This letter from a friend of mine touched me in a way that moved me to share it with you.
Rina Shoshana and I met over 20 years ago and she and her husband are the impetus behind our upcoming Israel Women’s Retreat in Bat Ayin. She’s authentic, refreshing, inspiring. As you’ll get to see from the letter. I included images from her blog. They opened my heart and I hope they do yours too.
I’m anxious to nourish your body and soul (after all your hard work these last years) with my homegrown sunflower sprouts and wheatgrass (if you like), sprouted spelt challah, etc…and I make some super-good “sunny” burgers, full of life and nourishment, reminiscent of what you liked last time you stayed with us.
So great to hear from you! So excited to see the flyer you posted…can’t wait!
I am sooooo happy you”ll be staying with us! I am also yearning to be together. You were G-d’s “mystery” messenger that opened this authentic Jewish path to me 20 years ago. I don’t know who will be providing the food for the retreat, but I’m anxious to nourish your body and soul (after all your hard work these last years) with my homegrown sunflower sprouts and wheatgrass (if you like), sprouted spelt challah, etc…and I make some super-good “sunny” burgers, full of life and nourishment, reminiscent of what you liked last time you stayed with us.
G-d blessed me with such a gift of time and quiet this month.
I’m committed to making fitness part of my life, just like brushing my teeth. So I’m swimming laps 3x week and walking/running on the hills of Bat Ayin other days…stretching more…and strength training. After 4 kids and a last pregnancy of bed rest, and the stress within and without that I didn’t know how to manage…I felt 80 when I turned 50. Our Sages say that “the hearts of the parents will return through their children.” We wrote this on our wedding invitation when Shlomo and I got married for the second time under the Chuppah. What they didn’t say is “the bodies of the parents will deteriorate through their children! HA!” (just a little joke)
I’ve also finished building a long, stone wall while they’ve been away…with rocks I’ve collected (with Yisrael’s (5) help before they left…and a couple strong teenage boys for a couple carloads of really heavy ones, so I wouldn’t hurt my back.) We’re enclosing our back yard for privacy so we can have some sun on our less clothed bodies (eventually, G-d willing, a wood-fired Sauna, as well, so 4 or 5 people can sweat and purify together). I’m also building a bamboo fence on top of the wall (you’ll see, if that sounds strange)…and already put in 7 iron fence posts, mixing lots and lots of concrete in the wheelbarrow…today I will set the last fence post – Yahoo!! I truly loved building the wall (still have a smaller one in the works)…it makes my heart sing…I’m like “in my element”…maybe it’s from being from generations of earthy farmers. But I think it’s especially the divine nature of the rocks here in Eretz Yisrael. Susan Schneider, in “Eating as Tikun,” shares this:
The spark inside simpler organisms actually carries the most transcendent possibilities of awareness.
“While a greater measure of consciousness manifests through complex life forms, their soul’s intrinsic capacity for awareness is lower than primitive creatures. Conversely, the spark inside simpler organisms actually carries the most transcendent possibilities of awareness, though their vessels cannot express the full measure of these lights. ‘The (rock) is so overwhelmed by its awe of G-d, that it cannot move. This is why the mineral kingdom is still and silent.” (Beit Yaakov, Vayikra).
All those rocks nourish my soul, now, as I walk out my back door…along with the zillions of rocks in these beautiful hills of Judea, and all of beloved Eretz Yisrael. Thank You to G-d with all my heart!
So much to say about the war, the three boys, Nisan’s inspiration to us in the IDF now (thankfully not in Gaza), the beauty of the Jewish people, etc…but it’s already 7:30 am!
Need to go stretch, drink, pray and run on those glorious hills before the sun gets too high…gotta get that fence post in this morning! So much I want to share with you. Thanks for being who you are!…and now I not only get to look forward to seeing my family again in August…but you as well! What a gift!
Blessings and much love,
I emailed Rina Shoshana and asked her if I could share the letter she’d sent me with you.
This is what she wrote back.
I’d be happy for you to share the richness of life here for me and my family with others. I didn’t have time to share this with you earlier….but it just inspires me even more to get our website going. We’re going to call it, “Simply Shoresh…Sharing the Roots of Vitality in the Land of Israel!”
I realized the significance of what is on Shlomo and my bencher (aftermeal booklet of blessings) from our wedding…The letters were Shin Reish Shin (for Shlomo and Rina Shoshana.) Together they spell shoresh, root. We have so much to share. It’s just finding the time….Shlomo’s Torah insights, the riches of the lanscape, Reflections on our experiences, etc..etc.. I’m working on class material right now for what I want to start teaching here in our home. I imagine our home being a healing place. Eventually I’d like to get class materials into a format that Jews could purchase on our “Simply Shoresh” website…helping our fellow Jews live with more vitality eating more plant-based whole foods…instead of the heavy animal foods, processed foods, etc…that are leading people down the road of chronic degenerative diseases.
I carry a camera now with me wherever I go, as I want to share the beauty of this Land and this Life and the amazing people.
Shlomo and I have a unique perspective on things…a good bridge between this world of healing and whole foods and living foods, etc…and living a vibrant life according to the Torah to the best of our ability. And how not to make the food part into the religion that people are living by. We’ve experienced that with our practice of Macrobiotics over than 20 years ago. We’ve also had the experience of helping others heal from what Western medicine said was incurable. We’ve done our own healing. Less than a year ago, I was feeling like an 80 year old woman (had a lot of inner stress I wasn’t working through)…Now I’m running up and down my favorite hill below the spring that Shlomo dips in every day, which is steep and rocky…thanks to some juice fasting and other healing practice, Thank G-d!
I carry a camera now with me wherever I go, as I want to share the beauty of this Land and this Life and the amazing people. ( How I wished I had a camera in the industrial area of Talpiyot in Jerusalem a a year or two ago, when the double Egged bus came around with a huge picture of the Baal Ha Tanya taking up the entire side of the bus! – that was when I learned it’s best to keep a camera at all times!)
Interruption: Sirens went off and I just spent the recommended 10 minutes in our safe room. The Tehillim (book of Psalms) was in the other room, so I said Psalm 20 that I know by heart and prayed…I wasn’t scared of a missle, per say…it’s just that the sirens are terrorizing in themselves. I simply remembered Rabbi Lazer Brody’s post from Thurs, July 24th as I was hearing the sirens: “Join the Frequent Miracle Program…Get Bonus Miles and thank G-d for every missile…” Rabbi Brody lives in Ashdod, where 100’s of missiles have been aimed. Rabbi Brody is Rav Shalom Arush’s english translator, “Garden of Emuna”, etc… We were blessed to have Rabbi Brody for our Chanukat Habayit a year ago, giving a class and singing mystical songs with a local musician. It was very special to say the least. Read his post from today, Tues, the 29th: “Hamas Tunnels: G-d Sees what we don’t”. All I can say is: Thank You, G-d, for strengthening our Faith and for loving us so much!
Thank You, G-d, for strengthening our Faith and for loving us so much!
So much I want to share…which I think people are longing for us to share.
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