Wednesday, September 24 – Today was a day of wilderness. After crossing into Israel last night, we found ourselves in the wilderness of southern Israel. As our rabbi, George, lead us through the wilderness, we were given a picture of a shepherd leading his flock. We saw the contrast between the harsh rod and staff of Pharaoh who used them on his people rather than using them to protect his people as we hear in the psalms, “The rod and the staff they comfort me.”

We continued to follow our rabbi through the wilderness we began to climb giving us a physical example of Aliyah, going up to meet God. Part of our community with God comes in the journey, in the process, not in the finished product. As we climbed, the group began to coalesce. We learned what it means to become echad, unity in plurality. We were not the same group at the end of the day as we were when we began.

By God’s grace we made it through our day in the wilderness and safely arrived to our hotel in time to usher in the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. Bless God!

-Jake DeBoer