Israel represents a special place, a special dream to each person. Israel is the Holy Land. Israel is the home of the Jewish People. Israel is where G-d can be found, where civilization began, where man’s mission was defined, where one can feel G-d’s presence, reconnect with one’s past and find one’s destiny.
Israel is not your regular vacation. It is that, plus so much more. No one comes to Israel just to relax or just to tour. People come to Israel with dreams, hopes and expectations - for themselves, for their family, for their people, for their religion.
Israel. The name evokes powerful images to us all. The land that G-d promised to the Jewish people. The place where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob walked. The land that Moses prayed to enter. The place where Joshua, Samson, Saul, David, the Maccabbees, the Haganah, Irgun and Stern gang fought. The site of the Temples of Solomon, Ezra and Herod. The setting of much of the the Tanach (Bible).
Israel. Land of Milk and Honey where the Biblical Seven Species have grown for thousands of years. The country that gives definition to tel, an archaeological mound of multi-levels of ancient civilizations - in many instances 21 different civilizations one on top of the other.
Israel. The country that suffered war and invasion by ancient and modern civilizations many of whom that have come and gone from the stage of history- the Canaanites, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Moslems, the Seljuks, the Crusaders, the Mamelukes, the Turks, and the British
Israel. From which Jews were exiled against their wills for 2000 years, to which they returned 100 years ago in an unprecedented historical event to establish a modern state.
Israel. Which according to Biblical decree was desolate for everyone but the Jewish people. The modern land, which the Jewish people turned from swamp and desert back to the Biblical land of Milk and Honey.
Israel. Melting pot of Jews from all over the world - Ashkenazim, Sephardim, observant and non, chassidim and non, immigrants and sabras. Where a cacophony is heard of modern, folk, chassidic, Chazanut, Islamic, church bells and even belly dancing music.
Israel. Where the smells of perfume and cologne mix with spices from curry to garlic and ritual incense. Israel. Which was formally voted into existence in the 20th century by both the League of Nations and the United Nations as a Jewish homeland and partitioned bit by bit three times - first when a never before state of Jordan was carved out of 75% of mandate land of Israel in 1922, second when the Golan was carved out of the mandate in 1923 taking away 30% of its precious water resources and some of its most beautiful of scenery, and in 1948 when Judea and Samaria were taken by Jordan in Israel’s 1948 war for independence - later to all be liberated in the Six Day War.
Israel. Attacked and forced into war four times by the overwhelming forces of up to seven sovereign Arab states. Miraculously victorious. Israel and Jerusalem where Christianity and Islam also vie for hejemony.
Israel. A land and a people hoping for redemption and peace.
Israel. The dream of a lifetime. If you wish it, it is not a dream.
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