samaria

It certainly hasn’t reached the dimensions of the Ten Biblical Plagues, but leishmaniasis – dubbed “Rose of Jericho” because of the red rash it can cause – is a potentially disfiguring but not life-threatening skin disease. It is endemic to the Middle East, Latin America, southern Europe and other hot regions and is spreading, causing concern to Israeli parasitologists and dermatologists.  

Men dressed in white and wearing ancient tarbooka drums around their necks stand on the edges of the ancient hills of the Shomron. Then, the sound of the shofar breaks the silence and with its blast a pack of runners begin their journey through the lavish orchards, aromatic vineyards and layers of voluptuous greenery that was once – and is still today – the heart of Israel.