It’s almost 3AM in Riverdale, NY and 10AM, Friday morning, Erev Shabbat in Yerushalayim. It’s the Shabbat before the last of the year. I remember last year’s like it was….NOW!

I left the Rocky Mountain National Forest from Rainbow last year, into a war. I had to get home. Not a great space to be in and certainly not great to come home to. So not in the best frame of mind/heart, I was wondering what the New Year would bring. Indeed, all I thought about was the Chagim – Holy Days; that beyond magical three and half week period of awesome holiness and light and oneness and love and joy, in Israel and particularly, Yerushalayim.

I went to the big store in Efrat that Friday last year tomorrow, to do my Shabbat shopping. As usual I hitched the 12 minute ride home to Tekoa. For some amazingly hidden reason, sitting in the shot-gun seat, I didn’t toll up the window. WOW!!! I just now GOT IT! (back to that soon). Half way through the ride, passing through a Palestinian village, also called Tekoa, (because that area was the stomping grounds of the Jewish Prophet Amos, some 2000plus years ago), I was violently struck by a big stone, hurled by a ‘cousin.’ The blood gush and even more IT HURT LIKE HELL! The shock of it alone!

The short of it was that the rock hit exactly on the one place safest, the bleeding stopped in due time, the pain and ringin dissapayed over the next three days and no concussion. Also no more than 4-5 hours sleep for the next nine months, three weeks of no food or sleep, afterwards.

I made the choice not to hate and not to be angry. I DID examine and re-examine and again and again, my feelings towards my cousins, towards my brothers and sisters, the Land. I understood more. My conviction to remain in my home? Solid. I also decided to take personal responsibility for what happened.

I accepted the stoning as a kapara – an atonement for past transgressions. Indeed, I realized the only thing to do was to thank HaShem for initiating a pre-Day of Judgement soul shampoo and to be joyous it wasn’t what it might have been. The WOW! from above? If the window would have been closed, I would have still gotten the rock and THOUSANDS OF SHARDS OF GLASS IN MY FACE!!!!! The car was not local. The windows were not reinforced. So…

So now I am some 85 hours from getting on a plane after what will be the conclusion of an 11 week journey. And I am living still, within a bubble of blessing, of magic, of love, honor and respect.

It is my deepest prayer that everyone comes to know what I know now. And for poetry’s sake, the portion of the week from the Torah, is Kee Tavoh – When You Come To The Land.

May we all know a deep, grateful Shabbat. Peace, y’all