Make a Fixed Time for Study

עשה תורתך קבע – אמור מעט ועשה הרבה

Israel Ride – Day Two and Day Three

Posted by rabbiart on November 2, 2012

We need more riders next year.  And I need more and harder training.  the ride this year is not the traditional route that starts out in Jerusalem.  It has two days in the North.  Yesterday, the second day, went much smoother compared to the misadventures of the first day for “the Lost Tribe” of which unfortunately I was a part.  When in a pack, one tends to assume that one is on the route and in the right place.  At least, I do.  It’s only when the group accordions out and I don’t see a rider in front of me or behind me that I start to worry if somehow I missed a turn.  I guess, if enough people miss a turn, you can have a pack of people off the riding track.

So yesterday morning, after a luxurious stay (think two story suite, seriously) we rolled out in the heat and the humidity of the north, including a reasonable (ha!) climb into the lower part of the Golan.  At lunch Howie Rodenstein announced that our climb was the hardest ever in the history of the ride.  And to think the Halutzim (that’s the hard core and the young people’s group, at least I like to think of it that way), climbed higher and farther, to which I say “good for them”.

At one of our morning rest stops I was talking to Abeer (last name not being remembered right now) and another of the alums.  Abeer has invited us to her village in the West Bank next year, simply so that we should see life in the West Bank with our own eyes.  I am hoping that we will be able to arrange this visit.  Each time we have done the ride, we have met amazing people. People that without the Arava Institute, we would never have had a chance to meet and get to know a little bit.

Our shul monthly newspaper will have Chanukah for its theme (shocking, I know).  I have been thinking to write an article about how the students at the Aravah institute, especially the non-Israel and non-Jewish students, are so much like Chanukah candles, and how a “new Chanukah” is trying to take place.  The essential mitzvah of Chanukah is persumei mitzvah – publicizing the miracle.  That is whey the Chanukiah is to be placed in the window, and why Chabad and others erect large Chanukiot in public spaces and conduct public candle lightings.  I feel a desire to publicize the miracle that is trying to happen, which is why I feel so strongly about the Institute and the ride.  If peace is ever to come to this area, it will spring up from the ground, one person at a time, just as how the faculty and students at the Institute are trying to solve problems on the ground, problems of water, of power, and other environmental challenges.  In one case, it is to reintroduce biblical plants and agriculture in the Negev, which is a solution that will quite literally spring up from the ground.

The second brachah of lighting the Chanukah candles recognizes that HaShem performed miracles for our ancestors in those days and at the present time.  We might all be watching small miracles happening  before our very eyes.

More to follow.

 

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