Recently on my trip to Israel, I was so impressed with Israel’s modern transportation, including its new train system that performs double duty for Israel’s national security.
Israel Railways zips passengers north-south between Nahariya and Be’er Sheva and east-west between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The trains were clean, efficient, and not very costly to ride for around $11 for an entire day. There is also a promotion for the next few months with free tickets from the Jerusalem station.
But the best thing of all is that Israel thinks in terms of both “guns and butter” at the same time. While the train system augments the already good bus service and provides an important public service, it also serves for the strategic defense for its citizens.
Coming into the train station in Jerusalem, you are 80 meters (262 feet) below ground, and we had to take I believe four escalators to get to the surface. At the top of two or three of these, were huge metal doors that can be closed to seal the tunnels and whoever is underground.
I understood that there are provisions for 3,000 to 5,000 people to shelter from a nuclear, chemical, or biological attack on the holy city of Jerusalem. Honestly, when I learned this, I was both comforted at the thought of protecting the people of Israel with this bomb shelter (and presumably others like it), but also I was frightened at the thought of a nuke going off in Jerusalem.
I couldn’t help thinking of the prophetic vision of Ezekiel, of the climatic battle of Gog and Magog, and the possible death and destruction that could happen before the ushering in of the Mashiach and the ultimate triumph (physical and spiritual) of good over evil.
Going to Jerusalem, there is so much life, history, and incredible holiness. It is a treat to be there whether at the Kotel or in the Shuk. Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel, as President Trump has recognized in moving the American embassy there, and we should be grateful to him for this.
I value the new train system to get to Jerusalem, and I look forward to taking it many times, please G-d, in the future. At the same time, I appreciate the new underground shelter that Israel has wisely invested in to protect its inhabitants from enemies old and new, near and far.
Thankfully, the State of Israel continues to flourish and prosper since its modern day founding in 1948. As the Jewish national homeland, it is growing as a democracy, as a Start-up Nation, and as a light unto nations. Yet Israel must be forever vigilant, and be prepared to stand strong and defend herself from those that could try to do even the unthinkable evil. We must all pray for a true and lasting Shalom Al Yisrael!
(Credit Photos: Andy Blumenthal)