Cave Hopping Around Israel

September 2nd 2017

As fascinating, wondrous, and marvelous as Israel’s streets are, there is another element to this extraordinary country that some people never see. That’s because you have to look a little deeper to discover these wonderful gems hidden in plain view. Israel is host to a number of caves that are as exciting as an amusement park for adventure-seekers. Check out some of the coolest caves around Israel that are as thrilling as they are ancient.

Beit Guvrin Caves

The Beit Guvrin caves are located near the city of Kiryat Gat. The caves are part of the larger area of the Biblical town of Maresha. This city was mentioned frequently in the Bible for several significant events including housing Rehoboam during Egyptian attack, as well as being a home base for the famous Maccabean Rebellions.

Beit Guvrin is sometimes called the Bell Caves because of the system of bell-shaped caves that are in the area. The cave is particularly important to archaeologists for the great discoveries found there. Some of them include an extensive Jewish cemetery, burial caves, an amphitheater from the Roman-Byzantine era, public bath houses, and lovely mosaics.

Zedekiah’s Cave

This is the cave to visit for real explorers. A 5-acre underground network of intricate caves, tunnels, and passages, Zedekiah’s Cave is quietly running under the busy Old City of Jerusalem. It represents the largest limestone quarry in Jerusalem and took thousands of years to complete. Traverse these water caves for an unforgettable journey through history.

Cave of the Patriarchs

What discussion about significant Jewish caves would be complete without a mention of the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron? Probably the most prominent cave in Jewish history, the Cave of the Patriarchs is the famed grotto purchased by Abraham to bury his beloved Sarah. His children followed suit, so in total there are currently four pairs in the cave: Adam and Eve, Abraham and his wife Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah. Aside from being a fascinating piece of Biblical history, the Cave of the Patriarchs has a strong religious heritage, and Jews flock there by the thousands to commemorate and pray.

Elijah’s Cave

Anyone who has even a desultory knowledge of the Bible knows about the many episodes of Elijah the Prophet. So, visiting the cave where he rested during his sojourns through the desert is almost like being able to take a tour of Hogwarts for Harry Potter fans. Walk through the cave, located on Mt. Carmel in Haifa, and watch these dramatic tales come to life.