Monday, January 3, 2011

Sea-to-Sea Trek

As you probably know by now, we have done our Yam-Leyam (coast top coast trip), which was a great success. I’m sure your son has told you all about it, so I’ll just add some a few more details.

After many preparations we left (by bus) the Moshav early Tuesday morning December 28th.
We were dropped off at the beginning of our route at the Chziv River, which is about 6 kilometers inland from the Mediterranean Sea, and from that point on it was all by foot.
We got there just in time for Vatikin Shacharit, had a great Tefilah and then had some breakfast.
I’d like to point out that many of the responsibilities for the trip were taken care of by the students themselves. They were responsible for the meals, what kind of food we’d be eating, when, how much, cooking/barbecuing it, and so on. They were the navigators for the trails (and thank G-D we didn’t get lost) and a number of students were responsible for teaching everybody else about the many fascinating places in which we stopped during our three days of hiking.
On the first day we hiked through beautiful warm weather, explored ruins of an old crusader castle, went swimming/Mikvah in the nearby river, had lunch on the riverbank, and about twenty kilometers later reached the camping ground where we set up tents, a bonfire, and prepared dinner.

After Arvit, a meditation activity, and a delicious dinner of meat stew slowly cooked over the bonfire, known in Israel as a Poyke dish, which was eagerly polished off by all, we went to sleep, exhausted yet happy and content.

Early next morning we davened Shacharit, folded up the tents and gear, had breakfast, and were off on our way.
We stopped during the day a few times, dipped in an ancient natural spring Mikvah, admired the cows grazing in beautiful green valleys, had lunch and davened Mincha at the foot of Mt. Meron, and then we climbed up Mount Nerya (Mt. Meron itself cannot be climbed because there’s a “secret” army base at top).

On the top, 1050 meters high above, we had a beautiful view of the upper Gallil and Lebanon.
We climbed down the other side, got dinner cooking over the fire and then went to Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai’s gravesite to daven Arvit, sing some songs, and say Tehilllim.
We all hit the sack after a delicious barbecue dinner.

We woke up once again with the sun, davened Vatikin in the nearby Beit Knesset at the gravesite, had some cake and coffee, some guys went and dunked in the local heated Mikva, then we all had some breakfast, packed the gear and got on the move once again for another twenty kilometer hike mostly in the Amud river nature reserve.
We had lunch, “helped” rescue a horse who had fallen in to a pit, davened mincha, and kept on walking till we reached Kibbutz Chokuk, near the Kinneret, where we had a breathtaking view of the Kinneret, and to make a long, and happy story very very short were picked by bus and driven home for a hot shower and a good warm meal.

Many of the students said how the trip was truly unique and a special experience. The many sites of Israel’s nature we got to see and explore also amazed many, and all in all it was a bonding, fun, and educational experience.

That’s about it for now.
Attached to this e-mail is a picture from the trip.
Make sure to check us out on facebook Mechinat Avnei Eitan, for more photos and updates.

One more thing I thought I’d mention. We are currently in the process of recruitment for our next year students and would sincerely appreciate any P.R you can do for us in your respected communities, Synagogues, schools etc…Toda raba!

Kol Tuv!
R’ Asher

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