Winner of the Rockower Award, the highest honor in Jewish journalism, this blog contains random musings of a journalist, father, husband, son, friend, poodle-owner, Red Sox fan and occasionally-ranting rabbi, taken from Shabbat-O-Grams, columns, speeches, letters, sermons and thin air. "On One Foot," the column, appears regularly in the New York Jewish Week, as well as a blog for the "Times of Israel."
Here is a small sampling of the wonders we experienced during our recent visit to Peru - small indeed, considering I took over 4,000 photos! Our visit included the Amazon Rainforest, called the "lungs of the earth," where we could sense the fragile ecological balance that sustains us all. We ascended to the dreamlike peaks of the Andes, where the ruins of the Inca empire blend in with the natural wonders, exemplified most vividly in the unspoiled magic of Machu Picchu. We also saw the ruins of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley, some of which reminded me of Jerusalem, with it's beautifully sculpted ancient stones and magnificent hillside terracing. We saw the largest birds in the world, the Andean condors soaring over Colca Canyon; the mysterious Nazca Lines, engraved in the desert landscape perhaps 2,000 years ago, and we marveled at the floating islands of Lake Titicaca, which at over 12,500 feet, is the highest navigable body of water in the world. The floating islands, BTW were established by the Incas and their descendants who were fleeing the Spanish invaders in the 1500s, at precisely the same time when Jews were fleeing Spain. I found many parallels between the Jewish and Incan experiences and will be discussing some over the coming weeks. Only about 4,000 Jews remain in Peru today, unless, of course, you include the multitude of Israeli trekkers.
Enjoy! (And scroll to the very bottom for some videos of the condors in flight)