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Hiking through the Darga River Reserve


Intersession was almost over and we had not fully utilized our vacation its fullest potential we decided to go on a trek. Where to? We’ll decide in the morning. After we pray and eat breakfast, we’ll be in touch.


As the morning slowly passed by Ariel finally called me and announced “we’re going to the Darga River Reserve”. Now after all the heavy rainfall and flooding is the perfect time. The pools will be full of pristine water. Of course don’t forget food and equipment for a two day overnight hike. He then added – of course; don’t forget to take your Tfidanit to protect your Tefillin. Luckily, my brother had just returned from his reserve duty in the Israeli army and had returned my Tfidanit to me. I quickly packed and at the last minute remembered that Yonatan had asked me to bring along some plastic bags so that he could wrap his Tefillin in them so they shouldn’t get wet.


We finally reached the Reserve in the early afternoon. Ariel and Yonatan paid no heed to the sign announcing that entrance to the river trek is allowed only until one PM. It’s an easy trek they said. I kept silent.


We entered into the path through the canyon. In a short manner we came onto the first pool of water surrounded by rocks. Yonatan went first and easily traversed the rocks to go around the pool; Ariel followed him and was able to get by after almost falling into the water. In the nick of time Yonatan managed to grab him and pull him over the rocks. I decided not to chance the rocks, threw my bag to Yonatan and jumped into the pool.


The water was freezing! It was difficult adapting to the extreme temperature difference from the hot Judean desert heat and the coldness of the water.


We continued down the river in the water. By this time we were all thoroughly soaked. I did my utmost to keep my backpack with the Tfidanit inside it dry and out of the water.


There is no denying it, the Darga River Reserve is awesome. You are surrounded by silence and we were in no hurry to get anywhere. A little water fight, some quite swimming and laughs until your stomach hurt. Time flies and we didn’t pay attention until the sun was almost setting. Yonatan was a little stressed out, but he tried his best not to show it.


Ariel suggested that we daven Mincha (pray the afternoon prayer service) and so; wet and shivering we did just that. I don’t know what caused us to shiver more – the fact that we were soaked and there was a breeze with the desert temperature dropping as the sun set, or the fact that we didn’t know what was going to happen next or how we were going to spend the night.


After praying, we changed into dry clothes we were standing on this rock in the middle of the river and the sun set. Now while waiting for the morning sun, we could fully understand the verse “My soul is unto G-d who watches over us until morning”.


Lo and behold when it was time to put on our Tefillin and recite morning prayers our backpacks were floating in the river. I, of course, knew that the Tfidanit was not designed to be immersed in water for extensive periods of time; but I had a feeling that my Tefillin had survived – and so they had! Yonatan, with a shaking hand reached for his Tefillin, I prayed that they too would have survived.


One thing I have learnt from this story. I, G-d willing, will do my utmost to never leave my Tfidanit behind.


Note: This is a true story as told to us by the customer. However, the warranty does not cover physical damage to the Tfidanit.

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