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    Posted on May 22nd, 2009 Sheila Yair No comments


    How do you summarize a month and a half home visit?

    They say a picture is worth a thousand words and well we took thousands of pictures here so I guess we already have millions of words stacked up as pixels on our hard drive. But that, pardon the pun, is only part of the picture.

    The photos might come close to doing justice to all the colors we saw; the amazing blooming, the hills and valleys, the rivers, even the man made red roofed villages, churches and markets. We went hiking almost every day, going out in different directions and a few times coming back to the same place from a different way just to see a whole new picture. We saw the fresh spring bloom, thousands of different flowers creating live canvases of color along side two cities from 6000 years ago; the abandoned Hatzor with its 37 layers of habitation from different eras and the eminent and still vibrant Jerusalem. We walked in the footsteps of Jesus in the Sea of Galilee and the Via Dolorosa and in the trails of jackals in the hills of Mount Carmel. From the lush green north to the red Sinai desert.

    But Israel is more than that. It is a land of extremes. Some people say we create our reality, that the exact same event can cause one person great pleasure and another great pain all because of how they perceive it. So obviously a person who was born here will see Israel differently. Israel is filled with extreme realities. You will see beautiful caring people who are also soldiers, amazing nature with out of control development, very high quality of life with constant financial hardship, tons of plans and dreams under a grave endless conflict. The list is endless. You can see one side or the other or both, making Israel anything between a horrible country to the best place to live in. You decide your reality. But for a lot of people there is a definite magic in this land. It is a land of deep emotions, all these realities force you to feel. It is hard to just come and snap some pictures. I do not know if I will ever live in Israel but Israel has showed me that I was right to leave New York City.

    It was a great visit and great to spend time with family and friends, and now we are off to explore probably an even more extreme place.