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November 22, 2014 / 29 Heshvan, 5775
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Israel’s Four Elements: Four Holy Cities: Living In The Heart Of The World


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While studying the anatomy of the heart in Machon Biotechnology in Israel, I had some thoughts: The four holiest cities in Israel – Jerusalem (fire/aish),Tzfat (wind/ruach), Chevron (earth/adamah), and Tverya (water/mayim) – seem to correspond to the four chambers of the heart.

Tverya and Tzfat would be the right side of the heart – the “blue” blood – de-oxygenated. Tverya has the Kinneret (water/blue), which is like the right atrium and drains the de-oxygenated blood from the body. Why is Tzfat all blue, and why does it relate to the element of wind/ruach? It is like the right ventricle, which pumps the “blue” blood to the lungs (ruach).

Chevron (earth/adamah) is red/brown like oxygenated blood. Our forefathers, buried there, give us the “blood” – as they have made the Jewish people. Chevron’s “blood” flows to Jerusalem, which is fire-red. It is an intense place, and so is the left ventricle with thicker, walled muscles – as it pumps blood to the rest of the body.

I am blessed to live in the Old City, which is the SA node (electricity of the heart) – the electricity of the world. It is the source of energy and everything else. Hashem’s Shechinah and light flows from here. The heart “runs” on its own. It creates its own electricity, and is not dependent on the body for its electricity source. Israel is not dependent on the world and runs on miracles. As a madrichah in the Heritage House in the Old City, I have seen so many miracles happen to the tourists who stay in our hostel. They transform, come to clarity about things in their lives, find meaning, and gain more understanding about themselves. Every day is a surprise, and feels so alive here because G-d makes it more clear here that you are in His Hands.

If there is a straight line on the heart monitor, the person is not alive. The terrain of hills in Jerusalem shows what it is like to live here. In other places the land is flat and one may feel comfortable or maybe half asleep, but in Israel one feels so alive – through the ups and downs. I bless you to merit living here, in the heart of the world.

Here is what my experience has been like living in the heart of the world. I came on a vacation to Israel for a month before starting my ultrasound program at UMBC in August. While here, I was having a really awesome time and asked to defer my program for a year. Having received permission, I canceled my return ticket and decided to stay. I had no plans of where to stay or what to do. Thank G-d, everything worked out as a result of miracles. I never dreamed of living in the Old City and enrolled in an Israeli program learning ultrasound at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital. I definitely felt then and now that things are up in the air, as I am unsure what’s next. But everything works out because the Almighty loves us!

G-d sent a lesson my way while going to the Kotel one day.  I heard some cheering coming from the Kotel, saw a camp there, and thought, “How disrespectful, cheering at the Kotel.” I observed that each camper had a counselor with him/her.   Many children were in wheelchairs, and cheering was their way of praying.  With shining eyes, they looked like they were in seventh heaven!  The counselors were also shining, and this is exactly what G-d wanted.  It was a truly beautiful sight to witness.

I was deeply touched by the message G-d sent me coming to the Kotel. Sometimes some things may not seem so beautiful from afar, but the beauty is realized when seen up close.

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While studying the anatomy of the heart in Machon Biotechnology in Israel, I had some thoughts: The four holiest cities in Israel – Jerusalem (fire/aish),Tzfat (wind/ruach), Chevron (earth/adamah), and Tverya (water/mayim) – seem to correspond to the four chambers of the heart.

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