- Or HaGanuz
Or HaGanuz Hebrew אוֹר הַגָּנוּז Also spelled
Or Ganuz (unofficially)
Founded 1989 Founded by Gush Emunim Council Merom HaGalil Region Upper Galilee Coordinates Coordinates: Website http://www.shemayisrael.com/orhaganuz/index-new.php
Or HaGanuz (Hebrew: אוֹר הַגָּנוּז, sometimes spelled Or Ganuz) is a Jewish village in the eastern Upper Galilee, about six kilometers northwest of the town of Safed. The Orthodox settlement was founded in 1989 within the Merom HaGalil Regional Council by a group of newly-baal teshuva Jews. It was initiated with the help of Amana, the settlement arm of Gush Emunim, even though the village is located within the Green Line. The name, translated from Hebrew, means Hidden Light, and is derived from the kabbalah which refers to the original light described in the Bible that was the first act of creation (see Genesis 1:2).
A convenient tourist location for pilgrims visiting the tomb of Rabbi Shimeon bar Yochai in nearby Meron.
The motto of the community is "love thy neighbor as thyself" and all members must abide by the philosophy that the importance of the community is at the forefront, rather than the individual. Membership and residency includes the voluntary choice to abide by the rules set by community that is centred around the Torah. Potential candidates and new members are gradually taught how to overcome inherent individualist feelings and to accept the communal lifestyle with a heavy emphasis on volunteering, selflessness, and the study of Torah. The strong communal or collective ideology of the community in the village is reflected in the formal registration of Or HaGanuz as moshav shitufi, although it has no agricultural activities and functions similarly to a communal settlement.
Current population is about fifty families, including 300 people, and the current municipal development plan allows for 250 homes. The rabbi and spiritual leader of the community is Rabbi Mordechai Sheinberger
Several formal educational institutions operate in the village including a nursery, a kindergarten, the Ginzei-Shimon Talmud Torah, a midrasha for women, and the Elima college of alternative medicine combining Chinese acupuncture with Jewish spirituality and kabbalah.
The original founders decided to concentrate on employment that does not necessitate being close to the main population areas. The village offers a range of holiday bed and breakfast guest houses operated by individual families, tours to graves of tzaddikim, a publishing house for religious and kabbalistic literature (Or Da'at), a printing press (Da'at), and a matza factory.
- Ginzei-Shimon Talmud Torah and short description of community in English
- Main website (Hebrew)
- Photo from main website
- Local holiday/vacation guest houses
- A satellite photo of Or HaGanuz in Google Maps
- A topographic map of Or HaGanuz on amudanan.co.il (Hebrew)
Kibbutzim Moshavim Communal settlements non-Jewish villages
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