Ne’ot Kedumim Biblical Park

August 22nd 2014

One of the distinctive aspects of touring Israel is the chance to connect in a personal way to the Biblical history of the Jewish people. Ne’ot Kedumim is described as a Biblical Landscape Reserve. What does that mean? Ne’ot Kedumim, which can be translated as “the pleasant habitations of old” was built to recreate the nature settings in which the Bible took place. Visitors are encouraged to visualize the lives of our Biblical ancestors as they stroll through the more than 615 acres that make up the gardens of Ne’ot Kedumim.

The Ne’ot Kedumim Park is located halfway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, near the modern city of Modi’in. Within the park are displays organized around themes, such as the Fields of the Seven Species, in which each of the seven kinds of agricultural products for which Israel is especially well-known are grown. The seven species are wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives (and their oil) and dates (and their honey). It’s common to find Judaica giftware and jewelry decorated with images of some or all of these grains and fruits. At Ne’ot Kedumim, you can see them as they grow in nature.

There are self-guided tours along four different trails. One trail is a bit more rugged and not recommended for all visitors, but three of the trails are paved and are appropriate for groups with strollers and wheelchairs. If you chose a self-directed tour, you’ll be well-informed with a map and information booklet. Also, there are signs that not only tell you what plants you’re looking at, but include a Biblical verse where the plant is mentioned. So if you travel with a Bible and open to those verses as you stand in front of each plant, it can help make the Bible come alive for adults and children alike.

There are models of agricultural instruments such as an ancient olive press, to help you picture what the process of making olive oil was like, say, in the times of the Chanukah miracle. Don’t miss the water-operated flour mill that remains in working order.

The in-house caterer prepares Biblical-themed meals and Ne’ot Kedumim has a special package of activities for bar and bat mitzvah families.