Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Bridging the Gaps

Cindy Scarr

A fallen tree across a stream. A plank of wood. Two strands of rope. These simple things are all bridges. A bridge is any structure — natural or man-made — that allows us to cross over obstacles such as valleys, rough terrain, or bodies of water. The first bridges were built with wood, ropes, and stones. Then iron, and then steel. And though bridges are often just a way to get from point A to point B, some of the world’s bridges are engineering marvels, attracting millions of tourists each year.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

wheelbarrowGetting to the Root of the Matter

In northeasternIndia, there’s a place that’s one of the wettest places on earth. They don’t build bridges here; they grow them!

Next to the rivers grow a kind of Indian rubber tree with incredibly strong roots that grow out of the trunk. Long ago, the War-Khasis tribe discovered how to use these roots to make bridges, by “guiding” the roots to grow straight across the rivers. When the roots reach the other side of the river, they’re allowed to take root in the soil.

Some root bridges, which take 10 to 15 years to grow, are over 100 feet (30 m) long. Some can support the weight of 50 people, and because they’re still growing, they just keep getting stronger. Some root bridges around Cherrapunji, still used daily by the villagers there, might be more than 500 years old.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
I Also Read Perfidy
Rabbi Moshe Grylak I read it twice, and both times it kindled my rage
“Reeducate” UK’s Jewish Kids?
Yonoson Rosenblum Orthodox Jews in England face anti-religious agenda
Hold the Phone
Eytan Kobre Phew! Only one quote was something I simply hadn’t said
The Way I See It
Nathan Diament “Engagement with the policy makers is indispensable”
Pot of Gold
Yisroel Besser The Rebbetzin is gone, but the message is alive and well
More Top 5 Shiur Title Techniques
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Aside from the classics, here are five more
Bill of Rights
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman “Whether Avrumi or Allan, whether peyos or blue jeans”
Don’t Thank Me
Jacob L. Freedman “Are you a psychiatrist or a witch doctor?!”
5 Things You Didn’t Know about Shlomo Simcha
Riki Goldstein 600 meals a day for poor people
You Can Always Rely on the Rebbe
Riki Goldstein “The chassan just wouldn’t take no for an answer”
Who Helped Advance These Popular Entertainers?
Riki Goldstein Unsung deeds boosted performers into the limelight
Profession of Perfection
Faigy Peritzman He’s not just an educator; he’s a role model
Summer Clock
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Consistency is key to drama-free bedtime
How Do I Find My Son’s Bashert?
Sara Eisemann “What about this girl made you think of my son?”