Tabor — Legend

Tabor — a mountain in the eastern part of Galilee, near Nazareth — rises to 588 meters above sea level and attracts the eye with its round shape. Its slopes thickly overgrown scrubby oaks, hazelnut, oleander and myrtle. In spring it is full of flowers, peace and quiet broken only by the singing of birds, and from the top of a magnificent view of the Jezreel Valley.


In Hebrew and Arabic Tabor, or Tabur, means "navel", because their shape resembles a flat mountain massive hemisphere

In Hebrew and Arabic Tabor, or Tabur, means "navel", because their shape resembles a flat mountain massive hemisphere, towering majestically over all the mountains and plains of the Galilee. While Tabor — not the highest point of the area, its outlines are visible within fifty kilometers or more. All Galilee mountains extend continuous chains, and only Tabor stands apart and, in contrast to the barren, sun-scorched, rocky slopes of these places, Tabor from bottom to top is covered with dense evergreen vegetation.

Legend has it that after the end of days will come down on Mount Tabor Heavenly Jerusalem. Maybe that is why since ancient times people of all ages and faiths feel that Mount Tabor carries a mystical power. They drew attention to the fact that the mountain is a magnet to him, and the desire to rise to the top of its majestic grows closer to her. First road to the mountain for the traveler has not been easy, but now the top of a winding paved, with wide paved track car chassis and agile Arab drivers only have time to get up and down tourists from different countries.

According to Christian tradition, Tabor is a place of the Transfiguration of Jesus: "… Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain. And he was transfigured before them: and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light. And behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. " Mothers described the evangelist miraculous event which occurred on the mountain, the name of which he did not return. But church tradition considers this Mount Tabor, so it is also called the mountain of the Transfiguration.

In the IV century Tabor began to make pilgrimages, and to facilitate the pilgrims way in 4340 it carved steps. Then the mother of the Emperor Constantine built the first St Helen Basilica of the Transfiguration on the mountain and the Church of the Three Apostles. In the VI century on the hill built three churches — Jesus, Moses and Elijah.

When the Crusaders came to the Holy Land, a knight Tancredi built a large fortress on the hill, and then gave it to the monks — the Benedictines. They had set up in her convent, but soon after, in 1187, Saladin's army destroyed everything that was built on Mount Tabor, and the inhabitants killed. Since then, the mountain was empty for many years. Only occasionally raised Christians to pray here.

In the middle of XIX century Orthodox monk from Nazareth Irinarkh after numerous ascents of Mount Tabor decided to settle there with his pupil. Wandering among the ruins, he saw a semicircular base altar apses. Put them on a stone table and began to serve prayers. Hearing about it rang very quickly.

He was called a man of God. His righteousness was legendary, and exploit in the name of faith prompted a few wealthy families give money to build a Greek Orthodox Church of the Transfiguration. Noteworthy examples followed Greek Patriarch of Jerusalem and the head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem. The monastery bell tower was built with donations Russian philanthropist. The construction of an Orthodox monastery over 70 years of XIX century. But the elder Irinarkh not live to see the construction work — he died at the age of 93 years old. By order of the patriarch of Jerusalem Cyril Irinarh relics were buried in the church, on the right side of the altar area.

However, in the XVII century on Mount Tabor, the Franciscans were able to return. They gradually took up the excavation and restoration of an old monastery and church. In the 20 years of XX century, set a new basilica on the site of Byzantium. Under the central part of the crypt of the basilica is located (underground), where you can go down the stairs, there is an altar, the remains of the walls of a Byzantine church, and on the stone floor of the monks to mark the place where Jesus stood during the Transfiguration.

On the territory of the Franciscan monastery is well. The monks say it — the very place where Jesus told his disciples not to tell anyone about what they saw on the mountain, "… until the Son of Man had risen from the dead." Nevertheless, the desire to know what had happened at Mount Tabor, invariably occurs in all who seek to get to the top of the Transfiguration Day — August 19. Pilgrims gather here, pray, sing psalms, because according to tradition on this day with mountains rising cloud that dissolves in the sky …

"Transfigured on Mount Tabor You, Jesus, and a cloud of light, like a tent that spread, Thy glory covered the Apostles," — said in the liturgy of the Transfiguration of the Lord, and the icons of the Transfiguration of the artists usually depict heavenly glow that comes from Christ, opposed from the sacred horror students plunge their faces. Circle behind the figure of the Savior means "gaping heaven," a revelation, the supreme being.

The territory of the Orthodox monastery on Mount Tabor — this is truly paradise. Everywhere flowers, whimsical cactus trees. Surprising silence interrupted only the chirping of birds. Here you experience a rare sense of peace and repose of the soul. Fresh mountain air filled with aroma of lemons, somehow always blooming, sleepy. The words of Luke of the Transfiguration: "Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep, but awake they saw his glory".

Measured monastic life is interrupted only on the eve of the Transfiguration. On this day, here to take part in the festive service and, of course, hoping to see the miracle of the descent of the cloud, attracts thousands of pilgrims. Now raznoyazykoy crowd of pilgrims often heard speaking Russian.
"Liturgy is the open air, because the church was not able to accommodate everyone. Night service is available in four languages: Greek, Russian, Arabic and Serbian. All look with hope to the sky, but it is clean, you can see only the bright stars. The light from the stars clearly highlights the silhouettes of the surrounding mountains. Service is coming to an end, people come to Communion. Four in the morning … Suddenly everyone notices how the earth is spread sheet of thick fog. Suddenly people surround brilliant sparks and flashes of light, sparks everywhere, and they are many. These flashes of light, like lightning, many well-known: they were seen at the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, on the eve of Easter, before the descent of the Holy Fire. A few minutes a huge cloud enveloping the temple. Brought them fertile dew covered trees, grass, clothes, hands and happy faces, thanking God for a miracle. "

Russian diplomat, speaking about their experiences on the web site, added: "Leaving Tabor did not want to … Probably the first time I moved slowly in heavy traffic vehicles, without being impatient. I thought about how much the history of mankind that people, who, like the Apostle Thomas, were in need of visible and tangible evidence that God — next! How difficult it is immersed in the bustle of man to comprehend God's Word: "My kingdom is not of this world"! Praise the Lord for what He repeats the miracle of Tabor from year to year, transforming us with the light of His Transfiguration!

Was daylight when we went down to the foot of Mount Tabor. After traveling a few miles in the Jezreel Valley, I stopped the car to once again to look at the Holy Mountain. Its top was covered with a thick and white as wool, gauze. More on pure Galilean sky was not a single cloud "

Irina Strekalova

Category: Mystery stories

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