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Mount Tabor in the Eyes of Tourists*

What does Mount Tabor mean to tourists?

Author Tamar Orvell summarized his visit to Israel, “In Israel’s Lower Galilee, looms Mount Tabor. Something about this mound of earth at the junction of ancient strategic highways — ‘the battlefield of the nations’ (as Mark Twain said) captured my imagination. And the months following my visit, I felt a compulsion to learn more.’

So let’s learn more about Mount Tabor means to us.

  • This the place where Deborah and Barak fought the Canaanites.
  • Christians see Mount Tabor as the site of Jesus’ transfiguration -the traditional site where Peter, James and John saw Jesus transfigured and speaking to Moses and Elijah.
  • Rabbincal liturature describe Mount Tabor as the “navel of the world”. The site is less familiar to Jewish tourists who regularly bypass it, unaware not only of the breathtaking view but also of the Biblical significance of Mt. Tabor.
  • The Israel Trail crosses the summit of Mount Tabor.
  • To me it looks like a Gaussian function – a normal distribution curve.

Mount Tabor - Map: Bible History Online
Mount Tabor – Map: Bible History Online

The Miraculous Holy Cloud of Mount Tabor

Russian pilgrims believe that a Holy Cloud descends every year on Mount Tabor on August 19th according to the Julian Calendar, which is the Feast of the Transfiguration of Christ. They claim that the cloud is seen briefly in this video.

The Miraculous Holy Cloud of Mount Tabor johnsanidopoulos.com/2010/08/miraculous-holy-cloud-of-mount-tabor.html
The Miraculous Holy Cloud of Mount Tabor
johnsanidopoulos.com/2010/08/miraculous-holy-cloud-of-mount-tabor.html

Searching Moments: A parable By Margaret Payton

Did Moses visit Mount Tabor?

Searching Moments: A parable By Margaret Payton
Searching Moments: A parable
By Margaret Payton

Southern Panorama from Mt. Tabor

From Mt. Tabor has a 360-degree view. Looking south you can see Mt. Moreh, Naim (Nain), Jezreel Valley (Emek Yizrael) and Mt. Gilboa

The Serpentine Road

The site is accessible only from the north side, by a winding narrow road.  If you prefer, there are 4,300 steps that were built in the 4th Century AD to serve the Christian pilgrims. Buses cannot drive up the winding road to Mt. Tabor.

Mt. Tabor Serpentine Road
Mt. Tabor Serpentine Road – Photo from 1980 postcard: wanderello.it

 

You must park the parking lot between the Bedouin Village of Shibli and the village of Daburiyya and take a taxi up the Serpentine Road. The population of Shibli is Bedouin while the population of Daburiyya is Falahin, Arab peasant farmers.  They have created a tourist service center at the bus parking lot where you change to a local taxi monopoly. In addition there is a cafe, a tourist gift store and, most important, toilets. These days taxis negotiate a succession of hairpin, serpentine bends before they suddenly reach the summit. Hold your breath!

Daburiyya is identified with the biblical city of Davrat. Sound like Deborah, doesn’t it? (Joshua 21:28) Remains of a Crusader church can still be seen in Daburiyya (in the center of the town).

 

See also:

Mount Tabor and the Church of the Transfiguration

About Israel and You

Cameling in the holy land since forever