Our Hiking Shoes

9 Oct

My newest tradition is to go on at least one hike with my friend Shai on Chol Hamoed Succot. This year we hiked Nachal Yagur between Yokneam and Haifa. I have an uncanny ability to not only remember where I’ve been (and this does not just apply to here in Israel) but to also remember the route I previously took to get there. Shai didn’t believe me when I told him I had been at Nachal Yagur before but then again I don’t remember sharing with him how I spent three summers (ages 14,16 and 20) hiking around Israel with two different summer camps. Truth be told I remembered the hike ever before we pulled up to the parking lot. Once we got off the highway by Zichron Yaacov I realized that I might not remember exactly which hike we were about to do but I had definitely been on a hike in this area – and chances were it was going to be the one I remembered.

And when we pulled into the parking lot I told Shai that I had indeed done this hike before (as a 20 yr old madricha on Achvah) and also missed this specific hike as a 16 yr old camper on Achva (I spent that day instead missing both Acre and the hike but spending it with 2 other friends and the camp director. We didn’t feel good and so Rafi and Helen took us out to lunch). It is amazing how the past and the present intertwine.

The purpose of our hiking is not only to see the beauty of the country but to reflect on the recent Yom Kippur and past year. Both last year and this year we reflected on how our lives have changed over the course of the year. We started the deep conversation on the drive up north. I personally have only a few friends who I talk to about my religious growth process and Shai is one of those close friends. The conversation veered right away to the events that occurred to both of us the week following Yom Kippur (I am only discussing here the topics that I brought up on the hike which are specifically related to my thought process and feelings.) Throughout the hike we talked and then pondered the advice and thought process of why we each felt the way we did. We did talk about misconceptions others have of us and what we plan or not plan on doing to change those misconceptions. I used to be quite open to others about my religious choices when the choices involved not being frum. But now that I’ve made more than a 360 degree change, I have specifically chosen not to express my very intimate and personal relationship with Hashem to just anyone. Shai pointed out that at this point I am doing myself somewhat of a disservice by not sharing with others who care about me where I stand and what I believe in. My feelings are that if you never ask me who I am why should I share it with you? But on the other hand, I am very proud of my growth process and why shouldn’t I share it with everyone? Maybe how I feel will positively influence others who are going through what I have been through. What I came to realize is that it is alright to share bits and pieces of myself with everyone but there are those other bits that are not for everyone. I do feel that by blogging I have bared a bit of my soul and I do hope that I can influence you to become more introspective of your relationship to G-d and the purpose each of you have in this world.

This hike was not just 5 hours of a physical journey but an emotional and spiritual one as well. We all still have a few more days until it is Hoshana Raba (this Friday) and the doors of Heaven are sealed for the year and my fate sealed as well. I hope y’all here in the Holy Land get out and hike this beautiful country.

And I will continue to daven to Hashem for His help to “Open my heart to Your Torah then my soul will purse Your commandments” **

** This is part of the prayer found in last paragraph in Shemonah Esrei .


5 Responses to “Our Hiking Shoes”

  1. Avram October 9, 2006 at 9:55 pm #

    another wonderful post … keep up this kind of writing, it’s really powerful stuff.

  2. Anonymous October 10, 2006 at 5:56 pm #

    dear you,one of your best blogs – loved it and glad you shared. as we’ve discussed life’s all about the journey and it’s wicked you’ve switched from public transport to private jet..shu x

  3. ifyouwillit... October 10, 2006 at 10:31 pm #

    Beautiful post, now I am really glad that I did read it. Gmar Chatima Tova.

  4. Noodles October 11, 2006 at 4:06 am #

    Hey Hoovah! Lovely blog … a hike is definitely something I need to carry out … to have time to retrospect. Would love to join you one time. And I agree, exposing parts of your inner-self is enough, there are always things that should remain private, only for G-d to judge. Noodles X

  5. Hiking In Israel January 14, 2008 at 3:07 pm #

    At times,some of the finest trip we make can be with our friends and some of the ordinary trips we make are made special with our friends. I am sure you belong to the second category.Nice way to relax.

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