June 1st 2016
This is the fourth part in our series, Spotlight on Religion, looking at the various religious groups that have found themselves a safe, free, and accepting home within the borders of Israel. Today, we’ll explore the colorful world of the Israeli Druze along with some exciting activities, sights, and areas you can visit to really get that authentic Druze experience while you’re here.
The Druze faith is a monotheistic religion whose ideology incorporates aspects from a number of religions including Judaism, Islamism, Christianity, Hinduism, and more. They promote values such as truth, mindfulness, and rebirth. Here are a few activities that you can partake in to really learn more about this slice of the Israeli population.
Dive into the wonderful world of Druze daily life when you visit the authentic village of Daliyat el-Carmel. This Druze town is nestled in the Carmel mountain range, and every aspect of the village illustrates the ancient traditions that still fuel this peace-loving people’s lives today. Enjoy the typical Druze hospitality that these people are known for, as villagers open their homes so you can speak to and interact with them and see what their day-to-day life is like.
The Druze heritage house found on 8th street is a wonderful museum that displays several aspects of this peaceful religion in daily life as well.
Don’t miss out on the open market that’s only available on the weekend. This colorful bazaar has shops, restaurants, and stands filled with all the ethnic goodies you could imagine. Be sure to try something new and partake in the traditional Druze cooking for an unbeatable experience that your palate will thank you for.
Isfiya is another Druze village situated in the Carmel region. This settlement was developed back in the 17th century, and the traditions and lifestyles have carried through the ages to be prominently kept across the community even in our modern times.
At the center of town, you’ll find an interesting olive press and candle factory. Here you can learn all about how olive oil is made. When the process is finished, you can even watch as aromatic olive oil candles are formed. This is a fabulous activity that everyone in the family can enjoy, and it will give you an education as well!
The Druze will also offer a guided tour for those who want to get more information from their strolls down the interesting village streets. These guides are highly recommended as they will enrich the experience, adding stories, insights, and personal details about the religion and villages that you wouldn’t hear about otherwise.
Israel is as diverse as it is tiny, and her small borders hold a promise of peace, belief, and freedom for anyone who seeks those ideals. When you are in Israel this year, be sure to maximize your appreciation for this beautiful area by visiting the many and varied religions that are happy to call Israel home.