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Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Two More Very Narrow Bridges …

"All the world is a very narrow bridge, but the main thing is to have no fear at all." -Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav

The scores of articles published about  Nesher Park, Haifa all say the same thing:


They enthuse about the two 70 metre long pedestrian suspension bridges made of steel ropes and beams that stretch across an abyss of magnificent scenery and state uniformly that swaying along them is akin to hanging midway between heaven and earth –  life and death.

The  impressive structures are the focal point of a walking and picnic route that involves crossing the canyon of the Katia River, whose waters flow only during the winter rainy season. So  anyone daring to look away from their feet as they cross the bridges may  enjoy a  panoramic view of the surrounding area that  encompasses the developed industrial and residential city and the surrounding countryside between the University of Haifa and the Nesher Forest.

The two bridges are about 150 metres apart and blend with the park’s natural features which include shrubs, flowers, oaks, pine and carob trees.

But the real interest is much nearer to the entrance where at the foot of a miniature amphitheatre and picnic spot stands an unusual memorial to someone who literally swayed and fell making a real life-or-death decision.

Uri.BinamoLieutenant Uri Binamo died aged only 21 while commanding a ‘stop and search’ patrol by the IDF’s Nachshon battalion near Tulkarem on the West Bank. The incident happened during Chanucah in December 2005 when two suicide bombers, who had intended attacking a crowded shopping centre, blew themselves up when Binamo ordered one to remove a coat in which he had secreted explosives. Binamo’s bravery  saved the lives of many other Israeli citizens and he received a posthumous IDF Medal of Honour. The memorial – created as a wooden menorah in a space  known as ‘Uri’s Way’ - was established by his family with the help of the KKL-JNF and the JNF America's Women's Campaign for Israel.

© Natalie Wood (08 April 2015)

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