When most people hear me talk about this wonderful community that I love to visit called Itamar, or they here me talk about my friends Mayor Moshe and Leah Goldsmith I get some weird looks. In America, most people have never heard of Itamar and in Israel, well they all know where Itamar is, but some wonder why in the world would I go there.
What is funny to me is how disconnected we in America are to the region in the Middle East called Israel and in particular the Shomron Region. It amazes me more to learn how disconnected the Christian community is to the area that Jesus walked and before that his forefathers, the authors of the Bible (Torah) he read from. Now if I said to America, I am going to the West Bank to visit some friends, they would gasp and worry about my safety. The people in Israel know where I’m going but they say, ‘that’s where the religious people live so why do you go there’?
My answer is simple and the video below will show you just one reason I choose to visit Itamar.
A Concert in Itamar for the Disabled Children.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmlbjnJYdJs[/youtube] The Shomron area is the Bible belt of the world! This is the place where Abraham walked as he entered the land G_D showed him to go to. It is the very place that Moses told the children to enter after he led them out of slavery from Egypt, it is the place where Abraham built an alter, where Jesus met the Samaritan woman, where Yosef (Joseph), Gideon and others are buried. It is the place where the Ark of the Covenant rested and land that was purchased. Today it is the home of Jews and Arabs. Jews living on the mountains building businesses, schools and communities and in the valley the Arabs live, where they have businesses and communities also. They also have Yosef’s tomb that they have desecrated. Mountain which some from the valley have climbed to commit acts of terror on the Jewish people. The Shomron for the most part is also the place where the US Government forces building freezes on (only) the Jewish people.
Like I said, this is the Bible belt of Israel and the world. What if we allowed the Southern States of the US which are our Bible belt to be frozen from building because neighboring states don’t want Christians living there? Would we quit visiting those areas and give up on them because they are religious or we are afraid of some conflict?
I go to Itamar and the Shomron region because I love the area and find such strength and peace being with the people. You cannot truly experience this place if all you are there for is a bible lesson. To truly experience the Shomron region and Itamar in particular, you must spend time with the people!
They are beautiful!