ISRAEL

Jordan River, Israel
Vase planted by Heidi Harpaz, Liat Ishay, Michal Ronen, Nimrod Ben Zion, Nissim Cohen, Ruth Katz Klein and Susan Dayan on June 18, 2016.

This vase was received at Shechen Monastery, Kathmandu during a three days Puja for Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche’s Paranirvana guided by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. The vase accompanied me during many Koras around the Boudhanath Stupa and other significant places until it was brought by a joyful group of seven Israelis to the lowest place on earth – 400 meters below sea level – to Qasr al Yahud, a site on the banks of the Jordan River, that represents a sacred place for people of different faiths (Muslims, Jews, and Christians) and it is not far from Jericho and the Dead Sea, at the Israeli-Jordanian border.

Christian tradition associates Qasr al Yahud with the site of Jesus’ baptism by Matthew (Matthew 3). In Jewish tradition the crossing of the Jordan by the Children of Israel under Joshua (Joshua 3) must also have taken place in this general area. It is also associated with the site where Elijah handed over the prophecy to Elisha and rose to heaven on a fiery chariot (2 Kings 11)

The Heart Sutra and a short Bodhisattva aspiration prayer were recited and dedicated to the long and healthy life of our precious teachers, to the liberation of all sentient beings and peace on earth.

Originally there was a plan to place the peace vase in the Jordan River together with Israeli, Palestinian and Jordan youth of the EcoPeace Middle East organization, an unique organization that brings together Jordanian, Palestinian, and Israeli environmentalists. Their primary objective is the promotion of cooperative efforts to protect our shared environmental heritage. In order to prevent the deterioration of this cherished resource, youth water trustees are leading the way towards rehabilitating the Jordan River through shared environmental stewardship.