I’m sure you have floated in the salty waters of the Dead Sea, climbed Masada and shopped at the Ahava Factory Outlet. This Purim, explore the ancient mysteries of Megillat Esther, in the northern region, of the Dead Sea, a short drive from Jerusalem. Rejuvenate amidst the remarkable beauty of the landscape to the myriad of fascinating sights, this area has to offer.
times of israel
Tu B’shevat is on the horizon.
Where are we going?
Looking for an elevating and energizing experience.
I researched – asking High Energy Experts. I beta tested the itinerary.
Here it is. The ultimate list of high energy things to do this Tu B’shevat.
- Experience nature, up close and personal at KKL/JNF Visitor Center at Ilanot Forest
- Add to your art collection — visit local Israeli artist, Ruth Bloch
- Bake bread and prepare lunch at a cooking workshop at Jacobs Dairy Farm
- Relax with a cup of coffee (with the fresh milk produced that morning) at Jacobs Dairy Farm Cafe. Or splurge with a scoop of ice cream (using milk produced that very morning) at Jacob’s Gelato
- Tour and taste different types of wine at Alexander Winery
- Hit the local shops at Drorim Mall. Buy supplies for your next knitting project at Vitrina crafts store. Or buy a new scarf at Noise
- Dinner at Jem’s or Pizza Hut
- Sample seven different flavors of olive oil at the Shamna Boutique Olive Oil
- Check into the Yama Spa and Wine Jacuzzi
- Attend a creative gardening workshop at Elizabeth Kay’s Chamama
- Bring Tu B’shevat home. Buy a plant from Wendy’s Garden Center
- Discover 2600+ varieties of Israeli wildflowers in Moshav Gimzu with Sara Gold of Wildflowers of Israel.
Is that it?
Nope, there’s more.
Oh, there’s much more.
This guide centered around the Sharon region. There are many more gardens, more historical sites, countless cafes, and more great spas. The sheer amount of potential energizing tiyulim is unbelievable.
This Ultimate Guide To Tu B’shevat should have you, a High Energy Mom, covered for this year. If you have something to add or a question, happily leave a comment.
Have a High Energy Tu B’Shevat!
Thanks, Margalit Frydman of Margalit Tours for these high energy Tu B’Shevat travel ideas! Looking forward to Tu B’Shevat!
Any chance, you are free to guide us?
Looking for trip ideas for Chanukah 5779?
Make Memories this Chanukah — Here are six itineraries that will keep you aglow!
Read more on my Times of Israel blog:
Mommy, what are we doing tomorrow?
Can we go on a water hike?
Dov, what are we doing with the kids tomorrow?
Let’s do something educational.
Yaakov, what are we doing tomorrow?
We need to find a place with a Sukkah.
Love, Love, Israel, what are we doing tomorrow?
Note to self: Next year make advance plans for Sukkot family trips.
Let’s Go to Einot Tsukim!
Bright and early the next morning, we set out for a Chol Hamoed family tiyul to Einot Tsukim.
Note to self: Leave earlier. Get gas the night before.
We arrived at Einot Tsukim, just north of the Dead Sea, in record time.
Note to self: When driving in Israel, ignore the shortcuts suggested by Waze.
Jumping out of our car, we were immediately wowed by the panoramic sights of Einot Tsukim.
Note to self: Do not get the car cleaned before a family tiyul.
Green vegetation growing in the wilderness.
Flora and fauna species.
Remains of human activity.
Note to self: Remove any expectations of tranquility from family trips.
Why We Loved Einot Tsukim
Did you know?
- Many sources claim that Einot Tsukim is the “en eglayim” referred to by the prophet Yechezkel in his prophecy about the Dead Sea (Yechezkel 47:10).
- In the late 19th century, Scotish priest Henry Baker Tristram, “the father of fauna and flora in the Holy Land” and his scientific delegation spent two days exploring the richness of Einot Tsukim.
- Between 1900-1914 the British Palestine Exploration Fund marked the levels of the Dead Sea. The rock used to measure the levels of the Dead Sea, the British Fund Rock, can be viewed today, from the road bordering the nature reserve.
- In 1947, Einot Tsukim was marked as the first Israeli hiking trail.
- View the significant changes that have taken place over the recent decades at the observation point at Einot Tsukim.
Note to self:
Marked trails led us on a nature walk around the beautiful riverbed.
The “under 10 crowd” had a blast splashing mud all over themselves, and anyone in their proximity.
Note to self: Next time, call ahead and book a tour of the “Hidden Reserve”
Picnic Benches ✅
Hungry, and slightly muddy, we quickly chose a picnic bench shaded by palm trees. Close to the natural spring waters. Near a Sukkah.
Out came our sandwiches, cucumbers, peppers, potato chips, and bottled water.
Note to self: Bring a barbecue. Bring hot dogs. Bring steaks! Buy the yellow fan thing.
Kol Hakavod, to the family, sitting near us.
Worried that there would not be a Sukkah, they shlepped a full-size Sukkah
Rest assured, you can leave your Sukkah at home.
Einot Tsukim was fully prepared with multiple Sukkot, set up at different locations throughout the nature reserve.
Note to self: Remain alert and avoid getting hit in the head by beach balls.
The big winner was the Tamar Pool.
Closely supervised by watchful lifeguards, this larger and deeper pool is open for swimming every day in July and August and on weekends and holidays from mid-March until the end of November.
Note to self: Avoid expulsion from the pool. Do not jump in.
Chol Hamoed can be a bit pricey.
Einot Tsukim can be a relatively modest option.
Are you a member of the Israel National Parks?
Note to self: Renew our membership – so many places to visit.
For those, without a current membership, the entrance fee was pretty minimal.
Note to self: Always bring small change for ices, ice cream, and for Turkish coffee without milk.
High Energy Mom’s Packing List
- High Energy Mom’s favorite sunscreen
- Portable barbecue
- Hot dogs
- Water bottles
- High Energy Mom’s bathing suit
- High Energy Mom’s water shoes
- Spare set of clothes
- High Energy Mom’s favorite baseball cap
- High Energy Mom’s favorite battery pack
- High Energy Mom’s waterproof pouch
Note to self: Save money by using your complimentary shul, mishloach manot freezer bag.
We Loved Einot Tsukim And You Will Too…
The hidden oasis.
The natural pools.
The hike around the beautiful river bed.
The quality family time.
Swam in the Tamar Pool? Got splashed by mud in the riverbed? Love to hear your experiences at Einot Tsukim! Comment below! Don’t forget to add pics!!
In just a few days, my family will gather for Chanukah. Outside in the courtyard of our home. Alongside chanukiot filled precisely with pressed olive oil. Continuing the tradition of the ancient Maccabim.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר חֲנֻכָּה
Blessed are You, Lord our G‑d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Chanukah light.
My neighbors will assemble with their families.
The streets of Modi’in will gradually be infused with light.
We have returned.
Great miracles along with tremendous personal and national sacrifice have empowered us to raise our flag high in the air.
Streets, roads, houses, schools, thriving businesses, mikvaot, and synagogues continue to be constructed.
Modern Israeli communities that replicate our past.
Proudly we stand high up on the mountain.
Centered between the holy city of Jerusalem and the industrial Jaffa Coast.
We are a link in the chain.
We are living a miraculous existence.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁעָשָׂה נִסִּים לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם בִּזְּמַן הַזֶּה
Blessed are You, Lord our G‑d, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our forefathers in those days, at this time.
Read more on Times of Israel
I’m back! I’m off to shul for Yom Kippur davening.
Somehow I managed to find a babysitter, and am able to join my older daughters and participate in the service.
Things have changed.
I am a parent.
I know my kids will be watching me.
Observing my intensity. Monitoring my commitment.
I’m going to let you into my secret.
I’m nervous about the authenticity of klopping al chet in the presence of my emotionally attuned children.
I aspire to teach my children to take personal responsibility for their actions and to apologize with intent.
This Yom Kippur, I have a strategy for teaching my kids how to klop al chet.
First Teach Yourself
As a parent, I want to influence and inspire my children.
Children can’t be lectured how to sincerely apologize.
Children have to be a witness to my process.
Children need to see and feel, and be taught the right words.
My kids need to witness my struggle.
My kids need to witness my humility.
Why is it so hard to say “I’m sorry”?
By saying “I’m sorry” my imperfections are highlighted.
I feel vulnerable.
I feel ashamed.
I feel a loss of control.
Through watching me, my children will learn.
How many times (a day!) have I begged my kids to apologize.
“Just say you’re sorry!”
It doesn’t work that way!
What does “I’m Sorry” really mean?
- My actions caused harm
- I take full responsibility for my actions and their effects
- I will make appropriate corrections
An apology is a declaration.
- I promise to try my best
- I will not repeat my mistake
An apology comes from the heart, with words full of intent – kavanah.
Can children actually have kavanah when apologizing?
Children are born with the capacity for empathy, understanding, and love.
Sometimes, they struggle with meeting my parental expectations and navigating social norms.
Sometimes, they struggle with recognizing the extent of their mistake and the hurt they caused another.
Sometimes, they struggle with translating these feelings into a genuine willingness to make amends.
I am their guide for mediation.
I am their guide to reconciliation.
I am their guide to the art of compromise.
Apologizing is a choice.
I choose when to apologize.
My children deserve that same option.
I want my kids to apologize with kavanah.
I hope to empower them to decide when an apology is necessary.
Yom Kippur Community
Why do we klop al chet individually and communally on Yom Kippur?
As I look around, I realize that I am not alone.
We are all trying to improve ourselves.
Children, we are on this journey together as individuals and as a community.
Apologizing is hard work.
The Golden Rule
מה ששנוא עליך אל תעשה לחברך שבת ל”א, ע”א
“What is hateful to you, do not do to your friend”
Would you like if someone threw your toy over the fence?
Would you feel sad if someone didn’t save you a seat on the bus?
Would you like it if your friend gossiped about you on social media?
Treat others in the way you wish to be treated.
Let’s strive for ואהבת לרעך כמוך–
This is what my children need to see and to hear.
Again and Again.
Growth not Perfection
I wasn’t perfect last year. Probably, I won’t be perfect this year.
Luckily, Judaism saves perfection for angels.
Humans can grow.
Before entering a new year, during Aseret Yemei Teshuva, I go through the process of self-improvement.
The blasts of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah take me back to the past year.
Offering a chance to reflect on my actions.
Was I a good friend?
Could I have been a more patient mother?
Maybe I should have refrained from repeating that story?
The teshuva process is completed as I stand on Yom Kippur and beat my chest in authentic confession.
Now, the new year can start!
Through this humbling process, I gain insight into my behavior, and I can use the past as an opportunity for future growth.
Without any explicit instructions, my children will hopefully be inspired.
Inspired to discover who they are.
Accept that mistakes will be made.
Confident to recognize them as opportunities for growth.
My 5778 Yom Kippur Resolutions
Pay attention to my interactions with my kids.
When I’m wrong, make an effort to apologize with Kavana to my kids.
I’m not going to force my kids to say, “I’m Sorry”.
Let them make the decision when to apologize.
Ask them questions.
Help them analyze their feelings and understand the root of the problem.
Encourage them to put themselves in the other person’s place.
Remind them that an apology is a promise to not repeat the offense.
In the merit of apologies from the heart, may we all be blessed with the capacity to forgive ourselves and one another.
What are your tips for teaching your kids to apologize?
Yocheved Pianko Feinerman is “leaning in” and embracing the harmony and chaos of raising four “spirited” children, juggling an active career as an educator, and writer while planning the next 24-hour getaway with her husband.
(Originally posted in the Times of Israel on September 26