Lessons from the (Wheat) Field

There are lessons in every story. Several years ago, I was fortunate to learn a lot about Orthodox Jewish traditions during as I reported in Kiryas Joel, N.Y., the base of the Satmar Hasidic sect. I learned to dress modestly. I learned not to touch men. I learned that once one person trusts you enough to give you an interview, others will follow. Those lessons came in handy in Yuma, Arizona, where some of the Satmar Hasidim plant their wheat for Passover matzo.

Holy Field

Holy Field

Interviewing Rabbi Brody of the Shaarei Orah synagogue in Borough Park, Brooklyn, on the field in Yuma, Arizona, where ultra-Orthodox Jews grow their wheat for Passover matzo. (Yes, that’s me under that big hat. It was 108 degrees that day!)

Starting a conversation

Welcome! I’ll be posting here occasionally, about the interesting places I visit, the interesting people I meet and the interesting experiences I have on the vast territory I cover. This is very much an experiment at this point, but I hope you’ll come along for the ride and help me make it better with each post.