Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Xs around Jerusalem

ABC Wednesday is here again. To see what other bloggers are coming up with, X marks the spot at Mrs. Nesbitts Place.

Looks like an X to me. But truth be told, this is a stylized alef, the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Alef is the first letter of Egged, the huge bus company whose lines reach every corner of Israel.

X-ray machine at the entrance to Jerusalem's Central Bus Station.
Anything bigger than a small purse has to go through the machine.
Even before you get to this point you have walked through a metal detector.
Normally there is a big crowd there trying to get their stuff X-rayed quickly and run up the stairs to catch their bus on the top departures floor.
If you are shy you will never get through.
Buses arriving to Jerusalem from other cities drive into the basement of the Central Bus Station. The arriving passengers have their own lines and guards and X-ray machines.

X-ray machine that lets you into the Western Wall Plaza.

Here it is less chaotic than at the bus station.

But here you might also be wanded or asked a few questions by the guards if they have any suspicions.

X is the Greek letter with which the name of Christ begins. So for many centuries X has been a short form of his name.

Xmas = Christmas. Xian = Christian. Xity = Christianity.

If you enlarge the photo above, you'll see Greek letters IC and XC on each side of the halo.

In this "Pantocrator" icon the fingers of Jesus are forming these letters.

Wikipedia explains that
"In Eastern Orthodoxy, the most widely used Christogram is a four-letter abbreviation ICXC--a traditional abbreviation of the Greek words for 'Jesus Christ' (i.e. the first and last letters of each of the words ΙΗΣΟΥΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ — written 'IHCOYC XPICTOC' with a transliteration of the lunate sigma common in medieval Greek as 'C'). "



esnorway said...

nice x fine shoots to

John said...

Great shots and very interesting X post. Well done, Dina.

CaBaCuRl said...

Thank you for so many interesting X words & ideas. What a clever lot we are all being today!!

Müge Tekil said...

Hello from Istanbul to Jerusalem! Your "X" post is very clever and very well composed! Congratulations! Have a pleasant Wednesday!

Greyscale Territory said...

What a delightful range of pics! Enjoyed your comments as well!

Your EG Tour Guide said...

X-cellent post, Dina.

I can't imagine having to go through so many X-ray machines all the time, but I do understand why you have to.

Ann said...

I remember Egged. Spent a bit of time on them about 15 years ago.

Tipper said...

Neat photos. I can't imagine having to go through the x-rays-but I guess its just a way of life for you?

Louis la Vache said...

Very fine post, Dina! "Louis" particularly liked the last image and the explanation! "Louis" knew part of that, but not all of it, so he thanks you for filling in the gaps!

"Louis" is up past his cowbell in a work project the next few weeks, so he'll probably visit but not stop to say 'hi'.

Deslilas said...

x for PAX.
Great and interesting post indeed.

Troyes said...

Hello from the town of "Rachi" : troyes

Granny Smith said...

Fascinating compilation of beautifully photographed X pics, with elucidating commentary,

Gary said...

Great pics and an educating post, thank you.

Bodge's Bulletin

reader Wil said...

Dina, how interesting! I'd always wondered why Christmas was abbreviated to X-mas. Thanks for the explanation.

me ann my camera said...

I like the letter on the bus.

kjpweb said...

You were much more creative with your X!:) Wonderful images!
Cheers, Klaus

Texas Travelers said...

It's Wednesday....
You've made a play.
"X" marks the spot,
And I like yours a lot,
It's really fine....
Come visit mine,

Troy (author of bad verse)
Martha (better half)

nonizamboni said...

Great X choices! Interesting post, as usual.
Take care.

Liz said...

I didn't know that about Xmas.

Having to go through security to catch a bus. What a world we inhabit.

Great Xs.

The D in D & T said...

wow - really interesting post - thanks for this - i never understood the hand gesture before!

raf said...

Another fascinating and informative ABC post, Dina. Thanks to you as always for sharing with us.

Bear Naked said...

Many eXcellent choices for X on ABC Wednesday.

Louise said...

Some creative "X's!" As always, this was an educational post. I especially appreciation the one about the Greek Letter X because I think so many people don't realize that. People are offended by Xmas. It's the same as writing it out--just a bit of shorthand!

Sara said...

Shalom Dina! You have many interesting X's in your post! Also, I was rather fascinated by those very large hats on the wall above the x-ray machine at the bus station....interesting decor.