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Temple-era banquet takes diners back 2,000 years

The event "emphasizes what once was—and what will be once again." Binyamin Regional Council head Israel Ganz said.

The banquet at the Psagot Winery, July 12, 2023. Credit: Binyamin Regional Council.
The banquet at the Psagot Winery, July 12, 2023. Credit: Binyamin Regional Council.

A lavish banquet held at the Psagot Winery, located in Samaria north of Jerusalem, brought participants back to the Second Temple era this week.

The unique dinner, an initiative of the Binyamin Regional Council’s Department of Religious Culture, was organized as part of the council’s Binyamin Temple Conference on Wednesday.

Attendees were served historical foods, mentioned in the Bible and other traditional sources, that the Jewish people ate some two millennia ago, including sacred breads, sacrificial meat, priestly offerings, biblical-style salads and wine produced from local grapes.

All dishes were prepared under the supervision of Professor Zohar Amar of the Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology at Bar-Ilan University, while international chef Yossi Ben Dayan oversaw the culinary aspects.

“This evening is for people who want to contemplate and feel close to the divine presence that existed in the Temple,” Binyamin Regional Council head Israel Ganz told participants, adding that the event “emphasizes what once was—and what will be once again.”

Other speakers included Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, director of the Temple Institute, and Dr. Shivi Drori, a researcher who specializes in rediscovering the ancient wines and grapes of Israel.

The Temple Conference continued on Thursday with lectures at Tel Shiloh, the center of Jewish life before the construction of the First Temple in Jerusalem. Among other topics, speakers were to discuss the offering of the Passover sacrifice in modern times, the traditional grape varieties of the region, and urban and logistic planning “in the vision of future Jerusalem.”

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