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JEWISH Be'er Sheva

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Be’er Sheva is one of the largest and most historically prominent cities in Israel. It has both an ancient biblical past and is a primary jewel of innovation in modern day Israel. Keeping with the tradition of Israeli history, the city has hosted scores of Jews, Arabs, Christians. In the last few decades it has been a main center of immigration for the return of diaspora Jewry, and the mix of these cultures is evident and appears in all facets of life. highway and buildings in the city of be'er sheva israel The History of Be'er Sheva As mentioned, the Jewish history of Be’er Sheva is cited in the Torah, Judaism's holiest and most ancient text. It was the site where Abraham made a covenant with the Philistine King Abimelech, mentioned in the book of Genesis. The rest of the four patriarchs of Judaism also lived in Be’er Sheva for a time. Similar to other original ancient sites in Israel, the Jewish population dwindled after several expulsions and conquerings. The city did not regain any historic prominence until it came under the rule of Byzantium. However, the main recurring inhabitants of the city were in fact nomadic Bedouin tribes who frequented the site to collect water. Israel’s Negev desert is famed for its hidden oasis and springs, many of which are located in Be’er Sheva.  During the War of Independence in 1948, the city served as one of the main staging points of the Palmach. Here, Israel’s forces made their significant stand against Arab nations bent on running out the new Jewish arrivals. The attack led by the IDF, known as Operation Moses, took back the city of Be’er Sheva from Egyptian forces that had captured the city a few months prior. This victory was essential to Israel’s overall success in the War of Independence, cementing the land of Israel as a Jewish state after nearly 2,000 years. Anzac Memorial in Be'er Sheva, Israel; Attribution: zeller -zalmanson Pikiwiki Israel, CC BY 2.5 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5>, via Wikimedia Commons Historic Sites in Be'er Sheva The importance and prominence of this history can be found throughout several of the city's historic sites and monuments. Starting with the biblical narrative you can visit Abraham’s Well, the 'Be’er' in Be’er Sheva. The name was taken from the historic biblical event of the covenant between Abraham and the Philistine king. 'Be’er,' means well, and 'Sheva', is translated as oath. This city was the first stop in the land of Canaan for the patriarchs Abraham and his son Isaac, after they had moved from the land of Ur, located in modern day Iraq.  Abraham's Well in Be'er Sheva, Israel Next on the historic and biblical timeline is the Tel Be’er Sheva National Park. This settlement was initially built in the fourth millennium BCE and underwent a renovation during the Iron Age. It continued to be in use all the way up till World War I. The Ottomans also used the tel as a vantage point to build a fortress to hold off the British advance from the south. archeological park with stone buildings at the tel be'er sheva national park Tel Be'er Sheva National Park Be’er Sheva has seen a great deal of war and has a great deal of monuments and museums dedicated to Israel’s war history. One of more beautiful and artistic reminders is the Monument to the Negev Brigade of the Palmach forces. Designed by Danny Karivan, the monument alludes to the landscape of the Negev. It is constructed entirely out of concrete which blends in with the background of the desert and features eighteen distinct elements. Names of the fallen brigade are etched into the stone along with passages from the Old Testament. Monument to the Negev Brigade in Be'er Sheva, Israel; Attribution: Talmoryair, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons Be’er Sheva is known for battles won in Israel and also on the chess board. The city has more chess masters per capita than anywhere else in the world. Some of the finest players the game has ever seen have hailed from here. Some of the most famous names in Israeli chess include Maxim Rodshtein, born in Russia but trained in Be’er Sheva. Maxim Rodshtein won the title of grand master in 2007 at the FIDE grande prix. Another notable name is Boris Gelfand who took the title of World Chess Champion in 2012. Israel, and Be’er Sheva in particular, is renowned for its ability to train champions and is ranked 15th in the world.     In addition to its rich ancient and modern history Be’er Sheva is a hub of culture, food, and beer. There are tours available designed to introduce newcomers to all of the above and beyond. Don’t miss your chance to check out this jewel of the Negev, central in both the geography and identity of Israel.   

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SITES TO SEE

Sites

Anzac Memorial Centre

The ANZAC spirit brought hundreds of horsemen from Australia and New Zealand to bravely and determinately fight for their homeland in the Land of Israel and in Be’er Sheva. You are invited to learn all about the ANZAC spirit at the ANZAC Memorial Center in Be’er Sheva. A tour of the center will unfold the story of these soldiers in an engaging and moving way. The ANZAC Memorial Center in Be’er Sheva was built in cooperation with the governments of Australia and Israel, the Be’er Sheva municipality, the JNF, JNF Australia and the CWGC. The Center is located near the cemetery for combatants of the First World War in Be’er Sheva. The Center will be dedicated as part of the 100th anniversary of the occupation of Beersheba by the ANZAC forces on October 31, 2017 in the presence of the Prime Minister of Israel and the Prime Minister of Australia. The ANZAC Memorial Center is a unique place in Israel that tells the story of the soldiers of the ANZAC soldiers and the conquest of Be’er Sheva in an experiential manner. Visitors to the center will journey to another continent, another time, and discover themselves in the process.The ANZAC Memorial Center in Be’er Sheva is an educational facility committed to promoting and instilling the values of heritage, patriotism, identity and the promulgation of knowledge, all embodied by the ANZAC spirit and their stories. The ANZAC Memorial Center is a central point of interest for visitors in the city of Be’er Sheva. The Center is a magnet for tourists from Israel and from around the world, for IDF soldiers, for students and for anyone interested in the national heritage of Israel and of the city of Be’er Sheva, as well as those who cherish the ANZAC soldiers and their bravery. Image attribution: zeller -zalmanson Pikiwiki Israel, CC BY 2.5 , via Wikimedia Commons; Dr. avishai teicher Pikiwiki Israel, CC BY 2.5 , via Wikimedia Commons

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TOURS OF Be'er Sheva

Tours

Private Tour of Tel Be'er Sheva

Tel Beer-Sheva is located at the junction of wadi Beer-Sheva and wadi Hebron. Covering an area of 2.5 acres, the site was excavated in the 1970s, and proved to be pre-planned. The streets were parallel to the site’s walls, with a gate complex set next to a well. Its main points of interest are: The Well – Surprisingly the city’s well was dug outside the city’s wall, perhaps to provide water to monadic groups living outside the city (cf. Genesis 21). Dug 227 feet to reach groundwater, Tel Beer-Sheva’s well is one of the deepest wells in Israel. The City Gate – The site’s gate complex is comprised of two sets of gates, with the outer gate next to the well. The inner gate, with its straight angle and 4 guards’ rooms is typical to the Israelite Monarchic period. The middle court was perhaps used for trade and trials, and at war it turned to a killing zone. The Storehouses – Set next to the city’s gates, the three halls were found with plenty of pottery shards of storage vessels. It is assumed that the halls functioned as storehouses, although they could have been a roofed market. Similar tripartite pillared buildings, uncovered at other biblical sites, were used also as stables. The Water System – An elaborate complex designed to capture and store flash flood water from Wadi Hebron. A dam constructed in the wadi channeled the floods’ water into a 850 square feet water reservoir, under the site’s northern edge. A 70 feet deep conic-shaped shaft enabled reaching the reservoir for drawing water and maintenance. tel-sheva-restored-altarThe Stone Horned Altar – Parts of a dismantled stone altar were found scattered throughout the site. This is a significant testimony for local worship, which was abolished, probably by king Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:1-18), or King Josiah (2 Kings 23). Today, a restored replica of the altar is displayed at the entrance to the site. The original stone altar was also restored, and is on permanent display at the Israel Museum. A tour of Tel Beer-Sheva can be combined with a day tour to the South. Image attribution: Daniel Baránek, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Tours

Street Art in the Old City of Be'er Sheva

The Old City of Be’er Sheva has been enjoying a cultural and artistic boom, in the last few years, with museums, galleries, street exhibits and artistic projects, some even becoming a tradition. Among the wealth of artistic happenings in the ever-evolving city, the street art scene stands out the most, glorifying the old walls and giving them a happy and luminous street gallery vibe. Discover Be’er Sheva’s street art scene through a colorful and vibrant tour, in which we will explore amazing murals, interactive street games and extraordinary art projects. We’ll walk among the picturesque streets and impressive historic buildings, discuss the artistic development in the Old City and the many artists who “took over” it and turned it into a real gem. Hear about the “Walls in the Old” (“Kirot Ba’Atika”) project – a colorful street gallery exhibiting the local art to the public, and see “Paint in the Old” (“Tzeva Ba’Atika”) project – a series of beautiful murals decorating various building fronts around the city. We’ll pass by the experimental project featuring giant thinking games, stationed along Mordei HaGetaot street and enjoy a specially exciting game; visit a wall decorated with amusing statues at an incredibly reconstructed Ottoman house, by a local artist; gaze at the thousands of colorful lampshades hanging over Kakal street. To complete your artistic experience, we offer you to visit the Artists House in the Negev, the various galleries and the fascinating museums active around the city.

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Jewish Style Restaurants

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CITY GUIDES

Guides

Aaron Shaffier

I’m a licensed tour guide who guides groups, families and individuals to all parts of this amazing land called Israel. I specialize in tours designed to bring the Tanach (Bible) and Jewish history to life. I will work with you or your organization to tailor an itinerary to your needs. A tour guide can make or break your experience when visiting Israel. If you are planning a group tour through a tour provider, ask for me by name! You will know that you are getting a guide who is passionate about this land and will go the extra mile to make every member of your group happy. Groups: I work with you and your tour provider to build the ideal itinerary to meet your needs. When speaking to your tour provider, ask for me by name, that way I can be involved in the planning stages of your itinerary. Often tour providers want to impress you with how many sites they can squeeze into a short trip. I will work with you and your provider to create a realistic itinerary that will allow your group to truly enjoy their visit to the Holy Land. Families and Individuals: I will work with you to create an itinerary that will make your whole family happy. I will help you find the best options for lodging whether it be a hotel or bed and breakfast (Tzimmer) and I will help you find restaurants that cater to your price level and any special needs like Kashrut. When you take me as a guide for your family, you will rent and drive your own vehicle and I will guide you. This saves you a lot of money. Guides who drive their own vehicle charge significantly more because they are doing two jobs at the same time, tour guide and taxi driver. SOME FACTS ABOUT ME I am originally from Los Angeles, CA so I’m a native English speaker. I am a husband and father of 9. We made Aliyah to Israel in 2007. I am a Chabad Chassid. I studied in Yeshivahs in Los Angeles, NY and Israel. I’m a certified Torah scribe and I’ve completed writing 14 Torah scrolls. I currently live in Be’er Sheva. Besides guiding tours I love hiking, reading, teaching and posting photos to Instagram.

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HOTELS IN Be'er Sheva

Hotels

Le Riad Be'er Sheva

Le Riad hotel is located in a 110-year-old building in the Old City of Be'er Sheva. The building has undergone several transformations since it was purchased by Mimi Osedon and became the vacation home it is today. Mimi, who was born in Morocco and immigrated with her family at the age of six months, grew up in Be'er Sheva, moved to Tel Aviv after the army and established a successful beaded jewelry and leather clothing business. After getting married, giving birth to her daughter, and living abroad in South Africa and Kenya, Mimi returned to Be'er Sheva. When she first returned, she opened a bridal dress shop, which burned down in a fire. Because Mimi had always dreamed of openeing an authentic and refied Moroccan accommodation, she took this tragety and an oppotunity to fulfull that dream. With the help of her daughter, she began renovating the burned-out building, turning it into the guesthouse it is today. They decided to flow with the natural features of the building, which has an area of ​​200 square meters and is built around an inner courtyard with an area of ​​64 square meters, like the inner courtyard (Riyadh) that characterizes traditional Moroccan construction. All rooms revolve around an inner courtyard including the windows that face inwards, this creates intimacy for the host. The authentic riad includes an inner courtyard with a garden and a source of running water in the form of a fountain, a spring, a waterfall, a pool, and more. Their plan was to travel to Morocco and other destinations and gather everything needed to turn the ancient structure into an authentic fine accommodation. Everything from the Moroccan bismuth tiles overing the yard to the luxurious sofas and carpets are authentic and improted from from Morocco! You will find nothing but luxury and authenticity while staying at hote Anilevich!

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