Encountering Israel

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24. "Polarities at Ben Gurion Airport": a Hasid ultra-orthodox Jew paired with secularized travelers who walk by an advert for polarized sunglasses, near Tel Aviv.<br />
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As I prepare to return home after honoring my parents by planting a tree, I see this apocryphal scene at the airport. A Hasid is walking one way wearing traditional religious garb, while travelers dressed in more modern, secular clothing walk in the opposite direction. In the background, a spotlit ad features a fashionable young man wearing polarized sunglasses. <br />
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Surely, this image highlights Israel's polarities! Looking at it, I wonder what values will ultimately triumph in this complex land.  Will superficial, destructive desires outweigh kindness and understanding? Will we ever make peace and find common ground?<br />
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And will I go back to Israel to see what transpires?  I haven't decided. But I hope Israel will be there, despite its thorns and brambles, should I choose to return.