The hotel I’m staying at, Hotel Hashomeron, has a special treasure – they have built a biblical garden telling stories from the Bible from Abraham to the Exodus. Why do they do this? Because they want people who visit to learn and know, and be witnesses of the Bible where ever they go. The owners and the manager are pretty amazing, and I’ll tell you a little of their story after the pictures. It was an amazing time. The tour was at night, so please forgive the quality of the photos.
And here was a brief moment in time, a sweet time of worship:
So let me tell you the tale of Manacheim and Tova, the couple who own the hotel. They wanted to open a place, and their friends said to do one in Jerusalem, or Tel Aviv, or the Galilee, but they said they wanted to build it in Samaria, in the settlement of Ariel. It was the only hotel in the Samaria area, and at the time, not a real conducive place to be. There was a lot of terrorist activity, and there wasn’t a bunch of people taking scenic tours of the area. not far (maybe about 50 yards away) was a gas station where the IDF went to tank up and switch shifts. One day in 2002, there was a young man wandering around with no seeming purpose, looking into the bus that was supposed to be carrying the soldiers. He went up the hill to the hotel and came in. Tova, the wife, was in the reception area and asked this young man how she could help him. There was a tour group there, but they were out. The young man said that he forgot his mobile – they call it by the company name, “peloton”, but he said, “beleton,” and Tova realized he was Arab, he turned away, and she saw the bulkiness around his waist and realized he was a suicide bomber. She told her receptionist to call the police, and tried to keep him there. In the meantime, at the gas station, someone told some returning soldiers about the odd behavior of the young man, and they went sprinting up the hill. The suicide bomber, saw them approaching, and since his mission was to kills soldiers – well, he detonated. Tova, was blown back, and caught shrapnel on her face, and the soldiers were hurt but not dead. The spiral staircase was totally destroyed, but the only loss of life was the suicide bomber.
They rebuilt, and continued their plans for the biblical garden.
Several months later, Manacheim was at the gas station, and there was a contingency of IDF soldiers getting off their Shabbat leave. There was a man walking around, and Manacheim recognized that he was a suicide bomber. He made the choice to put himself at risk and attacked the man and bring him to the ground so that a host of soldiers may not die. He had successfully brought him down and shot him, and a soldier had come over and shot the bomber again, which detonated the bomb. That blast killed three soldiers, wounded 19 others, in addition to Manacheim. He broke both his hands and his feet and lost hearing in one side. He has 26 bolts in his body holding himself together, and he serves cheerfully, as the owner, as the groundskeeper and bellhop of the hotel. He is one of 4 civilians to receive the silver award of honor.
And still they build up their biblical gardens. They have contributors, both of time and money, from all over the world to help them build it. They study the bible and come as close as they can. Their next project is the priestly garments; with all the gold, he said it will cost about $6,000. What an amazing legacy that they not only leave, but that they encourage others to learn and spread to their world also.
What an introduction to the land!