Tour the Etzion Bloc:
On the Patriarchs' Highway to Jerusalem
Everywhere in the Etzion Bloc you'll feel how modern and biblical history go hand in hand. The road that brought you here, through rolling hills covered with grape arbors, has been known for millennia as the Patriarchs' Highway. It passes Bethelem, which in Bible days was called Efrat (Gen. 48:7) - the name of the modern town where you'll probably enjoy lunch with the locals. When you visit Tekoa, overlooking the Judean Desert, birthplace of the prophet Amos, who cultivated sycamore figs - you'll meet his descendents, who cultivate mushrooms!
The road that brought you here, through rolling hills covered with grape arbors, has been known for millennia as the Patriarchs' Highway.You'll always remember the story you'll hear, on your visit to Kibbutz Kfar Etzion, or at the ancient oak tree at Alon Shvut, of the Etzion Bloc's Jewish farmers, the first of whom bought land here in the early 20th century but were forced out during Israel's War of Independence in 1948. Over the years they could only gaze longingly from a distance at this huge oak tree. But after the Six Day War, their children returned, as Jeremiah had prophesied (Jer. 31:17). When you learn how they named the town they built near the oak Alon Shvut - 'oak of return', you'll feel their powerful bond - and your own - to this land.
Old oak tree in Gush Etzion