Honey, witches and marzipan
There are a number of interesting family activities to do in the Mount Tabor area. These include a silk and honey farm, the archeological museum at Kibbutz Ein Dor and a marzipan store.
Dvorat Hatavor (silk and honey farm)
This great place for families with kids demonstrates how honey and silk are made. Its specialty is showing groups of children around. Coincidentally, honey harvesting coincides with the summer vacations and High Holidays. If you go with a group, there are four areas to view, each of which requires about ½ hour, to a total of almost 2 hours. This includes a protected area with beehives. This is also the only farm in Israel that makes silk. There is a large covered area with benches and a kiosk selling drinks and snacks. Tours in English for a group of six (or a minimum of 300 nis) can be prearranged during the week. On Fridays there are tours in Hebrew for families at 10.00 am, 12.00 pm and 2.00 pm. Directions: Enter into Waze “Bee Tabor” and click on “Bee Tabor- Dvorat Hatavor, Shadmot Dvora, Israel.” Their phone number is 972-4-676 9598. E-mail: tour-galilee.co.il.. This is their website.
How to watch bees without getting stung
The Archeological Museum at Ein Dor
This is a small, approved archeological museum with two rooms and an outdoor exhibit. The exhibits are from findings in the larger area around. Explanations are provided for each section in Hebrew, English and Arabic. However, individual items are not explained, which means that you really need a tour to fully appreciate all the exhibits. There is a helpful brochure in Hebrew. Outside the museum are ancient and less ancient equipment for pressing olives and milling wheat. The museum specializes in groups, and English-speaking groups can be accommodated. However, providing tours for individuals is not worth their while. Directions: Enter into Waze “Kibbutz Ein Dor.” The museum is well-signposted inside the kibbutz. Telephone: 04-677 0333. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. This is their website.
Where was the witch?
Ein Dor was the first settlement formed after the State of Israel was declared in 1948. There is also a biblical connection, in that King Saul went to the medium of Ein Dor to summon up the spirit of the prophet Samuel in a desperate attempt to find out about his impending battle against the Philistines. The prophets had offered no prophecy, nor had the priests offered the use of the urim vertumim. These are elements of the High Priest's' breast plate that were used to tell the future. There is an explicit Torah prohibition against seeking mediums and Saul himself had forbidden it in his kingdom. Samuel had nothing of comfort to tell Saul. He would die during the forthcoming battle.
However, the kibbutz of Ein Dor is not the site of the Biblical Ein Dor. A possible site is where the ruins of the Arab village of Endor are south of Mount Tabor. This was deserted during the 1948 War of Independence. This village was built on an earlier Roman village. In favor of this location are its Arabic name, in that Arabic place names very often retain the ancient Hebrew name. Other locations have also been suggested.
A canteen and shop sell marzipan, chocolate and other products in the industrial area of Kfar Tabor at the foot of Mount Tabor. There is an introductory video showing how marzipan is made from almonds grown in local farms. You can create your own marzipan and chocolate figures using a kit that is sold. There used to be a Marzipan Museum showing figures made out of marzipan and workshops, but this all became a casualty of the covid epidemic. There are also no longer tours of the factory because of health regulations. Hours during the summer are Sunday to Thursday 9.00 am to 6.00 pm, Friday to 4.00 pm, and Saturday 10.00 am to 6.00 pm. Closing is an hour earlier during the winter. Their phone number is 04- 677 2111. Directions: Enter “Marzipan Factory Kfar Tavor” and click on “בית המרציפן והשוקולד כפר תבור “