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Another outstanding outing with ESRA

News Date: 
23. March 2017 - 20:00
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Henry Gild, one of ESRA's stalwart hikers since the inception of the Midweek hikes with Jack Rabinowitz, was so impressed by ESRA's latest day trip to the Gilboa, Beit Shean, Beit Alpha and Tel Yisrael, that he was moved to write this piece:

"With great excitement I was awakened on Wednesday morning by my alarm clock at 04.30. Today I was going on an ESRA tiul, not my usual hike but something restful. Note the early wakeup, but I had to drive to Ashdod [from Moshav Orot] so as to catch the 05.52 train so as to arrive in Tel Aviv central station before 07.00 to get the ESRA bus.

Well it is now after 20.00 and have arrived safely home. Restful: well hard to say, fairly tiring, but well enjoyed day. Cecily in charge of logistics did an excellent job, no "Jewish times". We left on time and stops were according to schedule.

Now to the tiul: Beryl Ratzer was our guide, very well informed and, the main reason for my joining as she has enlarged and improved my knowledge of all the places visited - taking into consideration that after 50+ years in Israel I had already visited all the places at some time or another.
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For Mount Gilboa the timing was perfect, we might not have seen all the 3000 gilboa irisis, but saw some beautiful examples. Although it was not a walking tiul, everyone managed to do the circular route, almost an hour’s walk.

Our next stop was the Beit Shean National Park. Beryl took us on a walk through the bath house, main street of the excavations, explaining how much dirt had been removed and the return of stones to give an idea of how things were from the 5th millennium. Also the collection of stone that would at some later date find a place in the rebuilding of the ancient city which had been built, destroyed, rebuilt, destroyed by an earthquake.henry_amphi.jpg

We then walked through the theater, all in all extremely interesting, and a visit that I could recommend to anyone, but with a guide if possible. We were lucky as the weather was fair and cool, as Beit Shean can be very hot.

By now it was lunch time, and we took a needed break in the shade at the entrance and pulled out our sandwiches, salads and whatever.
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Our third stop was the 6th century synagogue at Beit Alpha. The mosaic floor is too magnificent for words and the film that followed gave us all a wonderful explanation of all the various pictures.

As a bonus on the way back, we stopped at the Tel at Kibbutz Yisrael where again Beryl in her special way managed to bring alive a bit of biblical history. A few of us read the parts about the trading of the vineyards and land, maybe a small reminder of the present day problems between the Jews and the Arabs.

In conclusion I would like to add that these tiulim take place once a month and I certainly plan to find myself on the next one."

Article and photographs submitted by Henry Gild, Moshav Orot