These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

Route of the Patriarchs, דרך האבות

Posted on May 7, 2012 by Andrea Wiese

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Yesterday after noon, Pardes took a mini-tiyul/trip, to Gush Etzion.  It is a group of settlements that fell into Jordanian hands on May 13, 1948, the day before Israel declared independence. The dates that they were re-established are listed below. (Wikipedia)
Name Founded Population
(EOY 2008)
Alon Shvut 1970 3,400 Communal settlement
Bat Ayin 1989 900 Communal settlement
Beitar Illit 1985 38,800 Independent municipality
Efrat 1983 8,300 Independent municipality
Elazar 1975 1,706 Communal settlement
Karmei Tzur 1984 700 Communal settlement
Kedar 1984 960 Communal settlement
Kfar Eldad 1994 120 Communal settlement
Kfar Etzion 1967 820 Kibbutz
Gva’ot 1984 75 Communal settlement
Har Gilo 1968 570 Communal settlement
Ibei HaNahal 1999 50 Outpost
Ma’ale Amos 1982 270 Communal settlement
Ma’ale Rehav’am 2001 40 Outpost
Metzad 1984 380 Communal settlement
Migdal Oz 1977 440 Kibbutz
Neve Daniel 1982 1,883 Communal settlement
Nokdim 1982 1300 Communal settlement
Pnei Kedem 2000 100 Outpost
Rosh Tzurim 1969 560 Kibbutz
Sde Boaz 2002 90 Outpost
Tekoa, Gush Etzion 1975 1600 Communal settlement

We got dropped off in Beit Daniel and walked on the Route of the Patriarchs which ended at a lone, 600 year old tree. The tree was one of the only survivors of the war, along with just four people.  The road was the way road that the patriarchs travels from Jerusalem to Hebron, to Beer Sheva, (and technically all the way to Egypt.)  On the way we saw Roman ruins, and other signs of our ancestors living the area, like this mikvah (ritual bath).

Me coming out of the mikvah! All clean and pure!! 😉
After our fun hike/stroll, we got to eat dinner at our teachers’ houses in the area. I got to eat at Michael Hattin’s house. He is my Tanakh teacher and my academic advisor for PEP. I had Shabbat at their home before, so I knew their family. It was such a wonderful opportunity to return with my classmates (about 10 of us) and have a discussion about how Michael and his wife ended up in Israel and how Michael made his way to Pardes! (Such a great story and such luck for the Pardes students!) As before, Michael’s home was warm and welcoming and overflowing with Torah! I can’t wait to go back for another visit! Thanks Michael and Rivka for hosting us!