Thursday, July 17, 2008

Vistas of Israel: A Photo Essay

This Sunday is the 17th of Tammuz, the beginning of a three week period of national introspection for the Jewish people, as we mark the events leading to the great calamities of our history, including the fall of Jerusalem in both 586 BCE and 70 CE. These disasters shaped our history. But now, with Jerusalem again in our hands, some say we should downplay this eternal disaster mode that the Three Weeks seem to require that we inhabit.

For we in the diaspora, this is a time for additional reflection on the meaning of the restored Jewish state for us. Having just returned to Israel, I wanted to place before you a meditative device for us to do just that. Perhaps in this way I can best communicate how at every turn, this Place takes my breath away.

As we prepare for this Shabbat that will frame the Three Weeks, I offer a series of vistas, photos I took last week when I was there. Take the time to click on each to fill your page with these different manifestations of Israel's timeless beauty. Meditate on them, one by one.

Then, and only then, maybe we'll be ready to begin addressing the Three Weeks.



Vista #1: Galilee: The Sea at Sunset: Taken from En Gev, looking across to Tiberias, The Road to Mount Tavor, a view from Metulla, the Kineret taken from Rosh Pina

Vista #2: Jerusalem: Walls and Gateways (views from Mevasseret Zion, Mountains surrounding Old City and Jaffa Gate area):

Vista #3: Temple Mount, Southern Approaches, Mount of Olives

Vista #4: People in Jerusalem

Vista #5: From Mount Bental, Golan Heights

Vista #6: The Judean Wilderness

Vista #7: The Mediterranean Coast (Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Caesarea)

Vista #8: Holy Places (loosely defined, including Big Apple Pizza)

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