ERETZ YISRAEL AND ITS THOUSAND MIRACLES
“THE old man stood high on the hillside, the Israelites below him hushed and expectant as they waited for him to continue. These were his people, the flock he had shepherded for over 40 years. Moses’ voice rang clear through the desert air: ‘The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his own possession, out of all the peoples that are on the face of the earth’ (Deuteronomy 7:6).”
There is something magic about Israel. It could be related to religious pulse that is so strong over there or it could be some historical reflection that leads us into the past, like in perfect time machine. Once you are there, you will never be the same again. The beauty of Israel has been born on the sand, tears, pain and hope of Jewish people that they will find finally their lost home. From the ancient beginning, they have been terrorized, maybe because they have always been the beloved God’s people, those who have crossed the fires and oceans for him, without any complaints, those who have died milion times to be born again, to celebrate God’s name. The Jews have never given up to protect the strong character of Moses in their blood, they have never given up to believe that peace is possible and that they will reach their land and turn it into home for all.
I am wandering through the Old City of Jerusalem and I am so thankful for a chance to be there, to breathe the air of the Holy City. It was a wonderful feeling to step on the stone of city that has kissed three main religions:Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Jerusalem is a pearl of God and bone for a Devil. It is protected to be holy and no matter what kind of religion we are standing for, Jerusalem is embracing us and comforting us. Even atheists and agnostics experience some kind of Jerusalem syndrome and they do not know how to explain it, how to admit that there is something over there that reshapes our whole known world at one moment and make us more sensible and more emotional. What else we need more than that?
While I am walking down to the streets of the Jerusalem open market, hidden between the walls of the Damascus gate, I am witnessing the oriental alluring of the legendary bazaar mixed with the Jewish perfection. You can find Aladdin magic lamp if you search long enough but you can be impressed with the most amazing diamond ring you have ever seen in your life. Thousand of colors, scents and tastes are built the Jerusalem as it is now. You live the history with the touch of God’s hand and Jerusalem gives you a ticket for return to innocence. The spiritual oriented Jews, Muslims and Christians are crossing each others road and each of them is seeking his own God but they are all in the God’s city. The sound of Muslim ezan is welcoming the new morning at the same time when churches and synagogues are ready for their daily prayers. If there is a golden city with harmony, that must be Jerusalem. I tried to discuss my soul feelings with one deep thinker, Alon, Hasidic Jew who I met at the Western Wall. He was very interested to clarify to me many difficult issues from Hasidism since I was positively surprised with the growing number of Hasidic Jews in Jerusalem. It looks like that many Jews have accepted Hasidic teaching as the bridge to the God’s beloved servant. As Alon has explained, the point of Hasidism is to teach people to be better God’s children, to practice joy, trust, friendship and love through the intellectual development and spiritual achievement. They are some kind of mystics and it is my first impression seeing them how they hurry up to the Wailing Wall, followed by their amazing wives and adorable children. The importance of family is so strong like nowhere else. Jews have learnt through their painful years of history that only thing that endures is a family. They have survived because they have believed in God in their darkest nights, they have read Torah when the books have been burnt and they have protected one another when being a Jew was the worst destiny ever.
Alon is 37 years old and has wife and five children. He told me that Israel is so special because it is located in the center of the world, the chain between Asia, Africa and Europe. Considering this, Jerusalem is a center of the center of the world, the most desired part of the Earth’s territory. In spite of Muslims who claim that Jerusalem and Israel must belong to Arab nations and Christians who cant forgive the bad luck of Jesus Christ over there, it is almost a religious rule to whom really belong land of Israel. First of all, it belongs to God and the God is the only one who will decide to who it will give. The second, God has promised the land to the descendants of Abraham, to his son Isaac:“Even though Abraham had many sons, the Land of Israel wasn’t given to Ishmael, or to any of the others sons of Abraham, but only to Isaac. Abraham said to God, ‘Oh that Ishmael might live before You!’ But God said ‘No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him’ (Genesis 17:18-19). God rejected Abraham’s prayer that Ishmael would be the heir of the covenant, and appointed Isaac instead. Years later the Lord God appeared to Isaac and said, ‘to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to your father Abraham. And I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed’ (Genesis 26:3-4). Knowing that Isaac was the heir of the covenant, which included the Land of Israel, Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac. He gave gifts to his other sons, but he sent them away to the lands of the east, not wanting the heir of the covenant to have rivalry over the Land of Israel from his siblings (Genesis 25:5-6).”
This is very critical issue nowadays because of the conflict with Arabian part of the world and their attempts to conquer Jerusalem as the holy city and to remove Jews from Eretz Yisrael. They read their God’s instruction and all they want is to make a full circle, to overtake the city of King David and to close the chapters of Judaism and Christianity. From my point of view, the Palestinian fight for West Bank is actually fight for Judea and Samaria, the fight against Jewish State of Israel and not for freedom. Those people are injected with hatred from Arab neighbours that bring an oil into the fire of land of Israel. What is happening? The silent war that last for decades and it is differently portrayed in medias all over the world. Some media have shown only the killed Palestinian children and they accuse Israeli Army for lack of empathy for “poor people”. How they could be poor when they are willing to give birth to their children and to send them as a weapon for interests of some terrorists organisations ? I am very sorry, that could not be declared as a war for freedom but more as an act of terrorist madness. They push their poor and innocent children into the murders even if they themselves do not know what they are fighting for. It is more than sad to know that army of those people are opinionated though the bunch of terrorists with golden rings and happy bank accounts.
I had a luck to talk to Abdul-Haq, while I was watching the killing tranquility of Dead Sea, at Kavalia Beach. His name means the Servant of the Truth, in Arabic, and I am sure that Abdul was telling me a truth:” I am 29 years old. I live in Jerusalem. I work in a Bank. I am a happy man in Israel. I am Muslim but I love Israel. Why? Because I have an opportunity to have good job and good future. My sister is studying and traveling a lot. She has right to be dressed as she want. We have no pressure and we do not need any kind of pressure from militant Islam. ” Abdul is not the only one Muslim who has respect for Jewish State of Israel, there are many others but they are afraid from the extremists of their own kind.
Everyone will notice that israeli Army and Police is everywhere but the established feeling of safety is something that many western countries should learn from. Even when you are at night alone, in the Jerusalem darkness, you are safe. Maybe it could be because of all God they are watching over there or because of brave soldiers and police officers that they do their job, but you are not afraid and you are feel like you are at home, accepted just the way you are.
From the golden surface of Jerusalem, through the mysterious archeological sites of Masada and forgotten life at Dead Sea, to the Golan Heights and view on Syrian landscape, Israel lives and gives life to those who need it. It is a brilliant country with friendly people who make me cry with their warm hearts and welcoming notes. I can be lost for the rest of my life over there and never wanted to be found, trying to eat hummus with my fingers or to make food according to rules of kosher. Maybe I will start learning Hebrew so I can better understand the costs in the free city under the shiny stars.
If I have somewhere felt that I belong to, then it is the land of Israel, the sun of the sky, the eyes of God, and it applies on me the following paragraph from Ezekiel:”I will take you from the nations, and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses . . A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you . . . and the land that was desolate shall be tilled, instead of being the desolation that it was in the sight of all who passed by” (36:24-26,34).”
Please, keep praying for peace of Jerusalem:“May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.” We have only one Jerusalem and we must protect it, as well as land of Israel.