Luxury hotels share the Tiberias skyline with ancient structures of Jesus’ time. Located on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, the town feels more like a resort town, where ancient ruins are neither maintained nor sought by religious pilgrims. But, the town is important to Jews and Christians.
When the Romans crushed the Jewish rebellion and destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD, including the Second Temple, the Jewish population gravitated toward the Sea of Galilee. Tiberias is where Jewish oral law was recorded in the first Jewish Talmud, and is one of Judaism’s four holy cities. Tiberias is also central to many of Jesus’ travels.
My first recollection of Tiberias was as a young boy watching the movie, “The Ten Commandments”. Charleston Heston was an oarsman on a slave ship, and after a long journey across what I thought was the ocean, the slaves were exhausted, spending every ounce of reserved strength just to make it to shore. His ship was ordered to immediately return to Tiberias, which I thought was back across the ocean. I didn’t know where Tiberias was, but it sounded exotic, and the look on Heston’s face was what stuck with me. Why I remember this, I have no idea, but now I’ve seen Tiberias for myself. Wow!
Thought for the Day: Hollywood is a place where people from Iowa mistake each other for stars. Fred Allen