From the top of the road, there is a glimpse of trees below. Next, a glowing green field sways with the wind. A small stream gently flows surrounded by giant willow trees. Behind the little stream, there is an avocado field ripe with fruit and giant cypress. It is beautiful and majestic, and it is home.
My name is Rebecca and I live with my husband and three boys (ages 7, 6, and 18 months) on Kibbutz Ramot Menashe. We made aliyah four years ago from Boston, MA, USA and one of our favorite family activities is to hike. We have been across the country exploring national parks and other beautiful places, but as it happens, our favorite place to explore is right here at home.
Hiking in Israel is like walking through history.
It’s walking through the land of our ancestors, our home. I feel so lucky to live here and connect our hikes across the country to our historic homeland. Our Kibbutz has a small museum full of artifacts found on our local trails. Every time we glance down while we walk along the paths, there is a good chance we might discover something new.
This love is not limited to our ancient history. The hikes that are the most exciting for us as a family (and for me) are the ones that are connected to the establishment of the country. As you walk, you can feel the passion, the love, the bravery, and the dedication it took to create this Jewish homeland.
Ramot Menashe is known for its beautiful location. The closest city is a 10-minute drive away, but in the fields and forest of the kibbutz, you feel isolated. We are engulfed by hiking and biking trails and paths. In the wintertime, we have plenty of wildflowers, flowing water, and beautiful sunshine. There are many trails and our kids love to hike with us here, after all, it is home. It’s amazing.
When I hike around our kibbutz, I feel a connection to my grandparents who were a part of the original pioneers who settled and built the kibbutz in 1948. What is more inspirational, than a bunch of Holocaust survivors who came with nothing but hope, yet built this for me and my children? Hiking here gives me a feeling of calm, perspective, and motivation. I also find it incredibly spiritual. To be in nature is like nothing else. It brings about clarity, inspiration, and hope.
Hiking in Israel has not only strengthened our love for our beautiful country but also has heightened our love for each other as a family. Hiking around our home has allowed us to be outdoors during the country’s closures. It has allowed us to speak openly to each other. To understand each other better. We have discovered new play spaces. We have read stories in the middle of fields. We have snacked on grapes next to small streams. We have gotten caught in rainstorms and have felt the wind push against us. Hiking in Israel has given us challenges to overcome and allowed us to conquer our challenges. It has given us a space to grow.
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