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.
Amboseli National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro, Normatior Hill
Amboseli National Park, Kenya

A Gift from the Kilimanjaro

The first European to venture into these Masai haunts was stunned by what he found. And even today, large herds of elephants and other herbivores roam the pastures irrigated by the snow of Africa's biggest mountain.
Prayer flags in Ghyaru, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 4th – Upper Banana to Ngawal, Nepal

From Nightmare to Dazzle

Unbeknownst to us, we are faced with an ascent that leads us to despair. We pulled our strength as far as possible and reached Ghyaru where we felt closer than ever to the Annapurnas. The rest of the way to Ngawal felt like a kind of extension of the reward.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Architecture & Design
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Totems, Botko Village, Malekula, Vanuatu
Malekula, Vanuatu

Meat and Bone Cannibalism

Until the early XNUMXth century, man-eaters still feasted on the Vanuatu archipelago. In the village of Botko we find out why European settlers were so afraid of the island of Malekula.
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.
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Zapatismo, Mexico, San Nicolau Cathedral
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Mexico

The Home Sweet Home of Mexican Social Conscience

Mayan, mestizo and Hispanic, Zapatista and tourist, country and cosmopolitan, San Cristobal has no hands to measure. In it, Mexican and expatriate backpacker visitors and political activists share a common ideological demand.
Beverage Machines, Japan

The Beverage Machines Empire

There are more than 5 million ultra-tech light boxes spread across the country and many more exuberant cans and bottles of appealing drinks. The Japanese have long since stopped resisting them.
Tatooine on Earth
Matmata Tataouine:  Tunisia

Star Wars Earth Base

For security reasons, the planet Tatooine from "The Force Awakens" was filmed in Abu Dhabi. We step back into the cosmic calendar and revisit some of the Tunisian places with the most impact in the saga.  

Man: an Ever Tested Species

It's in our genes. For the pleasure of participating, for titles, honor or money, competitions give meaning to the world. Some are more eccentric than others.
Mount Lamjung Kailas Himal, Nepal, altitude sickness, mountain prevent treat, travel
Annapurna Circuit: 2nd - Chame to Upper BananaNepal

(I) Eminent Annapurnas

We woke up in Chame, still below 3000m. There we saw, for the first time, the snowy and highest peaks of the Himalayas. From there, we set off for another walk along the Annapurna Circuit through the foothills and slopes of the great mountain range. towards Upper Banana.
Barrancas del Cobre, Chihuahua, Rarámuri woman
Barrancas del Cobre (Copper Canyon), Chihuahua, Mexico

The Deep Mexico of the Barrancas del Cobre

Without warning, the Chihuahua highlands give way to endless ravines. Sixty million geological years have furrowed them and made them inhospitable. The Rarámuri indigenous people continue to call them home.
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

life outside

Entrance to Dunhuang Sand City, China
Dunhuang, China

An Oasis in the China of the Sands

Thousands of kilometers west of Beijing, the Great Wall has its western end and the China and other. An unexpected splash of vegetable green breaks up the arid expanse all around. Announces Dunhuang, formerly crucial outpost on the Silk Road, today an intriguing city at the base of Asia's largest sand dunes.
View of Fa Island, Tonga, Last Polynesian Monarchy
Tongatapu, Tonga

The Last Polynesian Monarchy

From New Zealand to Easter Island and Hawaii, no other monarchy has resisted the arrival of European discoverers and modernity. For Tonga, for several decades, the challenge was to resist the monarchy.
Northern Lights, Laponia, Rovaniemi, Finland, Fire Fox
Winter White
Lapland, Finland

In Search of the Fire Fox

Unique to the heights of the Earth are the northern or southern auroras, light phenomena generated by solar explosions. You Sami natives from Lapland they believed it to be a fiery fox that spread sparkles in the sky. Whatever they are, not even the nearly 30 degrees below zero that were felt in the far north of Finland could deter us from admiring them.
shadow vs light
Kyoto, Japan

The Kyoto Temple Reborn from the Ashes

The Golden Pavilion has been spared destruction several times throughout history, including that of US-dropped bombs, but it did not withstand the mental disturbance of Hayashi Yoken. When we admired him, he looked like never before.
Cape cross seal colony, cape cross seals, Namibia
Cape Cross, Namíbia

The Most Turbulent of the African Colonies

Diogo Cão landed in this cape of Africa in 1486, installed a pattern and turned around. The immediate coastline to the north and south was German, South African, and finally Namibian. Indifferent to successive transfers of nationality, one of the largest seal colonies in the world has maintained its hold there and animates it with deafening marine barks and endless tantrums.
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.
Flam Railway composition below a waterfall, Norway.
Natural Parks
Nesbyen to Flam, Norway

Flam Railway: Sublime Norway from the First to the Last Station

By road and aboard the Flam Railway, on one of the steepest railway routes in the world, we reach Flam and the entrance to the Sognefjord, the largest, deepest and most revered of the Scandinavian fjords. From the starting point to the last station, this monumental Norway that we have unveiled is confirmed.
U Bein Bridge, Amarapura, Myanmar
UNESCO World Heritage
u-bein BridgeMyanmar

The Twilight of the Bridge of Life

At 1.2 km, the oldest and longest wooden bridge in the world allows the Burmese of Amarapura to experience Lake Taungthaman. But 160 years after its construction, U Bein is in its twilight.
Correspondence verification
Rovaniemi, Finland

From the Finnish Lapland to the Arctic. A Visit to the Land of Santa

Fed up with waiting for the bearded old man to descend down the chimney, we reverse the story. We took advantage of a trip to Finnish Lapland and passed through its furtive home.
The Dominican Republic Balnear de Barahona, Balneario Los Patos
Barahona, Dominican Republic

The Bathing Dominican Republic of Barahona

Saturday after Saturday, the southwest corner of the Dominican Republic goes into decompression mode. Little by little, its seductive beaches and lagoons welcome a tide of euphoric people who indulge in a peculiar rumbear amphibian.
Armenia Cradle Christianity, Mount Aratat

The Cradle of the Official Christianity

Just 268 years after Jesus' death, a nation will have become the first to accept the Christian faith by royal decree. This nation still preserves its own Apostolic Church and some of the oldest Christian temples in the world. Traveling through the Caucasus, we visit them in the footsteps of Gregory the Illuminator, the patriarch who inspires Armenia's spiritual life.
Train Kuranda train, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
On Rails
Cairns-Kuranda, Australia

Train to the Middle of the Jungle

Built out of Cairns to save miners isolated in the rainforest from starvation by flooding, the Kuranda Railway eventually became the livelihood of hundreds of alternative Aussies.
Riders cross the Ponte do Carmo, Pirenópolis, Goiás, Brazil
Pirenópolis, Brazil

A Polis in the South American Pyrenees

Mines of Nossa Senhora do Rosário da Meia Ponte were erected by Portuguese pioneers, in the peak of the Gold Cycle. Out of nostalgia, probably Catalan emigrants called the mountains around the Pyrenees. In 1890, already in an era of independence and countless Hellenizations of its cities, Brazilians named this colonial city Pirenópolis.
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.
Fluvial coming and going
Iriomote, Japan

The Small Tropical Japanese Amazon of Iriomote

Impenetrable rainforests and mangroves fill Iriomote under a pressure cooker climate. Here, foreign visitors are as rare as the yamaneko, an elusive endemic lynx.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.