On the second day of Pesach, which is known in Israel as "Hol HaMoed", we, in the tradition of many other Israelis, joined our dear friends Kobi and Chani, on a picnic in the nature of the verdant Jeudea mountains, coordinated by their long time friends from Shoresh
All you need to know about Shoresh - Root - Saris
This pastoral moshav shitufi of the main Hwy 1 from TLV to Jerusalem, is located 5 km from Sha'ar HaGai in the Jerusalem corridor, an was founded in 1948 on a strategic hilltop, at 650 m altitude, by where once, the now depopulated Arab village - Saris overlooking the highway to Jerusalem, stood.
A group of immigrants from Eastern Europe founded a kibbutz on the site, adapting the name of Arab village, but 4 years later, it became a moshav. making its living mainly off agriculture and truism. It consist of about 1300 families,
Its red roof spacious villas, at the heart of ancient natural landscapes, the stunning wild vista of verdant Jerusalem Mountain peaks, and altitude fresh air quality, has made the friendly small community, an attractive place to residents and vacationers.
In July 1995, a fire destroyed the moshav's poultry and orchard industries, damaged the hotel, and left over half the moshav members homeless. It has reconstructed since,
and continues offering popular vacationing places like in Hotel Kibutz Shoresh , or Ceremonial/Wedding venue garden used also for scientific conferences and business events, and Protea retirement facility.
Shoresh also revived the wine industry, which was so popular in the Jerusalem surroundings of ancient times, Neat rows of vines engulf the community,and a
family boutique Yekev Yehuda - Yehuda Winery, which was founded in 1999 by Avi Yehuda, produces about 6000 wine bottles a year, off home grown Cabernet-Sauvignon, Marlo and Shiraz grapes.
Burma Road/ Trail
Driving on the local side route 3955 paralleled to Hwy 1 toward Beit Meir - a religious moshav at the end of this the dead-end road, and just shortly prior to its entry, an unpaved steep dirt road veering to the left lead us in a short cut, after about 35 minutes bumpy drive to its other end by the more major Hwy 38
Burma Road is makeshift bypass road built during the 1948 Siege of Jerusalem, named for the Chinese Burma Road, which facilitated the transfer of needed supply - food, water, fuel and medicines, from the coast to Jerusalem.
Local Arab forces took control of the hills overlooking the road to Jerusalem (Highway 1), between Sha'ar HaGai (Bab el-Wad) and Al-Qastal, in effect besieging the city's Jewish population. Vehicles attempting to use the road, Jerusalem's only link to the coast, took heavy fire. Convoys carrying food, weapons, and medical supplies sent by the Yishuv sustained heavy losses, and often did not get through to the city.
Now a days the road trails through a popular nature reservation named Judean Mountain Yaar Kdoshim, attracting many Israelis who enjoy hiking , biking, camping
or picnic-ing, along its trail - which is also part of Sehvil Israel - Israel National Trail.
Yaar Kdoshim - Forest of the Holly
The JNF planted forests all over the Jerusalem Mountains, were created not only for the sake of the trees, but as to commemorate the memory of 1,5 million children who perished in the Holocaust. Over 6 million trees were already planted and often next to key historic points , also massive memorial monuments and installations have been erected, baring names of communities that perished, of Righteous among the nations, and the philanthropists who funded the projects..
Memorial ceremonies are conducted by these places each year on Memorial Day.
At the end of the bumpy off road ride , along which we were fed off the beautifully forested Jerusalem mountain range, the steep valley, and redish (Nurit) Buttercup flower bloom, we marked up our selected picnic territory .
Drinking a Shoresh home made vintage wine, gobbling, chatting, and laughing, we spent care-free, the entire gorgeous day's afternoon, basking in the sun and the beauty of the place, until, all the wine and food, brought by us all-3 couples, were all devoured.
Furthermore, the chilled air of the late day's hour, ousted us from the nature's openness, and into the protective warmth of the house in Shoresh, to where the friends of our friends, Anat and Shuli,invited us all in, and where we had more desserts.