Hawking Holiness Here
Israel’s chief export is holiness. And holiness here flows from a complicated network of sources and streams, often competing with one another to meet the market’s demand. We have been praised by our guide for being the most polite of countries that visit, and also told by him that there are times we should not be so polite. We are encouraged to be less nice when we need to push through an Israeli crowd to keep our large group together, or be on guard against pickpockets in certain areas, or avoid the street sellers hard hawking their wares. But everyone is selling something here, from beads to ideology, from picture perfect pilgrimages to politics. And each thing or idea being sold is fed by the ancient, millenia old springs whose rivers of holiness criss cross this land. I confess, though, I’m deeply in the market for holiness, and sit at the juncture of supply and demand. I’ve heard the Israeli vendors, heard high prices and low. I’ve heard salesmen speak of their exclusive arrangements to assist me in my quest to make sense of what I’m experiencing. I’ve been pressed hard to make a tangible investment in what they have to offer. Israel is selling holiness and I’ve bought.
Today was also our visit to Yad Vashem, the holocaust museum in Jerusalem, many tears were shed with, understandably, little to no pictures.