Friday, May 14, 2010
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ISRAEL
48 years ago today Israel became a nation! Well, that was before my time but nevertheless it is worth celebrating today! And as they say, "we've come a long way baby".
I doubt that as the news was shared around the world back then that anyone could have predicted the state of Israel today. It is the most hated and adored spot of real estate on the planet, in the headline news every day. Such a tiny spot of earth to be involved in constant turmoil! It is being threatened by it's neighbors even today. There are folks on the planet that exist to make sure Israel does not. (No time or space for a history lesson here.)
A few years ago we had to most wonderful privilege of boarding a plane for the 10 1/2hour flight to that Holy Land. It is the birthplace of all the major religions and occupied by all such pilgrims. The tension can be felt in the streets of its capital as it has been divided into "sections" to accommodate all different religious persuasions. Jerusalem must be the most exciting place on the planet. Every time a shovel is plunged into the earth history is uncovered. Various languages can be heard in those narrow stone pathways along with rising levels of anger. The fight to exist is evident every day! Wars have been and will be waged into the foreseeable future. Treaties are made and broken, land is acquired by battle and then given back with promises of peace. It's a crazy and fragile political game.
And having said all that, if given the opportunity to board a plane to Tel Aviv today I'd have my bags packed in 10 minutes, ready to go. Our visit there was one of the highlights of our lives. We spent those days walking the hills of Caesarea, floating on the Dead Sea, singing aboard a fishing boat in the Sea of Galilee, kneeling in the Garden of Gethsesame, tasting exotic foods, climbing up the steep peaks of Masada, watching my best friend being baptized in the Jordan River, wading into the Red Sea looking for Moses, examining Solomon's stones in Eilat, and shopping in the narrow streets of Jerusalem. It was truly the most bizarre, educational, and enlightening trip of a lifetime.
We also experienced countless searches of ourselves and our bags, scary moments in a screaming Arabic crowd, shouts of hatred from Muslim men in the Upper Room, darkness in a strange Boudein tent, and a moment on a bus when we were sure a bomb had exploded.
We also spoke to "people in the know" about the Israeli governments preparedness to protect itself and it's citizens. All who listen to those military professionals are absolutely convinced that all is ready and only the order to "pull the trigger" is needed to end it's neighbors threats once and for all. Hopefully that directive will be unnecessary in that fragile atmosphere. The results would be tragic and catastrophic.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ISRAEL......and many more! SHALOM