The Jezreel Valley in Hebrew Emek Yzrael occupies a large portion of the Lower Galilee. It is bordered by the west by the Carmel Mountain Range, to the north the Upper Galilee, and the cities of Afula and Tiberias, to the east the Jordan Valley and to the south the Samarian Mountains.
Emek Yzrael in its full splendor
There are many signs of this area being very active in Biblical Times, like the mosaics discovered in Beit Alfa; the ruins of Tel Megiddo are also located here as well as the ruins of Beit Shean on the eastern sector of the valley.
It was a regular route from the east to the Mediterranean that saw a large amount of traffic and also a scenario of many Biblical Battles. There have been discoveries of Egyptian chariots proving the Egyptian reaches this area on their adventures.
Nahalal is one of the important moshavim of Jezreel Valley
The country’s breadbasket
Due to the fertile alluvial soil of Jezreel Valley it is considered a center of agriculture producing for the rest of the country. Many Moshavim and Kibbutzim are located here and many important personalities of the Modern History of Israel come from places such as Nahalal and the rest of the towns and settlements. The area is also rich in natural springs.
The site of the defeat and later suicide of King Saul was in this mount and because Saul’s and Jonathan’s death King David cursed this mountains.
Is a kibbutz located at the foot of Mount Gilboa and was famous for Gideon’s actions, remember the famous story how he sorted them according to the way they drank from the water. This spring still exists today next to the cave where the spring is born.
Don’t miss a visit to the museum of Art in Kibbutz Ein Harod for a treat to sculptures and pieces of art.
Harod Valley, also located in the vicinity is where tradition tells us that Jesus healed 10 lepers.
The Upper Pool at Gan Hashlosha Park also known as Sahne
This area is great for all kind of activities, like biking, hiking and all kind of excursions. All of us in Israel have been at some point in Emek Jezreel known simply as the “Emek”.
One of my favorite parks in Israel is located in the area. It is called Gan Hashlosha but better known as the Sahneh. It’s an idel place for a family visit, picnics and more.
View of the Emek from atop Mount Gilboa
The modern history of the Emek starts in the late 1800s with a man called Yehoshua Hankin that negotiated to buy about 40,000 acres of land that was pure swamps at the time. Many years passed and only in the early 1920s six Jewish settlements were established there, being the most known, Merhavia, Ein Harod, Beit Yehoshua in honor of Hankin
Travel and Leisure
Many of the Kibbutzim and Moshavim in the area offer Kibbutz Hotels on a Bed & Breakfast Basis. It has become very popular in Israel to spend a few days in such places near the springs and the many activities.
For example Kibbutz Maale Gilboa at the slopes of Mount Gilboa offers a religious and kosher environment to their guests.
I am sure you will pass through the valley in any of your visits to Israel. Enjoy Paradise…
images credits for jezreel valley
jezreel by hanay
sahne by talmoryair
mount gilboa by almog
all courtesy of wikimedia commons
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