July 13, 2024

Flash Back Friday



Western Wall and Dome of the Rock / BWB-Images

Welcome to Flashback Friday – Where we share previously published articles which were reader favorites. Hope you enjoy this Friday’s article, originally published in 2011 


Dead Sea Scrolls – A Little Bit of Israel

The Dead Sea Scrolls hold a very significant place in the history of Israel. They are housed in the Israel Museum’s Shrine of the Book – a high light of anyone’s visit to Israel. And now, thanks to a project which obtained major assistance from Google, five of the main scrolls have been digitized and can be viewed, studied and examined in detail on the internet.   http://dss.collections.imj.org.il/project  These documents will be a great help to students of the area and are really worth a look for the interested traveler or armchair historian. Check it out – this is a rare opportunity to get an up close look at some really, really old stuff!

Church of the Holy Sepulcher / BWB-Images

As I looked at the documents online I was reminded of the history as well as the unique and wonderful qualities of this small country. Israel is located in a very conflicted little corner of the world. Actually, armies have marched back and forth across the region for centuries, long before the country of Israel emerged. It seems that any ancient country with an army marched through (and conquered) the narrow strip of land along the Mediterranean while they were on their way to attack some other region – Egypt, Greece, Mesopotamia………. Today the picture is little changed. The region continues to be in turmoil and is highly contested among a number of peoples in the area. Partially because of all this tension travelers, even the more intrepid types, tend to stop and think twice – perhaps thrice – when considering a trip to the region. My daughter and I made several tentative starts on a shared adventure to Israel but were stopped at the last moment by political upheavals and military actions in the area. Finally we decided to just “go for it.” We packed our bags, crossed our fingers, and headed out. It was a good decision and an unforgettable trip.

Nazareth - Church of the Annunciation / BWB-Images
Nazareth – Church of the Annunciation / BWB-Images

The journey turned out to be wonderful. There is so much packed into such a small land. I joked with my daughter that the country is so small that it must be difficult for the military to train its jet pilots. Sort of like race car drivers at the Indy 500 – all they can do is go fast and turn left – a lot! The only way they could really fly any distance in a straight line is to head west out to sea. But this small country is full of wonders. Archeological sites dating back thousands of years such as Masada, Religious Centers for all of the world’s major religions in Jerusalem as well as throughout the country, Great Beaches such as those near Tel Aviv, The Sea of Galilee, The Dead Sea, the list goes on and on.

Shrine of the Book (and my daughter) / bwb-images

It’s impossible to visit Israel and not come away with a sense of awe about the historical and religious significance of this tiny slice of land. And the people are wonderful – friendly and welcoming. Living in the shadow of constant threat, they have not lost the ability to relax, share, and enjoy life. I look forward to a return visit in the near future.

Travel Wisely …………….. And Enjoy the Adventure!


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