Be'er Sheva, Israel: A Prominent City From The Battlefield to the Chess Board

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. 

 

As a result of the current travel risks, now more than ever, it's important to educate ourselves, advocate, and stand with Israel. Ask Herzl is the perfect place to take your knowledge and understanding to new heights as you embark on a fun and interactive learning journey. Whether you're a student hungry for knowledge, a teacher looking to inspire, or simply a curious soul eager to explore, Ask Herzl has got you covered! 🙌🌟 From engaging events to downloadable resources, they've cracked the code for educational excellence. 📝 So why wait? Join the tribe of Israel enthusiasts and let your passion for education pave the way towards advocacy for Israel! 🇮🇱💪
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As a result of the current travel risks, now more than ever, it`s important to educate ourselves, advocate, and stand with Israel. Ask Herzl is the perfect place to take your knowledge and understanding to new heights as you embark on a fun and interactive learning journey. Whether you`re a student hungry for knowledge, a teacher looking to inspire, or simply a curious soul eager to explore, Ask Herzl has got you covered! 🙌🌟 From engaging events to downloadable resources, they`ve cracked the code for educational excellence. 📝 So why wait? Join the tribe of Israel enthusiasts and let your passion for education pave the way towards advocacy for Israel! 🇮🇱💪
To learn more and to stay updated on what`s happening in Israel click the link in our bio!

#AskHerzl #EducatingTheWorld #worldjewishtravel #JewishVirtualEducation
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In light of the travel warnings, travel has come to a halt. This is where the beauty of virtual learning becomes invaluable, and Qesher is the perfect platform to unleash your potential on your own terms! 🌟 With Qesher's self-paced online courses, tailoring your learning journey has never been easier. But Qesher offers more than just courses... it's a community! 🤝💫 Engage in lively discussions in the Discussion Forums, connect with like-minded peers during Networking Sessions, and supercharge your growth with the incredible Mentorship Program 🤝. No matter where you are in your educational journey, Qesher is here to empower you every step of the way. 💪 Embrace the power of connections, amplify your knowledge, and unlock new horizons today!
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Click the link in our bio to learn more about Qesher and stay updated on what's happening in Israel

#worldjewishtravel #JewishVirtualEducation #QesherCommunity #Empowerment #OnlineLearning #ConnectAndGrow

In light of the travel warnings, travel has come to a halt. This is where the beauty of virtual learning becomes invaluable, and Qesher is the perfect platform to unleash your potential on your own terms! 🌟 With Qesher`s self-paced online courses, tailoring your learning journey has never been easier. But Qesher offers more than just courses... it`s a community! 🤝💫 Engage in lively discussions in the Discussion Forums, connect with like-minded peers during Networking Sessions, and supercharge your growth with the incredible Mentorship Program 🤝. No matter where you are in your educational journey, Qesher is here to empower you every step of the way. 💪 Embrace the power of connections, amplify your knowledge, and unlock new horizons today!
🔓💫
Click the link in our bio to learn more about Qesher and stay updated on what`s happening in Israel

#worldjewishtravel #JewishVirtualEducation #QesherCommunity #Empowerment #OnlineLearning #ConnectAndGrow
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