The Judean Hills

October 1, 2000 and April 11, 1972

Recently I went looking in my archive of last year's writings for the piece that is included as a part of the entry below. I'm not sure how it disappeared, but the timing in reposting it seems a bit, well shall I say, Timely?

I ran across this entry last year when I found a journal of sorts which I was keeping in 1971 and 1972, only too aware at the end of the year, that I had not been faithful in writing in the journal. It also seems that it was a bright idea of mine to write some of the entries in Hebrew, so that I might have a fun time trying to translate them almost 30 years late

Again, Israel is in the current news, with fighting and rioting and bloodshed on both sides of the Arab/Israeli equation. This time it appears that the fighting was provoked in large part by a visit made by the Isrealis, to the Dome of the Rock, Holy ground to both Moslem and Jew.

I have not been back to Israel since I boarded the 747 that dropped me in England in August of 1972. From the writing in today's paper, it seems that not much has changed, except for more and more building.

Truth be told, I am not sure I want to go back.

I am sitting here, April 11th trying to study for a final exam in such circumstances that offer no other alternative than to cause a distinct feeling of un-enthusiasm. I have decided to put down a brief record of my current feelings.

Having become more and more aware of the impending journey home, I feel compelled, obligated, to write. I know that I have a complete lack of material upon which I shall be able to reminiscence, to dream, to escape the ugly reality of Midwestern weather, the immaturity of my fellow students, and the atmosphere at school which is totally un-condusive to study.

I look out of the window to the east. Over those hills lie the ancient lands of Edom and Moab, but from my present vantage point, all I can see is the Israeli museum. Israel – love and hate – beauty and ugliness – all reflections of a great duality of character.

I turn my head and see the puffy clouds, each riding like a stream of foam on a cup of hot chocolate. In the background lay the Judean hills. They are green, and not, terraced and treed, covered with blood and washed with water. They are scorched in the summer sun and have turned to a common color. The building, the construction, hides the view. Building for the future, but the destruction shall strike again. And then they will rebuild again. It is in the land.

I call back the silence of the desert, the whistle of the wind, a pebble thrown where once the mighty ones of Israel walked. David fled from Saul and was nourished at the spring of Ein Gedi, only to continue on and fight.

I read, and then must ask the inevitable question, “For what?”

I shall learn here. When I go back I shall be changed. Soon I will finish, having woven another thread into the carpet of my life. But for now, I'll just sit and watch the clouds drift over the Judean hills, as they have done for thousands of years.