Yesterday we drove to the Golan heights. We hiked (seriously) to a pool at the foot of a waterfall, where most of us swam. At the end of the trail, a refreshing reminder of the advantages of capitalism greeted us in the form of a well-placed ice cream truck. Then we rode to Mount Bental, a hill that overlooks the Syrian border.
The contention for this land has shaped Israeli politics since he late 1960s. It is a beautiful area, and a strategic high ground for Israeli forces.
Shabbat in Israel is much like Sunday in the United States. Some people take the religious aspects of the weekend more seriously than others. We prayed, and I was surprised to learn that the services in Israel are much shorter and much more relaxed than in the U.S. The prayers have three main themes under God: peace, gratitude, and freedom. I say “under God” because of the assumption true faith requires–that anything humankind can possibly contrive will always be inferior to the natural state of creation. To allow any delegation of humans, regardless of their supposed benevolence and intellect, to alter the inalienable natural rights of humankind in God’s image, is to practice idolatry, giving to a committee the responsibilities and respects that should only be contracted between an individual and his/her own given nature.
This assumption of faith leads naturally to the religious rejection of coercive government, and faith in freedom and power higher than any person or group of people. This faith is the philosophy through which all religions originate, and all religions, at their roots, are undeniably anarchistic. Yet this, the holyland, is undeniably over-governed, and–forgive the following generalization–the people here credit all of their blessings to their own religion, and all of their problems to a different religion, never realizing their religions are rightfully united, and their opinions by ruling idols divided.
The heart of what is called the holyland is chilled to the core by an ever-multiplying prejudice among its residents–both Jewish and Muslim. A human is a human is a human, and each of us is equal before God, without regard to race, religion, location, creed, status, or chance–everyone who doesn’t realize this as fact, should humiliate their own thoughts, before nature and time do the deed for them.