Friday, August 07, 2009

“Bible Valley” Park

Yediot Ahronot has an article which was summarized in the Caspari Center Media Review about a subject that I have not read about elsewhere.  Nor have I heard of a “Judaean valley,” but from the context I believe this refers to what geographers sometimes call the “Chalk Moat” on the eastern side of the Shephelah, near biblical Adullam.

In an article entitled "Bible Now," Eldar Beck looked at the background to the opening of a new "Bible valley" in the Judaean valley. The person responsible for the idea, Amos Rolnick, grew up on a Shomer HaTza'ir kibbutz which cancelled its Purim festivities due to Stalin's death....

Rolnick, a kibbutznik who broke away to become a 'capitalist,' understood that Israel possessed the greatest financial potential in the world: lovers of the Bible. 'I understood the power of the Bible in the world,' he acknowledges. This understanding led him to conceive one of the most daring of tourist ventures now being planned in Israel: the creation of a 'Bible valley' park - a reconstruction of the biblical experience in a journey for Jewish history buffs, to be spread out over 100 dunams [25 acres] of land located in one of the central foci of the biblical story, in the Addulam strip in the Judaean valley, south of Jerusalem, not far from Beit Shemesh.

'The Bible valley' is defined as an interfaith project - Jewish and Christian - so that it will be possible to use it to link the hundreds of millions of those who also believe in the New Testament to the Land. It will be comprised of features devoted to the different biblical periods: it will contain a 'Forest of legends,' a 'Forest of the land of milk and honey,' a 'Forest of the prophets,' a 'Forest of kings,' and, of course, a 'Forest of the Song of Songs.' Via various technologies, visitors will be able to pass from our own time to the days of the Bible and to experience the course of history and faith ...

The heart of the park is intended to be the 'Bible house,' which will serve as permanent accommodation for the children's paintings ... as well as help in raising the funds for the next monumental project: 'The people of the world write the Bible,' in which framework the books of the Bible will be written by hand by people across the world, in their native language. The intention, explains Rolnick, is to get to at least 100 books, in 100 languages." The first books have already been written - in Taiwanese, Tamil, Finnish, Mandarin, Bengali - and are currently on exhibit at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem....

The project, supported by various individuals including academics and literary figures, is due to be built within the next five years, the Bible house being first on the list.

More information about the project is given in the article.

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