts. The beerfest takes place from 6pm until midnight and entry costs 30NIS which doesn’t include beer.August 22-25 Red Sea Jazz FestivalIf you happen to be in Eilat during this period you can attend this annual festival now in its 26th year. Each night there are about 8 concerts and during the day master classes, workshops and jam sessions. Artists are national and international and perform a range of jazz styles from Blues to Latin jazz in three Eilat venues. The exact dates for the 2013 festival have not yet been published.
By Petal Mashraki

First Papal Visit To The Holy Land, 8-15 May 2009

The Pope’s Holy Land Pilgrimage will include a visit to Jordan, followed on 11-15 May by a visit to Israel and the holy sites in Jerusalem, Nazareth and Bethlehem. The Pope will also meet with religious leaders during his five day visit. The highlight of the Pope’s visit to Israel will be Holy Mass at the Kidron Valley in Jerusalem, where thousands are expected to participate on the afternoon of 12 May. The Pope will also visit Yad Vashem (11 May) and the Temple Mount, Western Wall, Mount Zion, the Cenacle and Gethsemane Church on 12 May. After a visit to Bethlehem and Mass at Manger Square, (13 May), the Pope will deliver another Mass in Nazareth at Mount Precipice and pray at the Church of the Annunciation (14 May).Bein Harim offers you 1-3 days pilgrim tours.Mass in the Kidron Valley Jerusalem May 12TH 16-18 :00 PM.Mass on Wednesday May 13th in Manger square Bethlehem at 10 AM.Mass on Thursday May 14th on Mt. Precipitation in Nazareth. 10 AMDay 1. Mass in Jerusalem: May 12thPick up from Herzlliya hotels : 9:00 AM.Pick up from Tel-Aviv hotels : 9:30 AM.Pick up from Jerusalem hotels : 10:30 AM.Overview from on Mt. of Olives for view of the Old and New city. Walk Via the Patre Nostre and the site of the Ascension, . Walk down to Dominus Flevit, where Jesus foresaw the destruction of Jerusalem. Continue to Gardens of Gethsemane, Church of all Nations, Valley of Kidron to see the tombs of Absalom, Jeosphate and Zaccariah from 2nd temple Descend to the Valley of Kidron to participate at Mass.Return to bus and drive to hotels.Recommended comfortable shoes, water and hat.Lunch boxes, sandwiches and fruits available for 12$ (advanced booking required).Sequence and route subject to change due to traffic/route detours.Day 2. Mass in Bethlehem May 13th:Pick up from Herzlliya hotels : 6:15 AM.Pick up from Tel-Aviv hotels : 6:30 AM.Pick up from Jerusalem hotels : 7:30 AM.**Passports mandatoryMass at Manger square at 10:00-12:00 AM-1.Drive direct to Jerusalem-Bethlehem check-point.Bus change at Check :Point .Entry to Bethlehem (Palestinian transportation services)Visit the Church of the Nativity(Subject to PA regulation) .Drive via Ein Kerem and visit Church of Saint John the Baptist. Overlook the church of the visitation where Mary visited Elisabeth. Entry to churches may encounter times limits on this day. Return to hotels in Jerusalem . Therafter Tel Aviv travelers will go via the ancient village Emmaus where Jesus was seen for the first time after the resurrection. Passports mandatory, we recommend comfortable shoes, water and hat. Sequence and route subject to change due to traffic/route detours.Day 3. Mass on Mt. of Precipitation in Nazareth May 14th:Pick up from Herzlliya hotels : 6:00 AM.Pick up from Tel-Aviv hotels : 5:45 AM.Pick up from Jerusalem hotels : 4:45 AM.We depart via the ancient via Maris to the valley of Armageddon, from the book of revolution (chapter 16). Drive.Depart from there by foot to buses driving up to Mt. of Precipitation. Coordinate with guide meeting place and return to group bus. Drive to Cana and in the Galilee there was performed the first miracle (John chapter 2).Drive by to overlook from the foot Mt. Tabor Mathew (chapter 17) identifies this Mt. as the site of transfiguration.Sequence and visits subject to change by Police authorities.Return to hotels. It is recommended on this day to bring snacks, light meals and water.Sequence and route subject to change due to traffic/route detours.Tour conditions and reservation information
By Petal Mashraki

Hot Events in Israel this July!

July is perhaps the best time to visit Israel if you are looking for amazing events, parties, shows and fantastic weather. Here is a line-up of just a few of the events in Israel this July.2-16 July – Cirque du Soleil-Quidam, Nokia Arena, Tel Aviv.This world famous multidiscipline performance of circus acts, acrobatics, music, lighting effects, dance and magic will be in Israel for the second time.3 July – DJ Armin Van Buuren, Nitzanim BeachJust a short drive south from Tel Aviv is the Nitzanim Beach where you can dance the night away to the sounds of DJ and radio show host Armin Van Buuren who won Word’s Best DJ for four consecutive years.9-17 July – Jerusalem Film Festival, Jerusalem CinematequeJerusalem Film FestivalSee a selection of international films as well as top Israeli films premiering at the Jerusalem Film Festival. There will be guest speakers from abroad representing the international film industry as well as special events in and around the Cinemateque.13 July – CocoRosie, Gesher Theatre, Tel AvivThis sister duo from the US turns heads with their unique folk rock music. Their style is a blend of many musical genres and they have earned a cult-like following since forming their band.22-24 July – Bobby McFerrin and Chick CoreaFour performance venues – Herzliya Zappa Club, Rishon LeZion, Live Park Amphitheatre Tel Aviv and Binyamina.For jazz fans this is an opportunity to see two legendary greats perform together. McFerrin is a 10 time Grammy winner and Corea is the world’s most influential jazz performer. McFerrin is best remembered for his hit “Don’t Worry Be Happy.”27-31 July – In-House Jerusalem, in private homes and neighborhoods in JerusalemAudiences are invited in to unusual venues and private homes in Jerusalem to experience unique performances. Seven neighborhoods will host the happenings which include multi-media performances, sound and light shows and home cooked meals. It is a great opportunity to see local life and small communities.28-30 July – Lo BaShamyim Festival, Upper GalileeThis unique festival looks at Jewish thought and culture through music, art, live performances and guest speakers from the religious world in the spirit of Judaism. The event will include music, panel discussions, guided tours of the Galilee and more.28-30 July – Karmiel Dance Festival, KarmielThis annual dance festival presents a wide range of dance styles including classic, jazz, modern and folk dancing. You can join in workshops, be in the audience or enjoy the magical atmosphere in the city while festival events are held all around.30 July – Suede, Yad Eliyahu Arena, Tel AvivBritish rock band Suede bring back the 90s with their popular songs like “Beautiful Ones “ and “Saturday Night.”31 July – Among the Vineyards, Merom HaGalilThis festival is held annually on the Israeli “Valentines” day or the day of love – Tu b’ Av. The festival presents a range of musical performances by top Israeli artists and bands. Festival events include tours of the region, tastings of the many organic and fresh produce from the Galilee and a farmers’ Market. Events take place in a number of small villages throughout the Merom HaGalil region in the Upper Galilee.
By Petal Mashraki

Laila Lavan in Tel Aviv 2022

There’s a saying attributed to Tel Aviv - that it’s the city that never sleeps. Well, this coming Thursday, it really will be true. Back by popular demand (after the pandemic kept us all off the streets) is Laila Lavan - which, translated from the Hebrew, means ‘White Night’.Jaffa Port, Israel. Photo byFaruk KaymakonUnsplashWhat is Laila Lavan?Laila Lavan - White Night - is an event that takes place every year, across Tel Aviv and Jaffa, where the city basically hosts a range of musical and cultural events which are free to the public and continue on into the wee small hours, with a couple of them actually culminating at sunrise the following day.When is Laila Lavan?This year, it’s taking place on Thursday 30th June. Where exactly in the city does Laila Lavan take place?All over. Seriously. Whether you’re in the Old North (close to the Tel Aviv Port), wandering Rothschild Boulevard, hanging out in Neve Tzedek, or bopping around Jaffa, you’ll find an event to join. And, as we said before, it’s all funded by the municipality so it’s not just an amazing night out, but it really won’t break the bank either.Jaffa Clock Tower, Israel. Photo byYaroslav LutskyonUnsplashWhat time doesLaila Lavanactually go on until?Put it this way - if you’re a night owl, you’ll be in your element. Some events begin earlyish by Tel Aviv standards (around 8 pm) but many go on until 2 or 3 am, and things such as sunrise yoga happen (as the name suggests) only when the sun makes its debut, around 5 am the following morning. So whether you want to catch some early events and be in bed long before midnight, or head out after midnight and party until the wee hours, it’s your choice. What kind of events does Laila Lavan play host to?Every year it differs, but you can expect a wide range of events and performances across Tel Aviv. In the past, the city has thrown open the doors of some of its museums, the Opera House puts on outside performances, there are cover bands playing all down Rothschild, jazz and klezmer concerts dotted across the city, as well as street events, food festivals and beach parties in many neighborhoods. Even better, shop and bar owners are giving late licenses, so you can grab a bite after midnight, or a cocktail at 4 am! The stairs lead to Kedumim Square and St Peter's church in Jaffa. Photo byJeremy BezangeronUnsplashWhat’s on at Laila Lavan 2022?To date, we know of quite a few different events taking place (although there are bound to be many more we haven’t even heard of yet). These include:1. Rothschild Boulevard - there won’t just be all kinds of bands, but also street performers, circus acts, and dancers almost always dressed in white. Rothschild Boulevard runs from Allenby Street all the way up to the Habima Theatre and this is always a place where people will flock, on White Night. Just be prepared for it to be absolutely packed!2. Jaffa- Jaffa will be buzzing, with the Jaffa Flea Market (‘Shuk HaPishpehsim) and the many cafes and bars around it open until the wee small hours.3. Bauhaus Buildings - many of the Bauhaus buildings in Tel Aviv will be lit up and it will be possible to take guided tours through them.4. Headphone Party - the traditional dance party (complete with headphones) will take place at Rabin Square. Put them on and prepare to boogie - only you can hear the music, but you’ll be surrounded by fellow dancers (and some bemused on-lookers too).Aerial view of Tel Aviv Port. Photo byShai PalonUnsplash5. Tzuk Beach - usually starting between 1-2 am, take a blanket (and a bottle of wine) and enjoy a concert packed with Israeli singers. What can be better than sitting next to the Mediterranean Sea and listening to fabulous Israeli music?6. Suzanne Dellal Centre - there’s usually a street party in the Neve Tzedek neighborhood, centered in the plaza outside the Suzanne Dellal Center. This is a charming area, full of tiny side streets, beautiful houses, and stylish bars.7. Gordon Beach - you’ll be sure to find dancing at Gordon Beach, one of Tel Aviv's best beaches, which in the past has hosted ‘Bollywood in White’ style events.8. Sunrise Yoga - as well said before, sunrise yoga is a popular activity at Laila Lavan and usually takes place at the Tel Aviv Port (the Namal). A really fantastic way to end your cultural experience.Finally, we’d warn you that on a night like this, the streets are going to be very crowded. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times (it is summer in Israel, after all), and put on some comfy shoes. Buses are often caught up in traffic and bringing your car into the city is a mad idea, so get prepared to tramp the mean streets. Have a great time!People enjoying sunset at Tel Aviv Beach.Photo byDaria DyachenkoonUnsplash
By Sarah Mann

Historical Events in Israel: From Abraham to Bar Kokhba

When visitors arrive in Israel today, they are often surprised to see an incredibly modern country, with gleaming highrises, raved-about cuisine, renowned academic and scientific institutions, and a booming hi-tech industry. Stereotypes about locals riding around on camels and not speaking English are quickly crushed as they realize that Israel is at the forefront of so much innovation, particularly the bustling beach city of Tel Aviv, with its 24/7 action.View of Tel Aviv from Jaffa. Photo byReiseuhuonUnsplashWhat makes this even more amazing is that Israel is an incredibly young country - not even an octogenarian in people terms! Created in May 1948, a huge amount has been achieved in these 73 years and who knows what lies ahead? But what about important historical events in Israel long ago?The fact is that whilst Israel, in many respects, is an incredibly modern country but it’s steeped in extraordinary history - it’s everywhere you go, in its seaports, Herodian cities, Crusader castles, Roman defenses, and Old City walls. Ancient Israel is thousands of years old, and in the time before it took for David Ben Gurion to declare independence in Tel Aviv, a great deal happened.We realize that, whether you’re a first-time visitor to Israel or you’ve been here many times, this can all be a little confusing, which is why we’ve decided to put together some ‘Top Ten’ list covering what we think are some of the most important events in ancient Israel’s long, chequered and glorious history. We are not scholars, so we’ll try and keep it succinct, but - remember! - Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was the Land of Israel. Here goes…Part One of our ‘Historical Events’ series, beginning with Judaism’s beloved Patriarch, Abraham.Cows in Shaar HaCarmel National Park, Israel. Photo credit: © Oksana Mats1. Abraham arrives in the Land of IsraelIt was Abraham, the father of monotheism (a belief in the One God) who was the first protagonist in the fateful story of the Jews. Commanded by God to leave his birthplace, he set off on a long and arduous journey to the land of Israel.Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (his son and grandson) would become the three Patriarchs of the Jewish religion and the Hebrew Bible is filled with extraordinary stories about their lives. These include God’s blessing of Abraham (to make him the father of a great nation), the binding of Isaac, and Jacob’s stealing of his brother Esau’s birthright.Jacob would go on to have 13 children, 10 of whom would be founders of tribes of Israel. In the latter part of his life, famine forced the Israelites to migrate to Egypt, where Jacob would finally be reunited with his beloved son Joseph (owner of the fabled coat of many colors).Cave of the Patriarchs (Sanctuary of Abraham), Hebron, West Bank. Photo byDan RosensteinonUnsplash2. The Ten Commandments are given to MosesIn terms of major historical events in Israel, this really has to be up there. It was at Mount Sinai where Moses, Judaism’s most important prophet, received the Torah (which in Jewish terms means the first five books of the Hebrew Bible), including the Ten Commandments. These are considered to be the blueprint for the ethics and worship in Jewish life up until today - they are the laws that Jews (and also Christians) strive to abide.Without a doubt, Moses was an extraordinary hero of the Jewish people, who led the Jews out of slavery in Egypt (famously parting the Red Sea with his staff) and led them, after many years of wandering, to the Promised Land. As he stood at Sinai, he entered into a covenantal relationship with God and, as a result, delivered God’s words to his people. Moses is considered to have been the only person who ever saw God ‘face to face’ (atop Sinai) and his actions are also indicative of a renewing of God’s covenantal relationship with Abraham, long before.Sunset on Mount Sinai. Photo byVlad KiselovonUnsplash3. The Eras of King David and King SolomonThis really was a golden era, by any standards. Named ‘the United Monarchy’ period, it refers to the United Israelite kingdom of Israel and Judah, during the reigns of Saul, David, and Solomon, whose story is told in the Hebrew Bible. Scholars estimate that it lasted between 1047 BCE and 930 BCE. Under King David’s rule, the Judean dynasty was founded and all the tribes of Israel were united. Born a shepherd boy, he famously slew the giant Goliath with nothing more than a slingshot, then served at King Saul’s court as an aide. After going into hiding and living as a fugitive and “Robin Hood’ figure, he was anointed King at the age of 30. Following this, he conquered the city of Jerusalem, established it as Israel’s capital, and made the Ark of the Covenant the focal point of the city. David was a talented musician, poet, and lyricist, many of the biblical Psalms are ascribed to him and in prophetic literature, he is the forefather to the Hebrew Messianic Age. In Jerusalem today, there are endless references to David - his tomb, King David’s Tower, and the underground City of David, which is 3,000 years old.King David’s Tomb, Jerusalem, Israel. Photo credit: © Oksana MatsEven the Bridge of Chords (a striking architectural masterpiece, located at the city’s entrance) has been deliberately shaped to resemble his harp (its cables representing strings). After his death at 70, his son Solomon replaced him as King. Known for his ruthlessness in dealing with political opponents, he appointed close friends in positions of government and reinforced his position as King through military means (infantry, cavalry, and chariotry). Solomon was also both a master builder and a sage (hence the phrase ‘ the Wisdom of Solomon’). He was responsible for the erection of the First Temple of Jerusalem, the national and spiritual center of the Jewish people, as well as an enormous building program throughout the entire nation. Deemed wiser than any other sage, the Hebrew Bible's Book of Proverbs tells the famous story of his adjudication between two women, each claiming to be the mother of a baby, and his profound conclusion. Moreover, the ‘Song of Solomons’ - also in the Hebrew Bible - is an extraordinarily beautiful love poem, attributed to him. Today, Solomon is revered both in Judaism and Christianity for his wisdom and is regarded by Muslims as a prophet.Solomons pillars, Timna Park, Israel.Photo byRaimond KlavinsonUnsplash4. HellenismIn 332, the land of Israel was conquered by Alexander the Great, a brilliant Greek leader and a great force in history. He ushered in an era of Hellenism (rule characterized by the culture of ancient Greece). However, the Jews fared better under him than they had done under the Romans and came to an ‘arrangement’ with them. The ‘pact’ they made was that in return for paying taxes and behaving in a loyal fashion towards him, they could remain autonomous.On the positive side, Jews survived (i.e. were not slaughtered en masse, as they had been in Roman times). The flip side of their acquiescence was that the door was opened to Greek culture and a certain level of assimilation. It also led to the creation of a tax system that was so corrupt, the Jews hated it long after Alexander had died.5. The Maccabees RevoltBetween 167-160 BCE, a revolt by the Maccabees took place against Hellenistic influences and the Seleucid Empire. King Antiochus IV introduced a number of repressive anti-Jewish measures, including making the Second Temple a site of a pagan cult. A group of Jewish fighters, led by Judas Maccabeus (Judah Maccabee) and they even had an early victory, capturing Jerusalem.Although Judah was killed in a subsequent battle, eventually the Greeks were expelled from Jerusalem and the Maccabees went on to establish the independent Hasmonean Kingdom, which ignited a sense of Jewish nationalism.Ben Shemen Forest near Modiin, where the Maccabees Revolt started. Photo credit: © Dmitry Mishin6. Jewish independence under the Hasmonean monarchy.The subsequent period, which lasted until 63 BCE, saw the Jews living independently in the Hasmonean kingdom. It was an extremely unstable dynasty and the Hasmoneans were not conventionally Hellenistic, rather a ‘national monarchy’. Initially triumphant, Jewish life flourished but eventually, their reign became quite corrupt and within a few decades, Rome’s power began to be felt. Eventually, the Hasmonean dynasty fell, leading to the installation of Herod the Great as King, who made Judea into a Roman client state. 7. The Capture of Jerusalem by the RomansA dark period in Jewish history, in 63 BCE the Roman General Pompey captured the city of Jerusalem and installed a puppet king. Friction ensued and three years later culminated in the First Jewish Revolt. By the spring of 70 BCE, Jerusalem was besieged by General Titus. The Romans cut off supplies to the city by encircling the walls, quickly driving the Jews inside to starvation. By August of the same year, the Romans were inside the Old City, ransacking and burning as they went, and then massacring many of the remaining population. They subsequently destroyed the Second Temple (today, only a trace of it remains, in the form of the Western Wall). The Romans celebrated their victory by building the Triumphal Arch of Titus at the foot of the Palatine Hill, in Rome’s Forum.The Roman rule would continue for hundreds of years, with King Herod (who became one of the most powerful monarchs in the Roman Empire), who remodeled the Temple. After his death, ancient Israel would come directly under Roman administration, and great suppression of Jewish life, culminating in the defeat of ancient Israel's last Jewish outpost, Masada (see below).The Judean Desert view from the top of Masada Fortress, Israel. Photo byDaniel LeeonUnsplash8. Jesus of Nazareth’s Ministry in the GalileeJesus, regarded by Christians as the son of God, spent his formative years in Nazareth but the latter part of his life - between around 20-33 BC, traveling around the Galilee, ministering. After being baptized in the Jordan River, by John the Baptist, he recruited his twelve disciples and began preaching in synagogues, casting out demons and healing people.He is known for miracles such as calming seas and walking on water, feeding a crowd of 5,000 with two fishes and five loaves, turning water into wine at a wedding, and raising a man from the dead. Today, all around the Galilee are places of extraordinary importance for Christians (theGospel Trail), including the Mount of Beatitudes, near Capernaum and Tabgha.Here Jesus gave his famous ‘Sermon on the Mount’, the ‘Wedding Church’ at Kfar Cana and Yardenit baptismal site.Eventually, Jesus left Galilee for Jerusalem, where he was betrayed by his disciple Judas, and crucified by the Roman authorities, before rising from the dead, three days later.Capernaum, established during the time of the Hasmoneans, Israel.Photo credit: ©Dmitry Mishin9. The Jewish Revolt at MasadaThis ancient desert fortress, built by King Herod, located on a plateau in the Judean desert and close to the Dead Sea, was a place that would truly be remembered in history for years to come. Meaning ‘Support’ or ‘Strong Foundation’ in Hebrew, it was at Masada that the Jews there made a last heroic stand against the Romans.In 66 CE, the Jewish leader Eleazar Ben Yair fled Jerusalem (for Masada, to command a group of Judean rebels. Once the Romans had destroyed the Temple, they turned their sights to Masada, the last community (with just under 1000 rebels living there). Led by the military leader Flavius Silva, thousands of Romans built camps at the bottom of the fortress, as well as a siege wall and a ramp, by which they planned to storm through. The rebels held out for two years but in April 73 CE, it became apparent to them that they had lost. Rather than surrender and be captured as slaves, they followed the instructions of Bey Yair and committed suicide en masse. For several centuries, Masada remained uninhabited although, during the later Byzantine period, a group of monks built a monastery there. Two centuries later, when the Muslims conquered the region, the fortress would be abandoned once more. Today, Masada is one of Israel’s most famed attractions and is beloved both by tourists and Israelis.It is a popular site for touring, military commendation ceremonies, and bar mitzvahs (the ritual where a 13-year-old Jewish boy comes of age). Its opulent palaces, storerooms, Roman baths, and extensive water system make it a site of major archaeological importance in Israel and at an emotional level, Jews identify with it as a symbol of courage, resilience, and hope.Ruins of Masada Fortress, Israel. Photo credit: © Shutterstock10. Bar Kokhba’s uprising against RomeThis rebellion by Jews in Judea was led by Simon Bar Kokhba and was fought against the Romans sometime between 132-136 CE. It was the last of three major wars the Jews fought against the Romans. After Emperor Hadrian had spearheaded a series of measures to hellenize the region (including the outlawing of circumcision and the erection of a temple to Jupiter over the remains of the Jewish Temple) Bar Kokhba and his followers stormed the Roman colony of Aelia in Jerusalem. Eventually, the battle between the Jews and the Romans became so fierce that Hadrian himself visited from Rome and ordered 35,000 men to fight the rebels. Gradually, the Jews were worn down and in 135 CE Bar Kokhba, himself was killed, in Bethar, southwest of Jerusalem. The rebels were quickly crushed, Judea was abandoned and the Jews were barred from entering their holiest city.To be continued.A man riding a donkey on the road to Jerusalem. Photo byIva RajovićonUnsplash
By Sarah Mann
  • Showing Results 43 - 47 of 47
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4