Israel: Banyas…

Eileen and I recently spent a few days in the North of Israel. The area, known as the Golan Heights, was  Syrian territory until the 1967 War.

Banyas is known as one of the prettiest historical sites in all of Israel. It has a beautiful waterfall, caves, the River Hermon and many ruins dating back to several centuries BC. We visited the Roman ruins from the time of King Herod and his son Philip. Around this time the city also had Jewish inhabitants. During the First Jewish War (66-70) they were imprisoned by the Romans. After the war Titus celebrated his victory over Jerusalem at Banyas; at the expense of the Jewish residents. Josephus reports how “many of the prisoners perished here, some thrown to wild beasts, others forced to meet each other in full-scale battles However, the Jewish community survived. The Talmud mentions the names of learned Jews living in Banyas in later centuries.

We arrived at the park around 3pm but unfortunately, as with most sites in Israel, it closes at 4pm. We decided to stay for the hour and, at my request, headed to the area where there were many historical ruins. The video below is a brief (and painful!) look at one section of ruins.

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