Never having been in southern Israel, this spring I decided we’d take a drive down to Be’er Sheva. With the new North/South Highway 6 (unfortunately Israel’s first toll road), it’s a quick ride down the highway to Be’er Sheva. Be’er Sheva is a biblical city, mentioned all the way back to the time of Avraham Avinu. Be’er Sheva in Hebrew means 7 wells. As this might hint, Be’er Sheva is a desert oasis.
Traveling there is amazing. Rolling green hills change very suddenly to complete sparse desert. Not sandy, just hard packed dead (more or less) hills. Note these pictures are taken in SPRING, and still there’s practically no ground vegetation. But that’s around the city. The city itself has had a lot of national investment, as the open land is considered good space to plan people and make the desert bloom – the zionist vision of the past.
Overall it’s a pretty city. Yes, there’s older run down areas. But there’s also many new nice neighborhoods. Further, we spotted a reasonably high concentration of synagogues and yeshiva’s, meaning Jewish religious observance in Be’er Sheva is very active.
Yet, it is surrounded and part of a desert. Tempatures in the 100’s (f) are normal in the summer, and during our visit it was 15 degrees (f) higher than it was just 1 hour north! In this way Israel is just amazing, a 1 hour drive south and it’s desert, 1 hour in the north and it’s mountains, 1 hour west and it’s sea.
Certainly in the past, the desert oasis of 7 wells was a life saver. Today it’s a modern city in an inhospitable area. Yet many make it their home and bring the area to life.