I’ve travelled alot this 2015, at least alot for a guy who is kind of reticent to travel to very new places. Me, “the solitary traveler,” makes trips to Georgia, Florida, Western New York, and as seen here, Israel.
I’ve met alot of interesting people this year, and surprise, surprise, the topic often moves from finding butterflies to the current nasty state of the U.S., and to . . . Israel.
I’m amazed at the number of Christians out there, who share zeal (Yep, zeal) for Israel. I didn’t always, hearing not much about Israel when I was a kid. Now, with good belief underpinnings and a daughter, son-in-law and 2 tiny grandsons there, plus extended family . . . Well, that’s why I visit it year after year.
Like U.S. butterflies, Israeli butterflies are beautiful. The other bonus is that Israel is so small, that you can travel north or south in a matter of hours. Butterflies that are found in the Upper Galilee, Golan Heights, Negev, Ein Gedi, or Jerusalem are within a moderate drive from my daughter Rachel’s home.
Seen from Qedesh trail, mid-way across Israel’s northern border, Mt. Hermon greets us at the center of the image. At 7,000 feet, that snow you see prevented my going up there to find butterflies. Remember I went to the peak in 2008, and yes, there were super rare butterflies flying up there. it was a Wow! experience for me, the widow who months before lost the mother of my children.
Though the airfare rates on El Al are OMG! low today (The problem! has emptied the shops and hotels), I still have yet to convince a single Christian to get up and go there. That despite my recounting the crush at Ben Gurion airport, with thousands of Christians coming and going, mostly in groups, from Slovenia, Uzbekistan, Bolivia, Canada and Tanzania.
So, for a quickie HolyLand Lesson, we are standing on this verdant trail and looking due north. Directly on the other side of Hermon mountain is Syria, where tens of thousands of crazed and desperate men are killing one another. To the left, beyond Hermon is Lebanon, that once beautiful country that is buried deep now in Hezbollah, another killer franchise. Somewhat to the sharp right is Jordan, armed to the hip, but with a very resolute leader, keeping all working nicely. Directly south of us, to our back is Jerusalem. On the way to Jerusalem, are many stops that you learned about in Sunday school. Also behind our back, and to the left is Tel Aviv, as hip a city as exists, anywhere.