Sunday, March 14, 2010

Coming Back to Where It All Began

I was excited to return to Tel Hazor, the place of the archeological dig in ancient Hazor. The city Joshua burned to the ground. The city Deborah and Barak later conquered. And later still, one of Solomon's cities, complete with a gate attributed to him.

Not to mention, the place where I first "fell into the Bible."

I wrote about it in my book Reflections of God's Holy Land; A Personal Journey Through Israel. This monumental event in my life was the starting point for my article "Falling Into The Bible" written for in 2002. This is the place where a Hebrew speaking man named Hsein el Heib whispered to me in perfect English, "You are touching the Bible." This is the place where my life changed.

Now, I get to share it with my friends.

We arrived shortly after a picnic lunch eaten in the courtyard of a small shopping strip. Most of us had falafels. I say "most of us." Robi managed to find a McDonalds, of all things. Then we piled back into the van and headed to Tel Hazor. Mr. el Heib -- who knew of our coming -- stood just outside the visitor's entrance/his office. I couldn't wait to see him again (this being our third meeting). I opened the side panel door and stepped out. "Shalom!" I said.

"Shalom, Eva!" he said back.

Photos of the reunion were snapped, and then I asked him to show my friends what he'd shown me in 2002; the wall which holds the remains of (what is believed to be) Joshua's fire.

But he was unable to walk with us. He had been in a fight with a bull, he explained, and the bull won. His foot and leg were still beat up but he would wait for us to return and speak to us more then.

We walked on. Past the old entry into the city and toward the gate near what is the old "palace."

To the wall.

Robi said, "Wait! I have to get a photo of myself with Miriam and Eva here; I've heard so much about this one spot in Israel!" And so someone took our picture. Then, each of my friends approached the wall, touched its sooty surface, and poised while I snapped their image.

I hated saying goodbye. We were so rushed; we had to move on quickly. But we said our goodbyes to Mr. el Heib (Robi made friends with his dog.), then piled back into the van so we could head to the Sea of Galilee.

We were about to run where Jesus walked!

(For the full story of what happened to me at the wall in Tel Hazor, go to: AMAZON BLOG )

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