What an amazing week I had in Israel with Enrico Savini and his student Tommaso Triossi we were invited by Ofer Grunwald to do a demo at the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens at the end of the week (this will be another post). We travelled to the north and the highest point in Israel, Mount Herman and to the lowest, The Dead Sea. the week has been filled with great conversation, food beer and of course bonsai.
Israel has been a revelation, far from being a radical Jewish state I found it to have a massive cultural mix that ‘get along’ well with the only ‘strange’ group being the Hasidic Jewish people. They are NOT liked by the majority of the population as they are, in terms of population in the minority yet hold a major political influence on the country… I have seen more Hasidic Jewish in Prestwich near where I live than in Tel Aviv! With their distinct dress, Hasidic Jews are pretty hard to miss, and that’s part of the point. They believe their faith separates them from the general population and that their style of dress should reflect this distinction. It’s also an expression of their commitment to tradition, as their dress today was typical for Ukrainian Jews 250 years ago. What they fail to get their heads around is that its mostly cold in Ukraine/Poland and HOT in Israel, it was 36c and I was roasting in shorts and T-Shirt these guys were dressed for 20c below!
Israel is a truly beautiful and I have kept an open mind to the troubles that continually seem to dog this tiny country. I have stayed overnight with the Bedouin and listened to their plight, talked to the Muslims in the old City and discussed at length with my host the complex makeup of Israel. My conclusion is that they all want to live in Peace, its just the radical factions on all sides that simply don’t.