Tiberias, so named to honor the second Emperor of Rome, is situated on the west side of the Sea of Galilee, 650 ft below Mediterranean sea level. Seems Jesus and his disciples chose not to enter this city because it had been build over some graves and a good Jewish person would not want to walk over a grave and become ceremonially unclean. However it is likely that the fishermen brought their boats to the shores of Tiberias and sold their fish from off their boats - salted fish from Sea of Galilee was a known delicacy in Rome.


After the Fall of Jerusalem in CE 70 and the prohibition by Hadrian in CE 132 for Jews to live in Jerusalem, renaming the holy city Amelia Capitoline, there was a migration north to Safed, Tiberias and Sepphoris. Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai (2nd CE) is credited with cleaning Tiberias by strewing lupine seeds (a legume) which would not flower over a tomb and so being identified the bones could be relocated and the city cleansed.

Tiberias also has a monument to the great philosophical Rabbi Maimonides who taught the oft quoted โ€œLadder of Charityโ€ (lowest rung giving only when asked, and then ascending giving before being asked, giving generously, giving to those you know, giving without knowing who receives etc. all the way to the top of the ladder).


An interesting road sign in Tiberias points to the Switzerland Forrest. When the Ottomans ruled in Palestine they put a tax on trees - so people chopped down their trees rather than pay a tax. Erosion followed, especially above Tiberias, and in 1934 a huge landslide came careering down the hill and enveloped Tiberias taking 24 lives. Engineers and foresters later came from Switzerland and replanted trees - hence the name Little Switzerland now with a panoramic drive along the brow of the hill from Poriyya to Tiberias.


Mineral hot springs abound in the area, (the best known today is Hamat Tevera), and were visited for their healing properties for skin ailments - and also pleasant therapeutic relaxation. This helps explain why so many sick people seemed always to be around Jesus - they came for the curative
properties of the mineral waters and heard that Jesus was healing people nearby.

Tiberias remains one of the four Holy Cities - Jerusalem, Hebron, Safed and our EO guests normally stay in this city when visiting the Galilee, often at a downtown hotel, appropriately named, Caesars!

*Dr. Lee van Rensburg*
*EO Hospitality*
*Sea of Galilee, Tiberias*