Jerusalem : a city of saints and contrasts

Lublutebya like a loaf of butter! Aw, painting one! – this, of course, is for our daughters. By the way, 30% of the Arabs living here are Christians. Therefore, Nazareth is considered the “most Christian” city in Israel and the only one in the country where Sunday is a holiday. The point is probably in two Christian shrines – the Source of the Virgin Mary and the ancient Roman tanks, in which Jesus, according to legend, turned water into wine. The Orthodox Church of the Archangel Gabriel and the Holy Source are at the very spot where Mary, having gone to fetch water, received a message from an angel telling her that she would carry a son of God. Holy water flows here and now, which visitors collect in various containers and take with them. They say that it heals.

Madonna and Child in Korean

Slightly apart – the Catholic Church of the Annunciation, the modern building of the late 60s of the last century. In the courtyard of the temple, along the wall hangs about twenty icons of the Virgin Mary, written in different countries of the world. There are very few, for example, from China or Korea … As you know, in Nazareth, Jesus began his first sermons on Christianity. But he was not accepted in the city, where he remained for the most part just a teenager, not a messiah. Therefore, Jesus went to other places where he was heard.

Until evening we had time to visit these places. The first name was Yardenit, on the banks of the Jordan, where, according to the Gospel, John the Baptist baptized Jesus Christ. Beautiful marigot, stone steps leading to calm water. I want to stay in silence and present everything that happened two thousand years ago … But no, silence is not often here. Tourists and pilgrims from all over the world yearn for it. Here, the crowd of black pilgrims dressed in identical colorful clothes dances and sings under the direction of a priest. They have a rather peculiar perception of the sanctity of place and behavior. They did not enter the water and that’s good. We sang, danced and happy went further. And representatives of the local kibbutz called us to try their products. Dates honey, lentil cakes and herbal teas are prepared according to the recipes of the early Christians who lived in the area. Something we of course.

The kibbutz means collective farm. In Israel, as well as in the Soviet Union, enthusiasts of socialization and equality were convinced that the collective farm was the key to universal happiness and well-being. The result is also equivalent: of the few surviving kibbutzim, most have been privatized and are now ordinary commercial enterprises, earning what they can. A kibbutz in Yardeni is memorable for growing fruit, earns a lot by serving pilgrims: renting white clothes to wash in Jordan and selling souvenirs. But at the same time, the “collective farmers” arrange the premises and ensure good order and comfort. I thought this kibbutz could very well be called the “Shining Path”. And what, in accordance with the place and, as they say, in the trend of collective farms …

Jordan, place of baptism

Quite unexpectedly, after a series of historical sites, we were taken to a nature reserve on Lake Hula. But it was worth it: me, a lover of nature, I had never seen so many birds of my life. And up close. We were put in an open car on one side and the tractor, very similar to “Belarus”, slowly dragged it along the shore of the lake. The attraction is called: bird watching bird watching. The migration season is already over and yet hundreds of gray cranes, like sheep, graze in the fields around the herds. In the water slowly, in search of prey, the egrets wander. Several species of ducks and geese swim in front of us with an important view. Tourists perceive, can be considered as part of the flora and fauna. Like, look at health, just do not touch your hands. If anyone was unhappy with our appearance, it was Nutria who slipped against the shore in the water. The tractor driver, who is also a tour guide, told us during his trip that the birds during the migration should be specially drawn to this place so that they do not stay in the farmers’ fields and do not spoil the harvest. And how half a century ago the Israeli government adopted a program to drain local swamps, which almost led to an environmental disaster. The marshes dried up but on the moor, it was still impossible to grow anything. But Hula Lake was drying up quickly. And the waters of the nearby Sea of ​​Galilee, where underground streams flowed from agricultural fields, were instead filled with toxic pesticides. The birds started to fly around this black spot. In general, officials had to admit a mistake and urgently restore nature. It took many years and a lot of money, but now we can admire this beauty! That’s good, after all, when the government can admit, “Yes, we shared … guys, and we’re ready to correct the mistake.” the officials had to admit an error and urgently restore nature to its original appearance. It took many years and a lot of money, but now we can admire this beauty! That’s good, after all, when the government can admit, “Yes, we shared … guys, and we’re ready to correct the mistake.” the officials had to admit an error and urgently restore nature to its original appearance. It took many years and a lot of money, but now we can admire this beauty! That’s good, after all, when the government can admit, “Yes, we shared … guys, and we’re ready to correct the mistake.”

We had dinner here under a canopy by the lake. On the grill, aromatic meat smoked, fresh vegetables and cold juice were welcome. What’s better for a traveler than a luxury picnic in the countryside !

– How to cook the sturgeon filling? “You take a pollock and fill it with sturgeon.” (Jewish humor)

Leaving the protected banks of the Hula, half an hour later, we were back in the water. And judging by the anchorage of the ship, we were expected by … By the way, the question of filling: what is the difference between the Sea of Galilee and Lake Kénérite? The answer is: nothing is the same.

But the one-hour walk in the water really looked like a cruise at sea: the seagulls flying behind the boat, a large surface of water glittering with gold under the reflection of the sun … For some reason, the Israelis like to call this sea freshwater reservoir. They say: our country is bathed by four seas: the Mediterranean, the dead, the red and the galilee. It looks beautiful. We landed at Kapernaum. This is another very important place for Christians. This is where the main sermons of Jesus sounded. There he found his first disciples: Peter, Andrew, John, James, and Matthew, who later became apostles and authors of the Gospels. Both offer a breathtaking view of the Galilee Valley. The skeleton of an old synagogue and an Orthodox temple at Capernaum. A holy place is never empty.In the evening, we finally arrived at the hotel in the city of Tiberias. After a long day full of impressions, I really wanted to take a shower, fall into a very big soft bed and fall asleep. But we only had half an hour of rest, then a spectacle of fountains waiting for us, and finally – oh well, hot springs !

Tiberias looked pretty picturesque after sunset. Window lights, lanterns, shop windows were reflected in the coastal waters, like a Christmas wreath. On the platform, city dwellers were already sitting in cafes or walking along the promenade. At the end of the dyke, people gathered for the start of the fountain show. I must admit that I was not very intrigued: in St. Petersburg, during the summer season, there was a water show on Vasilievsky’s spire. But after a few minutes, there was no trace of my skepticism. Powerful jets climbed to the rhythm of the music and suddenly burst into flames of multicolored fire! Then they suddenly transformed themselves into a transparent screen on which the laser began to write copies of masterpieces of the world: “Madonna” by Leonardo Davinchi, “Dove” by Picasso, “Man of the melon” René … The magnificent music, the energy of the light and the water made that the public met on the quay then exclaimed with pleasure. then applaud vigorously.

At the end of the show, it was difficult to talk about the bath. As the saying goes, “the soul was full!” Around ten o’clock in the evening, we again plunged our tired bodies into the hot springs of the Hamei health complex. It was not at all a familiar oriental bath, and even more so a Russian bath. In several pools filled with hot mineral water, people were swimming, sitting, laying down lounge chairs on nearby sun loungers. Two employees helped us to get into the corks. You lie on them in the water with your back and, so to speak, hang in a state of weightlessness. The starry sky and the cool of the evening are above you, your body is delighted by the heat and the humidity, and you do not want to think about anything any more. Nirvana! Then the masseur put the mat on the wooden floor and pulled out something like a copper mortar with a pestle. He sat next to a client who was lying on a carpet, gave him a stupa on his forehead and slammed a pestle on it. Bammmm … A deep and vibrant sound is spreading around the waves. Bammmm … “The bell” moved along the body of a reclining man and repeated his fight again and again. This action was less like a massage than a shamanic ritual. Then we asked the person about the sensations. He said that the state is like a trance. But it turns out that the sound resonance, extracted by this copper vessel, really gives a massage and healing effect. Or maybe he’s just chasing the “evil spirits” of the body ?

That night, I did not dream anything. I fell asleep with the righteous, with a pure body and spirit.
In the train, an intellectual conversation began between two traveling companions. There is a third sitting near the window and, from time to time, when he hears the name of a famous person, he inserts his word.

– If you’re talking about Spinoza ..
– Jew.
– When America discovered Columbus …
– Jew.
– Einstein …
– Jew.

Disappointed by this information, the neighbor of the compartment, the nun, is baptized with horror: “Lord Jesus, Mother of the Most Holy Theotokos! …” “The Jews too,” said the expert gently.

Jerusalem is a city of saints and contrasts

Our bus quickly drove south. We were approaching the last and main point of our journey: Jerusalem: on both sides of the road, the pines crossed the green wall.

– These are artificial forest plantations, – after understanding my surprise, explains Anton, our guide. – Israel is the only country in the world where the green zone does not decrease with time, but increases. Because of the massive planting of trees. And it’s not just the state’s concern. Every February, on the occasion of the celebration of Tu B’Shvat, every Jew tries to plant a new tree in a designated area. The holiday is translated by “New Year of the trees”.

Well, it’s a great tradition: on the one hand, it allows the Jews not to forget their roots, but on the other, it helps to make the country more beautiful.After half past two, the The hills, completely covered with figures of houses of various sizes, seemed to be in advance. Wherever you look, a big city is scattered everywhere. Honestly, I represented Jerusalem a little differently, in my personal photo she was small and old. And then – the metropolis, the capital! It turned out that this was the case: the Israelis consider Jerusalem as their capital and Tel Aviv is such a political compromise with the world community. In fact, there are more people here and, of course, tourists. It’s just another city. Sacred Motherland of the three most important religions of the world: Judaism, Christianity, Islam. In 4000 years, Jerusalem has become the spiritual home of half of the country’s population.

About travel in israel
Old city surrounded by a very high wall of fortress