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 – CCXCIII. A Return Visit (8 of 19)


Founded by Herod Antipas in 19 CE, Tiberias is a small city blessed in many ways.

Its stunning lake and hillside scenery take your breath away.

[The lake I am referring to is known by many names:  Lake Tiberias, The Sea of Galilee, Yam Kinneret (in Hebrew), Bahr Tabariya (in Arabic) and Lake of Gennesaret (more on that later).]

History is all around you; from its Roman beginnings; the Persian conquest in 614 CE; the Arabs in 636; the Frankish Crusaders kingdom from 1099 to 1187; and the Muslims under Sultan Baybars in 1247, he reconquered the city from the crusaders, and in the process Tiberias was destroyed and wasn’t resettled until 1517.

While it started as an unclean place because of the graves disturbed in the course of its construction, it was rehabilitated in the 2nd century by Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai and became one of the great scholarly centres; indeed the Mishna and the Talmud were written here, and vowels were added to the Hebrew alphabet.  Not surprisingly therefore devout Jews touring the Holy Land will make sure to visit Tiberias.

Finally, Tiberias Hot Springs which go back 2,000 years will help you relax and, if required, heal specific ailments.  If interested, you can use the existing facilities for relaxation treatments such as mud, mineral baths, and massage; or to treat your arthritis and back pain.

Places to visit:  Hamat Tiberias National Park; Sironit Beach; the remains of a Roman Theater; a bathhouse and a covered marketplace from after the Arab conquest; and so much more, if you have the time.

The Sea of Galilee

This lake is a massive body of fresh water that has been of vital importance for agriculture for millennia.  Today, Israel uses it to irrigate the grounds around it, and via tunnel and canal, water fields as far away as the Negev.

At 215 meters below sea level, Lake Tiberias is the lowest freshwater lake on earth.  It is fed partly by underground springs, but its main source is the Jordan River.

You feel awed walking by its shore.  Here, Jesus and his disciples have gathered many times; crowds have come to listen to the Master; and the seed of Christianity was sown.

But it is not only religion that brings tourists from across the world; the blue water  and the green hills, restore your peace of mind and provides a mystical experience that will stay with you long after your departure.  After you have nourished your soul, there are water parks, horseback riding, hiking trails, and jeep tours.  If you’re left with any energy a hopping nightlife awaits you in Tiberias.

There are other sites around the lake which can be briefly visited, if they mean anything to you.  I know that despite our time constraints, we stopped at three of them.


It’s an ancient Jewish city that specialized in fishing and fish processing.  Known as Magdala in the Bible, this is the hometown of Mary Magdalene.

Capernaum (Kfar Nahum)

It is referred to as “the town of Jesus” since, according to the New Testament, this is the place where Jesus preached and performed miracles (Street, Mark 1:21-34), healing the sick and those possessed by the devil.


This is the place of baptism; here you will encounter pilgrims from all over the world coming to immerse themselves in the holy Jordan waters.  Near Yardenit is Kibbutz Deganya, the oldest kibbutz in Israel going back to 1909.

How much can you see in less than one day in such a history and religion-laden area?  Surprisingly, we managed to cover a lot of ground, for the distance between those places is short.  At the end of the day, a tour boat of the Kinneret filled most of the remaining gaps.

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