On Wednesday evening Jews around the world will be welcoming in a new year surrounded by their loved ones. Rosh Hashanah is an opportunity for new beginnings for all man kind. It gives us comfort to know that we can start anew while remembering the past that brought us to this point.
Last week, I had the privelage of guiding a couple that embodied this idea of new beginnings. She is 75 an he 80. They have both led long and prosperous lives but did not meet each other until recently. While I was planning a trip for them, I presented this idea of new beginnings. They loved the idea and their first request was to see my own beginnings. And so our trip began at Moshav Hogla.
When my grandparents initially moved to Hogla and my father was just a toddler, their home was still being built. It took two years until their home was completed and they lived in a room on the 2nd floor of the water tower.
From there, we ventured to Caesarea, best known for its prosperity during the time of Herod. This maritime port introduced a new wave of communication between Europe and the Middle East. After Herod’s time however, the harbor was left to become ruins. The modern city of Caesarea, with it’s own new beginning, has now become the most prosperous city in Israel with a beautiful beach, a well-kept archaelogical site and high-scale restaraunts.
From Caesarea, we drove up the coast to the Carmel and to the Tishbi Winery. The Tishbi estate, founded in 1984 by Jonathan Tishbi, has been producing wine since 1882 when the Baron de Rothschild selected Jonathan’s grandfather to plant the first modern wine grape vineyards in Israel. The founders of Tishbi wine recieved their name from Chaim Nahman Bialik, a famous Jewish poet, and meaning residents of Shafeya in the land of Israel. This name was Tishbi’s new beginning.
We ended our tour in the nearby Zichron Ya’acov. This beautiful town was one of the first 7 settlements in Israel/Palestine and was founded by 100 Jewish pioneers from Romania in the late 1800’s.
Experiencing these sites with such a beautiful couple, so much in love, allowed me to see this country anew and look forward to my own new beginnings.
From all of us at Personal Tourism Israel, we wish you a happy and sweet new year. May it be filled with joy, love and health and happiness. Shanah Tovah.