[Webmaster's note: This report was written by Leon Gork, a tour guide who writes about places he has visited. Leon was very helpful to the BikeAbout team while they were in Israel, and has graciously allowed us to make his work available to you on the BikeAbout site. The opinions expressed in this report are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of BikeAbout.]


(12/4/98) Like every harbor city, Caesarea was a meeting place of cultures. Judaism had met many cultures from the time of father Abraham, when it met the Egyptians, to the time of the 2nd Temple, when it met the Romans. Each successive culture considered itself superior to Judaism and the meetings ended in catastrophe for the Jews. The meeting with the Egyptians ended in slavery. The meeting with the Babylonians ended in the destruction of the 1st Temple and Jerusalem and the 1st exile. The meeting with the Greeks ended in suppression of the Jewish religion and desecration of the Temple.

Now the meeting with the Romans left the 2nd Temple and Jerusalem again in ruins and the Jewish people once again in exile. Each catastrophe, however, brought with it salvation, a better understanding of our religion and new insight to the nations of the world regarding G-d.

Slavery in Egypt lead to the Exodus. The return and the rebuilding of the Temple followed the Babylonian exile. The Greek oppression lead to an understanding of religious freedom and tolerance.

The Romans thought they had uprooted Judaism with the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem. In fact the opposite is true. Judaism after the destruction of the Temple began a journey to the Western world. This was the beginning of a new meeting, which would last 2000 years. A sojourn full of physical suffering but eventually Judaism would return to Israel with new vigor.

We are living now in the midst of a process of new understanding, which future generations will be able to evaluate. Rest assured it too will lead to new understanding.

bulletCheck out some of Leon's photos

Leon Gork (Tour Guide)
P.O.Box 4354 Jerusalem 91042
Tel/Fax 02 5810732....Cel.053 801867/823905
Treasurer:Jerusalem for Bicycles

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