Monday, February 13, 2012


Return to Socho

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths

It’s still cold and rainy in Israel, but I ran out again with my daughter for a quick moment of wild flower photography.  (Wait, my son says that’s [not very manly].  So try this…I hiked the hills for some stunning nature photography.)

A few miles south of Beit Shemesh in Israel is Socho.  What’s Socho?  The 3rd Mishneh of Pirke Avos (the chapter Ethics of our Fathers) starts “Antichnos the man of Socho received (the oral tradition) from Shimon HaTzadik.  He said…”.

Today Socho is a hilltop ruin of Antichnos’s town of 3,000 years ago.  It’s also famous in Israel for it’s yearly wildflower display.  “Oddly” this particular hill isn’t covered with thorns, scrub bushes and scrub trees.  Instead it’s covered with wildflowers, wheat and oats, and a small number of fig trees.  And ruins.

Last week we took some late winter / early spring pictures.  Here it is just a week later.

Just one week later a full range of wild flowers are popping…

The wild poppies are always a brilliant red.2012-02-05 Flower Hill Akiva Haviva 009

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But red’s aren’t the only color that’s up now…

2012-02-05 Flower Hill Akiva Haviva 016

This second pink flower is called a rakefet in Hebrew.

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And this is one of the flowers that’s a big draw to the hill.  It’s rare and only seen for a few weeks in spring.  (Sorry, I forgot the name.)

2012-02-05 Flower Hill Akiva Haviva 048

It’s quickly becoming an explosion of color…

2012-02-05 Flower Hill Akiva Haviva 068

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A beautiful “nature photography hike” at Tel Socho.


  1. The one who's name you forgot is "lupine" in English, or turmus in Hebrew. It comes up in various halachic contexts.

  2. Beautiful photos. How fortunate you are to share this with your daughter.Thanks for posting the pictures.

  3. The blue flower below the one he can't remember is Lupine. The one H'Reb forgot is cyclamen, {sorry about the spelling},a commonly known late winter early sping house plant. Can also grow wild.


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