A short and easy trip to Ancient Yodfat , the stronghold of the Great Rebellion against the Romans in Galilee, which is especially recommended to visit in the fall, during the spectacular squill blossoming.
The track starts near the Moshav Yodfat entrance gate, one of the first Jewish settlements in the Lower Galilee Mountains after the establishment of the State of Israel. Right before the settlement’s gate, we’ll descend on a new road that will lead us to the beginning of the hiking path.
From the parking lot, we will begin a 5 minute hike up on a circular path marked in blue. During the fall, a blossoming of squills is evident along the path, covering the mound. The squill is a geophyte, which grows out of an onion that stores all the plant’s nutrients, its white flowers rising up on a cone-shaped Inflorescence stem.
We’ll continue with the narrow path circling the mound and observe the water wells, structure remains and the remains of the wall that surrounded the settlement during the days of the Great Jewish Rebellion against the Romans in 67 AD. In those days, under the leadership of Josephus, commander of the rebellion in Galilee, Yodfat withstood a 47 day old siege by the Romans. The siege included establishing tree and rock batteries on the northern wall in order to climb over it and enter the city, shooting rocks from catapults and shooting arrows until the city fell to the armies of Vespasian, the Roman governor. The city was conquered, demolished and most of its residents were killed. Josephus the Rebellion commander and a handful of his men escaped, hid in a cave and made a pact of suicide by each other’s hand, however Josephus managed to convince his partner that surrendering to the Romans would be a better choice, and so they did. After his capture by the Romans, Josephus convinced the governor Vespasian that he was a prophet, foretelling the rise of Vespasian as the ruler of Rome. As a result, Josephus was awarded Roman citizenship and land in Rome, where he lived the rest of his life and wrote 4 important books, which are considered to this day as valuable historic sources for The Second Temple researchers.
After passing the cave located at the top of the mound and a few ancient birch trees, from which there’s a spectacular view of the Lower Galilee Mountains, we’ll descend from the mound and return to our vehicle at the parking lot.