I’m quite busy with work at the moment, so rather than post articles this week, I’m going to post photos from my various trips to Israel.
I’ll add a new photo to this post each day. I hope you enjoy them – and I’d love you to add (in the comment section) your own photos and experiences of the various sites I’ll feature!
We were invited to an art gallery in Tel Aviv. What I saw there moved me deeply and provoked many urgent thoughts in my mind, including: what the hell am I doing in this place? If I do my hand on hips pose will that make me look less bored? I want to be sitting by the beach with an iced coffee from Aroma. (I soon would be!)
You can’t beat a flying visit to Israel. It was February 2010. Monday lunchtime I was in cold and snowy Britain. On Tuesday morning I was standing at the Kotel (Western Wall) with my best Israeli friend, Tal. It was t-shirt weather. Ish.
On our final day in Israel in 2010, we each planted a tree in the forest outside Jerusalem as part of a small ceremony organised by the Jewish National Fund. I was asked to give a speech, so I spoke about the original Zionist pioneers and how they can inspire us all. (There is a video of our final day here, including the tree planting.)
This was when we visited the Israeli Knesset (parliament). I arrived thrilled to be walking in the footsteps of Menachem Begin and so many other legends. A few MKs came and spoke to us, including Ze’ev Bielski, who is in the picture. I asked him when Israel was going to start treating the Gush Katif evacuees properly. I was worried I had been a bit haranguing, but I think my definition of haranguing roughly corresponds with politeness in Israel.
This was taken at Abu Gosh, the Arab Israeli town outside Jerusalem. A lovely place. It’s known as the Hummus Capital of Israel. Having heard so much hype about that over the years I was a tad disappointed with the hummus I ate there – but the Turkish coffee was magnificent. I blame the caffeine for the hands-on-hips posture I’m attempting to rock in this photo. Oh dear.
Another photo from August 2010 today. This was taken at Jerusalem’s lively Mahane Yehuda Market. It was a Friday and we’d joined the volunteers who help elderly/infirm customers carry their shopping bags to their bus stop, car, or home. This was an amazing experience and we were absolutely showered with blessings. The young lady to my left is called Michal. She is a regular volunteer. We had a wonderful chat, it was inspiring and humbling to hear about her experiences volunteering.
My second photo this week was taken at Qumran in 2007. It was my birthday, and we were on our way to Jerusalem for the first time. Oh, younger me. If you knew what joys awaited you your grin would be even wider. (I’m the one in the t-shirt, by the way.)
Where else to start but the Temple Mount? I am second from the right in this photo. If you think I look a bit grumpy you’re right – I explained why in this post. This was taken in August 2010. Do swing by again tomorrow for another photo.
Follow me on Twitter