Ne’ot Ketuvim is a beautiful park dedicated to the botany of the bible. 600 species of plants mentioned in the Bible were imported and made to grow here; quite a task being that water is VERY scarce in Israel. Today our JC crew spent a beautiful, sunny, 70 degree afternoon experiencing the life of the Bible. I say “experiencing” because on a typical field trip we simply keep our earphones plugged in. Today-we got to be shepherds, cooks, botanists, and scribes!
The shepherd. King David, Abraham, and Moses had this occupation, and Christ is referred to as the “Great shepherd”. So naturally how do we learn about that? Herd sheep of course!! The best way is to walk behind while gently guiding them in the right direction. Combine the most well-trained sheep in the country with a 2:1 people/animal ratio-it went great. However a typical shepherd cared for a flock of ~200 on his lonesome. A rewarding life, but a hard one.
Hyssop. “…they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth,” John 19:29. Jesus is on the cross at this point, and I always wondered what on earth that was. Hyssop is a plant with a strong herby scent. After it dries for a few weeks, you crush it up until it looks like Texas sand (translation: an unattractive color and hard haha). It is used to treat skin conditions, especially leprosy. Today bags of hyssop, or zatar in Arabic, are sold everywhere as a spice. We pour olive oil onto a pita, then sprinkle it on top. Tasty!
|Crushing the hyssop leaves|
|A Jewish scribe reading a scroll over 200 years old!|
|He wrote Welcome in Hebrew for me!! Notice how straight the letters are without any lines. The rosin is from an almond tree. It is used to make ink so it sticks on the page.|