Tree, My Teacher

Six weeks ago we made Aliyah.

There are ups and downs, mundane and transcendent moments sometimes all mixed up together.

Here, in Eretz Yisrael, I can see and feel the glory of G-d with more depth, but I’m still human.

There are times when G-d feels hidden, and, during those difficult moments, I am learning to seek and find that spirit within me and beyond. To ask for help when I need it.

This morning my husband and I went on a hike in the woods behind our house, during which I took a short call from a client wanting web design. Cows roamed free in front of me as I learned about his design goals, and then I was honest about where I was — in the forest of northern Israel, and not in front of my computer.

A bit later during our impromptu hike, we discovered this awesome tree and a stunning view of Mount Carmel.

In the tree trunk there’s a hole. And the trunk and roots, over time, have pushed through the surrounding rocks.

It’s a reminder to me that light can penetrate any darkness, and that slowly, slowly, with patience and persistence, I can accomplish really hard things.

I’m retraining my mind, one day, one experience at a time.


Mindy Rubenstein has worked as a professional journalist and writer for more than two decades. Her essays and articles have appeared in publications around the world. She also serves as founding editor of NisheiORA, a literary and arts magazine for Jewish women. Mindy is a mom of four living in the hills of northern Israel. Read more here.

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