It is with a sense of yearning that I remember waking up in that quaint little cottage, in Sdei Chermon, set at the tip of the mountain. Davening with the panorama of the North spread before me. A delicious breakfast of Tenuva’s finest and Rabbi Miller’s morning shiur. His deep voice thundering the question, “Why is Hakadosh Baruch Hu called Makom?” And another question, and another source, all coming together to this conclusion: “Without Makom, there is no existence…when we call Hashem Makom, we are saying “I do not have feet to stand on my own. You are my Makom.” It captures our minds and penetrates our souls and rides with us throughout our day.
I remember Motzoei Shabbos, this delicious pool on a nearby moshav. And sitting afterwards in a circle and singing “Al tira avdi Yaakov.” I remember the shores of the Kinneret, and these colorful fish swimming at the bottom that you could see straight through the clear waters.
I remember climbing up this very tall and very narrow bird tower, hundreds of steps, and then sitting there on the top, with all the world laid out before us, and listening to Rebbetzin Fink ask: “What comes first, thought or emotion? How do you know?” And the answer: “מח שולט על הלב”.
I remember this sweltering hike, culminating in a waterfall, which we stood under and let the cold waters flow over us and renew us. I remember biking at Rosh Hanikra and sitting by the rocks at the Mediterranean and listening to the Rambam’s Shemone Perokim.
Oh, how sweet were those days. Is there a group like a Lechu V’Nelcha group? Girls of such refinement, such intelligence, such consideration for each other? And Rebbetzin Fink at the helm of it all, our beloved teacher, laughing with us and joining in the fun and yet always gently guiding, setting an example, unobtrusively teaching wrong from right.
If there’s one word that comes to mind, it is connection. Connection with each other and connection to our Father above. All my friends, all the girls from that trip, even if I would not recall their name, if I would meet them today, I would feel a kinship. A kinship of the soul that says: “We were at a Lechu V’Nelcha retreat together.”
Writing this now, I feel like I’d just like to grab my little black Lechu V’Nelcha backpack (which I still have!), and run up to the hills of the Galil, and sit on the green grass, and be a part of Lechu V’Nelcha again!