Page 8 - Holyland Magazine - 2023 Edition
P. 8

The Old/New
           Holy Land*

           Further reflections on trekking the length and breadth of the Promised Land

            Aryeh Green

                s noted earlier in our series on the   for  another  time),  I  found  myself  in  tears  as   Hebrew), and I walked along the beach beside
                800-mile Israel Trail, whether you hike   I approached the Mediterranean Sea. As I   three Arab women wearing the abaya (the
                it continuously over a few months (as   write in my book, My Israel Trail, something   traditional  Muslim gown  covering the whole
                I did, all alone, with a 50-pound pack)   about the vastness of the sea inspires us to   body except the head, feet, and hands).
           Aor for a few days or even just an hour   appreciate the infinite possibilities available in
           or two, it is a unique experience combining   life, the choices we can make in determining   Continuing onto Caesarea, a modern (Jewish)
           history, spirituality, archeology, and religion   our destiny, in large things and small…not   Israeli town at the ancient Roman port of the
           (and Israel’s geography and interactions with   unlike Herzl’s famous phrase “If you will it, it is   same name, I couldn’t help but recognize the
           the people of Israel as well). But it’s not only   no dream”.          glorious incongruity of my situation. Recently
           history; the Trail winds through some of Israel’s                      divorced –“alone” in every sense of the word
           most vibrant centers of modern life. In this   It was a transformative moment in the trek. After   – I was an observant Jew who grew up non-
           issue, I invite you to join me as we trek through   spending over six weeks mostly out of touch   observant in America, a direct descendent of
           Caesarea, Netanya, Herzliya, and Tel Aviv, and   with civilization as I wandered through the Eilat   one of the leaders of the very first American
           discover some amazing and uplifting aspects   mountains and Negev desert (described in the   Jews (my family came to those shores in 1690),
           of the old/new Land of Israel.     magazine’s ’21 edition), up to and down from   and an Israeli for 30 years, walking among
                                              Jerusalem (’22), and then in the North, I found   Muslim Arabs and secular Jewish and Muslim
           Having come south from the border with   myself wandering down the main street of one   Israelis  through  a  100-year  old  Arab  village,
           Lebanon,  after  hiking  up  and  down  the  hills   of Israel’s least known Arab Muslim towns,   into a 130-year old Jewish town, alongside
           and forests of the Galilee in the footsteps of   Jisr az-Zarqa, and up the dunes to the sea.   an aqueduct engineered by the Romans over
           the prophets of Israel and Jesus (a subject   Arab teenagers in the town cheered me on (in   2000 years ago.

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