Our daily struggle at Oro Shel Adam, yeshiva for Olim, is twofold. We start the day attempting to crack the difficult Aramaic text of the Gemara. Reading and comprehending Talmud is no simple task. Our Olim spend the second half of the day working toward building a career and stable life in Israel. The English speaking Olim in our program deserve much credit for tackling both of these challenges.
On a July summer morning, we presented our Olim with a different challenge. Would the members of Oro Shel Adam be able to hike from Adam all the way deep into the valley, east of the yishuv, and reach Nachat Prat? Perhaps the ultimate challenge would be the uphill climb back to Adam.
In unity and fraternity five members headed out to battle the blazing Israeli sun and traverse the rugged terrain of the Northern region of the Judean Hills. We first passed through the new neighborhood currently being built east of the main community in Adam. We witnessed the wonderful progress being made on the building project which will house hundreds if not thousands of families when it will be completed. After passing through Bnai Adam, a fifty family outpost, we reached the beginning of the hike.
There was not always a marked trail on the steep mountain heading down into the valley; however with modern technology, even in the wilderness, navigation is still accessible. We passed small caves, stone structures and other signs that this area was once inhabited. About two hours after setting out we reached our destination, a green oasis of running fresh water leading to natural pools. We were greeted by a Bedouin Sheppard and his herd of goats who had also hiked down into the valley. His flock was there to drink; we were there to cool off and enjoy a swim in beautiful natural water.
After swimming in Nachal Prat for an hour we headed up the steep incline back in the direction of Adam. It was a real challenge to make it up, out of the valley and back to human settlement. The arduous climb was interrupted by multiple breaks in order to catch our breath. We arrived home, back into air-conditioning five hours after setting out.
While we enjoyed a thrilling outdoor adventure of exploration and discovery, physical test and stamina on our tiyul, the group of yeshiva students was eager to return to the scholastic challenge of the Gemara!