israeltravelslogcheckprivatetours

In The Etzion Bloc, Source Of Jerusalem’s Water, And Defense

kfar-etzion-1931-dog-spring-965x543

In Herod’s era, Jerusalem had grown so fast there was never enough water for its residents. Then the king found a supply that he hoped would make the people love him…

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.

So Herod tried again.

Jerusalem had grown so fast that there was never enough water to provide for her residents, and to supply the pilgrims that came to worship thrice every year. The gardens were drying up and, most importantly, the Temple priests were desperate for enough water to carry out their rituals.

That’s it, thought Herod. I will give the city water. Hopefully, they will be so dependent on my good graces that they will start listening to me – and, besides, I will be able to control the goings-on at the Temple.

Herod chose an area in the Judean Mountains – today’s Etzion Bloc (Gush Etzion) – for his project: Located high above Jerusalem, it got plenty of rain and snow every year, and was filled with springs. And that is how, 2,000 years ago, the Biyar Aqueduct was born.

kfar-etzion-1941-view-and-trees-965x543

 

Read the full article over at The Times of Israel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

facebook
Subscribe to Israel Travels

Follow Latest News and Posts

Testimonials
Our two-week trip to Israel was one of the best experiences of our lives. Shmuel knows the country like the back of his hand and takes you not only to everything you want to see but to fascinating places you haven't even heard os! We saw a more complete Israel than any of our friends on regular organized tourist trips. Shmuel taught us a great deal about the geography and history of the places we visited. He also has a great sense of humor, is a lot of fun to be with and picks great places to eat. We could not recommend more highly and more enthusiastically seeing Israel with Shmuel as your guide.

Patrick Henry and Mary Anne O'Neil