Maccabee's Wars

A venting rage against the ills of our society with some hopeful observations.

Friday, April 28, 2006

A Day on the Road with Irwin, Part One

Irwin Borvick of One Israel Fund sure knows how to show people a good time, even on a damp, rainy and cold Sunday Chol Hamoed.

First off, somewhere past a remote army base on the turn off away from the Dead Sea, our bus crossed through a military fence and went east towards the Jordan River.

About 20 feet from the river there is a lookout where you can see the river. You can actually go up to the river as well. Looking over the width of the river, which can’t be more than 50 feet across, you can see a Jordanian guard next to a Jordanian flag standing at the other bank.

He is “guarding” a bunch of tourists who had come from the opposite direction. There were at least 50 tourists waving to us from the other side. They were probably there because it was Easter Sunday and there was a large church on the other side of the bank.

The significance of this particular location was that we were probably within a kilometer of the very spot where the Jews crossed the Yarden coming into Eretz Yisrael.

We next headed to Ainot Kedem near No’omi and Yitav; not that this bit of geographical information would help you find it.

We took a non-existent road to this Yishuv, its population consisting, of basically one family with their baby and a bunch of young adult volunteers helping them out. They were surrounded by Arabs but felt quite comfortable minding their animals and their crops. It looked pretty calm and peaceful to me, whatever that’s worth.

Continuing on, we took the Alon Road and went to Bal Khatsor, the fourth highest peak in Israel and even on that overcast day we could see the towers of Tel Aviv. Our guide, Era Rappaport told us that on a clear day we would also be able to see the Jordan valley, Gush Etzion and the Golan. Seems like a good spot to give to the Palestinians. Why not? They can then target all those locations with a hand held missile.

Next we were off to Shilo for Mincha, coming in through the back way passing Adai Ad, Achia and Shvut Rachel. Who knows how much longer these places will still be in existence.

After Mincha, we headed up to Har Grizim and viewed the remnants of Kever Yosef, Har Eival, Shechem, Elon Moreh and Itamar, the entire view seen from a balcony over the archaeological remains of the Shomronim “Beit Hamikdash.”

Afterwards, we headed into the town where their “Kohanim” were burning “Noser” from their “Korban Pesach” which for whatever reason, they did two days before Pesach. Well I guess that fits in well with their Mezuzoth which are engraved over the Lintels of their homes, written in old Hebrew and Aramaic lettering. Era said that the writings were something different from the Arba Parshiyoth, but I wouldn’t have known the difference.

Finally, we went up to Itamar and took a last look at an area that may not be with us much longer. Overall, it was a glorious day but we left with apprehension of a tragedy in the making.