Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Jewish Traces in Unexpected Places: Passover in the Desert with Wilderness Torah


We're accustomed to celebrating Passover indoors, seated at a large table, reading the Haggadah and sharing a festive meal with family and friends. But after the Exodus from Egypt, our earliest ancestors experienced Passover in the desert.

Today a group of nature-minded Jews of all denominations experience Pesach in the California desert with Wilderness Torah.

Wilderness Torah creates a big tent filled with all kinds of people bound together by a connection to nature. They work hard to create spaces where people with a range of practices are welcome. They think building pluralistic community is a fun challenge and causes participants to think creatively about the meaning of our traditions and how we practice them.

They encourage participants from all backgrounds and especially ask each one to respect others’ observance levels. The kitchen and meals are kosher and mostly vegetarian, but there is no on-site supervision by a mashgiach.

As Merissa Nathan Gerson wrote in Tablet magazine,
Wilderness Torah has developed from a small gathering of campers to a full cycle of outdoor festivals tied to Jewish holidays—Sukkot, Passover, Shavuot, and Tu B’Shevat—as well as other back-to-nature wilderness quests for adults throughout the year. The group has also created a nature-mentorship b’nai mitzvah program called B’Naiture for 11-to-13 year-olds, and an outdoor-education program called B’Hootz that takes younger kids camping, hiking, and into the wilderness to learn Torah through outdoor experience with mentors.
Enjoy!

A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.

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