Dec. 6, 2010
There is much evidence that shows that the Carmel Mountain was inhabited in prehistoric eras beginning approximately a million years ago. In the twentieth century, scientists uncovered the remains of a Neanderthal, Homo sapiens, and early modern humans, including the skeleton of a Neanderthal female, which is regarded as one of the most important human fossils ever found. The modern traveler can visit the caves and learn how our prehistoric ancestors lived.
In the Bible, the Carmel Mountain symbolized beauty and fertility. It is also best known as the site of Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of the Ba’al. On Mount Carmel Elijah confronted the Pagan priests, who placed a sacrifice on their alter waiting for their Gods’ miracle to burn the sacrifice. After they failed to do that, Elijah asked to water-soak his sacrifice, the alter; and the surrounding area and then called on G-d. The fire of G-d fell from the sky and consumed the offering, the wood, the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench (1 Kings 18). This confrontation is believed to have taken place at one of the highest points of the mountain, known as El-Maharrakah, meaning the burning. Therefore, the Carmelite Order built a monastery at that magnificent point and placed a sculpture of Elijah there.
Nowadays, the Carmel mountain range is the home of Jews, Druze, Christians, Muslims, Baha’is, and Ahmadiyyas. A big area of the mountain was pronounced a National Park. It is covered with wild and planted forests and enjoys relatively much precipitation, resulting in year-round beauty, painted in green and the colors of bloom. In spite of many huge fires in the area, nature never gives up and the plants regenerate and bloom year after year. Inside the park there is a wild-animal reserve, called The Chai-Bar that helps wild animals that disappeared from the area return and readjust to their life there.
The Carmel Mountain range has been a beautiful place to visit, enjoy nature, explore unique holy places and admire one of the most beautiful cities – Haifa. By working together, we will restore this natural treasure.