Recently at my husband Dave's class reunion I had a fun&lively conversation with one of his classmates. Marla, the woman I visited with, worked for a time at the U.S. Embassy located in Tel Aviv. In 2011 my husband, son and I toured Israel. The hotel we stayed at was right beside that Embassy. Dave and I have dreams of one day retiring in Israel to live in Tel Aviv. I told Marla that before we make a final decision we would talk to her again. She shared that it's much different being there as a tourist versus actually living in the state. She is right. The cost of living is high, the religious strain is combative and intense, the country is surrounded on all sides with the Middle East unrest. By her reaction, I'd say that she sensed that we are probably delusional. She did say that it is easier to live there if a person is solidly spiritually centered. We talked some about the Jewish religious divides within the priesthoods and the tension that exists on many street corners with vigorous, animated outbursts of argumentation. I had to laugh as I joined her in our own spunky, give and take of opinions. I really enjoyed Marla; she was straight up, smart&gutsy !
In my own studies, I have done some in depth research on most of the Jewish priesthoods. I have very strong viewpoints about this subject. I am aware of the political persuasion&influence in Israel by the Orthodoxy Hasidic sect of Judaism, which took hold&inserted its own brand of legalism, righteousness&peity in their society. Like the days of Jesus when the Sadducees&Phaisees comprised the ruling class, so it is today with the Hasidic authoritative impact. I find them fascinating to study, watch and talk to, but with all due respect my theorem position always stands on biblical doctrine. Therefore, only the Jewish priesthood of eternal value is the Leviticus sect. I recall having this discussion with a scholar who happily declared that, "...there is no such thing today as the Levites priestly function and that there are none..."
Hmmm...perhaps he should go to Israel and walk the Kotel Tunnel.
God is at work.
Excerpt from my book
When It's All Said & Done
I cannot begin to express the awe of this trip.
Dave, Nate&I bonded in a way that only those who love God&His word can identify with. We stayed in Tel Aviv, at the Park Plaza Orchard, on the beach. We took daily trips from this point of origin, returning at night. We bicycled to Old Jaffa, traveled to the Jordan River, saw Meggiddo, walked the old cities of Jesus's day, gazed at Old Jerusalem from the Mt of Olives, cried at the Garden of Gethsemane, stood on Calvary, witnessed the place of Christ's tomb, climped the stairs to the Rotunda, took pictures of the Chapel of the Franks, toured the Kotel Tunnel, bowed&prayed near the supposed place of the Arc of the Covenant.
We talked to Leviticus Priests, covered our heads at the Western Wall& Old City, strolled&smelled the aroma of the Cotton Merchants Market. We were stopped at the entrance of the Dome of the Rock by gun toting guards, soaked in the Negev Desert&the Dead Sea. We toured Masada&the West Bank, went to Haifa, Mount Carmel, Caesarea, and walked the Crusader underground city&the grand gothic Knights Hall. We saw the Roman Theater&aqueducts, Herold's palace, and saw the beauty of Rash Hanikra, along the Lebanon-Israeli border.
We talked, and visited with people, whose lives&personal stories were magnificent. It was extraordinary&unbelievable. We cried, laughed&pinched ourselves at this blessing of a trip. It was intense, historical& deeply profound for all three of us.