July 15, 2013—SnyderTalk Editorial: Emek Refaim is a Wonderful Place to Visit and Live


Intelligent and Informed People Read SnyderTalk!


2--SnyderTalk Editorial 3


Emek Refaim is a Wonderful Place to Visit and Live

If you are planning a visit to Jerusalem and you want to see a thriving community that is as homey as anything you have ever seen before, the German Colony is the place to go.  It isn’t a community composed mostly of Germans as the name might suggest.  That’s the name it was given during the 1800s by members of the German Templar Society, and it stuck.

Raffi Berg of the BBC wrote an article titled “The Templers: German settlers who left their mark on Palestine” in which he talks about the area.  It’s a good article that you would enjoy reading because it delves into the German Colony’s past in detail, but it begins by explaining the events that led to its establishment and its demise:

Kurt Eppinger’s community of German Christians arrived in the Holy Land to carry out a messianic plan – but after less than a century its members were sent into exile, the vision of their founding fathers brought to an abrupt and unhappy end.

The Germans were no longer welcome in what had been first a part of the Ottoman Empire, then British Mandate Palestine and would soon become Israel.

“On 3 September 1939, we were listening to the BBC and my father said: ‘War has been declared’ – and the next minute there was a knock at the door and a policeman came and took my father and all the men in the colony away.”

Aged 14 at the time, Kurt was part of a Christian group called the Templers. He lived in a settlement in Jerusalem – the district still known as the German Colony today.

By the late 1940s though, the entire Templer community of seven settlements across Palestine had been deported, never to return.

Among Israeli Jews today, the German Colony is best known by its biblical name—Emek Refaim.  It still appears on maps as the German Colony, but the history of the area makes its biblical importance clear.  Emek Refaim is mentioned in 1 Chronicles 11: 15-19:

Now three of the thirty chief men went down to the rock to David, into the cave of Adullam, while the army of the Philistines was camping in the valley of Rephaim.  David was then in the stronghold, while the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. David had a craving and said, “Oh that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!” So the three broke through the camp of the Philistines and drew water from the well of Bethlehem which was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David; nevertheless David would not drink it, but poured it out to Yahweh; and he said, “Be it far from me before my God that I should do this. Shall I drink the blood of these men who went at the risk of their lives? For at the risk of their lives they brought it.” Therefore he would not drink it. These things the three mighty men did.

David was thinking about how nice it would be to have a cool drink of refreshing water from the well in the town of Bethlehem—his birthplace.  That wasn’t a coincidence because Emek Refaim is a very short distance from Bethlehem, and David probably walked around the entire area as a boy while he was shepherding sheep.

Emek Refaim is also mentioned in 1 Chronicles 14: 8-17 as a place where David battled the Philistines under Yahweh’s command:

When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up in search of David; and David heard of it and went out against them. Now the Philistines had come and made a raid in the valley of Rephaim. David inquired of God, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? And will You give them into my hand?” Then Yahweh said to him, “Go up, for I will give them into your hand.” So they came up to Baal-perazim, and David defeated them there; and David said, “God has broken through my enemies by my hand, like the breakthrough of waters.” Therefore they named that place Baal-perazim. They abandoned their gods there; so David gave the order and they were burned with fire.

The Philistines made yet another raid in the valley. David inquired again of God, and God said to him, “You shall not go up after them; circle around behind them and come at them in front of the balsam trees. It shall be when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then you shall go out to battle, for God will have gone out before you to strike the army of the Philistines.” David did just as God had commanded him, and they struck down the army of the Philistines from Gibeon even as far as Gezer. Then the fame of David went out into all the lands; and Yahweh brought the fear of him on all the nations.

2 Samuel 5: 17-25 gives another account of that incident:

When the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to seek out David; and when David heard of it, he went down to the stronghold. Now the Philistines came and spread themselves out in the valley of Rephaim. Then David inquired of Yahweh, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You give them into my hand?” And Yahweh said to David, “Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand.” So David came to Baal-perazim and defeated them there; and he said, “Yahweh has broken through my enemies before me like the breakthrough of waters.” Therefore he named that place Baal-perazim. They abandoned their idols there, so David and his men carried them away.

Now the Philistines came up once again and spread themselves out in the valley of Rephaim. When David inquired of Yahweh, He said, “You shall not go directly up; circle around behind them and come at them in front of the balsam trees. It shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then you shall act promptly, for then Yahweh will have gone out before you to strike the army of the Philistines.” Then David did so, just as Yahweh had commanded him, and struck down the Philistines from Geba as far as Gezer.

In Joshua 15: 1-12, Yahweh identifies the boundaries of Judah with the Valley of Rephaim as a point along the western border:

Now the lot for the tribe of the sons of Judah according to their families reached the border of Edom, southward to the wilderness of Zin at the extreme south. Their south border was from the lower end of the Salt Sea, from the bay that turns to the south. Then it proceeded southward to the ascent of Akrabbim and continued to Zin, then went up by the south of Kadesh-barnea and continued to Hezron, and went up to Addar and turned about to Karka. It continued to Azmon and proceeded to the brook of Egypt, and the border ended at the sea. This shall be your south border. The east border was the Salt Sea, as far as the mouth of the Jordan. And the border of the north side was from the bay of the sea at the mouth of the Jordan. Then the border went up to Beth-hoglah, and continued on the north of Beth-arabah, and the border went up to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben. The border went up to Debir from the valley of Achor, and turned northward toward Gilgal which is opposite the ascent of Adummim, which is on the south of the valley; and the border continued to the waters of En-shemesh and it ended at En-rogel. Then the border went up the valley of Ben-hinnom to the slope of the Jebusite on the south (that is, Jerusalem); and the border went up to the top of the mountain which is before the valley of Hinnom to the west, which is at the end of the valley of Rephaim toward the north. From the top of the mountain the border curved to the spring of the waters of Nephtoah and proceeded to the cities of Mount Ephron, then the border curved to Baalah (that is, Kiriath-jearim). The border turned about from Baalah westward to Mount Seir, and continued to the slope of Mount Jearim on the north (that is, Chesalon), and went down to Beth-shemesh and continued through Timnah. The border proceeded to the side of Ekron northward. Then the border curved to Shikkeron and continued to Mount Baalah and proceeded to Jabneel, and the border ended at the sea. The west border was at the Great Sea, even its coastline. This is the border around the sons of Judah according to their families.

Obviously, Emek Refaim has historic, strategic, and biblical importance, but for contemporary travelers it is a quiet oasis on the outskirts of the bustling metropolis of Jerusalem.  It’s a site that you don’t want to miss, and if you are planning an eventual move to Israel, Emek Refaim would be a wonderful place to live.  Below are several pictures of Emek Refaim that you will enjoy:

0 ST Editorial Picture 1

On the Way to Emek Refaim at the Intersection of Bethlehem Road and Emek Refaim Street

0 ST Editorial Picture 2

There is plenty of foot traffic in Emek Refaim.  Everything is just a short walk away.

0 ST Editorial Picture 3

There is no shortage of places to eat and socialize in Emek Refaim.

0 ST Editorial Picture 4

Emek Refaim Street in the Heart of Town

0 ST Editorial Picture 5

Tired of Walking? Relax on a Park Bench

0 ST Editorial Picture 6

There are some spectacular views of the Old City of Jerusalem from the upper floors of this building.



9--Jerusalem Post


Report: Israeli submarine strike hit Syrian arms depot

Peres calls on haredi leaders to support haredi soldiers

Egypt assembles cabinet as Muslim Brotherhood protest looms

State Comptroller to probe claims of forced contraception implants given to Ethiopian immigrants

McCain, Graham renew call for halt to Egypt aid

Erekat: PA wants Kerry’s peace mission to succeed

Ministers approve day honoring Jewish refugees of Arab states

Alleged Tel Aviv bus bomber pleads guilty to placing bomb, but says he didn’t intend to kill anyone

Palestinian-American football player denies accusations he’s an anti-Semitic radical

Israel launches information war against Hezbollah



10--Arutz Sheva


Rabbi Druckman: Why Such Hatred?

US Reps Circulate Letter Demanding Qatar Address Hamas Ties

‘Ramadan Television Series Resorts to Classic Anti-Semitism’

Anti-Jewish Chants At Turkish Rally Elicit Concern

PA Arab Women Disguised as Observant Jews

Former Ambassador is Egypt’s New Foreign Minister

PA Arab Arrested Over Sinai Explosion

Bait Yehudi Chairman to Oppose Terrorist Release

Islamists in Israel Rally for Morsi

Hevron: Muslims Desecrate Jewish Holy Site





Shas leader: National religious Jews ‘aren’t Jewish’

‘US to step up pressure on Iran, seek direct talks’

US points finger, but Syria denies Israel involved in arms depot strike

Better policework on triple murder could have foiled Boston attack, some say

Manila sets UN conditions for Golan force to stay

Morsi’s ouster unlikely to affect Egypt’s ties with Iran

Damascus giving Hezbollah fighters Druze ID cards, opposition source says

Major Tel Aviv highway blocked as thousands rally for social justice



12--Other News


Reports: Israelis hit Russian anti-ship missiles near Latakia

Thousands of Israeli Arabs gather to support Muslim Brotherhood

Netanyahu presses credible military threat against Iran

Snowden documents could be ‘worst nightmare’ for US: journalist

Thousands gather in Egypt to demand Mohamed Morsi’s reinstatement

Bomb attacks on Sunni mosques in Iraq kill 23

Key Free Syria Army rebel ‘killed by Islamist group’

Ultra-Orthodox paper backs delegitimization of haredi soldiers

In Israel, Doctors Quietly Treat Injured Syrians

US Commission on Civil Rights Member: Illegal Immigration Accounts for 40% of Decline in Black Employment





Dan Margalit: Mutually Assured Denial— Precarious regional circumstances mean both Jerusalem and Damascus benefit from denying reports alleging Israel was behind attack on Latakia missile depot.

Daniel Cohen: In Egypt, back to the future— There is a recurring trend in the Muslim world during times of crisis: a return to the roots, to an entity defined by Islam, not by nationalism.

Sebastian Rotella: The Terror Threat and Iran’s Inroads in Latin America—According to Western intelligence officials, during Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to Venezuela in January 2012, a senior officer in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) met with Venezuelan military and security chiefs to set up a joint intelligence program between Iranian and Venezuelan spy agencies.

Eric Trager: Why the Brotherhood Won’t Back Down—After only one year in power, during which its blatantly autocratic behavior alienated millions of Egyptians, the Muslim Brotherhood is back where it started. But the Brotherhood does not seem ready to go quietly. It has called for an intifada and has repeatedly vowed escalate its protests until Morsi is reinstated. The Brothers doubt that the military is unified in favor of the ongoing crackdown. They see the possibility of fragmentation within the military’s ranks if the generals escalate violence further.

Michael Rubin: Samantha Power’s First Test— Samantha Power, the journalist and political activist whom President Obama nominated to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has yet to have her confirmation hearing. Power—with whom I went to college and who lived in the same dorm—grew to fame for her work in Bosnia, where she worked as a stringer and then penned a book on genocide.

Joel B. Pollak: Top 10 Questions for Samantha Power— The United Nations may not accomplish much, but it is the most important public forum in which the U.S. defends its values and interests to the world. Samantha Power, who is President Barack Obama’s choice to replace outgoing UN Ambassador Susan Rice, is a particularly radical pick and should face tough questions and scrutiny when she appears before the Senate Foreign Relations committee for confirmation, including these.

Lloyd Billingsley: Tsarnaev, Hasan and Deadly Political Correctness—Rudy Giuliani’s warning to the Obama administration.

Andrew G. Bostom: Mama Mia, More Sharia in Egypt— Egypt’s Coptic community is alarmed over the constitutional road map issued on Monday by interim president Adly Mansour.  The Sharia closed circle that has stifled Egypt’s efforts since the 1820s to produce a pluralistic society based upon a secular consensus has not been defeated.

Matthew Vadum: A Leftist’s Harsh Words for the Unholy Alliance—A surprising denouncement of liberals’ embrace of Islamist human rights abusers.

Avi Issacharoff: Analysis: After Morsi: Opportunity, and the risk of flare-up in Gaza—Israeli officials may be impressed with the coup, but if Cairo’s interim government continues to hammer Hamas, the south could actually suffer.



Email Distribution List:

I have created an email distribution list that I use to notify people when I post a new SnyderTalk.  If you would like to be on that list, send your email address to nhsny@yahoo.com, and put “add me to your distribution list” in the subject line.  If you know others who are interested in SnyderTalk content, tell them to send me their email address, and I’ll put them on the list.


4--Scripture of the Day

Hosea 7: 11-12

So Ephraim has become like a silly dove, without sense; they call to Egypt, they go to Assyria. When they go, I will spread My net over them; I will bring them down like the birds of the sky. I will chastise them in accordance with the proclamation to their assembly.


5--HNIY Print form

His Name is Yahweh explains why the Name of God, Yahweh, is so important.  It’s available in eBook format and in paperback.  It’s also available for free in PDF format.

  • God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘Yahweh, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ This [Yahweh] is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.” (Exodus 3: 15)
  • “Therefore behold, I am going to make them know—this time I will make them know My power and My might; and they shall know that My name is Yahweh.” (Jeremiah 16: 21)
  • “Behold, the days are coming,” declares Yahweh, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land.  In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; and this is His name by which He will be called, ‘Yahweh our righteousness.’” (Jeremiah 23: 5-6)
  • Yeshua said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” (John 8: 58)


6--His Name is Yahweh Audio Presentation


Isaiah Revisited

Click here to download the entire audio presentation for free and with no strings attached.  Share it as often as you want.

6--Freely You Received Freely Give



14--Blessings from Revelation

Blessings in the Book of Revelation is a book that you need to read, especially now.  There are blessings throughout the Scriptures but Revelation is the only book in the Bible actually containing a specific blessing for reading it. It’s repeated twice, once at the beginning and again at the end. This is the reason that I believe Revelation should be the first step toward studying biblical prophecy. Though not easy to do, Revelation can be broken down and understood by anyone, not just the academic elite. So, Revelation’s blessings are for everyone.  Click here to order the eBook.  Click here to order the paperback.


Other Books by Neil Snyder

  • Stand! is a suspense novel that exposes the lies, corruption, and greed underlying the theory that man-made CO2 emissions are responsible for global warming.  Professor Wes Carlyle and Karen Sterling, his research collaborator, carefully scan the audience for their would-be attacker—a member of the enviro-gestapo who has been following them for days.  Wes spots his man in the back of the room leaning against the wall.  Suddenly, another man in the audience steps forward and moves toward Karen at a menacing pace.  With a vicious stroke, he swings a billy club at her head.  Click here to order the eBook.  Click here to order the paperback.
  • What Will You Do with the Rest of Your Life? deals with a question that every Christian has to consider: what should I do with my life?  Click here to order the eBook.  Click here to order the paperback.
  • Falsely Accused is a true story about a young woman who was accused of committing a double homicide.  It’s about a travesty of justice, and it reveals Yahweh intervening in the life of a believer to rescue her from danger in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.  Everyone will enjoy the book, but young people in particular need to read it because the mistakes made that led to the problem could have been avoided.  They were the kinds of mistakes that young people are prone to make.  As they say, forewarned is forearmed.  Click here to order the eBook.  Click here to order the paperback.

15--Concentric Circles

Back to the top

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *