In the footsteps of our fathers

On Thursday last week I was hanging out with family in the Gush – Gush Etzion – and had the honour of visiting the Lone Tree Brewery. I will be writing a review after the nine days – so stay tuned for that. After a brief sojourn and taste test at the brewery, David, my cousin, brewmaster extraordinaire, took us on a mini tiyul.

We drove a little while, and stopped the car. We got out near a mile marker – an old old stone mile marker that has been there for centuries. David told us that this road was called “Derech Avot” – the path of our fathers. He related that this was known to be the road that our forefathers walked on on their pilgrimages up to Jerusalem, to bring sacrifices at the first and second Temples. It’s also the road that Avraham walked on his way to sacrifice his son Yitzchak.

To stand there, to stand on that very same spot that these great ancestors of ours had stood – I cannot even begin to describe the rush of emotion. My soul cried out internally THIS is MY land. I felt possessive. I felt possessed.  I felt a connection to the land that I had previously never felt. If I closed my eyes, I knew I could see the procession up to Jerusalem for the three major festivals. If I concentrated harder, I could see Avraham walking off into the distance with his son Yitzchak, ready to be tested more than we can even imagine.

This land, this country of Israel, it’s not just earth and stone. It has something way more mystical. It has roots that have withstood time and destruction. This is my land!

I wish, I wish I could have that feeling every day and still be awed by it. Yet, here I sit in New York, where time will diminish these feelings, until I once more walk in the footsteps of our forefathers.

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4 responses to “In the footsteps of our fathers

  1. It was on a trip through exactly that area in early July 1967 that I made up my mind I was going to stay right here. Never looked back. (Of course being 18 and unencumbered made it easy.)

  2. Derech Avot is truly an emotional place for me – and I go there at least twice a day! – this is really place where Jewish history started;
    Geneis Chapter 22 verse 4 – right here!

  3. Try walking from the central bus station in Jerusalem to the Kotel for Birkat haKohanim on Pesach or Sukkot…. that for me always brings tears to my eyes and the spiritual recharge during the davening is amazing.

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