A Guide to Israel
and its Holy sites
The Yarden is a very long, narrow winding river
that starts way up north, eventually pouring its waters into the Kinneret and then
continuing on until it goes into the Dead Sea. It forms the eastern Biblical border of
The word Yarden is made out of two words ; Yored Dan - it comes down from
the Dan. That's because it begins in Dan's territory. It gets most of its waters from four
major sources; from the melting snows of the Chermon mountain which form Nachal Chermon
(the Banyas), from Nachal Snir which starts way up in Lebanon and from Nachal Iyun which
also starts in Lebanon and goes past Metulah, and from the Chatzbani which comes down from
Shmurat Tel Dan.
This was the river that stopped its flow and stood still in its tracks
on the 10th day of Nissan, allowing Yehoshua and the Bnei Yisroel to cross over to the
other side. The Bnei Yisroel were commanded to place 12 large stones in it as a
remembrance of the great miracle that took place here. The place they crossed over was
directly opposite the city of Yericho. From here they also took 12 stones, which they set
up on the mountain of Avol. (Devorim 27). This is also the river in which the Novi Elisha
had Na'amon the general of Arom immerse himself in order to cure himself of his tzora'as
(leprosy). It was also the river which Eliyahu Ha'novi split and from where he was taken
by a flaming chariot into the heavens.
The Yarden widens during the spring and many a time can change its
snake-like course as it winds down south into the Yam Ha'Melech. The tribes of Reuvain,
Gad and half of Menashe were given the land to its east. Nowadays the Yarden acts as the
border between Israel and Jordan.