Sunday, April 12, 2009

Chol HaMoed in Israel and Talmudic Ovens

I am really sorry to keep going on and on about how wonderful it is to live in Israel, but I had another wonderful experience today and I feel forced to share it with the blogosphere. (I will also mention that making Aliyah is the single most difficult experience in my life, and that includes studying Biblical Hebrew. So I do not want any of you to get the impression that every moment here is flowing with milk and honey.) Today the family went on a tiyul in Naot Kedumim, which is a large park filled with Biblical fauna and flora.

It was a great hike, and I really enjoy getting to see a range of Israelis out and about on Chol HaMoed. There were examples of exciting Biblical plants like hyssop (אזוב), which was the plant that was used to sprinkle blood on the doorposts in Mitrayim. And there were loads of pesukim from Shir HaShirim next to the appropriate flora. But I was bubbling over with excitement when I saw a great example of Talmudic ovens.

Anyone who has learned the halakhot of Bishul on Shabbat, or even Mishnayot Shabbat with the fancy picture book – has surely struggled to understand what exactly these different Talmudic ovens looked like. There was an archeological village that contained some examples of some of these ovens.

Here is a picture of the famous “double oven” (כירה).

The fire would have been below and the cooking pots would have been placed on the holes on top.

Here is a picture of the “bread oven” (תנור).

This oven was used to bake bread, and the dough would be on a pole and stuck on the inside wall of the oven to bake.

So if you are visiting Israel, make sure to add Naot Kedumim to your itinerary.

Moadim L’Simchah


  1. Sara Shapiro-PlevanApril 12, 2009 at 12:50 PM

    I had no idea you had a blog, but i thought I'd check out the link from FB. The biblical garden is one of my favorite places to visit! Moadim l'simcha!

  2. No need to apologize and glad you feel that way. Kind of proof that you made the right decision.

    Am wondering if I would feel the same if I went back to the UK :)

  3. Here's a link to a picture of a contemporary tannur:

    Yours was the post I mentioned I was trying to refind, which after many hours of googling I have now found on accident. :)

    Can you explain the nature of this site more clearly. The oven's look pretty beat up, but upon closer examination the photo's show wire mesh which would imply these are replicas?

  4. Naot Kedumim is a large park which is primarily dedicated to showing examples of plants, animals and different realia from the Biblical to the Tamludic period.

    We saw real (possibly working) examples of how olive oil, and wine were made. There was also a small area that had sheep next to examples of how wool clothing was produced from sheep shearing. The ovens pictured in this post are similar realistic examples.