We went on a trip to the Galilee for a few days last week. Came around a small town called Pqiin and I felt it’s a place worth a few words. First it’s a village that is primarily Druze but is also home to Arabs and Jews. All living together if you can imagine …
One of the oldest synagogues in the country is in this town and is being serviced by a few Jewish residents and one family in particular. I forgot the name. It’s a tiny little synagogue and there is construction all around it right now. Getting there is quite a walk and is half the fun. The synagogue is located right in the center of the residential town and you have to walk through the narrow streets to get there, getting a great view of the town and its surrounding. It’s quite spectacular. The people greet you as you walk through the streets and are very pleasant and hospitable.
The Druze are a unique story in the middle east. There are members of the Druze nation is Israel and Lebanon. In the Israeli army they are always in scouting and front line combat positions. It is considered a source of pride within the community and some of the most decorated soldiers over the years have come from the Druze nation. They speak Arabic and for the most part are “old school” Labour party supporters.
The Druze religion is a secret religion. In general, and based on the little I heard, they believe in 5 prophets. These are prophets local to Israel. They also have a five color flag and star symbol made of what is said to be the 5 main elements of life. Red, for love, White for the soul, Blue for sea and sky, Yellow for the sun and Green for nature.
We spent the day walking around and having a cup of coffee in the center of the town, next to a really big tree. My father-in-law said it has been there for at least 30 years. I believe him. More images here.
Photographs by Shai Caspi