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A small Pesach adventure close to home


Are you still feeling holed up this Pesach???

I feel like a groundhog coming out of its hole, a little bit at a time, after a year of… well, weirdness.

I hope the past year has been okay for you and your family.

I hope you’re somewhere safe and healthy enjoying Pesach with a few more loved ones than perhaps you were with at this time last year.

After having every single plan cancelled for the last year-and-a-bit, we finally ventured out on an official Family Outing yesterday. I didn’t dare go too far afield, so we visited a local “national park” called Ein Afek (its official name is “The En Afek Nature Reserve”).

National parks in Israel are naturally smaller than the ones we’re used to from Canada, with a whole lot less nature. But the trade-off is that they are always pretty close to either home or other civilized parts, you can often get there by public transportation, and they also often offer a glimpse into some pretty interesting history.

Ein Afek has all three:

  • It’s a ten-minute bus ride from our local mall, the Kiryon, probably a ten-minute drive from our house, if we were driving
  • It has some cool nature bits, including some natural local wetlands
  • It has some cool history bits, including both Biblical, Crusader, and British Mandate-era connections

I won’t pretend that this is Deep Nature, but at certain angles, it’s quite pretty and you do forget that you’re in the middle of the vast sprawling suburbs known as the Krayot, halfway between Haifa and Akko.




Our children were entertained, I think mainly by being out of the house, but also by the attempt to capture a few tadpoles to bring home. I realized halfway through that removing animals from a nature reserve might be problematic, and attempted to talk them out of it, but becoming a legal adult and a mom (somehow!) has made our older daughter slightly feisty and they all said it was fine, so we did in fact (gaah, don’t send the environmental cops after me!) end up smuggling two tadpoles home in a baggie…).


The big highlight of any visit to Ein Afek is the floating bridge, a one-way wooden bridge across one of the mini-swamps where every single tourist stops to take their family’s picture. Which we did. I offered to let the people behind us go past (of course there were people behind us – this is Israel!), but they said no, very gung ho about the prospect of taking some pictures themselves.


And then, because this is Israel, about halfway across this narrow structure, we encountered an entire family walking the wrong way – WITH a stroller, but my daughter stopped me before I could savagely attack them for endangering the safety and wellbeing of my (sabra!) granddaughter, Small Widget, in her own stroller. Also, it turned out there was room (barely!) for both strollers to pass each other side by side.

This is our first Pesach with Small Widget, and it feels nice to be returning to normal with a new small family member and grandkid in tow, something wonderful to show for this very strange and often trying past year.

I hope wherever you are, you’re enjoying family, surrounded by love, and maybe getting a little sunshine (just the safe and recommended amount!) on your face. I always love hearing from you. Especially if your aliyah plans are starting to move forward again after all these crazy months…

Tzivia / צִיבְיָה


1 comment:

  1. Sounds like fun. Of course, as you well know, I'm rather spoiled here in Shiloh with a world renown Biblical archeological site just over a mile from my house. There are also buses that go there, OK 5 minute walk from bus to Tel.


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