Today we checked out of the hotel in Tel Aviv. Our first stop as at Neot Kedumim, a nature reserve dedicated to the flora and fauna of the Bible. We saw many of seven species in the Tenakh, including pomegranates, figs, olives, and grapes. After reading The Tree and the Messiahby Danny Siegel and reading “As my ancestors planted for me, I now plant for my descendants, Blessed is G-D, who raises up each tree of life,” we each planted an oak or a carob tree.
We drove along the “green border” and could see the security barrier dividing Israel and the occupied territories.
Our next stop was at Cesarea, where we learned about how the city was founded by Herod the Great and was subsequently conquered, destroyed, and rebuilt many times over the past 2000 years. Dan and Alison displayed their thespian skills in the original, 2000 year old amphitheater by acting out a scene from ancient times, debating how people should or should not adapt to the changing society and assume modern (greek) culture vs maintain the old Jewish traditions. Rabbi challenged the kids to a race in the old hippodrome, losing badly to the winner Benjamin Fink and all of the other kids.
We drove next to a Park Alona, the water source and Roman water tunnel that fed Cesarea, and journeyed 285 meters through water that at times went up to our waists. This was great fun on a hot day!
Our final stop before the hotel was Mount Carmel, where we looked over Haifa and the Mediterranean Sea. Rabbi Spilker shared the story of Elijah that took place on Mount Carmel, and we sang Halicha L’Cesarea.