I told myself I wouldn’t be one of those people frantically photographing food as it gets placed before me at a restaurant. Yet, there I was, sitting with my wife and parents, snapping away at succulent platters of salads and fresh, fried fish and fish stew.
I’m not discussing Fisherman’s Hangout Ein Gev (מפגש הדייגים) because of the food per se, although it was super delicious. What I especially loved about it was the historical, fisherman’s ambiance representing the fishing industry of Ein Gev. There were pictures from the early days of fishing from the kibbutz and the restaurant is located right on the historical wharf of Ein Gev.
Not only that, but it’s only open twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays since that’s when Menachem, the fisherman/owner goes fishing, so all the fish is super fresh:
We love the Kinneret – The Sea of Galilee! I still can’t believe that it’s right in our backyard from the Golan, so driving 25 minutes to eat fresh fish, probably caught that day, was especially satisfying. Highly recommended!
Growing up I always fantasized about being one of the early pioneers, building up the first kibbutzim, draining the swamps, riding on horseback with a rifle, dancing all night, planting, sowing, harvesting. I’d also dream about fighting in the 1948 War of Independence. Needless to say, I’m nostalgic by nature.
But over the years I’ve come to realize that there is no other time I’d rather be alive than today. Right now! These are frankly mind-blowing times to exist on this planet Earth! Here I am, in Israel, in the Golan, and I can communicate face to face with my family in the US. I and my family are contributing to the Third Commonwealth of the People of Israel in the Land of Israel. It’s prophecies coming to fruition. It’s unbelievably challenging and exciting. I’m grateful to be alive.
That said, I haven’t completely lost my sense of nostalgia, and sometimes I do get a little jealous of the old timers who “lived through it all.” Yesterday I visited a a sweet and sentimental photo exhibition in the Golan Archives here in Kazrin commemorating 50 years of renewed Jewish settlement here since the Six Day War. There are photos of the early days from all the 41 Jewish communities in the Golan beginning in 1967 with the establishment of Merom Golan almost immediately after the end off the War.
This is the booklet from the exhibit. It says, “First Days” in Hebrew. What a thrill to see modern day pioneers with so much energy, strength, idealism and hair! Yes, these were the 60’s and 70’s baby, and hair was in! Below is the spread from our moshav, Moshav Yonatan, named for Yonatan Rosenman who fell in battle in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, not far from where the moshav was established. His brother, Didi, founded the moshav in his brother’s memory along with friends and comrades from the Army.
My point here is that it’s ok to be nostalgic. It doesn’t in anyway conflict with being present minded. If anything, the opposite is true if it can motivate you to connect in a meaningful way to the Land. These men and women paved the way for us, and now the ball is in our court. I’m blessed to have a stake in the Golan, how can I help you do the same?
Life can be so dramatic. Once we get to know each other I’ll happily share some of my drama with you. While I’m truly grateful for most of my drama, since it’s all a gift from Hashem, I also appreciate the drama that Hashem shows us through nature. This natural drama can be breathtaking and reminds me of how grateful I am to live in the most beautiful area of Israel (in my opinion).
I promise not to post too many sunsets or sunrises but this one was a beauty!
Fine, it was a little bit edited, but only to better draw out the drama! It still doesn’t compare to seeing it in person. Hope to share our northern natural beauty with you all soon.
One major hesitation I’ve encountered over the years from folks regarding moving to the periphery of the country in general and the Golan in particular was the distance to hospitals. I totally get it. My parents, G-d bless them for a long and healthy life, spend months at a time with us in the Golan, but they still name the distance to hospitals (45 minutes to Ziv in Zfat and Poriya in Tiberius) as a reason they could never move here. My dad lists the lack of reliable mechanics as another, but that’s for separate post (I love my mechanic!).
Well, last night we had an experience that should mitigate, if not completely remove, that hesitation. On our first night hosting our Australian guest, a young woman who is part of an international Zionist youth leadership program, which our daughter is also a member of, she began to feel dizzy, then sick, then vomiting, and eventually completely weak, shaky and clammy. We brought her to the relatively new all night, emergency clinic in Kazrin. All night emergency clinics in the center of the country might not seem like a big deal, but for us it is a game changer! In the end it was most likely a trifecta of exhaustion, dehydration and food poisoning. But the ability to drive 15 minutes for her to get checked and receive an IV infusion instead of 45 minutes and then the prerequisite wait in the emergence room was a pleasure (all things considered).
In my mind, this is one more sign of the increasing value of property in the North, as infrastructure like roads, trains and all night clinics make it even easier and more desirable to live here.
Here is the link to the Bikur Rofe Kazrin page in case of emergency, G-d forbid.
This is the kind of news we love on so many levels! But what I want to emphasize here is the statistic that over 20% of this most recent Nefesh B’Nefesh plane of new immigrants to Israel is choosing to move to the periphery of the country, including the Galilee and the Golan Heights. And each of them will need a place to live, probably looking to rent at first.
You really can’t beat the quality of life up here. As a former resident of Maryland and New Jersey, I can vouch that living in the Golan (and the Galilee) most closely replicates all the good points of living in North America plus has all the benefits of actually being in the Land of Israel.