Back From Israel

I’ve just returned from an exhilarating trip to Israel.

I try to make it over at least once a year, both for research purposes and to see friends. This time I had seven days in Israel that brought to me Haifa and Jerusalem in addition to a lovely hamlet near the airport called Monoson, where I was staying, and a few other spots in the middle of the country.

Intersection in Haifa

Intersection in Haifa (Horev Center)

Having spent two years living in Haifa — once in high school at Leo Baeck and then again in graduate school at the Technion — I love returning. The city has it all: the beach, mountains (well, hills, anyway), natural beauty, shopping, restaurants, and character. It also boasts nearly unsurpassed Jewish-Muslim coexistence.

Flowers In Old City of Jerusalem

Flowers Growing Next to 2,000-Year-Old Ruins in the Old City of Jerusalem

My time in Jerusalem (as I’ve described before, here, for example: “Leaving Jerusalem is Always Hard“) is always divided between awe for the holiness of the place and frustration at the poor road design and signage. This time was no exception. During my one-day visit I got stuck in traffic twice and lost once. But I nonetheless managed to spend time in the Old City, and, in particular, to visit the Western Wall, where I recited the Shema and placed a prayer in the millennial symbol of God’s presence in our lives.

Israeli Foliage

Israeli Foliage in Herut

I also stopped by a small place called Cherut, originally a “moshav,” or farming collective. Now it combines a working farm, citrus groves, and commuter housing. Among other things, the place reminded me once again of the pervasive natural beauty of Israel.

I’m continually in awe of Israel. It’s a high-tech society built in parts on Roman ruins that even 2,000 years ago comprised the second millennium of Israel’s existence. It’s beautiful flowers where there used to be desert. It’s espresso bars from way before Starbucks was popular. It’s a small-town mentality masquerading as a country.

And it was 65 degrees during my last day in Israel, but 12 degrees when I got back to New York. I’m ready to leave again.

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4 Comments

  1. Perla Kaufman

     /  January 5, 2012

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories of your recent trip.

    Reply
  2. Thank you for this post and the beautiful pictures. I visited to Israel in my early twenties with my father and sister. I met some of my husband’s family while there and they treated us to traditional Israeli meals. We had a lovely time. I hope to return one day.

    Reply
  3. Sounds lovely and I hope to go there someday. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  4. Bob Ritter

     /  January 21, 2012

    Post more …

    Reply

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