Down By The Riverside
The Jordan River is Israel's largest fresh water supplier and the source of some of Israel’s most beautiful places of nature. Any Israel tour should include a few stops along its banks. Like all important water sources, people as well as wildlife have lived near its shores. The river has four main tributaries – the Iyon and Hasbani from Lebanon, the Banias and Dan, at the foot of Mount Hermon. Flowing south through Lake Hula, the Jordan River drains into the Jordan Valley creating a tropical basin, as well as a wonderful place to both hike and observe wildlife and vegetation. The river continues on its downward path to Lake Kinneret, alongside the city of Tiberias, and ending in the Dead Sea.
Jordan River Birdwatching
Although all four of the Jordan River's tributaries are home to scores of birds, the best destination for bird watching is the basin of Lake Hula during migration – fall and spring seasons. Lake Hula's swamplike waters are host to many species of fish, making it a prominent visiting place for birds. Birdwatching in the Hula Valley is a fantastic experience and not to be missed while touring Israel.
In the Bible
The Jordan River is mentioned many times in the Old Testament – from Genesis and other books of the Bible as well as the Prophets, and it is viewed as a symbol of fertility, rebirth and renewal. It was on the banks of the Jordan that Joshua gathered the Israelites and prepared them to cross the waters, which parted for them as they entered. The Jordan River was also where the prophet Elisha healed Naaman of leprosy by having him bathe in its waters.
The New Testament tells of the Jordan River – as the waters that baptized Jesus to his crossing the river in his travels and bringing penitents and believers to bathe and be healed in its waters.
A place of history and importance to all, enjoy the rare experience of being where so much of ancient history, spirituality and religious beliefs grew and developed.
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