Wednesday, June 20, 2018

How to Impress Your Date: 8 Great Ideas in the Jerusalem Area and Danny Green pased away at 46, an inspiration to us all

Yehuda Lave, Spiritual

Advisor and Counselor

Danny Green, 46, Inspired San Diego Friendship Circle

Born with a rare Down Syndrome-like condition, grew to model positivity and inclusion

By Musia GurevitchJune 12, 2018 11:08 AM
Danny Green, left, inspired the formation of a Friendship Circle in San Diego, where people with disabilities and their families find joy and inclusion.
Danny Green, left, inspired the formation of a Friendship Circle in San Diego, where people with disabilities and their families find joy and inclusion.

When Danny Green was born with Partial Trisomy 18 (a rare chromosomal disorder similar to Down syndrome) in 1972, doctors knew of only seven other documented cases. They suggested that his parents leave him behind in the hospital; his prospects for life were slim, his chance for a meaningful existence next to none. But Elisheva and Alan Green took their firstborn son home. He grew to be a man with a fearless heart and mighty soul, and he proved those doctors wrong every day of his life. Danny inspired the formation of a leading Friendship Circle in San Diego, where people with disabilities and their families find joy and inclusion.

After 46 years of heralding friendship into this world, Danny passed away on May 15 in Brussels, Belgium, where he was spending Passover with his family.

"He genuinely saw the good in every person and situation," remembers Elisheva Green. When her family was young and growing, she would bring out dinner to a gaggle of kids at the table. There was always a child or two who felt the need to say "yuck" or complain about the menu, she tells But every single day, no matter what was for supper, Danny would smile at his mother and say, "This is my favorite one!"

Unwittingly, Danny created an attitude that permeated the household—one that didn't dwell on deficiency but recognized positivity. As the family grew closer to Judaism, it was Danny who reflected Torah values most naturally, they say. While popular culture glorifies the body and the age of technology reveres the brain, Torah teaches that the soul is the most important thing of all. "Danny had the best soul," a friend recalls. His instinct was to love, not hate; his impulse to give, not take. "I believe he was an example for his siblings and their friends," shares Elisheva Green. The people around him automatically absorbed some of his goodness.

Once, Danny's younger brother, Orin, went to Camp Gan Israel. On the first day of camp, a boy with no arms climbed off the bus and the camp directors gulped, envisioning an endless summer dealing with this sure-to-be outcast. When Orin met the boy, the first thing he noticed were two strong legs. "Let's play soccer!" he shouted to his friends. By the end of the day, the boy was totally accepted by the group.

That was Danny's influence. His good humor and disposition made him easy to love, but finding the right niche to develop his skills proved to be a challenge.

Family Inspired by a Meeting With FDR

"I grew up in a home where education was a top priority," says Elisheva Green. Her father, Morton (Mordechai Chaim) Rewen, contracted polio at the age of 12. There was no special education available, so his dedicated mother homeschooled him for four years. When he was 16, Morton was accepted to Columbia University. He had always loved playing sports, and despite his promising academic future, he could not help feeling depressed by his physical condition. Elisheva Green's grandmother would not give up on her son.

"She somehow arranged for my father to meet with the governor of New York, who had also survived polio," she recalls. The governor's name was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The future president of the United States sat for an hour with Morton, convincing the young teen that his life was not over. Teaching him that while every person has weaknesses, a true hero finds his strengths and chooses to focus on them.

Just like her grandmother, Elisheva Green would not give up on her son's future. At the time, there was no Jewish educational institution that could cater to her son, so Danny joined a special-education track in public school. There, he learned to explore his talents and push his academic skills to their utmost potential.

Although Danny enjoyed school, he found true pleasure in fulfilling Torah and mitzvot. The Jewish commandments do not discriminate; Danny could fulfill the mitzvah of putting on tefillin just the same or with even more passion than his mainstream friends and neighbors. Danny made it a priority to pray three times a day. He observed Jewish holidays with an excitement other boys reserved for baseball. Sometimes, he would meet strangers at the supermarket and excitedly teach them how to make a blessing on food. His Jewish identity and expression were a source of deep pride.

When Danny's siblings married and moved away from home, he found himself isolated for the first time in his life. The Jewish Community Center of San Diego had an excellent inclusion preschool program, but there weren't any suitable programs for families or older children with disabilities.

Once again, her friends say, Elisheva Green did not lift her hands in defeat. Danny needed a Friendship Circle. (San Diego needed a Friendship Circle!) So she began one. The Friendship Circle of San Diego enriches the lives of children, teens and adults with disabilities through social and recreational experiences while inspiring volunteers to participate in building a stronger and more inclusive community.

Danny loved the San Diego Friendship Circle, which has been called a "national role model." He always arrived early to help set up and stood by the door to greet every guest personally. While his mother worked tirelessly as the executive director, Danny poured his energy and smiles into making the Friendship Circle a place where every person felt welcome.

"When Danny turned 40, he wanted to change his name," says Elisheva Green. "So we started calling him Dan. It made him feel like more of a man."

"Dan the Man," as he was nicknamed, was a man of many smiles. There was the exuberant beam that shined on his face when he met a buddy from his special-education program; the professional smile he flashed when a customer walked into the Gap clothing store where he worked; and perhaps most powerful of all—the boundless grin he shared to cheer up a sad child in the local preschool where he served as a teacher's aide. It is no wonder that Danny was the inspiration for a program that brought immeasurable friendship to hundreds of families in San Diego.

In the last weeks of Danny's life, many family, friends and strangers—touched by Danny's beautiful heart and soul—committed to positive resolutions in his merit.

How to Impress Your Date: 8 Great Ideas in the Jerusalem Area

Jerusalem is a great city for dating because this amazing city has it all. There are cultural activities, spiritual activities, culinary activities, extreme sports, romantic overlooks and so much more.


Inspired by  Daniella Rudoff, a well known matchmaker in Israel and the Marriage Architect, I began to think about ways I could help dating couples find some exciting activities to do together — to help them choose an activity that will help them get to know each other better – something to enjoy and something that brings out the FUN side of dating.

I turned to my favorite  FUN in Jerusalem vendors who spend each and every day entertaining customers and asked them to tell us why their activity is a great "date". Here is what they had to say:

Glass Blowing Workshop – Yael Vloch –

In my studio in Jerusalem I have a lot of different guests, but I think the coolest are the couples that come in for a date. When you work with glass you work with fire, it is hot and it is exciting. Glass blowing makes people happy. I love to see when the couples start to encourage each other, give each other support and enthusiastically work together. "

The Workshop Gush Etzion – Mandy & Jeremy Broder –

Date Night at The Workshop Gush Etzion is perfect one-on-one time with a special-someone in your life. There are no awkward silences. You'll be kept busy for the full 2.5 hours, in a fun and relaxed atmosphere, where you can work together on a joint project or side-by-side as you create your own individual pieces. Long-lasting memories will be made, as you enjoy each other's company while learning to work with the wood and other materials to create your pieces of Judaica."

Jclay – Shifra –

Painting pottery has been a classic date night activity for many years. The new JClay store in between the Shuk & Geula adds a unique twist to the date night with unique custom Judaica products like scenes from the Jerusalem skyline on mugs and plaques as well as havdala sets and more. It's a nice quiet place to get to know your date and a great artistic distraction to lighten the pressure of a date. We've even had a couple come back to propose at JClay because their date here went so well"

City of David Halleluyah Night Show –

Finding the right date night activity just got easier. Enjoy the highly acclaimed Nighttime Presentation – Halleluya – at the City of David. The show tells the story of our return to rebuild ancient Jerusalem using state of the art lasers and music. A thrilling, outdoor cinematic experience projected onto the ancient ruins in the actual site where this story unfolded.

If the date goes really well then you can stop into the City of David gift shop to buy a special piece of jewelry inspired by ancient Jewish history or a unique souvenir to remember this special date."

Galita Chocolate Workshops at Kibbutz Tzuba —

Who doesn't love chocolate? Decorating chocolate or making your own unique pralines can teach your date about your tastes and flavors. Chocolate workshops can be arranged during the day and are Mehadrin. Don't miss the great views from Kibbutz Tzuba and ask the front desk about the many hiking trails. Best part of the date is coming home with some delicious memories. "

The Wine Temple, Emek Refaim – Eli –

If you are looking to impress your date with a sophisticated activity, then stop into the Wine Temple for a workshop and some tasting. Workshops must be reserved in advance but there is always a bartender there who can explain the different varieties of wine. We are located on Emek Refaim in an old stone building with lots of character. So, come and stop by "

Regush ATV Adventure – Aryeh Weinstock –

There is no better place to grow a relationship than to experience a challenging and exhilarating ATV ride through a historic part of Israel. Regush offers ATV trails past natural springs and on the Path of Our Fathers in Gush Etzion. Share the driving, learn about the history together and experience fun and adventure."

Busters Beverage Company –

Have you tasted our alcoholic cider or our alcoholic lemonade? Now you can come on a tour and see how we make it. Walk behind the scenes in our Beit Shemesh Factory and end with a tasters flight of beer, alcoholic ciders and more. Each Friday there is a FREE walk- in tour (reservations required) or book your own private visit. It's a really fun date experience."

Now that we have given you the ideas for activities let's hear a few words of advice from the dating experts…

Daniella Rudoff
Dating and Marriage Consultant

Come with a smile to your date! Your goal is to meet someone new, to try to get to know them well enough and to see if you enjoy spending time together. That's all.

If you had a nice time on this date, then do you want to spend more time with this person to get to know them even more? 

There are different dating cultures which determine the setting of your first couple of dates. Choose the activity or location you both will feel most comfortable with, make sure to dress accordingly, plan to bring or buy drinks and food, and have fun!"

Once you are both comfortable in your relationship, then there are endless possibilities of amazing dating activities and settings to enjoy each other's company! 

Best tip ever: Keep dating your whole life together. That's the key to a great marriage. Happy Dating! 馃檪 

Micki Lavin Pell
Certified Marriage Therapist and Relationship Coach
i24 News Contributor

First date should be casual, don't want to build expectations. You want to choose a location that makes each of you feel safe and comfortable. For some that will be a crowded cafe, for others it will be taking a walk in a quiet park for others it will be getting away as far as possible from your own neighborhood …less chance you run into people you know.

As your dating progresses try different activities that create a bond between you like sports activities, hiking, biking, exercising, or escape rooms which are great for bringing out your fun side. Things may and will go wrong, and that's the idea. This is a part of life. You want to know how people deal with challenging, stressful and tense situations.

Most importantly make sure to have Fun In Jerusalem whether you are a single dating or a couple looking for a fun activity to do together. "

Thanks to all of our FUN vendors who shared their activities with us. I know we have given you lots of different options to choose from.

Enjoy your date and enjoy Jerusalem. If you need any more ideas make sure to  contact Fun In Jerusalem!

| "Out of the blue," regal biblical color Tekhelet returns to modern Israel

Zvi Herman    
Monday, 04 June 4:51 PM

A new exhibit exploring the mysterious color tekhelet, a vibrant blue dye mentioned 49 times in the Torah and later chosen as the central color of Israel's national flag, opened this week at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem.

The source of the color tekhelet was a mystery for nearly 1,500 years until later identified by archaeological evidence from around the eastern Mediterranean coast.

The tekhelet exhibit at the Bible Lands Museum was launched in honor of Israel's 70th year of independence, as the power and significance of tekhelet emerged from Jewish memory in modern times as the inspiration for Israel's vibrant national flag.

The exhibit narrates the quest for the biblical blue color, "yearned for by mankind throughout generations."

"Its sacred meaning took root in Jewish history when the Israelites were commanded to cover the Ark of the Covenant and Tabernacle utensils with tekhelet dyed cloths, and to tie tekhelet threads to the corners of their garments as a reminder of God and his commandments," curator Yehuda Kaplan told JNS.

As the dye industry declined, the origin of the color baffled many for centuries, only to be recently identified by marine biologists and Talmudic researchers who discovered the source—murex snails indigenous to the Mediterranean shores, near Haifa.

The fade-resistant pigment from a glandular secretion of murex snails was likely used in ancient times by early peoples of the Near East, applied to textiles for the biblical blue. The color mirrors the stone lapis lazuli (called sapphire in the Bible), imported from Afghanistan to the ancient Near East, and prized for its heavenly color of God's throne and footstool.

Archaeological evidence for the tekhelet industry, dating back to 15th century BCE, includes remains of crushed murex shells and potsherds bearing remains of the dye, in addition to small pieces of dyed textiles discovered in Syria and documents from the same time period mentioning the color.

Tekhelet textiles became prized commodities in the ancient world, as unique expressions of royalty and divinity.

"The large number of snails required for their production and the complex manufacturing process, together with their beauty and resistance to fading, made textiles dyed in blue and purple into luxury items identified with royalty and divinity," said Kaplan.

It is described as the pure color that made up the High Priest's robe and the thread used in his headdress, as well as the color used on tzitzit (tassels of the Jewish tallit, or prayer shawl) to remind the Jewish people of God and his commandments.

"The decline of the tekhelet dye industry [and along with it, the skill required to produce these dyes] after the Muslim conquest in the 7th century CE led to the disappearance of the blue thread from the tzitzit," said Kaplan.

Dr. Baruch Sterman, author of The Rarest Blue: The Remarkable Story of an Ancient Color Lost to History and Rediscovered, also noted at a Jerusalem press conference ahead of the exhibition opening, "During Roman imperial control of the region, using tekhelet was made a crime of treason punishable by execution, and the knowledge of how to make it was lost for 1,200 years."

As tallit reverted to a prayer shawl rather than a daily garment, the shawls were decorated with blue stripes as a memento to the tekhelet that was once part of the tzitzit.

Flag of Israel

It is thus no surprise that when it came to choosing the colors of the Zionist flag in the 19th century, tekhelet was a strong contender. The leaders of the Zionist movement found that tekhelet blue stripes with a Star of David in its center perfectly expressed the identity and national aspirations of the Jewish people, and this is what was used.

Mirroring old practices, "This is how the Jews decided to identify themselves and be identified," said Sterman.

David Wolffsohn, who designed the flag for the First Zionist Congress held in Basel in 1897, wrote: "Indeed we have a flag, white and blue. This tallit in which we wrap ourselves in prayer—this tallit is our emblem."

Then, in 1948, the flag of the Zionist movement became the national flag of the newly established state of Israel.

"Now not only an expression of Jewish personal devotion that survived millennia of historical transformations, but also imprinted as a modern symbol of national pride and determination on a global stage, tekhelet blue lives on," stated Kaplan.

Since its discovery, tekhelet is now seeing a revival.

According to Rabbi Tuly Weisz, Director of Israel365, "Today, for the first time in centuries, people are once again wearing tekhelet on their tzitzit. From even the smallest sea creature, we continue to see the wonders of the Bible come to life in the land of Israel."

Zev Stub    
Wednesday, 06 June 9:56 AM

From the website (with permission), a website for outdoor activities - hikes (tiyulim), walks, family cycling and outdoor swimming - in Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Mountains, Judean Desert, north and south of Jerusalem, and Shefela (up to 75 minutes drive from Jerusalem, with directions for public transport), with interesting articles on the history, geography, geology and botany of Israel.


How did the ancient Israelites and the peoples who settled after them in this land live in the Judean mountains with no rivers for drawing water, few fields for agriculture, and a rain-free summer of about four months? The answer - there are many natural springs on the mountainsides, they used terrace agriculture, and they grew species adapted to the long dry summer. This is all displayed in the Sataf Reserve - a 'feet-on museum" developed by the Jewish National Fund. The JNF forested the area with pine and cypress trees, restored old terraces, and planted vines, and olive, fig, pomegranate and almond trees. They also laid out hiking trails. This reserve is only a short distance from Jerusalem and is an extremely popular hiking area. So experience the beautiful scenery, follow the explanatory signs on this circular hike, and add some curiosity – and you are in for a hiking treat! 


Time: About 2¼ hours 

Distance: A circular hike of just over 5 Km

Difficulty: This is an easy trail on a dirt path. In a few areas there is easy climbing on rocks. From the spring to the parking lot the ascent is a bit steep.  

Starting point: Start at the upper car park in the Sataf Reserve. 

There used to be a restaurant adjacent to the parking lot, but there were structural problems and this is now boarded up. However, the WC's are still functional and there is a caravan selling coffee, other drinks, snacks, and even meals. 

Directions from Jerusalem: Enter into Waze  "Sataf Reserve" or "砖诪讜专转 转专讘讜转 住讟祝". 

Take route 1 from Jerusalem and exit onto route 3965 to Mevaseret  Zion. Turn left after the exit road and continue on route 3965 towards the Castel. Pass the Castel and keep straight on 3965 through the roundabouts. When you come to the Sataf roundabout (which can be identified by the exit of route 395 to Tzubah), take the second exit to Sataf. There is also a small brown sign pointing to Sataf. You will come shortly to the upper car park on the left. Alternatively, and depending on where you live in Jerusalem, drive via Ein Kerem.

Depending on where you are coming from, an alternative way to route 3965 is via route 386 and route 395.

Public transportation: Enter "Sataf" into Moovit. Bus 183 stops at Ma'asaf Sataf, which is a 5 minutes walk away (0.3 mile). Buses 157 and 155 stop 1.7 miles away at Palmach/Mishlat (a 37 minute's walk), and bus 158 stops at Mitzpe Habira/Sderot, also a 37 minute's walk.





When the Israelites came to Canaan at the time of Joshua, the best agricultural land in the valleys and coastal plain was already occupied by the Canaanites and other tribes, and they were unable to completely dislodge them. They therefore settled in the mountains of Judea and Samaria, and mountainside terraces were used for agriculture. The Israelites may not have invented terrance agriculture, but they developed this form of agriculture extensively in the many mountainous areas of Judea and Samaria. In actuality, much of the ridging on the hillsides is natural, due to erosion of the soft limestone with less erosion of intervening harder rock. 

The idea behind terracing is a simple one. Loose rocks found on the natural ridges are used to build walls behind which an expanse of soil can accumulate. On these terraces are grown trees and bushes that are able to survive the long rain-free summer - such as vines, and olive, fig, pomegranate and almond trees. These plants sustain themselves during the summer by their deep rooting systems and from dew. This type of agriculture is called "Ba'al agriculture" - an unfortunate pagan name. On this hike, you will be walking on the "Baal path" through restored terraces. In Israelite and Byzantine times, vines would have been grown on many of these terraces, but they were replaced by olives during the Islamic period because of the Muslim restriction on drinking alcohol.The word "Sorek" (as in Nahal Sorek) means "special vine", indicating that this area was once an important grape growing area.  

For human habitation one does, of course, need water. You will be walking along the side of the Sorek Valley and the erosion that created this valley also brought an aquifer close to the surface. To obtain a good flow of water it was necessary to dig into the rock to reach to the aquifer, and this is the system you will see at Sataf and many other springs along Nahal Soreq. There are two springs here - Ein Sataf and Ein Bikura. Villages, such as the village of Sataf, were built above the spring, so as not to waste good agricultural land. The higher ground also provided an element of defense. Water from the spring was channeled into vegetable gardens below. Examples of this ancient agricultural method are shown in the reserve.  



The olive tree is uniquely adapted to growing in Israel and other countries in the Mediterranean Basin that have hot and rain-free summers. This is because of its deep root system,its ability to use water with a high salt content, and because of dew, the hot summer air being able to hold more water. The olive tree is one of the seven species mentioned in the Bible as growing in the Holy Land (Deuteronomy 8:8).  The number 7 in the Bible has the connotation of Divine oversight. Nowadays, many olive groves are irrigated to increase the quality and yield of olives, but this is not the case for Arab olive groves and was not the case in the past.

Olive trees thrive well here on the calceraous soil found on limestone slopes and crags. With richer soilds, the oil yield is poor and the trees tend to develop disease. The leaves of the tree turn in relation to the position of sun, thereby exposing their lighter-green side to the bright sunlight and this provides protection for the tree. It also gives the tree a glittering appearance in sunlight. The olive tree is a very hardy plant, and it is drought, disease and fire-resistant. This is because it continues to produce shoots from the base of the main trunk, and these can develop into new trunks if the main trunk is damaged. In this way, the tree can survive for hundreds of years.

The unripe olive is green, and it ripens to a black/brown/purple color and becomes more juicy during the beginning of the rainy season. In Biblical times, the olives were harvested by beating the tree, although this can damage the branches and subsequent yield of the tree. According to Jewish law, the beaten branches were to be left for the poor (Deut 24:20). In Mishnaic times olives were harvested by hand. 

Olive oil was obtained by crushing the olive together with its seed by a stone mill. The seed was included because it also contains oil. The crushed pieces were then placed in a sack through which the oil dripped out. In this way olive oil from the "first press" was obtained.

Olive oil was used primarily for cooking and lighting. Olive oil burns nicely without smoke. This was important in ancient Israel since this was a largely literate society and it enabled reading and writing to continue after the agricultural day was over.

Olives are now one of the most extensively grown fruits globally. Spain is the biggest producer of olive oil in the world. Israel also has an olive oil industry, although it is not as competitive price-wise as Spanish olive oil.

Olive oil is an important ingredient of the Mediterranean diet and is an extremely healthy food because of its high content of anti-oxidant polyphenols that protect against "oxidative stress". Oxidative stress is the basis of many diseases, including heart disease. Raw olives also have a high content of polyphenols.


The Trail:

  • Take the paved road past the buildings and you will soon see on the right a sign with three green pointers. Take the green trail, which is a paved path. This soon changes to a dirt path and then comes to an intersection. Turn right on the blue trail which is marked the "Ba'al path" (砖讘讬诇 讛讘注诇) and 诪住诇讜诇 讛专 讗讬转谉. This is a very well marked trail with points of interest marked by numbers and short descriptions in Hebrew. All are worth exploring. There are beautiful views of the Sorek Valley below, and Hadassah Hospital and the moshav Even Sapir on the opposite side of the valley. 

Map taken from the Keren Kayemet information brochure

































  • After about 25-30 minutes (1 km) you will come to a picnic area on both sides of the path that has drinking water. The path then crosses a paved road. You will see the continuation of the blue trail on the other side of the road and slightly to your left. Go down the steps. 
  • You now pass through olive groves, fig orchards and vineyards. There is a notice indicating that following Biblical law you may help yourself to any produce but are not permitted to take it away. (In actuality, this Biblical leniency was for workers and not hikers - but you have the permission of Keren Kayemet!). 
  • You will soon come to a sign pointing to "#8 Shomera (guard's hut). It is not necessary to walk up to it, as you will get a good view as you walk along the path. 

This guardhouse reminds us that agriculture was people's primary occupation and their produce needed to be protected from theft. The farmers would occupy these buildings until the end of the harvest. They may also have slept here and stored in it produce and containers. One is reminded of the verses from Isaiah when castigating the people: "My beloved had a vineyard in a fertile corner. And he fenced it in, and he cleared it of stones, and he planted it with the choicest vines; and he built a tower in its midst, and also a vat he hewed there; and he hoped to produce grapes, but it produced wild berries" (Isaiah 5:1-2)

  • You will soon come across a well-preserved wine press, #11 (讙转 注转讬拽讛). 

The area here was important for growing grapes, especially in the Roman and Byzantine periods. Unlike today, produce was not sent to a central location for fermentation, but the wine was fermented locally by the farmer in pits dug into the rock. The mosaic floor reminds us that extracting the grape juice from the vines was a gentle process, usually done by foot. Unlike olives, the grape seeds were not crushed, as this would impart a bitter taste to the wine. 

  • You will come eventually to an intersection with a sign. Ascend to the spring of Ein Sataf via the green trail to 爪讜诪转 住讟祝. This was the spring for the village of Sataf and you will see here the pools and a cave. If you are up to it and have a flashlight, you can enter the cave to see the source of the water. There is a small room built into the back of the pool where women may have done their washing.
  • From this point it is worth paying a visit to the vegetable gardens via the yellow trail. At first glance, this might seem like any vegetable garden you would see in Western countries, butif you look closer you will see irrigation channels from the spring Ein Bikura (which is a very short distance from the garden) and channels between the rows of plants. This is how irrigation was done in ancient times - by controlled flooding of the plants - and it allowed for growing of vegetables throughout the year.
  • Continue past the ruins of Sataf until the next intersection. 

Ruins have been excavated here from as far back as the Charcolithic period, between 4 - 6,000 years ago (see Background:  The Charcolithic Period in the Ein Gedi-Nahal David hike). There was also a village here in the Second Temple and Byzantine periods. The ruins you see are from the Arab village of Sataf, which was abandoned during the War of Independence, and also a moshav that was started here by North African Jews, but which only continued for a few months.

  • [If you wish to make this hike a bit longer, you can take a loop on the red trail from this intersection. The loop starts as a black trail to Ein Handak. At the next intersection continue on the red trail  - but do not descend the valley to Ein Handak. The red trail eventually joins with the green trail to bring you back to the upper car park.]
  • Otherwise, continue up the green trail with its wonderful views of the Sorek Valley, and on the other side of the valley the moshav of Even Sapir, the Franciscan Monastery of St. John in the Wilderness (surrounded by a large brick enclosure), and Hadassah Hospital. Ascending on the stone steps and rocks, you will pass the Ophir Rest Area on your left, which is a memorial to a young lad who died from an accident here, and the junction with the red trail. Continue further on the green trail and you will be back at the junction with the blue trail (Ba'al path). There are picnic benches in this area. Continue further on the green trail to the paved road from which you started. Your car is on your left in the parking lot.  



You are just a 5-minute drive from Kibbutz Tzuba:

Galita Chocolate Factory: This is located by the kibbutz entrance, on your left after you enter the kibbutz and just before the Adventure Park. A video is shown on the origins of chocolate, and there is a workshop and a store. The chocolate is kosher lemehadrin. The kids will find this a fun activity working with chocolate molds, chocolate creams and dressings to make professional looking and great tasting chocolates. The cost depends on what they make, and you may wish to check on this if you are on a tight budget. The Factory is open 10.00 AM -6.00 PM andt closed on Shabbat and holidays. Reservations are required – call 02 534 7650. 

Kiftzuba Adventure Park: This amusement park is located by the kibbutz entrance, on your left as you enter the kibbutz. It has bumper cars, a "Jungle train," large inflatables, electric bicycles, a playroom, game machines, and caf茅 for refreshments.

Tzuba Winery is also located in the kibbutz. All wines are kosher mehandrin. The vineyards are cultivated by the kibbutz in an area that was historically a major wine-producing area in Biblical times. Wine testing and guided tours of the winery, vineyards and ancient wine presses are available by calling 02-534 7000.



 There are beautiful views of terraces and distant hills from the "Baal Path"



The terraces here have been restored by the Jewish National Fund and some have been planted with olive trees. 


This is the entrance to the spring Ein Sataf. Bring a flashlight if you wish to explore the spring!


Korah: The Rebel of the Bible

By Yehudah Altein

Korah (Korach) was the leader of a rebellion against Moses and his brother Aaron, during the journey of the Israelites from Egypt to the Land of Israel. As punishment, he met his end by miraculously being swallowed up by the earth. His story is told in the Book of Numbers, in the portion known as Korach.

Korah, the Man of Stature

Korah 1 was a great-grandson of Levi, the third of Jacob's twelve sons, and a first cousin to Moses and Aaron, the Jewish leader and High Priest, respectively.

Korah was born in Egypt, 2 at the time when the Jews were enslaved to King Pharaoh. He experienced the miraculous Exodus from Egypt and journey through the Red Sea on dry land, and received the Torah at Mount Sinai along with the rest of his brethren.

Korah was extremely wealthy, 3 and was a clever and astute individual. 4 His status as a member of the Levite tribe enabled him to participate in the service in the Mishkan, the portable sanctuary the Jews carried with them throughout their journey to the Promised Land.

Despite—and because of—his many qualities, he felt able to take a stance against Moses and Aaron, which ultimately led to his downfall.

Read More: Who Was Korach?

Korah's Rebellion

Korah was jealous of the fact that Aaron had been chosen as High Priest, to the exclusion of anyone else. Furthermore, his cousin Elitzafan had been chosen as head of the Levite family of Kehot, to which Korah belonged, 5 and Korah felt this position was rightfully his.

These personal grievances led Korah to stage a full-blown rebellion. Accompanied by Dathan and Abiram, troublemakers since their early days in Egypt, he rallied an additional 250 community leaders to his cause. Together, they confronted Moses and Aaron and claimed that he had appointed his brother as High Priest on his own accord, without being instructed to do so by G‑d. They further demanded that they all be allowed to serve as High Priests.

Moses responded that this was impossible, as only one person could assume this sacred post. To demonstrate that Aaron was indeed Heavenly ordained, he instructed them all to take pans the next day and offer ketoret (incense) before G‑d, and G‑d would accept the sacrifice of the one whom He deemed worthy.

Korah's group grew in size, as throughout the night he lured thousands to his side. The next day, the 250 men approached the sanctuary with their incense-filled pans.

Miraculous Demise

Depiction of the mountain opening up, swalling Korah and his cohorts. (Art by Yoram Ranaan)

At this point, Moses warned the Jews to stay clear of the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. Addressing the crowd, he foretold of the punishment that would befall them: the earth would open its mouth and swallow them alive.

As Moses finished speaking, the earth indeed opened up and swallowed Korah and his two cohorts along with their families and possessions, never to be seen again. At the same time, a Heavenly fire went forth and consumed the 250 incense-bearers.

The Aftermath

As a reminder to the nation of the calamitous outcome of the rebellion, Aaron's son Elazar was instructed to melt the pans and craft them as plates to cover the Tabernacle altar.

To further demonstrate that Aaron was Divinely chosen, each tribe was instructed to give a staff to Moses, upon which was inscribed the name of the tribe's leader. On the staff of the tribe of Levi, Aaron's name was inscribed. Moses placed the staffs in the sanctuary before the Ark of the Covenant, and the next morning, Aaron's staff was discovered to have miraculously flowered and produced almonds.

Read More: Fruit on the Staff

Additionally, G‑d solidified Aaron's position by bestowing upon him and his sons twenty-four priestly gifts.

Korah's Descendants

At first, Korah's three sons, Asir, Elkanah and Aviasaf, joined in their father's quarrel. However, soon after, they regretted their actions and repented. As a result, they were spared their father's fate and survived. 6 Indeed, Korah's descendants were among the Levites who sang in Holy Temple, 7 and a number of psalms in the Book of Psalms 8 were either composed or sung 9 by them. Among Korah's descendants was the famed prophet Samuel, anointer of the first kings of Israel, Saul and David. 10

Of Blue Threads and Doorposts

The Midrash fills in some of the drama of Korah's uprising. Korah tried to undermine Moses by pointing to laws he viewed as illogical.

He began by focusing on the mitzvah of tzitzit, the commandment to attach strings to the corners of our garments, one of which should ideally be wool that is dyed blue or purple. 11 Korah prepared 250 cloaks without tzitzit, but which themselves were fashioned from similarly dyed wool, and handed them out to his supporters. "Do these cloaks require tzitzit?" he asked. "Yes, they do," Moses replied. They began to mock: "For a garment of another color one dyed wool string is sufficient, yet when an entire garment is dyed, its very color is not sufficient?!"

Read more: Hanging by a Thread

Korah continued to challenge Moses: "Does a house filled with Torah scrolls require a mezuzah [the parchment affixed to the doorpost, in which the Shema prayer is written]?" "Yes, it does," Moses replied. "If an entire Torah scroll does not suffice," Korah taunted, "how can a single paragraph be enough?! You did not receive these commandments from G‑d; you devised them on your own!" 12

In the Hands of the Woman

Another Midrashic passage contrasts Korah and another former crony named On ben Peleth. Focusing on the verse in Proverbs, 13 "A wise woman builds her home, while a foolish one destroys it," the Talmud states: "A wise woman builds her home—this refers to the wife of On ben Peleth; A foolish one destroys it—this refers to the wife of Korah."

What happened? Korah alone would not have instigated this argument, if not for his wife's insistence and encouragement. On's wife, on the other hand, saved her husband from meeting the same fate as his colleagues.

After convincing him to abandon their ranks, he asked: "What should I do? I joined in the conspiracy, and swore that if they will summon me, I will go!" "Don't worry," she replied. "I'll take care of it."

After giving her husband strong wine to drink and putting him to sleep in their tent, she sat at the entrance and revealed her hair, which she normally covered for reasons of modesty. Whenever someone came to summon him, seeing an immodestly-dressed woman at the entrance to the tent, he would turn back. Thus, his life was saved. 14

Read More: A Tale of Two Wives

Korah's Complaint: A Deeper Look

The connection of a Jew with G‑d consists of two dimensions: the spiritual connection achieved through Torah study and contemplation of the Divine, and the connection accomplished through performing G‑d's mitzvot (commandments), the majority of which involve material activities and objects.

Korah understood that Moses and Aaron's spiritual achievements far surpassed his. But it was with regard to mitzvahs that he disputed their supremacy. He argued that the Torah's main focus is on the practical side of Jewish life and the physical fulfillment of G‑d's commands. In this regard, he claimed, all Jews are equal; the donning of tefillin performed by Moshe was exactly the same as the donning performed by the simplest Jew. Why should they reign supreme here as well?

However, G‑d desires not only the physical performance of mitzvahs, but also the proper spiritual intent. Thus, while Moses and Aaron's actual performance of mitzvahs did not differ from that of anyone else, the intent with which they performed them varied greatly, and G‑d considers the intent as well as the deed. 15

Read: It's Also the Thought That Counts

1. Unless otherwise noted, the information in this article is gleaned from Numbers 16-18 and commentaries.
2. Exodus 6:21.
3. Pesachim 119a.
4. Bamidbar Rabbah 18:8.
5. Numbers 3:30.
6. Numbers 26:11 and Rashi.
7. I Chronicles 6:18-22 and 25:4-5.
8. E.g., Psalms 42-49.
9. See the introduction of Rabbi Abraham Ibn Ezra to Psalms.
10. I Chronicles 6:7-13.
11. The colored string ( techelet in Hebrew) is wool dyed with the blood of the chilazon, a rare marine creature whose identity and present existence has been, and is still, widely disputed. The exact hue of the dye (blue or purple) is a matter of dispute as well. Read: What Is Tekhelet (Techelet)?
12. Bamidbar Rabbah 18:3. Cf. Rashi to Numbers 16:1.
13. 14a.
14. Sanhedrin 109b-110a.
15. Likkutei Sichos vol. 4, pp. 1048-1054 .

By Yehudah Altein    More by this author
Sefira Ross is a freelance designer and illustrator whose original creations grace many pages. Residing in Seattle, Washington, her days are spent between multitasking illustrations and being a mom.
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