Monday, May 16, 2005

Israel Day Three - Ceasarea Philippi

We spent the night as Kfar Blum located north of the Sea of Galilee. Kfar Blum is a kibbutz which means a community that shares everything. You may be the president one year and a dish washer the next. Traditionally the kibbutz were farming communities that shared equally the fruits of their labor. To supplement this income some have built hotels on their land and that is where we stayed. Kfar Blum is nice... many birds.

The first stop for the day was in Banias-Caesarea Philippi. Here Peter identified Jesus as the Messiah (Matt. 16:17-18) The Greeks built a temple to Pan and 5 other gods here. The place where water, rock cliffs, and vegetation meet evokes the feeling that Pan would have enjoyed this place. There is a natural spring in Pan's cave-temple. Greeks would throw animal sacrifices into the cave and if the animal disappeared, they believed Pan accepted their sacrifice. If they seen blood, the sacrifice was rejected. The spring is the scientific explanation on why some animals disappeared!

There was still a bit of snow on the top of Mount Herman. This is the highest point in Israel, but not that impressive to a Colorado kid. I wanted to climb the mountain, but the Syrian border crosses there! It is weird to see a place that you cannot go for fear of being shot. Israeli helicopters were in constant patrol of the Syrian and Lebonese borders. We have military manuevers close to our house at Buckley, but it is a different feeling when you know these guys are doing real patrols.

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