I just returned from a brief vacation in the Galilee – Israel’s north.
This is a particularly desireable vacation destination since it is slightly cooler than the rest of the country, there is more water (lakes, waterfalls, the Kinneret, natural springs and the Jordan River) and a plethora of attractions and activities.
Agriculture, at least on a small scale, is less profitable, so a lot of farmers have started building vacation cabins on their property. We stayed in a Moshav (cooperative farming village) between Rosh Pina and Kiryat Shmona that was very nice. The owners were warm and friendly and treated us like their own guests. The other families staying there were quite pleasant. The Moshav had other guest cabins – I met my neighbors from home in shul.
We went for a Ranger ride along the Jordan, visited a boutique winery and tasted at least 30 flavors of jam at a home cannery, as well as visiting an artist’s village in the Golan, attended a Klezmer/Jewish music festival in Safed, and my boys had an amazing time at a shooting range. That’s what boys seem to like, and boys have to be kept happy on family vacations. We had lunch at a restaraunt that had the Dan River flowing through it and watched the trout, similar to the ones we were eating, swimming by.
Last week we read in the Torah portion “I am bringing you to a land of land of streams and springs …..a land of wheat and barley, grapevines, figs and pomegranates, a land of olive-oil and (date) honey.” That’s exactly what we saw!
The last time we went to the north for vacation was three years ago – right after the 2006 war in Lebanon. That time the ravages of war were everywhere – burnt trees, buildings that had been struck by missiles and a general sense of loss as well as relief that the war had concluded. This time, the area seems to have recovered and all the tourist attractions were open. There were lots more things that we wanted to do – but there simple wasn’t time….. next trip!