April 12, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Walking in the Steps of Our Prophets

This past week I was in Israel for a friends son’s bar mitzvah, and to get my necessary spiritual fix. As with just about every trip to Israel that I take, there are those “just in Israel” moments. While this experience may not have been the “open miracle” magnitude that I have seen in the past, it did leave me tingling with a feeling of hope and belief of what the future can have in store for you.

Sleep deprivation has a way of making all decisions seem rational. As irrational as it may have been, it was perfect. Friday morning after waking up to pray at the vatikin service, I decided to go for a short run around the city (must have been the three cafe hafuchs speaking). What started out as a very regular running route for me, turned into a journey of exploration and awe. Following the walls of the old city, I ended up running through Yemin Moshe (one of my faves), but instead of turning back towards the City center, I kept on running (my Forrest Gump moment). I ended up in the German Colony by the first station l, an area that I had never explored. As I ran through the first station, I noticed a beautiful greenway of reclaimed railroad tracks turned into a bike/ walking path. If you have never checked this path out before, I HIGHLY recommend it. (https://greatruns.com/jerusalem-rekevet/) I decided to follow this beautiful path until its end. As it got further away from the city and into the valley below, the vista and flora around the trail exploded into an array of vivid colors and intoxicating, minty/ piney smells of desert plants. My run slowed to a walk so that I could capture some of the natural beauty on camera. The amount of flowering trees and fruit bearing trees and vines brought tears to my eyes as I remembered the verse from Zechariah: תחתּ לא וּהערל שׁיא וּארקתּ תוֹאבצ ’ה םאנ אוּהה םוֹיּבּ הנאתּ תחתּ לאו ןפגּ. “Everyone will find rest beneath their own fig trees or grape vines, and they will live in peace. This is a solemn promise of the Lord All-Powerful.” These grape vines and fig trees & multi hued flowers didn’t just grow in orchards or in perfectly planted gardens- they were everywhere, just growing wild. Wherever a crack would appear a plant would take root. I found healthy vines of grapes bursting forth out of cracks in a construction site. I could not stop thinking about the meraglim who were chosen to come scout the land and the two leaders Kalev and Yehoshua who came back and said: ״דואמ דואמ,ץראה הבוט״ “The land is very, very good” It’s no wonder that our ancestors, an agricultural based society, loved and appreciated this land so wholeheartedly. I continued my sojourn past the Malha Mall, Teddy stadium, and down to the. Biblical zoo. As I started my climb back towards the City center, I looked around the valley and noticed all of the building cranes, and the massive construction projects taking place on every corner of this ever burgeoning city. It reminded me once again of the blessing that we recite no less than 3 times daily of “״םילשורי הנוב Thanking and beseeching God to rebuild Jerusalem. Seems to me like the culmination of 2000+ years worth of our prayers for this specific blessing has paid off in spades. Overall, this run/journey reinforced my love and devotion to this land, her people and to the belief in the words of our prophets. God is great and has kept his promises made to us. Let’s make sure to appreciate and love this land full of beauty, wonder and awe. It is your birthright as much as it is mine.

By Andrew Harary

Andrew Harary lives in Englewood, with his wife Leah, and their two daughters. He is the President of Village Print & Media, a NYC based Digital Marketing Production Agency. Andrew spends much of his time dreaming about Aliyah, while advocating for Israel and Jewish life.

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