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The Jay Shapiro Hour
Before making Aliyah to Israel, Tzvi Fishman was a Hollywood screenwriter. He has co-authored 4 books with Rabbi David Samson, based on the teachings of Rabbi Kook, Eretz Yisrael, Art of T'shuva, War and Peace, and Torat Eretz Yisrael.
The last two days, I was away from home on a short vacation with my wife to the lovely seaside city of Netanya. As we were driving there, she mentioned that someone in her family was going for a vacation this summer to Austria.
“Austria?” I blurted, nearly losing control of the wheel. “Why would any Jew want to go to Austria?”
“For the mountains and the scenery,” she answered.
At that very moment, we reached the intersection just before Tel Aviv that leads north toward Haifa. Coming out of the turn, the first thing you see is the mountain of garbage that has long been a landmark on the outskirts of Tel Aviv.
Every time, I see it, its beauty and majesty overwhelms me. To me it is one of the most beautiful mountains in the world, just behind Mount Moriah, Mount Herman, and Mount Tabor. The sight of it is literally breathtaking.
“Why go to Austria when we have magnificent and holy mountains here?” I asked my wife. “Just look! Can anything be more beautiful than a mountain of Jewish garbage in the Holy Land? It has to be one of the natural wonders of the world. Let’s stop and take some pictures!”
“We are on vacation,” she said.
“I know,” I answered. “What a wonderful place to start!”
I am absolutely serious. In my eyes, the mountain of garbage overlooking Tel Aviv is more wondrous than Everest. After two thousand years of exile in foreign lands, not only has the Almighty given us back our cherished Homeland, He has given us such an overabundance of blessing that we have an abundance of refuse too! A whole mountain of excess trash. If Moses were here to see it, he would crawl up to its summit on his hands and his knees, kissing every piece of litter on the way to the top!
That evening, as my wife and I sat on our hotel terrace watching a glowing Mediterranean sunset, I was so moved by the memory of the garbage mountain that I picked up my notebook and scribbled a poem.
ODE TO THE MOUNTAIN I LOVE
O holy garbage mountain, I love you so greatly.
In my wonderstruck eyes, you look so noble and stately.
Even though you aren’t the tallest on earth,
You fill my heart with rapturous mirth.
Everest, Rushmore, and the Alps are sublime,
But for all of their grandeur, they’re simply not mine.
Even though you are only a mountain of zevel,
Compared to you, the rest are all hevel.
Though your slopes are made of refuse that people don’t want to eat,
Each time I pass by you, your aroma smells sweet.
For you are a holy mountain of garbage in Israel and that makes you blessed,
Placing you head and shoulders over all of the rest.
PS – anyone interested in purchasing a poster size blow-up of the Holy Garbage Mountain, can order through this website. We will also be happy to arrange shipments of its trash overseas via Zim Lines. Two month delivery promised. Price is $80,000 per ton. The perfect addition to your living room, front lawn, or Diaspora garden.