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Where Man and Nature live Side by Side . . .

A walk on the wild side ... strolling through Ramat Menashe’s beautiful natural scenery.  Story and photos by Steve Kramer

ESRA had a beautiful hike in Ramat Menashe during the intermediate days of Passover. This is one of the two regions of Israel in which the ancient tribe of Menashe resided. (The other area is located in the Golan Heights.)

Nearly 50 of us, including children, walked through Ramat Menashe's beautiful valleys, climbed gentle hills, passed by springs, reservoirs and orchards (including a few relatively uncommon pomegranate orchards), enjoying great views along the way. The weather was magnificent, allowing us to fully enjoy the beautiful seasonal flowers. 

Best foot forward ... enjoying the ESRA hike.
Prickly but pretty ... an example of cacti to be found in Ramat Menashe

Ramat Menashe is the first designated park in Israel. It was given that status by the British during the Palestine Mandate. It contains natural gall oak forests, pistachio and other trees, cacti, open spaces, fields, villages, orchards, springs and flowing streams. It is listed by UNESCO as a biosphere: a model of sustainable coexistence between man and nature.

Our route passed by the Nili stream, named after the sensational Jewish spy ring which helped the British war effort in Palestine. "NILI was a secret, pro-British spying organization, which operated under Turkish rule in Palestine during World War I, under the leadership of the world-renowned agronomist, Aaron Aaronsohn. NILI is an acronym for NetzahYisrael Lo Yeshaker, meaning The Eternal One of Israel will not lie (Samuel I 15:29), which served as its password." (

Another point of interest was the Taninim spring, named for the crocodiles which frequented it until they were hunted to extinction in the early 20th century by Arab hunters. Remnants of a 4th century BCE city, Crocodilopolis, were visible to the trained eye. The lovely hike ended near Moshav Aviel, one of the settlements established by the Herut political party in 1949.

This was a delightful and moderately taxing adventure in ESRA's hiking program led by our excellent guide, Reuven Arad. 



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Thursday, 25 July 2024

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