DebbieWinks – Debbie’s Blog from Israel # 5


DebbieWinks — Blog #5 — May, 2023


Shalom to all and glad you are reading my monthly blogs and enjoying the ride!

I have started to drive around Israel using the Israeli navigation system called WAZE.

Firstly I would like to commend the calm female voice giving me instructions in Hebrew and I would really like to know how she got this job! And of course kudos to the inventors of WAZE who have made such a difference to the lives of Israelis and others around the world.

Secondly, I would like to commend myself for driving in Israel. Not only does it take ‘assertive’ Chutzpah, but also an abundance of patience. The traffic jams and number of cars on the road are on the rise and make the driving experience nerve-wracking, especially if you must get somewhere on time.

For the record during the last few months I have driven to an array of destinations: from dropping off my grandchildren to their respective pre-schools, to bureaucratic meetings to family gatherings, to meeting a friend, to shopping and to doctors’ appointments. Regardless of the destination or duration, one must be ready and steady at the wheel and check WAZE reports about the fastest or favorite traffic patterns of your choice. It is paramount to bring water and a sense of calm since your nerves will be tested along the way.

On a recent road trip with a girlfriend visiting from Richmond we ventured to the northern village of Amirim ( ),which, for your information was deemed the first vegan village in the world. I chose our stay so we could experience a night in a luxury yurt called “Singing Bird”.

WAZE guided us faithfully to our destination of Amirim from my town of Pardes Hanna, a trip of approximately 90 minutes. (Note that the ETA can change if traffic jams or accidents happen, and you get re-routed.)

Upon approaching our stunning hilltop destination WAZE was instructing me to turn left and then to do a U turn. For some unknown reason I did not listen to the WAZE instructions, and since I was not re-routed, I assumed we were on the right track.

I, Debbie Havusha with utter Israeli confidence drove up the steepest incline I have ever driven and parked at the top, positive that we had reached our destination. My girlfriend questioned my judgement, but in typical Israeli fashion I was sure that I was right and proceeded to knock on the door of a lovely looking house perched high on the hilltop. The tired looking woman answered the door and told us we were at the wrong spot, but she believed that the Singing Bird yurt was down her street halfway.

And so Operation Mission Impossible to reverse and descend the hilltop was about to be executed. My weary wonderful travel partner instructed me on how to reverse, cautioning me not to reverse any further since I would break my car if I went over the steep concrete garden bed. At first, I deliberated over what would require more bravery: to reverse over the concrete obstacle or to pump the gas as instructed by my dear girlfriend. The option to drive forward a bit so I could reverse successfully to a landing without breaking the car was the preferred choice of action to which my girlfriend sighed a huge sigh of relief. My newly pumped-up Israeli risk -taking kicked in, and I successfully hit the gas pedal to move the car forward so I could make a wider reverse onto the landing pad of refuge!

We then proceeded cautiously to drive down the steep driveway. After I regained my composure from the rush of adrenaline, I asked myself: Why didn’t WAZE correct me and why didn’t I listen to my own sensibility? The answer my friend is blowing in the wind!

We drove down with the air conditioning blowing and our beloved WAZE back on. The familiar female voice of calm brought us safely to our destination.

I highly recommend you visit Amirim, which is just southwest of the ancient and mystical town of Tsfat. It has a wide range of Airbnbs to choose from. Luckily, I will soon be back in this picturesque northern region since our daughter and son-in-law and 3 kids are moving there soon.

And…. Do you know to which street she is moving?

Yes, the one which I drove up and reversed from!

As we know from life lessons, there are many times when one must journey backward in order to go forward.

Yours for the ride,

Debbie winks 😊


Debbie Havusha


1 Comment

  1. Is the ( fantastic) vegan restaurant still operating at Amirim? It’s been years since I was there because I had heard it had closed. B’taiavon