Back to the Bible

Offering a host of ancient activities, Genesis Land takes visitors back to the time of Abraham.

September 17, 2005 04:07
3 minute read.


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If you could ever experience life at a different time, what period would you choose? Would it be the future, as in science fiction? Regency England? Renaissance France? If you'd like to go back to biblical times, today you can really do it by visiting Eretz Bereshit - Genesis Land. There's no need to lock yourself in a time capsule. You just have to drive 20 minutes south of Jerusalem on the road that leads to the Dead Sea, Ein Gedi, and Masada. When you pass Kfar Adumim, you'll see the sign for Allon Road, where you turn left, drive up the scenic winding mountain road - being careful not to disturb any ibex you may see on the way - and, near the top, you've reached Genesis Land. Here you can experience life as it was lived in biblical times. The first person to greet you will be Eliezer, Abraham's slave, who is in charge of his caravan of camels. He will escort you into Abraham's tent, where you'll sit on cushions on the floor and be served light refreshments, such as specially brewed herbal teas or coffee and dried fruits. If you wish, you can don biblical costumes yourself. At this biblical farmstead, you may meet Joseph and his brothers just before they throw him into the pit, or witness Eliezer's matchmaking between Isaac and Rebecca. There are lots of activities. You can participate in a workshop that reconstructs old crafts, such as writing in ancient Hebrew script on parchment using ink and a handmade reed pen. You might want to bake pita bread on an open fire or create your own mosaic from colored stones. You'll enjoy kneading clay to make jars and tools. Genesis Land also features a unique shop where you can buy truly memorable gifts: sachets of those special herbal teas that you drank earlier; wooden bowls and ceramics; books; Judaica; pictures and bookmarks; wonderfully fragrant handmade soap; jars of sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil; or colorful wooden birds to sit in your garden and nod their heads. These most unusual gifts are the work of local artists and craftsmen. The more adventurous can join the camel caravan from Genesis Land along the edge of the cliff above Wadi Kelt and rejoice in the breathtakingly beautiful scenery. Or you can opt for a desert safari by jeep, choosing from various routes such as Kedar, Jabel Mountar, the hidden mountain monastery of Marsaba, and the Horkania Ravine. When you need to rest, try the oasis and refreshing spring of Ein Mabu'a. Genesis Land is also an unusual and lovely setting to celebrate a simcha such as a wedding or a bar-mitzva, catering to up to 350 guests in this beautiful desert setting under the stars. It is a place with something to fascinate every age, and a wonderful way to bring the Bible to life by experiencing the famous hospitality of Abraham in his desert tent. For information, call 0508-922433

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