Mar 25, 2007

went away

We went up north for shabbos to the hotel at Moshav Nir Etzion.
The ride up was very smooth except for one spot where there was a serious accident on the opposite side of the highway. It slowed traffic down on our side because of rubber-necking. The accident was so fresh that the police and ambulances had not yet shown up..
As we drove into the moshav we passed the barns where the cows live and are milked.. My kids said, "You should have brought your knife!". I do not think that is the first reaction most kids have to seeing a barn full of cows...
The hotel was beautiful, as was the moshav itself. The hotel consists of a section of room in the hotel itself and a section of cottages on the grounds of the hotel.

We stayed in a cottage... not in the hotel itself.

The dining room was nicely set and the food was good.

They had a group from the Biale shul in RBS there on some sort of a shabbaton. By mistake we davened with that group on Friday night (thinking that was the main minyan), so the tefillot were long. What was interesting was that the "Rebbe" of the Biale shteibel led the services and he sang a number of Carlebach tunes in kabbolas shabbos. That was surprising, but now I hear that is what this particular Biale shteibel is like...Shabbos morning we davened in the regular minyan, and davening was a more normal pace...

There was another friend we saw there from RBS on a shabbaton with a school his wife runs, and I met someone fairly new to RBS as well who was there for shabbos.

One of my kids met a veritable twin of his from Modiin. It turns out they were born a day apart from each other. They played the whole shabbos together and both us and this other kids parents kept mixing up the two of the kids. It did not help that they were both wearing the exact same sweater, so at a quick glance they looked exactly the same!

We got a tour of the moshav, including the petting zoo and the "refet" where the cows are kept. These cows are humongous. Much bigger than the ones I have been shechting. He told us that on average they weigh about half a ton each. I am converting the weight now and it seems that comes out to about 450-500 kilogram each or about 1000 pounds each. That seems too small because the 6 month old calves I shechted were much smaller and they weighed about 300 kilogram (about 660 pounds)...

They showed us how the cows are milked on shabbos, though to be honest I did not understand the process the way he explained the halachic aspects of it. I am not sure the tour guide understood the process either because some of what he said was very unclear..

Speaking of cows, I just found this great site promoting cows to be bought as house pets instead of dogs. It is pretty funny, but the best line is, "And when get tired of them, you can kill them and eat them."

If you are looking for a nice mehadrin vacation spot, look up Nir Etzion. It is about 20 minutes away from Haifa..


  1. Nice. How long was the drive? How was it driving with the whole family so far?

    I missed you guys this week. I woke up this morning and thought to myself, "Oh, I'm going to Rafi's for lunch today. I have to decide when to leave..." Then I remembered where I was, and I was very disappointed :(

  2. Sounds very nice always good to get away.

  3. rafi - how do you have a shabbosdik petting zoo?

  4. Sound great. Sorry about the 'gaper delay".

  5. Nice photos Rafi, I submitted them to JPix for you.

    Sounds like you all had a great time.

    Cows as house pets!? I guess we almost have cows as house pets... best thing about them is we get to push them back throught the fence back into the paddock when we get sick of them!

  6. when i go out (whether on vacation or just to the movies) the last thing i want to see are brookly jews.

    why didn't you just stay home if you were still going to be with all your rbs neighbors.

    "but now I hear that is what this particular Biale shteibel is like..."

    like what? what is a biale shteibel?

  7. baleboosteh:

    "I guess we almost have cows as house pets"

    who wants cows as pets? when i was in yeshivah on a kibbutz, we hated when the wind blew from the west because this brought the stench of the refet. but then again the stench from the east was not much better (the lul)

  8. tnspr - welcome back to the world!! how was NY? the drive up was about an hour and a half... you can still come for lunch this week.. good thing you did not come this past shabbos, as we were not home.. :-)

    social - it was..

    shaya - we went in and looked but did not play with the animals.. majority of the petting zoo was animals in cages and only a small part was for petting, so it was easy to work out...

    Neil - what is a gaper delay?

    baleboostah - thanks.. I submitted them also... we did have agreat time.. cows as house pets sounds funny. I guess it depends how large your yard is...

    ari - biale is a group of chassidus. There are two shtiebels in rbs that associate themselves with Biale. I am not hassidic and do not attend either of those shuls. I was surprised when the "rebbe" sang carlebach type tunes, but I am told that this particular Biale shtiebel is like that in the sense that they are not standard hassidic type place, rather they do things a bit unconventionally, as things go...

    I did not mind that they were there.. one I knew and he is a real nice guy. the other I did not know. I met him there, so it was not like I was there with my neighbors who i wanted to get away from...

    and if you are going to have cows as house pets, I would advise making sure that your house is not downwind of the garden the cow loves in...

  9. The knife comment from your kids was funny! Thanks for sharing the pics and the story. Sounds like a nice time was had by all.

  10. I wish I could come for lunch this week. Thanks for the thought :)

  11. sounds like a beautiful relaxing spot, if only i was closer.....


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