There are so many places within Israel that are only a car-ride away.
Mo Mot Motz Motza
We drove about 15 minutes to Motza, an ancient and renewed town. Our first stop was the site of a mikveh from the First Temple period. We parked our car on the road and walked down to the place of the mikveh. We had a good chuckle when we saw a NaNachNachman car and trailer there with three Breslover Chassidim selling sefarim (books) there.
We actually bought a book of prayers for special occasions from them.
I asked them to whom they were selling books in the middle of nowhere? They said that this actually a very popular and trafficked place. They said that pilgrim passers-by on the way to the Temple Mount would stop at the Motza mikveh. One of the Breslovers said that once there was so much water that two more mikvaot were built along side the first. "Now," he said, "The water has trickled down to only enough for the first mikveh."
Next to the mikveh, the Breslovers put up a curtain so that people could tovel (purify themselves) in the mikveh in privacy.
Super Old and Old Motza
We walked along the road toward Jerusalem for about two minutes when we came to a small building that once was a Khan (way station) and now served as a synagogue. The Khan itself was built on an ancient Roman village and a Crusader fortress. There are relics of Jews living in Motza all the way up to the First Temple period. The name Motza was found there on a ceramic clay jug from 800 BCE.
Motza is actually at the center of a very wide field with remnants of an old farming town thousands of years old. The town is mentioned in the Books of Joshua (18:26), Chronicles and in the Mishna.
The Talmud says that arava (willow) from Motza was brought to the altar on the Temple Mount for Sukkot, and the people of Motza were exempt by the king from paying taxes.
According to Josephus, Titus lived in Motza along with a population of 800 then. Motza became the place from which the Romans ruled.
During the Ottoman Empire, Motza was a resting station on the way to Jerusalem.
In 1850 Shaul Yehuda ben Shlomo, Yechezkel Yehuda (an immigrant from Bavel) and David Yellin (from Poland) bought land and water rights in Colonia (Motza).