These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

Going down the mountain with Sam.

Posted on November 16, 2012 by Adam L Masser

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Ein Gedi, freshwater spring of legend, sanctuary of David. In the scorching desert, the Negev. In the mountains above Yam HaMelach, the Dead Sea, the burning sea of salt.

Sam, falling down while climbing out of a gorge carved in a high, rocky outcropping, its steep chutes formed by the rains of a geologic epoch.

Us, lifting our brother up through the narrow way.

Him, on hands and knees, right foot broken in two places, pulling himself up a cliff foot by foot.

Our hands, a protective net–above, behind, below.

Him, hopping along a narrow track, loose with crumbling rock and gravel, far above the floor of the wadi, both hands gripping the wall, gripping our hands, finding a way forward.

We carried him down on our backs, our packs shed, our water gone.

An access road. A jeep arrives. The park service.

We drive to the site of an ancient synagogue, ruins from the time of the talmud. Our friends are waiting, there is water, benches, the road back to Yerushalayim.

Time resumes. The sun hangs low in the sky. Pardes gathers for mincha.