Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

The Second Exodus – Israel – CCXCII. A Return Visit (7 of 19)

October 21 & 22

This is a two days tour covering the Galilee and the Golan; we spend the night at Kibbutz Kfar Giladi in the Galilee.


The city where Jesus grew up is visited by thousands of devout Christians, as well as the merely curious.  Settlements have existed here since Bronze Ages times, but it came into its own when it was first mentioned in the New Testament.

Nazareth and its population have known many struggles.  In 326 CE St. Helena built a church over the traditional site of Mary’s home; in turn the city and the church were destroyed by the Persians in 614; and rebuilt by the crusaders in the 12th century.  But this was not the end; in 1254 a Mameluke Sultan persecuted the Christian population and demolished many of their churches.  Only in the 1600s did a Christian population established itself in earnest.

Today, Nazareth is the largest Arab city in Israel; its population of 210,000 comprise some 85,000 Jews, and 125,000 Israeli Arabs (about 2/3 Muslims and the rest Christians).

There is so much commercialism in Nazareth you need to constantly remind yourself of the momentous events that have taken place here.  Our visit started at a gift shop and ended at an Arab Souk!  But we did manage to visit some of the holy places.

The places we visited:  The Basilica of the Annunciation with its Holy Grotto, the very place where it is believed the Annunciation took place; the Church of St. Joseph built on the site where according to tradition (supported by archaeological finds) the Holy Family lived, and where Joseph carpentry shop once stood.

This being Christ’s hometown, there are other sacred places we did not manage to visit, for there was a lot more sights awaiting us on that day.  I’ll briefly mention some of them.  The Church of St. Gabriel;  The Greek Catholic Synagogue Church, the location of the synagogue where Jesus is believed to have regularly prayed;  Salesian Church of Jesus as an Adolescent with its superb Bogino marble of Jesus the Adolescent.


Tabgha is located on the north-western shore of the Sea of Galilee.  The name comes from the Greek Haptapegan(seven springs).  No Tour Bus would miss that place, for here three central Christian events occurred:  The Sermon on the Mount; the Miracle of the Loaves and the Fishes; and the Coronation of Simon Peter as Head of the Disciples.  Here again churches and a monastery have been built to honor each of those events; our visits to each was brief for our tour of the Galilee would have proved interminable if we made extended stops at sacred locations.  We would have liked to linger but that was not possible.  Again and again, our guide apologized, knowing how much Tabgha meant to Christians and non-Christians alike.  There is a lot to be said for a do-it-yourself visit to specific places in Israel.  No wonder many of us pay it a second visit, this time on our own terms.

Kafr Kana

Kfar Kana is a small Arab village a few kilometers northeast of Nazareth.  This is the place where Jesus is believed to have turned water into wine.  We briefly stopped at the location where this miracle has occurred.  A Franciscan Church and a Greek Orthodox Church were part of our visit; of note in the second church are paintings depicting that first miracle, as well as vats some believe were used in the actual wedding!

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