Israel, the Holy Land & A Sea Rebel
I don’t like rules and regulations, never have, never will. Individual freedom has always seemed to me to be far more important. The pirates of old were much more free than many (actually most) of the people of today. That’s one reason I chose the Sea Rebel as my avatar. Not that you can have a world with no rules. Vehicle traffic is a good example of that. So I don’t believe that “all rules are made to be broken”. The true phrase is “all records are made to be broken” and only criminals believe in the former. What does all this have to do with Israel and the Holy Land? I will explain.
As a historian, I found Israel and the Holy Land to be a place that I certainly had to visit. The birthplace of three of the world’s main religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) it is a region of great importance with a long history. It is also, as most of you know an area of great conflict and turbulence. Nevertheless, I visited Jerusalem and even went to Bethlehem, which is under Palestinian control. I visited many sites from Roman, Crusader and more modern times.
I will not write about all those places in this article. They are covered by many people in many books and in many different mediums. I should point out that I was actually in Jerusalem during the Christian Orthodox Easter. So at least parts of the city were even busier than usual. My impression was that while I felt safe enough during my visit there, I did not find it a comfortable experience. I love freedom to much to be happy here.
In most of the countries that I have visited it is their governments who set up endless (and in my opinion many needless rules). In Israel, not only do you have government rules but you have all the rules of each of the religions in the various sections and jurisdictions to follow. Several religions are represented Orthodox, Catholic, Jewish, Moslem and on and on.
As a historian, it was interesting to see the spot that our guide took us where David fought Goliath, but my visit only reinforced my belief that is best expressed in the famous poem that my mom had at home:
The kiss of the sun for pardon.
The song of the birds for mirth.
One is nearer God’s heart in a garden.
Than anywhere else, on Earth.
Next my ship, the Pacific Princess, sailed for Europe to the Island of Cyprus.
(My Photo Blog – http://searebelcolon.tumblr.com)