After taking a day off last Wednesday to recover from a cold/ sore throat I caught over Yom Haatzmaut, and a day at work painting and doing irrigation work, I was just about ready to head off on my week of fun in
I first got packed for Shabbat and took an extra bag filled with along that Rabbi Bauman graciously agreed to take back to
On Shabbat morning we woke up and walked over to daven at the Ashkenazi shul in Yemin Moshe, where I would go every once in a while during first semester. Tefillot were pretty nice, and started at and were finished by . The shul was packed with an Aish Hatorah group from
We then went back inside for Havdalah, which the patriarch again conducted from memory. The sefardic havdalah has a few differences from the traditional Ashkenazi one I am used to. The major ones are that the service is done seated and usually around a table, and seondly, that the text of their introductory paragraph is totally different. Although I also find the Ashkenazi liturgy to be meaningful, what struck me about the sefardi version is the theme of their prayer, asking God’s blessings of success as we move from the comfort of Shabbat into the unknown of the week to come. Part of it reads:
הַצְלִיחֵנוּ. הַצְלִיחַ דְּרָכֵינוּ. הַצְלִיחַ לִמּוּדֵינוּ.
וּשְׁלַח בְּרָכָה רְוָחָה וְהַצְלָחָה בְּכָל מַעֲשֵׂה יָדֵינוּ.
Grant us success, in our journeys and our learning, and send plentiful blessing and success in the work of our hands…
May we all merit having this blessing come true as Shabbat ends and we move into the coming week of creative work.
After these beautiful tefillot, I unfortunately had to rush and pack my stuff up, so I could catch a bus to the tachana mercazit and then another one back to kibbutz. As a nice surprise, I ran into my staff Mike and friend Sarah, and we chatted on the hour bus ride home and walk back to kibbutz. When I got back I quickly unpacked, and then repacked for our weeklong טיול צפון (
We pulled out of Kibbutz around on Sunday morning, after eating and davening, headed in the direction of the Arozolov train station in Tel Aviv, where we stopped to pick up the rest of our group who had spent Shbbat elsewhere. When I went in to the building to use the washroom, I noticed a sign that newspapers were on sale for just 2 ₪ (about 65 cents Canadian), and bought a copy of Maariv. It sure kept me busy on the bus, as it contained information leaked to the press about the Winograd commission report, which as you’ve probably heard, criticizes the government for its handling of the war in
The next morning, we davened Shacharit and had breakfast, and soon we were back on the bus and driving toward kibbutz Yifat, where we visited a living history museum depicting the period of the early kibbutzim and moshavim in Northern Israel. We had a pretty interesting tour, which ended with a lunch which was supposed to recreate the food that the early pioneers ate. The food wasn’t too tasty, but it seemed pretty authentic. After lunch, we got back on the bus and drove north to the area of Meron. I fell asleep, and when I woke up we were in a traffic jam. The reason, as I soon found out was that we were getting close to Meron, home of the grave of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai (Rashbi), and the police had already started to prepare for a crowd of a quarter of a million expected in anticipation of Lag Baomer. After a while of driving around and not really getting too far, we finally got off the bus and walked the rest of the way up to the tomb. We spent a few minutes at the gravesite discussing its significance, and then began our hike for the day, another mostly shady one through Nachal Meron and Nachal Amud. The hike was a little harder than the previous day’s especially the steep ascent we had at the end, but thanks to my friends I made it out with a lot of effort and just a few scratches. The hike ended just below the city of
On Tuesday after davening and breakfast we split into two groups, myself choosing the easier hike, and we boarded the bus for the drive to Metulla, a beautiful town which sits right on the border with Lebanon. Before starting our hike, we drove to Mitzpe Dado, and overlook point where we could see both
The next morning there were again two hike options, and because the harder one included rapelling, jumping and swimming, it definitely made sense for me to do the easier one, which was still pretty challenging. We davened shacharit, had breakfast, and then headed off to Nachal Zavitan, the upper part of which would be our hike for the day. This hike was especially challenging for me because at least fifty percent of it wasn’t on a path at all, but rather on rocks, many of them unstable, but I’m glad to say I made through the hike pretty well. Towards the end, we stopped to eat lunch at the site of a pretty beautiful and impressive waterfall. After we finished hike, around , we drove down to the kinneret and spent a few hours at the Luna Gal water park, which I had actually visited with my family on my first trip to
Thursday morning began as usual with Shacharit, and it was a nice surprise to find out that the hotel actually had a sefer Torah. It was pretty neat that it was a sefardi Torah, which is stored in a wooden case instead of a cover. Since I knew the Torah reading, I got to read Torah and it was pretty neat. We then had breakfast, packed, and loaded the buses. Before we left, I made sure to buy a newspaper in Hebrew again, and that day turned out to be a pretty big news day again, as the backlash against the government continued, with a huge rally planned in Kikar Rabin in Tel Aviv (which ended up attracting close to 200,000), and the accusing of Azmi Bashara, a former arab member of Knesset, of treason against the state.
We left Haon, and drove through the