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Israel Photography by Yoav Cohen

One Spring Day - The Sea of Galilee

It's the place that saw Jesus perform numerous miracles, where the Ancient Galilee Boat once sailed, and that has been a center of continuous human history dating back to some of the first permanent settlements in the world.

The Sea of Galilee has seen its fair share of conflict. Countless wars have been fought over its shores and for its resources as empires rose and fell in the ever changing landscape of conquerors.

In more recent and peaceful times it has been a magnet that draws the spectrum of humanity to its shores - from believers who sail on its waters to witness where their savior walked, to summer boat owners, career fishermen and every day vacationers.

And like almost everything that was 'normal', this was also true until 2020 when it all shut down, and the Sea, along with the world, went into lockdown.

In the spring of 2021 as everything was opening up and humankind began to interact once again with another, so too did the Sea of Galilee's many attractions, including places like Kibbutz Nof Ginosar's hotel - from where this image was captured.

2021 had also been a good year for rain, finally returning the Kinneret to water levels not seen for half a decade. Witnessing the rising water levels was a sign that elated many of those who visited its shores, including me. And while that was impressive, it was the precure to what many witnessed one spring afternoon.

The rainbow that rose from the sea, crossed into the clouds and back down to the water was seemed taken directly from the story of Noah in Genesis, when G-d promised never to again wipe out humanity.

"I have set My bow in the clouds, and it shall serve as a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth" (Genesis 9:13)

Jewish tradition even has a blessing when witnessing a rainbow, a direct connection to the same story of Noah:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, זוֹכֵר הַבְּרִית וְנֶאֱמַן בִּבְרִיתוֹ וְקַיָּם בְּמַאֲמָרוֹ
Blessed are You, Lord our G‑d, King of the universe, who remembers the covenant, and is faithful to His covenant, and keeps His promise.

Whether it was a miracle or wonder of nature - a rainbow of such epic color and proportion appearing in the midst of a pandemic and in such a place was a sign - it's going to be ok.

To me, there was no other way of looking at it.


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