Thoughts from the Garden

I'm sitting in my good friend's beautiful garden in Ma'aleh Adumim, the first town founded after the Yom Kippur War. It sits east of Jerusalem on the road towards Jericho and the Dead Sea. It was launched in 1975 and established in 1979.

Ma'aleh Adumim is described as a border area between the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. The name refers to the route leading from the Jordan Valley to Jerusalem, dominated by "reddish hues" in its rock formations.

Ma'ale Adumim is located seven kilometers (4.5 miles) east of Jerusalem. This is geographically significant in that it makes Ma'ale Adumim a central location linking the Jordan Valley and Judean Desert to the nation capital, Jerusalem. Historically, foreign powers ruling the area - from the Romans to the Jordanians - attempted to secure this route and considered Ma'ale Adumim strategically crucial to the defense of Jerusalem.

I think the view from this garden is the best view of Jerusalem from Ma'aleh Adumim. Take a look in the photos below. Zoom in and out. Do you know what you are looking at?

The buildings in the distance are all part of the growth of the surrounding Arab towns.

The road to Jerusalem. You can see the Mt. Scopus tower of the Hebrew University in the distance. 

Over yonder you can see the beautiful rolling hills that I love so much. 
The rolling hills as you go up to Jerusalem.  
In the distance you can see the three towers - in the middle is the Mount of Olives and to the right Mt. Scopus. The towns in the front are mostly Arab. Please tell them to stop whining. They are living here quite freely and happily building to their hearts' delight. 

Ma'aleh Aduim sits at the very beginning of the Judean hills. It's the town where I lived for 9 years. I lived on the desert side which I adored. I adore the rolling hills of the Judean desert. Adjunct to my  home then was a wadi (valley) where the Bedouin (nomadic people) grazed their sheep and goats. Almost daily you could see the young shepherd riding his donkey and playing his halil (flute). Serenity. Peace. Calm. Beauty. Nature.

The beautiful rolling hills desert side. Sigh. 

The wadi. Sadly a new neighborhood went up on the other side to disturb the beauty, peace and quiet. 

As I sit here in the garden gazing upon Jerusalem my thoughts circle 'round about the political situation, the never-ending conflict between Arabs and Jews, and the rabid hatred and condemnation from the entire world. I'm sitting here in the garden of a home in what the world condemns as a "Jewish settlement". I'm looking at the same sort of homes being built literally across the street on the Arab side. The world condemns the Jewish homes but not the Arab. The world wants, and actually continues to demand that the Jewish homes be dissolved and disappear. Why?

I keep wondering why it's okay for Arabs to live in Jewish neighborhoods but Jews are not allowed, and even risk their lives should they set foot in an Arab town. Why does the world think that a Jew-free country is a desired and acceptable state of affairs? Why does the world condemn hatred and yet allow, even embrace hatred when it's about the Jews? This is what is called "baseless hatred" - hatred for no reason at all except for the sake of hating.

The fact is that in reality we are managing somehow. Everyone here is enjoying the same land. We're looking straight at each other face-to-face every day. We see the same views. At this very moment the Arab prayers can be heard as they are broadcast on loudspeakers from the neighboring towns. It's fine. Are they praying for the end of hostilities or calling for more?

The weather is beautiful today. It's a bit overcast and cloudy. It's a relief from the usual hot weather in this region. There's almost always a lovely breeze in Ma'aleh Adumim. Actually it gets quite windy here. It almost always gets cooler in the evenings - like in Jerusalem - so we can't sleep comfortably.

I'm actually having a difficult time as I sit here in this beautiful place. My mind is filled with questions that have no answers. Why the hatred? Why the separation? Why the condemnation of one nation and not another? There are Jews living in Israel from every corner of the world. You can ride the bus and hear conversations in every language under the sun. Even though we've lived in different nations, countries and cultures somehow we manage to get along. Why is there conflict with the non-Jewish world? Why is so much money, time and energy wasted on security rather than investing in a unified thriving region? Why is humanity stuck like this? When will the false narratives become recognized as false? What stops regular people from seeing the truth? Why are the Jews the world's most hated people?

Thoughts from the Garden.


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