Nestled in the Judean hills about ten miles (16 km) west of Jerusalem, Yad HaShmonah is a thriving moshav (communal settlement) composed of Israeli and Finnish believers in Jesus the Messiah. The hill on which the moshav was founded in 1971 was apparently sparsely occupied in the Arab periods, based on archaeological remains found at the site. The hill is 0.6 miles (1 km) away from biblical Kiriath Jearim and likely closer to the Camp of Dan mentioned in Judges 18:12.
Founded by Finnish believers in 1971, the moshav soon became home to Israeli Jews who believe that Jesus is the Messiah. The primary industry of the community today is tourism. In addition to hosting foreign tourists, the moshav attracts many Israelis for their weddings, bar mitzvahs, and the popular Friday brunch.
The guest houses are constructed of Finnish Pine, lending a unique look among the typically stone buildings in Israel. The rooms have balconies or porches overlooking the beautiful Judean hills. Snow is not common in this area, but a good snowfall will occur once every two or three years.
The Biblical Village on the slope of Yad HaShmonah provides visitors with hands-on exposure to the manners and customs of the ancient Israelites. The garden includes olive trees and press, grape vines and several winepresses, wheat field and threshing floor, watchtower, Bedouin tents, ancient Galilean synagogue, and a burial cave. All have been constructed according to the best archaeological knowledge of ancient life.
The biblical city of Kiriath Jearim is located within 0.6 miles (1 km) of Yad HaShmonah. Kiriath Jearim is most known for the house of Abinadab which held the Ark of the Covenant from the time of Samuel until the time of David (about 120 years). Kiriath Jearim was originally a Gibeonite city and the Danites would camp near here on their migration to the north. The prophet Uriah, a contemporary of Jeremiah, was from Kiriath Jearim.
The Elvis Inn
Between Yad HaShmonah and ancient Kiriath Jearim is located Globus Group, a large Israeli television and movie studio, and the Elvis Inn. The owner of the latter is a huge fan of the dead American rock star. He has decorated the restaurant with thousands of pieces of Elvis memorabilia and Elvis music plays continuously inside. Outside two larger-than-life-size statues stand, providing photo opportunities for the many American and Israeli tourists who visit.
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Yad HaShmonah (official site, in Hebrew) The official website of the moshav’s tourism department, including full details about the guest house. This community is one of the best in all of Israel for tourists to spend a few nights.
Yad HaShmonah (official site) Another website for the moshav, featuring information on the hotel, biblical gardens, woodworking shop, and moshav volunteer opportunities.
Yad Hashmonah (Jerusalem Perspective) An article on the uniqueness of this community (with aerial photos from BiblePlaces.com).
See our Kiriath Jearim page.
Elvis In The Holy Land: The Elvis Inn (Personal Page) Photos and text tell all.