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Waves of Faith

Several weeks ago in the New York Times, I read an article written by Matti Friedman called Ghost Rails of the Holy Land. Written by a reporter who has spent time living in Israel, she talks about the derelict railroad lines that crisscross the countryside. They tell of a different era, and offer a different vision of the space.  She writes about a train ride she took from Tel Aviv north to the last stop on the Lebanese border. When she disembarked she saw that the rails went further, but the train no longer did. It used to go all the way to Beirut up the Lebanese coast. She says that Israel is full of ghost rails. One built over 100 years ago by the Ottoman sultan connected the port of Haifa with Damascus in Syria, a trip completely preposterous today. Other rail lines, now long abandoned,  take you to Turkey or Egypt, passing through desert, or along the Jordan River. They cross over to the West Bank to the sea and back, reminding us quieter times when people booked passage to visit relatives or to take vacations. Just imagine a railroad filled with passengers going to business meetings or family parties, children excited by the journey and parents with picnic baskets or briefcases, or overnight suitcases. How normal that would be for the Holy Land and utterly unimaginable, today.  There is a long tradition that the Israeli railroad runs a little late, and you have to be patient. Friedman says, “If you hike the overgrown line up to Israel’s northern border {toward Lebanon} at the cliffs of Rosh Hanikra where the tunnel to Lebanon was cut in 1948 you’ll pass a little sign on which someone has composed a meditation in Hebrew,  The management of the Cairo-Jaffa-Haifa-Beruit railroad apologizes to passengers. The clock is broken, the track worn down, the locomotive is tired, the weeds high, the fuel expensive, the engineer asleep, the tunnel blocked, And one more little detail - peace is running late. But don’t give up: the train is coming. It’s be just a few more minutes.” Some people have more patience than others. When we visited a Palestinian refugee came we met this young girl. She is done waiting. She has been waiting too long.   Pray for peace, in Israel and all the Holy Lands of the earth.  Rev. Susan Check out the article at this link: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/16/opinion/israel-railroad-tracks.html

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