Mount Hermon
The Eyes of the Nation

Mount Hermon is the highest peak in the region. Its highest point is 2,814 meters above sea level. The peak falls on the border of Syria and Lebanon. The southern slopes are part of the Golan Heights in Israel.

Metula the northernmost city of Israel and Mt Hermon in the background

Where the Jordan River is Born

The mountains called the Anti-Lebanon Range extend for approximately 15 Km parallel to the Lebanon range on the west. The mount covers an area of about 1,000 Sq Km of which only 70 Sq Km is in Israel called the Har Hermon Nature Reserve.

Because the peaks are snowy most of the year there is a tremendous flow of water from the snow covered mountains forming small rivers. Those that flow on the southwest base of Mt Hermon create the rivers that form the Jordan River, like the Banias and the Dan among others.

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The Hula Valley and Mount Hermon

Mt Hermon in the Bible

It appears on the Bible several times and with different names like Senir and Sirion. The range of mountains formed a natural border for the Promised Land and the area of conquest by Joshua.

The New Testament tells us about visits by Jesus and his disciples. They came all the way from Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee to Caesarea Philippi on the base of the mount where Banias is today. The legend says that it is there where Jesus revealed to his disciples his purpose of building his Church and go to Jerusalem to die and resurrect.

It is also said in the Bible that Jesus took three of his disciples to the mountain to pray and he told them he spoke to Moses and Elijah that had appeared beside him.

Contemporary History

Mt Hermon is the border between Syria, Lebanon and Israel. The Israeli portion of the Golan Heights was captured by Israel in the Six Day War of June 1967.

It was then captured by Syria in October of 1973 on the first day of the Yom Kippur War. Israel recaptured the former Israeli controlled and some Syrian territory. The Syrian territory was returned to Syria after that war.

Villages on Mt Hermon

On the Israeli controlled slopes of the mountain are the villages of Majdal Shams (Druze) Neve Ativ and Nimrod.

Thousands of Israelis flock to Mt Hermon when it snows

Ski Resort

Mount Hermon features Israel’s only Ski resort that include an array of ski trails for beginners, intermediate, and experts. The resort is operated by residents of nearby Neve Ativ and Majdal Shams. It also features restaurants and stores.

When to go to Mount Hermon

As mentioned winter is “the” season for skiing. Skiers from all over Israel flock to the area and enjoy the snow covered slopes.

During spring and fall the area is great for hiking and mountain climbing. But the best is summer. When Israel is boiling in hot weather you may go to the Hermon area to cool off on an extended springtime.

Spectacular view of Mt Hermon from Mount Bental

Mount Hermon is called the eyes of the nation, because from there you may see the whole Galilee of Israel and parts of Lebanon and Syria is a great place to visit.

Image Credits:
hermon snow by aviad
metula by adiel lo
hula by leifern
mt bental by almog

All courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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