The Gush Etzion Forest..
(photo credit: SHMUEL BAR-AM)
King Herod had a problem: Nobody liked him. Handpicked by the hated Romans to rule the Land of Israel and so paranoid that he kept murdering his loved ones, Herod had done his best to win over the Jews in his kingdom. He had even built a temple that “appeared from a distance like a snow-clad mountain, for all that was not overlaid with gold was of purest white.” (Josephus Flavius in Wars of the Jews).And still he was despised! The Sanhedrin (council of Jewish sages) claimed that he wasn’t even Jewish, even though his family had converted during the time of the Maccabees. And when there was a problem, the Jews listened to the Sanhedrin and not to their king.
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