Sunday, August 28, 2005

picking berries

This friday we went blueberry picking in the Golan for our weekly tiyul, which I have finally roughly translated as outing. This was the last Friday of summer vacation for the kids and the last week of kids before my wife's vacation, otherwise known as school. It's hard being a fulltime mother in the summer because you get absolutely no time to yourself. Once the kids start in school she's going to try putting together and selling gift baskets to the natives. Hopefully that will put a couple more shekels on the table.

Before I go any farther, what kind of idiot calls a suicide bomber in beersheva an "indication that the Palestinian Authority must take proper steps against terror." The BBC reports that as coming out of the mouth of the Prime Minister's spokesman.

That was my rant for the day. Back to the blueberries.
So we headed out towards the Golan on a beautiful, sunny day. We decided not to take the bnos yaakov bridge this time and instead headed on the brown Jish road and upwards towards Kiryat Shemona. We passed through Lahavat haBashan and I told my children about Og, King of Bashan. I told them how Moshe was 10 amos high and his stick was 10 amos high and he jumped 10 amos and rapped his ankle and the giant fell down dead. My older son (not that he is older then anyone but his little brother) especially enjoyed that story. I don't know if Og was from this area, but there is also a gemara that some Amora found the bones of Og somewhere near Tiberias and walked 3 miles and still didn't come to the end of his hip bone. (I may be slightly incorrect on the details of that story)
I don't really know if Lahavat Habashan has anything to do with Og or not, but I feel that one of the great educational opportunities in living here is telling my children stories about the Jewish history that happened in all of these places. Whether it is Taanaic, or even biblical, it doesn't matter if it is really true, as long as it is possible to be true. And what isn't possible.

We also drive by the Chulda Valley, which is very famous.

The blueberry picking itself was fun, we ate a lot of them and then brought back a container full. My wife made a blueberry pie for shabbos (yes we took off truma and maaser beforehand this time) which was delicious.

For those who are wondering about the halachos of truma and maaser when in an Israeli U Pick orchard (Jewish owned), this is what my friend said the rabbi told him.
You can eat off of the trees without any problem. But if you have a basket then once you put it in the basket it is like completing the process because you already paid for it. Therefore if it goes in the basket, even if you are walking around with it, you can't eat until you take off truma and maaser.
I have issues with that ruling because you pay for free access to it all and it doesn't matter if you eat 1 or 100, so obviously you are not paying for the blueberries with the admission fee and therefore it is not gmar malacha. I'm going to speak to the rabbi about it this week, if I have a chance.


Robyn said...

There are real live blueberries in this country? And I didn't know that? You may have just made my day, or at least my next day off...

DAG said...

what your friend said the rabbi said? why not ask one?