Thursday, November 11, 2010

The spring that brings people together

This week's "Site in Israel", the Ein Prat spring, is very close to the actual place where Yaakov, our forefather, dreamt, awakened and learned about the future of his twelve children who would become a nation. The spring Is located five minutes from northern Jerusalem, next to the Israeli community of Anatot, which is named after an ancient site were the prophets preached to the people of Israel: "The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin" (Jeremiah 1,1).

The Ein Prat spring flows year-round, with an average daily flow of 1,500 cubic meters. The springs provided water to Jerusalem until 1970. Ein Prat combines a variety of experiential opportunities: a charming and picturesque family picnic site beside the water; a short easy hike around the beautiful scenic surroundings; and an intensive hike through natural water pools down to the Dead Sea. Those who enjoy climbing, can scale part of the northern cliff in the stream which is a known outdoor climbing wall. Don’t miss the Haritoun Monastery, originally built by Monk Haritoun in the fourth century. Here, one can easily understand why someone would leave everything and transplant his home to be ensconced in this small heaven that offers a calm and peaceful way to approach life.

Only is Israel is there a breathtakingly beautiful site that combines such a range of different elements: a variety of historical biblical stories, water in the desert, culture, friendly animals of the region and religious nuances. Most important, Ein Prat is a small peaceful island in the Middle East which embraces visitors of many diverse backgrounds – Israelis from Jerusalem, Arabs from East Jerusalem and Christians from all over the world.

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