10 Elul 5773
By Jerry Rothblum
Israel… that far off place that we talk about and pray for… the land, the people and the history that we connect ourselves to through our Judaism. For many, “next year in Jerusalem” are the final words of prayer we hope to realize sometime within our busy lives of taking care of our families and balancing work schedules.
Our daughter Michelle is currently living in Tel Aviv on a 5-month internship program. Living vicariously through her blog postings – the people she has met, the food she has discovered and the many cultural trips she has taken throughout the country (including a 4-day hike from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sea of Galilee) – Dan, David and I decided to visit her and make “this year in Israel” a reality.
First stop… Jerusalem! The Israel Museum and Dead Sea Scrolls; trekking through the Old City and saying a prayer at the Western Wall; and a powerful Day of Remembrance at the Herzel Tomb and Yad Vashem were the highlights of our first three days in Israel. Of course, a day trip to the desert fortress of Masada and floating in the Dead Sea was not to be missed!
Three day… Road Trip! Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee, the old city of Tzfat, wine tasting, lunch at the goat farm of Ein Camonim and an amazing dinner at Pina Barosh are some of our favorite memories while discovering the beauty of the Golan Heights. A stop at Mount Bental provided another look at history, as we explored the bunkers used during the Yom Kippur War of 1973 overlooking the Valley of Tears. And, within a couple of hours we were exploring the caves at Rosh Hanikra and the ancient site of Caesarea on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. A visit to the archaeological site at Tel Megiddo was a must and brought back memories for Dan of when he spent a summer at the adjacent Kibbutz picking pears!
Finally Tel Aviv! Afternoons on the beach, shopping in the Shuk and wandering through the old city of Jaffa were the perfect ending of our amazing 11-days! This family “birthright” trip, from Sea to Sea, was a gift we gave to ourselves and the memories will remain with us for a lifetime. We hope that you will make “next year in Jerusalem” a reality for yourselves – we promise you will never regret it!
The Rothblum Family