Yonatan Raskin, a graduate of the “Shiluv” program of Yeshivat Shaalvim in Israel, shares with us his unique experience in the Holy Land.
Having learned about the landscapes of the country and its biblical history all his life, Yonatan finally meets directly with the physical and spiritual reality of the ancient places that until then had only lived in his imagination.
Now, this wonderful year in Israel, gave life and color to the whole picture, and created a connection to the land and the people living here.
What is it about Israel that draws so many people to it in such a magnetic way? Yonatan hits it on the nose – it is the spiritual dimension. The duality of all that exists in Israel. The physical and the spiritual dimensions.
But one may ask, “Is this a phenomenon that is exclusive to Israel? Is there nothing spiritual about everyday life outside of Israel?”
Of course there is spirituality outside of the Holy Land. Of course, much can be seen outside of Israel that is spiritual in nature.
So, then what is it about the Holy Land? Why is the difference so palpable in the Land of Israel?
Perhaps what makes the Land of Israel so holy is not just the spiritual nature of the Land. Perhaps it is the unique fusion of the mundane and the holy. Yonatan alludes to this when he ponders mundane things in Israel such as the roads. It is not merely a historical fascination that the roads in Israel are often right on top of ancient Biblical roads. It is the very nature of the roads that are spiritual. It is the very nature of the land and the people themselves that are spiritual.
The roads may look like any other roads. But they are different. The people largely look like any other people. But they live in a completely different mindset.
The life in Israel is one of potential harmony between secular and holy.
Perhaps that is the secret of the fascination and inspiration of the Holy Land.