Twister Anyone?

“40!? Seriously? 40!?” That was the first thought that went through my head when learning that the State of Israel can be split up into 40 geographical regions. The thought that Israel, a country no larger than the state of New Jersey, can be split into 40 different regions brings me to the question “why can’t they all just get along?” Lower Galilee, Finger of Galilee, Upper Galilee; Judean desert, Negev desert, ice cream desert . Why confuse us with all these different areas, everybody knows that Israel is clearly just a large desert… well you know the kind of desert with luscious green mountains, forests, flowing springs from snow covered mountain-tops and long stretches of beautiful sandy beaches. Confused yet? You should be. Israel is a confusing country and the many different areas just cause it to be that much more confusing. So why Mr. Tour Guide do you have to confuse us with your 40 different regions of Israel?
The answer is that Israel, unlike New Jersery, is a series of puzzle pieces or if you allow me to go deep into my imagination a 40-person game of twister. Each person carries with it, its own looks, its own personality and yes even its own upbringing and movements. Sounds like a balagan (mess)? It is, and that is why we are forced give each area its own name and learn them in their own context. We just can’t group Upper and Lower Galilee together. They might be brothers, maybe even twins but they just aren’t the same. The Judean desert and the Negev desert are at best 3rd cousins twice removed through marriage. So to make some kind of organization of this chaos, experts in Israel have given specific names and borders to each and every one of Israel’s many regions. As I go along in the tour guiding course I will give you an insight into each region which we visit and take you along with me in my process of learning about Israel in the hopes that it will give you an interest and yearning to (come to Israel and) visit these places (maybe even with me ;)), which you may have never heard of on your own. That’s all for now folks.
Until further Post,
Arky Staiman

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