It was a cold autumn morning, and my windshield was glazed with a thin layer of frost. I started up the engine, blasted the defogger and hit the wipers, but nothing melted. I couldn’t see a thing, so I couldn’t drive.
As I thought about what to do, my sister, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, reached out for something on the dashboard. As her finger brushed against the glass, the “ice” suddenly disappeared in that spot. I wiped off the rest of it with my glove and drove away with a clear view.
You see, I had misunderstood the problem. I had accidentally left my windows open overnight, and when I rolled them up, condensation from my breath had fogged up the interior, creating the illusion of ice. The issue was on the inside, not the outside.
As long as I thought the fix was to be found externally, my efforts were futile. But the moment someone showed me otherwise I had clarity—because the solution was right there on the inside, where anyone could reach.
Sometimes, people’s views get fogged up and they feel stuck. But every Jew is always “inside” Yiddishkeit. As you will see from the following vignettes, even when a person’s spiritual journey isn’t linear, the process can ultimately take him or her to a higher place. Because sometimes one must go in circles in order to scale a mountain.
Here are some stories of those who have returned.
* * *