As the bus rolled up into the hills of the Israeli countryside, I pondered just how lucky I was. Being in the state of Israel in person, to be standing on my own two feet in the holy land, was and is my own personal miracle, the latest in a long line of them.
Thus far, Ariel, a beautiful and flourishing community of some 20,000 people located in the Samarian hills, had welcomed the group— and me— with open arms. We were led on a tour of this beautiful city, which is at the very fore of Israel’s frontier with the PLO. Everywhere we went, the people were friendly and welcoming. We were shown a variety of sites throughout the city, including the Ariel performing arts center and a variety of new construction projects. Wherever we went, the people were friendly and welcoming.
It was only my second day in this beautiful nation, but already I felt at home.We attended a tour of the Fried down pillow and blanket factory, where Israelis and Palestinian Arabs under the employment of Mr. Fried worked together to produce fine products. The tour was fascinating, and gave an interesting window into life, work, and industry in Ariel. It is truly a miracle that the community in Ariel has grown, flourished and prospered. The Israeli presence in these beautiful hills is testament to the awe I felt as I entered and traveled throughout the one and only Jewish state.