On this Israel Bnai Mitzvah Tour, we’ll explore the beautiful north of Israel. A good start would be visiting Kibbutz Heftziba, where we will visit an ancient Byzantine Synagogue. We would examine how Judaism had transformed itself after the destruction of the Second Temple. And indeed synagogues like this one had played a major role in that. Then we would drive up Mount Gilboa retelling the story of King Saul. How he took his own life after being defeated by the Philistines. More biblical stories will come to life while we will tour the Jezreel Valley area. For example, Tel Beit Shean where the Philistines hung the bodies of Saul and Jonathan, his son. We would go on exploring more of the north by checking out Beit Shearim National Park which turned to be a Jewish Necropolis in the late Roman Period.
The importance, value, and renown of Bet Shearim were due to the fact that it was home to Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi. In fact, he was the religious, spiritual, and political leader of the Jewish people at the time; and compiler of the Mishnah. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi wanted to be buried in Bet Shearim. Actually, his tomb was built during his lifetime. The story of the town encapsulates the story of the Jewish settlement of the time; the story of its people; their actions, and their great faith. Here we could also have our venue.
Our lunch could be served in the area. There are various options where we could have a terrific lunch at Kimmel Ba Gilboa
Then we could end our Israel Bnai Mitzvah Tour by taking a hot air balloon ride over the Jezreel Valley. Seeing what is today considered as the breadbasket of the country exactly like ancient Egypt was for the Roman back then in the Roman Period.
Bar’am National Park
Not so far from the border with Lebanon lies a beautiful ancient Synagogue. I am talking of course about the one in Bar’am National Park. After touring around for a little we can get ready for your ceremony because you can actually celebrate your B’nai Mitzvah here! Imagine celebrating this one-in-a-lifetime event in a Talmudic Synagogue dated to the 3rd century. According to archeological finds, a Jewish settlement existed at the site during the Second Temple period, and during the Mishnah and the Talmudic period. Some believe that this is the Jewish settlement of Baram; and that the Maronite settlement preserved its name.