Driving through the Druze village of Horfish with my nephew, we were
struck by the small town’s lovely vistas, large homes, five color flag hanging
in the town’s center, and the men’s pants. Horfish is a Druze village
of about 4,500 residents, (mostly Druze plus some Christians and Moslems)
in the western part of the Gallilee. It is the site of the tomb of
Sabalan, the founding Druze prophet. On September 10th
each year, Druze come to celebrate his festival in the village.
The flag we saw was red, green, blue,
white and yellow,
and my nephew
explained that each color represents a Druze prophet. Next we learned
that the large pockets hanging down nearly to the men’s knees were styled
that way because of the Druze belief that a man will give
birth to a prophet.
The Druze are part of a fascinating group of Israelis: they are loyal to
the State, serve in the armed forces, and their religious practices are kept
secret from outsiders. From reading about the Druze we also know that they
were founded over 1,000 years ago in 11th Century Fatimid Cairo where they
began as an Islamic reform movement and today live in Lebanon, Syria, Israel,
Jordan and the United States.
The Alamir Museum of Druze Heritage in the Village of Horfish is
a new museum seeking to reinforce and deepen the Druze-Jewish relations and
while it was not open that day, we hope to go back and have a proper tour.
Text by Deborah Rosenbloom
Photos by Judith Isaacson