Visited Israel? If you did, then you know that Israel has two lakes. The
one up in the North is the Kinneret, also
known as the sea of Galilee, because it is up in the area called the
Galilee. From this lake comes most of the water
in the tiny state. The ancient city of Tiberias, located on its shores, is
today a flourishing city. Here the delicious St.
Peter's fish is caught by the local fishermen and prized as a delicacy.
From the Kinneret, the water is purified and pumped into large pipelines
that bring the life-giving water to the
towns and cities all over the country. From the Kinneret, the Jordan river
winds it's way down to the Dead Sea. It
is much smaller now than in the times of the Bible, but still enough to
give life and green to the plants all along it's
The second of Israel's lakes is the Dead Sea. The dead sea is an area of
desolation. Even though the sweet waters
of the Jordan flow into it, yet the salty mineral water is too heavy to be
diluted. No plants grow around the banks
of the dead sea, and no fish or plant life exist in the heavily salty
waters. The salt concentrate is not like that of the
average oceans of the world. It is so great that when a bather walks into
the water, at a point approximately at his
chest, the dense water lifts him up and he will float. Indeed no one is
able to swim in the water. The salt and
mineral content is so great that it burns the eyes and any open wound.
After being in the water, a bather must wash
to cleanse himself from the salt and mineral residue.
What a contrast! Compare the life-giving water of the Kinneret in the North
to the deathly parched area around the
Yet we are told that this is similar to two basic types of people: There is
the giver, the person who gives generously
whether of his time or his money. And there is the taker, the person who
only takes, and any giving on his part is
only in his own self interest, to promote more taking. The giver, gives,
and life grows around him. The taker only
takes and death is around him, nothing sprouts.
Yes, there are contributory rivers that flow into the Kinneret, but their
waters are not kept there, but distributed to
other needy sources. The giver is the sustainer of life.
The Dead Sea is located in the lowest part of Israel and one of the lowest
parts of the world. The Dead Sea keeps
all of it's water to itself. Similarly, the taker, only takes and keeps it
only for himself. No one else benefits from him.
Nothing is lower that this.
Even from the geography of the Holy Land of Israel, we learn deep lessons
on how to conduct our lives. Let's be a
giver. Let's concern ourselves with the other person. Remember, even
smiling at the next person is an act of giving.
Let's go beyond our needs and see what we can do to help the next person.