The trip over was relatively easy. Two highlights include spotting Henry Winkler in the international terminal in Atlanta (a good omen, right?) and seeing cops biking around the airport. I was tempted to ask if I could take a spin–a few more training miles wouldn’t hurt, especially with the amount of rain we’ve had in NYC recently–but resisted.
We arrived three and a half weeks ago and have mostly settled in, aside from a few outstanding details about my study at Hebrew U’s beit midrash program. I’ve done a few training rides around Jerusalem, in between classes and things. A new friend here (Oren Hirsch, for those who know him) was kind enough to give me a Googlemap with several Jerusalem bike routes marked out on it.
Ok, El Al is known for packing ’em in, so I expected a crowded flight. But it was ok. I had an aisle seat, I could get up and walk around…. Until the Lady showed up.
Dear All, This year, Hazon’s New York Jewish Environmental Bike Ride ends late Monday afternoon, and just two days later, Rosh Hashanah begins. The Hazon 10th Anniversary NY Ride will end at Riverside Park at 79th Street on Monday, September 6th at 3 PM with a group ride up Riverside Drive to the The JCC in Manhattan at 76th and Amsterdam. In addition to dancing and singing at the JCC, the Adamah Fellows will have a farm stand inside of the JCC with fresh produce, pickles and dairy products. The closing ceremony will start at 4 PM on the roof of the JCC. The NY Ride is one of Hazon’s largest fundraisers for the year, allowing us to continue our important work. Please consider sponsoring a Rider this year in celebration of Hazon’s 10th anniversary. The close conjunction in time prompted me to think about them in relation to each other… This year they’re about the same length in time. They’re both marathons, of sorts. They both involve pushing ourselves: even if you ride a bike – or go to shul on Shabbat – you don’t normally ride 120+ miles in two days, or spend 10+ hours in shul. (And […]
14th July 2010 Dear All, Hazon is ten years old this year. We’re working hard in multiple ways to bring forth our vision – a healthier and more sustainable Jewish community, and a healthier and more sustainable world for all. We’re proud that our 45 Hazon CSAs (Community-Supported Agriculture programs) are now the largest faith-based system of CSAs in the country. This fall, as well as our 10th NY Ride and our 10th Israel Ride, we’re launching a new CSA Conference (at Isabella Freedman) and a Food Leadership Forum (at Walker Creek, in CA). We’re developing Makom Hadash, our shared-space for second-stage Jewish non-profits. We’re planning our second CA Ride – and a second Israel Food Tour, with the Heschel Center. Meantime, New York’s DOT is planning the protected bike lane in the Upper West Side that we organized for. The Alliance for Religions & Conservation is working on a Sacred Cities initiative that grew out of our Jewish delegation last year. And we’re proud of the extraordinary success of Wilderness Torah and Jewish Farm School, the two organizations that we’re fiscal sponsor to. JFS has established a new home at Eden Village Camp, one of the most remarkable new […]
San Francisco, CA Monday 17th May 2010 48th day of the omer, 5770 Dear All, There is a notion in Jewish tradition of “hiddur mitzvah” – beautifying the mitzvah. It means something like “going above and beyond.” Hiddur mitzvah is the beautiful table cloth for Shabbat, the flowers, the fine china; also the freshest produce from your farmer’s market or your CSA, and the time spent cooking from first principles, rather than just buying something pre-cooked. The omer is a sort of rorschach process, in which we see in each day some reflection of our own life in the sefirot, and vice versa Hiddur mitzvah in relation to counting the omer means not merely counting – actually saying the bracha and counting each day, on the evening of the omer – but, coming back to it through the day; having a real sense of each day of the omer as distinct from each other day, and being conscious of it, and reflecting on it. (I’d add that there is a relationship, in some sense, with the evolution of the first 49 years of your life; each is distinct and, just as the omer culminates in Shavuot, I’d argue that the first 49 years of one’s life […]
Day Six: Monday, November 9 Kibbutz Ketura to Eilat David Eisenberg Eilat, Israel, on the red sea. We’ve biked just shy of 310 miles since leaving Tzfat, everyone one of them fantastic. Robert Rosenbaum – Kibbutz Ketura to Eilat – 47 miles. We started out our final day climbing over 38 miles to Mt Hizkiyanu. We had a well deserved lunch on top of the mountain, where you can see Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Saudia Arabia. We then decended 5 miles (very steep) into Eliat. Relaxed at the Red Sea. Our closing banquet is this evening. Don’t want this to end! (more…)
We did it! – David Eisenberg – Monday, November 17 We did it! It is hard to believe that it is only six days since we cycled out of Jerusalem — five days of cycling, a wonderful, relaxing Shabbat in Mitzpeh Ramon, and, today, 282 miles later, we pedaled into Eilat! I still owe some details on the past few days, each of which had it’s own unique and special character. Even though this was my third Israel Ride, it was still a remarkable experience. (more…)
By Rachel Brandenberg Back in Jerusalem after a week in the desert, having successfully completed 350 miles of bike riding through the southern half of Israel, I am sitting at the table in my apartment looking at and listening to a light rain through open windows, appreciating the cool breeze and pitter-patter of the water on my mirpeset (balcony). With great thanks to all of you who have supported or intend to support me, the Arava Institute and Hazon in this endeavor, I offer here a taste of the Israel Ride 2007 experience in stories and pictures. For more footage (still and video), reports from the ride, and/or to help me reach my fundraising goal, lots of great information is still available at www.israelride.org. After meeting the Arava Institute staff and students, visiting their facilities and hearing more about their work, as well as riding through much of the territory they study and work to preserve and develop, I can say with full confidence that I am happy to have embarked on this adventure and do all that I can to offer them my support. (more…)
By Andy Katell “The hill is your friend,” Howie Rodenstein declared as he tried to brace 180 Americans, Australians and Israelis for what was to become the bicycle climb of their lives – 4,100 feet up from the lowest point on earth. Later, while trudging up yet another massive hill en route from the Dead Sea to Eilat, I learned that what Howie, a founder of the annual Arava Institute Hazon Israel Ride, probably really meant was that the downhill is your friend. (more…)
Practicality flooded my realm today. Waking to find forty others gathered together for prayers overlooking Jerusalem, in its waking hours with its cars and lights, hitting 50 mph on the speedometer along the 20 mile downhill stretch outside of the ancient city, suffering the ogre belches of 18-wheeler’s exhaust pipes and trekking a good 50 miles under the desert’s 100 degree sun. We had a police motorcade. There was a point when our cop friends slowed down traffic enough (around 30 mph) for me to have a slight chance to catch up to the cars. I did. Three cheers! (more…)
Pushing the limits: wondering how and if my leg muscles will keep the spindly wheels turning, as another of the countless hills is attempted, heat rolls over my back, and the desert spreads out before me in a vista of earth tones and sky. A major part of the theme of the ride was to further appreciate Israeli desert ecology as one pedals through it. There is also the conscious effort to promote thinking more broadly than just the ecology of Israel, as “the environment knows no national borders”. The 6 day trek of 178 riders took each of us beyond our individual capacities, created community, raised both ecological awareness and nearly $1m for worthy environmental causes, and left (except for the flights to the country), a fairly small carbon footprint. (more…)
Friday July 28th 2006 / 3 Av 5766 Dear All, This Shabbat is Shabbat Hazon, which you would think would be the sort of time I ought to write something to our list. But then one recalls that Shabbat Hazon is not about “hazon” – vision – in a positive and inspirational sense (which is largely why Hazon is called Hazon) but rather about a prophecy of destruction and despoliation, especially in Israel. And then I think: well, perhaps I should indeed write something… (more…)
by Ariana Silverman This summer, my uncle, a middle-aged working father of three, volunteered to be a Little League Umpire. As many of you know, the difficulty of this particular job is not the physical exertion, or the danger of being confronted by a player, or even that there are that many pitches that are too close-to-call, but having to face the genuine wrath of a parent who feels that his or her child, or even his or her child’s team, has been wronged. During one particularly heated game, my uncle’s calls were repeatedly followed by yelling from an offended mother in the stands. Trying to keep his cool, when, in the middle of the forth inning, she asked for the count, he obligingly held up his hands . My uncle was stunned by her temporary silence, and then it came: “Ump, you’re gonna hafta yell-out the count-I don’t have my glasses on!” Tonight I invite you to join me in a conversation about seeing. Our Torah portion this Shabbat begins with the command to see: Re’eh. Re’eh Anochi Notein L’ifneicheim HaYom Bracha U’klalah. See, this day I set before you blessing and curse (Deuteronomy 11:26). This theme is not […]
New York 34th day of the omer 5764 Monday 10th May 2004 Dear All, This time last week I was one of more than 100 riders cycling on a spectacular road, down into Eilat, from the red mountains of the Israel/Egypt border. We were ending the six-day, 300-mile, Arava Institute Hazon Israel Bike Ride: Cycling for Peace, Partnership & Environmental Protection. The Ride was a remarkable experience, for me inspirational and thought-provoking. In quite a number of senses, as well as the most literal, we got to see Israel from an unusual perspective. In this email I want to give a flavor of what we did and some of what I thought about as we did it. This is a long email: feel free to print this and read it at your leisure later on. (more…)