Jerusalem, the Country of Religions and Epics | happiness novels | happiness

       

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Jerusalem, the Country of Religions and Epics

Jerusalem, the Country of Religions and Epics

Jerusalem, the Country of Religions and and Legends

(1)

George finally finished his travelling preparations. He was keen to finalize the arrangements early so that he could enjoy spending a night with his wife and kids. He was really looking forward to his evening with them since work had occupied most of his time since his return from India. Kach’s lengthy meetings, in which he repeated the contracts details more than once until George had memorized them by heart, were also a major culprit, in addition to the fact that he had promised himself to read about Judaism before his departure. He planned on taking advantage of his visit to the countries of legends, searching for an answer to his great questions, and not to concentrate only on the work tasks.

•George: Katrina sweetie, do you want anything from Tel Aviv?

•Katrina: Yes, what would make me happy is for you to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Church of Mary, and pray there.

•George: I’ve read a lot about the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. It was built by the Empress Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine, in 335 AD., and was constructed above Calvary at the place where they discovered the gallows, which was said to be the spot on which Jesus was crucified. The church lasted for approximately 617 years, but then it was burned down by the Persians during their occupation of Jerusalem. It was later rebuilt by monk Modesty, the abbot of Alobeidan Monastery, in 617 AD. It has been repaired repeatedly since then, especially in the era of Constantine in 1048 AD., and also when the Crusaders conquered Jerusalem in 1099 AD. They gathered the scattered temples into one church, which is the one that exists now. Although it is not sacred for us, the Protestants, I’ll visit it and pray there for your sake, and I’ll try to pray at the Church of Mary too. Do you want something else?

•Katrina: No thank you. You seem to have read a lot about Jerusalem!

•George: Not actually; I’m still reading.

•Katrina: Jerusalem is the most important place for Christians, not the Jews, since it is where Jesus was crucified, and it has a lot of historic churches.

•George: Although I’ll only be in Israel for a little while, I’ll try to visit the Christian monuments and meet with the Christians.

•Katrina: Oh how I wish I could visit these holy sites myself and pray to the Lord there.

•George: So why don’t you come with me in that case?

•Katrina: I can’t now; I have a lot to do at work, and at the church. Perhaps in the future, after the injustice we live in comes to an end.

•George: Injustice, what injustice?!

•Katrina: In order to show what the Jews call their heritage in Jerusalem, they insult the churches and Christians in Jerusalem.

•George: The history of Jerusalem is rich with all the conflicts that occurred among the divine religions. By the way, it has been said that Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and invaded and lost again 44 times - and divine religions still expect major historical events there. It is truly the land of legends, but I am surprised at your words… since Britain was the one that handed it over to the Jews! So you tell me then, where is this injustice?

•Katrina: Unfortunately, yes. But what you are referring to is called the Balfour Declaration, and it had its political reasons and power struggles.

•George: How come? What are these reasons?

•Katrina: Britain’s entry into World War I (1914 AD - 1918 AD), since it was in need of Jewish support both politically and scientifically during World War I, and at the same time the Zionist movement was looking for someone to support its project to establish a national homeland for the Jews on the Palestinian land.

•George: Only an exchange of interests?!

•Katrina: No, there were other European reasons: such as the desire to remove Jews from Europe; since the major part of the Jews were not able to integrate into their place of residence, and they were working as a body separate from the state. There were also other reasons which aimed at planting a different force in Palestine, which is the bridge that connects between Egypt and Africa on the one side, and between the Arabs and Muslims in Asia on the other, in addition to reasons concerned with the balance of power. Then there was the domination of the Jews in some sensitive positions in the State of the Ottoman Empire, which was a threat to Europe, since Britain wanted to inherit this state.

•George: You seem rather prejudiced against Britain.

•Katrina: Of course not, I’m only prejudiced against the policy that doesn’t think about religion. Wouldn’t it have been better to have occupied Jerusalem and made it a Christian capital?

•George: So what is needed is another kind of occupation: Christian rather than Jewish!! But I disagree with you as I think that there was a religious reason in the Balfour Declaration.

•Katrina: What is the religious reason from your point of view?

•George: The wrong interpretations of Christianity’s teachings is what made the Zionist Movement spread widely within the Christian church, and it justified racial acts and war crimes in the name of religion.

•Katrina: Excuse me; the Catholics weren’t involve in this.

•George: You’re right, we, the Protestants, played a great part in this. We have groups that believe that the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 was an absolute necessity; because it completes the prophecies of the Bible in the Old and New Testaments, and prepares for the coming of the second Christ to Earth as a victorious King. The Christian Zionists believe that it is their duty to defend the Jewish people in general and the Jewish state in particular. Then he smiled and said: So in fact you are criticizing the Protestants and not the British. Anyhow, Israel has become a reality now.

•Katrina: But our churches and our sacred areas and priests should not be persecuted.

•George: Injustice in all forms and manifestations is bad, whether Jewish or Christian. It is not the first time for the Christian Jews to be persecuted, isn’t that so?!

•Katrina: Certainly. The first one was Jesus, who sacrificed himself for the sake of humanity, and who was killed by the Jews, then the persecution of his followers, and even the persecution of our brothers in Jerusalem.

•George: Ha ha ha! It seems that I entered into the battles of religions and their history before even arriving to Jerusalem. Let’s go to sleep before it gets too late, because I must set off for the airport after midnight.

(2)

George arrived in Tel Aviv on Thursday morning at half past eight. He was greeted by Benjamin, in whose eyes he saw a spark of intelligence and shrewdness…

•Benjamin: Welcome... welcome to Jerusalem, the Holy Land.

•George: Hello, how happy I feel to arrive in this holy city.

•Benjamin: Kach told me that you’ll only be here for a short while; just four days.

•George: Yes, I don’t like travelling all the time; I was in India before coming here, but Kach insisted and honored me with the chance to visit the Holy City.

•Benjamin: I’ve arranged everything, and the contract will be signed within two days; don’t pay much attention to the subject, your presence is only to confirm that the contract passed in a natural way.

•George: Good.

•Benjamin: Will we go to the hotel or the company?

•George: To the hotel; to drop of my bag, and then we can go directly to the company.

•Benjamin: Okay, no problem. Today’s Thursday and Saturday is Levvi’s day off, so perhaps you should meet with her today and tomorrow. She’s a very religious woman and resourceful technician who is interested in the protection program being more powerful than the terrorists’ ability to penetrate it.

•George: The protection program that we have presented to you is solid, so don’t worry about it.

•Benjamin: With Levvi, you should focus on this and on your eagerness to protect the security of Israel; this is what she is very interested in. In fact you’ll be surprised as any dialogue with her may take ideological, philosophical and non-technical dimensions.

•George: Ideological and philosophical?!

•Benjamin: Yes, and this is a part of her bad nature. Anyhow, if you have problems in dealing with her, please tell me. Then he smiled and said: Despite her obstinacy, she doesn’t refuse any request from me at all.

•George: Good.

They arrived at the hotel and George dropped off his luggage. After that he immediately went down to Benjamin and headed to the company. The building of the company wasn’t big or attractive, being more of a mediocre building, crowded with staff. The security at the entrance of the district was intense, and so was the security of the company building.
They went to Benjamin’s office, who phoned Levvi immediately and asked her to come.

•Benjamin: The problem will start now.

•George: Problem! Why?

•Benjamin: Her religious fanaticism makes her not understand life properly, she is also passionate about debating as she loves it and she never gets fed up with it, but with pressure she finally yields.

After a few minutes a very beautiful lady came wearing a conservative dress, though it did not hide her fascinating beauty. Benjamin hastened to present her to George.

•Benjamin: Levvi, the director of the technical department in our company. He then referred to George: This is George the software department official in the Advanced Electronics Company, from Britain.

•Levvi: Welcome, thanks for coming. I have many technical inquiries.

•George: I’ll do my best to answer.

•Benjamin: You can have your meeting in the meeting room if you want.

•Levvi: Okay then, let’s go Mr. George

George and Levvi left for the meeting room. It was small but tidy and luxurious...

•Levvi: Take a seat.

•George: Thank you, it seems that you are not satisfied with the protection program offered by our company?

•Levvi: No, that’s not what I meant. I just want to make sure about it, as our security and protection as Jews is the most important issue for me.

•George: This program is one of the strongest protection programs; it seems that you have a phobia that makes you focus much on security and protection.

•Levvi: What do you mean?

•George: The protection of this district and building is something that I have never seen anywhere else before, ever.

•Levvi: We have been an oppressed nation throughout history, and I think my job is to protect these people as best as I can.

•George: So my mission will be to help you technically.

•Levvi: To help us! Why?

•George: I don’t understand! I mean help you with the distinguished protection program, for which we shall sign the contract.

•Levvi: Sorry, but I’ve become used to the idea that all people hate us Jews.

•George: I’m a British Protestant Christian. Isn’t Balfour, the British Protestant Christian, the one who gave you this country and this home?

•Levvi: This is our country, our land. No one gave it to us. And we must protect ourselves.

•George: It seems that you love debates very much; do you like frankness as well?

•Levvi: I love debates and I look forward to them, and I love frankness and wish you would be frank too.

•George: If you like frankness, as you say, then tell me, where are you from? You seem to be European?!

•Levvi: I’m from Israel.

•George: Were your parents born in Israel?

•Levvi: My parents are Austrian. They came to Israel in 1970, and I was born here in Israel, so I’m Israeli, though I have Austrian nationality.

•George: So you’re an Austrian protecting Israel, and I’m a Brit offering you a protection program.

•Levvi: But I’m Jewish and you are Protestant!

•George: Is your father a Jew?

•Levvi: No, he was an atheist Christian, but Judaism comes from the mother not the father.

•George: Frankly, I came to Jerusalem for two reasons: first, the signing of the contract, and secondly, as I want to know about Judaism; perhaps I’ll become a Jew. Do you mind talking more deeply with me about religion?

•Levvi: With pleasure, but you cannot become a Jew unless your mother is Jewish.

•George: How?

•Levvi: We are a chosen people, chosen by the Lord, ethnically and ideologically.

•George: Then you don’t evangelize or call others to your religion?

•Levvi: Never, but we call upon others to serve the chosen people.

•George: Do you mean just being your servant!!

•Levvi: No service is free of charge.

•George: After signing the protection contract, the sum agreed upon will be given, this is not a service! This is buying and selling.

•Levvi: If the director of your company was not a Jew, we wouldn’t have chosen your company to give us the protection.

•George: But Kach is secular!

•Levvi: But still a Jew, one of the chosen people. You, on the other hand, seem to be religious.

At this point in time the office boy knocked on the door, and Levvi asked George what he would like to drink...

•George: Water and coffee please... What about starting the subject from the beginning again?

•Levvi: Go ahead, you seem interested in the mother of all heavenly religions.

•George: Do you mean by the mother of heavenly religions the Jews, as the Jews, Christians and Muslims believe in Moses?

•Levvi: Yes, and all who came after this disagreed; so the Jews do not believe in Jesus, and the Christians do not believe in Muhammad.

•George: It can be said that Muslims believe in all the prophets, but the Jews do not believe in anyone except their prophet. Anyway, I want you to tell me clearly about the oldest religions existing now, can you help me?

•Levvi: You seem to be a scholar in religions, not in software! Go ahead.

George intended to face her and lure her to reveal to him everything she knew about Judaism. He did not want rhetoric or general information, only the truth…

•George: How do the Jews believe in the Lord? How do they describe Him and how do they know Him?

•Levvi: I don’t understand what you want. But the Lord is the Creator and the Provider.

•George: I have read many things about the characteristics of God, which have raised my doubts of what I have read in the Old Testament: “Then came the word of the Lord unto Samuel, saying: It grieves me that I have set up Saul to be king: “ and I have read in the book of Exodus: “And God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.” Also, I have read in the Book of Numbers the words of God “Now go and strike Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey,’’ and many other things. I wonder: does the Lord regret, forget and remember, and order to murder instead of being forgiving? What God is this?!

•Levvi: You seem to be a good reader, but a selective one. What you said is true, and many other things too. But is it only a characteristic of Judaism? Christianity has double the amount of such amazing passages.

•George: You’re right, we have a lot. But as I am thinking of converting to Judaism, what about completing our talk about the doctrines of Judaism sometime in the future. I’d like to finish the subject of the agreement today and tomorrow, and after tomorrow is Saturday, and it is your day off.

•Levvi: Right; Saturday is the day of rest and worship, and we are ordered in the Ten Commandments to observe it; it is the day on which the Lord completed making the heavens and the earth, and then the Lord rested on Saturday.

•George: Rested?!

•Levvi: Yes rested! It seems that you have an allergy to some words regarding the Lord, and this is your problem.

•George: Perhaps. Anyhow, it is important that we finish our discussion about the contract within two days. I have started to feel tired today as I went straight from the airport to the company.

•Levvi: You can go and rest now, and we’ll complete things in the evening, if you like.

•George: Does it bother you if we complete the work in the hotel after half past four?

•Levvi: Not at all, I’ll come to the hotel at half past four.

•George: So we’ll have lunch together, and you›ll probably be quieter and less harsh in dealing with me.

•Levy: I don›t understand what you mean?! You’re on the offensive today. But I apologize if I have wronged you.

•George: I’m the one that should apologize if I was aggressive; those who are as beautiful as you shouldn›t feel that they are being attacked or offended.

•Levvi: These are kind words from you, but your former attack is dearer to me than the flirtation you are partaking in now... Then she smiled and said: I live only for the sake of the Lord.

•George: Before I go, I want to say goodbye to Benjamin.

•Levvi: With pleasure.

They went to Benjamin’s office, who hurried to ask about their meeting.

•Benjamin: Were the discussions good and fruitful?

•Levvi: Excuse me, I have to get back to my work?

•Benjamin: No problem, Levvi, but George is our guest and must be honored.

•Levvi: Okay, goodbye.

•George: I agreed with Levvi that I would go to the hotel to rest for awhile, and she’ll meet me at the hotel to complete the debate... Now I know why we need two days at least to sign the contract - she likes debates and becomes easily engrossed in them.

•Benjamin: It’s a very good idea to complete the talks in the hotel, this can remove some of the formality.

•George: Yeah, but Levvi looks tough!

•Benjamin: Despite her difficult trait, she is kind and beautiful, and I’ll tell her to be less obstinant and militant before meeting you today.

•George: Good. Please excuse me as I’m a little tired.

•Benjamin: No problem, our driver will take you to the hotel.

(3)

George arrived at the hotel at half past one. He went up to his room and lay on his bed, and quickly fell asleep. He didn’t wake up until quarter past four. He quickly washed his face, and while he was changing his clothes the room phone rang. It was the receptionist who phoned him to tell him that there was a woman called Levvi waiting for him.
George went down quickly. He saw Levvi with her blond hair wearing informal modest clothes which looked like an evening dress. Levvi gave him a bright smile, demonstrating her picturesque beauty.

•George: You look more beautiful than you did in the morning!

•Levvi: Thank you.

•George: Let’s go to the restaurant to eat, and we’ll complete our conversation during lunch.

They chose an isolated table in the hotel and sat face to face. George called the waiter and they ordered their food and drinks.

•George: What about not talking about business while we’re eating?

•Levvi: As you like.

•George: You’re so beautiful! Are you married?

•Levvi: No, not yet. I thought you were different from Kach.

•George: How?

•Levvi: You’re interested in religion and the Torah and the Bible, but Kach is only interested in money and women.

•George: Right, so then how are we similar?

•Levvi: I thought you neither liked money, nor were concerned with beauty.

•George: Who isn’t concerned with or does not like money and beauty?! I don’t get what you mean!

•Levvi: After you left, Benjamin told me about the purpose of having this meeting at the hotel.

•George: What do you mean?

•Levvi: You are like Kach, both of you want lust… and only lust.

•George: Interesting, explain more!

•Levvi: Don’t play dumb, I’m ready.

George intentionally looked stupid, showing that he did not understand the meaning of her words…

•George: I’m also ready to complete our discussion, but after finishing my lunch.

•Levvi: Good, but do you want to make it a hot debate?

•George: If you want.

•Levvi: I don’t like to refuse a request from Benjamin, so it’s up to you.

•George: What has Benjamin got to do with our debate?!

•Levvi: Let me spit it out... you men, all of you, are only interested in sex.

•George: It seems that I’m talking about something, and you are talking about something else!

George began to understand more and more, and started to link the words of Levvi and the words of Kach and Benjamin. When they went out of the restaurant, George turned to the park outside, saying:

•George: I’d prefer to sit in the hotel garden. Is it ok with you?

•Levvi: In the garden!! Are you sure?!

•George: This place seems to be comfortable, and really suitable.

•Levvi: Yes, it is comfortable, but all the people can see us. What’s going on, what do you want?

•George: I want to have a debate with you.

•Levvi: Are you manipulating me? I told you that Benjamin spoke to me, and I’m ready for you.

•George: Good, as I’m ready to start the debate too. Then he said: There has been a big misunderstanding on Benjamin’s part. I’m not Kach!

•Levvi: Sorry, but I understood from Benjamin that you two were the same. So I prepared myself for you, as you see.

•George: Didn’t you tell me that you do not like flattery, and that your life is only for the Lord!

•Levvi: I... I agreed to serve the Lord.

•George: To serve the Lord!! How?

•Levvi: The most important form of worship for the Lord is to serve the State of Israel, and serve God’s chosen people.

•George: And you… sorry, but are you cheap? Haven’t you any right to be true to yourself!?

•Levvi: As you have started to attack me, I’ll speak frankly: women in Judaism have a different status; she’s not treated like men and I don’t like to talk about it. Is it possible to change the subject?

•George: I don’t understand?! And I don’t want to force you to talk about it, but you did tell me before that you like debates!

•Levvi: I love debating, but I’m afraid that you’ve misunderstood me... I hope that you understand me correctly.

•George: Okay.

•Levvi: The topic of sex and women in Judaism is very detailed. For example, the sex which is sound and normal is the sex that is meant only for the purpose of procreation, and that is between a man and his wife. But unfortunately, women are oppressed. They are treated as being insignificant, insane or animals. They are just for lust. It’s stated in the Talmud: “The women are bags filled with feces”... Then she turned angrily, saying: Is that what you men want?! Do you only want to empty what you have in this bag?!

•George: Sorry for upsetting you, but I see that this is the worst form of discrimination and injustice. And I want us to complete the debate comfortably. What forces you to be like this?

•Levvi: Benjamin! And being obedient to him!

•George: I don’t understand! What is the relation between what you have just said and your absolute obedience to Benjamin?

•Levvi: Benjamin is my mother’s husband.

•George: Your father!?

•Levvi: No, no! My father died in a terrorist bomb attack by a vile Muslim. My uncle inherited my mother; as it is stated in the Torah “ the wife of the dead shall not marry outside unto a stranger: her husband’s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him as wife.”

•George: What?! Your uncle inherited your mother! Is she a commodity to be inherited?!

•Levvi: Yes, unfortunately she is forced to marry her husband’s brother.

•George: Sorry, I know you aren’t a liar, but I can’t believe what you’re saying! And I think that you’re exaggerating in defaming the Torah, though you pretend to be a religious Jew.

•Levvi: Ah, I could say a lot more and I told you that I don’t like talking about it, but you keep insisting! Then she sighed and looked down, saying: I was very keen not to say anything until now.

•George: Is there anything tougher than what you have said?!

Levvi’s Beautiful eyes filled with tears, and she sighed, saying:

•Levvi: As you asked, unfortunately yes! The testimony of a hundred women is equivalent to the testimony of one man! The woman is a devilish object! She is lower than the man… It is stated in the Talmud: “A man should be careful not to pass between two women, nor between two dogs or between two pigs. Nor should two men permit to pass between them a woman or a dog, or a pig.” I pray religiously and humbly to God every morning: “Blessed are You, O Lord, who created me according to Thy will,” but the man says: “Blessed are You, O Lord, because you did not create me as an idol, a woman, or an ignoramus.”

George was looking at the beautiful Levvi and her watery blue eyes, feeling pitiful for her; he felt pity in his heart for her, and his eyes couldn’t stop looking at her. He also noticed how she was affected by what she was saying …

•George: I apologize to you... is it possible to change the subject; I’m very tired, and I’m sorry about upsetting you.

•Levvi: I told you the same at the beginning.

•George: But these things are not specific for Jewish women?

•Levvi: No, you are wrong. It is specific for only the Jewish woman, as the non-Jewish woman has another status!! I hope you won’t get angry or upset about what I will say; women are mentioned in the Talmud, the Jews’ second book after the Torah, where it says: “The non-Jewish woman is nothing but a beast; so adultery with her isn’t a crime; because she is a descendant of animals.”

•George: What fanaticism is this! But I repeat that I’m not convinced with what you’re saying. I’ve read about Judaism, and parts of the Torah, and I think that you›re probably interpreting the Torah as you want.

•Levvi: I don›t know why I began to breathe a sigh of relief and started to voice my views with you, but let me clarify: We don›t read the Torah as you read the Bible.

•George: How do you read it then?

•Levvi: The Torah is a divine revelation, while the Talmud is the explanation of the Torah. So, it›s not right to try to understand the Torah without the Talmud; but I›d rather not bother you with that.

•George: So, who wrote the Talmud?

•Levvi: It was written by many writers over more than one thousand years. Why do you ask these questions?

•George: I›ve become very disturbed, and I sympathize with the status of women. And I’m sorry, I’m not convinced with what you›ve said about women.

•Levvi: The majority of what I quoted is from the Torah, do you want verses from the Talmud?! There are sixty-four books in the Talmud, would you like to hear something from them?

•George: If it doesn›t bother you, go ahead.

•Levvi: So hear some shocking facts... in one of the books of the Talmud: If a domestic dog jumped on a girl while she was cleaning and it entered its penis into her and they had sex, she isn’t considered impure. Also, she›s allowed to marry a rabbi and even a senior rabbi!! The Talmud identifies that the age of a girl who has the ability to have sex as being three years and one day!! It considers that at this age, the girl becomes fit to be the wife of a rabbi. The Talmud also identifies the age of the boy who is qualified for sexual intercourse to be nine years and one day, but some rabbis said eight years and one day. In another place, the Talmud says, «If a man has sexual contact with a girl who is younger than three years and one day, it is not considered a sexual act. As it is as if the man put his finger in the girl’s eye!!” and “If a boy under the age of nine years and one day has sex with an adult woman, it is not considered adultery, because it is as if he wounded her with a stick of wood!” Also, the Talmud doesn’t consider sexual intercourse with animals to be adultery. So the perpetrator is not punished! And the woman who has sex with an animal is not considered an adulteress, and so she isn’t punished, but the animal is the one that would be punished! Also, the Talmud doesn’t consider sexual intercourse with a relaxant penis to be adultery, so the perpetrator won’t be punished!

•George: Stop, please. That is enough; I feel disgusted by this. But I have a question, and sorry again for being frank: are you religious, or are you malcontent with the Jewish religion?! And I repeat my apologies, but I don’t think that all of the Jews are like that!

•Levvi: Yes… not all Jews, as I said. There are secularists like your friend, Kach. They don’t care about the Torah or the Talmud, and there are so many different sects, but unfortunately we’re a very religious family and I’m religious, so I don’t know why I told you all that! I may be wrong. Perhaps I want to defend myself for being weak, or because I came to offer myself to you, so I feel that I have been insulted.

•George: I didn’t mean to insult you, this is not my nature. But what does Benjamin plan to achieve by sending you to me?

•Levvi: I don’t know exactly, all I understood was that he has set an amount with you and you haven’t paid him yet, and you won’t pay him before you enjoy my body.

•George: Your body is beautiful and wonderful, and how I wish I could enjoy it, but... I’m married and I respect my principles. And maybe I am more strict than I should be. Sorry, but Benjamin misunderstood me, I didn’t tell him anything like that, and it doesn’t fit me to say something like that either.

•Levvi: Unfortunately, I’m a commodity...The tears filled her eyes and she didn’t restrain herself, so she cried: Maybe he understood that you’re like Kach.

•George: Tell me, please…What is the relation with Kach regarding what happened?

•Levvi: Every time that Kach came, he spoke to Benjamin and then I spent a night or two with him. Kach is a Jew; therefore, contracts, money and women are all for him. So, Kach’s representative must be treated as we treat Kach. How humiliated I feel now!

George did not know what to say while seeing Levvi’s tears rolling down her face, so he stopped talking and just looked at her scenic beauty and pitiful tears. He felt sorry for her but, at the same time, he really desired her, and he felt guilty because he was the one who made her say such words which were rough and painful for a woman like her ...

•George: Wipe your tears, Levvi... I’m so sorry; I’ll never speak about this again. What do you think of a cup of coffee?

•Levvi: Don’t apologize... you did nothing wrong.

They went to the hotel’s café. George intended to change the topic of the conversation and to ignore his physical desire.

•George: What are your doubts regarding the signing of the protection contract with our company?

•Levvi: I don’t have any doubts.

•George: I was asked to come from Britain in order to answer your questions.

•Levvi: Ha ha ha! The truth is that you came here to bring Benjamin’s sum. If you have the sum and hand it over to Benjamin, consider the contract signed.

•George: The sum is indeed with me. Should I give it to you or to Benjamin?

•Levvi: Give it to Benjamin... Then she smiled sadly: …You still work for Benjamin and Kach, even if it’s against your principles!

•George: Unfortunately, what you are saying is true; we should compete with our product, not with bribery.

•Levvi: So, Judaism isn’t worse than Christianity!?

•George: Maybe, and because you have been so honest with me, let me tell you the truth.

•Levvi: What truth?!

•George: I’m on a journey searching for happiness after suffering from worry and trouble because I couldn’t answer my major questions. So, I began to look into religions. Now, I’m investigating Judaism, and it will be followed by Christianity, which will be followed by Islam.

•Levvi: Happiness is a wonderful word, but it seems that it’s just for men in Judaism. Oh how I wish I were a man!

•George: Didn’t you become religious to gain happiness?

•Levvi: Yes, but it may only be the happiness of the Hereafter.

•George: Then, why don’t you change your religion?

•Levvi: Judaism is better than Christianity and Islam, as Judaism is the oldest religion, and its people are the chosen people; and all I have said was to relieve myself after feeling insulted. Sorry, but don’t you feel insulted when you pay a bribe that violates your principles.

•George: Yes, life often turns us into tools which people play with, ha ha ha! But don’t you see that all the players are Jews?!

•Levvi: Ha ha ha! This is normal; we are the chosen people…. and you want me to leave Judaism!

•George: Since your beauty has started to shine again, and since the contract and the agreement and its questions are okay, do you mind if we debate more on Judaism? We won’t talk about the subject of women , I just want to know more about your great religion.

George’s phone rang and the caller was Benjamin; he asked Levvi’s permission to reply. Benjamin wanted to be reassured about George and his time with Levvi, and he asked how their meeting went?

•George: I’m fine, and Levvi is okay. We’re still discussing our work.

•Benjamin: Oh I see! Ha ha ha! Haven’t you finished yet?

•George: Not yet … I’m not sure if we’ll finish today.

•Benjamin: You can complete today and tomorrow in the hotel, if you want. We’re at your service.

•George: Okay, but I’d like to meet you tomorrow, if possible, as I have a check for you, and so we can sign the contract.

•Benjamin: Whenever you have finished with Levvi, I’m at your service.

•George: Thanks, I’ll phone you to arrange the appointment.

•Benjamin: I’ll be waiting for you. And I suggest that Levvi takes you on a tour tomorrow to the sacred city. Would you like that?

•George: Okay I’ll arrange it with her...

•Benjamin: Okay, I’ll leave you both. May the Lord bless you.

George ended the call and looked into Levvi’s beautiful blue eyes.

•George: Benjamin wants to be reassured about the check.

•Levvi: And to be reassured that I carried out all that was required of me.

•George: He suggested a good proposal.

•Levvi: I don’t think he comes with good suggestions, but what did he suggest?

•George: For you to take me out tomorrow on a tour to the holy places.

•Levvi: Beautiful... but strange, a good suggestion came from someone I didn’t expect.

•George: Now it is six o’clock, and if you want, we can complete our discussion about Judaism. And tomorrow I’ll wait for you in the morning for us to take our tour to the Jewish sacred places.

•Levvi: Okay, fine with me. Then she smiled shyly: We’ll go to visit the holy places and then if you want something else, it can be arranged today or tomorrow.

•George: Something else... I understand… you are a glamorous beauty, but I told you before that I’m married and my principles prevent me.

•Levvi: To be more frank, religious Christians who are married are the very ones who don’t mind such things.

•George: Yes, unfortunately you’re right, but I believe it’s not befitting to do such things. It is a betrayal of my wife and our contract of marriage. I wouldn’t accept this act from her, so how could I do it?

•Levvi: Without any flattery, you are a wonderful man, and I’m very grateful to you.

They continued looking into each other’s eyes with the clear admiration they had for each other. George didn’t realize at first but his hand held her soft hand and as soon as he noticed, he withdrew it in embarrassment…

•George: Thank you, but I don’t think I have done anything to deserve such words. And I look forward to our trip tomorrow.

•Levvi: Okay, let’s complete our discussion now.

•George: Yes, I’d like to know more about the Torah and the Talmud.

•Levvi: As I told you before, we say that the Torah is from Allah, while the Talmud is the explanation, the clarification and the laws of the Torah that were passed down orally before being actually written down.

•George: This means that the Talmud consists of the words of human beings!

•Levvi: Yes, but the Torah cannot be understood without the Talmud, as we are not like the Christians, as I told you before.

•George: Why don’t you return directly to God’s words which are found in the Torah?

•Levvi: I’ve promised to be honest with you. Should I turn to the Torah even if the Torah has a lot of doubts, and perhaps you saw the Torah’s verses about women?

•George: How can the word of God be problematic? I don’t understand!

•Levvi: Unfortunately, we say that it is from God, but there is evidence that it has been distorted.

•George: Evidences of distortion?! Where is the original version?

•Levvi: The original Torah is missing, and three different versions are used. Some of them are redundant and have contradictory sentences, like the Greek version. It’s the version that was used by the Christians until the fifteenth century. At the time they said that the Hebrew version had been distorted. The Greek Church still considers it correct today, as well as the churches of the Orient. And then there is the Hebrew version; which is used by the Jews and Protestants. The Hebrew version includes 39 Ecclesiastes. There was a consensus among the Christians on the soundness and the accuracy of the Greek version until the fifteenth century, and that the Hebrew version was deliberately distorted by the Jews in 130 AD in order to place doubt concerning the validity of the Greek version which was adopted by the Christians at the time. In addition, the distortion targeted both the Christians and the Jews of Samaria. But after the emergence of the Protestants in the sixteenth century, the situation changed; the Protestants saw that the Hebrew Version was correct but the Greek Version had been distorted. Finally, there’s the Samaritan version. The Samaria is a Jewish sect that lived on the mountains of Nablus. This version contains only seven books of the Old Testament. The Samaria considered what was more than that as being a forged increase. But it had sentences and paragraphs which were not found in the rest of the copies. Some Protestant investigators see this copy to be inferior to the Hebrew version, however, they resort to it in some issues and prefer it to the Hebrew Version.

•George: What a wondrous chronology and provoking contradiction. But what are the signs of this distortion... other than the subject of women and sex?

•Levvi: There are lots!! Among them is what we mentioned in the morning regarding the description of God with what is not suitable for Him, and attributing immorality and deficiencies to prophets, and…

•George: Sorry for interrupting you; immorality and deficiencies of prophets?!

•Levvi: Ha ha ha! Just imagine, this is the first time in my life I have said things like this. In fact I’m very surprised about myself, but I feel happy that I am actually saying these things. I wonder, is this a kind of release of emotions, or a whisper from Satan? I don’t know, but I’m happy to say these things. Let me give you some examples: the Torah describes God’s prophet Noah, peace be upon him, as drinking alcohol and taking off his clothes; it says, “ And Noah began to till the soil, and planted a vineyard, and he drank of the wine, and was drunk; and he was uncovered within his tent. “ Also, it mentions about Lot, peace be upon him: “And he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man on the earth to come in unto us And the firstborn said unto the younger, ‘Our father is old, and there is not a man on the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth: Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve descendants of our father.’…Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. And the firstborn bore a son, and called his name Moab, ….And the younger, she also bore a son, and called his name Benammi.” And there are many other examples, but I think these two examples are enough.

•George: Sorry Levvi, but why are you back to issues of sex, after we had left it?

•Levvi: Because I promised myself to be honest with you, and you are the one who asked me.

•George: I’d like to talk about another topic.

Levvi smiled, her cheeks shyly blushing, and she seemed to be even more beautiful and glamorous…

•Levvi: Ha ha ha! With pleasure, but I hope you don’t turn your questions to sex and women.

George asked her not to talk about issues of sex only in order to stop his eyes from wandering over her body and on the beauty of the tender woman sitting in front of him. He didn’t want to succumb to his body’s whims, which began to feel crazy with desire and extremely thirsty to quench his thirst with the charming beauty which he viewed in front of him. Then he became afraid of betraying Katrina and his principles. What a difficult and silly life! Next he remembered the famous words of Adam: “Happiness is in simplicity,” while murmuring to himself: “If only I could live with my principles simply.” Then he tried to change the subject…

•George: You told me you’re from Austria.

•Levvi: Ha ha ha! No, I told you I’m from Israel.

•George: Yes, I mean that your parents are from Austria. Let me say, according to British statistics, the ratio of Jews here in 1945 was 38%, the percentage of Muslims was 58%, and that of Christians was 8%.That high percentage of the Jews was due to the migration of 50,000 to 60,000 during the period from 1920 to 1945. Why do you think that the Christians and Muslims are the terrorists while you are the ones who came to them and occupied their land?!

•Levvi: No, sorry….. but you, the British, are the occupiers and you are the ones who gave us our land and brought back our rights.

•George: Why did Britain “bring back your rights,” as you said. Was it a free service just for you?

•Levvi: What concerns me is that this is our land and it was returned to us. As for why did Britain help us, this question is for you and not for me... although the UK and Europe have served us a lot, they have also killed many of us, don’t you know that?

•George: Do you mean the Holocaust?!

•Levvi: We’ve been a persecuted people throughout history, and the Holocaust was just the closing episode of the unethical persecution against us.

•George: Yesterday, the night before I came here, my Catholic wife told me about the Jewish persecution of the Christians. All the world’s peoples feel persecuted.

•Levvi: True…even the barbarian terrorist Muslims who killed my father say that they are oppressed, but history and facts offer you the truth.

•George: You said that you love to debate and that you never get upset if people are straight forward and to the point. Don’t you think that the Muslims are being oppressed, occupied, expelled from their country, killed and displaced!?

•Levvi: Terrorists deserve this and even more, but who is to blame for this? You are, so don’t criticize us.

•George: You’ve become offensive. Yes, we are to blame for this, and we did it for you. But don’t you see that they are oppressed?

•Levvi: I told you they deserve it and more; they are barbarians, backward, brutal and terrorists…

•George: But don’t you see that the Christians in Palestine are also persecuted, not only the Muslims!

•Levvi: You mean Israel not Palestine.

•George: Yes, don’t you see that Christians in Israel are oppressed by the Jews!

•Levvi: Don’t get angry, Christians can go anywhere in Europe or America if they don’t like the way we treat them!!

•George: Ha ha ha! These critical and harsh words are contrary to your beauty. I can’t imagine that such a beautiful and kind lady says such harsh words!

•Levvi: Those who aren’t willing to serve us don’t wait for anything from us but murder. These are the teachings of the Bible.

•George: Are these the teachings of the Bible?!!

•Levvi: Yes, we have in the Torah: “Thus says the LORD God of Israel, ‘Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.’” Also we have: “And to the others he said in my hearing, ‘Go you after him through the city, and kill: let not your eye spare, neither have you pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maidens, and little children, and women.’” In addition, we have: “Now go and strike Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” Are these texts enough, or do you want more?

•George: It seems as though I have started to annoy you. Calm down... but this is an unbearable form of terrorism.

•Levvi: I’m calm. And what I told you are the words of God found in the Torah. They aren’t my words!

•George called the waiter, and ordered an orange juice...Then he turned to Levvi, who was trying to hide her tension and her emotions…

•George: Can I get you anything, to make you calmer?

•Levvi: Lemon juice, please.

George stopped talking for a while as he was looking at Levvi’s face. She was sighing. He was contemplating the contrast between the delicate beauty and the murder, displacement and lack of compassion she was talking about. Levvi looked down, and then lifted her head, crying…

•Levvi: My father was killed and I became a toy in Benjamin’s hand. All this is due to us being persecuted throughout history. After that you want me to believe that these terrorists are the ones who are oppressed?!

•George: Please, drink the lemon juice and leave this issue if it is annoying you…

•Levvi: It doesn’t bother me, and you can continue. I’ll be quiet and listen.

•George: Frankly, are you convinced with the texts of the Torah that you mentioned?

•Levvi: Honestly… honestly, no.

•George: Why?

•Levvi: Didn’t I tell you that the Torah is full of distortions. This cruelty cannot be from the Merciful Lord!

•George: You’re right. The Lord is merciful to His slaves.

•Levvi: And returning to sex and women, hear this Torah text: “ Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that has known man by lying with him. But all the young girls, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. “ Then she smiled again, saying: Hear this text as well: “ Therefore they commanded the children of Benjamin, saying, ‘Go and lie in wait in the vineyards; And see, and, behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in dances, then come you out of the vineyards, and catch you every man his wife of the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin..’” Then she laughed sarcastically, saying: We have left the topics about sex and women, and now there is murder and kidnapping - or do you want to leave that subject also?

•George: Amazing! I can’t believe what I’m hearing! Okay, let’s leave this subject too. But excuse me, who are the daughters of Shiloh? And who is Shiloh?

•Levvi: Shiloh is the Christ, or the Messiah according to one of our interpretations. It’s important to point out that those women are the non-Jewish women, like your women and the Muslim women. Sorry, but you are the one who provoked me, so I lost my temper.

•George: Okay, I think it’s getting late now, so I’ll invite you to supper to calm you down.

•Levvi: Oh... I lost track of time. Now it’s nine in the evening. If this is an order I’ll stay, but if it isn’t, I wish to leave, if you’ll allow me.

•George: I don’t like this type of talking. I’ve not come here to command you. I’ve told you that I like how you are so explicit, and have greatly benefited from you on my path to happiness, and I would like to sit with you...when you agree to meet me.

•Levvi: Thank you for your kindness. See you tomorrow, then.

•George: But we agreed to meet on Saturday, the day after tomorrow.

•Levvi: Our visit to the Jewish holy places will be the day after tomorrow, but we can complete our discussion tomorrow, if you like?

•George: I’ll meet you tomorrow when I come to meet Benjamin in the morning, but I’d like to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Church of Mary, if it is possible for you to bring me there.

•Levvi: The Church of the Resurrection is not a Protestant church, and you say that you are a Protestant...Then she said, flirtatiously: Are you deceiving me?

•George: Why? I am going to visit it because I promised my Catholic wife to visit it.

•Levvi: You love your wife so much. I’ll send you the driver at eight in the morning to drive you to the office to meet Benjamin. And try to get out early to be able to see the two churches, as tomorrow is Friday.

•George: What does Friday mean?

•Levvi: That there will be barriers and inspection points everywhere to prevent the terrorists from laying bombs when they go to perform their Friday Prayer.

•George: I’ll be ready at eight o’clock to go to the office.

•Then he stood up and shook hands with Levvi, looking into her eyes saying:

•George: I am grateful to you, and sorry for upsetting you.

•Levvi: I’m the one that should be grateful for your generosity, your kindness, your frankness, and your loyalty to your wife and your principles.

•George: You are wonderful.

•Levvi: I wish if I could travel with you on your path to happiness, but my circumstances won’t allow me.

•George: Who knows? Nothing is impossible... I’ll meet you in the morning, beauty.

George ate his dinner quickly after Levvi had left. Her image didn’t leave his mind. He felt as if she was near him, but he didn’t know why. Was this due to her glamorous beauty, or her frankness with him? Or was it because he sympathized with her? He felt puzzled. He remembered her smile and her tears. He recalled her anger and her temper. All these were present in his mind. He felt sorry for her. She was a victim of distorted and unfair teachings. How could this poor woman face all this injustice and infringement on her rights in the name of the Lord!?
He went up to his room and turned on the TV, trying to forget Levvi and her exquisiteness, and in order to see the news. The news about the terrorist bombing in London had declined, but he saw and heard in the news that the party responsible for the bombing was a Seta dissident movement. The suspected Pakistani was arrested. He was frightened and found hiding in one of the areas on the outskirts of London, but he was released after he had proved his innocence. He said to himself: “Your innocence was proven. God looked after you.” Then the news said that the Israeli government was preparing for Friday. They prevented those under fifty years of age from performing the prayer in Al-Aqsa Mosque, in anticipation of any terrorist bombing. He switched the TV off to open his e-mail and respond to his incoming e-mail, and then he decided to write some excerpts of the Torah that Levvi had told him to send them to Tom and Adam. After having finished typing them, he sent the text. It was eleven o’clock, so he went to bed. But Levvi’s image had still not disappeared from his mind. He wondered: “Was it a mistake that she didn’t sleep with me tonight!? It would have been a good and enjoyable night if I had agreed. She was ready and she has done this before with Kach. What are these principles that prevent us from the pleasures of life?!” He didn’t know why he remembered his jealousy and anger when he imagined that Katrina had betrayed him with Tom; then he mumbled: “What is this contradiction that I live in?! I myself wanted to be unfaithful, the same form of unfaithfulness that is making me angry now. I pay bribes and I see that the one who receives it has no morals or principles. I wish that my spirit, my thought, my life, my happiness and my principles could be upright…”

(4)

George made sure to have his breakfast early, before eight o’clock in the morning, to ensure he would be ready for his lift to the airport. He went up to his room to wait for the driver, and at eight a.m. sharp the receptionist phoned telling him that there was someone waiting for him at the reception. He immediately went down and was surprised to see that it was Levvi, not the driver. He was happy to see her, so he smiled and they shook hands…

•George: It’s so nice to see you; I didn’t want to exhaust you.

•Levvi: It’s really no problem... I like your discussions very much.

•George: Thank you for your compliment, your mannerly way and you politeness. Is Benjamin at the office now?

•Levvi: Yes and he’s waiting for you there because I told him that you would be coming.

•George: Thanks, as I forgot to call him.

She gave him a friendly smile which made her entire face shine.

•Levvi: After leaving you and before arriving home, Benjamin kept calling me to make sure that I had spent the night with you. He didn’t believe that you’re not like Kach and did’t want me. So I told him that you’d come in the morning so he could make sure for himself.

He looked at her firmly, and said seriously:

•George: Who said I don’t want you?!

Levvi became confused, so the conflict of her feelings, ideas, opinions and her lust appeared on her face.

•Levvi: What do you mean? Did anything change since I left you last?

•George: Ha ha ha! I want your culture, your knowledge, your intelligence, your spirit, your morals and your politeness. As for your body, it is a jewel that I wish I could contemplate; it’s like a flower that I’d like to smell; but it’s a shame to think of a woman as only a body. I wouldn’t like to lose you or to lose my principles.

She wiped her forehead with her left hand, raising a tress of her hair in a turbulent manner which reflected her troubled soul.

•Levvi: Ah… I don’t know why I felt scared.

•George: Did you tell him that we’re going to visit the sacred places, according to his proposal?

•Levvi: No, tell him yourself.

•George: In fact, I feel uncomfortable with Benjamin. I feel humiliated that I have to give up my principles and pay him the bribe. But I didn’t really consider this issue before coming here, otherwise I would’ve refused. Anyway, we must finalize the topic now and after my return, we’ll see what we will do.

•Levvi: If you don’t give him the amount, he’ll understand that I didn’t perform my job well.

•George: How trivial is the life in which man waives his principles for the sake of money, sex or for position!

•Levvi: Maybe I’m contradictory, but if people hadn’t waived their principles for money, sex and position, Israel wouldn’t have been founded and wouldn’t have remained.

•George: How worthless life is, and how worthless I am for being involved with paying a bribe. I don’t know how I didn’t think about this matter when Kach told me!

•Levvi: Anyway, this is the company. We’ve arrived. The contracts are with Benjamin and ready to be signed.

•George: I hope I’ll finish quickly. After that, I’ll need a driver to take me on the tour to the churches.

•Levvi: Sorry... I can’t take you to the churches myself, but you’ll find the driver waiting for you.

George and Levvi arrived at Benjamin’s office, who welcomed George and shook hands, smiling…

•Benjamin: How was your day yesterday? And how was your night?

•George: It was an eventful day in which I and Levvi finished lots of work.

•Benjamin: Yes... Levvi told me that you’re ready to sign the contracts, and you have answered all her technical fears. Then he turned to Levy, saying: You can finish your work now so that I can finish signing the contracts with George.

•Levvi: I’ll go, as I have some work to do... Then she turned to George: When you’re finish, you’ll find the driver waiting for you.

•Benjamin: Why the driver? You can take him, Levvi? Didn’t she suit you? Didn’t you like her?

•George: We’ve decided to do as you suggested and take a tour together to the holy places tomorrow, but today I’ll go on a tour to the holy churches by myself.

•Benjamin: How was Levvi with you yesterday?

•George: Fantastic.

•Benjamin: I was amazed when I called Levvi at half past nine last night and she told me that she was near her home. You should’ve taken your time with her, as long as she was wonderful.

•George: We finished our discussions at nine, and then she left. I told you on the phone that I wanted to meet you to sign the contracts and finish the matter. Here, please take this check from Kach.

•Benjamin: Thank you, and thank Kach. The contracts are ready to be signed.

•George: Have we finished?

•Benjamin: We finished the contracts, but there are still three days for you to spend with us. Levvi and I are at your service.

•George: Thank you for your generosity.

•Benjamin: If you want Levvi to come with you to the hotel after the end of your tour tomorrow to spend the night with you, she’ll be willing to entertain you.

•George: I think I’ll be tired and want to rest and sleep early, I won’t be able to wait up.

•Benjamin: Ha ha ha. Try Levvi, she’ll relieve you. Every time Kach came here to sign the contracts, he didn’t feel relieved until Levvi relieved him.

•George: Now that we’ve signed the contracts and finished. Is it ok if we talk about something else?

•Benjamin: Go ahead…

•George: I’ll say it frankly and without any embarrassment: Why do you take money in order to sign the contracts? Isn’t it financial bribery?

•Benjamin: Ha ha ha! If you like frankness; why do you and Kach enjoy Levvi’s body in order to sign contracts?! Isn’t it sexual bribery?!

•George: Yes, it is sexual bribery, and that’s why I refused to do it.

•Benjamin: Kach didn’t refuse, in fact he clearly and explicitly requested it, and you hinted that yesterday. If you didn’t enjoy Levvi as you wanted, that’s your problem. And if it’s bribery, why did you pay me?!

•George: Your words seem to be true and logical. Why did I pay it when it is a bribe? Anyway, do money and sex make you happy?

•Benjamin: Undoubtedly, happiness in this world is represented in sex, money and power... Then he sighed, saying: … even if these pleasures themselves bring us misery.

•George: What do you mean? How are they the pleasures of life while they bring misery?!

•Benjamin: These are the contradictions of life, my friend. Sex, money and power are the most enjoyable things of the physical side of life, but they sometimes tyrannize us and make us unhappy. Exactly like our sad feasts which are far from being joyful or pleasurable. Isn’t the feast supposed to be the happiest day for the people? My answer is of course yes, but our feasts are considered as being a sad day for us.

•George: How?

•Benjamin: Levvi can answer you better than me... Ha ha ha! She is more beautiful as well. You can complete the discussion with her at your hotel, and in a way that relaxes you.

•George: Like I said before, no thank you. I’ll meet Levvi only to have discussions with her.

George left Benjamin’s office and asked his secretary where Levvi’s office was, and then went to her office. Once he entered the office, Levvi hastened to ask him eagerly:

•Levvi: What did you two talk about?

•George: I feel so humiliated. I gave him the bribe and then we signed the contract.

•Levvi: Did you speak with him about the bribe or about me?

•George: Yes, we talked about you a lot. Sorry, he kept on offering me your body. Then he smiled, saying that I should consult you about certain topics.

•Levvi: Consult me? About what?!

•George: When I talked to him about the bribe, he embarrassed me by saying that Kach and I also use bribery, but a sexual bribe and not a financial one. Also, he embarrassed me by saying that I’m the one who paid the bribe and he is the one who took it. So both of us are alike.

•Levvi: Unfortunately a person sometimes has the ability to debate and to justify his mistakes.

•George: Who do you mean?!

•Levvi: I mean, Benjamin… She kept silent for a moment, then she said: …I also mean myself and, sorry, I mean you as well.

George looked at the roof sadly, and then he said:

•George: You’re right. When will our attitude be aimed at our happiness and progress, instead of the attitude of sin and bribery?

•Levvi: But you didn’t tell me what you wanted to know?

•George: Benjamin said: “This is the nature of life; life is complex as its happiness and pleasures are what grieve our souls, the same as our feasts that are supposed to be happy are sad.”

•Levvi: Perhaps one of the manifestations of distortion that we talked about previously is that the Jewish religion is a complex religion. The problem isn’t with your understanding - but the problem is that Judaism has a truly complex nature. Anyhow, the Jewish feasts are not for delight, but are mostly for grief.

•George: How?

•Levvi: Our feasts are dedicated to worship. The Jewish worship is the worship of weeping and sorrow. Haven’t you heard about the Wailing Wall?! But during the most important feast for us, called the Day of Atonement, we fast for more than 24 hours of the day and night when we don’t do any work, only worship. Generally, we have many feasts; however, the majority of the Jews, especially the secularists, see the feasts as holidays and joyous occasions without any particular form of worship involved, only the formal acts.

•George: This is not very important. What is important is can life be so complex that we find happiness only in what grieves us?

•Levvi: I am sorry to say that I often ask myself the same question, but I can never find an answer, despite my deep knowledge of the Torah and the Talmud. Perhaps it’s due to the nature of the complicated psychology of Judaism or the Jewish religion, or perhaps I have to be more knowledgeable in order to find the answer.

•George: I do not know... but I hate complexity, as I think that it brings nothing but misery.

•Levvi: I hate complexity, but I live in it. Anyway, you are late for Dr Habib. It’s now nine o’clock and the time is not in your favor. He’s waiting for you outside.

•George: Who is Dr Habib?

•Levvi: He is a scholar of religions, a Catholic Christian...I’ve chosen him myself; I think he’s the best person for you to go with.

George kept silent for a few moments; he did not want to leave her. He tried to take in all her beauty, the locks of her hair hanging down over her shoulder, her vibrant eyes, her bright mouth, her tender and soft body, and her charming movements. He tried to enjoy every part of her. He asked himself: “Did I make a mistake when I refused to spend the night with her to quench the thirst of my body? Was Benjamin true when he said that the pleasures of the flesh grieve the spirit? Oh, I forgot to discuss this point with her.”
Levvi was aware that he was looking at every part of her body. She didn’t know why she felt such pleasure from these glances. Did she want to enjoy herself with him? Then, why did she abstain? Or did she abstain in order to make him run after her? But in reality he didn’t run after here. And why did he abstain when his looks were devouring her? Had he changed his mind? Should she offer to spend the night with him, or what should she do?!!

•George: I am thankful and grateful to you. I’ll be waiting for you tomorrow morning at eight o’clock.

•Levvi: Thanks, George.

George left and welcomed Dr. Habib. Then he went with him to his car.

•Habib: Firstly, we’re heading to the Church of the Resurrection. Today is Friday and there are strict procedures everywhere. So it may take us two hours to get there.

•George: Two hours?!

•Habib: Unfortunately, yes. The road usually takes forty-five minutes, but today is Friday and all the roads are closed as there are a lot of checkpoints.

•George: Although it will take longer and be tiring, it’s worth it. Terrorism is a disaster for humanity.

•Habib: What terrorism are you talking about?

•George: The terrorism of the Arab Muslims.

•Habib: Excuse me, I’m a Catholic Christian Arab and not a Muslim, but the real terrorism is the terrorism of the Jewish state. Why do they prevent people from praying at their mosque? Where is the terrorism in praying in a mosque?

•George: Sorry, I’m not an expert in history or in politics or religions, and it seems that I’m debating a specialist. But aren’t Muslims the ones who blow themselves up and blow up trains and buses to kill Jews?!

•Habib: You’re right, they do this. But may I ask you, what makes a man kill himself?

•George: Out of my experience, I imagine that man kills himself only if he reaches a case in which his death becomes better than his life.

•Habib: And what has brought the Muslims to this state here?

•George: I don’t know. What has brought them to this state? You tell me.

•Habib: Injustice, oppression, occupation and humiliation.

•George: You seem to be greatly sympathetic with Muslims.

•Habib: Not at all! I’m not a Muslim, but I’m sympathetic with the country’s inhabitants, the Muslims and the Christians, whose dignity has been lost and who have been robbed of their land and their rights. Imagine if we, the Christians, had been expelled and abandoned from Palestine and our holy places had also been insulted.

•George: But you weren’t hurt as much as the Muslims.

•Habib: We are a minority here. Although we have been offended, their dealings with us are better than their dealings with the Muslims; out of respect to the Christians around the world.

•George: Why aren’t the Muslims treated better, out of respect to the Muslims around the world?!

•Habib: To be clear and straight to the point: We live in a world that doesn’t respect anything but power.. and only power... let’s change the topic. Do you know the Church of the Holy Sepulcher?

•George: Yes, to some extent. I’ve read much about it.

•Habib: Though you’re a Protestant, as Levvi told me.

•George: Yes. It seems that Levvi has told you everything.

•Habib: I’ve known Levvi for about five years, and I haven’t seen her as interested in anyone as she is with you.

•George: I only met Levvi yesterday, but this feeling she has is due to her good manners. As for you: how did you come to know her?

•Habib: She came to me being tired of Judaism, and she was thinking of converting to Christianity. So she came to debate with me about Catholicism - she likes debating very much.

•George: Did she convert to Christianity?

•Habib: Definitely not. She wasn’t convinced with Catholicism or with Judaism, though she’s very religious. She is also from a religious family, so if she converts to Christianity, she would be killed or imprisoned, or punished with some serious penalty.

•George: Why didn’t you convince her about Catholicism?

•Habib: Perhaps it’s due to its contradictions, and perhaps due to the complex Jewish nature!

•George: Or perhaps, due to the complex Catholic nature.

•Habib: Ha ha ha! Maybe.

•George: Levvi told me that you’re a researcher in the affairs of religions.

•Habib: Yes...I’m a university professor and teach the history of religions.

•George: Could you tell me about the history of religions in Palestine then?

•Habib: The topic is very simple, despite its political and religious complexities.

•George: I adore simplicity... tell me about it simply, if you can.

•Habib: Simply...there is no doubt that this land was inhabited before all religions, and that all religions have passed through this Holy Land, and that Judaism preceded Christianity and Islam. There were inhabitants before all religions, and all religions came to this Holy Land and mixed with it so they became a part of this land. They didn’t confiscate what preceded them, but coexisted with them. But, in the modern era when the Jews came, they wanted to be the only inhabitants here and wanted to cancel all that had preceded them, and kill the inhabitants or push them out.

•George: But didn’t the Muslims expel those who preceded them?

•Habib: Not at all! The truth should be told. Our churches were present before the entry of ‘Omar bin Khattab, and they weren’t harmed.

•George: What about the Crusades?

•Habib: Wars between two religions and wars between the indigenous populations, made-up of the Muslims along with some of the Christians on one side and the Crusaders who arrived from Europe on the other side. But the people lived in harmony before the arrival of the Crusaders from Europe.

•George: And didn’t the Christians persecute the Jews?

•Habib: Although I’m a Christian, in the modern time the Jews were persecuted in Europe, not in Palestine. This country is the country of tolerance. In the past the Roman state killed the Jews and allowed them to be killed after the mission of Jesus, and after he was denied by the Jews.

•George: It seems that being an Arab makes you feel more sympathetic to the Muslims than the Christians, as Islam is the religion of the Arabs!

•Habib: Maybe, but Islam is not the religion of the Arabs, and the majority of the Muslims are not Arabs. I’m an Arab but I’m not a Muslim. But I’m an academic person so I want my answers to be scientific. The Arabs arrived in Jerusalem before Islam. Isn’t Abraham the father of Jacob, and Ismail? And he lived before Islam and Judaism?!

•George: Sorry for interrupting you… the neighborhoods here seem to be very old.

•Habib: Yes, because we’ve reached the old town where the Church of the Resurrection is. Didn’t you notice that we passed more than fifteen checkpoints?

•George: How pitiful and sad it is to see the queues of the elderly at the checkpoints.

•Habib: Being a Christian and being known at the checkpoints, the officers helped us to pass quickly. As for the queues of the elderly, the people under fifty years of age are prohibited from performing the prayer today. So then, logically speaking, it should also be forbidden for us to enter the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, if they apply this rule on us.

•George: The old town seems to be a treasure of memories and monuments of Christianity!

•Habib: Yes, and for the Muslims as well.

•George: And also for the Jews.

•Habib: They say that, but history and reality don’t support this … Then he smiled and said: But power- the most important thing in the world in the jungle where we live- supports them.

•George: You are very prejudiced against the Jews.

•Habib: And facts point to the reality of what I have said, but I may be prejudiced as they occupied my land and deprived me of my freedom and my right to worship.

•George: Let’s leave this point; as all religions make the same claim. I think we have arrived at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, haven’t we?

•Habib: Yes, you can see the domes and crosses here. We’ll walk the rest of the way.

•George: Aren’t you afraid of the Muslims?

•Habib: If you have survived the Jews, anything after that is easy. Have you ever heard of the Muslims killing the Christians in Jerusalem?

After walking a little together, they found the ancient building of the church in front of them. George was amazed with the building of church, so he started to look at it in detail…

•Habib: You’ll be even more amazed when you enter it.

•George: So let’s go in..

When George entered, he looked at large painting of Jesus, peace be upon him, while being crucified. The painting was carved on the wall, and below it was a large picture of the Virgin Mary, peace be upon her, and a picture of Joseph the Carpenter…

•George: I think that these images are suitable for the museums! But are such images befitting churches which are dedicated to worship?

•Habib: This is the nature of you Protestants. You don’t like pictures in the churches...Then he smiled sarcastically and said: You’re similar to the Muslims on that point.

•George: It’s the first time I have been told that we’re similar to the Muslims; you usually say that we’re similar to the Jews.

George turned to a dome radiating a wide beam of light which divided into twelve rays, which he contemplated with admiration …

•Habib: This is one of the world’s masterpieces. This ray which descends from the dome is from the sun that shines on the middle of the dome, and which comes through a hole which is at the top of the dome. From this, twelve rays emanate. This is a clear indication of Jesus, representing the dawning of a new day, and the twelve apostles: the radiation of faith over the earth. The dome was launched on the second of January, 1997.

•George: It’s amazing. One can feel the spirituality of faith in such a sacred place.

•Habib: Though you, the Protestants, don’t like this place much!

•George: Ha ha ha! Who doesn’t like a place which has the plank on which the Christ was crucified?

•Habib: the Catholics and Orthodox Christians are more interested in this church.

•George: It was previously demolished by the Muslims! But you say that the Muslims didn’t destroy any house of worship!

•Habib: You’re right... It was demolished by Al Hakim Bi ‘Amr Allah Fatimid who, according to history, demolished Islam just as he demolished Christianity. However, they allowed it to be built again forty years after it was demolished. I’m not a Muslim and I am not bothered about talking about the injustice of the Muslims, which has been repeated throughout history, but it can’t be compared with the injustice done by the Jews, or, I’m sorry to say, the injustice of the Christians towards the Jews. By the way, the first church was built by a Syrian engineer, not a European, named Zenobius, in 336 AD.

•George: Strange, there aren’t a large number of people in the church.

•Habib: Because the mass is performed on Sunday, as you know. Today is Friday and the roads are very difficult to pass. Otherwise, this is one of the most visited churches in the world, and one of the most sacred places.

George prayed in the church, fulfilling his promise to Katrina. Then he wandered through the church with Habib, who answered his questions and showed him the features of the church. After that they left to go to the Church of Mary. Habib looked at his watch. It was quarter to four…

•Habib: I hope we won’t be too late as it takes between an hour and an hour and half to reach the Church of Mary, and the return will also need an hour to an hour and half. I hope we will arrive back before sunset.

•George: Good. Please excuse me, then, as I want to relax a little for half an hour in the car during the trip, because I feel a little fatigued.

•Habib: Okay, then relax.

George lay back on the seat and closed his eyes. He felt that the pace of the events of this trip was not just fast, but very fast. He remembered that he had ended the first goal of his travel quickly, and also remembered his second goal which was to explore the path to happiness. He remembered his conversations with Levvi, Benjamin and Habib. All these events happened in just one and a half days. What would happen in the remaining two and a half days? He remembered Katrina, Tom and Adam. He wished that they could’ve come with him and heard his talks. He felt that the dose of information was too large for his head, to the point that he could no longer define his personal opinion about the information he had seen and heard. He remembered his questions and thanked the Lord that they no longer grieved him as they used to, though he hadn’t forgotten them. Is this because he was on his way to the path to happiness? But the questions and the information of the path to happiness also exhausted him. While he was thinking on these ideas and conflicts, he moved to the world of dreams and fell asleep.

(5)

When George woke up, he sat up straight, looking at Habib.

•George: Sorry, it seems that I was tired.

•Habib: It seems so.

•George: Oh, I’ve slept for a full hour! When will we reach the church?

•Habib: In about a quarter of an hour...Then he continued smiling: You seem to have a deep internal conflict with Katrina, Benjamin, Tom, Adam, the old man, Michael, Jyotsna, Kach and Levvi…

•George: Where did you get these names?!

•Habib: You repeated them while you were sleeping.

•George: Apparently I was really tired. I am feeling the overlap of information and events in my head, and my body also feels heavy.

•Habib: If a person cannot be at peace with events in his life, they will interfere with his spirit and make him feel tired.

•George: Probably, as this is exactly my problem.

•Habib: By the way, I like the phrase you repeated often.

•George: What was it?

•Habib: The path to happiness. You kept repeating: “I want to find the path to happiness.” A wonderful phrase.

•George: So then what about talking a bit about the path to happiness? I’d like to ask you a question or two.

•Habib: Go ahead.

•George: Are you happy?

•Habib: That’s a very big question! Do you think I can answer it?!

•George: Yes, I think it’s possible.

•Habib: All religions, ideas and doctrines claim this.

•George: You’re a professor on the history of religions. Which religion is the nearest to happiness?

•Habib: This is the first time I’ve ever been asked such a big question...I’ve done my best to find the answer, but I’m still looking.

•George: In your opinion, is it possible for the path not to have a religion?

•Habib: Never, this is highly unlikely. Science proves that most atheists are psycho or mentally-ill patients, and that they are lying about their atheism.

•George: I don’t understand... how are they lying about atheism?!

•Habib: I mean that they pretend to be atheists, but within themselves they believe in God. Atheism is, in fact, a means to escape from religion and its responsibilities... they have neither religion nor belief.

•George: If religion is the path to happiness, then why can’t an academic researcher in religions answer me?

•Habib: You have a right to say that. I’m still looking, and I’ll get the answer soon.

•George: Promise me you’ll tell me when you get there.

•Habib: Okay, I promise you. You seem to be very interested in religions, just as Levvi described you.

•George: I don’t like contradictions, and I don’t like complications. I like compatibility between the mind, the soul and the body, and between principles and pleasure. Also, I love profound simplicity.

•Habib: Wonderful, me too. You seem to be a philosopher, we must complete our discussion, but it seems that we reached the Church of Mary Magdalene, which is in front of you.

•George: What a wonderful building!

•Habib: This is Russian architecture. It was built by the Russian, Alexander, with very magnificent golden domes on the Mount of Olives.

•George: Then, it’s a modern church?

•Habib: Undoubtedly yes, when compared with the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, as the Church of the Holy Sepulcher was built in 335 AD, and the Church of the Virgin Mary was built in 1886 AD. So, there are more than 1500 years between them.

•George: I am surprised that many of the Christian landmarks were built a long time after the death of the early follows of Christianity. A matter that questions its sanctity!

•Habib: Sadly your words are 100% true, and even the Bible is the same. Now, we have arrived. We can complete our discussion on the way back. I hope we’ll finish quickly so that we can return before sunset.

•George: Okay. So we should finish as soon as possible.

They took a quick tour of the church and what drew George’s attention was the large number of images, especially on the ceiling of the church. George felt that they were unsuitable for a place of worship. Another marvel which caught his attention was the magnificent decorations and the seven domes where the sun shone brightly. The building was architecturally splendid, particularly the place where George prayed quickly to the Lord, and when he was done they left.

•George: It’s a wonderful and beautiful building.

•Habib: Yes; it is a masterpiece of architectural art.

•George: But you, the Catholics, love images in places of worship. As for me, I see that they don’t fit a place of worship, as it reminds me of the temples of the Gentiles.

•Habib: First, this church is actually not Catholic, but Orthodox. Second, I told you that you are similar to the Muslims on this point.

•George: It isn’t a Catholic Church?! So why does my wife want me to pray here?!

•Habib: I don’t know.

•George: Since you’re a scholar of religions, could you tell me the difference between Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant, from your point of view?

•Habib: It is a difficult and complex question.

•George: Don’t you like simple matters? Simplify it for me.

•Habib: I’ll try, but there are so many groups and sects. In order to simplify it, I’ll only talk about the main three groups that you mentioned. Firstly, Orthodox means the right opinion, the truth, the well-known one or the one which adheres strongly to religion or tradition. All of these definitions have a similar meaning. Catholicism, which means ‘in general’ or ‘universal’, broke away from it in 451 AC. The Protestantism sect emerged when it broke away from Catholicism, after the Movement of the Religious Reform led by Martin Luther that swept through Western Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries AC.

•George: So the Orthodox Church is the original one, not you, the Catholic Church.

•Habib: Yes, but from us sprung the Protestants. Ha ha ha! What is important is that the Orthodox name their church the Eastern Church, or the Greek Church, or the Church of the eastern Romans whose followers are from eastern Roman, i.e. from east Europe, such as Russia, the Balkan countries and Greece. The original center of the church was the city of Constantinople. This doctrine is followed by the Egyptian Church, the Armenians and the Ethiopians, and the followers of this doctrine are nearly one thousand million people.

•George: One thousand million people! Is that really possible?!

•Habib: While for Catholicism, their church is called the Western Church; referring to the Latin countries of Italy, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal and Brazil. It has followers in Europe, North and South America, Africa and Asia. They claim that their founder is the apostle Peter, the leader of the Disciples of Christ, and that the popes of Rome are his successors. It also claims to be the mother of the churches, and its instructor. It follows the papal system, being headed by the pope. The churches’ compound has the right to issue papal decrees, which they see as divine decrees because the pope is the Successor of Peter, the disciple and the regent of Christ. Thus, he represents God; therefore his decree is not open for discussion or any disagreement. The followers of this doctrine are about one thousand million people too.

•George: Good. Please continue, what about Protestantism?

•Habib: Protestantism is called the Evangelical Church, meaning that the followers of that church follow the Bible and understand it by themselves, without being subject to any one else or another sect. They don’t believe in the inspiration of the men of the church, though they are all Christians, because they believe in the fundamental beliefs. And they don’t believe in many of the sacraments, the rituals, the prayers the church ordains, baptism, and traditions. They also rejected some of the books of the Bible, and many of the beliefs and the sacred traditions.

•George: You want to consider us as a group which is separate from Christianity - no problem - but what are the fundamental differences between the three sects?

•Habib: You’ve mentioned the essence of the issue when you said: “You want to consider us as a group which is separate from Christianity.” In fact the differences between the sects are so great that some of them consider them different religions, not one religion with different sects.

•George: How? Explain it to me?

•Habib: There are differences of opinion about all the doctrines of Christianity in all the sects. So I can’t explain them in the car. They differ about God, Jesus, the Bible and the rites of worship, as well as many other things.

•George: How can it be that one religion has so many a differences? No doubt that one of them is right.

•Habib: The idea that one of them is right is the reason behind the wars between these sects.

•George: Wars?!

•Habib: Yes, wars in which millions have been annihilated. For example, the Thirty Year War between 1618 and 1648, between the Protestants and the Catholics, and also their corresponding allies. It cost the Europeans millions of casualties. Germany alone lost half of its men and its population declined from twenty million to thirteen and a half million!

The words were harsh for George to hear, as he hates terrorism and extremism of all forms. He wondered to himself: “Can the path to happiness be filled with blood? May the Lord have mercy on us! Humans cannot be happy with such brutality…”

•George: What brutality is this?!

•Habib: History has proven that severe ideological differences and discrepancies usually turn into conflicts, whether we like it or not.

•George: What a terrorist and annoying history!

•Habib: Unfortunately, yes. Generally, the clash of religions is tiring to hear about, starting with the Jewish war, their persecution of the Christians and the killing of Jesus - then, the Christians’ persecution of the Jews, and then the Jews’ persecution of the Muslims and the Christians.

•George: Again, you did not mention the Muslims’ persecution of the Christians or the Jews.

•Habib: Because I don’t know of any in history. Could you give me an example?

•George: The Muslims demolished the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

•Habib: There are many incidents like this, but I’m talking about the persecution and the killing of people and preventing them from performing the rituals of their worship. Islam forbade destroying monasteries and churches and forbade killing the Christians, and when anything like that happened, it never reached the state of being a general persecution.

•George: You seem to be a Muslim hiding in Christianity.

•Habib: Ha ha ha! Maybe, who knows? Perhaps I’ll become a Muslim or a Protestant someday. Didn’t I tell you that you are similar to them? Both of you don’t like the statues and images in the places of worship. Then he turned to George saying: Or perhaps I’ll walk with you on the path to happiness. You reminded me... what is the story behind the path to happiness?!

•George: The path to happiness.. It’s a very long story.

•Habib: Simplify and shorten it for me.

•George: I just got very tired of life’s major questions like, why were we created? Who created us? Why are we alive? And what will be our final abode? I knew that I would never be happy until I could answer these questions. So I began to search for the path to happiness. Then he smiled and said: The names you told me that you heard me say while I was sleeping, were persons who I have come across during my search for the path to happiness.

•Habib: Is your visiting the holy city and the debates part of your search for happiness?

•George: I actually came for a business visit, but the fact that encouraged me is what I said.

•Habib: And when will you give up this path?

•George: I don’t know, but I’m determined to reach it. Then he smiled and turned to him saying: The path to happiness is itself a happy path.

•Habib: It seems that there is great similarity between you, Levvi and I.

•George: How?

•Habib: She came to me searching for happiness in other faiths beside Judaism, but she wasn’t convinced with Catholicism. I was an Orthodox but I turned into a Catholic, and I’m still searching.

•George: Try Protestantism...perhaps, it’s the solution. I always tell my Catholic wife that your sect is complex due to its numerous rituals and the illogical secrets.

•Habib: Perhaps, but are you now in your search for the path to happiness?

•George: Sorry, but how much longer will it be until we reach the hotel? I’m starting to feel sick, my body is heavy and I feel dizzy.

•Habib: Hopefully it is only something small, may the Lord bless you with good health. We’ll arrive in about a quarter of an hour.

•George: I’m very grateful to you; I benefited a lot from our discussion.

•Habib: You should thank Levvi who introduced me to you. You should thank her as she is really keen to help you.

•George: Yes, Levvi is a very rare young lady, and I’m grateful to her.

•Habib: You seem to like her; didn’t you tell me that you’re married?

•George: Yes, I’m married, and Levvi’s a pretty and wonderful woman, but despite her glamorous beauty and her overwhelming charms, I like her spirit more than her body.

•Habib: You seem to be a platonic lover!

•George: Ha ha ha! Or a complicated and unsound person, as I’ve been told by many who know me.

•Habib: In our materialistic communities, the body takes precedence over the spirit, in the way the body is worshipped and how its pleasures are pursued. This is the case with the majority of us, and perhaps it is more obvious among the Jews.

•George: How?

•Habib: One of the benefits of Christianity is the spiritual view of matters, but our materialistic communities focus on the pleasures of the body at the expense of the pleasures of the spirit. The history of the Jews proves that they have a materialistic outlook about everything, on God, the Last Day, morals and behavior. Everything can be bought and sold, and I don’t mean just buying and selling with money.

•George: Didn’t I tell you that you’re prejudiced against the Jews?

•Habib: You can discuss it with Levvi; she’s a glamorous Jew, and she won’t be prejudiced against the Jews. And you can consider the history and also reality.

•George: You have challenged me again… have we arrived yet? I’m tired.

•Habib: We’ll be there in a few minutes.

George’s phone rang… It was Levvi with her beautiful voice.

•Levvi: Hello, George.

•George: Hello.

•Levvi: How was your tour?

•George: Wonderful! How can it not be while I’m in the company of the great Dr. Habib!

•Levvi: I hoped that my choice was good.

•George: It was perfect, thank you.

•Levvi: I wanted to see how you were before sunset and the beginning of Saturday.

•George: I’m fine, thank you for calling. And thank you for your arrangements. When will we meet tomorrow?

•Levvi: Whenever you want, as I would like to see you.

•George: I would like to see you too. Let’s meet at nine o’clock, as I’m a little tired and I want to have a long rest.

George felt a little confused, so he looked at Habib with a puzzled face, who was trying to hide his smile.

•Levvi: May God make you well and take care of you. Do you need a doctor?

•George: No thanks Levvi. I’m grateful to you. You’ll find me ready and fully active at nine o’clock tomorrow morning.

•Levvi: Goodbye.

•George: Goodbye…

•Habib: ... A warm call!!

•George: What do you mean?

•Habib: Nothing… Levvi is a wonderful, beautiful and a glamorous woman, as you say.

•George: What do you mean?

•Habib: I was joking with you. It seems that she admires you very much, just as you admire her. Both of you are trying to focus your admiration on the spirit, the thought and the morals of the other…Then he smiled and said: You both admire the other’s body as well, so beware that you do not exceed your admiration of the spirit to act on your admiration of the body, or let anything happen which will make you both abandon your principles which Levvi has told me about. Anyhow, we have reached the hotel so you can leave.

•George: Thank you for your sincere and difficult advice. Why don’t we have dinner or supper, as we haven’t eaten dinner yet.

•Habib: You’re tired and I’m also tired, so excuse me please, but I can’t.

•George: Thank you, I’ve benefited a lot from our talks. This is my contact information card; I hope that we’ll be always in touch with each other. Tomorrow I’ll be with Levvi the whole day, and there’s no problem if you are a guard for us.

•Habib: I know that you are interested in culture, thought and principles, but I warn you, as I have already warned her, that things sometimes become mixed up. We are human beings and we have our human weakness. Thank you... I hope to see you before your departure... this is my card. Always tell me where you are on your journey on the path to happiness.

He went up to his room, feeling fatigued. First he took a shower, then, as usual, he switched the TV on and watched the news, that had nothing new. Next he turned his computer on to check his e-mail. He found a message from Adam, in which he said:
“Greetings George, I saw what you sent me excerpts of the distorted Torah and I found them to be unbearable and unbelievable. Thank you for sending them, we shall discuss them after your return and I hope that you will continue to send such messages; as I benefit a lot from them.”
Then he found a message from Tom, in which he said:
“Hello George, Regarding the parts of the Torah, I told you before that all religions are of no benefit. I was about to change my mind because of you until I received this message. I think you started to be convinced with my words. Don’t forget that the Christians believe in the Old Testament. Our appointment is on Tuesday at two o’clock in the evening, to discuss everything. If you have any other verses, send them to me.”
George wanted to write to them about his experiences he had today, but he couldn’t as he felt very fatigued, so he decided to write them a single brief message... After greeting and welcoming them, he wrote:
“I have read your replies and I’ll try to tell you the latest as soon as it happens. Today was as eventful as yesterday. It was about the complexities of the religions, and the clash of religions and their persecution, in addition to the disputes of the Christian sects, as well as other matters. Being a little tired, I’ll try to send you some of what I learned tomorrow. “
He switched the computer off and flung himself onto his bed, but he was surprised that despite being stressed and fatigued, Levvi’s radiance, her bright smile and her blue eyes didn’t leave his mind. He remembered the words of Habib that things sometimes become mixed up, but despite of his fear, he was sure of himself, and of Levvi as well.