Awoke at 3AM to the sound of the wind roaring up the valley from below Yossi’s house over the top of the hill on which Ma’ale Levona sits. The seasons have definitely changed. I tried to go back to sleep but the wind was whistling through the trees so loudly it reminded me of a stormy night at the beach. No sleep. The wind didn’t die down until 10AM.
Here is a picture of my two young Hebrew teachers, Yossi’s daughters, Dagan & Tamar. Tamar is the one who said, “Lo, lo, meats!” (see a previous entry).
For years Danny has been trying to get me to take my groups to a place in the north and I have not been interested. I never thought it was a historical enough place, so I just said, “no”. Finally, Wednesday, he prevailed on me to take a break from working with him and with Yossi and go north to the border with Lebanon.
First, we drove due south to Jerusalem where Danny had some business and where we ate breakfast. Then we drove west toward the coast. There are 3 highways that run north-south in Israel: one in the east, up the Jordan River Valley; one on the west near the coast; and one in the country’s center. The last one is not often taken because most of the Arab population lives on this road.
Anyway, Danny and I drove west from Jerusalem until we connected up with the new and very nice (and not yet finished) toll road that runs north until it ends about 2/3 of the way up the country. Then we worked our way west to along the Valley of Jezreel (also known as the Valley of Armageddon), until the road ended at Mount Carmel. I looked, but Elijah was nowhere to be seen. (Doesn’t the Valley of Armageddon look peaceful–for now?).
Then we turned north again, and drove just inland from the coast until we reached our destination. Rosh Ha-Nikra is the extreme northwestern spot of land in Israel. From the top of the cliff I took this picture, looking south, along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Then we took one of the world’s steepest, and shortest, cable cars down to sea level.
At sea level we saw a movie about the history of the place (seems as if Abraham came this way), and entered some of the caverns hollowed out by the action of the waves against the soft rock. Here are some nice picture of the caverns:    .
We finally turned toward home and Danny decided to take me to the Old City of Acre which is now the Jewish city of Akko. Napoleon tried very hard to conquer this city and failed. If you ever saw the movie “Exodus” there is a long scene where some Jewish freedom fighters are jailed by the British and Paul Newman and a bunch of Jews bomb a hole in the prison wall and allow the prisoners to escape. The scene in the movie is fairly accurate and this is the prison where it all took place.
After seeing all this, I decided it would be a good idea to bring groups to this area, so we scouted for a place for everyone to spend the night near the seashore. After being less than impressed with several places, we finally came upon a school that trains young Israelis to run the national parks. It has a place to set up tents and sleep outdoors as well as a large bonfire ring and some bar-b-que pits. It also has dorm rooms and a cafeteria. And it is across the road from the ocean. Just right! This picture is taken from the school, and here is a picture of me standing in the Sea across the road from the school.
Drove home after sunset and we were both really tired.
By the way, I haven’t heard from anyone lately. Am I boring you to death so you’re not reading this any more, or you just haven’t got anything to say. I need some home-grown news, folks!
Monday is the Jewish Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), the most holy day of the year. I only have about 3 weeks left here and the main holiday season begins next week (and lasts for a week) when neither Danny or Yossi will want to do any work. So, that means I only have a few days left to work with them. My final week here, both Danny and Yossi have a tour (which I’ve been invited to join) and this means they won’t be able to work with me then, either.
I just had to take this picture for you, Blake.
Our Jewish question of the day: On the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), the most holy day of the Jewish calendar, Jews all over the world read the Book of Jonah. Of all the books of the Bible they could read, why the Book of Jonah? It only has 4 chapters. Read it yourself and then tell my what you think is the answer.