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Years ago, I signed up for a summer Hebrew course in Israel so that I’d be able to absorb the sights and sounds of the land as I studied.
The class was held at a retreat center a few miles outside Jerusalem, and everywhere you looked you could see evidence of the ancient Israelites.
Class - Morning - Afternoons
We’d meet for class all morning, and then the afternoons were dedicated to homework and review.
Each day after lunch I’d make a point of hiking into the countryside and doing my homework under a tree, so that I could enjoy the hoo-hoo-hoot of the mourning doves and the scent of the cedar trees wafting in the breeze.
Limestone - Hillsides - Israelites - Thousands - Years
These terraced limestone hillsides had been farmed by Israelites thousands of years earlier.
A person didn’t need to look far to find an ancient basin hewn into the rock where a farmer had once stomped his grapes to press out juice for wine, or a pottery shard from a water jug hefted by a peasant girl in King David’s time.
Biblical reminders were everywhere.
I could just imagine the characters alive around me once again.
Day - Lunch - Tree - Group - College
Every day as I headed out after lunch for my favorite tree, I’d walk past a group of college students who were also in my class.
They’d cluster tightly in a corner of the air-conditioned reception office, where they’d hang out until supper, hovering over their laptops.
Hour - Huddle - Chairs
After they ate, they’d beeline right back there again. Pretty much every waking hour, that little huddle would convene and glue itself to the chairs.
Why? Because this was the one spot at the retreat center where wireless internet was accessible. That clique of kids spent the whole summer cruising online and emailing friends at home.
Tragedy - Way - Fascinating - Land - Day
What a tragedy to travel all the way to that fascinating, ancient land, to walk right on its very soil every day,...
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