Israel Mystery Photo #5

Israel Mystery Photo

And now for something somewhat different...

Well, I suppose last week’s photo was more challenging. Only people from my class who were there with me recognized where the photo was taken. But that’s not all that surprising, considering that it is not a popular spot on the typical tourist trail.

As those who got it correct guessed, the photo was taken at the Mony Winery cellars, near Beit Shemesh. (There was one guess that said Mony Wineries, but gave the wrong location for it — half a point!) I’ll tell you a bit more about the winery and the cellars in a bit, but first I wanted to discuss this week’s photo. I decided to choose something from a place that my tour guide course did not visit, so that my classmates don’t have the edge in this one. That being said, however, it is a site that I really enjoy, and hope to take tourists to in the future.

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What’s a Tell?

Tel Beit Shemesh

No, I’m not talking about a poker tell. I’m talking about the kinds of tells that you hear about whenever your travel to Israel (or other parts of the Middle East). Tel Arad, Tel Be’er Sheva or Tel Maresha, for example.

(By the way, you may have noticed the change in spelling from “tell” to “tel.” If so, 10 points for you. More on that distinction later!)

So, what is a tell, anyway?

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Tour: “In the Footsteps of David and Shimshon”

Overlooking the Shefela (Lowlands) from Beit Meir on a cloudy day.

We had our first siyur (tour) this past Tuesday. Entitled “In the Footsteps of David and Shimshon (Samson),” it really encompassed a few different subjects that all related to the area around the city of Beit Shemesh. We also spent some time at the beginning of the day in moshav Beit Meir, at the very end tip of one of the ridges of the Judean Hills. This gave us the chance to get a good overview of the geography of the land (though it would have been a much better view if the day was sunnier, rather than alternately cloudy and rainy, with only brief respites of sunshine).

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