The tomb of Sheikh Ali Fares, one of the most significant figures of
the Druze faith, stands at the very top of Julis, a Druze town of about
5,300 in the Upper Galilee Mountains. It is across the street from the
tomb of the revered modern-day Druze leader Sheikh Amin Tarif.
Ali Fares, who was born in the early 18th century to a poor family,
became a religious scholar at a young age. Among the legends connected
to him is the miraculous appearance of a spring in the cave where he
meditated for 46 days. He spent most of his days in prayer on the
hilltop where his tomb was later located.
The modern stone building housing the tomb stands alongside a grove
of ficus trees that shades picnickers. Its doorway, flanked by
tombstones of Druze Israel Defense Force soldiers, leads to two rooms.
In one are the tombs of Sheikh Ali Fares and Sheikh Mohana Tarif, a
late-19th century Druze leader; arches near the floor indicate the
building covered a more ancient structure. The other is a small prayer