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Halilim Stream and Eynot Telem Springs

Duration:  Half a Day
Difficulty:  Easy, 3 Kilometres
Seasons:  Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter
Topographic Map Number:  9 - Judean Mountains
Properties:  Water Dip, For Families, Trip with Blossom, Public transportation, Romantic
Coordinates:  (214512, 634612) / (35.1523, 31.8043)
Rating:  6.5
Updated at:  29/9/2013
Region:  Judean Mountains
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The page in Hebrew: 
נחל חלילים ועיינות תלם



Seemingly, no sound in nature can surpass and better define the feelings of the heart than the sound of the flute. Nahal Halilim [the flutes stream], an urban stream, runs amongst the villas of Mevaseret Zion and along the teeming traffic of Route 1. This fact only adds to its charm, as it is the only green space among the amassed concrete and asphalt of its surroundings. This hike is suitable for all ages and it includes a chance to wade in the Telem Springs.

This itinerary was written with and in collaboration with Oded Porat, an educational manager at the Golan Seminary.

 

The Flute song words: Leah Goldberg; music: David Zehavi

The flute is so simple and fine

And its sounds like the sound of the soul

Goes the flute song

like the ruffling streams

like when children sing

like the whispering winds

Through rustling leaves

Goes the flute song

The song of the flute

To the tree and the cloud

The song of the flute

To my brother the child

The song of the flute

To the huddling herd

The song of the flute

To the mountain edge

Goes the flute song

Tips for the Trip

The trail starts at Mevaseret Zion [1] and descends down to the Sorek Stream. You can either leave one vehicle at the end point [6] (please see directions in the enclosed map) or hike back up the stream (it is a moderate climb). You can also reach the beginning point by bus to the Harel Junction and from there it is a 1-km [0.621 m] walk to the beginning of the trail. From the end of the trail you can walk to the small Motza interchange or back to the Harel Junction.


How to get There

From Route 1 (Jerusalem - Tel Aviv) turn in at the Harel Interchange [1] toward Mevaseret Zion, pass the Harel Mall and continue to drive on Harel St., at the first roundabout turn right (into Brosh St.) and then turn left at the first  turn (into HaShalom St.). Drive along HaShalom St. about 100 m to the HaShalom School parking lot [2]; Start from here. From the parking lot descend to the parcel of ground in the shallow valley north of the school. This is where the Halilim Stream starts.


Leaving a vehicle at the end point

For those of you who arrive at Route 1 from the Harel Junction [1]: turn right at the turn into Beit Zayit, follow the road signs to Mevaseret Zion. Pass beneath the road, namely Route 1, and continue about 200 m [656 f] with the road that climbs to Mevaseret Zion. On your right hand side you’ll notice an Israel Electric Corp. facility. Drive carefully and turn right toward a dirt road and park next to the facility. For those of you who are coming from Jerusalem, drive to Mevaseret via Motza Bridge; follow the above-mentioned directions another 200 m [656 f] to the dirt road that turns right to the electric facility [6] and park a second car at the end point of the trail.


Halilim Stream

The trail that follows the stream is marked with green markings. First you’ll pass some big fig trees that begin to bloom at the arrival of the summer. The deserted agricultural terraces are evidence of human settlements here, as are the ruderal flora that grows among the terraces. Follow a transparent marked footpath (two white strips with no color in-between them) to the site of the Beit Mizah (Arabic) Ruin or Horbat HaMozah (Hebrew) which can be traced by the dominant almond tree that grows next to it [3]. The ruins of Mozah are named after a city that was inherited by the children of Benjamin which is mentioned in Joshua 18: “and Mizpeh, and Chephirah, and Mozah”; however, there is no archeological evidence at the site from the same period – from Joshua’s conquest of the Land of Israel. This suggests a well-known phenomenon of miscorrelation between the names of locations, even when an ancient name is preserved, the location is geographically distanced from that original settlement. The Ruin is virtually mixed with the new buildings of Mevaseret and includes an impressive burial cave that was dug at the top of the slope, as well as wine presses and ritual baths which are spread out over the area, thus due to the many holes in the Ruin’s compound, children as well as adults, must pay attention when they walk about. Enjoy the urban view of Jerusalem which can be seen from the Ruin – Har HaMenuchot (the Mount of Rest), Givat Shaul, the curves of Route 1 that climbs up to Jerusalem, and certainly below you – the Halilim Stream which digs its way toward the vast and wider bed of the Sorek Stream.  


The Halilim Caves

Follow the green-marked trail for about 10 additional minutes until you reach one of the highlights of the tour, the Halilim Cave – a Karstic cave. The karstic process involves dissolving of chalkstone by the carbon dioxide which is contained in rain drops. A product of this dissolving process is the beautiful formation of stalactites and stalagmites. In the Halilim Cave the process is manifested in a system of tunnels and hollows that with time merged into one big hall with spectacular stone pillars. The total length of the cave is about 40 meters [130 f] and its height is about 1.5 m [5 f]. The openings of the tunnels were named halilim [flutes], because they are reminiscent of the tone holes on the back of a flute that produce the various sounds. At the other side of the stream you can see another system of Karstic caves; however they are less impressive and it is difficult to access them. 

During the springtime the slopes of the Halilim Stream are covered with stretches of the beautiful blooming anemones, cyclamens, and various orchid species like the Carmel bee-orchid and yellow bee-orchids. It is advisable to bring binoculars with you for bird watching and for tracking the many songbirds, such as the Palestine sunbird, partridge, Syrian woodpecker, woodchat shrike, the Eurasian jay and more.


The Eynot Telem Springs

After turning  right  onto the dirt road you’ll soon come (after about 700 m [2,300 ft]) to the other vehicle at the end [6]; however, it’s highly recommended to make a left turn and visit the Telem Springs [5], an additional 300 m [1,000 ft] in each direction. The blue-marked dirt road passes through a segment of the Sorek Stream – Emek HaArazim [the Cedar Valley]; then it goes through the meeting of the Sorek and Luz Streams (north of the Sorek Stream) and finally it leads to the remnants of a small Jewish colony (the Beit Telem Ruin, Beit Thalma) and to a pumping station which are both adjacent to the Telem Springs.

In 1906 Aaron Eisenberg (one of the founders of Rehovot) and the engineer, Dov Klimker, bought this land. The latter built a factory for oil production from the waste of the olive press here, but due to its non-profitability the factory was closed. After WWI, in 1923, the land was bought from Klimker by Prof. Pick and Rabbi Yehuda Leib Fishman. Eight families of craftsmen settled on the land, put the factory back to work, and laid a corner-stone for an agricultural school for observant female students. 

During the 1929 Palestine Riots the settlers fled to Motza and from there, with the rest of Motza’s residents, to Jerusalem. Thus came the end of the colony at the HaArazim Valley.

The trail to the central spring winds through a walled yard with fig and pomegranate trees and grapevines. Next to the two-story building is a big reservoir pool (15 x 15 m) which is 5 meters deep. A subterranean tunnel streams the spring water underneath the building to a smaller pool (4 x 5 meters) which is about 1.5 meters deep. The water in the pool is padded with a carpet of thousands of bunches of duckweeds that float freely on the water. In the area of the springs the growth of aquatic plants partly includes great willow herb, horse mint, brown galingale and more.


The End of the Trail

From the Telem Springs return via the Sorek Stream to the second vehicle [6] or back to where you began the trail.

And upon making your way back to the urban jungle, remember the lines that end  Leah Goldberg and David Zehavi’s poem:

Knoweth he  who listens well

How it steers when it plays

Steers the heart and cures

With its joyful tunes

like the ruffling winds

Through rustling leaves

Goes the flute song…

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The Halilim caves near the steam
The Halilim caves near the steam

Photo By: Yochai Corem
The Halilim caves near the steam


The trail begins at Mevaseret Zion
The trail begins at Mevaseret Zion

Photo By: Yochai Corem
The trail begins at Mevaseret Zion


A burial cave at the Mozah Ruin
A burial cave at the Mozah Ruin

Photo By: Yochai Corem
A burial cave at the Mozah Ruin


The Halilim Cave
The Halilim Cave

Photo By: Yochai Corem
The Halilim Cave


Descending to the stream `during the summer; Route 1 in the background
Descending to the stream `during the summer; Route 1 in the background

Photo By: Yochai Corem
Descending to the stream `during the summer; Route 1 in the background


The Eynot Telem Springs
The Eynot Telem Springs

Photo By: Yochai Corem
The Eynot Telem Springs


Telem Spring
Telem Spring

Photo By: Yochai Corem
Telem Spring


The pump house at Telem Springs
The pump house at Telem Springs

Photo By: Yochai Corem
The pump house at Telem Springs