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Something from Nothing

Binyamin Rose /Jonesport, Maine

Farm living was the last thing Avraham Pearlman was seeking 45 years ago when he bought a 20-acre tract in a remote section of Maine. Yet by the sweat of his brow, he built a barren piece of land into a thriving organic farm, and along the way, discovered something of greater value — a clear and singular path to avodas Hashem.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Avraham Pearlman’s world is replete with nature’s colors, each symbolizing the challenges of the four seasons he faces with a mountain of determination. Summer brings the black flies that feast off of his blood. When autumn arrives, he is fortunate to harvest his potatoes — provided the orange-and-brown-striped potato beetles haven’t devoured them. Thick blankets of white snow cover his fertile land during Maine’s lengthy, frigid winters, when howling blizzards render impassable the one road connecting his isolated farm to town. But then comes the promise of another spring. Predominantly blue skies, chlorophyll that returns the green color to his vegetables, and the reds, yellows, and greens of apples blossoming anew. While every new season generates a fresh spectrum of challenges, there is one constant in Avraham Pearlman’s palette. “I always come back to the same question. How did this all happen? And the answer is: How can you not see Hashem in all this?” So as Avraham gives me a guided tour of Crossroad Farm in Jonesport, Maine, he shares his secret of success: prayer. “This is what I’m going to do today. I need to do this. Please, Hashem, give it hatzlachah.” Avraham has seen more of his heartfelt prayers answered than not in this outermost section of Maine’s northeast coast, the place where he has achieved both spiritual fulfillment and economic self-sufficiency. But his long journey, which all began with a “Sunday drive” in 1969 — the same year man first landed on the moon — hasn’t been painless, not even for a minute.

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