Twenty-nine families live in the close-knit community, which has its own synagogue and vista observatory.



From the top of the mountain, Tel Aviv can often be seen to the west, while Jerusalem's Mount of Olives can be viewed in the south. On rare days, when weather conditions permit, snow-capped Mount Hermon appears to the north.



The 909-meter tall mountain is covered, as are most mountains in the Binyamin Region, with ancient terraces. These terraces are the work of Jews, dated by archeologists to the Second Temple period. Ancient Jewish burial caves, as well as ancient wine and olive presses, abound throughout the terraces. Alongside the new Jewish neighborhood, animals continue to make the mount their home, including gazelles, porcupines, eagles, and wild boars.



Other Beit El neighborhoods are sprouting at the foot and midriff of the mountain, and they include a girls' high school, a new mikvah (ritual immersion bath), and a winery that sits below an ancient Jewish winepress.



Some researchers believe that this mountain is the spot of Jacob's dream of the ladder which the Torah describes as occurring in Beit El.



This year's unfortunate winter dry spell was broken on Wednesday when a large amount of rain and snow fell across Israel. On Mount Artis, and especially in the Pisgat Yaakov neighborhood, the cold and the 3 inches of snow were welcomed warmly.



The following are photos from the morning after the snowfall, taken by Artis resident Yishai Fleisher.



Email readers: to see the photos, please click here.





 
 
 
The vista to the north-east, behind a snow-covered alon tree.
 
 
 
 
 
What the children of Beit El refer to as... The Sheikh's Tomb. Some researchers feel it may be a Jewish burial site.
 
 
 
The tallest mountain in the area - Mt. Baal Hatzor.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This is a cave on Mt. Artis, containing an almost fully-preserved ancient olive press inside.
 
 
 
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