June 7, 2001

I was awakened this morning by a loud alarm clock. As I did not bring one on the trip I did not feel obligated to finding it and turning it off. However, after some persistance of the alarm I found out that it was the hotel alarm that was on my side of the bed! So I got up and headed out for breakfast. I had a warm cheesecake type substance and some pudding. I thought the pudding was yogurt.

We headed out for our hike in the Golan. One girls bus and one boys bus. It was not a long drive to the trail head and soon we were off. We hiked up to the plateau and then took a right. A few minutes down the trail we came upon a tree that was the perfect place to rest under. After having many group photos taken our guide told us the story of Ari Cohen.

Ari Cohen was a wonderful man and a good spy. So much so that the Israeli government convinced him that even though he was a married man with children they need HIM to become a spy in Syria. He traveled first to Argentina to start making a new identity for himself. He took on the name Jamel (?) and started making statements of how wonderful Syria was. He was heard by the right people and soon he was headed off to Syria. Once there he kept on making friends and wonderful statements about Syria that he soon was getting high up into the political realm. (All the while sending morris code messages back to Israel). One day they took him to the Golan Heights. Now only those authorized could go to the Golan Heights. And he was taken. While there he make the suggestion that the officers in the military should have eucalyptus trees planed by their camps so that they could enjoy the shade. Officers of course deserve to have nice things! So they took his advice and planted the trees next to the camps that had officers. But soon afterwards the Syrian army learned that there was a mole. One day they cut off the electricity during the weekly time that Ari sent morris code to the Israeli camp. They caught him in the act and sentenced him to death. And he was killed.

We then continued our hike. After some time we started heading down into the green thick. We walked along a stream and then came upon some pools. At one pool we stopped for a swim. Some of us enjoyed the water while others were feeling the pains of the hike.

After the swim we walked to a wonderful waterfall. While there we were taught a niggun and we danced. It was fun.

But the best part was seeing the bus with the icecream truck parked right next to it! :-)

By the time we got to the picnic area the guys had finished and were heading off to go kyaking. We ate our lunch then headed off to do our own kyaking.

After going down the river we headed back into the bus and headed to the hotel. It was 7:00 p.m. when we arrived. Dinner time! And the food was so very good that night.

After supper we headed down for an evening class taught by Rabbi Meyer. He spoke on "What to look for in a partner." Listed are some highlights of what was brought out.

After the class I was able to call my parents for the first time! I was SO very happy to talk with them. It made an excellent end to an excellent day!