These and Those

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

New day, New adventures, New post

Posted on December 17, 2012 by Shoshana Rosen

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Originally posted on my blog in Oct.:

So I decided today to go to the botanical garden in Jerusalem. I have always wanted to go, but have never found the time, well now I made the time!

So I brought my map, and the multiple bus directions that I looked up and hoped I would find it. Well I did but it was not as easy as I thought it would be. I ended up getting off the bus too early, walked for about 30 minutes and finally found a sign for the botanical gardens. But you got to love Israel and their lack of signs, I could not find the entrance!! I was so close, I could see the garden, but I couldn’t find a way in. It reminded me of Kafka’s Before The Law. A short story I read in high school.

This fence, where i couldn’t even find an entrance, was there for a reason.

So I ended up pretty much walking almost the entire circumference until I found the entrance! I have never been so happy to find an entrance sign in my life!!

I entered the park and started to wonder up the hills, down the hills (got to love Jerusalem) through the flowers and trees and I started to think about two things.

#1. Hipbotidut. I spiritual practice I learned in one of my classes, lead by Rabbi James.

Pretty much for an hour all you do is talk out loud to g-d. Yes, you have to talk out loud, you cant stop so even if you do not know what to say you will say “I don’t know what to say, I don’t know what you say” etc until something else maybe comes up. And the most important thing is that you can not think, just talk and you cant censer what you say. It is a hard practice. But, there beneath this beautiful tree I had the desire to talk everything out.

#2. My grandmother. I thought about how she would love this place. Love of all nature is ingrained in my family’s DNA. Nature was a big part of my grandmothers life. During the holocaust, her and her family hid for years in the forest in Poland. She always had such a strong connection with nature.  Growing up, I always remembered we would go on walks through the woods, around the lake, or just spend time in her beautiful garden. Even the last time I saw my grandmother, we took a walk in the woods, said goodbye to nature, thanked it for all it has done and she told me, “rose, do not let not having a designated path stop you, you will create your own” My grandmother passed away almost a year and a half ago now, and I think about her every day but I know she would be proud of me for trying to build my own path.

My grandmother in nature. pure happiness

Is there a place where you feel close to your ancestors?

It also runs in my family that our love for flowers to lead us into trouble! My grandmother almost got arrested once because she picked flowers by a lake, and cops came, took down her name and gave her a very strict warning! My mom has also more than once almost got in trouble for her flower loving.

I also have the bug. I dream about having gardens, and how I would do such wonderful things with a merpeset (a porch here in Jerusalem!) I have also been known to be late for mid-terms because I was staring at a beautiful fall colored tree for a bit too long.

Today while walking, the doubt started setting in. WHAT AM I DOING?!??! Do I really think that walking will answer some of these questions I have? Am I missing out on my learning at a yeshiva? My friends and a community?

But something in me continues to walk, one foot over the other.

ONE thing I know for certain is that if I am going to continue these walks, I need to start wearing real sneakers. My feet were killing me after all this walking (I must have walked over 6 miles today).

In addition, I need to start packing lunch and great snacks, I cannot keep on eating out! Any ideas on great lunches and snacks I can bring?

I am not sure what tomorrow will hold, lets face it, I have no clue what I am doing. But, my little sister said it, “following ur heart is always the right thing to do. and it wouldn’t really be following your heart if u knew what u were doing” Haha sometimes,  freshman in college are smart!

I will end this post on a quote,

“The air of Eretz Yisrael (the land of Israel) causes wisdom” Bava batra 158B

I do hope this is true!

Little birdie comes and eats with me.