Posted by: faithtravelfocus | May 7, 2012

National Tourism Month: a rabbi connects religion and tourism

Moses was the first tour leader

Rabbi Peter E. Tarlow is a busy man. He’s director of Texas A&M Hillel (foundation for Jewish campus life), a tourism safety expert, speaker and consultant, and founder of “Tourism & More Inc.,” his tourism security training firm.

Rabbi Tarlow’s recently offered his unique perspectives in an essay published in The Bryan-College Station Eagle about why he connects religion and tourism. As America celebrates National Tourism Month in May, Tarlow’s insightful comments about why we travel are especially timely.  

“I remind people that Moses was the first group tour leader, taking us on an extended 40-year journey across theSinai Peninsula,” said Tarlow. “I also note that the founder of the cruise industry was another Biblical character. Noah, whose name in Hebrew means: ‘to rest.’ Despite my tongue-in-check comments, the careful Biblical scholar knows there is much more that connects travel and tourism in faith.” 

And then there was Abraham, the first Hebrew or “ivri,” said Tarlow. “Today’s tourism is the child of those early Hebrews, he explains. “”The process continues in the Abrahamic tradition of caring for those who seek to explore and rejuvenate their souls.” 

As people of faith, Tarlow continues, we understand all of us are on a journey through life; all of us are tourists on this planet as it spins around our sun. 

“Tourism is much more than merely hotels and restaurants and fun and games,” he added. “It is the understanding that we are all brothers and sisters traveling on a mere rock through the seas of time.” 

Thanks, Rabbi Tarlow. Let’s all salute our friends in tourism, the $700 billion industry that is in the top five private employers in the country, with over 10 million workers. 

Keep on travelin’ and “mazal tov!!”


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