The letters of our thoughts are the ideas present in our mind before they come to realization . . . Thoughts that are, yet not felt . . . The words of the subconscious . . . of the soul . . .


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Mottel in the Holy Land III -In the Negev

Making Coffee Bedouin Style

Click on the link for all the wonderful pictures and thoughts . . .

Tuesday night we went to Mamshit -to spend the night in a Bedouin tent.
The Bedouins came to our tent when we arrived, offered us sweet tea (which was good) and hand roasted and ground coffee (which wasn't so good) . . .
The whole experience was cute, but far from authentic.
The Bedouins themselves, who work on a camel farm on the same property, sleep in trailers and houses with running water and Wi-Fi, not tents, and the whole joint was in fact run by a group of Israeli entrepreneurs.

We did however make a Kumzitz with our Soldiers.

As we were singing by the open fire we were told that David, one of the soldiers that was traveling with us, was called into active duty and would be leaving us in a few minutes -due to the increased number of Qassam rockets that were coming down on Sderot; Israel was going into Gaza, and our David's unit was going in.

The true brunt of life in Israel came barreling down on me at that moment. Here was a person my age who, though moments before had been singing songs around a camp fire, was now going off to fight . . .
Everything we encounter in this world has an inner message that we can take to our Divine service. To the very least I can say that I learned from our Soldiers what commitment means -they feel that living in Israel is a mitzvah of the highest order, and they're ready to put their lives on the line for it.
What am I ready to do that for?

(Of note: The mission that David was called out on was later canceled; at a later point, however, he did go in and help to apprehend a terrorist . . . May G-d guard his coming and going, from now and forever)

Saying Goodbye to David

After our last goodbyes, I began to look around the Bedouin encampment; there were two other tents, both with Birthright groups sleeping in them -one was in fact a Mayanot group led by a friend Nutti S. Though we were only halfway through with the trip, this particular group was on its last night and the emotions and feelings of the college kids were very clear.
We said l'chaim together, we sang together, we spoke, we said more l'chaim, and then we started over again. At one in the A.M. -which with my schedule felt far more like 3:00 - we sat around the embers of the dieing fire, throwing twigs in a vane effort to keep the fire alive. One student, who had taken a particular liking to Keglevitch, began to cry.

"You know what I learned on this trip? We liberated Jerusalem during the Six Day War, but then we gave the Temple Mount back to the Arabs; all we wanted was the Western Wall! It's like a child who is lost from his parents at a very young age. His whole life he yearns to see his Father. He tries to picture the face of his father in his mind, but due to his youth at the time of their separation, he can not seem to draw the details in his mind. All he can remember his his fathers coat. So he spends years retracing the coat in his mind; every stitch and detail is engraved in his soul . . . The feel of the fabric, the scent of the cloth . . . Finally his prayers are answered and he is reunited with his dear father. But when they meet, all he does is embrace his father's coat . . . The person who he yearned to see is in front of his eyes, but he has forgotten!
We had our Temple, and all we wanted was the coat."

The embers crackled as a wet twig was thrown into the fire, smoke puffed up in dark billows as it flew ever higher in the crisp desert air.

"When I go back to America, I'm going to finish the semester in school, and then transfer to university here in Israel.
I have a girlfriend back at home. She's good and all, but she isn't Jewish. I'm going to tell her that I'm going to Israel, and either she can come along . . . Or that's it."

As much as I enjoyed Birthright, I saw how much more powerful the trip could be on others.

Wednesday Morning:

We rode camels, something that I must say, should be done for saying that it had be done, but is of little other purpose.

We rode for five minutes, turned around, and came back again.

Sde Boker:

Ein Avdat

A group of Israeli high school students also came to visit the area -I snapped this picture as we made our way up the exit later.

Until next time . . .

Parts One and Two

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Perel said...

It is nice to be home.
btw: I always wondered how to check coffee beans for bugs...

Mottel said...

Bugs? That must of been that extra crunch we tasted . . .

In truth, it was probably ordered from Starbucks.

Sefirah said...

sounds like a fun camel ride, i wish i was there..

Nemo said...

Mate, it wasn't Starbucks coffee, that's for sure.

Mr Bagel said...

Beautiful Photos Mottel, looks like you're enjoying yourself on your trip.
Be Safe
Mr Bagel