Two months before Israel (and eventually the rest of the world) went into its first lockdown because of the COVID-19, Erick and I filmed in northern Israel. My favorite shooting (by far!), was a short introduction of Mount Hermon while I was skiing with my friend and fellow guide, Pini Refael.
We spoke about the Etymology of the name Hermon (probably from Hebrew Herem, which means confined, or Arabic Haram which means Sacred).
Hermon and God’s Promise to Abaraham
Genesis 15 records a covenant made between God and Abraham, in which God announces to Abraham that his descendants will eventually inherit the Promised Land, the Land of Israel. Known as the “Covenant of the Pieces.” Both Jews and Muslims believe the event took place at Mount Dov, one of the mountain peaks of the Hermon.
Hermon and the Transfiguration of Jesus
It is also quite possible that the Transfiguration of Jesus, an event recorded in the Synoptic Gospels, took place here. None of gospels mention the name or location of the mountain where the transfiguration took place. Yet, all of them record the event right after Jesus and the disciples visit Caesarea Philippi, which is at the foothill of the mountain.
Furthermore, in the second epistle of Peter 1:18, Peter states the event happened at “the sacred Mountain.” Mount Hermon was the only mountain in antiquity associated with sanctity. Additionaly, the description of Jesus turning into “dazzling white” during the transfiguration might also allude to Mount Hermon. It is the only mountain in Israel that turns into dazzling snowy white, every winter.
However, most Christians believe the transfiguration took place on Mount Tabor. Both the Catholic and the Greek-Orthodox erected churches at its top. Yet, Mount Tabor was settled in the time of Jesus. The Gospels, on the other hand, indicate Jesus and the disciples were by themselves when the transfiguration took place. Mount Tabor is also much further from Caesarea-Philippi, and it never snows on Mount Tabor.
Touring Mount Hermon
The highest accessible peak of Mount Hermon, in Israel, can be reached by a ski lift at the Hermon ski site. In the winter months it can be quite crowded, especially on the weekends. But the Ski lift operates throughout the year, and in the summer months it is quite a serine and spiritual site.