Living in Israel means living with the juxtaposition of cutting edge new technologies and ancient wisdom, rights and rituals. In the midst of Hannuka- my family will be at events running the gamut from Tel Avi street theater to the biblical nature reserve at Neot Kedumim. Neot Kedumim deserves special mention because there is literally no other place like it on earth.
Neot Kedumim is 624-acre reserve located in the heart of Hannuka country just a few minutes from the grave of the Maccabees and Ben Gurion airport. They are dedicated to bringing the plants, tools and rituals from the ancient world to life and havemanaged to create an almost magical experience where visitors are transported back in time.
This year they are doing a festival of light, fire and nature. Throughout the days of Hannuka they are open for tours, live performances and hands on olive picking and oil pressing.
This oil can then be used to light the menorah. Mind.Blown.
Since my kids live in Israel and speak Hebrew, they learn a lot in school about Hannuka but nothing really compares to being able to live the experience- to climb in caves, to eat as they did in the time of the torah and most important, to understand how precious the oil really was.
If you want to really understand what a few drops of oil can be worth, try picking them yourselves, putting them in a press and taking out the oil which you have produced. It is an arduous experience. Every step is more work and my kids were shocked to see how much went into producing just a few drops. If you ask them now what it would be like if all of their oil was spilled and destroyed, I think that they would be devastated.
The kids are also able to make ancient style clay oil lamps of all diferent varieties. There is a whole exhibit which is just ancient oils and whicks and how they were used in ancient times.
The Neot Kedumim Hannuka program runs from December 9th through the 14th
You can find more information in Hebrew at the Neot Kedumim Website or in English at Israel Kids (a resource for many other great activities to do all over the country)
Here is the Schedule for Neot Kedumim
Tours leave every hour on the hour from 10:00 am- 4 pm and include:
- The Latke that got Lost
- The Latka that got Dressed Up
- Oil, Light and Olives
Evening Tours go from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm
- The Macabees: Torches and Beacons
Presentations and Performances
hourly from 10:30
- "Ora Follows the Light and the Latke" and "Tova''s Latke Band"
from 9:00 to 16:30
- Candle-making and Oil Lamps
from 10:30 to 5:30
- Touring the nature preserve
from 9:00 to 16:30
- "BeMa Madlikin" (What we Light)
- [Lectures at 12:00 & 14:00]