The Land of Israel is a narrow corridor that lies between the desert and the sea, between Africa and Europe. And just like the people who walk through a corridor in a busy building, such are the lives of the people who live in Israel – bustling, hurrying, always running into and talking to people before moving on. “Live for today because who knows what tomorrow might bring” has long been the motto. This isn’t a philosophical or literary observation but one based on historical and present facts. Sit for a while by the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem and see for yourself.
This part of the website is dedicated to Israeli society because to visit a place, especially a place like Israel, is much more than just visiting historical sites. When you write about Israeli society, it is impossible not to fall back on clichés and generalizations. I write about Jews, Muslims, and Christians, about religious and secular people, Ashkenazim and Sephardics, about Bamba and the Six-Day War. The interesting part – discovering the people who give life to the definitions of Jewish, Arabic, leftist, rightist, religious, secular – I leave to you.
Once I sat on the steps by a gate at David’s Tower, I placed my two heavy baskets at my side. A group of tourists was standing around their guide and I became their target marker. “You see that man with the baskets? Just right of his head there’s an arch from the Roman period. Just right of his head.” “But he’s moving, he’s moving!” I said to myself: redemption will come only if their guide tells them, “You see that arch from the Roman period? It’s not important: but next to it, left and down a bit, there sits a man who’s bought fruit and vegetables for his family.”
Tourists, Yehuda Amichai
Planning to visit Israel? Like what you’re reading? Then you’ll probably like my booklets too! My Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Judaean Desert booklets will guide you through the most important sites in Israel. You can download my eBooks from Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and Apple iBook. Or order all three booklets from Amazon.
Posts about the Israeli Society: