Tours of familiar historical sites with a page from the sources to hand. With its help we learn and discuss the ethical issues arising from the sites we visit - as they manifest themselves in the field and in the text. During the discussion, inevitably, subjects arising at the sites also remain present in our modern lives.
Example sites and issues:
- Zippori (Sepphoris) National Park - we will discuss the dilemmas arising from the encounter, at ancient Zippori, between Jewish culture and a foreign culture. For example, in the theater we will hear the warnings of the Sages against Jews visiting the theater and look at our own red lines in the consumption of culture. We will visit the ancient synagogue to see how it was influenced by the surrounding culture, and ponder why the residents of Zippori did not revolt against the Romans during the Great Revolt.
- Yodfat - we will climb the hill where the battle of the Great Revolt was fought while learning from sources that deal with the sanctity of life versus Kiddush Hashem. We will compare the reality on the ground with the description of Josephus.
- Beit She'arim National Park - we will learn stories about Rabbi Judah the Prince, who lived at Beit She'arim, and compare his leadership to that of Alexander Zaïd - whose statue stands up the hill. We will examine the burial caves and decorated sarcophagi and the names of Jews buried in them, and see how they were influenced by the surrounding culture.
- Safed (Tzfat) - we will tour the synagogues of Safed, introducing the fascinating characters who lived there in the golden age of the 16th century. Kabbalists, poets and leaders - we will read their letters, hear their stories and discuss the different forms of Judaism reflected in them.
- Female Tiberias (Tiveria) - a study tour of the city's sites with a special emphasis on women-related stories. From Miriam's Well, a settled Tiberian tradition, through the the Judean princess, Berenice, to Dona Gracia, who dreamed to establish Jewish autonomy in Tiberias.
- Acre (Acco) - facing the sea, we will become familiar with characters past and present who came to Israel via the port of Acre. From the letters of the RaMCHaL, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, we will hear how the synagogue was founded; we will learn about the adventures of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov during Napoleon's siege of the city; and we will discuss the relations between Jews, Christians and Muslims in this mixed city.
We can combine multiple sites to create full-day tour. Contact us for more details and ideas!