|It may seem like an impossible feat but once you get to the top of Mt. Arbel you will find that it was worth every step. Once on top you will also see the Horns of Hittin where Saladin defeated the Crusaders in 1187 and a breathtaking view of the lake and the region. On the way up you will find caves that were the hideouts for the Jews who fought against the Greeks and Romans.
Moshav Arbel was a settlement during the Second Temple. It was here that Joshuas guards were stationed and Nitai the Arbelite, head of the High Court resided. Shmuel Ben Shimshon wrote in 1210: And we went up to the Arbel and there is a big synagogue built by Nitai the Arbelite. Some say that the graves of Jacobs children - Dan, Levi, and Shimon and Adams son Seth can be found here. Ben Shimshon also writes of this: And near to Arbel are three tribes of the sons of Jacob and Dina their sister and beside the flock grows a beautiful myrtle and none may take a branch from it, neither a Jew or Ismaelite, for fear of punishment. And near there is another sage. And the water pipe passes over it and it is covered with earth and the water falls in the spring in a kind of pit. And they say this is Seth, the son of the first man.
Next to Har Arbel is Kfar Hittin. In the 19th century Rabbi Haim Eliezer Waks relates that in 1876 he bought three groves in Kfar Hittin and planted hundreds of citron trees. Ten years later there were reports that 13,000 trees grew on Rabbi Waks land. At the turn of the century the JNF bought land in the area and some settlers tried to settle there but only in 1937 were the settlers successful in establishing a permanent settlement.
Did you know...
...In synagogues around the world the ark faces Jerusalem except in the Arbel. Here archaeologists found that the synagogue entrance faced a different direction. It is believed that the synagogue was built in stages and eventually a permanent place was created for the Ark facing Jerusalem.