Learning about Russian Hospitality in Israel

Israel first day 1

Changing the way we look at things

So most stories start with “Once upon a time”, but here it needs to start with “If you would just look at things a little differently the world can change before your eyes”. It did mine! Before making the trip to Israel I don’t think I had any expectations except that it was mostly desert. My thinking was far from the truth. When we arrived in the Tel Aviv we were picked up by my wife’s friend (they’ve known each other since childhood). I remember my first thoughts as we headed north, wow this place is really green. Where did all these trees come from, I thought this was a desert! I was mesmerized by my surroundings, everywhere I looked my eyes took in not only the trees but flowers that were still blooming, crops that were ready for their next harvest. It was simply incredible. But wait I still at this point hadn’t seen the Mediterranean Sea, when I did it immediately captivated me with its beauty.

Israel first day 2

Visiting the Birds Mosaic “Mansion”

After seeing the Mediterranean Sea it was a bit hard to divert my attention but I was told we were approaching what is called  the Birds Mosaic Mansion. It was explained to me that this mansion was built sometime after 500 A.D. , the reason it was given this name was because of all the birds that had been inlaid with mosaic tiles and bordered with other types of wild beasts. If you look closely you can read the text explaining more about this site which I’ve included in the next several pictures.

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Being fed by a Israeli Druze Woman

Do you remember how airplane food tastes? No all that good right? Well after traveling by air for almost 6 hours and an extra hour on the road eating quickly came to the forefront of my mind as it did everyone else. Our gracious host and driver shared with us that she knew where we could go to be fed by a Israeli Druze woman. I looked at her and said, ” say what”. What’s a “Druze”, she began to explain to us both that the Druze are a very Israel first day 14unique religious group in Israel. What was explained to us is that the Druze believe that Jesus would be born a second time through a man. This was a bit confusing for us since we knew this wasn’t a possibility, but never the less this is their belief. I did do some research on them and found that they are unlike any other people group in the middle east. They do not adhere to Judaism, Islam, nor any other religion.  Their religious beliefs incorporate elements of Ismailism, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism and other philosophies. The Druze call themselves Ahl al-Tawhid “People of Unitarianism or Monotheism” or al-Muwaḥḥidūn “Unitarians, Monotheists.” Sheikh Amin Tarif was the preeminent religious leader of the community until his death in 1993. For Israel first day 13more information on them see Wikipedia, I’ll create a link at the bottom. Moving on with the story we proceeded up this mountain road for some distance when we came upon a woman and who I guess was her son. Our host went and ordered food while I was able to take several photos of her , her son, and the surrounding area (when the son became a bit agitated I decided to stop). When the food was ready and against my better judgement I tore into the pita roll filled with meat, spices, and God knows what else. It was delicious despite the fact it was cooked on a wood stove in the middle of nowhere.

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In my next post I will take you to where the prophet “Elijah” struck down the prophets of Baal. This place also overlooks the valley where the battle of Armageddon will be fought. Stay tuned for Part II

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