The Human Shape of the Holy Land

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The Holy Land and the Golden Section

The Golden Section was an important religous formula in ancient times. Judaism and Monotheist religions are not recognizing it explicitly. The reason is that the unique anthropomorphic shape of the Land of Israel transformed the ancient priestly practice of it into a direct moral dialog between man and landscape. This land is now a subject of strong yearnings by the belivers in these religions.


The essay includes 5 parts. Please click on a number for a part: 1 2 3 4 5


The Holy Land and the Golden Section Part 1


The Jewish people returned to its homeland in Israel after 2000 years of Diaspora, and after the holocaust. One of the holocaust's lessons is that a strong Israeli state is a moral duty for the free world. But the borders of the Promised Land are not defined precisely in the Bible. It is written in the Bible that G-D, the Jewish people, and the land of Israel are a united existence. This definition determined the fate of the Jews. Contrary to the clear development of the people and its laws, the borders remained obscure.


A recent study of the subject discovered that there are several definitions for the borders of the Land of Israel. These territorial definitions were created at different periods, by different people, and contributed to a total confusion. There are even those, who claim that the borders of Israel are flexible, and expand or shrink as necessary.


The lack of a clear map always disturbed the Zionist idea. It turned Jerusalem into a nominal concept, one that express a value, but is not substantive. That was the case even for the Jews in the Diaspora.


In modern History, a lack of a map which defines clearly the Israeli borders influenced major political decisions. For example, Sinai Peninsula was given easily to Egypt, because the Begin government didn't consider it as part of the Land of Israel.


The Catholic Church declared, few years ago, upon findings of an Israeli researcher, that Mt. Sinai is actually in the Negev Plateau.


What makes the Holy Land so significant?


The Holy Land on the Globe



Contrary to its rational cancellation as a substantive object, the Land of Israel always evoked the deepest feelings among human beings in the Western civilizations. The longings for the Holy Land find their voice, as a physical and emotional experience, along History, in numerous works of art.

The poetry of longings for the Holy Land is considered an important asset of permanent value for the Western Cultures. It is the earthiest level of religious poetry, the closest to popular folk poetry. They are combined without separation.


An American Gospel song:

 : I'm a Pilgrim

I am a pilgrim and a stranger,
Travelling through this wearisome land,
got a home in that yonder city, oh Lord,
and it's not, not made by hands.

I got a mother, sister and a brother,
who have gone to that sweet land.
I am determined to go and see them
oh Lord,
all over on  that distant shore.

As I go down to that river of Jordan,
just to bathe my weary soul.
If I could touch but the hem of his garment,
oh Lord, well, I believe it would make me whole.

The physical connection between the Jordan River and the abstract images of the celestial city is too clear and strong then required for a metaphor. This connection arouses questions regarding the connections between religious and material experiences. It is a connection which calls for an examination of the sources of poetry.


When placing poetry in the proper position, as the crown of human beings achievements, its double effectiveness is discovered: It give us the good measure of clarity, and the power of dream. A philosophy that deals with human beings destiny, must adjust to the images of poems, and continue their flow. Philosophy must learn poems honestly, because poetry is the peak of contemplation and expression, the climax of thought and dream.



Fibonacci, the greatest Mathematician of the Middle-Ages, was a genius who reached the summits of thought and dream. He described the Mathematical series: the Golden Section, known also as the Divine Proportion.


In this series any number is the sum of the two previous numbers. It goes on: 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,89,144,233,377,610, 987,1597 and so on.


This series has fantastic qualities, mathematical and accordingly geometrical. It exists in countless natural phenomena.

The activity with the Golden Section is so exiting, the formed harmonies so wonderful, that it creates a complete world-view. The Golden Section is credited as having great influence on the development of human history and knowledge.


The greatest artists along History, from the architects of the pyramids in Egypt and the Parthenon in Athens, through Renaissance men like Leonardo de Vinci and musicians like Mozart, and up to modern artists like the architect Le-Corbusier, created their works of art using the Golden Section.


The importance of the Golden Section for science is even bigger. This ratio appears in countless natural phenomena, which are amazingly different in their outlook appearance. Here are few in a scale order: The D.N.A shape, the numbers of leafs in plants, the size ratio between human organs, the sub divisions of mountains ranges and rivers, and the distances between the planets.

In the next page, you will find examples of this amazing connection, in different aspects of life.



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