A religious experience

March 14 2007

Over the next week, I'll be participating in events and customer meetings in Israel.  I'm looking forward to what clearly will be an interesting and unusual business travel experience.

When I started this weblog, I promised my hosting provider that a few topics would generally be off-limits: sex, politics, religion.  It's my professional weblog, so that makes sense.  You know, "polite company" and all that.

I'm not sure how the next seven days will unfold, but I strongly suspect it will be impossible to stay away from religion as a topic, at least tangentially, and perhaps politics as well.  I have wanted to visit Israel on business for many years, and this is the first time it has worked out.  The local team has built a fantastic agenda for the week, with a range of customer visits, press meetings, and of course, the main event.  But I'll have some free time, too, including the Jewish Sabbath on Friday/Saturday.  

Since I'm travelling on IBM business, I'm instructed to "play it safe".  I have no pre-planned itinerary for my free time, and I'm not broadcasting travel details (plazes may be ignored for a few days).  I've been reading up on some of the cities that I haven't visited in 25 years, and contemplating the photographic opportunities that lie ahead.

Ultimately, I don't know what I'll be writing in the next several days (other than coverage of the official ND8 public beta announcement.).  I ask for some leeway in advance.  I'll be grappling with 30+ years of religious/cultural education and community values.  I'll be viewing Israel through a new lens -- the lens of commerce and business.  

It is simply impossible to separate the latter from the former, or to view this trip as purely another stop on my world tour.  So indulge me a bit, and come along for the ride.  Shalom -- Peace.

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