Jerusalem & Friends
– The Camels
Now Think On This
“Then Rebekah lifted her eyes, and when she saw Isaac she dismounted from her camel.” (Genesis 24:64, NKJV)
Rebekah was a natural. Being she was raised among camels, the normal means of desert travel, she certainly knew how to get on and get off properly. She probably never gave it a second thought. A camel girl well trained!
On any tour to Israel one thing you really enjoy looking out for are the roaming camels. These beasts of burden have been around since before Noah I would imagine, who would have had two on the ark. Abraham and his two sons certainly had many, being rich in favor. Jacob and his boys accumulated herds of them, roaming the deserts of the Promised Land under the watchful eye of the Living God of Israel.
Each time I have had the opportunity to ride the touring bus through the Land, my camera was always ready, hoping to catch the Bedouin’s camels walking in the nearby hills along Highway 1 headed down to the Dead Sea from Jerusalem. You can often see these created creatures among the black tents of these desert people or corralled within a makeshift fenced-in area nearby on the sloping, sparse landscape. To both young and old, seeing a camel out in their natural habitat is a real delight.
My first experience in riding one didn’t go so good. It was at a tourist restaurant stop on the way to Beersheva, with its robed owner awaiting any tourist, even the not-so-knowledgeable ones. Anyone ready to give him $5 for a few short laps, or at least two, around the food stop parking lot. My thought, “I can do this. Get the camera out and watch me ride!”
Already down on his really thick knees, head proudly held high, this camel gave me a look, and stayed somewhat still while I pulled up onto his single hump, covered with multi-colored blankets and some leather under them to serve as the saddle. I was given a few instructions on how to hang on, and then slowly walked around the parking lot. Not a big deal, until the dismount.
What I failed to hear, or even to be told, was most likely thought by both owner and camel one of two things. I was either a seasoned rider, or I was smart enough to figure it out – how to properly prepare for the upcoming, or down coming, dismount. Being I hadn’t paid any attention to others I had seen on other occasions, or because they typically had a platform to get on and off from, I had little idea how it would happen.
The camel did his normal thing. He stopped, bent his front knees forward, and dropped down to the blacktop. HARD.
As for me? My head jerked back at first, and then before I could say, “Help!” I flew over his brown head. Down I went, flying head first into the hard ground.
No, it wasn’t a “10” on the dismount. Maybe a “2”.
My glasses smashed first, giving no cushion for my head. This photo tells the result. At least I could still smile!
Would I do it again? Why certainly! But now a bit wiser, and paying attention to the fact that you must lean way back, hang on tight, and act like a rodeo master when on the back of a camel just naturally preparing to let you down.
When you make it to Israel, hoping for that opportunity and provision to come, go ride a camel! The ones along the road in the desert are just waiting for you to show them you have what it takes to ride ‘em!
Shalom and ahava (peace and love in Hebrew).
Love For His People, Inc.
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One of my favorite camel photos! Near Eilat, Israel at the Camel Ranch. (Oct. 2008)
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Now Think On This #333 – in the year of our Lord 11.23.17 – “Jerusalem & Friends – Camels”, Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. My 63rd birthday. 11:00 am