Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

9 Tammuz 5760 - July 12, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








Sponsored by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Produced and housed by











Home and Family
A REAL Vacation
by Debbie Shapiro

This year I finally decided that Pesach was going to be a REAL vacation. No more slavery in the kitchen. No more late nights making eighteen-egg cakes for a family suffering from an excess of cholesterol. This year would be different. This year I would leave that kitchen and go out to the great outdoors. Breathe fresh air and smell the spring flowers rather than that of olive oil burning. And so, halfway through the second fifty pound bag of potatoes, my three daughters and I set out on an organized "Woman's Hike to the Lower Galil". Motzaei Shabbos we finally made our exit from the kitchen at one a.m., after peeling innumerable amounts of veggies for our day out in the bosom of nature. We were determined to be ready early for the Hike of the Year.

The first place on our itinerary was a river in the lower Galilee called Nachal Kibbutzim. I had been told that this was really something special - a huge river ending in two natural slides, where one cascades together with the water into a lovely little lake. I imagined a beautiful waterfall that somehow sloped in such a way that we could easily body- raft it. In reality, the river was a large irrigation ditch ending in two rusty metal pipes going down to a shallow rocky pool.

Upon arriving at our destination, we climbed over a fence and breached an old red pipe before descending a rocky and muddy hill (or, perhaps I should say a miniature cliff) and jumped into the river (or irrigation ditch, depending on where you were raised). We had finally made it to the midst of nature! Together (and I really mean together, holding hands for support) we waded through the chest deep water which later became knee deep. Being the old lady that I am, I was petrified the entire way that a snake would bite me!

Now came the really exciting part. I had been properly prepared after hearing how much fun we were going to have. The river channeled into two irrigation pipes which went under a road, pouring into a shallow, rocky pool. We were supposed to sit in the pipes and cascade down together with the water. Part of being a Bubbie is that one's knees just do not seem to work in the same manner they did years ago. Certainly not the same as all these young teenagers racing down the pipes. In trying to maneuver myself into a sitting position, I found myself sucked into the pipe by the force of the water, jettisoning at an alarming speed, head first, towards a very shallow, very rocky pond!

What does one think of racing towards "The End"? Would anyone ever be able to say my name without cracking a smile. "Oh, you know, that funny lady who landed head first in the rocks." I imagined my husband attempting to explain to his friends how his wife ended up in the hospital (if I were lucky...) without making a total fool of himself. Of course, I TRIED to turn around, but the pipe was very narrow and the water was racing me towards...

Before I had entered the pipe, my daughter had told me that it is really not scary, but that I would definitely scream as I do on any water slide. Now she was the one screaming. Of course, I was screaming, too, but wouldn't anyone, racing head first down an irrigation pipe? Somehow, and I have no idea whatsoever how this happened, I managed to turn around at the very last second. And that is how I landed in a very shallow, very rocky pool, and thank G-d, only bruised the bottom half of me!


I never realized how roomy the storage areas under a bus are until, together with an entire busload of drippy women and teens, we managed to change out of our soaking clothes in this unusual dressing room. I am convinced that this part of the tiyul was as exerting as the first.

Finally, exhausted but dry, we continued on our adventure of the year. After regaining our strength with a delicious lunch of matza crumbs, we continued on to tour the remains of an ancient synagogue, and then climbed to the top of the Gilboan Mountains to see a picturesque view of most of Northern Israel. However, if I had any visions of getting away from mankind to the midst of nature, I was sadly mistaken. It seemed as if most of Israel had the same intentions. We sat in a beautiful traffic jam on top of a beautiful mountain!

We took lots of pictures of us emerging from water pipes, climbing up mountains, smiling while waiting at the rest spots. This is one trip I will certainly never forget!

Next year, I understand that we will be having a lengthy chol hamoed. We'll have many opportunities for exciting adventures. I think that on the first day of chol hamoed, we will visit our daughter in Geula, the second day, our children in Kiryat Sefer, and then our children in Ramot and Migdal Haemek. Grandchildren are certainly natural, and definitely as exciting, and if I need to smell those spring flowers, I will gladly accept a bouquet from the florist!


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.