Travel Journal through Israel thus far – Sept. ‘17 – Jan. ‘18

Sept. 3rd, 2017 – 8:00 PM – Madrid, Spain – Airport

Starting a new journal today as I also started a new journey. I have had a very long layover in Madrid and did not sleep well on the flight here so I’ve been quite jet-lagged. In a few hours from now I’m heading to Israel for a long mission. I will be studying my master’s degree at the University of Tel Aviv for Middle Eastern Studies. Excitement is an understatement. If possible I will make the effort to eventually write a thesis. Furthermore I am giving up my five main addictions: alcohol, tobacco, weed, sexual activity, and meat. I have said for sometime that if I went back to school I would do it right, full bore and no messing around and I believe this is that time.

I’ll arrive at 5 am and if all goes as planned I will take the train to the station near Adam’s house and drop off my main school backpack. Afterwards I’ll take my smaller backpack and leather satchel on the bus to sit a vipassana at Deganya Bet. I’ll serve two more weeks after it is finished and then head to the goat farm near Nazareth called “Goats With the Wind.” After two weeks here I’ll head back to Adam’s, get my student visa and school starts October 17th. I’ll be sharing a dorm with three random international graduate students. Lots of excitement to come.
I feel like a young Mike Tyson entering his prime going to academia. It’s a crazy rush and I don’t know what’s going to happen. 🙂

Sept. 4th – 8:30 am – On bus from Netanya to Tiberius
So more or less everything has perfectly worked out. I got to see Adam and drop off my bag. Unfortunately he took me to the wrong station, but an hour later and I found my way.

Once I get to Tiberius, I have to wait for a shared taxi to vipassana at Deganya. I booked travel insurance late night to secure my time at the center. When I arrive at Tiberius, I need to print it out and get detergent and an adaptor.

Before I left Arkansas, I successfully raised $5,000 for local charities through a local gallery called the Golden Turtle Art Gallery. Was a smashing success!

Tel Aviv sunset.

Made it to Tiberius! Went to market and bought some amazing hummus, ok olives, and bread. Got a little ripped off on the bread and a bottle of water… Getting ripped off is ok at the beginning, because usually I don’t know the price of things.

After food I went to my favorite swimming spot in Tiberius and it was amazing. The water level was at least 10 to 15 feet less than last time I was there.

My question today, specifically after reading more of Julius Evola (who is absolutely incredible), is are Israeli women more beautiful because they were born more spiritually evolved or is it genetics?

Sept. 14th – 5:30 PM – Deganya Bet, Dhamma Pamoda
It is Metta day at at Dhamma Pamoda. Last time I was here I was doing construction on the center so I have come full circle in a way. I was supposed to serve the next course but I have decided to move on in my travels. I will go through Tiberius, Tzfat, Nazareth, and then the goat farm. Everything has been perfect.

Must practice more with non-verbalization and not looking for anything – no expectations.

Sept. 15th – 11:30 AM – Tiberius – Yali’s Restaurant
I really feel like this morning’s meditation taught me exactly what I’ve been doing wrong in meditation, the last morning of all time! I have to remove verbalization completely. Goenka has told me so many times and yet since my first course I verbalized. I always have. AND I was telling everyone how I was sort of retiring from vipassana! I met a lot of wonderful people though and basically have connections all over Israel now. 🙂 Just wonderful people.

I made it to Tiberius and plan on staying for two nights at the hostel here, then three nights in Tzfat, and then 2-3 nights in Nazareth before heading to the farm. Very interesting that all of the major Jewish holidays are coming up over the next few weeks. I’ll be in Nazareth for Rosh Hoshanah and then the farm for Yom Kippur.

I joined the Facebook group for other people in my MAMES course and they all look freaking amazing. Like seriously. Could not be more stoked about it. When I explained it to everyone at the center, they all though it was pretty cool.

I’m heading to the Jordan River to a jam session with two people from Germany that I met. A nice guy and girl. Think it will be epic. Think I will meditate before.

Sept. 23rd, ‘17 – Abu-Ashraf – Nazareth
Well I’ve let go pretty hard over the last week. Lots of drinking and smoking. So I didn’t last too long. I am staying one more night in the Fauzi Azar to watch the Hog game than I’m moving to the goat farm in Yodfat. I think that is exactly what I need. A place for creation, discipline, and working with animals.

I traveled with a German girl of Afghani descent for three days. All was fun, but our convos sometimes got too deep and our perspectives were quite different. She left yesterday to go to the Jordan River with another group.

Sept. 26th, ‘17 – 7:00 PM – Yodfat, Goats with the Wind
I made it to the goat farm on Sunday. Been working HARD past two days. Like no joke hard. Lots of heavy lifting. Lots of irrigation in the hot, hot sun. Some very nice people here though. Amnon and Dahlia are doing very well. The farm looks great. I’ll take over milking the French goats tomorrow. I’m hoping I don’t mess it up.

There is one lady named Stephanie from Germany here. One girl from Brazil named Natasha. A young guy from Israel named Ron. An older man from New Zealand came last night named Grant. And a new American girl named Donna.
Hopefully my body can get more in the flow since I have been very drained from the heat and work. Other than that very happy.

Ron, Natasha, and I working in the pens.

Sept. 27th, ‘17 – 7:00 PM – Goats with the Wind
Today was much better. Starting to get in the flow. It is always much better when we work with someone else I feel. Ron and I worked on cleaning the wedding area more today. It’s getting there. Maybe one more or half a day and it will be clean.
Either tomorrow or the next day we may go to the local pub in Yodfat. Should be fun.

Sept. 28th, ‘17 – 6:30 PM
Once again a great day. Heading to the pub here in a bit. Yom Kippur is tomorrow.

Sept. 29th – 6:00 PM
Today is Yom Kippur. The Day of Atonement. Usually people don’t do anything all day and they fast, but we still have to work tomorrow.

Last night was epic though. Ron and I went to the Yodfat pub and had such a fun time. You can’t buy beers, but they are charged to the members of the community. Only people from the mokshav can go,but since we are volunteers we were very welcome. We danced the night away with lots of beautiful people. Tonight is an epic dinner.

The food here

Sept. 30th, ‘17 – 10:00 AM
Shabbat shalom. Finished our work for the morning. Probably will help milk goats later and feed the goats/animals tonight. New week starts tomorrow. Main events will be the week long holiday of sukkot and also a big wedding on Thursday. Two of Amnon and Dahlia’s daughters came last night and are spending the day here. Leia and Hedel. Both very nice. Hedel has two children and Leia works in film in Tel Aviv.

I’m fasting on only liquids until dinner tonight for Yom Kippur. I am also trying to finish a a book.

Oct. 1st, ‘17 – 7:00 PM
Good day today. Stephanie left, but we received four new volunteers. Angela from Germany. Judith from Germany with Yeron from Israel. And Nana from Israel. I may get to start going to the dairy shop soon but I’m not for sure. Enshallah.

Oct. 2nd, ‘17 – 8:00 PM
Hardest day so far was today. Worked from 6:20 in the morning until 6:30 pretty much non-stop. I got put onto a new fun construction project building a wall with an arch for the wedding. Dug holes for the new sukkot going in and lastly was almost killed putting up a tent for the wedding which we finally got put up. All around tough but a little shoesh helped the pain.

Designs for archway.

Oct. 4th, ‘17 – 7:00 PM
Had a good day today after another tough one yesterday. A big group of us went to the pub last night for burgers, which were amazing. Tonight is first night of Sukkot, which goes for seven days. Tomorrow is the wedding so it should be pretty crazy.

I messaged Adam yesterday that I will be heading to his place on the night of the 14th for two days. I need to get my student visa on the 15th and then I check in to my dorm on the 16th. We talked a lot last night about transferring the work ethic and physical energy into school work ethic and mental energy for my master’s program. There is something special about transferring to a far distance for school. Excited beyond words.

Near finished Arch.

Oct. 8th, ‘17 – 8:00 PM
Past two days were really rough. I was working in the kitchen cooking, washing dishes and being a waiter. Only Ron and I were left so we had a lot of work. But today was chill.

Around 4 PM, Amnon and I took a sheep to the nearby city Calcum. I thought we were taking it to get a hair cut, but actually we took it to the butcher. Miscommunication. The butcher was fat and fast with the knife. The neck was cut and the blood ran into a drain. The sheep was in my arms the whole car ride and his head was on my chest. When we pulled into the butchers shop I realized what was about to happen. I held the sheep, patted him and told him he was being promoted to a better life. His time was done. Tonight we ate his liver.

A new group of volunteers we affectionately and secretly call “fresh fish” arrived. The next week should be easy. And it rained tonight for the first time. Hopefully our roof didn’t leak too much. We will replace it this week.

Oct. 10th, ‘17 – 9:00 PM
I might be going to the desert on the 12th.

What good is freedom of speech if no one has anything to say?
I’m not going to be here forever.

Gateway before we started working on it.
Gateway after. Such a happy fence!

Oct. 19th – 1:30 PM – Tel Aviv – University Sportscenter
So I have made it to Tel Aviv and successfully checked in. All is very well. I’m chilling at the pool at the moment and loving it. They have a wonderful jacuzzi and sauna, a huge gym, and tons of classes. I’m going to get a pass for the year soon. $600. This afternoon if it is ok I’m got to do feldenkrais and kickboxing.

Everyone in Middle Eastern Studies class is mad chill. I start classes on Sunday. The teachers seem awesome. Lots of good energy.

I met and a wonderful woman at Kuli Yama the other night. Deep dancing connection.
Excited about school. Still need my student visa. Hopefully I can get it soon.



January 10th, 2018 – noon

On this day, at this moment, I have found the reason why I have been sent to Israel to study. As an historian, as historians, I, and we, have a duty to penetrate and to discover hidden truths waiting to see the light of day. We do this not only to bring a greater peace to the world, which can only occur when a closer certainty of events has been established, but to glorify specific people or leaders who made tough decisions for their own people, and in a round about way, all people. For history is ultimately built by God, through man. It does us no good to only repeat what the commonly thought history is, but to shatter these preconceptions and to build anew hopefully closer to the truth of what actually occurred.

Perhaps I am here because only a outsider, with only the intention of discovering truth, could find the deeper secrets. Furthermore, I am fully aware of the dangers that are present in this quest for truth. I can’t help that from a unconscious perspective, my mind sees and puts together these truths. From a conscious perspective, I can only choose to proceed or not. I consciously choose to do so because I believe that is what God wants me to do.

My view in Jerusalem during Christmas.

The thesis I will be working on (perhaps) is to connect the early events of Israeli history in a more synthesizing way, explaining that specifically the events of 1967, 1973, and 1978 were not unconnected but completely thought-out and pre-planned by someone or a group of individuals. Essentially, Israeli’s leadership knew that a war was eventually going to come, so instead of waiting they planned and pushed for it. That is why the two “wars” were so quick and limited in their destruction. Multiple people could have not even have been aware of what they ultimately were doing. Uncovering truth can shine a glorifying light on the leaders and heritage of Israeli’s past, which can in essence be shared by all Israelis.

I know this is what I’m supposed to do, I know the inherent dangers, but I also know what these people would have known, perhaps even have hoped for, that someone who would have been able to come along to tell their full story. I do it for them. Give me strength and guidance Lord. May your will be done.

4:00 PM Notes of Frederick Douglas Conference with John Stauffer

“He was attempting to ‘out-citizen’ citizens in a land attempting to stop blacks from being citizens.”

I am almost finished with my first semester at TAU International, studying Middle Eastern Studies for my Master’s degree. So far the year has been truly extraordinary and beyond my wildest dreams. At the moment, I could not be happier.

I will end up having A’s in both my written and spoken Arabic courses, and I am currently working on three papers. One for my Selected Topics of the Middle East course with Itamar Radai. Another for my Reading and Writing the Middle East course with Brandon Friedman. And the last is for Professor Elisheva Machlise’s Advanced Islamic Studies course. I am planning on dedicating myself extremely to this process from the end of the semester Jan 21st until the start of the 2nd semester around March 5th.

I have an amazing new place to live and work on Rothschild Ave in the heart of the city. It is a wonderful refuge and enclave. It might be the best place (in terms of what I like or need at this moment) that I have ever lived at. Pure manifestation and karma.

New refuge.

I’ve met soooo many wonderful people from all over the world so far. Everyday it seems I meet more.

This weekend I’m going on a wine tour with my class, next weekend I’m going to a film premiere of the movie which just won a Golden Globe for Best foreign film with my friend from Italy. On the 17th we have a trip to see the Grand Mosque of Jaffa.

At the wine tour

Oh, and today I decided to quit social media, and surfing the online news (altogether) for an indefinite time. There is a feeling that since I’m so confident and optimistic of the future I don’t need it any longer. Now I am focused fully on restructuring and reconstructing the past. For peace can only truly be here when we have no more secrets to hide. Blessed.

Jan. 19th, ‘18
Sitting at a bar on Ibn Gabriel and Pinkas, coming to a realization I may just publish this journal on the blog soon… Why not? I have no secrets to hide… to an extent 😉

Some of the kids that I volunteeer with every week. They come from asylum seeking families in Eritrea and Sudan.

Jan. 21st – 7:00 PM
Well my goal to finish with as high of grades as possible is going well so far. I received a 93% (after a slight correction) in my Fusaa written Arabic course and a full 100% in my spoken Arabic course. First time to receive a 100% in my life. It was not easy, but pure concerted effort. Hard to not miss a single question all semester. Now 40 days to focus all my energy into 3 papers. Before, time to celebrate…

Jan. 24th, – 10:00 AM
I am getting to work now on the three papers. I am not going to say what they are about at the moment, but perhaps I will publish all three on this blog after I have turned them in.

So to take full control I will have to eliminate certain things from my daily habits… So far the main list is: Drinking, smoking, TV and movies, Facebook, surfing the internet for news, meat, sexual activity. What I can do: Read, Write, Workout, Eat, Sleep, Go to the beach if it is sunny… 🙂

Wish me luck! See you on the flip side!

Update: Had to post this new Jordan Peterson speech. When people like this are giving speeches like this, you know that humanity is winning. And haha here is a prediction… Hip hop culture (or more specifically China’s attempt to ban it) will actually save China. Word up to PG One and GAI!


Blessed! At the Dead Sea in December.

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This American Sadhu

Wandering traveler, writing a story, contemplating spiritual stuff, living austere, and helping random strangers... all rolled into ONE. What fun!

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