web analytics
April 19, 2015 / 30 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Mitzpeh Bikat HaYarden

Littman-011714-Gate

About a 20-25-minute drive from Jerusalem, traveling on Highway One, you can see Mount Sartabah on the left. In ancient times, Beis Din used to notify the people that the new month had been sanctified by lighting mesuos (torches) on the different mountain tops (Rosh Hashanah 2:2). Mount Sartabah is the second mountain in the list of major mountains along the route where these burning torches were lit and waved (ibid 2:4).Littman-011714-Gun

Mitzpeh Habikah is located in the proximity of Sartabah. It is opposite a group of Jewish settlements: Petza’el, Gilgal, Argaman, and Mehola built on land that belonged to Jordan before 1967. This mitzpeh, or outlook, is a memorial to soldiers who fell during the “Mirdafim” (Pursuits) that took place in the area for about three years after the Six-Day War.

Littman-011714-PlaqueAfter 1967, numerous Arab refugees lived along the newly formed border between Israel and Jordan.  From among these groups, terrorists would infiltrate Israel by sneaking though the wadis and hiding in the many caves in the Jordan Valley area. From these hideouts, they conducted guerrilla warfare and outrageous acts of violence. Often, the terrorists would use Arab women and children as decoys to escape detection by Israeli troops. Other times they would attach animal hooves under their shoes so that the IDF would not realize that people had entered the country. Or they would wear their shoes backwards so their footprints would mix up the Jewish soldiers.

During that time period, the motto in the IDF was “Acharai,” meaning the commanding officer went in front of his troops. It is for this reason many of the names on the white memorial wall at the site are those of high-ranking officers, for as they led their troops to capture the enemy, they were the first to be wounded or killed. It was soon after that it was mandated for the troop commander to stay behind his platoon. This ensured that the “brainpower” of the group would be available to continue the fray.

Most times, after such an “incident” the Israeli planes would bomb the nearby Jordanian fields.Littman-011714-Cave

King Hussein (1935–1999), dubbed the father of modern Jordan, realized that these terrorist infiltrations into Israel were ruining his economy, so he decided to put an end to them. In September 1970 he started hunting down the members of the Palestinian guerrilla organizations in his territory. The terrorists were so frightened of the king that 40 of them requested asylum in … Israel.

The conflict ended when Hussein expelled the PLO to Lebanon. From that point on, Israel had to contend with terrorists in the north, as Yirmiyahu proclaims, “From the north, evil will come.” It is important to know that although we speak of modern Jordan, there never was an ancient Jordan. Jordan is a political entity, created by Britain in 1922.

The memorial at this site was the idea of Rechavam “Gandhi” Ze’evi. (After Ze’evi was killed by the PFLP in 2001, Road 90 was renamed Gandhi Road in his memory.) The artist Igal Tomarkin created the sculpture out of weapon parts.

Standing at the top of the memorial lookout at the Bikat HaYarden, one takes in an awesome view: Jordan can be seen in the far distance, with Mount Moav and Mount Edom behind it. The eastern edges of the Shomron are also visible. One can also see deer and other wildlife in the area.

Littman-011714-StonesWest of Highway 90 is the winding, scenic route, Road No. 458 that goes up to Maale Efraim and crosses the desert and reaches Kfar Adumim. Called Kvish Alon or Derech Eretz HaMirdafim (the Land of Pursuits Way), on this road one can clearly see the hideaway caves in which the terrorists hid.

About the Author: Originally from south Africa, Vardah has been living in Eretz Yisrael since 1974 and the more she learns about our glorious Holy Land the more she gets to love this prime property that Hashem has given to the Jewish People. She is studying to be a tour guide and hopes with the help of Hashem, through this column to give readers a small taste of the land. Rimonah Traub is a photographer/writer living in Modi’in, Israel. She is originally from South Africa and immigrated to Israel in 1994.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Mitzpeh Bikat HaYarden”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Said Arikat, al-Quds Washington, D.C. reporter. Jan. 29, 2015
More PA Lobbying from the State Dept Briefing Room
Latest Sections Stories
Lewis-041715-Jewish-Soldiers

During the Second World War, a million and a half Jewish soldiers fought in the Allied armies, the Partisan units in Eastern Europe, and the anti-fascist underground movements in Western Europe and North Africa. These Jewish fighters won over 200,000 medals and citations. The Museum of the Jewish Soldier in World War II in Latrun, […]

Jerusalem Heights Penthouse

The 2-day real estate event will take place in Brooklyn on April 26 and 27.

Schonfeld-logo1

She wasn’t paying attention to what the child did when the mother was not in the room. Rather, her main focus was on what the child did when the mother returned.

The Mets at least have hope for the future with some good young pitchers.

French thinkers of the Enlightenment were generally not pro-Semitic, to say the least.

My Jewish star was battered, indeed it was a wreck
But I picked it up anyway and put it around my neck
To know that hatred mangled it was surely very painful
But just the same to me it is still very beautiful.

A compulsion is a repetitive action. But what underlies the compulsion is an obsession or fear.

When any student in the building is in danger of failing, the equivalent of tornado warning sirens should wail around the school.

It goes without saying that when it comes to your kids, safety is always your number one priority.

After the last of Austria’s Jews were murdered, Albert confiscated whatever Jewish property remained.

How can you expect people who go through such gehenom to even know how to give warmth and love?

More Articles from Vardah Littman and Rimonah Traub
Littman-011714-Gate

This mitzpeh, or outlook, is a memorial to soldiers who fell during the “Mirdafim” (Pursuits) that took place in the area for about three years after the Six-Day War.

Littman-113012-Main

The bronze, four and a half meter high Menorat HaKnesset stands in the Menorah Plaza by the main entrance to Gan HaVradim. This impressive menorah, in the shape of that which appears in the Arch of Titus, was created by Jewish sculptor Benno Elkan of England. It was given in 1956 by the English parliament as a gift to the State of Israel.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/travel/mitzpeh-bikat-hayarden/2014/01/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: