Jerusalem, Israel

A Festive Wailing Wall

IDF (Israel Defense Forces) recruits in formation during an oath of flag.
Faith and Determination
Believers, religious and military together in a celebration of Jewish faith and Zionist solidarity.
Respect for the Motherland
IDF (Israel Defense Forces) recruits in formation with Logs and machine guns during their oath of flag.
Jewish congratulation
New soldier is congratulated on his incorporation into the IDF (Israel Defense Forces).
Oath without Regrets
Audience attends an oath ceremony for new recruits of the IDF - Israel Defense Forces - in front of the Wailing Wall
sacred texts
Military man in uniform and kippah reads deeply at the Wailing Wall.
Formation 2
IDF (Israeli Defense Force) recruits in formation during an oath of flag.
religious and military faith
Soldiers and a Haredim (Orthodox) Jew share the religious comfort of the Western Wall.
celebration in circle
Group of recruits celebrates their entry into the Israel Defense Forces.
Recruit Jewish of Ethiopian origin during an IDF (Israel Defense Forces) Flag Oath ceremony.
triumphal march
Newly sworn Jewish soldiers from various backgrounds descend a staircase that leads to the Wailing Wall area.
Zionist stain
Orthodox and hadi (conventional) military and faithful share their faith and solidarity in front of the Wailing Wall.
Peace Love
Logs and machine guns side by side during an IDF (Israel Defense Forces) Flag Oath ceremony.
anxious wait
A group of new recruits waits in a tunnel for their turn to access the Wailing Wall Square.
acrobat soldiers
Military personnel perform an acrobat maneuver at an arcade in front of the Wailing Wall, under a yeshiva (Jewish school).
inner wall
Soldiers pray half-walls with Haredim (Orthodox) Jews and face the wall of Wilson's Arch, a covered section of the Wailing Wall.
The holiest place in Judaism is not only attended by prayers and prayers. Its ancient stones have witnessed the oath of new IDF recruits for decades and echo the euphoric screams that follow.

It's a Thursday in June, like any other. Circulation through one of the tunnels that gives access to the Western Wall square is complicated.

Rows of young soldiers in olive green uniforms fill part of the cramped space and delay the passage through scanners that filter whoever accesses the place.

“You, to see if you decide, either enter or leave”.

It's the fifth time that day we've used that entrance. the guards mizrah (Jews from the “Eastern”, in this case, of Egyptian origin) who control it already know us and the evil photographic equipment that they had to inspect before. Thus, they take the opportunity to play a little, but they send us away in three stages.

On the other side of the barrier, the square is also different.

The Unexpected Military Panorama of the Wailing Wall

It is occupied by a geometric formation of more military, arranged side by side. In their base position, they confront the wall but turn and move according to orders shouted into the microphone by a superior. On the opposite side of the wall, some audience forms the last edge of the square.

oath without lamentation, wall of mourning, oath flag IDF, Jerusalem, Israel

Audience attends an oath ceremony for new recruits of the IDF – Israel Defense Forces – in front of the Wailing Wall

Few countries need new members for their armed forces like Israel, a nation based on Judaism but surrounded by Muslim enemies.

No wonder, therefore, that the oath ceremony – for some young people the high point of adolescence, for others, of their short life – is repeated there regularly.

Mandatory Military Service For (Almost) All

It is preceded by careful but generous recruitment. At the Jewish Agency for Israel online, authorities begin by making it clear that military service is mandatory for all citizens and permanent residents.

In the case of interested foreigners, they explain the need for aliyah (emigration to Israel) and obtaining Israeli citizenship. But they are pragmatic and witty to the point of treating unrelated suitors in the country in a special way.

These chayal boded ('lonely' soldiers in the armed forces) enjoy enhanced rights and privileges designed to make life easier for them considering that, as the agency explains, “they have no family in Israel to wash their clothes, cook them, send them orders. or listen to them kvetch (complaining) on ​​weekends off.”

As such, it is not surprising how many boys of different origins and looks follow the protocol.

new recruits, waiting, wall of mourning, oath flag IDF, Jerusalem, Israel

A group of new recruits waits in a tunnel for their turn to access the Wailing Wall Square.

The Fascinating Multi-Ethnicity of the Israel Defense Forces

Side by side, marching blond and red-haired Israelites, Ashkenazi (with blood from central Europe), some Sephardim (with distant ancestors from Iberia), mizrah (those coming from a broad east that includes the Middle East and North Africa) and several narrower groups.

Of these, there are recruits from the numerous Ethiopian Beta Israel, an ethnic group that the Israeli government saved from civil war and famine with operations Moses (1984) and Solomon, the last carried out by the CIA in 1991, and in which dozens of commercial aircraft EL AL rescued thousands of Jews from refugee camps in Sudan.

Jewish recruit, Ethiopian, Wailing Wall, IDF flag oath, Jerusalem, Israel

Recruit Jewish of Ethiopian origin during an IDF (Israel Defense Forces) Flag Oath ceremony.

Others come from wealthy countries, out of faith or allegiance to the Zionist cause. Joey Fox was one of them. Canadian by birth, living on the outskirts of Toronto, he grew up in a traditional family and received from his parents a Jewish education that, despite the distance, linked him to Israel.

He visited the spiritual homeland every year until, when he turned 22, he moved to the Holly Land and listed on Tzahal, the current Hebrew name for the IDF.

Hardness at the height of Israel's Political-Military Vulnerability

As he says, “during training, people would scream in my face all the time, I was gassed, forced to go on for days without eating, sleeping, showering or changing my clothes. We were also forced to sleep in the open during the miserable desert winters”.

Once the preparation was completed, it was incorporated. And the first mission he received could hardly be seen as a reward. Its 50th battalion was charged with defending the Jewish community in Hebron.

respect for homeland, mourning wall, oath flag IDF, Jerusalem, Israel

IDF (Israel Defense Forces) recruits in formation with Logs and machine guns during their oath of flag.

Joey goes on to describe: “in short, we had to protect 750 Jews who lived in a valley … out of 300.000 Arabs but, despite the difficulties, I was always proud to wear my uniform and my kippah …”

The Two Phases of the Pledge of Allegiance: the Military Discipline

The command voice sounds, in Hebrew, pompous and thunderous.

The recruits respond with coordination to the orders given to the parade, firmly wielding the M-16 rifles they have learned to fire and will continue to accompany them.

There follows a longer speech and the oath itself that binds each of the new soldiers to Israel.

The elements who finished their participation in the ceremony gather on a staircase in a corner of the square where they exchange hugs and sing nationalist chants.

While others receive the congratulations of the most moved Israelis present in the square.

Jewish Congratulation, Wailing Wall, IDF Flag Oath, Jerusalem, Israel

New soldier is congratulated on his incorporation into the IDF (Israel Defense Forces).

The next day's sunset marks the beginning of the Sabbath and the obligatory rest. Believers from the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem descend the steps of the old town towards the Kotel (Wailing Wall).

are, for the most part, Haredim, ultra-orthodox, easily identifiable by the black costumes, the old-fashioned hats (borsalinos, fedoras, shtreimels, kolpiks, trilbys and others, depending on the origin of each sect) and by their pet, the curly hair that hangs from their temples.

Although they cannot share the wall together, they come with their wives who, according to the moral principles of modesty tzniut, wear simple dresses that fully cover their arms and legs.

soldiers, acrobats, mourning wall, oath flag IDF, Jerusalem, Israel

Military personnel perform an acrobat maneuver in front of the Wailing Wall, under a yeshiva (Jewish school).

And the Religious Celebration and Exaltation

For each of the entrances, there are also Jews tradition (conventional believers), yeshiva students from the surrounding schools, temporarily excused from learning the log and talmud.

Soldiers and Jew, Wailing Wall, IDF Flag Oath, Jerusalem, Israel

Soldiers and a Haredim (Orthodox) Jew share the religious comfort of the Western Wall.

And they are joined by enthusiastic groupings of newly admitted IDF soldiers, still in their olive green uniforms from the day before.

Os Haredim occupy their front and predominant position against the wall and in a large minyan (prayer group) profess and appeal to DEUS rocking towards the ancient stones.

In the meantime it gets dark. The military crowds further back, in a circle of celebration that widens and becomes hyperactive.

Believers, Religious, Military, Wailing Wall, Flag Oath IDF, Jerusalem, Israel

Believers, religious and military together in a celebration of Jewish faith and Zionist solidarity.

They jump and spin to and fro. The patriotic shouts and chants follow again.

Meanwhile, the flag with the Star of David waves. Validates what moves all this commotion: Am Yisrael Chai.

The People of Israel Lives.


Defenders of Their Homelands

Even in times of peace, we detect military personnel everywhere. On duty, in cities, they fulfill routine missions that require rigor and patience.
Saint John of Acre, Israel

The Fortress That Withstood Everything

It was a frequent target of the Crusades and taken over and over again. Today, Israeli, Acre is shared by Arabs and Jews. He lives much more peaceful and stable times than the ones he went through.
Pirenópolis, Brazil

A Ride of Faith

Introduced in 1819 by Portuguese priests, the Festa do Divino Espírito Santo de Pirenópolis it aggregates a complex web of religious and pagan celebrations. It lasts more than 20 days, spent mostly on the saddle.

Istanbul, Turkey

Where East meets West, Turkey Seeks its Way

An emblematic and grandiose metropolis, Istanbul lives at a crossroads. As Turkey in general, divided between secularism and Islam, tradition and modernity, it still doesn't know which way to go

Tsfat (Safed), Israel

When the Kabbalah is a Victim of Itself

In the 50s, Tsfat brought together the artistic life of the young Israeli nation and regained its secular mystique. But famous converts like Madonna have come to disturb the most elemental Kabbalist discretion.
Jerusalem, Israel

Closer to God

Three thousand years of history as mystical as it is troubled come to life in Jerusalem. Worshiped by Christians, Jews and Muslims, this city radiates controversy but attracts believers from all over the world.
Jaffa, Israel

Where Tel Aviv Settles Always in Party

Tel Aviv is famous for the most intense night in the Middle East. But, if its youngsters are having fun until exhaustion in the clubs along the Mediterranean, it is more and more in the nearby Old Jaffa that they tie the knot.
Jerusalem, Israel

Through the Belicious Streets of Via Dolorosa

In Jerusalem, while traveling the Via Dolorosa, the most sensitive believers realize how difficult the peace of the Lord is to achieve in the most disputed streets on the face of the earth.
Dead Sea, Israel

Afloat, in the Depths of the Earth

It is the lowest place on the surface of the planet and the scene of several biblical narratives. But the Dead Sea is also special because of the concentration of salt that makes life unfeasible but sustains those who bathe in it.
Massada, Israel

Massada: The Ultimate Jewish Fortress

In AD 73, after months of siege, a Roman legion found that the resisters at the top of Masada had committed suicide. Once again Jewish, this fortress is now the supreme symbol of Zionist determination
Jaffa, Israel

Unorthodox protests

A building in Jaffa, Tel Aviv, threatened to desecrate what ultra-Orthodox Jews thought were remnants of their ancestors. And even the revelation that they were pagan tombs did not deter them from the contestation.
Holy Sepulcher Basilica, Jerusalem, Israel

The Supreme Temple of the Old Christian Churches

It was built by Emperor Constantine, on the site of Jesus' Crucifixion and Resurrection and an ancient temple of Venus. In its genesis, a Byzantine work, the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher is, today, shared and disputed by various Christian denominations as the great unifying building of Christianity.
Esteros del Iberá, Pantanal Argentina, Alligator
Iberá Wetlands, Argentina

The Pantanal of the Pampas

On the world map, south of the famous brazilian wetland, a little-known flooded region appears, but almost as vast and rich in biodiversity. the Guarani expression Y bera defines it as “shining waters”. The adjective fits more than its strong luminance.
Young people walk the main street in Chame, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 1th - Pokhara a ChameNepal

Finally, on the way

After several days of preparation in Pokhara, we left towards the Himalayas. The walking route only starts in Chame, at 2670 meters of altitude, with the snowy peaks of the Annapurna mountain range already in sight. Until then, we complete a painful but necessary road preamble to its subtropical base.
Visitors in Jameos del Água, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain
Architecture & Design
Lanzarote, Canary Islands

To César Manrique what is César Manrique's

By itself, Lanzarote would always be a Canaria by itself, but it is almost impossible to explore it without discovering the restless and activist genius of one of its prodigal sons. César Manrique passed away nearly thirty years ago. The prolific work he left shines on the lava of the volcanic island that saw him born.
Boats on ice, Hailuoto Island, Finland.
Hailuoto, Finland

A Refuge in the Gulf of Bothnia

During winter, the island of Hailuoto is connected to the rest of Finland by the country's longest ice road. Most of its 986 inhabitants esteem, above all, the distance that the island grants them.
Australia Day, Perth, Australian Flag
Ceremonies and Festivities
Perth, Australia

Australia Day: In Honor of the Foundation, Mourning for Invasion

26/1 is a controversial date in Australia. While British settlers celebrate it with barbecues and lots of beer, Aborigines celebrate the fact that they haven't been completely wiped out.
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

The Fish Market That Lost its Freshness

In a year, each Japanese eats more than their weight in fish and shellfish. Since 1935, a considerable part was processed and sold in the largest fish market in the world. Tsukiji was terminated in October 2018, and replaced by Toyosu's.
Parade and Pomp
Saint Petersburg, Russia

When the Russian Navy Stations in Saint Petersburg

Russia dedicates the last Sunday of July to its naval forces. On that day, a crowd visits large boats moored on the Neva River as alcohol-drenched sailors seize the city.
Spectator, Melbourne Cricket Ground-Rules footbal, Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne, Australia

The Football the Australians Rule

Although played since 1841, Australian Football has only conquered part of the big island. Internationalization has never gone beyond paper, held back by competition from rugby and classical football.
Iguana in Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Yucatan, Mexico

The Sidereal Murphy's Law That Doomed the Dinosaurs

Scientists studying the crater caused by a meteorite impact 66 million years ago have come to a sweeping conclusion: it happened exactly over a section of the 13% of the Earth's surface susceptible to such devastation. It is a threshold zone on the Mexican Yucatan peninsula that a whim of the evolution of species allowed us to visit.
Peasant woman, Majuli, Assam, India
Majuli Island, India

An Island in Countdown

Majuli is the largest river island in India and would still be one of the largest on Earth were it not for the erosion of the river Bramaputra that has been making it diminish for centuries. If, as feared, it is submerged within twenty years, more than an island, a truly mystical cultural and landscape stronghold of the Subcontinent will disappear.
Sunset, Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio

days like so many others

Santa Marta, Tayrona, Simón Bolivar, Ecohabs of Tayrona National Park
Santa Marta and PN Tayrona, Colombia

The Paradise from which Simon Bolivar departed

At the gates of PN Tayrona, Santa Marta is the oldest continuously inhabited Hispanic city in Colombia. In it, Simón Bolívar began to become the only figure on the continent almost as revered as Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary.
View from the top of Mount Vaea and the tomb, Vailima village, Robert Louis Stevenson, Upolu, Samoa
Upolu, Samoa

Stevenson's Treasure Island

At age 30, the Scottish writer began looking for a place to save him from his cursed body. In Upolu and the Samoans, he found a welcoming refuge to which he gave his heart and soul.
ala juumajarvi lake, oulanka national park, finland
Winter White
Kuusamo ao PN Oulanka, Finland

Under the Arctic's Icy Spell

We are at 66º North and at the gates of Lapland. In these parts, the white landscape belongs to everyone and to no one like the snow-covered trees, the atrocious cold and the endless night.
Visitors to Ernest Hemingway's Home, Key West, Florida, United States
Key West, United States

Hemingway's Caribbean Playground

Effusive as ever, Ernest Hemingway called Key West "the best place I've ever been...". In the tropical depths of the contiguous US, he found evasion and crazy, drunken fun. And the inspiration to write with intensity to match.
São Jorge, Azores, Fajã dos Vimes
São Jorge, Azores

From Fajã to Fajã

In the Azores, strips of habitable land at the foot of large cliffs abound. No other island has as many fajãs as the more than 70 in the slender and elevated São Jorge. It was in them that the jorgenses settled. Their busy Atlantic lives rest on them.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Geothermal, Iceland Heat, Ice Land, Geothermal, Blue Lagoon
Natural Parks

The Geothermal Coziness of the Ice Island

Most visitors value Iceland's volcanic scenery for its beauty. Icelanders also draw from them heat and energy crucial to the life they lead to the Arctic gates.
Thingvelir, Origins Democracy Iceland, Oxará
UNESCO World Heritage
Thingvellir National Park, Iceland

The Origins of the Remote Viking Democracy

The foundations of popular government that come to mind are the Hellenic ones. But what is believed to have been the world's first parliament was inaugurated in the middle of the XNUMXth century, in Iceland's icy interior.
Earp brothers look-alikes and friend Doc Holliday in Tombstone, USA
tombstone, USA

Tombstone: the City Too Hard to Die

Silver veins discovered at the end of the XNUMXth century made Tombstone a prosperous and conflictive mining center on the frontier of the United States to Mexico. Lawrence Kasdan, Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner and other Hollywood directors and actors made famous the Earp brothers and the bloodthirsty duel of “OK Corral”. The Tombstone, which, over time, has claimed so many lives, is about to last.
Varela Guinea Bissau, Nhiquim beach
Varela, Guinea Bissau

Dazzling, Deserted Coastline, all the way to Senegal

Somewhat remote, with challenging access, the peaceful fishing village of Varela compensates those who reach it with the friendliness of its people and one of the stunning, but at risk, coastlines in Guinea Bissau.
Burning prayers, Ohitaki Festival, fushimi temple, kyoto, japan
Kyoto, Japan

A Combustible Faith

During the Shinto celebration of Ohitaki, prayers inscribed on tablets by the Japanese faithful are gathered at the Fushimi temple. There, while being consumed by huge bonfires, her belief is renewed.
Back in the sun. San Francisco Cable Cars, Life Ups and Downs
On Rails
San Francisco, USA

San Francisco Cable Cars: A Life of Highs and Lows

A macabre wagon accident inspired the San Francisco cable car saga. Today, these relics work as a charm operation in the city of fog, but they also have their risks.
Busy intersection of Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

The Endless Night of the Rising Sun Capital

Say that Tokyo do not sleep is an understatement. In one of the largest and most sophisticated cities on the face of the Earth, twilight marks only the renewal of the frenetic daily life. And there are millions of souls that either find no place in the sun, or make more sense in the “dark” and obscure turns that follow.
Saksun, Faroe Islands, Streymoy, warning
Daily life
Saksun, streymoyFaroe Islands

The Faroese Village That Doesn't Want to be Disneyland

Saksun is one of several stunning small villages in the Faroe Islands that more and more outsiders visit. It is distinguished by the aversion to tourists of its main rural owner, author of repeated antipathies and attacks against the invaders of his land.
Jabula Beach, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
Saint Lucia, South Africa

An Africa as Wild as Zulu

On the eminence of the coast of Mozambique, the province of KwaZulu-Natal is home to an unexpected South Africa. Deserted beaches full of dunes, vast estuarine swamps and hills covered with fog fill this wild land also bathed by the Indian Ocean. It is shared by the subjects of the always proud Zulu nation and one of the most prolific and diverse fauna on the African continent.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.