The smells of the land

1 May

Over the past week i have traveled from Jerusalem up north to Tiveria back down again, back up again and now finally im back at home. Last night on the way home, I began to realize that i am a lot more sensitive to the smells of the land then i was back in america. I have always been aware of the smells around me. The smell of a man’s cologne, or a woman’s perfume. The smell of hair products, or shampoo. The smell of food and spices. If you were ever asked the question which of your senses you couldnt live without.. for me i couldn’t live without my ability to smell. My memories are deeply intertwined with smells.

Maybe it is because i am more sensitive to the feelings that i have for this land that i notice the different smells from the different parts of the country. I love the smell of the Jerusalem forests. If you stand on the outskirts of the city (Har Nof, Har Tzofim etc) you can smell that fern-y smell. I wish i knew what plant or tree gave off that wonderful smell. I can’t smell it when i am in the heart of the city. it might be due to all the cars, buses and cigg fumes. Sometimes i stand outside during work and when the wind blows in the right direction i can “smell” Jerusalem. it soothes my soul right down to its core.
The desert has it’s own smell. It is kind of a dusty smell with the hint of burned wood. Maybe that smell can be attributed to all those that cook “al ha-aish” (bbq). Or maybe its just the smell of the desert. If you come to Jerusalem from the Beit She’an valley, you can smell it. Or near Chevron where the land begins to turn into the desert landscape. Midbar Yehuda definitely smells like dust and burnt wood.
All these different smells are so wonderful to my soul. For me its not “have you stopped to smell the roses today” but “have you stopped to smell Israel today”


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