Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thoughts of a Wandering Nomad

Thoughts of a Wandering Nomad

I can’t get over this book, especially the Old Testament. Something about being in Israel gives one a new vision of the meaning of the land, the land filled with milk and honey. Each piece, no matter how barren, meant something to someone. Perhaps someone died there.

Of particular interest has been the exilt poems or the book of Lamentations. What barrenness. I can visualize it now, looking from the Mount of Olives, and hearing the words of Jeremiah; “How deserted lies the city, once so full of people. Bitterly she weeps at night, there is none to comfort her. All her friends have betrayed her. She finds no resting place,” and then the ringer---“The Road to Zion mourn, for no one comes to her appointed feasts. All her gateways are desoltate.”

So it’s like a party when no one came. The hill is silent. No feast. The winds throw scrapes of leaves thoughtlessly through the air. I can’t get away from that image of loneliness.

In spite of the beauty of the Sea of Galilee and the significant stories of Jesus and his miracles, it is the desert regions that ring in my mind, the fence along the Jordan landscape, the distant sea from Masada, the palaces of Herod, the heat in October, the history of thousands of years – something not evident in our country.

And the Menorah. Seeing the one opposite the Knesset was meaningful, as well as the one in Jerusalem. It has been said that the menorah is a symbol of the nation of Israel and our mission to be "a light unto the nations." (Isaiah 42:6). The sages emphasize that light is not a violent force; Israel is to accomplish its mission by setting an example, not by using force. Jesus said it this way, “I am the light of the world.” So the Menorah has become a symbol to me of an important element in the Jewish faith. Whenever I see one from now on, I will be reminded of its importance as a symbol of light.

Some of the journey is shifting through my unconsciousness again. It took us 26 hours from leaving our hotel in Jerusalem until we walked into our house in Franklin, TN. A long journey. Worn out? Really!!!! So, I am just now remembering and settling down. So much we saw, so much to understand!

Thanks Tikva. Not a bad show!!

Tuesday reflections!


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