Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Everywhere, a Hilltop.

Washington's beautiful Mt. Rainier

It's my first morning back in Seattle, my hometown.

I'm sitting here, viewing my blog interface without the usual atmosphere of yeshiva bochurim, Ethiopian kids, and old men typing with one finger. There is no smell. I don't have to use headphones. I don't have to bring my own tissues for the bathroom. I don't have to leave at any time.

But there's one thing that's the same.

The fire. The inspiration. The need.

My blog profile still says "Location: Rechov Yerushalayim, Tzfas, Israel." I'm going to change it, and the meaning in that is very exciting. My blog, the inspiration and information that I hopefully transmit, transcends location. And not only that, but there is a whole new dynamic that I am about to tap into. New challenges, new lessons, new insights - fresh opportunities, a fresh outlook.

I initially chose the name "Live from the Hilltop" because, well, that's where I was. But it was a little deeper. A hilltop denotes a lookout point, a high place. It hints at being "on top of the world," which is certainly how I felt in Tzfas.

Ironically, my house in Seattle is on a hilltop. But, in terms of the real meaning of a hilltop, it's - on the surface - incomparable to Tzfas.

So, I felt funny about the name. I'm home, in Seattle. I'm not reporting live from any hilltop. I felt like the name was mocking me.

Then, the title came screaming to me in a new way. "Mimi, live from the hilltop!" Live your life from the hilltop! Wherever you are, that's how you live!

Then, I realized that the first Torah portion to welcome me back to America was Parshas Behar - "On the mountain."

Then, I thought about truth.

Then, I thought about G-d.

Then, I thought about my mission.

Sometimes, when you start working on a root-level, there's no room to see separation, to see the struggle, to see the exterior.

You see, when it really comes down to it, we can all make a hilltop out of the deepest valley. We can turn barren desserts into powerful and flourishing life. No matter what, we can live from the hilltop.

I am a Jew.

Wherever I find myself, that is my hilltop.

So, let's do it.

Once again, welcome to the hilltop.

This is Mimi Notik.

Reporting live.


Dov said...

I dig the "new" name.

Perhaps that deep valley, that barren dessert isn't really. Perhaps you don't need to "turn" it into anything. Perhaps it's perspective, how you see it and choose to live amongst it. Perhaps we're saying the same thing.

Darkness is the absence of light. Be light. Where you are, there you are, as our Tatty says.

Keep reporting, living, live. :)

Mimi said...

Thanks Dovidel.

I totally "dig" (:)) the message. What you said is totally on target.

At the same time, we have a very complex and layered world (and a completely simple one, of course). On one level, deep valleys and barren deserts actually do exist. We were put into this world to transform it. And yes, we go straight to the light without dwelling on the darkness. In fact, it's through our turning it around that we make it not exist, like you mention.

Either way, that's why I chose the word "turn."

But, of course, in terms of my own personal mindset being home and out of Tzfas, it's a "lowering" that I'm totally convinced is, as you say, only percieved. And, actually, Chassidus teaches us that it's exactly that which we percieve to be so low that is truly the highest.

And yea, man - it all comes down to being a light.

You give me light, brother. :)

And, gee, thanks for always being the first one here!

Raizel said...

Beauty. Real Truths.
Your blogs smells, tastes and feels. Reading that blog brought tears to my eyes, and I felt as though I was reading my thoughts this past January. Transfering the passion, life and love of the Israel (machon alte) you to seattle, philly, whereever else, you is exactly the challenge of not being enmeshed in an environment like Tsfat and is what will give you strong posts and inner strength to be you anywhere and do anything.
I recall this past summer that a frusteration that we shared was how at the end of seminary, the focus was how imminent the impending doom of the influences of America was so we better stay in Israel, instead of giving us the tools to conquer and lift up everything around us, which is mind-boggeling because that is the very essence of our struggle in galus (particularly non-Israel galus) and is a huge part in what enables us to grow and develop into sturdy rocks that will not be swayed by passing fads.
When I came back to Seattle from Chicago that was one of my deep concerns; that I would lose so many sensitivities that I had worked so hard to build in Israel but instead what I have learned is that the growth I have incurred being in a place where I need to create the environment and learn and grow from the unexpected instead of the obvious, has been immensely rewarding, more than I ever imagined.
So thats it Mim, you hit it, the essence of our very beings, We are Jews, no matter where, no matter what. Going into deserts and turning them into hilltops are the most rewarding.
I love you to peices (sorry it took so long to comment on your thoughts)


FrumGirl said...

You definately are reporting from the hilltop when your views are so extraordinarily above most... its a pleasure to read!

Annoying Grammar Dude said...

Barren desserts suck; not sweet enough. Barren deserts are a whole different problem. Loved the writing though.

Mimi said...

Hey guys.

Raiz: I'll get to you :)

Frumgirl: You're hired as my cheerleader. No, for real - thanks.

Grammar Dude: Thanks for the correction. I always say, that you have two S's in dessert, because you always want seconds! But I still made the mistake :). Thanks. (Do I know you?)

jim said...

"I am a Jew", that is a Hilltop, the Highest. On or in that Hilltop, HaSHem, The Book, The People, The Land. Everything, Unsurpassable. But huge and amazing responsibility. Everything.

Pardon me for returning, I hope I am not annoying you. I love your enthusiasm, your Meaning, Your Light. Thanks.

the sabra said...

oooh this is good, i do like ur train of thoughts! (as usual..)

sababa idea-make a hilltop wherever you are (and get ready for it to be dismantled at any moment?)

Anonymous said...


MIMI! It's Shayna from Bais Chana...hope you remember me! Anyways, your blog is so inspiring! I miss you! Email me: if you get a chance!

Love, Shayna

Anonymous said...

talented writer!! you inspire me!!