Love of the Land

For the week ending 27 June 2009 / 4 Tammuz 5769

Emek Rephaim Valley of the Giants

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

The largest valley in Jerusalem is called Emek Rephaim in which the neighborhoods of Katamon, Mekor Chaim and Baka are located.

The name Rephaim comes from the name of a people that inhabited the land before Jews entered it. They were exceptionally large and the very sight of them caused people's hands to become weak – ropheh in Hebrewhence their name Rephaim.

In ancient times this valley served as farming land for Jerusalemites.

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