The reader might not guess that the hiking holiday Ora takes represents a national pastime. Yael Zerubavel’s book Recovered Roots describes how Zionist settlers of the pre-state period were given special classes in local nature and geography, part of a practice called
Yediat ha-aretz (knowing the Land) [that] did not simply mean the recital of facts in the classroom, but rather an intimate knowledge of the land that can only be achieved through a direct contact…trekking on foot throughout the land was particularly considered as a major educational experience, essential for the development of the New Hebrews. For the non-Israeli reader, the association of hiking with laying claim to the land may be lost.
That element of hiking, of attempting to know not only the physical lay of the land, what happens every season, how to take advantage of what is there in the land amnd on it, what happened at that spot over the past three thousand years and how to quote a reference from the Bible or the Talmud or modern Hebrew literature is what contributes to our character as Zionists.
It is not an educational tool but an essence.