I have enjoyed a plethora of experiences in Israel, some grandiose, others less significant, but all experiences of grand proportion that pulsate with a rhythm that cannot be beaten. It is grand — and of immeasurable proportion.
Everything in Israel is grander, tastier, more flavorful, more fragrant, more highly textured, more colorful. The sites, sights and sounds lure you, capturing your soul, captivating your attention, holding your spirit…and embracing you. Transfixed, as in a whirlwind, you are caught between modern, sophisticated, and hi-tech contemporary Israel set against the backdrop of ancient, historic, biblical landscapes. You’re enchanted and poised, and fall in love with the Land, the People, the essence that is Israel.
Imagine church bells ringing, the repeated call of the muezzin, the deliberate sounds of the shofar in the distance as you stand on one square foot of ground and the world moves around you. Around you circulates the buzz of hustling-bustling shoppers, bikers, pedestrians, cars and buses, and sounds of people, throngs of people — of all backgrounds; people who live there; people who visit; people who are drawn to this hub of history, culture and faith.
Spiritual sites of significance, housing sanctuaries of worship that cross denominations, weaving faith, belief, and piety inextricably together like the ‘rolls’ of challah dough braided together — sharing traditions, blending cultures, building bridges, and embracing diversity.
In Israel you experience spas meant for meditating, yoga, and luxuriating, which dot the shorelines at the Red Sea, the Dead Sea, and the Sea of Galilee; wineries beckoning world-renowned wine aficionados and connoisseurs to sip the fruit of the vine from vineyards blessed with good drainage and water for which we pray; and culinary delights, home-grown and deliciously placed throughout the countryside, the seaside, and cityscape.
And what of Israel’s adventure seekers? Israel is filled with rolling hills, desert mountains, people who enjoy rappelling, zip lining, bicycling, and motorcycling. On the slopes of Mt. Hermon you can catch snow skiers who the day before were at the beach on the Mediterranean where the waves cup swimmers, boaters, and windsurfers alike.
The outdoor cafes of Israel are filled with scents and fragrances, aromas and flavors that wrap you like a blintz — a sugar-coated, jelly-filled crepe. Israel’s museums, universities, and archaeological digs waiting to be explored, unearthed, uncovered, discovered — layers of history and heritage neatly interlaced holding thousands-year-old footprints tip-toeing their testimony, their tale, their story.
What is not to love? Israel beckons — calling you to visit, to pray, to ruminate, to meditate, and to satiate your curiosity!