It is one of these places that you will never going to visit, but I have
to be sure that you were given the chance, and you missed it. It is an area
ideal for Jeep Trek, and we will try to bring you as close as possible to
A-Dir was a small monastery, bellonging to the great Laura of Mar-Saba. Mar-Saba
was one of the most famous monks in Israel. He was born in Kapedokia, Small
Asia, 439 a.c, made Aliya in 478, at the age of 18, and was sent by his teacher
in Jerusalem to a cave in the Kidron waddi. If the teachers today would have
that power... He spent there 17 years, a little more than his teacher's best
expectations, and was appointed manager of all Judeah Desert Monasteries.
He used to live with a Lion in the cave, and if you want to see his crosses
on the wall, visit his cave near Mar-Saba Monastery. He built more monasteries
in the deserts, and sent there more monks. He's buried in Mar-Saba Monastery,
on the Kidron shore.
The name A-Dir means monastery, a fact that indicates that throughout the
ages, the Beduins and monks knew this used to be a monastery.
Where is it ? I guess we should have started with that, but since I have
little faith, we'll just do it for the record: T.P. (Nun-Tzadik):
1739:1038, in the middle part of Arugot waddi, to the south of Ma'ale-Amos.
Coming from Jerusalem: in Efrat junction take east (left) till the next junction,
then turn (right) to the south. Near Teko'a turn left (east), and continue
to Ma'ale-Amos. Some km after the settlement you will see a Giv'aty military
base. Before the base there's a narrow path for jeeps. Take it, and drive
to Nahal Arugot. Inside the waddi, in the southern shore, in a narrow pass
between two cliffs, there is a large well. You will see inside the small
waddi the ruined monastery. Go with the Nun-Tzadik...
What is there to see ?
Not much, to be honest. The mosaics are covered with, sorry to say that,
sheep's shit, and the three encriptions found by Y. Hirshfeld, the archeologist
who digged this remote place, are not found anymore (maybe he took them in
order to save them?). We can see, though, a large dining room with arcades,
a large cave with the small basilica, the baptistarium under the nave, the
cave and grave of the first monk, and two active water wells, which contain
fresh and good water.
What else to see in the area ?
Mahras-Dalal is near by, and it's water pools remain fresh till end of summer,
It's between the mid part of Arugot and the Lower part of it. Take a 1:50,000
Enjoy it !!!