The roads of Abraham, David and Christ
Meeting with Tel Aviv A comfortable Boeing 737 was approaching the Mediterranean coast of Israel, avoiding unfriendly territories. The aircraft began to descend, and in the night sky a brightly lit strip of the coast appeared with clearly visible outlines of Tel Aviv and the approaching lights of Ben Gurion. The generation brought up on films about the Great Patriotic War, the bright lights of night cities somehow did not reconcile with the idea of Israel as a state at war … Tel Aviv at night also did not make an alarming impression: three-story houses and quiet lanterns flooded with light streets. By the way, have you been to Odessa on Moldavanka? Have you seen low buildings made of limestone? Uncertain this color, especially after rain? This is approximately what the business center of the country looks like – Tel Aviv. “Hill of Spring” – so its name is translated. It is curious that this “buy house” style, born in the 30s of the last century, has not been preserved practically anywhere in the world. The Israelis proved this to be a historical artifact; accordingly, the city’s quarters are under the auspices of UNESCO. But in Odessa they haven’t come up with this yet … The old part of Tel Aviv – Jaffa. Here, typical for Mediterranean cities, architecture with cobblestone narrow streets in the Arab style. Fans of oriental exoticism will be shown a flea market – a real flea market. Vendors – usually of venerable age, Jews and Arabs – sell everything from ancient furniture and clothing worn twice in the last century to bicycle parts. Haifa and its gardens Haifa – a large port city makes a vivid impression. Here is one of the wonders of the world – the Bahai Gardens, where the shrine of the young Bahá’í faith is located – the Sanctuary of Bahá’u’lláh. The Báb, aka Sayyid Ali Muhammad, a Persian merchant, proclaimed in 1844 that he had been sent by God in order to prepare humanity for a new era. The British authorities, who ruled in Palestine at that time, executed the Bab in 1853 for seditious sayings. Bahai Gardens is a symbol that embodies the desire of Bahai people to make the world a better place – as beautiful as a garden. The principles of the Bahai religion are to recognize a single source for all religions of the world, the equal rights of men and women, and a world without borders. A kind of democracy, pacifism and cosmopolitanism combined. Religion has no priests. Management is carried out on the basis of decisions of deliberative councils formed on a selective basis. By the way, not far from the gardens, on Mount Carmel, there is a church of the Catholic Order of the Carmelites, the place where the famous eponymous order came from. Acre is a stronghold of the crusaders. Acre is imbued with the spirit of antiquity. What can I say, if the first mention of the city dates back to 1800 BC – that is, back to the era of Egyptian rule. He is mentioned in the Bible. Military units of the defenders of the faith moved here after the capture of Jerusalem in 1187 by the Sultan Saladin. Arriving on a retaliation mission, Richard the Lionheart, who led the third crusade, took Acre in a powerful onslaught in 1191. The Crusaders lost the city only after a hundred years, as a result of the siege of its Mamelukes, fighting units of Egyptian Islam. The tunnel discovered recently under the Templar Fortress is noteworthy, allowing you to ride on a horse-drawn cart directly to the port. Here it is, the prototype of modern offshore. From here, as the legends say, bypassing the royal customs, the ships of the holy church, loaded with loot during the campaigns, went good. As you know, the fate of the wealth of the Templars was concerned about the impoverished French treasury, and in 1307 the Royal Council decided to arrest all the Templars in France. The infamous arrests and pogroms did not fill the treasury, but shed a lot of blood, leaving a seal of even greater mystery on the treasures of the defenders of the faith of Christ. Acre – a fortified city, a prison city, an impregnable bastion, a key to the Middle East, which Napoleon never took. A long siege did not help the great commander, and he was forced to return to Egypt, leaving his plans for conquest. Today, the tourist center has a hard time: Lebanon is close at hand, and the summer military campaign scared away tourists – the only source of income for local residents. And although UN troops have long been brought into Lebanon, and no shots are heard, the tourism industry is suffering.