Following the wanderings of the Ark of the Covenant
Where: Ashdod, Jerusalem, the village of Abu Ghosh.
Duration: 1 days
What to bring: High-topped shoes, hat, sunscreen, water
Language: The tour is originally in English.
The People of Israel travelled in the wilderness for 40 years, and who were those chosen for the prestigious role of carrying the Ark of the Covenant? The Torah (Numbers 7: 9) tells us that the sons of Aaron's son Kehat were chosen, and the Talmud emphasizes that these were chosen because of their modesty. The carrying of the Ark was on the shoulders of the sons of Kehat, and the honor of the Ark was special, and even when they carried it they never turned their backs towards it, but moved forward with their faces and bodies turned towards the Ark.
The Ark crossed the Jordan with the priests, but where did it arrive then? Where did they camp? For how long? Professor Adam Zertal has studied this intriguing subject, and points to a number of sites, the most important of which is the Jordan Valley. From there the Ark moved to Shilo, Even HaEzer (Ebenezer) and Afek, to Ashdod and Gat to Kiryat Ye'arim and to the Gihon Spring in Jerusalem, and then to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. We will visit all these places.
We will end our tour in the village of Abu Ghosh (considered the biblical Kiryat Ye'arim) at the Benedictine monastery, for a conversation with Olivier, or for a conversation about Emmaus Nicopolis with members of the local order, who are working to bring Jews and Christians closer together.
A fascinating question is where is the Ark of the Covenant now? According to the Talmud, it is located in the depths of the Temple Mount, we will talk about the various traditions and legends that have accompanied the question throughout the generations.
A quote from Tractate Shekalim in the Talmud Chapter 1 Mishnah 1 Rabbi Ovadiah of Bartenura: The name of the ark is hidden, that Josiah the king ordered and stored down in the crooked angles that Solomon built when he built the Temple and knew that it would in the end be destroyed.
From the Chabad site: The ark consisted of three containers made by Bezalel. Two were made of gold and one was made of wood. The majority was made of acacia wood. The wooden section was built open on top, and was inserted into the outer golden container. Into the wooden section the interior gold container was fitted. In this way the wooden cabinet has both and inner and an outer covering of gold. The dimensions of the wooden cabinet: Two and a half cubits long, one and a half cubits wide, one and a half cubits tall. Bottom thickness of the Ark - one cubit, thickness of the sides - one half cubit, in the arches. It is written that the weight of the Ark with the Tablets and pieces was more than eight thousand, five hundred kilograms.!! Thus, only by a miracle, the ark was carried by the Levites who bore it.
II Chronicles - Chapter 35 - And Josiah made the Passover sacrifice in Jerusalem to the Lord, and they slaughtered the Passover sacrifice on the fourteenth day of the first month. And he stationed the priests on their watches, and he encouraged them to the service of the House of the Lord. And he said to the Levites who taught all Israel, who were holy to the Lord, "Place the Holy Ark in the House that Solomon the son of David, the king of Israel, built; you have no burden on the shoulders;