When I photographed this guy in early July at Ein Gedi, I didn’t know what he was. Cute, that’s for sure. Turns out he’s (or she?) a hyrax, an animal that frequents these parts.
Does this look at all like a bunny rabbit? Because in Modern Hebrew, a shafan is a rabbit. But in ancient Hebrew, the word shafan probably applies to a hyrax. See Psalms 104:18 —
The high mountains are for the wild goats; the rocks are a refuge for the conies.
הָרִים הַגְּבֹהִים, לַיְּעֵלִים; סְלָעִים, מַחְסֶה לַשְׁפַנִּים
Conies are the translation of shefanim and supposedly refer to these furry fellows.
For more on nature at the Dead Sea, see:
If you like animal photos, see Dina on Parshat Balak.
And to read more inspiring posts by other inspiring bloggers, visit Jack’s Haveil Havalim #173.