Adventure Rabbi returns to spiritual experience of outdoors |

Adventure Rabbi returns to spiritual experience of outdoors

Electa Draper
The Denver Post
PASSOVER25-- Rabbi Jamie Korngold, the Adventure Rabbi, is trying to bring Jewish people into synagogue, 70 percent aren't affiliated with one, by leading them back into the wildnerness. Rabbi Korngold hikes in the foothills near Boulder where she lives. RJ Sangosti/ The Denver Post

BOULDER – Whenever Rabbi Jamie Korngold – the Adventure Rabbi – hears herself called “cutting edge” because she takes her congregation on nature trips, she scratches her head.

Wandering in the wilderness, after all, is how the Jewish nation got its start.

“Everything I’m doing is a few thousand years old,” said the Boulder-based Korngold, 44, who has been widely featured in publications as one of Judaism’s most avant-garde rabbis.

On the fifth day of Passover, the holiday that begins at sundown today, Korngold and about 150 Jews will be in the backcountry near Moab – which looks a lot like the Holy Land – hiking to a remote sandstone formation 140 feet high called Corona Arch.

The Jews spent 40 years in the desert awaiting the promised land. It’s good to go back and visit occasionally, said Korngold, author of the 2008 book “God in the Wilderness.”

“Passover is about freedom, community and gratitude,” Korngold said.

Korngold’s congregation will sing, dance and pray under the sun and arch. They will read Exodus out of a Torah scroll.

They will share a Seder, the traditional Passover meal, Saturday evening, sitting on the desert floor along 100 yards of gleaming white fabric bearing traditional foods commemorating the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt.

The slick rock canyons around Moab are a great place to stash an afikomen, the piece of matzah, unleavened bread, hidden during the Seder and then searched for by children at the end of the meal.

The next day congregants can hike with Korngold, or bike or raft.

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