My friend Malkah Fleisher (pictured here with husband Yishai and daughter Leah Bat Zion), writes the following at
So we recently had this very interesting guest over, who was trying to get away from some issues in the US by finding himself in Israel for a week. When our guest arrived, fresh from the Crowne Plaza in Tel Aviv courtesy of an old school Israeli cab driver, we pulled a few chairs out of the house, plopped them down in the road, served up some steaming joe, and gave our guests a few minutes to soak up the oxygen-rich, vanilla puddingy delicious air that we so habitually breathe up on our mountaintop every day. They checked out the view, eyed a few twitting sparrows, and sipped their piping hot Turkish coffee, with a few fresh figs our friend picked for us from her tree the night before (incidentally, she said I could pick as many as I want for myself - yesh!).After a few minutes and some enthusiasting licking from Pilpel, our driver drove away, Yishai put the baby in a backpack, unleashed the dog, and took our guest on a hike all over our mountain while I recorded the Eyshet Chayil Show, assuredly showing him the Jewish burial sites, pointing out some frolicking gazelles, and telling the story of Jacob's dream, which happened here in holy Beit El. That night, we fed him meat and vegetables from a cauldron we and our friends/neighbors boiled around a campfire (say it with me: Poika!), as we talked about issues surrounding the Holy Temple, Jewish interrelations, and building on the mountain.The next day, after a big breakfast of organic eggs that are free-range raised by Avri Ran near Itamar and a big glass of fresh, 7th year-fallow-grapes grape juice squeezed by Hillel Mann from the vineyards of the Beit El Winery, we took our increasingly spiritually-inspired guest to buy brand new Tefillin from the world-famous Beit El Tefillin factory. After an hour tour (FASCINATING!), our guest was fitted for his tefillin, bought a mezuzah, was blessed by a Tefillin-making Cohen, and sent on his merry way.We dropped him off in next-door Ofra, where he rented a car to continue his adventures in the north.
Now I pose a question: was our guest on the best vacation ever.... or am I?