israel's got some interesting laws for its jewish citizens. one
of them is that jewish citizens may not work during sabbath hours.
if you work and are caught, your company will be fined.
so now you may ask: how can you be caught? they have sabbath violation
inspectors, whose job it is to make sure jewish citizens do not
work on sabbath.
i can guess your next question: do the sabbath violation inspectors
work on sabbath? of course they do. how else could you catch the
so just who are these sabbath inspectors? they are the druze. a
kind of trusted arab in this country of 86% jews.
we stopped to eat at a druze restaurant located at the base of nimrod's
fortress. the food was excellent - typical arab, plus a few traditional
druze dishes, such as squash and cucumbers and grape leaves stuffed
with rice and lamb.
the druze are very secretive about their religion - they don't preach,
and they don't accept new converts. to be a druze, you have to be
born a druze. and unless you're a priest, you don't learn too much
about the religion, because if you learn and you don't follow, you'll
be judged very harshly.
some basic history: the religion started in the 900's a.d., as an
attempt to bring together judaism, christianity, and islam. the
original two founders were muslim, so sometimes they're labeled
as an islamic sect, but the muslims generally don't claim them.
the druze claim as their spiritual leader jethro (father in law
of moses). there are 300,000 druze in the world, and only 10,000
of them in israel.
here's some of their basic practices and beliefs: they call God "Elohim",
and are monotheistic. men may have only a single wife. they don't
drink, and they don't smoke. and the most interesting:
when you die, your soul immediately occupies another druze (metapsychosis)
body. they have a reputation of being very fierce in war.
so that's the druze in a nutshell. here's the last story that the
restaurant owner shared with us when we asked the him why their
holy books and practices were so secret:
once upon a time, god decided to spread his word among the world.
he sent an angel down to earth to pass on his word. now the angel
was a bit mischevious: he broke god's word into three pieces, and
gave parts to different groups. the angel went to the jews first,
and gave them the torah. then he flew to the christians, and gave
them the gospels. for his third stop, he visited the muslims, and
gave them the koran. then when he was all done and on his way home,
he stopped by the druze, and gave them a copy of each of the books,
and explained how they fit together. but he cautioned the druze:
don't show your books to others; otherwise they'll just say "hey,
so there you have it - the druze clues. the answer to the world's
problems. the solution to the puzzle that's been vexing us all.
now if we could only get them to share the answers with the rest
of us mere mortals...