I have been longing to write more about my epic first trip to Israel but it’s been a struggle to produce something I really like. I wrote several articles about it already (see below), but there are so many stories still to tell. That trip is so important to me that I don’t want to write anything that is not coming from my heart. Today, I finally found the elusive inspiration.
Second Temple model, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Israel is so rich in history that it is impossible not to be awestruck. Every corner of its land is ripe with culture, folklore and stories, both divine and human. Being there is literally, like jumping through the pages of the Bible and history books. The land and the culture are so ancient, it’s not even funny.
Second Temple Model, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Just think for a moment the endless possibilities: among many things, you could be walking on the same piece of land where the patriarch Abraham, some 4,000 years ago, brought his son Isaac to sacrifice to the G-d whom he worships; the same place as the Holy of Holies of the First and Second Jewish temples. Ok, while this is impossible because Mount Moriah is in the center of the Dome of the Rock under Arab rule and thus, inaccessible, you get what I’m saying. It is exhilarating, at least for me.
Jordan River, Israel
Israel’s contributions to mankind, past, present and future are immense and immeasurable, to say the least. They essentially changed the course of mankind. The birth of one Jew even divided the western calendar into two time periods: B.C. and A.D. Nations after nations attempted to annihilate its people and dwellings, and yet time and time again, Israel is preserved.
Jewish Quarter Old City, Jerusalem
This is a replica of the menorah from the second temple before it was razed to the ground and ransacked by the romans
No other nation has been dispersed to all corners of the earth, nearly decimated in the gas chambers of Europe, emerged from the horrors of the said genocide and then re-established on the same land of his forefathers, with his mother tongue (Hebrew), culture and religion completely intact, some 2,000 years later. Is this a miracle? Does the sun rise in the east? The very mathematical improbability of Israel’s survival is a miracle in itself!
Israel’s very name bears the name of G-d and is so pregnant with meaning: YisraEl – “He who struggles with G-d” and struggled he did for thousands and thousands of years! Of course I don’t expect everyone to believe all of these. Au contraire, I actually expect most people to disbelieve. Heck, if the peoples of the Ancient Near East managed to distrust and lose faith, despite witnessing the parting of the sea, the raising of the dead, the pillar of fire, the death of all firstborn and countless other miracles, what more of the generations of the world that came thousands of years later who only heard or read of Israel’s Adonai from someone else?
[Click on the image to see larger version]