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Ness Ziona (Hebrew: נֵס צִיּוֹנָה, Nes Tziyona) is a city in central Israel. In 2017 it had a population of 49,108, and its jurisdiction was 15,579 dunams (15.579 km2).
Lying within Ness Ziona’s city bounds is the ruin of an Arab village, formerly known as Ṣarfān (צרפאן), but called in Hebrew Ginnot Tzarifin (Hebrew: גִּינּוֹת צָרִיפִין), not to be confused with the IDF base Tzrifin (Hebrew: צְרִיפִין). A story is related in the Babylonian Talmud about Ginnot Tzarifin, that during the time of the Second Temple it was customary to enquire where the first of the barley harvest and wheat harvest (Omer) were reaped when they were brought to the Temple, as it was not permissible to bring them from outside the land of Israel. Once, when the Omer was brought to Jerusalem, they knew not whence it had come. They enquired of a deaf-mute who knew where it had come from and who, mimicking with his hands, pointed to makeshift booths (Heb. “tzarifin”), and pointed to rooftops (Heb. “gagot”), the only word that he could find that rhymed with the word “gardens” (ginnot). The sages, asking if there was such a place called Gagot Tzarifin (Lit. Rooftops of the booths), were hard-pressed to recall such a place, until at last they remembered that there was a place called Ginnot Tzarifin, and accepted of the man’s offering of the Omer.
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