The Beautiful Upper Galilee of Israel
The land of Israel is truly beautiful, and with God's help her people have made it a fruitful garden in the 58 years since the birth of the State of Israel. One of its most lovely regions is the Northern Galilee, around the town of Kiryat Shemonah. This photo was taken by Linda Stern, the Overseas Administrator for the Yeshivah (school for religious studies) of Kiryat Shemonah, on the road that goes up to the Yeshiva. The Hebrew sign on the tree reads "To the Kiryat Shemonah Yeshivah." The photo looks southeast, down on the southern end of the town and an industrial park on its outskirts. This vista looks out across the Hula Valley, once a marsh, now fertile farmland. The dark green line of trees visible in the center ground on the right side of the photo marks the location of the Jordan River, which north of the Sea of Galilee is a modest stream. The hills rising on the far side of the valley are the Golan Heights.
Prior to the June 1967 Six-Day War, the Golan Heights were part of Syria, and Syrian artillery used them to bombard the Israeli towns, villages and farming communities of the Hula Valley. Many would have Israel return those hills to Syria, so that they once again could be used for that purpose, just as the heights of Lebanon, just to the north of Kiryat Shemonah, were used by Hezbollah to rocket and shell Kiryat Shemona and other northern Israeli communities during the fighting this past summer.
Those Hezbollah rockets and shells, in addition to damaging buildings in Kiryat Shemonah, also set fires in the trees on the lovely mountainside from which this photo was taken. Linda tells me that the Yeshiva and its friends around the world plan to plant 1000 trees on the moutainside, corresponding to the number of shells and rockets that landed in Kiryat Shemonah during the five weeks of the war. Any one who would like to help out this effort financially, or otherwise assist the yeshiva, can contact Linda by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.