Day 5 begins with a beautiful drive through the Carmel Mountains, past the Sea of Galilee, and up into the Golan Heights. After some yoga, a nice workout and protein shakes, it’s time to see the most strategic position in the State of Israel.
In Mitzpeh LaShalom, on the cliffs of the Southern Golan Heights, we meet with Marla Van Meter. An American immigrant from California, she embodies the true Zionist Pioneer spirit of the first Aliyot. She shared her passion for the land, the environmental and military attributes of the Golan. After viewing the Kinneret from above we go to ‘Three Borders’ where Syria, Israel and Jordan all meet.
Leaving the north we put on our cucumber masks and had facials on our bus, heading south for a bio tour at Sde Eliyahu, a kibbutz specializing in bio agriculture and bio pest control. We were touted by Sarah, an American immigrant, who explained the history of the kibbutz and its ingenuity.
In the modern Jewish State everyone contributes equally and everyone is treated equally.
After eating a nice kibbutz lunch we got back on the bus for a short ride to the biblical town of Beit She’an. This was not on our itinerary but a truly memorable experience. The two thousand year old Roman ruins were spectacular. A gateway city from before the time of Jewish Kings, it had everything from great shopping to a luxurious bathhouse. We discussed the life of Jews after the destruction of the 2nd Temple, our values, and the beginnings of Rabbinical Judaism.
On our way to Jerusalem we made a pit stop to go to the potty for probably the 15th time that day, but more importantly so that Laura Drucker could ride a camel. She was able to fulfill a lifelong dream and I know she’ll be forever grateful to the Frank Family.
In a culmination of the day, after some foot massages, we rise up to the holy city of Jerusalem.
A truly magnificent moment as we said Shechyanu together on Mt Scopus, overlooking the old city, as Shabbat was coming in.
Our bond together as a group is truly coming together. Whether sharing our experience in our love for the land or sharing a box of figs and dates (for those of us lacking fiber in our diets), we are having a once in a lifetime experience.
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