A disney cruise type of day

hence the title above…….

Scott Sitner-Haifa and North Israel, December 2018

I don’t mean that headline to be offensive to Disney, just that today was a travel day, about two hours north to where we have ended up near the Syrian and Lebanese border(more on that later), but they had to break up the trip so we didn’t just drive two hours and end up somewhere with nothing to do, god forbid.  So we saw stuff today that reminded me of being on a cruise on a stop, or even better a series of 7th grade field trips.  Sort of interesting, sort of boring and sort of forgetful save for one or two things.  Our first stop was this odd portion of a Kibbutz, where they made us dress up like ancient bedouins and watch them make breads milk goats and shear sheep and then make our own bread.  Yeah, field trip.[  It wasn’t awful, just sort of silly I guess.  Our next stop was the first real bummer.  A one man show about the interaction between arabs and israelis in communities.  I know, it sounds enthralling;  it wasn’t.  You know you are in trouble when the  person doing the performance 20 minutes in says “and now let our story begin,” after having started by telling us this was an unfinished work and he still had some changes to make.  I lasted ten minutes and took a walk on a perfect winter day seeing what you can see now.     

Our next stop was an ancient roman dig site, going back 1900 years, a jewish roman settlement with was fascinating  See the pictures, but it was amazing to see a wealthy and prominent jewish home from almost 2000 years ago, clearly a home for someone who was very prominent in the community probably a religious leader.

a bathroom, from really long time ago, 100 AD
an ancient “carpet “at a dig site, probably the home of a very wealthy family

 Note the “carpet” Last was a stop at a kibbutz for a brief descriptive talk and a talk by four kids,18-20, who had chosen to live there.  Interesting event but nothing we could not have survived without.

family we had dinner with

The last part before the late drive to the hotel was a “family hospitality dinner”, my self and my two kids went to the home of a local mom and her mom and her 13 year old son for dinner.  While we only had 90 minutes, it was really an interesting cultural exploration.  he food was just normal, hummus, imagine that and just beef plus she made us a cake. But we did our best to talk about kids, politics(big trump supporter because of Israel, no real idea how nutty things are at home.  We found that we really shared the same issues, worried about our kids, hers had been in the army and her you get would go, safety in her community, having enough money to make ends meet and have a good life.   We think we are all that different but at the end of the day we really aren’t.  This was the first part of the trip and I think done with purpose, to get us thinking about our jewish identity and how it fits into this and other societies.  We really brief but eye opening meeting. And my daughter Mari got an new instagram follower. Now onto golan heights and then jerusalem.

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