Israel: Land of Diversity and Extreme Contrasts

Israel covers a tiny bit of land.

You can drive the entire country from north to south in less than a day.

We spent more time in the car trying to get from New York City

to Washington, DC, years ago for a Thanksgiving Day wedding.

Taking a trip outside of Jerusalem, Israel, this past week

inspired this post of amazing contrasts.

All photos are from this week,

a week in a month of no holidays.

Kfar Etzion old igloo buildings

The old white stone “igloos” of Kfar Etzion,

perched on a mountain blend into the wintry sky.

While construction across from the Jerusalem Theater

Construction near Jerusalem Theater

goes deep, deep into the earth.

This used to be my shortcut path,

soon it will be sight of a modern luxury tower.

Conference at IDI Riskin, Liat Collins, religion

Religious diversity was the topic of discussion

at the Israel Democracy Institute,

while poverty was discussed at Mishkenot Sha’ananim.

Taub Center conference poverty Elie Elalouf

The Taub Center conference concluded with

a panel and MK Elie Elalouf’s Knesset poverty report.

We hear endless stories of barriers and borders.

Baptism site in Jordan River Israel Jordan border

How does that compare to the river border with Jordan?

On the other side of that simple pool rope is the Kingdom of Jordan.

The man in the white top on the left had just immersed in the river.

Can you spot the soldier on guard duty?

One huge contrast is the sky in summer and winter.

Cloud scene on Israel with windmills

While in summer the sky is pure blue,

the winter sky is often cloudy.

Through these low clouds on a mountain top,

you can almost see the windmills on the right.

Desert scene with cloudy sky

Drive out of hills of Jerusalem,

you will find the desert.

No rain, but blue skies and white clouds.

These two white vehicles were parked,

one day I may photo shop them out.

This was an everyday scene at an Israeli rest stop,

with the prerequisite camel nearby.

Bet Shean park Roman ruins

The ancient Roman ruins at Bet Shean park

are worthy of a blog post of its own.

It is only a short drive to modern Tel Aviv.

And certainly do not forget the diversity

Kez costume and Ethiopian Israel woman

of the Israeli population.

Ethiopian-Israelis are integrating

as judges, rabbis and members of Knesset,

but this man is just in costume, he is not a real Kes.

The clouds make for amazing sunsets this time of year.

My friends were raving one night at this scene,

Sunset and cloudy sky

so I took a little photo liberty with this photo,

adding a some color to the scattered clouds.

One more before I go,

 the number and diversity of the street musicians,

old and young, male and female,

Street music religious man

religious and who knows what, is amazing.

 Some performers may be down on their luck.

However, from the streets of Eilat to Israeli stardom,

Jerusalem Jewish Media Summit 2016 Gat Brothers

the Brothers Gat were the entertainment for the gala opening

of the Jerusalem Jewish Media Summit 2016,

performing for international Jewish editors, publishers

and journalists.

For a “quiet” month with no holidays,

there was so much happening,

I’m glad I had a few moments for the “Sounds of Silence.”

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