I don’t usually watch TV but I’m blaring it in order to drown out the sound of Nava throwing up. No she’s not pregnant and no we did not party last night and most importantly, we did not eat another unidentified plant which made her sick. Nava’s vegan tummy is too sensitive for our Moroccan hosts. Nava is sitting with me now feeling wheezy, regretting the super spicy (not actually) shakshuka that she ate in order not to offend our hosts. We arrived lunch time on Friday. Mazal, our hostess, opened the door and before asking us our names or where we were from, she said “sit” while pulling out the chairs to the kitchen table. Mazel is a true Moroccan who shows affection through feeding people.
Finally this past week was a week of green. We walked through fiery red mountains that were covered with red flowers called kalaniot
and rolling white hills blanketed with sweet smelling flowers. We sank into grass that climbs up to your waist. While adventuring through the forests, we reminded ourselves to appreciate every single tree because each one had been planted by hand within the past hundred years. Everyone, give a shout out to JNF and all the amazing work they do! It’s crazy to look at the map while planning out our route and to see “JNF forest” written everywhere.
On Sunday, Nava tested out life as a shepherd on a farm near Matar. The shepherd boy asked her, “Do you think you’d get bored of this work?” She told him that it’s nice for a day but she didn’t feel as if she was using the talents that G-d gave her in order to bring good to the world. She asked him if he is using his talents to his maximum potential. He responded with, “Walla, I don’t really care.” That was the end of Nava’s shepherd days, and she hasn’t looked back since.
We got to Moshav Lachish and stayed with Dror, a friendly stranger who we met hiking a few weeks ago. Dror lives with a few of his close friends and their families on a shared plot of land. Each family has one bedroom and together they share a big kitchen, a common space, and a phenomenal organic garden. Nava went crazy and prepared dinner for everyone from their garden using spinach, kale, broccoli, beets, lettuce, mangold (not mandrake). Check out our recipe page for details!
Dror took the day off to give us a tour of the area. We did not know that Lachish is an area built upon ruins that date back to the time of the first Temple (957 BCE)! We spent the day crawling through ancient caves and learning about the ruins that we saw. The caves originally were used as wine and oil presses and storage facilities during the time of the first Temple in Jerusalem. In later years, they were used as hiding spaces during the Bar Kochva revolt (132-136 CE). Open up your tanach for more information about the battle of Sancheriv in Lachish and Marasha!
Nava here. Hoping to feel healthy again for next week’s climb to Jerusalem. I’m so happy to feel accompanied by the flowers and trees after spending a lonely month in the desert. I had an amazing week going back in time visiting my forefathers’ hometowns. Yoella patiently waited for me this week while I climbed over fences and trekked through fields in order to take a picture by an ancient stone that marks a segment in the ancient path towards Jerusalem. No, it’s not just a picture of me and a rock, it is a stone that marked how many miles there are left until Jerusalem that dates back over two thousands years. That’s cool.
Send us notes, we’ll stick them in the kotel.
Nava and Yoella