Weekend Tour: A Galilee gem

A tour of Peki’in village in northern Galilee offers stunning scenery and a journey back in time.

"Time seems to have stood still" (photo credit: Kobi Mizrahi and Rachel Schwartz)
"Time seems to have stood still"
(photo credit: Kobi Mizrahi and Rachel Schwartz)
Time seems to have stood still in the picturesque Galilee village of Peki’in. Settled on a mountain slope, it is home to some 5,000 inhabit - ants, most of them Druse, some Muslim and Christian, as well as one Jewish family whose ancestors have lived there since the time of the Second Temple.
The heart of the village is a warren of narrow alleys that lead to the old center of Peki’in, the village spring.
That is where you will find the old synagogue, built in 1873.
Tradition has it that it was built on the ruins of a synagogue that had stood there since the Second Temple period, and two stones in the walls were reputedly taken from the walls of the Temple. The gatekeeper is Margalit Zenati, whose family has lived in Peki’in since the time of the Second Temple. She keeps the keys to the synagogue and the adjacent museum, and she opens her home to visitors.
A small door in the old center leads visitors to Diwan el Mukhtar, an ancient arched stone house where visitors are invited to have a cup of tea and listen to tales of yore. Meals can be arranged in advance as well.
Nearby is the Rabbi Shimon Bar- Yohai cave, where, according to Jewish legend, Bar-Yohai and his son Elazar hid from the Romans for 12 years. It is be - lieved that Bar-Yohai and Elazar ate the carobs from the tree that grows at the entrance to the cave and drank water from the spring.
Other attractions in the village include the Cave restaurant, which offers tra - ditional Druse dishes, and the Bustan Apiary, which is open to visitors free of charge.
For more details and contact information, go to www.ozrothagalil.org.il