The View from Tirat Zvi
"If it (the Garden of Eden) is in the Land of
Israel, then the Beth Shean Valley is its gateway."
(Tractate Erubin 19a)
Jogging down to synagogue, across the dew-drenched lawn,
I lift my eyes towards the east and watch the warming dawn
Illuminate the ancient home of Reuven and of Gad,
Of Yiftach and his hapless daughter --
Hills of Gilead.
Mincha done, I trudge the walkway warmed by searing sun
And see the silhouetted hills where Saul and Yehonatan
Brave, in final combat fell --
Gilboa, dry of dew.
From the south, Mehola's lights the ancient tale renew:
Elisha, newly mantled, leaves the plow to serve the seer.
Beneath the Northern Star each night, the heroes reappear:
Gideon picks, at Harod stream, three hundred brave and strong;
The prophetess, atop Mt. Tabor, sings the victor's song.
From hill to hill the holy echoes still reverberate.
Come live with me in history, at Eden's verdant gate.