[Newsletter] July 26 – Shabbat Hazon

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Shabbat Hazon and Senseless Acts of Kindness

Thursday, 26th July 2012 / 7th Av 5772
Geneva, Illinois

Dear All,

I’ve spent the last few days with the Cross-USA riders and it’s been an inspiring and fascinating experience (and there are photos and stories online.)

Because the Shabbat before Tisha B’Av is known as Shabbat Hazon, I’m often especially aware of this time of year. I wrote last week about Tisha B’Av in relation to mourning and hope. I wanted to add something this week about sinat chinam and ahavat chinam.

In Madison, WI on Friday night

In Madison, WI on Friday night

The rabbis attributed the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem – one of the reasons we fast on Tisha B’Av – to sinat chinam, which means something like “groundless hatred.” (If you’ve never read the famous Talmudic story about Kamtza and bar Kamtza, you should. It’s a fascinating story, and it remains a cautionary tale in so many ways.)

But I want to share with you that the Cross-USA Ride is a daily living reminder of the antidote to sinat chinamahavat chinam. Colloquially, we might translate it as “senseless acts of random kindness.” Just this week alone:

  • We were hosted by Reform, Conservative, and Chabad communities in Madison, WI.
  • On Monday night, we were at the wonderful Congregation Emanu-El B’ne Jeshurun near Milwaukee – a stunningly beautiful shul in which members of the community happily ferried our riders for showers, then ferried us back, and then got up at the crack-of-day to get our riders back to shul by 6 AM.
  • Tuesday lunch we visited – for the second time in 12 years – the synagogue in Kenosha, WI, and met the community there – and they gave us lunch.
  • Then Tuesday evening we were hosted by North Shore Congregation Israel. The local funeral home – I’m genuinely sorry I don’t have their name – donated a long black limo to shuttle riders to the JCC for us to shower – and the JCC stayed open a tad later to accommodate riders who’d ridden 86 miles that day (!) and got in slightly late. Meantime, the amazing Pam & Larry Faulkner of Green Bay Cycles gave us dinner, and provided mechanics to help fix our bikes.
  • And right now I’m writing from the home of the remarkable Margulies family in Geneva, IL, who put us up last night, fed us with incredible food from their farm, and where today we’re doing a service afternoon on their Pushing the Envelope Farm – though, truthfully, I know that we will gain far more from it than we will give.

And of course a huge thanks to everyone who’s hosted or is supporting our riders. We simply could not be doing this ride without you.

Riders at Lake Michigan in front of North Shore Congregation Israel in Glencoe, IL

Riders at Lake Michigan in front of North Shore Congregation Israel in Glencoe, IL

My point is simply this: in the big coastal cities – NY and LA and Boston and SF – we live good and rich lives; but part of the nature of cities is that they afford anonymity as well as community. It’s entirely possible to live one’s life without ever asking for help, or offering it.

The ride is the absolute antidote to that. Being on the ride we constantly ask for – and need – support of all sorts – and constantly receive it. And along the way we offer seeds of inspiration and ideas. (In Kenosha we suggested they think about launching a multi-faith CSA: they like the idea, and are thinking about it. And from the amazing Premacks in Aberdeen, SD – where we made a minyan for the second time in 12 years – we just got a note from them saying, “and we’ve been inspired – we’ve decided we’re going to start using guitars and drums for Kabbalat Shabbat. (The Premacks are, I think, in their mid-70s – or perhaps a tad more.)

So, enjoy Shabbat Hazon, and if you’re fasting on Sunday, fast well. May our visions of doom and gloom not come to fruition; and may the best of our hazon help make the world a better place for all.

Shabbat Shalom,


Nigel Savage
Executive Director, Hazon

P.S. You should know that you can still join for the last week of the trip from Pittsburgh to DC. If that’s too last minute, it’s not too late to sign up for our Israel Ride, where you’ll find the people you meet are just as inspiring.

Day to Day on the Israel Ride

Put yourself in the seat! Watch these helmet-cam clips from last year's ride.

Put yourself in the seat! Watch these helmet-cam clips from last year’s ride.

Wondering what it’s like to ride your bike across Israel?

Need to see more? Elahn Zetlin’s helmet-cam gives you the view from behind the handle-bars. Get a first-hand perspective of the people, the sights, and the sweat!

Watch the Videos

Read Yoram Rubin’s play-by-play! From packing to scenery, from mileage to elevation, Yoram takes you along for the ride as he biked across Israel.

One day on the ride takes you from Mitzpe Ramon to Kibbutz Ketura. Learn more.

One day on the ride takes you from Mitzpe Ramon to Kibbutz Ketura. Learn more.

Read Yoram’s Blog

The 2012 Israel Ride features some of the best cycling in Israel. This includes two days of cycling through the northern forests followed by three days in the south, riding on the open roads in the Negev desert.

See This Year’s Itinerary

Find out for yourself why the Arava Institute Hazon Israel Ride, October 30th to November 6th, is the ultimate Israel cycling adventure!

  • Registration prices increase on August 15th.
  • Discounts available for 2nd family members: $400 off registration!

Learn More | Register Today

Last Chance to Join Hazon Cross-USA Ride

[Image]It’s not too late to sign up for the very last leg of the journey, one week from Pittsburgh to Washington DC, August 9th – 16th.

Register today, prices increase on August 1st.

Don’t miss your chance to be a part of this cross-country community on wheels and cycle in support of sustainable food systems!

Join the Ride

Cross-USA Ride Week 7
From Madison to Chicago

This week, the ride began in Madison, WI and ends in Chicago, IL for tours of Jewish Farms, Shabbat, and Tisha B’Av. See the itinerary.

Next week, the riders make stops in Indianapolis and travel to Ohio to spend Shabbat in Dayton. See the itinerary.

Highlights, live from the road:
[Image] [Image] [Image]
Visiting Sweet Water Organics Dick Goldberg from Milwaukee is over 80 and still rides his bike Riders say goodbye to River Hills, WI and wave goodbye to their host families
[Image] [Image] [Image]
Visting the B’Hai Temple in Wilmette, IL Riders run into the MIT Solar Car Racing Team outside Madison Breakfast at OSRUI, URJ’s flagship summer camp

See more photos and video from the ride as it happens.


Day 46 of 68
12 Riders and 5 Staff currently on the road. 7 riders join on Sunday.
$104,397 Raised to Date

Support a Rider | Make a General Donation


Chicago, Join Us for Tisha B’AV and More!

Vegetables at the GAN Project Homestead

Vegetables at the GAN Project Homestead


Sunday, July 29th, 1 PM – 5 PM, FREE
The Gan Project at Bernard Horwich JCC
3003 Touhy Avenue, Chicago, IL

A Jewish event without food? It’s Tisha B’Av, a traditional fast day. And there are millions of people who go hungry every day. Join us for an afternoon of interactive learning about hunger midst plenty, community-based farming as a way to create food security, and Jewish traditions around food, eating, fasting, celebrating. (And we will have snacks)

Learn More | RSVP

Harvest at the KAMII Food Justice and Sustainability Program on Sunday

Harvest at the KAMII Food Justice and Sustainability Program on Sunday

More FREE Events This Weekend

Come learn and celebrate at these great free community events in Chicago as the Hazon Cross-USA Ride bikes through!

  • Friday, July 27th – “Cycling for Change / Eating for Change” with Nigel Savage at Mishkan Chicago
  • Friday, July 27th – Wine & Cheese with the Cross-USA Riders at Temple Sholom
  • Saturday, July 28th – “Shabbat Hazon: Visions of Destruction / Visions of Hope” at Anshe Emet
  • Sunday, July 29th – Community Harvest at KAM/Isaiah Israel Garden

Learn More | RSVP


Double your impact. Donate now.

One Chicago-based Hazon donor is matching donations to Hazon up to $12,500. The match applies to any amount above and beyond your gift from last year. For first-time donors, your entire gift will be matched.


Join us for Shabbat at the New York Ride

Labor Day Weekend, August 31-September 3, 2012

[Image]The programming for this year’s New York Ride Shabbat Retreat is better than ever. Come with your family and enjoy scavenger hunts and art projects for kids ages 0-4, night hikes, family Shabbat service and art projects with Teva Educators for kids ages 6-12, family housing, and early mealtimes for families. Learn more about bringing your family to the New York Ride.

Shabbat registration is just $299 for adults and $165 for kids until August 5th. Register today! Use the code “summer” for $75 off registration for riders; expires August 1st, 2012.

Learn More About Shabbat at the New York Ride

Local Events and Features
from our Partners and Friends

Wilderness Torah Nature Based Mentoring for Youth – Information Session

For kids ages 5-13 in the Bay Area interested in exciting outdoor Jewish youth programs, please join Wilderness Torah for an info session to learn about their new programs

[Image]Monday, August 20th, 7 PM – 9 PM
East Bay JCC
1414 Walnut St., Berkeley, CA

B’hootz (“Outside” in Hebrew) -Ages 5-10 – Starts September 16th

B’naiture – B’nai Mitzvah Nature Mentorship for ages 11-13 and their parents – Starts September 21st

Wilderness Torah Family Day Festival – September 16th, 10 AM – 3 PM

Learn More

Colorado Tour De Farm Bike Ride

[Image]Sunday, August 5th
8 AM – 1PM

Join Ekar Farm and Hazon for a 16-mile ride from Ekar Farm to Delaney Farm and back along the High Line Canal Bike Path. It’s a fun family bike ride “through the breadbasket of Denver!”

The ride stops at Sprout City Farm at Denver Green School for a tour, then on to Delaney Farm for another tour and fresh peaches, and then back to Ekar for grilled Colorado Olathe corn and live Bluegrass music.

Learn More | Register Today | Free for Teens

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