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MOUNT KARKOM - MOUNT SINAI AND THE BURNING BUSH



Although Mount Sinai where the Ten Commandments were received by Moses is a kind of the legendary place, still people have always been seeking to find "the real one". Altogether there are 27 candidates to be called Mount Sinai. Three of them look like the most probable: Jabal Al Musa ("Mount Moses) at Sinai; Mount Karkum and Jabal Al-Lawz at Saudia.

Jabal Al Musa or "Mount Sinai" has always been the most popular candidate, also due to the beautiful St. Catherina Byzantium Monastery.

Jabal Al Lawz is surrounded by the mystery as the Saudis haven't permitted any access to the site. Only recently a Catholic St. Thomas organization has managed to get there and they have found pictograms written in Proto-Hebrew there.

Mount Karkom stands very close to the Egyptian border and is actually rather part of Sinai than Negev. It has always been considered a very mystical place, surrounded by the atmosphere of a secret and Holiness.

It took us over 4 hours of unbearable jeep drive through the mountains and dry riverbeds to get there. Thousands of jeeps arrive here every 21st December night to the huge night-parking, which might have been a place where the whole nation stood waiting for Moses to descend the Mount.



People spend the icy cold night shivering in the tents, to start climbing the mount in the morning of the next day, 21st of December.

The mount stands 800 m above the sea level and 300 m above the valley. By 11:30 crowds get collected at the high slope, facing the mount.




When the sun reaches the Zenith, a fascinating effect of the "Burning Bush" takes place – the sunbeams fall on the iron core insert close to the top of the mount, and their reflection creates a view of the real burning bush.




This miracle continues only half an hour, after which people' excitement slowly fades out and they start spreading around the area to see the stone engravings and to continue enjoying the views…

The Mountain Plato sorrowing Karkom used to be a major cult center and it is covered with shrines, altars (including the famous "12 tribes Alter), stone pillars and circles and over 40,000 rock engravings. Some show the scenes of hunting, some depict sacrifices. There is also a famous engraving showing the Menorah – seven-branched Candelabra, symbolizing the Jewish Faith.



Therefore, it is a fact that already 2,000 and more years before the Exodus Mount Karkum was a Holy and the most mystical place. And continued to stay the Holy place during the early Israeli and even at later times. And there is no difficulty whatsoever to imagine the new-born Jewish Nation coming here led by Moses to face the Lord:

"Be ready in the morning, and then come up on Mount Sinai. Present yourself to me there on top of the mountain" Exodus 34:2

And then:

"Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant–the Ten Commandments" Exodus 34:28

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