More Than a Tourist

The hiking element of the Livnot U’Lehibanot Israel experience programs is quintessential to the theme of practical spirituality that Livnot celebrates. There are visits to ancient synagogues, long-forgotten caves, farms that have provided for centuries, and springs that are still giving water and peace to this day. Michael Even-Esh and the other talented storytellers and guides draw forth from the surrounding nature histories of the Jewish people. These hikes are more than physical activity and esthetically pleasing views. The hiker will feel with his feet, but also with his heart and mind the hills and valleys Livnot takes them through.

Stepping out into the wilderness of the Galilee into a gallery of impressions. Century old canvases, every hectare of land you pass through together are layers and layers of recorded Jewish life. Trekking into and through the unexpected and inspiring stories of our ancestors, we open a space to explore our own learning. Each journey with Livnot, whether underground or over mountain, provokes introspection and reflection.

“I don’t want to give away the surprise of the adventures Livnot leads. But I will tell you that the hikes with the Northern Exposure Program left me in a state of wonder. Maybe it was the sight of snow-capped Mt. Chermon the intersecting point of three countries, or the underground tunneling systems from the time of the destruction of the first temple, or the chair for Elijah the prophet. Each natural place marked by its human relationships, infused with philosophies and dreams. These examples of spots we visited are good metaphors for the lesson I learned in the company of Michael and the other hikers. The measurements and impressions of an experience surpass the simple dimensions of the material world. The spirit of Israel is written on its trees and its stones. Walking through history, one is drawn to contemplate the deep beauty of the land and its people. Each story is an expression of man’s love for creation and intelligent understanding of nature.” -D.T., March 2012