Ah, summer…a time of year to kick back, relax, sip some lemonade by the pool, and enjoy the slower pace of life.
Maybe for some, but this year I’m doing everything I can to learn, travel, and think as much as possible before the cold snows of my hometown and the capricious whims of Uncle Sam make it difficult for guys like me to take time off (although, with at least one possible candidate pushing for an end to American involvement in the Middle East, I might have more time off than I really want—there always is an uncanny lull before the storm).
However, this summer is not so much about American politics as it is about things going on outside our borders. After spending a week at the Acton Institute to study and think about economics, liberty, and religion I’m headed out to do some ground work and research of my own overseas. Two weeks doesn’t seem like nearly enough time to see, learn, and assimilate all that the New Jersey-sized country of Israel has to offer, but it’s all I have to work with.
Items on the itinerary include:
- Meeting with Israeli Christians and hearing the stories of an oft overlooked minority group
- Travel to the north and to Galilee to walk the countryside of Jesus and sort out the compression of millenia of cultures and artifacts
- Explore the Old City of Jerusalem
- Discuss politics, religion, and philsophy with students at the prestigious Hebrew University
- Experiment with my beginning Arabic, non-existent Hebrew, and over-dramatic body language in the markets and bazaars as I hunt for bargain-basement discounts
- Trek to Masada, Israel’s tragic Alamo, and reflect on the rise and fall and rise (and fall?) of this nation
- Learn as much as I can from embassy personnel working on the Israel/Palestine Peace Process
Those are some of the highlights. Come back often as I’ll be posting what I can during my travels and putting up a few reflection pieces upon my return.
I spent a month in Israel in ’99. We had a week in Jerusalem and three digging at the archaeological site at Bethsaida. We stayed at Kibbutz Ginosaur. If you have a chance to get up to the Sea of Galilee, it’s well worth it. Masada is impressive of course. Swimming in the Dead Sea is something you’ll only need/want to do once (at the most!).
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