Passover in Israel is a time to travel, a time to be outdoors, a time to celebrate the beauty of spring. We were no exception. The weather is beautiful, sunny, warm, and very inviting. We celebrated the Seder Monday night with the entire family and then Wednesday and Thursday we we in the outdoors. Wednesday we went to a place known as Shvil HaTapuzim (thanks to Daniella for finding this!), The orange orchard. It is a young kids paradise; a playground with tons of activities all interwoven into an orange orchard about 20 minutes from Netanya. There were places to climb, ride and jump and even mini-golf. The day culminates in a chance to pick oranges, 6 kg for about 3 dollars. Shoshana, Shlomo and Tali has a super time, as you will see by the pictures. Between the riding toys, the giant slides, and the oranges, I don’t know what the best activity was!
Of course the holiday started off on Monday night with the Seder. The Seder (meaning order) is the ultimate educational experience. It is aimed at educating ourselves and our children about the birth of our nation, the Exodus from Egypt. Actually, this Seder goes beyond educating; we try in many respects to relive the experience. The goal is to build a connection between the past and the present, and carry it to the future. By connecting our families, young and old, to the beginning, we are trying to ensure that that there is a future. The linking of generations to history is a key aspect of the preservation of what is truly important. To watch Shoshana and Shlomo sing the songs, tell the story and identify the key aspects of the Seder ceremony is amazing and very heartening. We can hardly wait to see Tali join in more as well (although she certainly participated a lot!)
I just want to share a short, slightly political story. I was saddened to read that 200 North American universities participated in Israel Apartheid week. This now annual pursuit of Israel bashing is very unfortunate and upsetting, particularly because it is based in a major distortion of the truth. I won’t’ downplay the plight of Palestinians, especially in refugee camps. However, the concept that there are no rights for anyone but Israeli Jews is clearly false. As an example, at The Orange Orchard, on the second day of Passover, the park was packed with hundreds of people. There were Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs, their children playing mini golf side by side, riding toy cars and climbing the same structures. No apartheid, no separation, just children playing together. Same today on the boardwalk; everyone sitting in the same parks, skateboarding along the same paths. This is as it should be, people living together with respect. The annual university hate fests should visit and see the reality and then we can talk.
So, a few more days to go in Israel before we leave! Shabbat will be spent with Daniella, Monty and Tali and special guest Stephen Lerner and Shmulik Rosenberg. Then a couple more days of holiday and back next Wednesday. Hopefully we can update from home next Friday!
We wish everyone an Shabbat Shalom, Chag Sameach and Happy Easter!
We wish Elan a very happy birthday!