Rabbi's Message

Temple Sisterhood Shalom everyone,

Happy December / Kislev!

Now that we’re in our post-Thanksgiving slumber, as the sun rises later and later and the sun sets earlier and earlier, let’s continue to be the bright, individual beacons of light for our community during this cold, dark Fall. Chanukkah is quickly approaching, and the following events will happen over ZOOM:

  • Friday night, Dec. 4th, Kabbalat Shabbat services.
  • Thursday night, Dec. 10th, first night of Chanukkah candle lighting.
  • Saturday morning, Dec. 12th Shabbat services.
  • Saturday night, Dec. 12th, Havdalah and the 3rd night of Chanukkah candle lighting.
  • Thursday night, Dec. 17th, the last night of Chanukkah candle lighting.
A little early Chanukkah joy to prepare us for some latke love:

Please share this information with other members of our community, and as always, feel free to contact the shul office or email me with questions, simchas, or any needs.

Chag Chanukkah Samaech,
Student Rabbi David Joslin

A Bit of Israel – The Zin Valley

     On my last visit to Israel in 2017, I had the opportunity of hiking 3 mile through the Zin Valley (sometimes called the Tsin Valley). The scenery in the valley was breathtaking and we saw several Ibex during the hike. In addition to the Ibex, we came across the Tsin River, a waterfall, stagnant pools of water and a variety of plants and trees that live in the arid valley. We concluded our hike with a near vertical climb to the rim of the canyon. According to 2017 Tourist Israel, the hike and the concluding climb “is really reserved for advanced hikers because it requires climbing metal rungs.” Metal steps and handrails had been carefully drilled into the bedrock walls at strategic points allowing us to properly place our hands and feet on the steep climb up and out of the canyon. Indeed, the climb was over narrow rock stairways, a trail with numerous switchbacks and a few sections of steel ladder or “metal rungs”. The hike took some two-plus hours and – for me – was a bit exhausting, but it was most definitely more than worthwhile.

     The Ein Avdat National Park in the Zin Valley is undoubtedly one of Israel’s most striking and beautiful sites. It is set in the center of Israel’s Negev Desert. The spectacular canyon is the result of the power of the waters at Ein Avdat (the Avdat spring). It forms part of the longest wadi in the Negev, the Zin Valley, which stretches over more than 10 miles. The Avdat spring, an oasis amid the barren and rocky Negev Desert which covers all of Southern Israel, has carved a deep, narrow canyon through the rock. A waterfall has formed, and the pools below it provide a source of life to animals – ibex come to drink, and the plants and trees which are able to flourish despite the challenging conditions.

     The most spectacular view of Ein Avdat and the Zin Valley can be seen from beside David Ben Gurion’s Grave at Sde Boker. There are two entrances into the Ein Avdat National Park: one here, and one about 3 miles further south. My Zin Valley hike in 2017 started a Sde Boker and ended 3 miles south.

     At the end of the 3-mile hike you arrive at Upper Ein Avdat. There, you start climbing the cliff face. This takes you directly above the pool to a little woodland, then past caves that were once inhabited by monks and finally over the top. The climb itself takes a good half hour. By the way, if you get halfway up the cliff-face and decide you need to go back down because of the difficulty of the climb – FORGET IT! You are only allowed to go up – it’s ONE WAY only!

The Zin Valley

Go back to the top of the page