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A Day In The Middle East

December 24th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Now I realize that I am only a tourist… here for a little less than a week and that as a tourist one only sees what a tourist would see. One has to wonder why three of the major religions in the world call this tiny speck of land indispensable… ground zero so to speak. Of course I have only been in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem but at least in this part of the Jewish State, peaceful coexistence seemed to me the norm. What do I know.


As we looked out over this panorama, you could hear the Muezzin calling the faithful to prayer. It was an amazing sound and while it went on, our four and a half year old daughter, Israel Love, danced blissfully… oblivious to the possibilities of hatred. We proceeded to the ancient city and entered through the Lion Gate, passing Herod’s Gate as we wound our way toward the Western Wall.

ali baba interne

If a flying carpet is not what you’re looking for, then how about hi speed internet… or perhaps a travel poster.

travel posters

Or maybe a market where anything is possible.


I mean, you can’t make this stuff up. It was all fantastic, but I think I really came all this way to pray at the Wall. They said it was unusually peaceful on this day… It wouldn’t have mattered on way or the other.

Western Wall

As I walked towards the Wall a Rabbi approached me. ‘Are you Jewish?’ he asked. ‘I am,’ I replied as a I headed towards the wall. ‘Not so fast. How would you like to put on Teffilin?’ Second time for me in two months. ‘Of course,’ I said.


As I was leaving, the Rabbi told me, ‘Remember, you are not a tourist here. Here you are home!’

You know, I could feel it, I really could.


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  1. December 24th, 2010 at 14:45 | #1

    Wonderful stuff Jorma. Best to you and your family for a happy and healthy 2011!

  2. neil
    December 24th, 2010 at 15:37 | #2

    special words…as always…travel safe and may the light of love be on you and your family in the coming new year…

  3. Richard Kamin
    December 24th, 2010 at 17:05 | #3

    Jorma with Tiffilin,I love it…Mazol Tov!!!!

  4. Mark Taplar
    December 24th, 2010 at 17:34 | #4

    Glad that you all had (are having) a great time in Israel. The first time that I travelled there, I was amazed at the energy. It seemed like I was living history. In Jerusalem, modern life on the main street and turn the corner to go back centuries/millenia. Thanks for posting the pictures.
    Nissiya Tova on your return trip. Belated Yom Huledet Samaiach (Happy Birthday)!



  5. Doug Israel
    December 24th, 2010 at 18:16 | #5

    What a great picture Jorma! I don’t usually don tefillin but when I do I always get a spiritual feeling.

  6. Joe from DC
    December 24th, 2010 at 18:46 | #6

    Cool beans.
    I am Jewish as well…
    Tiffilin…did I spell that correctly???!!!!
    Glad you guys had a good time and show. I am sure it was a blast.
    I have traveled to the mid east several times and you just cant make this stuff up..its a whole other world there. Depending on where you are; you can experience the sound of Jewish prayer and the call for evening prayer at a mosque at the same time. Amazing how the 2 factions just don’t seem to get along… happy trails…………

  7. Joe from DC
    December 24th, 2010 at 18:47 | #7

    Hey when is Jack’s Bday???? Love to see another Beacon show for that???????????

  8. Doug Israel
    December 25th, 2010 at 01:13 | #8

    @Joe from DC
    It’s a transliteration of the Hebrew so it really doesn’t matter. Some might spell it T’filen. I usually spell it Tefillin.

  9. Doron
    December 25th, 2010 at 08:55 | #9

    Thanks for the fantastic show on Wednesday! Everyone walked out of Reading vibrating. Glad you’re having a fun trip. Hope you DO come again, and soon. Spring is the best time of year. Why not aim for Passover?

  10. December 25th, 2010 at 13:35 | #10

    As one in the sold-out crowd – thanks for the most amazing show. My friend and I have been playing Hesitation Blues thanks to you for 30 years. I loved showing my 19-yr old son (who also loved the concert) what 4 musicians can do when the versus just come to break up the jam! Heavenly!

  11. Joe from DC
    December 25th, 2010 at 16:02 | #11

    thanks Doug….

  12. Dr. Josh’s Sister
    December 26th, 2010 at 21:20 | #12

    Jorma, thrilled to see you with Tefillin. Next time you go to Israel, let me know and I can really set you up to see some of the really spiritual places. I have lots of friends and famuily there. They are always loving to show people a good time. Especially in Tel-Aviv where all the clubs are. Isn’t it cool that people go to clubs and are all differnet age groups at the same place. You see families from 18-80 at the same clubs. So different from the US. Anyway, the families I know are always wanting to host people for Shabbos and then you really get to feel like part of the country. Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip. Take car.
    Malka (Dr. Josh’s sister)

  13. Dave Millard
    December 26th, 2010 at 22:38 | #13

    Jorma, you look young and rejuvenated!

  14. Joshua Borenzweig
    December 27th, 2010 at 11:54 | #14

    Happy Birthday Jorma!

  15. Joshua Borenzweig
    December 27th, 2010 at 12:12 | #15

    WOW this is also mildstone in my life for sure! I have been following you and Jack from the begnning. Time does indeed move on. But 70!!!! As a fellow Landsmen, I wish all the best for you and you family and may you live to be 120!

  16. Dreadbagel
    December 27th, 2010 at 14:16 | #16

    I spent a bit of time in Israel in the 1980s and was fortunate enough to catch some major concerts by prominent visiting artists, most notably: Simon & Garfunkel – 1983 Ramat Gan Stadium, Ray Charles – Jerusalem 1987, and perhaps most appropriately, Eric ‘G-d’ Clapton (twice!) 1984 – Jerusalem and in 1989 at the magnificent Roman ampitheatre at Caesarea.

    But clearly I missed the big fish!!!

    Anyhow, happy birthday Jorma my landtsman! And many many more!

    Zei Gezunt!

    Hot Tikva!!! 🙂

  17. December 29th, 2010 at 09:38 | #17

    When logic and proportion
    Have fallen sloppy dead,
    And the White Knight is talking backwards
    And the Red Queen’s “off with her head!”
    Remember what the dormouse said:
    “Feed your head. Feed your head. Feed your head”

  18. Jeff S
    January 5th, 2011 at 04:16 | #18

    Hot Tuna tickets $99, Jorma’s signature M-30 Martin guitar – $5100. Jorma dressed in Tefillin, PRICELESS!!!

  19. Daniel Pozner
    November 29th, 2011 at 22:05 | #19

    I was hoping to see you guys here in Israel again this year. I have that picture of you and your daughter backstage from before the show. It was great seeing you after 30 + years since the Academy of Music NYC days. You need to see Tzfat in the north.

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