Benjamin travels to Tiberias from St. George. He has to travel five parasangs to arrive in Tiberias. He notes that the city is located on the Jordan River, which is locally called the Sea of Chinnereth and flows between two mountains filling a lake, which is actually similar to a sea. This then flows into the Sea of Sodom, also known as the Salt Sea. Benjamin is very interested in the waterways in Tiberias, and he has been interested in the ways in which water connects various cities throughout his travel guide. Even though we do not know his occupation, perhaps it has something to do with building or transportation. Or he is just interested so that he can build a comprehensive travel guide for Jewish people who wish to complete similar travels. He is interested in how cities operate and how they connect to other cities through waterways specifically.
As with every city he visits, Benjamin’s main priority is counting the number of Jews, although he rarely mentions this first. He usually talks about the appearance of the city, and then mentions the Jewish population. In Tiberias, there are about 50 Jews, some of which he mentions by name. The head, R. Abraham is actually an astronomer, which I was surprised to read. I have never heard of astronomy being Jewish tradition, but I am assuming that it was popular for all different religious and ethnic groups in the 12th century.
After quickly mentioning the Jews of Tiberias, Benjamin brings up hot, bubbling waters (maybe geysers?) aptly named the Hot Waters of Tiberias. Near these hot waters, there is the Synagogue of Caleb ben Jephunneh, which could be the only synagogue in Tiberias because it is the only one mentioned. Benjamin names two Jews who are buried in Tiberias, who may be of interest to other Jews of Tudela who will read this guide.
When describing Tiberias, Benjamin does not stray from his usual formula of describing his travels. He mentions everything worth mentioning to Jews who would want to escape from Tudela–how hard or easy it is to get to Tiberias, the landscape, and how many Jews there are. I am still surprised at how Benjamin is able to remove his own opinions from this narrative, or guide.