Wandering Jew in the desert, again


It took us nearly 12 hours of driving from Los Angeles, but Wandering Jewess (you’ll meet her later) and I finally pulled off highway 447 onto the playa around 6:30 Wednesday night, and after driving through a minor dust storm, claiming our tickets at Will Call, enduring a perfunctory car search, screaming "I am no longer a [Burning Man] virgin" at the top of our lungs and ringing a bell with a metal rod to announce our arrival, lying down on the playa and making dust angels on the ground, and then driving some more, we pulled up to Sukkat Shalom, our home for the next four days.

Internet access is really spotty here, so forgive the slowness in informing the world of our whereabouts. This may be our only communication from the playa.

Everyone says Burning Man defies description, and that is more or less true. It’s an arts festival, a dance party, a naked bacchanal, a chance for copious drug experimentation, a spiritual opportunity, and much more, all conducted in a post-apocalyptic landscape in the Nevada wilderness. Think Mad Max with about 40,000 really creative friends. Even in these harsh environs, Jewish life not only exists, it flourishes in all its wild diversity.

Our camp, Sukkat Shalom, hosts yoga and meditation workshops and will be the site of a big Shabbat celebration on Friday. Across the road, Burning Manischewitz offers strip dreidel and the Shixxxa Review. A boisterous Jewish mother from Portland dispenses advice and guilt right near Center Camp. And word has gone around about a collection of former Hasidic Jews camping somewhere. We’ll try and find out more about that later.

As time and technology allow, we’ll bring you some of these stories on the blog. In the meantime, enjoy this photo of me in my Burning Man finest — well, maybe not finest, that will have to wait for now — on my furry bicycle, ready to go explore the playa.

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