Our village Na’ale is nicely situated between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv,which are both about 45 minutes drive away. Both cities are great for day trips to plan, both a visit to the Old (and new!) City of Jerusalem and, the other way: a visit to historic Jaffo (in the Bible called Joppe). Then, don’t skip the sidewalk cafes in Tel Aviv’s cozy Florentine district with its lively markets. There is the large Carmel market for daily necessities; the Lewinsky market has all kinds of special eateries where pizzeria Lila delivers the best pizza in all of Tel Aviv. The Shuk Nachalath Benjamin is the market that sells artsy little things and is characterized by coziness.
The beach at Rishon leTsion/Palmachim is forty minutes away: a beautiful beach in the dune area just south of Tel Aviv. A walk along the Soreq River, right through this dune area to its mouth in the sea, is a relaxing experience. The safari park in Tel Aviv is worth a visit, there is also a zoo. You can rent a golf cart and drive through the area. The safari itself you do safely in your own car(!)
Fifteen minutes away from us, in what is now the Ben Shemen forest, are the remains of the ancient city of Modi’in. There you can also visit the grave of the high priest Mattitjahu Makkabi. Together with his five sons he managed to break the Greek-Syrian rule and chase away the ruler. Due to his valiant efforts, the Temple in Jerusalem was recaptured and restored in the year 164 B.C. We commemorate this event annually in December by celebrating the beautiful Chanukah feast, with the use of the eight-armed candelabra, the Chanukiah. We will be happy to explain more about it during your stay.
If you continue driving from this point, after five minutes on the same road you will find the oldest Biblical park in Israel: Ne’oth Kedumim. During the Biblical Holidays Passover and Sukkoth there are guides who will tell you all about the ancient dyeing of fabrics; the pressing of olives; the reclamation of land and much more. You can make your own clay bricks and there is a large antique water wheel which was used to bring water from the lower to the higher area. You may try it yourself. A train will drive you around the area to show you everything. You can enjoy walking and the views are phenomenal. Even outside the holiday weeks it is an oasis of peace and beauty.
The town of Rechovoth is about forty minutes away from us, in the direction of Tel Aviv. There is an ammunition museum there which is well worth seeing. It tells about the secret manufacturing of ammunition in the 1940s, right after World War II. This factory operated for three years. In a milk wagon with a secret compartment, they hid the bullets they needed at the front to defend themselves against enemies, who did not like the return of the Jews from the diaspora and carried out constant attacks on their villages.
A visit to the world famous stalactite caves
at Beth Shemesh, about 35 minutes from here with driving through beautiful nature, is an amazing experience. The cave temperature is a constant 22 degrees and it looks like a fairytale world, which is beautifully lit with colored lights, you will be shown a short film beforehand about the accidental discovery of the cave by builders, who were working with dynamite in the area. This happened in the late 1960s.
The bell caves of Beth Guvrin are found further south of Beth Shemesh and are a World Heritage Site. The whole area, with many sights and historical sites, is beautiful. Among other things, an enormous pigeon breeding cave was discovered underground with niches in which pigeons nested by the hundreds. They were bred for their meat and for their eggs. Still wild pigeons dwell there. The giant bell caves can be admired. The acoustics are very special. At one time these caves were made by people, who dug stone to build their houses. They started digging and dug not only deeper and deeper, but also wider and wider, creating the shape of a huge bell. The caves are indescribably beautiful! Opposite Beth Guvrin is an excavation of a Roman theater. About an hour’s drive from Na’ale, the drive alone is beautiful.
On Highway 1, between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, just before entering the mountains of Judea, is the supposedly historic Emmaus. Luke describes in chap. 24 beginning in verse 13 that Jehoshua/Jesus walked with two men to Emmaus; sat down with them for the meal and revealed Himself to them during the breaking of bread (verse 31). It is certainly worthwhile to visit the excavations of the city and to reflect on how it must have looked in the past….
Next door to Emmaus is Latrun, a monastery and a strategic point during the War of Independence and beyond. This beautiful building of a French Trappist order, which incidentally was built in the Italian style, is worth a visit. There is a lovely monastery store near it where you can buy home made wine, olive oil and vinegar.
Mini Israel is located almost opposite Emmaus and Latrun. Fun to visit, it is Israel’s Madurodam.
Jad haShmonah, the kibbutz started by eight Messianic Jews from Finland, is worth a visit. The architectural style is partly Finnish: the visitor’s hall is built of tree trunks. It is located in the beautiful Judean countryside. The beautiful route there alone makes it a great trip, and the garden still houses an antique olive press and an equally old grape press. Jad haShmonah is located on Highway 1 next to the Arab-Jewish village of Abu Gosh and Kirjat Jearim, which once housed the Ark of the Covenant for a long time. It is about 35 minutes from here and excellent to combine with a visit to Emmaus and mini Israel.
If you want to enjoy a beautiful view, while rocking on a swing set, Pedu’el is a good idea. Pedu’el is known in the corridors as the Balcony of Israel. You get to see a view across the plain to Tel Aviv and the Mediterranean Sea. With very clear weather, even Cyprus can be seen with binoculars. There is also an excavation of a Byzantine monastery, which is still quite well preserved. You need to have a good leg for a walk there because the terrain is quite rugged.
Neve Tsuf is a village where historic wine circles can be admired. These wine circles are carved into the rock and in them bunches of grapes were placed, which then began to ferment. The must thus extracted was used in the Temple service. You can also make beautiful walks in nature; special paths have been laid out. The terrain is quite steep.
Sde Zvi lies south, just over an hour from us and is very nice to visit, a green paradise in the Negev desert. Our sister and brother-in-law Tamar and Uzi Manor can tell about their lives there, and by appointment Uzi can take you to see the soldiers on the border with nearby Gaza. It is mutually encouraging to speak to the soldiers who guard the border, and quite a few moved tears flow because of the kind hospitality one receives from the border guards. After visiting the soldiers, you can then accompany Uzi to the police station in Sderoth, where the remains of rockets fired from Gaza at Israel are stored. Uzi tells his story of what it is like to live near the border with Gaza.
The beautiful coastal city of Netanja has miles of beaches and boulevards, which are elevated, offering beautiful views of the water, all very nicely landscaped. The center of town extends partially into the boulevard, giving the town a cozy atmosphere. An hour away and good to combine if you are on your way to Caesarea. Get up early though!
The historic coastal city of Caesarea is about an hour and a half away and is great to visit. From this beautiful town Paul left for Tarsis (Acts 9:30). First he was sentenced in the palace of King Agrippa, the foundations of the palace are still there. The Roman aqueduct is worth seeing and… climbing!
If you want to enjoy our pool in our village, you can do so from April to October. An eatery is on site to provide you with snacks and drinks. Furthermore, it is nice to take a walk through and around our village where the surrounding hills and in the distance Tel Aviv and the sea offer a beautiful view. We have a couple of nice tennis courts and a running track. All in all, a warm welcome!
*** Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) ***