Seven Places in Israel That Will Make You Cry
Could a beach make you cry? It’s a valid question: certainly, just about any of Israel’s 137 beaches when sunset falls over the Mediterranean – especially a sexy beach– could elicit a teary-eyed emotional response.
Tel Aviv Port
The Tel Aviv Port, called Namal in Hebrew, is a paragon of shopping mall excellence. Why? Because it’s unlike any mall you’ve ever seen – it’s even better than HaTachana – and it’s all about location. The place is right next to the Mediterranean Sea and car-free: the vast decks are of bleached gray wood and in places are fashioned to look like sand dunes, their gentle curves forming a foreground to an aquatic orchestra of white-blue waves that tickle the railing.
The promenade is lined with a cool parade of fabulous shops and restaurants, only a few of which are chains. Nightclubs, bars, plush lounges wide open to sea and sky. This risks making you so sad for all the mini-malls most of us are used to, you could, well, just up and weep.
The Dead Sea
At 1,360 feet below sea level, the Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth. Its water is about ten times saltier than the ocean’s, giving it a buoyancy that makes it possible to float…and with water that salty, one splash in the wrong direction and you’re going to get all teary-eyed, whether you wanted to or not!
Yad Vashem is Israel’s official Holocaust remembrance authority, located on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem. You are sure to come away from a few hours here (and consider two hours the very minimum) with a deeper appreciation for some of the countless tragic stories from the twentieth century’s darkest hours.The permanent historical exhibits are located inside an elongated triangular concrete structure, designed by Moshe Safdie, at the center of the site.
The symbolism of that structure will not be lost on anyone familiar with the history of the Holocaust. You might think you’ve seen it all and heard it all and maybe you have, but no matter: It is exceedingly difficult to visit Yad Vashem without shedding a tear.
The Wailing Wall
The Western Wall forms part of the western flank of the holy site of the Temple Mount. The wall is the imposing remnant of Jerusalem’s Second Temple (Herod’s Temple), which the Romans destroyed in 70 CE. Because it’s all that’s left, the Jewish tradition of visiting the wall and mourning the destruction of the temple also resulted in the name, The Wailing Wall.
Jewish tradition holds that despite the temple’s destruction, the divine presence never left.
It’s customary to write a note, ostensibly for divine consideration, and place it between the large, ancient stones. Regardless of your faith, it is remarkable to see the archaeological trace of an ancient religion. And to feel the power that it still exerts. At all of Jerusalem’s holy sites but perhaps especially the Wailing Wall, it’s really okay to cry.