In a peaceful valley between mountains and hills, surrounded by the beauty of natural groves, nestles one of Jerusalem’s most picturesque neighborhoods – Ein Kerem
Ein Kerem (Hebrew: עין כרם, meaning the Spring of the Vineyard), is an ancient village which is now a neighborhood in southwest Jerusalem. According to Christian tradition, John the Baptist was born in Ein Kerem, leading to the establishment of many churches and monasteries. In the Old Testament Ein Kerem is mentioned twice with the name Beit Hakerem (Jeremiah 6:1,Nehemiah 3:14).
According to Christian tradition, this is where Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, miraculously became pregnant. This is also where he was born. Tradition teaches that during her pregnancy, Elizabeth was visited by a family relative – Mary, who was also pregnant, with Jesus. The two women met beside the village well and Mary drank from its cool waters. That place is now called Mary’s well.
The village around the well grew and its waters are considered holy. Many pilgrims come to drink from the well and take the holy water away with them in bottles.
If you are traveling in Israel, don’t forget to come to this beautiful place!