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Neot Kedumim The Biblical Landscape Reserve in Israel
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Fallow deer
These graceful members of the Cervidae family are related to the deer of the Son

Deer, and their close relative the gazelle, are the major animal motif in the Biblical love poem, the Song of Songs. It is easy to see why the woman compares he lover to these swift and beautiful animals: "My beloved is like a gazelle or a young deer" (Song of Songs 2:9). Deer have a dramatic and clearly defined cycle of courtship and mating. They live in separate herds most of the year, and in the spring begin a complex "dance" of courtship. In human love as well, timing is crucial: "I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by gazelles or by does of the field, do not arouse or awaken love until it is ready" (Song of Songs 2:7, 3:5).

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