Sunday, April 27, 2008

pesach tiyul

I know I've been very lax about keeping you all up to date on what is going on. There have been a lot of things that I have really wanted to write about, but haven't gotten around to. Like the secular wedding we went to joining a Moroccan guy and a Russian girl (both born in Israel, but keeping their respective cultures) in a very interesting religious ceremony. I'm not going to write about that now, but I wanted to a month ago and mentioned it to one of my readers (who befriended me on facebook), who probably does not read anymore, since I stopped writing.

In any case, Pesach just ended and our mad tiyuling is done with. I wanted to share the beauty of the land of Israel with you. We were supposed to go camping with 2 other families for 2 nights and 3 days of hiking. It's always fun to go camping with Israelis because we have such different cultures. Anyways, one family had a child get sick on them so they didn't come and then another family decided to join us.

Chol HaMoed:
Day 1 - We went hiking in Nachal Iyun in Metulla, the finger of Israel. Metulla is an example of Israel giving the finger to the Syrians as we bomb their nuclear reactor. The PM told us he did that so that we would know that the government knows how to defend our country. Whatever. He's a jerk. It was a gorgeous day outside and there was no water running in nachal Iyun, which was a disappointment for the kids. We finally got to the end and there was a big pool of crystal clear water by the Tanur waterfall and a lot of signs that said "Do not go into the water." We respected the signs, though I don't know why.
We then headed over to the Charoshet Tal national park, to set up our tents. We figured if we got there early then we would get a good location along the stream. The place is huge and there are streams running through the entire campsite so everyone gets to put their tent next to the stream and nobody was on top of the other person. The kids played in the water and then we went to check out the big pools of water that they have in the non-camping section of the park. The kids had a lot of fun playing in the water and I decided to take my eldest to the deep water. I swam under the line and two strokes in absolutely froze. Apparantly the water comes directly from the meting snow on Mount Hermon. The shallow water is slightly warmed by the sun, but the deep water was just plum cold. Cold doesn't describe it. It was like swimming next to ice floes, but without the floes. I turned around and made it back to the shallow water, but just barely.
Afterwards, we had a twilight tour of Tel Hai. Tel Hai is a historical site showing where Trumpledorf died for his country. He only had one arm and when he was shot he told the doctor it is good to die for your country. Post Modern Historians have changed what he said, but they are liberal revisionists so who really cares about them. We then walked down the path of the wounded to the next village and looked at the roaring lion. It was an enjoyable evening. We then headed back to the campsite for our BBQ and sleep. It was late for the kids to have eaten but due to culture misunderstandings between our families we had decided to BBQ at a number of different times and didn't actually do it until we returned from the twilight tour. Somehow on Pesach we always end up hanging out with sefardim who eat kitniyos on Pesach. I think its because most of our friends here are Sefardim, but they only act differently then us on Pesach when they eat chumus with their bamba (and when they have to wake up early for a month to say slichos to get forgiveness for eating that food). I brought 5 bags of marshmallows (Liebers, with no kitnayos) for all the kids, and they all had a good time playing with fire.
By the way did I mention my kids hate sliced deli meat? Brings back memories of canned noodles in sauce, but very few people will get that reference.
We counted 2 on the omer.

Day 2
We woke up in the morning, or did we ever fall asleep? We have 3 tents, 2 4 person and one 2 person. I just bought the 2 person for the girls because my daughter had a camping trip with her youth group (no I can't bring myself to publicly write that my daughter is part of that youth group) and I figured that as the girls get older and will camp more often they will need a tent and the 4 person was getting squishy with all the kids in it anyways. So we have the boys tent, the girls tent and our tent. The baby is in our tent and she sleeps diagonally, so I was half on the mat and half off the mat and it was very comfortable, but You don't really go camping for the comfort so it was ok.
Anyways, we woke up in the morning and the kids played in the water for a couple hours until we decided it was time to get a move on it. The plan was to hit the chitzbani river by the Sneer national park. When we got there it was a 2 mile backup, so the other families suggested we go somewhere else. When we returned home the neighbors told us they waited in the 2 mile line and it only took 10-15 minutes. In any case we headed down to Ein Tina, which is a hike that is suppoed to be all in water. It started off in water, but as we headed up the mountain it dried up. When we got to the top, water was rushing out and we got to dunk our heads. We went back down the other side where the water was actually flowing, it was fun, like walking down a waterfall. It seemed like the kind of thing my dad would have loved taking us to 20 years ago and now would yell at me for taking my kids to dangerous places.
It's 11:30PM and I'm going to sleep. Maybe I'll continue this tomorrow, or a different time.