Desert walks

“In the desert the air is purer, the sky is more open and God is closer”. Origene.

A walk along the paths crossing the wadi  –  the wide valleys which make up the rocky landscape of the Holy Land desert – offers a truly unique experience. You can walk in the footsteps of the prophets of the Old Testament, and better understand how Jesus would have lived during his forty days of temptation. You can gleame a sense of the solitude and closeness to God experienced by many monks during the early centuries of the Christian era, and at the same time, understand Saint Francis’ need to withdraw himself in order to contemplate the beauty of God that shines through creation.

We’re inviting you to experience all of this, to marvel at this wonderful landscape which boasts a wealth of natural beauty and historical remains.

Some examples of treks you can make in the Judean Desert (between Jerusalem, Jericho and the Dead Sea):

– Wadi Farah /Nahal Perat

This stream is mentioned in chapter 13 of The Book of the Prophet Jeremiah; indeed, here, we’re not too far from Anatot, Jeremiah’s birthplace. Wadi Farah saw the creation of one of the first monasteries in the Judean Desert during the Byzantine period. Within it lies a spring that has been habitually used throughout history.

– Wadi Qelt

Wadi Qelt is the continuation of Wadi Farah, and is one of the most well-known wadi in the Holy Land. It is known for its beauty above all else, and for the Greek Orthodox Monastery of Saint George Koziba. Not far from here is an area which takes us back to the “parable of the Good Samiritan”, recounted in chapter 10 of Luke’s Gospel.

– Ein Gedi

The “kid’s spring” is an oasis for worship in the Judean Desert. Home to various springs since Biblical times, it is mentioned a number of times in the Holy Scripture, particularly in chapter 1 of the Song of Songs, where it is seen as a symbol of beauty. You’ll also discover various archeological remains, including a Chalcolithic Temple and an ancient synagogue.

 

 

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