Kibbutz Ketura is the Place for me….

Or not! I just returned from a weekend of hiking, thinking, swimming, loving in the desert with my classmates. The weekend was full of fun, a hike at Ein Gedi, the stars of the desert at night, getting to know my classmates, both new and old, hiking hte desert, Shabbat in the beauty of Nature. It is amazing to me how incredibly civilized in certain parts the kibbutznikim have made the desert. We lived in a kibbutz, with all my needs met and more. I know they struggle, but it was a breath for fresh air to see their enthusiasm and success. And while, this communal lifestyle works for those who choose it, I find myself craving a bit more civilization, happy for my little autonomy! Also, it was a breath of fresh air to be in the outdoors, out of Jerusalem, and using my energy up. What follows are my reflections on the weekend, the nature, etc. ENJOY! Also, look for a post soon about Prayer!

Let the text teach the land and the land teach the tedt, our guide’s motto for how to learn the land of Israel. We began, hiking Ein Gedi, a place of refuge, a place where revelation occured, where biblical figures hid. The blue of the sky, the blue in the depths of the dead sea,and I feel so alive as the fresh, slaty air breezes across my face. The sun warms my back, the water refreshes my soul as I dove into the fresh pool. I feel alive.

At points, it looks as though I could walk across the sea into Jordan, two lands, connected. SO much beatuy surrounds us. Climing Nachal Arugot, we were surrounded by Orthodox school children, Palestinians, Russians, Israelis, Us. We all hiked together, looked out for one another, embraced the beauty of a land that has so much to give. All of us loving, growing, sharing and exploring the same land.

WOW, I AM IN ISRAEL! I am home, I am in the place of my ancestors, I am in a place of so much beauty, driving across a country with so much beauty, splendor, mountains. It almost reminds me of my trip across the country this summer, but this beauty has so much more to offer me. This is where it is at, this is the Land of Israel, flowing with milk and honey, alive and teeming with history.

We sang under the stars, sucking in the sweet desert air, this is what it is all about. A movement united, friends finidng each other, connecting, intertwining our lives. Now, I’ve had the time of my life, as we sang together in our jam session outside tonight. We danced, sang, moved, and enjoyed life together. I feel alive.

Today, Friday, we hiked the desert, the tall mountains at a neck-breaking pace. We ran, stopped, waited, helped each other. And then, we were alone in the desert. Centering prayer alone in the mountains, people smiling, laughing, loving. We prayed together, put tefillin on and had silent reflection. I was alone in the desert of my ancestors, self discovery. We reached the top and can see where four countries come together, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Saudi Arabia. There are boats, civilization in the distance,s but here, it is desolate, uninhabited, but alive. And hten, a cell phone rings and I am reminded just how modernized our lives are. Could a cell phone substitute for the burning bush? for an angel of God? Revelation, discovery.

We read psalms, took in the beauty fo what God is creating for us, for me. The beauty for me to enjoy. My mind wanders, peace, serentiy, growth, silence, center. I am here, alone, in the place Hagar sought refuge, Abraham encountered God. The wind is strong, embraces me, brings to me the spirit of life, and I thank God for this gift, the wonder, the quiet, the still of the desert. I found my place, in the endless expanse of wandering. The mountains weave into one another, love, passion, Judaism, my place, I have found it, I feel at home.

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One thought on “Kibbutz Ketura is the Place for me….

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