While visiting the the place where my husband grew up, not far from the mountains of Lebanon, we were looking for a place to take a stroll amongst the wildflowers of spring and spy out an alfresco setting for a future family picnic. He stopped right off the mountain road at a place called, Tel Kedesh. Quiet and beautiful with only the sound of the wind, a lonely wooden sign met us at the entrance, sharing the brief history of the place.
Tel Kedesh, is located in the upper Galilee in the land allocated to Naphtali, one of the 12 tribes of Jacob/Israel. It is mentioned in the Bible as one of the cities of refuge (Joshua 20:2-7). In the story of Deborah, it is mentioned as the birthplace of Barak, (Judges 4). It was destroyed by the Assyrians in 733 B.C.E. and its inhabitants carried away to dispersion, never to return again. (II Kings 15:39). *
A place of tranquility, it laments the fall of the legendary 10 tribes of Israel. Kedesh echoes harsh lessons from the past amidst wildflowers, pistachio trees, verdant green and a snow capped Mt. Hermon in the background. There are a few haunting ruins.
I felt as if we had been called to this place, to remember the people who once lived here, and enjoy the landscape in which they wove their daily lives.
“Lord, make me know my end; And what is the extent of my days; Let me know how transient I am. Behold you have made my days as handbreadths.” Psalm 39: 4-5).
To complete a circle, Kedesh is now near many modern kibbutz settlements and is also near the scene of a battle (Nebe Nuisa) in Israel’s War of Independence, which ushered in her modern statehood in 1948. If one finds miracles difficult to believe, you only need to come to Israel to experience them all around you. On that crisp spring day, there was the presence of new beginnings, life and hope. Kedesh, means holy in Hebrew, and oddly enough I felt as if we had found a holy place, and the spirit of the Lord was ever present.
*The reunification of the tribes in the days of Messiah is foretold by prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah.
“And on that day a great trumpet will be blown and those who were lost in the land of Assyria will return.” Isaiah 27:13
We would love to show you Kedesh…