Sometimes when I study the TaNaCh I wonder where the various places mentioned are, and how they looked and look like today.
One of the places mentioned, which I have been so fortunate to see, besides the obvious places (as for example Jerusalem), is Nahal Prat (Hebrew) or Wadi Qelt (Arabic). The place is mentioned in Jeremiah 13:4-5, where Jeremiah is told to go there to hide.
The place is giving room for some historical sites, such as the oldest (known) synagogue in Israel, which was build between 70 and 50 BCE, as well as St. George Monastery.
It’s a beautiful place, situated on the border to the Judean desert, and is a popular place for picnics, both for Israelis and Palestinians. The river itself isn’t the largest, but big enough that people can swim a little in it. It is home for a variety of wild life, among them freshwater crabs.
When I was there, with my wife and the two kids, it was a little too cold to swim, though many people didn’t seem to let that keep them from it anyway. And of course we wanted to barbecue a little, something which wasn’t the biggest success, though I was very adamant that I knew exactly what I was doing. I did success enough that we got something to eat, but, let’s just say that I can improve my barbecuing skills.
We went up and down the river, and I took the chance to climb some cliffs, so I could get a view of the monastery, but unfortunately my camera had run out of power, so I didn’t get any pictures of it. There are lots of pictures of it on the net though, so those of you who insist on seeing it, can probably easily find some pictures.
On the way down the river, we passed an old Jordanian ruin, and continued down, until the kids didn’t want to go further. The boy ended up swimming around in a little lake, while a Bedouin boy, probably not much older, looked on from his donkey.
We enjoyed the day on this biblical and historical side, together with many other people. And the thought that there are places, where Jews, Muslims, and Christians can relax and stress off together, tells me that there are hope for peace and mutual acceptance. We just need to get it into our heads.