This is the city Jerusalem. It is the largest in Israel for both size and population. Its history goes back to the fourth millennium BCE. Israelis and Jews around the world consider Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital as well as the holiest city. For many centuries it has been the religious capital for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This has caused great conflicts between the faiths, as they all claim holy sites within the city.
This is a picture of the city Tel Aviv. It is the second largest city in Israel, and the richest. Tel Aviv was founded in 1909 on the outskirts of a port city. It soon grew larger than its neighbor, and in 1950, two years after the establishment of the state of Israel, the two were joined together to create the modern Tel Aviv.
This is the city of Haifa, the largest in northern Israel and the third largest in the country. It has a population of over 264,900 people, mainly Jews and Arabs. Its history dates back to biblical times, but ever since Israel’s establishment in 1948 it has been a part of this small nation.
The Israeli army is comprised of a ground force, an air force, and a navy. Israel is surrounded by Arab nations, most of which are regarded as “enemies.” This makes it imperative that Israel has a large, strong army. Therefore, every person in Israel must enroll in the army for at least two years once they turn eighteen.
This is an image of some of Israel’s fighter planes. Israel’s defense force has a branch called the Israeli Air Force. It was founded in 1948 at the same time as the State of Israel.
This is a birds-eye view of Israel’s nuclear home in Dimona. Israel was the sixth country to develop nuclear weapons. They did this secretly with the help of the French until it was released to the press. It is estimated that they currently have about one hundred nuclear warheads.
This platter is filled with a typical Israeli dinner. The style of Israeli food is influenced by the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods eaten by Israel’s neighbors.
These two images show the Dead Sea, a body of water located to the east of Israel. The Dead Sea, also known as the Salt Sea, is at the lowest elevation on earth above sea level. It is also one of the saltiest bodies of water, with 33.7% salinity. It is so dense that people who go swimming in it can float without any effort. However, nothing can live in its water, which is how it got its name.
This image is of the fort Masada. In about 70 CE, after the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Second Temple, the remaining Jews hid at Masada. Instead of surrendering, the 960 Jews conducted mass suicide. Today, it is where soldiers who have finished their Tironut (IDF basic training) are sworn into the army. The ceremony ends with the declaration “Masada shall not fall again!”
This photograph is of a Jewish celebration in Israel. Judaism is the main religion of Israel. The scroll that the two men are holding is called the Torah, the collection of Jewish teachings and stories. The men are wearing the religious clothes of the Jews: a kippah (head covering), a tallit (prayer shawl), and tefillin (boxes containing biblical verses attached to arms and foreheads with leather straps).
These two images are of the Western Wall, also called the Wailing Wall. This is the only remaining wall left of the Second Temple after its destruction in 70 CE. The Romans left it up as a reminder of what came of the Jewish revolt. Now, it is one of the most religious places in Jerusalem. Jews can come and pray, and also put prayers into the cracks in the wall.
This is a model of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. The construction of the temple began around 535 BCE, about fifty years after the first temple (Solomon’s Temple) was destroyed. The Second Temple was regarded as the one house of God. However, the temple was destroyed in 70 CE by the Roman Empire.
This picture is of the Temple Mount, located in the Old City in Jerusalem. Both Judaism and Islam lay claim to the religious importance of this site, making it one of the most contested in the world. The Jews believe that this was where God first created light and the earth in its present state. Therefore, this was where both the First and Second Temples were built. However, Muslims believe that this was where their prophet Muhammad made his ascent to heaven. They also connect this spot with many biblical prophets. Due to these beliefs, both Israel and the Palestinian Authority claim sovereignty over the site. It is currently controlled by Israel.
The Israeli flag is comprised of two blue lines and the Star of David. Inspired by the tallit worn by Jews while praying, this design was first introduced in 1885. It was officially adopted by Israel to be used on the flag on October 28, 1948 by the Speaker of the Provisional Council of State.
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