Built for Faith

ancient synagogue Golan AmitaiAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

This photo of an ancient synagogue in the Golan in Israel brings up both the frailty and sturdiness of history. The Jewish house of worship in the photo is many centuries old. It reflects millennia of Jewish connection to the area, along with the realities of wars, destruction, exile, division, and battles over God and faith, righteousness and identity … All of which continue to this day … in many faiths and identifications … all over the world.

I look at this photo and where some might see ruins, I see times of destruction and times of rebuilding. I see a testament to time’s eternal light. I feel awe at the masonry and workmanship, at the symmetry and the human stories these walls had seen, heard, lived, know. People have gathered to worship communally in this synagogue, as humans of all faiths had gathered in places of worship around the world before and since. At its core, a house of worship – be it made of bricks, wood, stone, or out in open nature; whether it praises one God or the many deities of spirituality – holds the potential to bring people closer together and closer to appreciating creation and the need for compassion and gratitude.

Geography shifts, empires shuffle people around, greed blinds, circumstances and propaganda preach division (and sometimes even hate and violence), but at its very foundation, humanity withstands, faith remains, hope endures.

May we build on strength and community. May our foundations always hold true and strong.

 

For Tuesday Photo Challenge

Mighty Layered

layered AmitaiAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

In the mighty desert

Old times loom.

Layers of crushed history

Pressed by ancient rain

By ash and mud

Bones and sand.

Carved craters

Cleaved by flaming travelers

Hurling from

Beyond the sun.

Pressed down eras

Sandwiched by eternity

And painted

In primordial

Deposits:

Iron

Copper

Lime.

 

 

For The Daily Post

For The Photo Challenge

The Old Tree

old olive tree Jerusalem

Take a road

To the old

Olive tree.

In the city

Of God

It has seen

Two millennium of

Seasons

And more.

It has borne

Many fruits

Born of peace

Lost to war.

It allowed countless branches

Be shaken

Come harvest.

Its gifts of

Ripe ovals

Olive branch,

Nourished life

Lighted shores

Hallowed faith, custom, lore.

Take a road

To the old

Tree of yore

Still within us.

In its gnarled trunk

A history

Written in

Well-bent rings

Wrought in

Famine and drought

Rain and flood

Hope and blood.

Take a road to

The old tree that still stands

In a sacred

Scarred city

Named for sighting a peace.

It awaits

Patient and life-lived-long hollowed

To awake

One true day

To a lasting glow

Of eternal Hello.