Monday, May 07, 2007

Too Much Holiness

How much holiness can one land have? Not enough apparently. Israel (and the occupied territories) is not only home to the holiest sites of Judaism, Christianity and Islam but also of the relatively new Baha'i faith. (Actually, just to be perfectly correct, the territory also contains the holiest sites for the Druze and Samaritans, but they're not the focus of today's post.) The religion's prophet, Bahá'u'lláh, was exiled from Persia to the Palestine city of Akko (Acre) where he spent the rest of his days writing and preaching. Now the cities of of Akko and Haifa, looking across at each other across a shallow bay, house the holiest sites of the religion as well as the Universal House of Justice, the world headquarters of the religion. The gardens surrounding the Baha'i shrine here in Haifa have even become the city's biggest tourist attraction. What makes this pretty odd, at least in my opinion, is the fact that there are no Baha'is in Israel. This dates back to even before the founding of the state of Israel when the Baha'is thought it best not to get involved in the local politics and made a decision not to have any permanent community there. So all the Baha'is that administer the site are here only as temporary volunteers. But the Baha'is themselves don't seem to mind as they are a rather easy-going and accepting people,and anyway, even if they did mind they're pacifists and wouldn't be able to do much about it anyway.


Anonymous said...

Hei Erik,

beautiful picture! It's great reading your blog again - don't know how I could have forgotten (is that correct English?) about it for a while. I love travelling blogs (and especially yours, of course!)

Recently I saw the pictures from China - do you remember that "game" where we had to "run against the wall" to hit a letter and see what we would get? I can't really remember what the letters said, but I think it was something like sex, drugs and rock'n roll. I have also forgotten, which one I hit. But I can certainly tell that I haven't received any award yet.

BTW - I have no clue, why the link to my ChinaTschingTschang blog doesn't work through your site, because I opened it to the public again. Not even I get access, even when I am logged in...(this sentence sounds odd again...).



Inihtar said...

That's such a breathtaking photo!! I can't stop looking at it!