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Slingshot to Heaven

As told to Leah Gebber by Nedaviah Ben Tzion

She was a Christian girl from upstate New York. A US Army intelligence analyst stationed in Afghanistan. She was a seeker, thirsty for connection, for truth. She found it in a slow, arduous, exhilarating journey that catapulted her to Hashem and His Torah.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

“Go get your slingshots, boys,” called my husband,Gabriel, to our sons, as he tucked his shotgun under his arm. It was deer season, and a couple of good does would take us through the lean winter months. He headed out to the woods, our boys trotting after him. Branches cracking underfoot, they followed him through the rich Georgian woodland, breathing in the fresh, green scent of the forest. BeforeGabe taught them how to follow a deer’s trail, he took a slingshot in hand, fit a small pebble inside, and pulled. “See, boys, the further back you pull, the higher the stone flies.” Years later, we learned that Rebbe Nachman of Breslov uses a slingshot as a parable for spiritual growth: the Jewish soul is pulled downward, the string taut, tension at its height. And then, in a second’s release, the stone — or the soul — flies upward. It’s propelled forward, to places it could never have reached were it not brought so low. When I heard that, I began to understand the strange highs and lows of our lives as we journeyed to Jewishness.

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