The Judaean Desert and My Eliyahu HaNavi

​Yesterday I went on a tiyul (hiking trip) to Midbar Yehuda (nachal kina). We left early in the morning and drove an hour and a half from Modiin to get there. Waze told is to go through this bedoin village on an off road and we finally found the parking lot and the beginning of the hike. It was still early and not too hot when we started and there was already a gorgeous view the minute we started the hike. The desert is like nothing else. I live up north and my base is up north so I rarely get to go to the south anymore. I almost forgot how peaceful the desert is. We hiked for a little and sat down to have some food. There wasn’t a lot of rain this season in the desert so we got to this pool of water but the water was green and nasty so we couldnt go in. Oh well. We walked through what once was a river and I couldn’t stop thinking that this must be what it feels like to walk on the bottom of the ocean. We hiked and hiked and enjoyed the views and I tried not to trip on too many rocks. We hiked down the mountains and then walked through the river and what goes up must come down (especially if you’re doing a hike that ends up being a circle so you can get back to where you parked your car). I still haven’t decided if up hills or downhills are harder. 

We followed the path and came to a part where you have to go up. There were some steep parts so far but this wasn’t just a steep hill… this was a straight up wall. Let me start by saying I don’t rock climb. Every time at camp that we went to rock climbing I cried. I think the combination of heights and the fear of falling really freak me out but hey at this moment I didn’t have a choice. It was either stay in the desert forever or climb up a little wall. I got really nervous and sweaty and just looked up and I really just didn’t see a way this was going to happen. All of a sudden this bedoin guy comes up to us out of nowhere and sees me freaking out a little. He coached me through the whole thing and explained exactly where to put my feet and pull myself up and literally pulled me up so I wouldn’t fall. My friends cheered me on and guess what, I’m not in the desert anymore and I lived to tell the story wooohooo. Apparently there was supposed to be a rope there to help climb up but people stole it. We thanked the nice guy and he disappeared and I’m pretty convinced that he was my Eliyahu (it’s pesach haha see what I did there).

The first time I was in the desert on my gap year, we all layed down in the sand and had a minute of silence. I’ve since done that on many hikes in many different places and not to sound cliché but these moments have been the times that I’ve felt most at peace with the world . There’s something amazing about silence. There’s something so wonderful about the sound of wind and being able to clear your thoughts and just be. I get to enjoy being an insignificant obsever in this massive world.

I’m so lucky to live here and that I can drive with friends for an hour and a half and arrive in another world. I get to spend my pesach traveling this beautiful land and when I feel such peace it’s hard for me to understand how this world can be both so peaceful and have so much conflict at the exact same time. Today I’m sitting on the beach in Haifa and enjoying a different kind of special time with nature. What a happy passover. 

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