Friday, October 17, 2008

A tiyul balancing act

Helloooo, Our Shiputzim fans!

I’m sure that many of you will agree that it’s somewhat challenging to find trips and activities which are appropriate for both the older and younger members of the family.

Of course, there are many activities which are geared for everyone. (The Tekhelet Marine Tour is a fascinating, excellent and highly recommended example.)

However, not every tiyul works for everyone. While some attractions limit admission to children above a certain age, the older kids complain that others are boring and beneath their dignity.

As such, in recent years, we’ve tried to find a balance between the different types of outings.

For example, in the summer, we went to the Safari in Ramat Gan. Before we left, I made sure to warn the older kids that we were going for ENG’s sake. Everyone else was certainly invited to come along, but the condition was that no one could kvetch or say that it was “babyish”. (Somewhat surprisingly, the whole family chose to come along, and the kvetching was relatively contained.smile_regular)

But then, in turn, two of this year’s Chol Hamoed activities were really geared more for the older kids.

First, we went to see the Holyland model, which is now located in the Israel Museum. It’s been many years since YZG and I had seen it, and except for ESG - who was there on a school trip two years ago – none of the kids had ever seen it.

The Israel Museum itself is under construction, and most of the museum is closed. But between the model and the Shrine of the Book, there was still plenty to see.

Admittedly, most of it was lost on ENG. But she did like the wireless “audioguides”, and at least she could come on the trip.

However, the next day’s outing was to the Coca Cola Factory in Bnei Brak, where they have a high-tech interactive visitors’ center and where younger children are not allowed to go. So, I stayed home with ENG, and YZG took everyone else.

They all had a great time and couldn’t stop talking about the virtual rides, the harp made out of lasers, and all the other “cool” features.

I should note that this was the tourist attraction that I referred to in this post, where I wrote:

“Recently, I called a certain tourist attraction to make reservations. Among other questions, the woman on the phone asked if we are charedi or chiloni. Slightly taken aback – my American roots were showing, I guess – I said simply, ‘neither.’

“‘Okay, so then you’re dati leumi,’ she replied and moved on to the next question.”

As you will no doubt be interested to learn, “dati leumi” means that you go on the chiloni tour. Yes, that’s right – they have separate charedi and chiloni tours. YZG said that he was trying to figure out how the charedi tour would’ve been different, and he came up with three things:

  1. 1. The tour guide for the charedi tour is male.
  2. 2. On the charedi tour, they don’t show TV commercials from around the world.
  3. 3. On the charedi tour, they spend some time discussing kashrut issues.

And that’s about it for now.

שבת שלום ומועדים לשמחה

from the entire Our Shiputzim staff.


  1. ‘Okay, so then you’re dati leumi,’ she replied and moved on to the next question.

    Love it! At first listen, that is... but it underlies an overall problem here in the Holy Land, whereby we are constantly being demanding to define ourselves and fit neatly into a box.... don't get me started!

    מועדים לשמחה.

  2. Re: Chareidi tours, That Guy I Married added that perhaps the chareidi tour is separated men/women...

  3. Sorry about all the separate comments, but I had one more idea....

    Generally, and especially in close quarters, chareidim prefer to be exclusively among other chareidim, whereas the dati leumi community is more oriented toward being among all sorts. It's one thing to go to the zoo, where people can spread out and be among themselves, but on a tour you're all squished together among the super-sweet cola syrup conduits.

  4. MII and ALN -- Isn't it sad that the different populations can't even be together during something as harmless as a factory tour?

    ALN -- I also try to avoid being labeled, but as you know, unfortunately, it's not always possible to do so...

  5. We're sorry, but we will need more details on the tour itself.

  6. we will need more details on the tour itself.
    You'll have to speak to one of the people who were actually there...

    Choref tov.


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