We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Over 50-years ago, my Bar Mitzvah was in a small, poor Orthodox synagogue in Brooklyn. The training was by rote and the surroundings were typical of the Diaspora, what my Grandparents built in the freedoms of the US but, still, seemingly far removed from the deepest meaning for a young boy.
Since my eldest son was born, I’ve been determined that he experience and understand much more that he could carry through life. His Jewish education has been far more enriched. I’ve saved my airline miles since then, and next April, right after Passover, our family is going to Israel for Jason’s Bar Mitzvah. It will be on the Haas Promenade overlooking Jerusalem, where one can see its history and present. We’ll be traveling all over Israel for the next two-weeks, its wondrous and even miraculous diversity and beauties, several thousand years of history side-by-side with one of the world’s most advanced countries built with blood, sweat, tears, courage, and brains.
I made such a trip in my 40s and it changed and enriched my life. That’s my prayer and gift to Jason for his Bar Mitzvah.
This video captures some of that, in English, Jerusalem Of Gold, the third verse:
But as I sing to you, my city, And you with crowns adorn, I am the least of all your children, Of all the poets born. Your name will scorch my lips for ever, Like a seraph's kiss, I'm told, If I forget thee, golden city Jerusalem of gold.
Oh, Jerusalem of gold, and of light and of bronze, I am the lute for all your songs.
Very cool. I've never been, although strange as it may sound, I have several good friends who now live and work in Israel - my wife's bestie for life and college roommate Maureen Goldberg Schultz lives in Tel Aviv. I've promised her a trip there soon to visit.
What a beautiful gift to your son and family. I would love to visit Israel and take such a trip but I won't. I have choosen to not go to dangerous places (no insult intended). I have long wanted to go to Greece and revisit Italy but not until their social and government problems are fixed. I will continue to look for a good deal to visit Scotland or Ireland and I'm always eager to visit France or Germany or Australia, but other then that I'm going to see more of the USA and Canada.
Although this video is mostly historical footage - the "gold, light, and bronze" refer to the flesh/peach-colored limestone unique to Jerusalem. You can see it in some of the color footage at the end.
Amazing experience to walk through the Old City at twilight, to the Temple Mount. The stone is glowing in the sunset, the sky is lavender at the horizon.
Make sure you reserve places to tour the excavations in the City of David - including Hezekiah's water tunnel - and the extensive new finds under the Temple Mount itself. And the Burnt House and rebuilt Hurva Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter.
This is the living history you are talking about.
If you come around Passover, you may need reservations for some of these places.
When my eldest son was 13 (3 years ago) we also went to Israel for his bar mitzvah. I had never been in Israel before and was struck by the history, beauty and vibrancy of life. In Montreal, we would have been in a synagogue with separate seating. At the Wall, my wife was able to watch with only a partition between us.
Hopefully we will be able to go back soon for our younger son.
We bought a Park Pass and visited some amazing places. Explored Cesarea, snorkeled in Eilat and climbed Masada before sunrise.