From Nimrod’s Fortress, we went to the Tel Dan Nature Reserve, which is a collection of hiking trails along the Dan River. The Dan is the largest of the 3 tributaries feeding the Jordan (we visited the other two, the Senir & Banias at Sukkot). The Dan is fed by the largest karstic spring in the Middle East & there are springs & streams all throughout the reserve. Even though it was in the upper 80’s F. that day, the trees thrive so well along the water source, that the trails were shaded & cool.

After this hike, we headed home and just 10 minutes from home Noah threw up in the car. What perfect timing to wait to get sick until after our trip. He had insisted all day that he wasn’t hungry and we thought that he just wanted to play instead of eat, but when we were walking through the reserve, Roy said, “Noah is so good – he really doesn’t refuse to eat unless he’s sick.” Sure enough, a few hrs. later . . . But what a trooper to hike all day without complaining.

The next day was finally Pesach! Noah had wanted to do the search for chametz, which should have been done the night before, but since he was sick, we agreed to let him do it in the morning.

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Later that evening, we went to the seder at my friend Julia’s in-laws here in Haifa. Julia’s husband is from Haifa, so they have a big family in town. It was very festive with lots of kids & lots of singing. In Israel, only one seder is held, instead of two as in the diaspora. Much of our descriptions of the holidays in Israel have focused on the differences between here & the US,  but the seder was surprisingly familiar. It was still going around the table, taking turns reading, people offering stories & commentaries & alternative song tunes when they had a chance. One important difference: the salads were better than usual.

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