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  • Writer's pictureHesh Meister

Journeyings—a pseudobiblical autobiographical narrative

Chapter 1.

1. These are the journeyings of Hesh Meister, also known as Heshy R, who came into the world on the eve of the twelfth day of Elul in the year 5725 from Creation, alternately known as the eighth of the month of September in the civil year 1965, at New York City in the United States of America.

2. From New York City he was brought home by his parents to Long Beach, New York, at West Olive Street.

3. He journeyed with his family from Long Beach to Bradley Beach, New Jersey.

4. He journeyed from Bradley Beach back to Long Beach, East Hudson Street.

5. He journeyed from East Hudson Street to West Olive Street.

6. He journeyed from West Olive Street to West Beech Street.

7. On the twentieth of Tammuz, 5739, alternately known as the fifteenth of July, 1979, he journeyed with his family from Long Beach in the United States to Rehovot in Israel, encamping at Haraz Street at the edge of town near the campus of Yeshivat Hadarom.

8. He journeyed from Rehovot to Jerusalem, to the Ohr Yerushalayim campus at Hameiri Blvd.

9. He journeyed back and forth from Jerusalem to Rehovot, encamping at such places as Ohr Somayach, Yeshivat Hamivtar, and Aish Hatorah.

10. On the sixteenth of Iyar, 5745, alternately known as the seventh of May, 1985, he was inducted into the Israel Defense Forces; these are the wanderings of Heshy R as he served his time in the Israel Defense Forces.

11. For basic training he was encamped at Batar Chatam, which was at Shavei Shomron.

12. He journeyed from Batar Chatam and encamped at Noam, which is near Jericho.

13. He journeyed from Noam to Shivta, in the Negev, for advanced training.

14. He remained at Shivta for maneuvers, then journeyed to Noam again.

15. He journeyed from Noam to Egel, which is near Metulla on the Lebanon border.

16. He journeyed from Egel to Bajuria, on the Golan Heights.

17. While encamped at Bajuria his family journeyed from Rehovot to Neve Aliza, which is within Karnei Shomron. And he rejoined his family at Neve Aliza when not on duty in the Israel Defense Forces.

18. While on duty in the Israel Defense Forces he journeyed from Bajuria to Noam.

19. He journeyed from Noam to Yoav, on the Golan Heights in view of Mt. Hermon.

20. He journeyed from Yoav on the Golan Heights to Egel, across the way from the previous year’s encampment.

21. He journeyed from Egel to Luz, near Beit El, after a sojourn at Neve Yaakov, which is in the north of Jerusalem.

22. At the end of the month of Nisan, 5748, he journeyed from his parents’ camp at Neve Aliza to Katamon, which is in Jerusalem.

23. And he sojourned at Katamon until after the culmination of his army service.

24. On the sixteenth of Iyar, 5748, alternately known as the third of May, 1988, Heshy was honorably discharged from his service in the Israel Defense Forces.

25. On the the sixth of Tamuz, 5748, alternately known as the twenty-first of June, 1988, Heshy wed his first wife at Jerusalem.

26. And they journeyed from Jerusalem to Boston, Massachusetts, sojourning along the way in Denver, Colorado, which was his wife’s hometown; all of these are in the United States.

27. They settled in Allston, which is in Boston.

28. They journeyed from Allston to Brighton in Boston, which is Brookline but not really, between the B and C lines.

29. At Boston their marriage ended. His wife went back to her mother’s house in Denver and Heshy went down to the Jersey Shore, settling in Interlaken, that Interlaken that is near Asbury Park.

Chapter 2.

1. And these are the journeyings of Heshy after the overturning of his previous situation.

2. He journeyed from Interlaken to Atlantic Highlands.

3. He journeyed from Atlantic Highlands to Elberon, which is in Long Branch.

4. He journeyed from Elberon to East Falls, which is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

5. On the seventeenth of Kislev, 5757, alternately known as the twenty-eighth of November, the Day of Thanksgiving, 1996, Heshy wed his second wife at Asbury Park, New Jersey. They lived in Philadelphia and encamped there until the following spring.

6. They journeyed from Philadelphia to Ocean Grove, New Jersey.

7. They journeyed from Ocean Grove to Caldwell.

8. They journeyed from Caldwell to Interlaken.

9. They journeyed from Interlaken to Los Angeles, California. His wife and child journeyed by aircraft, while he journeyed overland.

10. He set out from Interlaken and traveled by way of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Shepherdsville, Kentucky; Heth, Arkansas; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Santa Rosa, New Mexico; and Williams, Arizona, before arriving at Los Angeles.

11. He rejoined his family in Los Angeles and they settled at South Bedford Street, which is in Pico-Robertson.

12. At Los Angeles their marriage ended. And Heshy remained in Los Angeles, journeying from South Bedford Street to Horner Street.

13. He journeyed from Los Angeles to the Hills of Beverly, at South Rexford Drive.

14. He journeyed from the Hills of Beverly to Interlaken, New Jersey, sojourning once again where had encamped after the demise of his first marriage.

15. He journeyed from Interlaken to Long Beach, New York, from where he began his journeying twenty-nine years prior, sojourning at National Blvd and West Olive Street.

16. He journeyed from National Blvd to West Broadway, where he encamped facing the Atlantic Ocean.

Chapter 3.

1. After one year of marking time, he set out from Long Beach to Los Angeles.

2. He journeyed from Long Beach and traveled by way of Bedford, Pennsylvania; Shepherdsville, Kentucky; Little Rock, Arkansas; Amarillo, Texas; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Phoenix, Arizona, before arriving at San Pedro, California, facing the island of Catalina in the Pacific Ocean.

3. He encamped once again in the Hills of Beverly, first on South Clark Drive, then on South Rexford Drive.

4. And he journeyed from the Hills of Beverly to the Woods of Beverly, across the great Boulevard of Pico in the city of Los Angeles; and he settled on South Beverly Drive, intending to stay until the day of Redemption.

5. But the Recession came well before the Redemption, and thus he was compelled to journey once again to the East Coast.

6. He journeyed from the Woods of Beverly in California to the land of Brooklyn, where he encamped on the fringes of the province of Flatbush, populated by the multitudes of his tribe.

7. He journeyed from Flatbush to the crest of the hills in the land of Queens, where he sojourned for two weeks until returning once again to Long Beach, encamping along various points on Walnut Streets east and west.

8. And it came to pass during that time that the Lord sent violent winds and high tidal surges in cyclonic form, a storm which was given the name ‘Sandy’ by the sons and daughters of man living on the coast.

9. ‘Sandy’ devastated the entire coastal region of the northeast, significantly and severely affecting Long Beach and its environs, rendering many residents homeless.

10. Heshy did not lose his home but in the aftermath of the storm many of his personal and business relationships were overthrown.

11. It came to pass during that time that he met Cheryl, the woman who was to become his third wife.

12. They married in the wilderness known as Teaneck, New Jersey, somewhere over the great river Hudson to the west of the great city New York, on the fourteenth of Av, 5774, also counted as the tenth of August, 2014, and they encamped in an adjacent oasis called the Woods of Engle.

13. Not wishing to be more than sojourners in the Woods of Engle, they gave serious contemplation to their next move, including the end of their and their people’s wanderings in exile.

14. May it come soon.

This is for everybody who has ever asked me where I'm from, in the style of the Book of Numbers/Bamidbar, chapter 33—Parshat Mas'ei, the Torah's record of the Israelites' wanderings in the desert, which will be read this Shabbat. Looks like I'm continuing a long tradition here ... and I think I may have actually exceeded my ancestors' record.

#writing #Torah #autobiography #Judaism #exile #SoulInExile #Israelites #wandering #wanderingJews

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