Reader's Guide to IDBOOK
Before you is an innovative format for reading; there are many options for the reader to enjoy this digital venue. I propose a new digital experience that includes:
· Presentations of pictures and sites that are featured in the story. The presentations are linked to YouTube clips each time they are mentioned in the story.
· The 3 base stories are read aloud, making the option to 'leaf through' the story, presentations and photos.
· The 3 base stories are intertwines. That is to say, the reader may each be read from start to finish, or can flip over to the next story at certain points that are shown. The reader will decide in what order to reader the book.
Alex's Story (chapter 1-8): An outgoing and archeology-loving monk of the Greek Orthodox Church at the St. George Monasteryat Wadi Kelt finds himself in the midst of a spy scheme under the auspices of the Vatican and the Israeli Mossad. Historical findings threaten peace in the region. The religious establishment and other interested parties are engaged in a contest and the winner will be the one to succeed in placing obstacles in the others' way.
Michal's Story (chapters 9-15): A young Israeli archeologist from Haifafinds herself at the right excavation at the right time in order to discover unbelievable findings. A super-powerful professor with connections in all the right places leads her to reach a fateful decision.
Ahmed's Story (chapters 16-21): An Ahmedian 17 year old from the Kababirneighborhood in Haifa, a high-school dropout who loves nature, meets Indira, a Bahai, and together they discover that Ahmed has a rare ability. Extraordinary experiences will change his life, giving him an opportunity to make all his dreams come true.
Chapter 8 is the final chapter and the reader will be led to it at the end of each of the stories (not just at the end of Alex's Story). But, as in life, no story really ends, but only comes to a stop where the storyteller decides.
At the end of some of the chapters, there will be an option to move to a different character. That way, the reader can chose the path of the story. Instructions on the option are given in the attached chart.
I wish you good luck in reading your story.
Chapter 10 - Michal
The telephone ring woke Michal up. It wasn't Gidi, but her father, Nissim, or as others knew him, Professor Livneh.
"Good morning, Dad, what time is it?" she asked.
"It's eight-thirty already, I thought you'd be awake by now," said her father.
"Gidi was home yesterday; we went out and got home late."
"And now, he's not home?"
"No, he had to fly out this morning."
"To London? "
"No, to Rome this time. "
"Good, well, it looks like you'll be busy pretty soon. I want you to come to the university; I want to introduce you to a colleague of mine."
Michal was alert and totally awake now. Her father asking her to come to his work place was very out of the ordinary. He gave his soul to the university, but didn't ever involve his family, except for special occasions. He never tried to 'arrange' things for his family through his connections.
"What's going on?" asked Michal.
"It's about your doctorate and it's important," answered her father.
"Okay, I'll get ready and come."
When she arrived, Michal found her father speaking to an elderly man.
"Meet Professor Nehorai."
"Pleased to meet you," said Michal and put out her hand, which was left in the air.
"I want you to hear what he has to propose to you," said her father. "I'll leave the room so you can speak privately."
Michal's father left the room and Michal was left alone with the professor.
"Hello, Michal, I want to make a proposal to you."
"And who do I have the pleasure of speaking with? I understand from my father that you can be trusted. Which university do you work at and in which field?" asked Michal. >
"I am involved in many fields," answered the professor, "but it's enough for you to know that I'm from the office of the Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Science and Technology and that I have a proposal that you won't be able to refuse. I've heard that you have friends at the Technion that made a device to find tunnels in Gaza."
"That's true. But how did you hear about that? We didn't make it public. That device isn't totally ready yet."
"It doesn't matter how I know. I know lots of things. I worked with your mother and I know about Gidi and his work. I know your father very well and even about your brother Effie and his cult."
"I understand that you had a long talk with my father."
"Yes, but most of what I know I didn't learn from that talk. The really important thing isn't what I know, but what I'm offering you. I propose that you help us to activate the device in Gaza and in Jerusalem, totally at our expense. Together we'll improve it and create more devices like it. In return you will receive full responsibility for the excavations at Temple Mount and that will be your doctoral thesis."
"And what about the thesis that I'm already preparing?" hesitated Michal.
"You will be exempt from presenting it and your advisor will be kept abreast of our proposal as will the university."
"I must say that you've certainly done your homework. All the information about my family, about the device that we built, and about my doctoral thesis, these are the most important things in life to me. If, let's say, I do agree – how do I explain all this to Gidi's friends who helped me build it?"
"That's up to you," chuckled Professor Nehorai, "from that I understand that your answer is yes. If so, let's meet tomorrow at seven a.m. in Jerusalem, at the entrance to the Western Wall tunnel. Bring the device with you."
"I don't think it's open that early in the morning," said Michal as she thought how she'd have to leave at four-thirty to get there at seven.
"When you're with me, there is no such thing as a closed door," interrupted Professor Nehorai and he turned towards the door. "I'll see you tomorrow at seven. By the way, everything we've said here is secret and doesn't leave this room," and with that, he left.
Michal remained sitting for a few minutes, until her father reentered the room.
"I don't want to know anything," he said, "just that you're pleased."
"Wow, I am happy," said Michal and hugged her father as hard as she could. "Thanks, Dad."
"I really didn't do anything," he replied, "It's all because of you."
Michal left for the Technion. On her way she thought what she would say to Gidi's friends. She went to take the device and only hoped that it would be good enough to serve the Professor's purpose. The next morning, at seven, she appeared, device in hand at the entrance to the Western Wall.
The following days were very intensive. Michal turned from assistant and doctoral student of the faculty of archeology to being responsible for a team of a hundred people that worked on the excavation at the Wall tunnel. The device worked quite well and discovered tunnels so they knew where to dig. The excavation was done mainly at night, so as not to make the Muslims angry or to disturb the prayers of the Jews. She had to move to Jerusalem to get in a few hours of sleep every day. Gidi wasn't home too often anyways and she had no idea how she was being replaced at the university. Most of the ground that was dug up was piled onto a truck and transported to different places in Jerusalem where they could, at a later time, check and look for antiquities without the Muslims breathing down their necks. Inside of two weeks they'd completely opened up three tunnels, one of them was connected to Zedekiah's Cave.
The most important thing they found was a hermetically sealed metal box. It was rectangular, completely closed and looked as if it was welded together. Since it was quite light, Michal thought that it might be hollow inside. On one side of it the numerals from 1-7 were embossed and on the other side was an engraving of the Latin words: APOCALYPSE LOGOS HUMUS. It seemed that the engraving had been done at a later period than the box was created. Michal couldn't understand what this object was or what it could be used for. Professor Nehorai transferred the box to experts for examination, but didn't impart any further information about the box to Michal.
Gidi traveled back and forth between Rome, London, Jerusalem, Haifa and Tel Aviv. On the days when he was around, Michal tried to free herself from work and spend as much time with him as possible. Three years had passed since Gidi has completed his studies in the Technion and they'd bought a pretty apartment on the Carmel. Gidi had already begun thinking about leaving the Mossad and committing to settling down at home. They wanted a child, but agreed to wait until Gidi was at home more. In the meantime, the prototype that Michal had created together with Gidi's friends had been a great help and, as far as Michal knew, there were already two more of them. One was sent to do the work it had originally been created for, to search for and discover tunnels in Gaza; the other was used by Michal to dig in Jerusalem. The third, according to what she'd heard, was being used in Haifa in the area intended for digging the tunnel. They'd discovered the ancient Christian city of Castra there.
One day Michal received a phone call from Professor Nehorai telling her to move to the excavations on the Golan Heights. This brought her back to Haifa and she and Gidi started living in their new apartment on the Carmel in Haifa. Michal had successfully completed her doctoral thesis after all and because of the findings from the excavations in the tunnels of Jerusalem, she was awarded her PhD from the University of Haifa. Michal became a full-fledged archeologist. Her life was going very smoothly, until the conference on the Templars that her father organized in Haifa.
Michal knew that her father's work, based on the history of the 18th and 19th century in Israel, was funded by the 'Schumacher Center' at the University of Haifa. She was familiar with the book he wrote on the German Templar settlements in the country. But she'd never thought, until that conference, that there was any connection between her own work as an archeologist of the period of the First and Second Temples, to her father's research that was based on a totally different period of time. Soon she'd find out how wrong she was.
Two days before the conference, Professor Nehorai invited her to a meeting at the university. She was very surprised to meet her father at that meeting. There were three other people that she didn't know. Professor Nehorai opened the meeting by introducing those present: two of them were also professors, one of astrophysics and the other a mathematician by the name Gottstein from the Technion. Michal recalled that he'd worked with her mother. The third person was the advisor for the office of the Prime Minister for religious sites and liaison with the Vatican.
Professor Nehorai opened by saying, "I invited you all here today to discuss something of utmost importance. There is no need for me to say that this is top secret and you may never discuss anything said here today with anyone else or even between yourselves. Up to now, each of you has been made familiar with one small part of the whole. From today you will know more, but still not everything. At the conference planned by Professor Livneh to take place the day after tomorrow," continued Professor Nehorai, "the central topic is supposed to be the work of Gottlieb Schumacher in Israel. I will ask all of you to help the professor to change the central topic to deal with the Templar settlement in general and not to the specific Schumacher."
Professor Livneh, Michal's father, upset, stood up with his face a deep red. "But the invitations have already been sent, discussion groups have been arranged, and…"
"Sit down, Professor Livneh," said Professor Nehorai quietly, "Sit down, please, and listen. You might learn something new."
Michal's father went silent and sat down unwillingly. Nehorai went on," As you know Gottlieb Schumacher, who lived in Haifa in the 19th century, was an engineer and an architect, an amateur archeologist and cartographer. He drew amazingly exact maps of the Golan Heights, went to east Jordan and most of Sinai and the Negev. His maps were so exact that they were the basis for most of the maps drawn for the next fifty years. The level of exactness that he drew his maps with, in fact, led us to believe that he couldn't have accomplished this feat with the sources at his disposal at that time, and the limited time he spent in those places. We thought of other sources and in fact we have discovered just such a source."
"A month ago, when we moved the Templar homes in the Kirya in Tel Aviv, we found a Templar archive that included the map that Schumacher held in his hands and sketched his own maps. On these maps were numbers and symbols that we couldn't decipher so we turned them over to Professor Gottstein. Professor, please tell us what you found."
"Well, I found several very interesting things," said the gold-rimmed glass-wearing Professor Gottstein. As he rose, his very round belly banged into the table, "the map included nearly exact heights above sea-level."
"What does that mean, 'almost'?" interrupted Professor Livneh.
Professor Gottstein answered, "All of the heights between them are very exact, but all of them are off by exactly sixty-three centimeters, as if sea-level was lower by sixty-three centimeters. We know that during recent years, because of global warming and melting icebergs, sea level has risen more than in the past. In the year 1920, when the British arrived in the country, they took measurements and sea level was marked at 28 centimeters lower than it is today. This means that the maps I received were about 600 years old. And another thing," continued Gottstein, "in order to measure heights with such precision you'd need at least a laser measuring instrument like the ones we have today and the measuring would need to be done from above."
Now the professor of astrophysics rose as well and said, "I've seen the maps, the symbols and numerals on them show the location of some planets as they were seen on their revolution around the planet Earth, without the influence of the atmosphere. The map notes the galaxy Alpha Centauri, which is the closest system to our own solar system. It is only four and a half light years away. This galaxy may be seen only from the southern hemisphere. That means, that a map showing the Middle East Region including the exact location of planets seen only from central Africa or South America or Australia. According to the planets' location seen on the map, I support the theory that the map is about six hundred years old."
"If so," concluded Professor Nehorai, "you both agree that Gottlieb Schumacher had a map in 1869 that was actually created four hundred years earlier, in around 1260 A.D. a map that was prepared using technology that didn't exist in his own time and certainly not four hundred years earlier…and from the air."
Michal felt uncomfortable, both because of these discoveries and also because it seemed that Professor Nehorai had brought her there to pressure her father. Her father sat there, now calmed down, and asked, "And if there was a map like that in Schumacher hands, why shouldn't we make him the subject of the conference?"
"Because that's not all," said Nehorai, "there are still the excavations and the relations with the Christians and the Muslims to deal with."
Michal straightened up and tried to understand the connection.
"This same engineer, Schumacher, excavated at several places in the country. All of the sites are noted on the map that we found. At the first place that we dug, according to the map, at Temple Mount, we found a device. Right, Michal? We don't exactly know what it does or what it's for, but we do know that the technology used to build it wasn't known almost two thousand years ago at the time it was created. In fact that technology is something we don't fully understand even now."
"We have a basis to presume that the device we found was in the original Templars' possession in the 1200's and somehow found its way into the hands of the Freemasons, who lost it again, until it was discovered by us. Our friend Schumacher was apparently a Freemason who dug in places marked on the map that was in his possession. The Christians and the Muslims are sure we're still digging at Temple Mount and are threatening a political blow-out that may cause a religious war. This is the worst thing for us right now." Now Professor Nehorai sat down and breathed heavily.
Now, the advisor to the Prime Minister spoke. "We know that the Vatican is cooperating with the Mufti of Jerusalem through a monk named Alex from the Greek Orthodox Church who will be the liaison with the Mufti. This is a dangerous situation from our point of view, for them to create a joint effort of Christians and Muslims against the Jews in Israel. We cannot dig at the third location on the map, at Tel Megiddo, for fear it becomes known to the Christian Church. That place has a special significance for Christians, Armageddon, or the place where according to their faith, the battle of Gog and Magog took place, between the anti-Christ and the Messiah. In short, a world war."
"And that's why we need to change the subject of the conference," summed up Professor Nehorai.
"Fine," said Michal's father, "we'll change the subject."
"You have a lot of work to do, let's all get going," said Professor Nehorai. "Michal please stay here for a few moments, I need you."
Michal said goodbye to her dad and all the others left the room, except for Nehorai.
"Michal," opened the professor, "I designate you responsible for this whole affair. You know Alex and Gidi, knows him very well."
"That's true," recalled Michal, before we were married, Gidi brought him over to our house. I wasn't sure if it was the same Alex. Gidi said then that he was 'bringing work home' and he came for lunch one day."
"Look," said Professor Nehorai, "you've dug in Jerusalem with this new equipment of yours and you found this device. You found nothing in the Golan Heights, but at Megiddo prison the inmates accidentally found a mosaic floor that apparently belonged to the oldest church in the world. They'd started digging foundations for a new wing for the prison and stumbled upon it. They're Muslim, so this story will reach the Vatican very quickly. I want you to start digging at Megiddo quickly, but as quietly as possible. We don't want to raise any Muslim or Christian suspicions. We can only put them off if we do a bit of manipulation on this Alex that you know."
"How can I get to Alex?"
"You don't have to," answered the professor, "your husband, Gidi, has been dealing with this for a while. Soon he will meet Alex in Rome and set up a visit at your house. He's already made quite a 'show' for Alex."
Michal felt very uncomfortable with this story. After the whole 'show' that Professor Nehorai had put on, her father was forced to change the subject of the conference and Nehorai had done it all very rudely. Now, it turned out that her husband had been working for Nehorai, too. Even though she'd gotten her doctorate, responsibility for the excavations at Jerusalem and now for Megiddo as well, the price she and her family were required to pay was not a small one.
When she returned home, Gidi called from Rome. He said that he and Alex would come for lunch tomorrow and promised to explain everything when he got back. Three hours later he called again to say that Alex was postponing until the day after tomorrow, and that she'd be hosting Alex alone. Gidi would come home tomorrow and explain everything. She wasn't happy; it ruined her plans for Wednesday, her day off. She had to cancel a date she'd made with a girlfriend. Having her plans spoiled was something she hated. And as for everything to do with Alex, she felt she had no control at all.