Rest and Ice Cream Cones

7 Apr

I’ve been enthusiastically lounging over the past two days. I envision that this really is how Chag (last day of Pesach) and Shabbat should always be spent…reading, resting, singing, chatting, and enjoying the outdoors.

Some of my favorite things over the past few days have been singing Shabbat songs around the camp fire last night with drumming, searching for the chametz that had been hidden away for the week, chilling out under the big green tarp that Walk About Love puts up on Shabbat, and getting to know my fellow walkers even better. Oh and also getting a lot of practice with my Hebrew!

Over the past 48 hours, Maggie from our group often exclaimed “What a time to be alive!” every time someone would come to visit our group over Chag and Shabbat with food and drink! While we did have food in the truck, which we made good use of including the American classic Matza Brei (which I supervised), we were a bit sick of matza and tehina, matza and chocolate spread, matza and matza. So…it really was pretty exciting (great to be alive) when a bottle of tequila was brought to us, ice cream and ice cream cones, pita, hummus, labaneh, cheese, pastries, kanafe, and baklava!

We are camped at Har (Mt.) Amasa in the edge of the Yatir Forest about a 20 minute drive by car to the north of Arad. Amasa is named for King David’s nephew who ultimately heads his army at the end of Second Samuel. Right near us is a small village also called, “Har Amasa.” They have a room that they leave open for hikers and back packers and have been very welcoming to us who didn’t go back to civilization for the weekend.

On Thursday we left Arad, walked past Tel Arad, and then climbed Har Amasa to arrive here. We passed many Bedouin shepherds as well as a village inhabited by the Falahim who are known for having lived in caves many years ago and unlike their Bedouin brethren who are primarily nomadic the Falahim are committed to agriculture. I am still in shock how green it is everywhere. I really feel like we entered Oz after a long four weeks on only a “yellow brick road.”

Tomorrow we start walking and (Gd willing) by the end of next week we will reach Jerusalem. I can’t believe it! Shavua tov!

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