Peki’in

One of the most interesting villages in the north of Israel is the Peki’in village. It is an ancient settlement, on its territory were found the traces of humans 3500-4000 BC.

The Arab village appeared in Peki’in about the 11th century AD. At present day the general population of the village – Druze. Besides them here live Christians and one Jewish family.

Walk on Peki’in should start with the famous cave. According to the Kabbalah and Jewish tradition, Rabbi Shimon and his son Eliezer (authors of The Zohar) were hiding here from the Romans.

It is often confused with the cave Idra Rabba. I’ll make some kind of clarity – in Idra Rabba was a place for inner comprehension for Rabbi Shimon and his followers. Here, in Peki’in, they hid from the Romans and internally comprehend what later became the Book of Zohar.

What we see – it’s not the whole cave, but only its entrance. The main part of the cave is closed for safety reasons. But in spite of that, the place is holy, made to come here, to read excerpts of The Zohar.

Round a cave “breadfruit trees” grow, and in mountains there is a water source. According to legend, it was the food of Rabbi Shimon and his son.

Downstairs, we get to the main square of the village – there are shops, a swimming pool, which gets water from the same source, from the mountains.

You can stroll through the Peki’in, just wandering the streets, and after another below, you can see the remains of the ancient mills.

Peki'in streets

Peki’in streets

Another attraction is the ancient synagogue Peki’in. The building itself has become a modern look in 1875 (after the restoration of ancient buildings which served as a synagogue). At the place where a building was constructed, were found the remains of a synagogue Second Temple period (350 BC – 70 AD).

Next to the synagogue is a house of that only Jewish family and a small hostel for visitors to the synagogue, who remain to stay here on Saturday. In addition to the cave and synagogue there are several Jewish graves of the righteous in the village.

Taking a walk through the village you have to try Druzian cakes with “Laban.” Visit shop “Savta Jamil” (“Grandmother Jamila”) – the famous shop for soap and perfume and other products made from olives and other natural materials.

Peki’in is a great opportunity to meet with some Druzian culture.

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