I love going to the movies, but I don't get to go too often. Every now and then there is a blockbuster hit that I have got to spend the money and see. But for the most part, I wait until a movie comes out on DVD and then rent or purchase it. Sometimes I even wait until it hits Netflix before I watch it.
Years ago the theater was a little different. It was not indoors and it did not have plush seats, air conditioning, and 7.1 surround sound. People had to sit on rock seats in the outdoors and listen to the live show or presentation from the ground level.
One of our first stops in Israel was Caesaria by the Sea where I had posted Herod the Great's palace ruins and swimming pool. In this same area is the theater that was also built by Herod the Great and its construction was probably 20-10 BC. This theater was well kept by the Romans and is still in use today after its excavation in the 1960's. Of course some remodeling had to take place.
Imagine the different people who have stood before an audience or found themselves within the audience of this old theater. We know that Pontius Pilot was there because an inscription was found near the theater where he dedicated a temple to Emperor Tiberias.
Caesaria was the site where the Apostle Paul was imprisoned. As a matter of fact it was in this theater where the Apostle Paul stood and gave his defense. Caesaria was also the home of the deacon Phillip. It was also the place where the first Gentile was received into Christianity. It was in Caesaria where the Gentiles were grafted in. Praise be to the Lord.
I have always wanted a house on the beach. If I was picking the beach I would choose Destin with the emerald water and blinding white sand. Not too long ago I looked at the prices of a lot on the beach and was amazed to discover it was over 1 million dollars. Note that I have not looked again since the economy crashed but I am thinking it is still way out of my reach.
People throughout time have desired the same thing. Herod the Great was responsible for much of what is known as Caesarea. On my recent trip to Israel I had an opportunity to view what was left of his palace that was built on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea. Notice, part of the ruins still exist. The large square section in the center was the pool which, I am told, was a fresh water pool. It is here that Herod Agrippa would have stayed.
Herod was an incredible builder. Some of the structures he built are still standing today. This one, however, has fallen to greater forces than he. After seeing the ruins, maybe a home on the beach is not such a good idea.
It is not everyday one gets profiled. A couple of weeks ago I had an incredible opportunity to spend some time in Israel. On the journey there, I had to go through Israeli security in Newark, New Jersey. This proved to be a trying task. Obviously my dark skin and black hair draws some attention and created a long list of questions by the agent.
The questioning started with the normal questions one would hear when boarding an airplane. Did you pack your own bags? Have your bags been with you the whole time? Did anyone offer you any gifts as part of your journey to the airport? Did anyone give you anything to take with your in your luggage? Of course since 911 most anyone would be crazy to take anything not theirs aboard an aircraft. The questions, however, began to change at that point. The next question was "what is your lineage?" My reply was "excuse me"? I was not expecting this question. She asked me the same question again and I answered my nationality is American. Again she asked me to define my lineage. I told her I did not understand what information she was trying to obtain and then she asked "are you Muslim?" My answer was "no" to which she replied "are you sure?" I told her that I was very sure and then she asked me if I knew any Muslims. I told her I did not know any.
The questioning continued to deteriorate and shortly thereafter I found myself in a small 10 x 10 room somewhere in the airport. In this room I was asked for all of my valuables to be placed in a box. After that, a new series of questions and security checks incurred. The whole process took about an hour and fifteen minutes and ended with an escort onto the plane.
Did I care that I was profiled? No. Actually, it makes me feel that El Al security is one of the tightest in the business. Maybe America can learn a few things from Israel about how to take care of the people you call yours.
Blessings and Shalom,