“Twelve months. Twelve tribes. Twelve hikes.” This is how Shebet Haaretz, translated to the Tribes of Israel, welcomes visitors to their website, and their unique spiritual journeys. Led by two brothers Marcus and Emilio Cohen, Shebet Haaretz leads groups across Israel, not only to enjoy the scenery, but with special intention to learn the history of the tribe and the meaning that comes with each month.
Based on the map of 12 tribes, and the Jewish calendar, the team has carefully mapped the land as a resource of learning. Their monthly trips include not only hiking and camping but also self-development and study sessions.
Back in the days of Jacob, the grandson of Abraham had 12 sons. Each of his sons, mothered by four different women, made up the Israelites, who had conquered the land of Canaan. Each son was to lead a tribe, and each tribe was given a piece of land in which to settle. Today, Shebet Haaretz treks through the various territories on Rosh Chodesh (start of the month) to share the story and connection of the tribe’s spirit through the land. July saw a celebration of Reuben in the month of Tammuz, which they say is the “holiday of the eyes.” This speaks to the many stories in the Torah where eyesight was not used in the right way, and that focusing too much on the surface makes it easy to be blinded by the light. “One must train one’s eyes, both spiritual and physical, to see only the inner positive dimension of reality and not to focus upon reality’s outer negative shell,” reads their Instagram post.
Founder Marcus Cohen says that “Shebet Haaretz’s experiences are focused on achieving a positive socio-environmental impact that promotes inspiration, clarity, and meaning in people. The main objective is to work individually and collectively, integrate different perspectives, and always seek to be in a space of curiosity and in the embrace of amazement. After all, the experience is a trigger for change to come about in each one, in our families, in Am Israel, humanity, and the planet.”