Community Blogs

Reporting from the Land of Oz

Here in the land of the free and home of the brave we are hearing thunder and the blessings of abundant rainfall along with the rumbling and rattling of sabers all around about- north, south and east, predominantly. Muscles and missiles are flexing on our border with Lebanon and that of Syria and Gaza, not to forget Persia promising to erase us from the map in a mere three days. Of course our immediate neighbors the Palestinians have already done that on their maps of Palestine with no hint of the State of Israel existing on them. But never mind, with odds against us of more than a million to one, why worry?

It’s part of a long and arduous story, a process of history for millennia where we have somehow thus far outlived the great empires who have regularly tried to destroy us. But now, besides owning a remarkably armed and highly motivated military on land, air, sea, and under the sea, we’ve got our Secret Weapon (don’t ask).

That Secret has brought us abundant rains this year to refresh our aquifers, and has now opened the treasures of the deep with a massive offshore discovery of natural gas about to render us energy independent. And that odd Jewish mind, which has long been the receiver of mysteries from that Secret, has been harnessed here to develop wonders of technology to, among other things, turn salty sea water into fresh, becoming a large percentage of our potable water to drink and to irrigate our land for abundant crops to feed our folks with every culinary delight, including pineapples and trout.

And by some other specie of miracle, fear is virtually non-existent among Israelis, who are too busy building, surfing, biking, and also skiing on the snows of Mt. Hermon and, in one form or another, continue happily celebrating all the ancient festivals of YHVH, undeterred. As our first prime minister, the secular Ben-Gurion noted, “Whoever lives in Israel and does not believe in miracles is not a realist.” And so realists we are.

*Oz in Hebrew: ‘strength’

Elhanan ben-Avraham

Elhanan ben-Avraham, born in 1945, is a professional artist, poet, writer and father of two, grandfather of four, living in Israel since 1979. He has served in the IDF, taught the Bible internationally, published two illustrated books of poetry, and painted two large Biblical murals in public buildings in Jerusalem, among many other works. He and his wife live in a quiet village in the Mountains of Judah.

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