15 – Golan Heights

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War (and again in the 1973 Yom Kippur War). As there is no prevailing peace treaty between Syria and Israel, the UN resolutions have called for withdrawal from some or all of the area under a comprehensive peace treaty. Syria asserts that the Heights are part of its territories, but Israel controls it. Like the rest of the northern Galilee area, it’s a gorgeous range of mountains and hills.

If you ever get a chance, rent the movie Syrian Bride. It was filmed here and the drama deals with some of the tensions between Syria, Israel and the Golan Heights. I don’t get the final plot twist, but it’s an endearing film nonetheless. (but it’s not better than Ushpizin!)

Here’s a Druze woman. Pamela explained that the Druze are kinda mysterious in what they believe. They don’t share their faith with outsiders, and don’t accept converts into their faith. And they don’t let outsiders know what they believe. They’re sort of like Muslims, but have quite a few differences. One of their beliefs is that they submit to whatever authority is controlling their country. So they’re very nice to the Jews.

But more importantly, they make yummy falafels!! $6 for a falafel and a Coke! Can’t beat that with a stick!

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On the way to the Golan Heights, we passed this huge Crusader-era castle. I’m tellin ya.. this stuff is everywhere!
You can see the snow-capped Mt. Hermon in the background. I think I’m going to move to the Galilee area.(For more on this, be sure to see the movie clip section)
Like all other hilly parts of Israel, they use terraced farming. More on that in Nazareth. This view is outside of the Druze restaurant where we stopped for lunch.Bethsaida is in the Golan Heights. An interesting miracle takes place here in Mark 8:22-26. A blind man is brought to Jesus and Jesus leads him out of the village. Jesus spits on his eyes and lays hands on him and asks the blind man if he sees anything. “I see people – they look to me like trees walking.”

Again, Jesus places His hands on the man’s eyes, and this time he can see everyone clearly. He is told to not return to the village and to not tell anyone.

Odd. Why wasn’t the miracle done in one shot like all other miracles? It could be that Jesus was teaching that true and complete healing (sight) comes from continued reliance on the Father of Lights.

Somewhere in the back of my twisted mind, I wonder if Jesus wasn’t poking fun at today’s eye doctors: “Which looks better? A ..or B? A ..or B?”