Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A winter wonderland

Back in September, I shared a couple of entries from the journal YZG had to keep when he and his high school classmates came to Israel for six weeks on a midwinter tour nearly 30 years ago BA”H.

Several readers asked me to post a few more excerpts from the journal, and so – without further ado, but with YZG’s permission :-) – here goes:

Thursday, February 3

Today we went south. First, we went to… Kever Rachel. Next, we went to Elonei Mamrei and Hevron. There, in Hevron, we saw Me’arat HaMachpeilah, the place where the Patriarchs and Matriarchs are buried. It is run and controlled by the Arabs. There are three mosques and two synagogues. Then we went to one of the houses owned by Jews. We saw a museum there which told about the history of Hevron. There is also a yeshiva there.

After Hevron, we went to a pottery factory where everything is made by hand. Then we went to a glass factory where everything is handmade and blown by hand. [Ed. note – Do you detect a theme? :-)]

Then we went to Kibbutz Kfar Etzion… There we saw a museum of the history of the Etzion Bloc.

Today was the first day it rained…

Friday, February 4

…Then, we went to see 3 caves. The first one is called Bell Cave. It is a cave that was formed by mining out the chalk there. Next we went to the Pigeon Cave. This cave was used to keep pigeons in. The last cave is called Grave Cave. It was once used as a tomb… [Ed. note – If this sounds familiar, it’s because this entry first appeared here.]

Saturday, February 5

We [spent Shabbat] in Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh.

Sunday, February 6

This morning, we went to Jericho. On the way, we stopped in a new [community] called Ma’aleh Adumim. Then we continued on and got to Yericho, which is an oasis in the Judean Desert. In Yericho, we visited a 6th century synagogue, which has a mosaic tile floor. We then went to Ai and climbed the mountain there…

Wednesday, February 9

…At night… I visited [relatives] and talked with them from 8:00-10:00… [Ed. note – Because you might think that he spoke to them from 7:30-9:30 or perhaps even 8:30-10:30, but you would be wrong… :-)]

Thursday, February 10

We went to Givah, and then we went to Givon and then to Ma’aleh Beit Choron. After that we went to Latrun, a place Jordan used to separate Tel Aviv from Yerushalayim in 1948. Then we went to Modiin, where they had a model of a city of centuries ago…

Friday, February 11

…In the afternoon, we went to Bnei Brak

Saturday, February 12

[Last night], we went to the synagogue of the Gur Chassidim. That night we saw the tisch of the Vishnev… In the morning, we davened at Ponevitch…

Monday, February 14

…In the afternoon, we went swimming and visited the elderly. At night, we went to Machon Lev to use the PDP11/34 computer… [Ed. note – Those of you who know YZG in person know that this and his visit to Kiryat Noar were the two highlights of his trip… :-)]

Tuesday, February 15

Today we went to the Old City of Yerushalayim… We visited four different synagogues… After that we went to the Holyland Hotel and saw a 1:50 scale model of Jerusalem as it looked in the days of the Second Beit HaMikdash

Thursday, February 17

Today we went to Shchem… We saw Kever Yosef, Har Grizim, and Har Eval…. It rained today…

Friday, February 18

We went to Yeshivat Har Etzion [for Shabbat]…

Saturday, February 19

It snowed…

Wednesday, February 23

Today we went to Tel Aviv to see the Diaspora Museum. It is a museum that shows Jewish cultural life in different areas of the world in various times in history. After that, we went to the Old City of Yafo and walked around. I went down to the water – the Med. [Ed. note - Don’t you love how he and the Mediterranean are so close that he gave it a nickname? :-)] – for most of the time…

Friday, February 25

This morning we went to the Institute for Halachah and Technology. They showed us some of their inventions, and then we went to families in Bayit V’Gan for Shabbat…

Saturday, February 26

It snowed…

Sunday, February 27 (Purim)

…At night, we went to the Old City, to Rabbi Kahana’s synagogue, for megilah reading. Afterwards, we went to various yeshivas… Porat Yosef, Yeshivat HaKotel, and a yeshiva in Me’ah She’arim…

Monday, February 28 (Shushan Purim)

…I went downtown, to see the Purim celebrations there…

Wednesday, March 2

Today we went to Yad Vashem…

Thursday, March 3

Today, we got up at 3:30 and left at 4:00 for Masada. We climbed it at sunrise - it took me 40 minutes, and I was the first up – and davened Shacharit there. Then we toured it until 11:00. Then everyone - except [two other boys] and I - took the cable car down. We got down in 12 minutes and got down before everyone else. Then we went to Ein Gedi, ate lunch there, walked in the reserve, and saw a waterfall…


To be continued…


P.S. The latest JPiX is available here. Special thanks to Ilana-Davita for including two of my posts: Avnei Eitan and the olive oil factory in Katzrin.


  1. Just note the places he vistited which are no longer accessible e.g. today we went to Shechem...

  2. Keren - I was struck by the very same thing! Another example is Yericho and the Beit Knesset Shalom Al Yisrael (from the Feb. 6 entry).


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