Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Questions and Answers at Neot Kedumim

An article in Haaretz gives a little history and suggests a few reasons to put Neot Kedumim on your list of places to go.

Why for example, one might wonder, did that forefather of all forefathers Abraham camp under the “oak of Moreh” when he, Sarah and their nephew Lot first came to this land?  Is there significance to the oak? A deeper story behind the simple tale?

Have you always wanted to know why the children of Israel used the hyssop plant to brush paint on their doorposts when leaving Egypt? Or maybe you are one of those ancient history buffs more interested in why the Roman soldiers used the very same hyssop - dipped in vinegar - to quench Jesus’ thirst when he was on the cross?

And where on earth could one look for the answers to such questions?

Look no further than magical Neot Kedumim, Israel’s biblical landscape reserve, where the physical setting of the bible has been recreated on 625 acres teeming with everything from the majestic cedar of Lebanon to the scrappy hyssop bush.

[...]

One can rest in the shade of a willow around “Solomon’s Pool,” traipse around “Jotham’s Garden”, draw water from an ancient cistern, and then stop for a biblical themed lunch (which needs to be organized in advance) at “Abraham’s Tent.” Don’t expect tomatoes in your salad here, or any eggplant dishes, or, for that matter, any food not around when Rachel and Rebecca were in the kitchen. Sorry kiwi enthusiasts. And no surprise here: the restaurant is kosher.

Depending on the season, other activities offered at Neot Kedumim might include harvesting grain on a threshing floor, plowing and sowing a field, and plucking olives or operating an authentic olive press. Some activities such as shepherding, learn to write like Torah scribe and parchment preparation, and tree planting involve extra charges.

The full article is here. We recommended a visit several months ago. If you would like answers to some of the questions in the article but can’t wait for a visit, the books produced by Neot Kedumim (listed here) are the place to start.

Pool with date palms, Neot Kedumim, tb112103295

“Solomon’s Pool” at Neot Kedumim

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