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Israel Photography by Yoav Cohen

Dawn over the Historic Jezreel Valley


The most coveted times in a photographer's day are the golden hours - when the sun is either rising above, or setting towards the horizon. Soft light and long shadows help deepen whatever it is you are supposed to feel towards the subject of your focus.

When your subject is an entire valley, considered one of the most historical and beautiful in Israel, it can be tough to select just one or two places to point your camera. This visit was no exception. But a quick drive at 5:00am, just south of the Academic College Of Emek Yezreel into the surrounding fields - and I did not have to wait long to find where to watch the moon set, and the sun rise.

The valley has seen thousands of years' worth of human history, dating back to Gideon and King Saul. For me, a more recent history came to mind - that of its Jewish settlers in the 1930s - brought to life in The Song of the Valley written by Natan Alterman and composed by Daniel Sambursky for the movie "The Land of Promise" in 1934.

The weary came to rest and finish their labors. Pale night spreads over The fields of the Jezreel Valley.

Dew underneath and moonlight above, From Beit Alpha to Nahalal....

Oh, what a night of nights Silence across Jezreel Sleep my beloved valley, land of glorious beauty We shall be your guardians.

The sea of grain is swaying, the song of the flocks rings out, This is my land and her fields, This is the Jezreel Valley. Bless and praise my country From Beit Alpha to Nahalal.

Mount Gilboa is darkened A horse gallops from shadow to shadow. A voice is carried high. Over the fields of the Jezreel Valley. Who has shot? who has fallen? Between Beit Alpha and Nahalal...


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