Frum Outdoorsman: Rare but Possible

The wanderings and adventures of an orthodox Jew

Archive for the ‘Frummies’ Category

Coming soon…Outdoor guide for Jews in the Catskills

Posted by Frum Hiker on June 25, 2007

I am working on a guide for those orthodox Jews who venture to the Woodbourne-Monticello area and are drawn to the outdoors. Whether they are seasoned enthusiast or first timers I intend to bring you a good list of interesting stuff to do in close proximity to these locations. This is not a list of the normal summer attractions like Cooperstown, Howe Caverns and the wide array of mini-golf and go kart places. I want to show people that there are great places to take the family and immerse within nature and maybe have a grueling workout at the same time.

Check back within the next few days for the list….

Posted in Catskills, Frummies, general Outdoors, Jews | 5 Comments »

Why I think being in the woods is good for frum Jews

Posted by Frum Hiker on April 16, 2007

I remember in high school when many folks told me that I would quit riding my bike once I got a car and get into more mature activities. The exact opposite happened, the car gave me the freedom of exploration and my wanderings have not yet satiated my appetite for the wilderness.

Another interesting thing happened to me when I got my car and started wandering around America and Canada, people in the frum community questioned my frumkeit. How can you be frum, and always be off in these weird places? Don’t you want to be normal like the rest of frum people? Yoru going to have to settle down an d pick up some normal hobbies, you know?

It wasn’t until the last couple years that I realized that the answer to all these questions was more then no. It was my question back at them- don’t you realize that many great sages in history enjoyed the woods immensely including my favorite the Baal Shem Tov. Not only is the woods a great place for fitness, exploration and solitude- but it is also a great place to learn true Fear and Love of God- the two components in becoming a true servant of Hashem.

When one is in the woods they are away from the barrage of secular and material cultures, they are away from the massive amounts of pritzus that greets everyones eyes as they simply walk down the street, it is also the one place where the hand of man is gone. The woods provides a cathedral of pure God- no buildings, sidewalks and cars, no electronic devices- just you and God.

It is hard to actually believe that everything comes from God in the material world- but in the woods- it is not a hard concept to grasp at all. In fact it is almost given to you on a silver platter.

Posted in Frummies, general Outdoors, Torah Thoughts | 7 Comments »

Jeiwsh Geography played on the chairlift

Posted by Frum Hiker on February 28, 2007

I went to work yesterday thinking of another boring day spent at my computer for 9 ½ hours. At 11:00am all the work was finished. Being it was Tuesday I immediately went home threw my ski equipment in the car and headed down to Hunter Mountain for “real close day” all the surrounding counties receive $25 tickets. When I got there a heavy shroud of fog covered the hill, but the snow covered trees signaled that it had snowed recently. It was quite warm probably in the thirties meaning no layers, just pants, jacket and some fleece gloves.

The conditions were amazing, not only had they received snow the day before, but just before I arrived it was snowing all morning. A thin layer of powder covered everything and due to the weekday non-existent crowds, it had not been skid up into ice at all. I was also skiing real well considering the last two times I have skid, there was a lot of heavy powder.

Besides the conditions being amazing, the jumps were amazing too, thy were scattered about, under the lifts near the poles, by the snow guns and on the sides of cliffs. Natural quarter pipes filled my vision, and best of all I didn’t need goggles at all.

I happen to think making conversation on the lifts makes the trip up faster, so I tend to strike up conversations with whomever I ride up with. I was riding up with this father and his son, the father was trying to use his blackberry on the lift, I knew they had to be New Yorkers based on that alone. The man and his son were wearing these black mid length coats, they were the yeshivish style winter coats, and although they had top notch gear it was a dead give away and decided to go in for the kill- mid conversation. So you guys are frum Jews I asked? Wow, yes how can you tell, they looked at me stunned? Took a guess, but your style of dress and you wielding the blackberry, and they fact you said you skid on Sundays regularly were dead give a ways. Also happens to be I do a lot of judging- in my field of work as well as my writings. So I had to play some Jewish Geography, because it’s the way or the world. So the guys a contractor and turns out he knows my dad, small world eh.

Posted in Frummies, Skiing | 1 Comment »