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The following is a letter from Dr. Abraham J. Twerski about Derech Hateva's programs, specifically the Israel Trail Teen Adventure (ITTA) [view Original as PDF]:
 
Novermber 9, 2006

To Whom It May Concern:

I am pleased to recommend Derech Hateva as a very valuable experience for youngsters.

Unfortunately, unless one lives on a farm, modern man has lost contact with nature. We have become so urbanized and mechanized that we may not realize that we are living in a man-made world rather than in a G-d-made world.

The experience of being close to nature is a very healthy one for young people. The Rambam states that the way one can achieve love and reverence for G-d is by appreciating the greatness of His works. This is difficult to do unless one is in direct contact with nature. King David's Psalm 104 shows his keen appreciation of nature, and his declaration, "How abundant are Your works, Hashem, with wisdom You have made them, the earth is full of your possessions" conveys Rambam's concept.

Many of our young people are fine students, but some have expressed the idea that while they have an intellectual understanding of Torah, they do not have the spiritual, emotional component. This is why Rambam's teaching is so important.

The organizers of Derech Hateva are making a significant contribution to Jewish youth.

Sincerely,
Abraham J. Twerski, M.D.
Founder, Medical Director Emeritus
Gateway Rehabilitation Center

 

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