Sammy Chazan and his wife, Anita, are the owners and resident miracle-workers of Mizpe Hayamim, an organic farm, hotel, spa, and more, located in Rosh Pina in the Galilee.
Mizpe Hayamim is truly a healing place in all senses. The hotel was the original vision of Erich Jacob Yaroslavsky, known as Doctor Yaros, a German homeopath who moved to Palestine in 1920 and envisioned a beautiful healing center at this spot. Yaros passed away in 1984, but Sammy Chazan has continued and expanded upon many of his ideas.
The thirty-seven acres on which Mizpe Hayamim is located are now cultivated with orchards, flower and herb gardens, and an organic farm and dairy, all of which supply the needs of the hotel’s guests. There are two restaurants (one is vegetarian) as well as a “confectionary” and bakery from which magnificent breads and sweets emerge daily, and a dairy kitchen-laboratory where dozens of types of cheese are made from the milk of Mizpe Hayamim’s goats and cows. The spa, too, uses products derived from the farms and gardens, in the form of floral essences and oils, soaps and tinctures, all with heavenly smells of lavender, jasmine, rose. The rooms and suites of the hotel are elegant and tranquil, looking out into treetops and beyond, as far as Mount Hermon or the shimmering Lake Kinneret.
Guests walk on twisted paths that wind beneath fruiting mulberry trees, through patches of garden overflowing with green spinach and chard, next to barns from which curious sheep crowd to the edge of their pens to peer out. Much of Mizpe Hayamim’s staff is hired from the local Arab and Druze population, who work both in the hotel and on the farm. The land here, though now green and yielding, was by no means always so. The Galilee is infamously studded with stones: the line is very clear where Mizpe Hayamim’s vibrantly green farms end and the hard, gray, uncultivated land adjacent begins. Dr. Yaros toiled for decades here to make this place useable, and his project continues. As Sammy says: “It is a lot of work. It never ends.” But it is unquestionably worth the effort to make possible this remarkable place, where healing seems so feasible, and where, as Sammy puts it, “everything is harmonized.”
The film Mizpe Hayamim: A Retreat for Body and Soul is available with the purchase of The Desert and the Cities Sing: Discovering Today’s Israel.