I am thrilled to have finally launched the new version of my site, The Real Rubin. I guess you could say its more of an extended business card more than anything, but for anyone interested in exploring and visiting Israel, it’s definitely worth a peek. You can get a real good sense of what we can do together when you visit Israel and the region – no matter what kind of traveller you are. And even if you never set foot in the Holy Land, you can peruse the site and find a number of bits that might strike your interest. Or you may find absolutely nothing that will interest you at all!
The early morning air was crisp with a calming scent, and as the sun settled over the basalt plateaus to the east, the residents of the Jewish village of Kantur took the time to enjoy the soothingly warm rays, which briefly overcame the bone-chilling winter winds being swept off the lake deep in the tranquil valley to the west.
A new load of flax had just been purchased from the Christian village of Bethesda on the northeast side of the lake’s shore, and the increasing demand for soft, pure-linen fabric ensured that the Jews of Kantur would be working steadily throughout the winter months, processing the raw flax into a dyed-white material that could then be turned into a handsome profit. More importantly, this lucrative textile would be used by the community itself as clothing for the High Holy Days and for wrapping the bodies of those whose lives would cease to exist over the coming year.
While the villagers of Kantur strode optimistically to their dyeing basins on the south side of the village, the thought of death could only have been connected to those who would eventually be buried in the pristinely engineered garments. Suddenly, the earth started to sadistically tremble beneath their feet with such wrath that even the fiercest believers began to question their faith in the almighty Elohim. Volcanic boulders hurtled down upon them from the elevated plateau, leaving them with no time to comprehend the fact that their own journey to the next world was only seconds away. Instead, the newly purchased flax would soon be used to cover their own lifeless bodies. More
MIDDLE EAST HISTORY From unique Mamluk designs to the best hummus in the Old City, Stephen Rubin takes us on a tour of the area surrounding the iconic Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
There is nothing better than starting a day in Jerusalem at the Dome of the Rock / Temple Mount / Al Aqsa Compound / Solomon’s Temple / al-Haram-ash-Sharif (Arabic) / Har Habayit (Hebrew) or whatever you want to call the disputed holy site and location where security-policy wonks would probably give favorable odds to anyone wanting to make a bet on where World War III will erupt.
If you’ve been to Israel before, we know you’ve experienced religion and politics in Jerusalem, hangovers on the beach in Tel Aviv, floating while reading a newspaper on the Dead Sea and getting lost in the confusing cityscape of Haifa.
There’s also a good possibility you’ve enjoyed an afternoon of Protest Tourism – or Occupation Tourism, as uniquely coined by activists operating in Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
So, at this point, we’re assuming your back for round 2, and eventually rounds 3,4,5 and 6! Your next trip is the perfect time for a stop in Ramla.
Located in the Ayalon valley on the way from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv and resting between the Coastal Plain and Judean Lowlands, Ramla offers an excellent look at multicultural coexistence in a land wobbling on tightrope of ethnic, religious, and political enigmas. More