three times a week, i get up early and go out on my bike. I cycle out of our ancient hasmonean-era settlement of ramat beit shemesh (that's right, there were fanatical jews who would harass other jews who didn't keep their understanding of halacha living here 2000 years ago, too! it must be something in the air...). i watch the sun rise over the hills of yehuda. i pedal along a road, part of which follows the boundary between jewish and phillistine lands, the towards a monument to the 35 soldiers who died fighting for gush etzion in the war of independance. if i carried along this road a bit further, i would reach the battlefield where david fought goliath. on my way home i see the clouds clinging to the tops of the mountains of jerusalem.
it is an awesome way to begin my day. in israel, history is geography, and also vice versa.