Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Journey to the Jordan 1: Mitzpeh Yericho

With Yeshivah on Bein Hazmanim, "Between Times," i.e. Pesach (Passover) vacation, I was able to get on another Tanach Tiyul with Ezra Rosenfeld's group (email him here if you are visiting Israel and are interested in going on one of his tiyulim.) This time we made it out to the Jericho region to relive the crossing of the Jordan river, which happened precisely 3,280 years ago on this very day.

First, we went to Mitzpeh Yericho (Jericho View) to get a good look at the situation.

Looking down at a Wadi (dry riverbed) from one of Mitzpeh Yericho's hilltops.

Mitzpeh Yericho is a religious settlement linking Jerusalem with the Jordan Valley, built along the ancient Jerusalem-Jericho highway. Looking to the East, Jericho, now under the rule of the Palestinian Authority, sprawls behind the hills.

Yericho (Jericho)

Looking to the west, the towers of Jerusalem poke through the horizon.

The "Twin Towers" on Har Hatzofim, a.k.a. Mount Scopus, in the neighborhood of Givat Tzarfatit (French Hill) in Jerusalem.

Mitzspeh Yericho itself has about 300-400 families (I've heard different numbers given at different times.) The settlement continues to expand from hilltop to hilltop, government building ban or no.

A new "Givah," hilltop, of Mitzpeh Yericho in the bottom left.

Looking to the North.

Looking Northeast one can see Kfar Adumim and Allon.

Downhill is Vered Yericho (Jericho Rose.) It is situated right on the edge of Jericho itself, though relations with the locals are relatively good. Relatively being a relative term.

Vered Yericho and Yericho itself.
The clump of green is Vered Yericho. The building to the extreme left is the Yericho casino, a vestige of the corruption induced by the Oslo peace process.

More photos tomorrow. Stay tuned!

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