25 October 2009

Wilderness of Tzin

The Wilderness of Tzin in southern Israel--the Negev Desert. Not a huge area, but if you get out into Tzin on foot, you can wander forever. Or you can step out of time, into the place of prophets and madmen, where God speaks to His mortal creations in a language as clear as the desert night sky. A land of waking dreams and night visions where your every day life can make no claim, and the mundane has no point of reference.

24 October 2009

Remnant on a Yom Kippur War Battlefield

Leftover from a bad week. A tank long out of service, sitting by itself off a lonely stretch of road on the Golan Heights, exposed to the elements. A gigantic clash of armour--one of the largest clashes of armour ever, took place nearby. Did we do this? Jew from Lvov and Vilnius and Brno and Vienna and Plonsk and hundreds of little towns in central and eastern Europe; and from the Jewish quarters of ancient pre-Islamic north African and middle eastern towns, and even from Britain and Canada and America and Australia and South Africa. The sons and grandsons of black coated, bearded orthodox Jews gathered in ancient Bashan, and hour away from Damascus by automobile, to fight such a great battle in the 20th century--almost 2,000 after Israel was "destoyed" by the Roman Empire? Armoured divisions and brigades grinding across the landscape, with jets overhead dodging Syrian surface to air missiles. Ah but in this war the battle was also fought by small groups of men in tanks, by the ones and by twos. The war was won by decisive action taken by experienced men who could not always wait for orders. And the Hand of God strenghtened those men, and gave them victory.

Not always easy to see that in one derilict old tank--the Hand of God.

20 October 2009

Crop Circles מעגלי יבול

Crop circles have not been very common in Israel. Since they are made by two very different, but equally hostile and dangerous life forms, aliens from another dimension, and bored young English university men, they are the devil to deal with.

19 October 2009

Romans in the Gloamin

The Twilight of Empire doesn't come easily. This is the Roman Aqueduct at Caesaria/Kaysaryah on the beach between Tel Aviv and Haifa. I am reminded of the old corny Scottish song "Roamin in the Gloamin," about strolling in the evening, by way of translation. Thus Romans in the Gloamin, or twilight, of empire. The various remnants of imperial powers-that-be on planet earth are all wandering in a dimness of their own making. Rhetoric and hyperbole, spin and shpiel. Deceit and conceit disbelieved at conception, incredulous upon delivery. Recited by rote, spoken as if truth, but taken to heart by no one. A game of automatons with no fans in the stands. Once merely tiresome, it now has the air of major disease; a terminal disease with foundational rot so advanced, so insidious, that the surgeon can only shake his head and refuse even ameliorative measures. Collapsed veins and no way to pump in painkillers. This twilight is going to hurt like hell, and make sure we know it, too. Quite literally, an undertaking, with paid mourners. The guy in the black tophat a parade drum-major leading the band into hell. Soundtrack of ravens and crows.