Off The Beaten Track Israel
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Travel Israel

March 18, 2012

Travel Israel: Off Road Bike Tour With Shirat Devorah

resting for a break by a fresh water spring
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Starting a day in order to travel Israel at 7.30 am on a cold winters morning in the outskirts of Jerusalem is a formidable endeavor. 11 intrepid girls from the seminary Shirat Devorah and their Brave Leader Rebetzen Channa Feld ventured out into the wilds of Israel. They experienced the remarkable historical landscape of the Jerusalem Forest. To bike, off-road through mud, rocks and unpaved tracks. To see wild Gazel, fresh flowing springs, caves and tunnels. To learn about each other, The Torah and Eretz Israel.

To travel Israel on a bike is an intimate experience.
The tour began at the entrance of the Jerusalem to Tel-Aviv bike track.  The start point of the route is situated at the end of the car park of the Jerusalem Zoo. This is where Shirat Devorah and Off  The Beaten Track Israel met. Here begins the journey and also marks the start point of an epic bike route that winds its way through Emeck Refaim, connects to Nachal Soreck (where Samson and Delia met) and then all the way to the coast.

(If you are inclined to attempt such a remarkable adventure please get in touch by clicking here  and we will arrange, according to your preferences, the whole adventure for you . This would make an awesome charity bike ride event)

pit stop by a fresh flowwing spring

Pit stop by a fresh flowing spring and also a Mikveh

Despite the freezing cold and the driving wind blowing, we got on the bikes and cycled.

Our intention was to travel Israel and get to know a side of her least understood. To get to know Israel and see what the Torah is talking about.

One of the ladies volunteered to be point man or point Lady. She was handed a walkie-talkie and another volunteered to be the back man/lady.  She was also equipped with a walkie-talkie in order to communicate with the point man/lady . The intention being to keep the group together and make sure no one is left behimd.

They were given a map of the route and were challenged to decipher it in order to stop at the points of interest that were marked. They discovered 2,500 year old burial caves, hiding tunnels built into the side of the mountains that would otherwise go unnoticed. (Click here for in-depth information and photos of these caves and hiding tunnels)

They lead the way. They were their own tour guides, leading one another and traveling along the tracks unaided. They looked out for one another. Each one building the team, looking out for their  friends and we, Off The Beaten Track,  were there merely to provide support and  information where necessary. They were the tour guides, leading and developing their own unique experience, embracing the Mistzvah to travel Israel.

So great was their desire to explore, one individual had just got of a plane from America. The taxi left her  luggage at the airport. She had to go back and get it, drive all the way back to Jerusalem and then managed, without any sleep, to spend the next 8 hours schlepping around on a bike, cycling up and down mountains ??!

Not to mention the person who, with complete determination refused all suggestions off:  ” maybe this trip is not the best time to figure out how to ride a bike”. It Made no difference, she was going to learn, she was going to do it, and did it she did. She cycled the whole way, falling off, getting back on, walking with her bike when necessary. She did not give up and made it the whole way. This girl, as far as i am concerned,  deserves the Israeli equivalent of the National Congressional Medal of Honor. Truly an example to us all.

We learn better when we do it our selves. To actually live the idea, to experience the idea for ourselves. To  transform the abstract teachings of our history into an empirical emotional reality. It is the ingredients that inspires one to grow and embrace our 4,000 year heritage as a way of life.

Lunch Break

To say the Girls were awesome would be an understatement. They were simply fantastic. The going was tough, sometimes uphill but the scenery and the historical sites was well worth it. They felt the spiritual depth and beauty that experiencing Israel’s outdoors has to offer.

Bar Kochba hiding tunnels and caves, springs flowing with water, mikvehs supplied by ancient springs, 2,500 agricultural fields and their water sources. They saw it all. A day trip, with a packed lunch looking out West across a  majestic scenery of the Judean Mountains toward the coast, Israel in all Her glory.

Great view from Yad Kenedy

View from the lunch break

This is a great trip to do with a yeshivah, seminary or a family. Learn about the land, connect with it by traveling through it. See and live the history. Experience the lives of our ancestors. This is the only way to truly learn, to connect emotionally with our past and work for our future.

Off The beaten Track Israel can create fully customizable tours for you for free. We can lead or you can lead your self and we simply provide the maps, information and everything you will need do so yourself  effortlessly and  comfortably. We will provide 100% support every step of the way with no cost.  Just send us your information by clicking here or call us on 0546-989-364


Here is a map of the route we took with a watered down version of the information along it. It is a sample map, missing the full detailed content, but it gives an idea of what we can provide you with so that you will be fully prepared to lead the way in your do-it-your-self travel Israel tour.  If you would like the full map with all its content, contact us here, it is free and we will be happy to provide. The map is fully interactive, play around with it and explore. Growth is achieved by following the path least most traveled. Off The Beaten Track Israel: Show yourself the way.

View The Shirat Devorah Journey in a larger map

Here is a Video of the Nachal Refaim, the Nachal we cycled through, flooding a week earlier before this trip :


For more details about this trip, maps, ideas and organization of something similar please contact us or for more ideas and Off The Beaten Track Israel travel tours click here

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