Why You’ll Want to Visit Kfar Nahum in 2021
Traveling around Israel is not new for me. As a retreat leader, I visit most of the well known sites, along with many off-the-beaten-path spots, multiple times a year. There are so many ancient locations worth visiting in Israel, that seeing the top 10, or even top 20, doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of what’s available. Recently, I took a road trip with my husband to Rosh Pina, a city in Northern Israel. My husband, a history buff, quickly came up with a long list of places to visit while we were there. Our first stop: Kfar Nahum.
Many tourists know of the area as Capernaum. If you’re on church trip to Israel, it will likely be on your itinerary. If not, you probably wont hear about it. So why all the church group visits? Well, it was Jesus’ hang out for a few years. About 2,000 years ago, Jesus spent time teaching and healing in the area. In fact, there’s so much more archaeologists have discovered in the village. Here are 3 reasons you’ll want to visit Kfar Nahum in 2021.
3 Reasons You’ll want to Visit Kfar Nahum in 2021
1. The History
Archaeological evidence shows that the town was established in the 2nd century BC and Jesus spent time living there. He might have owned a home in Kfar Nahum, but historians say it’s more likely he stayed with a friend. On Saturdays (the Sabbath) he would teach in the local synagogue.
One of the highlights of visiting Kfar Nahum is seeing the ancient ruins of the synagogue where Jesus taught and prayed. Here’s a photo of me in front of it.
Just to give you an idea of how important this site is for Christians — Kfar Nahum was mentioned by all four gospels in the New Testament.
The ruins were discovered by Edward Robinson in 1838. It turns out, the archeological excavations resulted in the discovery of two buildings: the synagogue (photo above), and the octagonal church. Excavators found that one of the houses in Kfar Nahum was Peter’s. Yes, that’s THE PETER.
Unfortunately, there are two churches that were built over it. Of course, we went into one of the churches to see it.
2. It’s Absolutely Beautiful
I looked at few photos of the national park on the internet before our visit and it looked somewhat like other sites I’ve visited in Israel and Greece. When we arrived, I expected that it would look ancient, and it did. What I didn’t expect was that it’s absolutely beautiful. The village is located along the Sea of Galilee and the views are incredible. Jesus picked a perfect place to meditate.
There are stunning gardens surrounding the ruins, and beautiful places to sit and take in the beauty of Kfar Nahum.
To whoever is taking care of this site: great job. Or as they say in Hebrew, “Kol HaKavod” (which translates to “all the respect”). Every area we walked through was more beautiful than the last.
Walking through 2,000 years of history can be somewhat mind-blowing for anyone.
*If you look closely at the photo above, you can see an area for groups to sit during their visit to the Kfar Nahum. Throughout the park there are many places to sit and relax, whether you’re with group or on your own.
3. It’s A Special Place to Meditate
When we arrived we weren’t sure how long we would stay. An hour? Maybe two? It was hard to tell (from what we read) — which was a bit annoying since we were planning to visit other sites as well. After walking through the ruins, and visiting the church, we made our way to the other side of the park.
We noticed a few people were sitting on the rocks along the sea, and without thinking much about it, we made our way down to the water. There were a few Americans sitting and chatting about their visit. We overheard them reflecting on what a big deal it was for them to be there.
There were a few Americans sitting and chatting about their visit. We overheard them reflecting on what a big deal it was for them to be there.
We are Jewish, so we don’t have the same connection to Kfar Nahum as many of the visitors we observed that day. But walking through 2,000 years of history can be somewhat mind-blowing for anyone. As we relaxed, we found ourselves looking out over the sea in a meditative state. We sat and enjoyed the view until our stomachs started to grumble and it was finally time to go.
Below are a couple of photos of us by the sea:
We took this picture right before we left. You can see how this view can be quite meditative:
3 Reasons to Visit Kfar Nahum in 2021 Related Reading
Have you traveled to Kfar Nahum, Israel? What were your impressions? Email us at [email protected]
Photo credits: Jaclyn Mishal