As I mentioned in my previous article, a major feature of Tel Megiddo was the water works engineered sometime during the 8th or 9th Century BCE (Before Common Era). The water source for the city lay at the base of the Tel outside the city wall. If the city were besieged with the water source outside the city walls the residents could not last long, especially during the long dry summer months. To protect the source of water and allow access to it during a siege, a shaft was dug from the top of the Tel and then a tunnel was dug about 300 meters to the water spring (ma’ayan in Hebrew). To further discourage a siege, the water source was covered over and completely hidden and its very existence was a closely guarded secret. The shaft going down was 183 steps (photo #1 of Judy and our friend Ushi) to the tunnel, and then a short walk, then the tunnel (photo #2) got us to the water source. The sign at the water spring tells the story (photo #3). Going out only involved 80 steps (photo #4, Judy at top of the exit steps) which put us at the base of the Tel outside the ancient city walls. It’s quite amazing to be able to still use a water tunnel that was carved out of solid rock by hand 2,800 years ago and still functions!
The next adventure we had was climbing Har (Mount) Tavor and reading from the Book of Judges. While sitting in the Courtyard of a Franciscan Monastery on the summit of Mt. Tavor we read and translated the story of Yael and Sisera that happened a few hundred meters from where we were sitting! When I say Mt. Tavor, do not think Mt. Bachelor! Think a slightly higher and more rounded Pilot Butte!
We continued down the mountain and ate dinner at a Bedouin Restaurant on the slopes of Mt. Tavor in a Bedouin Village called Shibley. (Reminded me of Tom and Helen and kids) This particular village has been loyal to the State of Israel since 1948 and the large majority of boys serve in the Army.
The last thing we did was visit Nazareth which was absolutely nuts. I don’t think I have ever seen such traffic and aggressive driving and felt fear for my life more than once as we walked thru the city streets. It meant a lot to several of the Christian students with us, but the Churches were largely closed although very beautiful. We did see the largest halva store/factory in Israel and I was dizzy just from the smell.
We sang songs and told jokes all the way home…it was another special day.
Sent With Blessings,