With Optional Extension to Turkey – March 20-28, 2022
In their song, Crosby, Stills and Nash offer important words for all children in the human family:
You, who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself…
Teach your children well.
For our March 2022 Tree of Life journey, we will have a special focus on education. What is the “code” being taught to the children of Israel and Palestine? As our own country struggles with the ongoing issues of systemic racism, the lack of civility in the public square, disregard for the truth, scorn of modern medicine during the pandemic, all culminating in the horrendous violence seen at our nation’s capital on January 6th, how do parents, faith communities and schools raise up a new generation of children, free of violence, ignorance, and fear? Most faith communities – sadly not all – put a high priority on instilling a moral compass in their children – a “code to live by” – so they can become the children of God they were created to be.
Native Americans wisely speak of “7 directions”. Teaching children about the points of the compass – North, South, East and West – is an important part of their geographical education. Likewise, teaching them about geology, the earth beneath their feet is important for their intellectual development. So also, with the 6th direction. We want children to look up at the stars and wonder about the immensity of the universe. But how do we teach children to honor the “seventh direction?” As we travel together, we will meet extraordinary voices of conscience – Palestinian and Israeli, Jewish, Muslim and Christian – who despite peer pressure, oppression and the cruelty and decadence of occupation/colonization exemplify what it means to honor that 7th direction. Their dignity and courage are what we yearn for all children in the human family.
Here in our country as we struggle with how to create curricula that teaches what it means to
be engaged in “antiracism”, in this journey we will have the opportunity to meet extraordinary two-legged curricula, those who could teach us all how to become more nearly ourselves and how to create “a more perfect union.” At the Presidential inauguration, we heard from a young 22-year-old poet, Amanda Gorman who personifies the spirit and the wisdom we would hope for all children.
Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed
A nation that isn’t broken
But simply unfinished…
We will not be turned around
Or interrupted by intimidation…
With every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,
We will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one.
from “The Hill We Climb” by Amanda Gorman
May that be the clarion call of this Tree of Life Journey! On this journey, we will visit Jerusalem on
2 Fridays to allow for prayers at Al Aqsa. We will also visit Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus, and the ancient port city of Akko. We will plant olive trees at Tent of Nations and visit our Bedouin friends in the Negev. We would love to have you travel with us!
Please let us know if you are interested in more information. www.tolef.org
David W. Good
Founder, Tree of Life Educational Fund
President, Tree of Life Educational Fund
Photographs thanks to Susan Aboeid, traveler on the Tree of Life 2017 Journey.