The symbolism was striking.
After all, Succot is all about leaving one’s comfortable home.
And, similarly, our chol hamo’ed trip to Neot Kedumim was - in so many ways - all about leaving our natural comfort zone…
Take, for instance, the destination itself. Not only isn’t Neot Kedumim a national park, but it figures prominently on the Shiputzim teens’ list of “Places We Should Never Go Ever Again, Because We’ve Gone Every. Single. Year. Without. Fail.”
(Except that a quick calculation revealed that we hadn’t actually been there as a family in about ten years, and so the aforementioned adolescents had no choice but to temporarily suspend their moratorium on visits to Neot Kedumim...)
And then there was the way the tiyul was, er, “arranged.” (Please note that I use the term VERY loosely…)
You see, as those of you who know the extended Shiputzim family in real life are well-aware, we’re not exactly the spur-of-the-moment, impulsive types.
Instead, we’re big believers in advance planning, detailed schedules, and early arrival times (especially during chol hamo’ed).
But oddly enough, our trip to Neot Kedumim involved none of these things.
We only decided to go at the last minute; we didn’t get there until several hours after the park opened; and our largish group kept getting separated.
And yet, nevertheless, a great time was had by all.
In particular, everyone enjoyed seeing the life-sized succahs representing each of the kosher and non-kosher cases discussed in the Mishnah (Masechet Succah). For example:
When was the last time you visited Neot Kedumim?
P.S. The latest Haveil Havalim is available here. Special thanks to the Rebbetzin’s Husband for including my ArbaMinimMaintainers post and also my post about Netanyahu’s “V’Shavu Banim L’Gvulam” speech.