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
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