In Alonei Habashan, Boaz was a part-time farmer and a high school teacher for teenagers with learning disabilities for 6 years. From Alonei Habashan, he and his family moved to Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu (a farm co-op), in the Jordan Valley. Boaz continued to teach Torah, only this time, to retired army veterans.
"After 7 years in Sde Eliyahu I felt that I had enough [of teaching as a profession]," Boaz said. "I felt that I was doing so much talking, but was lacking in doing physical work. It was then that I began to notice the army veterans heading to the the study hall each morning after they had finished working the fields. Their faces glowed with a certain happiness and I understood how important it was for a person to be engaged in physical work. I then decided that I too would attempt to do the same for myself."
Boaz relayed that he was not sure where life would take him next, but he was certain that he wanted to make more use of his hands in his next profession. Given that the kibbutz mandated that Boaz contribute to the collective community, and he no longer wanted to teach, Boaz asked to remain on the kibbutz just long enough to find a new home for him and his family. The kibbutz agreed to allow Boaz to stay an additional year as he found his path.
"I remember sitting underneath a tree near my house and just thinking. I never did this, sitting and reflecting about life and where I was headed. It was then and there that I decided that I wanted to do something with my hands, that I was going to take up jewelry making. I said to myself, this isn't what I am used to, I have never been an independent professional my whole life."
"In the past, when I worked with metal, it really spoke to me," Boaz recalled. He then elaborated. He spoke about a trip he went on to visit Alonei Habashan, the community in which he spent his newlywed years. It was there that the local Rabbi said he thought jewelry making would be fitting for Boaz.
After a demonstration of how jewelry is made from a cast, Boaz explained where the concept for the jewelry piece featured in Lev Haolam's October package originated. "The concepts that I tend to use for jewelry include plant life and history. I really like to use historical concepts," he explained. "I sent some suggestions related to the Holy Temple to Lev Haolam."
He continued, "during the Second Temple, during the period of King Herod, there were two huge entrances to the Temple Mount that were created for the pilgrims who came to worship there. There were four large engraved ceilings to these entrances. The top of one of these ceilings was the inspiration for the jewelry in this month's package."
Wondering about the times of the Temples in Jerusalem- where Boaz gleaned his inspiration- and then drifting back to the hilltop I had just seen, where the Tabernacle once stood, I asked Boaz why he decided to settle down in Eli. He responded, "We knew that we wanted to live in the hills and we searched for a place that was more or less in-between my parents, who live in Gush Eztion and my wife's parents, in the Golan [Heights]. We looked for a place in the Binyamin region to live." (The Binyamin region refers to communities that are within the portion of Israel that were allotted to the tribe of Benjamin in the bible.) And after visiting the community just twice, Boaz decided that Eli was the right place for him and his family.
While getting ready to leave and make our trip back to Jerusalem, Boaz told us that he wanted the following message to be sent to the members and supporters of Lev Haolam: "I think my wife and I put a lot of love into our products; a lot of love and joy. And through the jewelry [that I have created] I hope to be successful in connecting many people, both Jewish and non-Jewish, to the land of Israel and Jerusalem. And if I can, through the jewelry [that I created], manage to connect their love and their appreciation with the land of Israel, then this would be a small merit for me and it would make me very happy. And may it be that a love for the land of Israel and the Jewish people will be spread."