Flowers blooming at the Dead Sea (Ira Kholmyansky) (Ira Kholmyansky)

Visitors are flocking to Israel’s southern region to see the desert bloom.

By Tsivya Fox-Dobuler

Israel’s extraordinary winter rains have not only replenished the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret) but also made the desert bloom. Visitors are flocking to see the budding desert landscape.

Ira Kholmyansky, who recently visited the Kalya junction near Ovnat, posted on Facebook several breathtaking pictures of desert flowers.

“It was amazing to see the flowers blossoming in such a dead place,” she told United with Israel. “It was incredible and very beautiful.”

Kholmyansky noted that for nearly two decades water levels in the Dead Sea, which is the lowest place on earth, was depleted, as was the Sea of Galilee. The Dead Sea receives the overflow from the Sea of Galilee, Israel’s only fresh-water source. However, due to continual years of drought, the dam that feeds the Dead Sea remained closed. Presently, it is hoped that the dam will be opened and the Dead Sea will receive some replenishing.

“The Dead Sea is a bit depressing as the water level goes down,” she continued. “But, it was still super peaceful to be there.”

A seven-kilometer (four-mile) stretch between Kibbutz Kalya and Ovnat is the perfect location for viewing the flowers. The desert seeds, dormant for years, have germinated due to this winter’s rains.

The Dead Sea has nearly 10 times more salt than oceans. Visitors who enter the water can simply lift their feet and float naturally, due to the high salinity.

Considered the eighth wonder of the world, the Dead Sea has high levels of oxygen and special minerals, known for their healing properties.

According to the Bible, this now barren region was once flourishing, with a passage in the Book of Genesis explaining, “Lot looked about him and saw how well watered was the whole plain of the Yarden, all of it, this was before God had destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.” (Genesis 13:10)

The area is also mentioned in the Book of Ezekiel (47:12), which explains, “All kinds of trees for food will grow up on both banks of the stream. Their leaves will not wither nor their fruit fail…Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”



Farmers near the Gaza border lost family, friends and workers. Spring is here, and they desperately need help to replant the farms. Join us in blessing the People and Land of Israel.

“I will ordain My blessing for you…” (Leviticus 25:4)