On the Richness of Complexity

The South Hebron Hills in Palestine

“I was lying there in the coffin with Ben Zakai,” Danny opens, “and they drove those swords through the coffin to make sure we were dead.” Danny, whose family built the first streets of Tel Aviv, tells me how after he was smuggled out of Jerusalem in the first century with Rabban Yochanan Ben Zakkai in a coffin, they came in front of the Roman ruler. “The governor offered him a wish. Ben Zakkai asked for Yavneh, a small town where the…