THE GREAT AMERICAN VACATION
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The restored village of Rosh Pina is a gift-shop-and-gallery-browser's delight, and the dilapidated wooden doors and stonework of some still-abandoned premises are part of the charm.
Rosh Pina—literally "cornerstone"—gets its name from Psalm 118:22: "The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone." This verse inspired the Galilee's first Zionist pioneers, who came from
Romania in 1882, determined to build a village in the malaria-infested area. They bought this land, at the foot of the mountain ridge east of Tzfat, from the neighboring Arab villagers of Ja'uni.
The pioneers, who had little experience in agriculture, struggled to survive until Jewish philanthropist Edmond de Rothschild bought the land. He provided them with tools, workers, and a new industry: the production of silk by silkworms. By the turn of the 20th century, Rosh Pina had grown into the country's fourth-largest Jewish farming community. Today it's a vacation destination and a year-round residence for 2,500 people.
In an otherwise deserted spot lie the ruins of Bar'am, one of the best-preserved ancient synagogues anywhere. Like most other synagogues uncovered...
Aside from the inspiring history of the "Masada of the North," the beauty of Gamla's rugged terrain, softened in spring by greenery and wildflowers...