By Rivka Perlman

December 31, 2012

I Go To the Holy Land



It’s 3:30 am. I’m sitting on the floor of a student center in the Old City of Jerusalem. Only a short while ago the place was buzzing with sounds of life and now all is still. At last I’m writing. But where do I start?

In my head I’ve written copious pages, descriptions and produced videos. But they never made it to you because here, in the Holy Land, the computer has lost its luster. I’m so busy learning and speaking and praying and singing; I’m so full of relationships and growth that the day flies by and the computer doesn’t call me.

How interesting hu?¬†Back home I’m always working on¬† avoiding ¬†computer addiction.

I’m here with the Akiva Trip. The Akiva Trip is a a national trip for young Jews designed by my brother, Benzion Klatzko.

He wanted a spiritual trip that would be transformative and eye opening. And so, each part of this adventure is designed to open the heart to Torah and to nourish the brain with wisdom.

I’m sad now that I¬† didn’t write more. That I didn’t take the time to describe to you Friday night in Tzfat, dancing in front of the Kosel, hearing young Jews say “we never felt this way before; now I understand what its about.”

The conversations, the camaraderie, the  level of friendship that has been born in just a few short days is almost supernatural.

I am always telling my WOW people “go to Israel.” I know that whatever I give them – it’s just¬† to keep their hearts open to growing until they can come to Israel and really fill up.

I can teach till I’m blue in the face. I can market on facebook, make parties and host speakers. But all that – all that work and time and money and ambition could not produce the results that these past 4 days have.

The magic ingredient is holiness. We breathe it in here as we talk. With every word we inhale clarity. We soak it in on the trails as we hike the very places written in the Torah’s stories.

We swim in holiness as we pass by fellow Jews of all stripes, strolling in the Old City, eating shwarma, and shmoozing, genuinely enjoying themselves.

¬†I’ve seen lines of depression simmer to a whisper as¬†we begin¬†to awaken from the sleeping pills that Western culture has been feeding us.

I wish I had arms long enough and pockets deep enough to gather all young Jews in a great big embrace, scoop them up and deposit them at the feet of my holy  brother, Benzion Klatzko in the Holiest City in the world.

I would tell them, “Brothers, Sisters”, come learn about your yourselves, about this great gift you’ve been given.

And in my dreams, they would flock.

And I would bring them here Рright to Jerusalem, to a midnight feast of the senses. The light of the moon upon the ancient stones and the sound of tears and song mingling in the night.

And soon they’d be so overcome with joy that they’d be sitting on the floor in the middle of the night feeling compelled to write to capture even a glimmer of the¬†shine that’s on their face.


[These are just some pictures¬†– I’ll be uploading more soon]

If you want to hear a talk by Benzion – here’s one on “The Ten Commandments of Marraige.”












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