Eleven to Thirteen hour flight. You ask, ‘Where to?’ Israel, a country where I learned my soul feels intrinsically aligned. A mystical bond by this beautifully diverse country takes over and it is more than simple genetics or complex frequencies. Israel is a land of mystery, a land shared and sought after, with good reason.
Stepping off the plane, with many beautiful people, the pleasant light is instantly warming. Once you take your first step on this new land, something newer happens and instantly I am entering into this magnanimous place, the energy you feel is electric. There is a magnetism that pulls at you, welcoming you home. Of all the places I have traveled, of all the mountains I have seen, of all the lands I have been honoured to touch, there has yet to be a destination that has intrigued me as this small country has. It is the land that feeds many ancestors, and in a strange way, I see many past and future lives in the eyes of people around me, clothing me with wisdom and comfort. What surprises me most, is that in a land, wrought with discord, and the prospect of impending danger, there would have been an apprehensiveness in the air. But rather, there was a comradely, a brother and sisterhood of sorts. Where people help other people and see beyond this physical world and the notion of time. Maybe it’s because the illusion of time does not exist, it is instead a constant reminder of how precious life is, how precious it is to live, to love, to learn, to share, to exist. That special energy is here.
The energy here is different. You can feel it, see it and if you are lucky, touch it. It is palpable, tingling in your veins. The ground begins to glow warm and the energy seeps inside, through your skin, into your stream of blood and pulsates from the outside in. It is the land that flows with milk and honey, the Promised Land, a land that nourishes like milk and is sweet like honey. It is a land, whose past echos in the streets, through the present, and whose future is unknown. Metaphorically, Israel, represents, what each of us embodies; Diversity, Unity, an emotional past, an unknown future, and yet, full of hope, faith and life.
My love affair with Israel is not unique; many have fallen in love with the people, places and experiences this small Middle Eastern country has to offer. North of Haifa, are incredible hot springs, contrasting the dry desert of Israel to the South. If you are seeking refuge in the holy land, Jerusalem offers the holiest of places; The Wailing Wall. Where you can find people from all around the world, people from all cultures and creeds, praying to God, for forgiveness, gratitude, while atoning for their sins. And after asking forgiveness, you can always head to Tel-Aviv, whose bustling nightlife is bound to make you schedule a second trip to the Wailing Wall, in repentance once again! Start your day with a walk by the Marina while drinking an incredible expresso, made by someone that most likely speaks at least a few different languages and that has lived across the world, absolutely delicious. From the Marina, the full of life, music, and sports of Tel-Aviv beach awaits for a great place to tan, swim, play or just sit and enjoy; being taken away by all the people around you. People watching can continue as you head to central Tel-Aviv to shop and enjoy lunch, dinner, snacks and so much more. The night life usually begins at 11pm and may have you smiling until sunrise. I recommended you enjoy a sunrise and sunset at least once, as I did. You will be grateful you listened.
Israel is a seductive mix of the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern, eclectically mesmerizing you and dazzling you, while always keeping you asking for more. And if all this wasn’t enough, travel North West of Jerusalem and you will find yourself in Netanya, resort city in Central Israel. Known for its’ world-class beaches, Netanya is also home to a worldly known hospital Sanz Medical Center – Laniado Hospital, offering its services to over 450,000 people. Originating as a maternity clinic in 1976, today Laniado Hospital proudly and humbly boasts full medical departments. The Maternity ward has and continues to save pregnant women and babies all around the Middle East. It does not only serve and save citizens of Israel but also surrounding countries which some may be under siege.
With international offices in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland, Laniado Hospital reach is global and thankful by many. The hospital’s vision is expressed by their founder, the late Klausenburger Rebbe, his founding statement being:
“To strive as far as possible to ease the pain and suffering of the patients, and to improve their emotional and spiritual state”.
As an enthusiast for travelling to Israel, it was a natural fit to want to assist such a spectacular hospital in a land I feel at home in. As a Board member and Event Co-chair of the Canadian Friends of Laniado Hospital, I feel a sense of fulfillment to help a hospital that has no distinction of their patients. Whom strive and continue saving and enhancing the lives of so many. Their goal is not only to fix the medical condition, but to fix the spiritual and emotional dis-ease, in an effort to heal body, mind and soul of all peoples.
This past January (2018), it was an honour to co-chair and a privilege to donate my time and effort to a cause so dear to my heart, and to be able to gracefully have the chance to thank our sponsors and donors at the annual Laniado Hospital Event. As I continue to travel, I keep searching for a place that will enchant me, the way that Israel has. In some ways, I know, no destination is alike and that this place has electrified my soul in its own defined way. Israel, you are a country that women and men fight for as brothers and sisters, and a country much loved by many as one, collectively united.
Photos: Jennifer Levy