July 30, 2008

Reminiscing on old times

Filed under: My childhood, What went wrong, What went right? — Reb Moshe @ 6:19 am

Last night I was reminiscing on old times. I went on youtube and searched for my old town Walkersville, Maryland, where I grew up. I was trying to find videos of some of the old streams I would immerse in for the mikvah, ritural purity bath. The places I would go to do hisbodidus, to pray to Hashem and meditate. Places like, Cunningham Falls, Catoctin Mountains, Appalachian Mountains, and Thurmont, Maryland (headquarters of the KKK) where places I visited daily with a sefer or towel.

I found some random videos of bridges and streams I would jump under and the cars on the video reminded me how I used to duck when I saw them coming. It was quite a laugh to see these places again. I am a bit disappointed I didn’t find more. Then I remembered that I grew up in redneck-ville as my wife calls it. So I purposely misspelled a few of the places and sure enough a few more videos came up. The old town watershed which was my main mikvah and then I found some of my favorite parks. I have so many memories in these parts and traveling through most of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. In some of these states I visited 95% of the state parks and forests doing photography in my younger years. Then in the end of my traveling days, as I matured, I decided too no longer run away from the beauty near my home but to appreciate where I lived. This is when things starting fitting into place more and more. If there is interest, maybe I can compose a video of some of the old parks that I visited, used as a mikvah and learned at. Understanding ones past can sometimes be key towards understanding the self today. The more we run from it, the more it truly haunts us. It might be far wiser to embrace were we have come from and how we arrived to the place we are today.


  1. Very nice post. It put me in the frame of mind to gather remembrances around me and think about them. We go through so much change and often run from our past and you made me realize that it is important to stop and let those memories catch up.
    Thank you.

    Comment by Akiva — July 31, 2008 @ 12:24 am

  2. It says that when Moshiach comes, we will reminisce on those old times. Our future generations will ask us, what was it like? You know, to live back then? Books will be written. Diaries cataloged. Cached pages of websites saved for posterity.

    Approaching the era of Moshiach makes me think about my time spent in exile. What can I still correct? What more Mitzvos can I still do?

    I’m comforted by the fact that the present lull, or desire to reflect, is only a temporary rest of sorts. Because very soon, we’ll be very busy.

    “Then all the inhabitants of the world will recognize and know that every knee should be to You, every tongue should swear [by Your name].”

    When that happens, I know a few websites they will go going to first.

    It’s amazing. 2,000 years of harsh exile. And for some reason, Hashem chose us to be the ones to witness the redemption?!

    Comment by Yonason Shlomo — July 31, 2008 @ 3:48 am

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