My bar mitzvah drash

by Aviv Blum on March 25, 2011

Here is video of the speech I gave during my bar mitzvah – it’s a “travel guide” to my year of tiyulim. Click here to watch it on YouTube in HD.

Click the link below and you can download a PDF with a summary of my 12 hikes.
12 great bar mitzvah hikes
. Here’s the text of my drash:

As many of you know, over the past year we have done 12 hikes in our beautiful land in honor of my bar mitzvah. And in two weeks, we will be going to Nepal for hike #13.

Why did we do this? First, because I love hiking. I love getting out into nature. Second, because it gave me time to spend with my family away from the house.

I want to tell you about some of the highlights from my hikes and which ones I would recommend.

The first hike I want to recommend is Nahal Katlav. It’s close to Jerusalem, it’s beautiful and it’s relatively short – half a day. And you can do it over and over again. At one point it goes along the train tracks.

The most exciting hike we did was Nahal Og because there are three sets of ladders you have to climb down. That was very fun for me and Merav too, unlike my Dad who was terrified.

The hottest hike we did was the Burma Road, which is very beautiful but has no shade. There are great views of the Jerusalem Tel Aviv highway.

The Burma Road also goes through Park Rabin, which was another one of our hikes.

We had two very painful hikes. In Nahal Galim near Haifa, there are thorns everywhere in the summer. Although the views of the sea are spectacular.

And in our hike near Mitzpeh Misua, we stopped to pick and eat some Sabra fruit, which we discovered was a very bad idea because it is filled with tiny thorns.

When we went to Har Amram near Eilat, my Dad, my sister and her friend Michelle got separated from the rest of us on the Israel Trail and we weren’t sure if they were in front of us or in back, so we just kept going.

The saddest hike was Har Shokef in the Carmel Mountains because it was one of the places that was burned down. It was so beautiful and now we’ll never get to do it again in the same way.

And the best hike of all was our last one, to Upper Nahal David at Ein Gedi where we hiked to the “chalon” which has an awesome view of the whole Dead Sea.

Now you have an idea of what I’ve done this past year. I want to thank my parents for making all of these hikes possible, as well as the whole bar mitzvah. I also want to thank some other people who are important to me.

My sister Merav, for teaching me all kinds of things about what it means to be a teenager and for being an awesome big sister.

My brother Amir, for spending all this time with me watching Chuck and the Big Bang Theory, and of course for being a great brother

Chava who has helped me so much with my studying.

Shalev who taught me all about sports.

Matan who taught me the Megillah trope.

Nomi who gave me my first job walking Tooti.

Asher who helped us plan our hikes.

And of course Safta and Papa Mike, Saba and Grandma Carol and my Uncle Dave and Aunt Jen for coming all the way from California to Israel to celebrate my bar mitzvah with me.

I’m sorry that not all of my family could make it – my Grandma Shirley, all my cousins from Toronto, my Uncle Steve and Aunt Susan, Aunt Marlene and Uncle Richard, and last but not least Nana – I hope to see you all very soon!

For everyone here, I hope that some of you will try the hikes I’ve told you about tonight. Thank you all for coming.

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