We have been staying on Kefar Adumim. It is a small town off of the much larger town, Ma'aleh Adumim. If you have at any point thought that these 'settlements' are sleepy backwaters filled with religious zealots and no indoor plumbing, think again. First of all, there is too much sand to call it a backwater. Much more importantly, Ma'aleh Adumim has a population of about 37,000, as of 2010. This is not a small town by any stretch of the imagination. I would love to live there. Kefar Adumim is not even close to as big. At present, it has about 500 families.
This is a roundabout way of getting to a neat little industry right here at the kefar. Many of you are aware of the commandment of tzitzit (ritual fringes, see the end of Numbers, 15). The commandment requires a fringe of blue. It is not a blue that one can just make with a Rit dye from Walmart. It is a secretion from a specific sea snail. For about 1500 years, the recipe was lost. About 120 years ago, someone figured out how to make it. The factory here at Kfar Adumim makes the vast majority of the the blue dye available in the world. They do tours. We heard a fascinating introduction to how the blue is made.
We also went to the Armoured Corps Museum at Latrun. It is the world's largest armoured vehicle museum, with over 130 vehicles. We learned about the history of Israel's armoured corps, with a personal tour from a soldier.
I asked someone else a question, and we ended up meeting in the office of one of the directors learning about the question I had asked, as well as the geography of the whole area.
Tomorrow, we are going to Yad LaKashish and to Yemin Moshe. Perhaps we will also hit Machane Yehudah one more time. It is not entirely clear.
Have a good night.