Many of One


One of Many

One seemingly insignificant decision but in the overall ‎scheme of things it was life changing…‎

The decision wasn’t even mine. When I was nine years old ‎my parents decided to send me to summer camp. Without a ‎shadow of a doubt, this single decision shaped my identity to ‎its core. The path I have chosen, my destiny, can be traced ‎directly back to the seeds which were planted at camp many ‎years ago.‎

One of many of the buds these summers germinated was ‎love: “ahavat haaretz” (love of the land), nature and ‎‎“chevere” (camaraderie). We would backpack for two, three ‎days at a time. Hiking, singing, crafting, sweating and at times ‎moaning and groaning, but we would always, always end our ‎days back at the “medura” (campfire) casting our spells, ‎spinning stories together into the wee hours of the morn. ‎

The spark for action was conceived there at the “medura” ‎and it continues to burn till this day: action to build a better ‎world from the inside out. Usually the action manifests ‎itself via work within ideological movements, although, at ‎times, the action is contained in the movement itself.‎

There is nothing quite like spending time in nature: hiking, ‎running, biking, exploring and even sweating is part and ‎parcel of the high.

Nothing fills me with more frustration ‎than sitting in a closed room and performing a repetitive ‎monotonous task. When given a choice, I will always choose ‎the outdoors. Time stands still every time I mount my two ‎wheeled chariot. It is amazing how each outing leads me to ‎discover yet another priceless jewel here in my own ‎‎“backyard”.‎

A solitary trek will deliver peace of mind and tranquility. ‎

Many of one too brings its own special magical qualities.

‎Fond memories of time spent with the “chevre” forever ‎blanket me in their warmth. All of the hikes, explorations, ‎‎“bikings” and journeys with all of my peeps intertwined ‎weave the fabric of this blanket. Together, every emotion is ‎enhanced, every physical effort becomes easier, more ‎gratifying. It is amazing, is it not, how we manage to demand ‎more from ourselves when we are together with the ‎‎“chevre”?‎

Desert memories in motion radiate brightly. After some nine ‎summers at camp I joined other “chanichim” (campers) from ‎all over North America to spend one very long summer, one ‎year to be exact, on a kibbutz in Israel. Not long ago I ‎rediscovered some slides taken on a trip to the Sinai before it ‎was returned to Egypt shortly thereafter. The beauty of these ‎photos is stunning: once in a lifetime treasures. Together we ‎climbed exuberantly the desert peaks all the while ranting ‎and raving, singing and shouting our praises for each pristine ‎genesis moment.‎

The annual Sodom Mountain race by the Dead Sea also ‎provided me with abundant memories. Every year we would ‎head down south with a car packed full of children and bikes ‎to join many others to bike around the pristine desert caves ‎and crevices. It was immensely gratifying to finish the race ‎with both bikes and babes intact. ‎


My guy works within the plastic industry. Sometime ago he ‎was fatally struck down with a severe case of the “bikebug”. ‎He and one of his partners, with a similar affliction, sought to ‎treat ailing workers within the industry. They schemed to ‎gather them together for a “bikefest” in the Beit Keshet ‎forest together with a barbeque in the woods. It was a ‎spectacular day: so spectacular indeed, that they chose to ‎make this an annual event.‎

The first “bikefest” or “Plast-O-Fun” had a turnout of some ‎forty or fifty people. Yesterday there was a total of ‎approximately 350 bikers! Within the sea of bicycles it was ‎easy to distinguish the workers from the various plants by ‎their unique custom jerseys: a deep ocean with islands of ‎color heavily scattered about.‎

The tradition continues and grows stronger from year to ‎year. Today the various plastic plants fight for the honor to ‎host the event. Inspiring it was to see the spectacular ‎organization in place: numbered routes by level; double ‎guides per group; coffee, pastry and T shirts at the start and a ‎feast fit for a king at the finish. ‎

With movement we find health.

As we perspire we inspire ‎happiness. Our body releases endorphins, “happy rains”. The ‎release of “Happ-phins” compounds when we move ‎together. Movement outside of the walls of our compounds ‎in nature adds shades of colors, joy and fun fun fun!

Not long ago I heard about a local plant’s initiative to ‎promote physical activity via subsidies. A healthier and ‎happier worker will surely reward his employer with added ‎value.

Last night yet another man, a man who I worked with for ‎many years, was taken from us well before his time. ‎Overworked, overstressed and overtaxed was he.‎

Do-overs? Not in this life…‎
Get it right the first time around.
Buddy Up!