The Fourth Day – The Ginosar Boat (Galilee)


On the way to Ginosar, we crossed the Jordan.

01 - The Mighty Jordan

the mighty Jordan river

Yuval explained that after heavy rains, lots of water flows down from Golan in rivulets called “yuvalim”. No matter how much he said that he was named after the word for river, I couldn’t remove the image of hundreds of Yuvals wandering down to the lake.

The rock to the north of the lake is mostly basalt from the dormant volcanos in the Golan. All around the north and east of the lake, lots of bananas are grown.

02 - Bananas

They’re covered in plastic to stop them getting blemishes. When asked what’s growing, Yuval likes to reply that they’re growing “blue plastics”.

On the west side of the lake, olives are more common. They’re grown commercially for oil here. Most of the tourist shops we went in today were selling Galilee Oil.

11 - Olives

We went to Kibbutz Ginosar, a farming kibbutz with a massive museum dedicated to a single exhibit.

03 - Sycamore

This is a sycamore tree. That’s not the exhibit.

About a generation ago, two men from the kibbutz were down by the bank after a drought and found some old nails in the mud. They started digging and began to find wood. It turned out to be a fishing boat dating from the early 1st century.

04 - Excavation

05 - Excavation

After digging the boat mostly out, it was sprayed with foam to protect it as it was moved. They didn’t know how to move it otherwise without destroying it, because the wood was very soft, and for a while they were thinking about building the exhibit right there on the shore.

05 - Foam

It was actually sailed across the lake (for the first time in almost 2000 years!) to the harbour at Ginosar. It was put in a huge tank of water with little fish to get the bugs out of the wood, and then in a tank of wax and chemicals to seal it up.

06 - Boat

07 - Me and Boat.jpg

We had some time to look around the shop. It was mostly all the same “Holy Land” and “Jerusalem” stuff, as well as the aforementioned olive oil. There was a large group of Orthodox people, including nuns and monks, going through at the same time as us.

08 - Kippot and Tallit.jpg

kippot (skullcaps) and tallit (prayer shawls)

09 - Torah

torot (the Pentateuch scroll)

10 - Mezuzah

mezuzah – little cases into which one slips a written-out shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-7-ish) and ties on the doorframe (taking the instruction in the verse in question quite literally)

There were tiny little torot in metal tubes about 10cm tall which opened up. I couldn’t believe it was the entire torah (you know how big the first five books are, right?), but couldn’t quite communicate that comment to the assistant nearby who asked if I wanted any help. He seemed to think I thought the entire Bible was there and tried to explain to me about the three parts of the tanakh and what the torah was.


4 thoughts on “The Fourth Day – The Ginosar Boat (Galilee)

  1. jedika98 says:

    Very interesting. I am glad you clarified that the sycamore tree wasn’t the exhibit though because when I first scrolled down to it I thought it was and I was like, “That’s weird. What is so important about that tree” – silly me. 🙂

  2. Ruth Hay says:

    amazing about the boat!

  3. Jo Creek says:

    Because you’d been writing about olive trees, I thought the exhibit of one item was olives (or olive trees). Then when it got to the photo of the sycamore tree I thought “Oh, that’s not an olive tree”. Then I was surprised when the next photo revealed it was an exhibit about a boat!

  4. Rachel says:

    There were twelve or thirteen different sorts of wood identified in the boat (I can’t remember how many), and the people of the kibbutz planted trees of each around the museum.

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