Monday, June 7, 2010

Haifa - June 4th 2010

On June 4th, 2010, Mosaic went to Haifa to see the Baha'i Gardens and some of the older sections of town.

The organizer was Myla and the tour guide was Ilan Levin. The transportation arrangements were simple: everybody got there by themselves.

After the latecomers arrived, Ilan took us straight to the Gardens. We went down 700 steps through 18 well cultivated terraces. Because of the Baha'i love of symmetry in harmony, the first nine and the second nine terraces are all identical. The place couldn't be better maintained if a thousand volunteers were trimming the grass with toenail scissors. Who knows? Maybe they are.

Ilan told us about the history of the Baha'i and some of their basic beliefs. I think we were all pretty impressed by their individual worship and commitment to peace. Equally impressive is their absolute refusal to evangelize in Israel. In fact they won't even let an Israeli convert if he wants to in Israel.

Outside of the Gardens, we took a walk through parts of the Hadar and the old Haifa center. Ilan told us about the history of the place and about how we could read that history in the architecture.

We strolled through parts of the old German Colony and heard about the Templers, saw some of the original inscriptions on buildings which have been "gentrified."
The tour ended with a walk through Wadi Nisnas and some of the pieces remaining from its arts festival.

The day ended with a ride on Israel's only subway, the Carmelit.

Thanks Steve for writing this entry.
Steve's Pictures