Last Friday I shared with you in detail about the Catholic-Jewish Conference that brought me to Israel last week. In this installment I would like to share another aspect of my trip that I found very moving.
Israel is a small country essentially overflowing with passion and energy. The Galilee is the beautiful rolling northern reaches of Israel. Christian pilgrims from all over the world flock to the Galilee to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. The Galilee is also filled with the relics of ancient Jewish towns and synagogues, and tombs of rabbis to which Jews make their own pilgrimage. In modern times the Galilee was the birthplace of the kibbutz movement. The kibbutzniks were the vanguard of the Zionist movement, manifesting with incredible dedication and sacrifice their utopian vision of a reborn Jewish people. And the Galilee is home to large numbers of Moslem and Christian Arabs, Bedouin, Druze, and other ethnic groups as well.
Within the Galilee just about anyplace can be reached by car within an hour, often less, sometimes a bit more – it’s not a big place.
During my recent visit I witnessed three different musical events in three very different settings in the Galilee – and missed another that I wish I had been able to attend – that for me epitomized this passion, and provide a fascinating cross-section of life in Israel.