Tag Archives: galil

Shabbat Night Walk Home

Walking home on a Friday night is a wonderfully relaxing experience.   Now that spring and summer are here, and the sun sets later, I discovered a local beit knesset that starts earlier, and my walk home is… distinctly Israeli.

Today on my walk, I decided to document this walk home and  share my experience.

The walk home starts at the top of the Ma’alot hill near the “water tower” and winds through a cluster of pine trees, past the aging skateboard park and then across the street.  This is where I start taking pictures.

Path Home

A Fork in the Path

This fork in the path leads to two paths, both in the same direction – to the right.  The one to the right is on the up-hill side and the other is the down-hill side.

Up-Hill Path

The Up-Hill Path

For today, I took the up-hill path, both are equally pleasant.  The oleanders are coming into bloom!

Option 1

Option One

There are many options to go from one path to another.  Benches are available for relaxing.

The High Road

Just enough lighting to make it safe.

Option Thee

Option Three - another option to get home

Stop and breathe!  Smell the pines?  Smell the rosemary?  Smell the fresh clean air?


Almost home - what a view!

We pick up an access road right outside Eli Cohen, the beit knesset in front.  Eli Cohen (the beit knesset) was named after an Israeli spy who worked his way up the Syrian government.

Eli Cohen told Syria to plant trees near the boarder and hide their tanks there.  Eli Cohen told Israel to bomb clusters of trees near the boarder.  Needless to say, Syria took a bad beating in that war.  Unfortunately, Eli Cohen was executed for being a spy.

Access Road

Access Road

This access road leads to bottom of the hill and our street – Keren HaYesod.  At the bottom of the hill, make a right.

Keren HaYesod

Keren HaYesod

Keren HaYesod is one of the oldest streets in Ma’alot.  Our house is just past the peak on the right.

The Stairs

30 Steps Up to Our Door

That’s it.  After 30 steps and through our door, candles will be burning, the table is prepared and there are the sounds of happy family voices.

Shabbat Shalom!


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Yom HaZikaron

Today my oldest son and I went to the Nahariya Beit HaOlamin (cemetery) for the Yom HaZikaron ceremonies.  On the way there, the sirens went off and everybody stopped, got out of their cars and buses and stood.  Nobody moved.  Needless to say, it is an emotional experience.

Here are a few photos of our experience.

Honor Guard

IDF Honor Guard

After the ceremony we looked about at the different keverim.  Svetlana’s below captured my attention with the stone engraving of her giving a snappy salute with a happy smile.

Svetlana died at 20 years old

Below is the kever of Ehud Goldwasser.  He was captured with Eldad Regev by Hezbollah sparking the war in 2006.  Their bodies were returned in 2008.

The kever of kidnapped and killed Ehud Goldwasser

We were privileged to learn about Gedaliah Kuglar (w/ red flowers) from his sister.   He was involved in running a supply convoy from Nahariya to Yehiam, was held up fighting Arab forces in Yehiam for months, and then later was killed with his unit in Tarshiha.  We were left speechless.

These three and others in the area died in Tarshicha

In the kever below, Yisrael was killed at 16.

Yisrael, the young Teimani died at 16!

After seeing all the keverim, parents weeping profusely, and hearing the stories of sacrifice, I ask the question – “How can you not stand for one minute?”

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The Marvelous Cohen Family

Occasionally you find people that are more wonderful than you originally knew them to be.  The Cohen family are such people.

Boaz and Yehudit Cohen, long-time fixtures of Ma’alot, have done something above and beyond expectation, they have sponsored two festive events in honor of our recent wave of olim.

Food, Music and Fun!

Moshe and Shem Tov provide festive music with Boaz standing in the back

The Sukkot party was sponsored by Boaz and Yehudit Cohen and hosted by Avi Cohen and his family, more lovers of olim and was great fun!  There was great food, lively music,  friends and D’vrei Torah – what more could you ask for?

More recently, the Cohens sponsored a Tu B’Shavat Party at the Grass Civic Center.

Tu B' Shavat Party

Sim Zacks heads to the front to delivery a D'vrei Torah

Happy People on a Happy Day

Happy People on a Happy Day!

Once again, there was the food of the day – dried and fresh fruits in honor of Tu B’Shevat,  music, more friends,  and of course, D’vrei Torah given by long time oleh Sim Zacks.

Thank you Baoz and Yehudit Cohen for your heartfelt love of olim.  It is people like you who make the world a better place.


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“G” Stands for Golan, Galil and Gourmet (Pt 1)

Over the last month or so, we’ve had a delightful time discovering that the Galil and Golan are filled with great, gourmet foods.   All the places we went to were within an hour of Ma’alot, with most places being only about 30 minutes away.

Rimon Winery :  Starting off on our culinary journey we went to the  Rimon Winery (rimonwines.com) in Moshav Kerem Ben Zimra.  The winery is located in the midst of the Nechmias family pomegranate orchard 30 minutes east of Ma’alot, being between Safed and Lebanon.  There we sampled some delicious dry and dessert wines made from pomegranates.  What a treat!

Rimon Winery's Wonderful Dessert Wine

After the wine tasting, there was a brief tour with an explanation of the wine-making process.

Who would have thought you could get great, full-bodied wines from rimonim?

Johncolad :  Chocolatier John Alford (johncolad.com) makes some amazingly rich chocolates and truffles in his little chocolate factory in Manof, just 40 minutes south of Ma’alot.  The process appears simple and the result are amazing!


John hand-rolls a "chocolate snake" before feeding it into the "baller"

Here is the oversimplified version of how John’s chocolates are made:

Step 1 – Making the Chocolate.   In this step John mixes premium chocolate products with natural ingredients to produce a chocolate “dough” with centers the flavors of brandy, caramel, mocha, etc.

Step 2 – The Chocolate Snake.  After all the mixing and blending, John forms chocolate snakes of about 1/2 ” diameter, which then go onto his conveyor belt for further processing.  Half way down the conveyor belt (to the right of John’s hands) the chocolate snake is cut into approximately 8″-10″ pieces, which at the end of the line get dropped into two counter-spinning grooved rollers, slicing the snake into a dozen or so little “balls”.


John explains the process of making chocolate

Step 3 – Coatings.  The flavored chocolate centers are then placed into the spinning drums (pictured above) for repeated application of chocolate coatings, nonpareils or cocoa powder, depending on the desired results.

Johncolad Samples

Samples for the Children

His tour is interesting, informative and takes about 15 minutes, followed with samples for the children.

When you go, make sure you bring plenty of cash or checks (credit cards not accepted) and sample your purchases in the parking lot.  That way you won’t have to go back for more after 10 minutes of driving and eating.

La Bonita : La Bonita (labonita.co.il) in Karmiel, about 30 minutes south of Ma’alot, tastefully fills the need for authentic Mexican corn and wheat tortillas.  The tortillas are made on location, and you can buy them fresh off the conveyor belt.

La Bonita

Started by Olim Chadashim David and Betty Kleiman of Mexico

Recently, La Bonita went through some renovations, automating some steps and installing more equipment for higher production.

Tortilla Baking

Special-sized Tortillas being cooked on the conveyor belt

Wheat tortillas are available in a small and large sizes and are amazingly delicious.  Corn tortillas are available in a standard sized 8″ diameter (or so).  Also available are fresh sauces and tortilla chips.

Tortillas being hand packed

Tortillas being hand-packed

The owners and workers are delightfully cheerful and are always happy to see us!

In Part 2 we will explore some profoundly fantastic olive oils of the Golan and some delicacies from Tzippori.

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Beit Ba’ad Alzitun – Peki’in

Not more than 10 minutes from our door is Beit Ba’ad Alzitun in the ancient city of Peki’in.  This beit ba’ad is more than just a place to take your olives – it has character.

The social center. Drink some coffee, have a cigarette and relax.

First of all – it’s a social hall, where the owner and friends can be found chatting while enjoying Turkish coffee and maybe a hookah or cigarettes.  The men are most friendly and want very badly for you to join them in their party – even if you do not understand a word they are saying.    Hospitality is extremely important to the Arabs in our area.

Giving the full explaination to a class of 4

Second – it’s a center of education.  By the looks of it, the demonstration table, samples and surrounding benches are used on a regular basis to educate people on olives and making olive oil.  By the way he described the process and in the manner in which he spoke you would have thought he was speaking to a huge crowd instead of four people.

Olives and Oil for Sale. (Notice how cloudy the oil is!)

Third – it’s a store, selling olives, olive oil and olive oil soap.  Products cost a little more and the tithes need to be taken, but the flavor is excellent.

Extracting Machines

These machines separate the oil from the water.

Fourth – it’s a place to get your olives pressed.   If you bring your olives to the beit ba’ad, they charge you 10% of the yield to do the processing.   For another 10% of the harvest they will send workers to harvest your olives.

Harvesting Olives

Harvesting olives by whacking the tree with sticks.

Fifth – it’s a fun place to go to!

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