Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

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.

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

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.

Using Our Free Will Effectively
Yonoson Rosenblum The image we carry of ourselves is key
Eytan Kobre The ripple effects of one Jew’s kiddush Sheim Shamayim
Living the High Life
Rabbi Avrohom Neuberger It is exhilarating to matter, to be truly alive
It’s Time for Us to Speak Up
Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie We must speak out proudly for the values of Yiddishkeit
Kiruv Is Not Dead
Rabbi Meir Goldberg Do these sound like uninspired or closed students?
Frosting on the Cake
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman “Let’s not let a missing chocolate cake ruin our siyum!”
A Warm Corner in Flatbush
Yosef Zoimen It was a simple shul with a choshuve leader
Out of Control
Jacob L. Freedman “That’s illegal, Dr. Fine. I can’t have a part in this”
Song of Reckoning in the Skulener Court
Riki Goldstein “It’s awe-inspiring to watch the Rebbe sing this song”
“U’teshuvah, U’tefillah, U’tzedakah”
Riki Goldstein Throughout the Yamim Noraim, three words accompany us
The Rebbe Held His Gaze
Riki Goldstein A moment etched in Reb Dovid Werdyger’s memory forever
The Road Taken
Faigy Peritzman In the end it’s clear who really merits true happiness
Sincere Apology
Sarah Chana Radcliffe A heartfelt and complete apology can turn things around
Power Pack of Mercy
Mrs. Shani Mendlowitz The 13 Attributes of Mercy are “an infinite treasure”
The Appraiser: Part II
D. Himy M.S. CCC-SLP, and Zivia Reischer “Eli needs to see people who struggled to achieve”