Hararit – הררית, the capital of Transcendental Meditation in Israel, situated on top of Mount Netofa in the heart of the Galilee is a small Jewish community, established in 1982 as part of a plan to bring more Jewish residents to the Galilee area. The community was settled by some fifty families. You don’t have to practice TM to visit Hararit; just the view from the “Lookout” is reason enough. The name Hararit means mountainous in Hebrew, a well suited name for this community that is situated more than 500 meters above sea level.
One special feature about this community, established in 1980, is the fact that the vast majority of its members are practitioners of Transcendental Meditation (TM). As of 1998, the country with the largest percentage of TM practitioners was Israel, where 50,000 people had learned the technique since its introduction in the 1960s. One of the techniques is levitation.
In fact, potential members who want to be part of this community and live in Hararit have to be practitioners of this Eastern practice, a practice in which practitioners meditate for twenty minutes twice each day, repeating a special mantra given to them by their TM teacher. Avid practitioners can even arrive to the stage where they are able to perform yogic flying in which they elevate their body to mid air while sitting with their legs crossed, in what seems like a series of leaps forward.
The road leading to Hararit is one of Israel’s most beautiful roads, made up of some 15 kilometers of winding asphalt road curling on mountain tops. It overlooks cultivated fields in the Beit Netofa Valley and the green forested hills that surround the valley. All around there are olive orchards and stone terraces. On a clear day, when visibility is good, one can even see the Mediterranean Sea on the west and the Sea of Galilee on the east, with the Arbel Cliff towering above it.
Community life in Hararit revolves among other things around the Jewish calendar. Major holidays are celebrated in a community setting. Tranquility and environmentalism is crucial to their lives. Visitors to Hararit are not allowed to drive around its streets by car as members of the community try to keep the air around their neighborhoods as clean as possible to maintain a healthy life.
The houses of Hararit are built with advanced architectural methods that take location and environmental concerns into consideration when building the house. Some houses were designed by their own owners, such as the house built according to the ancient Golden Ratio architectural method (the same method that was used in building the Parthenon in Athens).
Most members make their living by offering bed and breakfast; others do art works, produce local olive oil or work in white collar professions either in the area or in Haifa, Acre or Carmiel, all within one hour drive from Hararit.