Nazareth: The Village

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This is a little village recreated to show what Nazareth was like in the time of Christ.

The shepherd taught us how the sheep will obey his voice, but the goats will not. And, if there is food, the goats will try to make the sheep naughty, too. The sheep can only stay safe by listening to the shepherd instead of the goat.

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They also explained how tombs worked. Each family had their own tomb, in which all the family is buried. When someone died, the body was put in one of the stone shelves. The stone was rolled in front to block the smell and keep wild animals out. After a year, the bones were gathered and buried inside the tomb, leaving a shelf open for the next death. But this way all the family bones were buried together.

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We also saw how vineyards worked:

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And learned how modern roads were made winding because it was the path the donkeys took, which was never the straight path but always the easiest:

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And learned about olive trees, fig trees, and almond trees:

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We also learned how the olive press works. Olives are put into this and a donkey pulls the wheel around. This crushes the olives and olive pits.

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This makes the olives into a squashy mud texture, which is placed in baskets and stacked 8 at a time under the olive press.

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We also saw the actual original wine press of Nazareth, the one Jesus would have grown up helping with at festival time. There would be a party with music and clapping, and the women would crush the grapes with their feet. They used their feet because this way the seeds, which are bitter, would not be crushed and ruin the juice.

You can see where they did this on the top layer, and the chiseled drain where the juice would flow down below into the vats to collect the juice.

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We also saw how they made ancient tools:

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We saw what the stone houses were like, again with Nazareth being a stone town with houses made of caves, and wood being scarce after everything had been burned, so the “carpenters” were stone workers, not wood workers. Carpenter in this case comes from the Greek for stone-worker. This is probably how Jesus had friends in other towns and places from which to base his ministry, because he probably worked with his father on construction and other projects in surrounding towns.

But here is some of what the houses are like:

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We also saw how to make thread from sheep wool and how to spin it and how to weave:

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We also saw the synagogue:

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And then, and my favorite, they fed us an old school kosher lunch from organic local foods that they would have eaten at the time of Christ.

This included olives, hummus, a cucumber yogurt salads:

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Super yummy lentil soup:

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Salad with date honey and sesame:

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We also had chicken, but like the salad, I gobbled it down before I could get a good picture.

We put it all in pita bread, super way yummier than what is “pita bread” in America – this is fresh and soft and yummy, with za’atar.

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For dessert, they gave us apples with a fig and date spread. So good!

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I mean, seriously. This good:

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