|caeseria with yoram|
!תודה, תודה, תודה
|dinner with steph (not pictured: enzo)|
To be brutally honest, at first I didn't have much interest in visiting Israel. Maybe because I didn't have many expectations, a crazy thing happened--I found a lot of meaning in my trip there. It's a place I had to see for myself to begin to understand.
|israeli flag at masada|
Yeah, Israel is doing some nasty stuff to Arabs living in occupied territories. But then I talked to multiple Israelis who believes that the two-state solution is the only solution (about 70% do)--anything else, everything else, would be perpetual war. I thought about how the outlandish opinions of extremists and fundamentalists can alter the world's opinion of a nation. Hell, I'm American, I know this too well.
|praying at the western wall|
After spending a few weeks in a Jewish State, where the buses don't run on the Sabbath, I see it's not that simple. One of my former colleagues who now resides in Jerusalem, Oren, invited us to a Shabbat dinner on Christmas Eve. When Dave celebrates Shabbat, he recites a few prayers before the meal, we eat bread and drink wine, and that's about it. Oren is more observant, and so we went through everything: the prayers before, the bread and wine, the ritual washing of hands, and many beautiful prayers sung in Hebrew after the meal. An entire Shabbat world existed, and I didn't know about it!
Thanks, Israel, for inspiring more curiosity in my life!