March 23, 2017     25 AdarI 5777
Places To Tour in Israel - Off the Beaten Trail
   Path of the Patriarchs (Derech Ha'avot)

Tour write-up by Chaim Friedman from LeChaimTours.  www.LeChaimTours.com

Path of the Patriarchs (Derech Ha'avot)

Path of the Patriarchs (Derech Ha'avot)

Visit the path which our forefathers traveled on between Hebron and Jerusalem.  This section is between Alon Shvut and Neve Daniel.

Directions: Take Route 60 south from Jerusalem to the Gush Eztion Junction. Make a right turn on route 367 towards Kfar Etzion.  In two minutes make a right turn (north) towards Rosh Tzurim.  About 200 meters past the bridge make a right turn onto a dirt road at the sign for the Path of the Patriarchs.

Drive on the dirt road for a few minutes until you see a pillar on the right side.

You are at a Roman milestone marker, marking the 12th Roman mile (a Roman mile is 1400 meters) from the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem.  Notice also that you are now on the top of a ridge, the spine of Israel. When it rains, water on the right (east) will flow towards the Dead Sea, water on the left (west) will flow towards the Mediterranean Sea. 

Why is this route the Path of the Patriarchs? This north south route on top of the Hebron, Judean, and Samaria ridge would be the most logical route Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would have traveled on when traveling between Be’er Sheva, Hebron, Har HaMoriah, Bet El, and Shechem.  And it makes sense that the Romans would use an existing road system.

Continue on the dirt road and make a left at the intersection. On your right, next to the rest area under the arches, is a unique mikvah (ritual bath) from the 2nd temple period. It was probably used by travelers to purify themselves on their way to Jerusalem for the holiday pilgrimages.

At this point you can continue straight on the dirt road until you reach Neve Daniel, of you may turn around and return the same way you arrived, or return to the junction you just passed and make a left (east) and in a few kilometers you will reach route 60 and the Biyar Aqueduct (which brought water to Jerusalem 2000 years ago).   

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