Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Y for today's ABC Wednesday

Yam Kinneret is the Hebrew name for the Sea of Galilee. The picture was taken just after we drove out of Tiberias. It looks eastward to the Golan Heights. The southern part of the Yarden, the River Jordan, begins here.
After five winters with not enough rain, the lake today reached a dangerously low level. The water surface is now 213 meters below sea level. Some 27% of Israel's water needs are supplied by Yam Kinneret. But soon we are going to be in big trouble.
For a short video about the water crisis click here.

Yafia, near Nazareth in the Lower Galilee, was a large fortified city in the time of the Jewish revolt against the Romans and was destroyed in 67 CE. This section of mosaic floor was found in its synagogue. A golden eagle is perched on a Medusa mask. Or, the portrait may be of Helios, the sun god.

The sign in the Rockefeller Museum is interesting: "The depiction of human and animal figures on a synagogue floor, despite the explicit biblical prohibition against producing graven images, is surprising, particularly given the pagan nature of the subjects. However, the remains of ancient synagogues discovered to date indicate that this was actually quite a widespread practice in Byzantine times. It seems that classical and Hellenistic decorative traditions were used in synagogue art to convey Jewish beliefs and that the sages found ways to reconcile this custom with Jewish law."

Aha! That means another Y --the Yiddishe Kopf was at work in Yafia.


On a lighter note, here is a lovely Yiddishe Kopf (literally this time) with a Spiderman yarmulke. Yarmulke is the Yiddish word for Hebrew kipa. YOFI! (Hebrew slang for Nice!)

For clever Y words and photos visit Mrs. Nesbitts Place for ABC Wednesday.

35 comments:

Your EG Tour Guide said...

I had no idea the Sea of Galilee is so low. I hope you soon get rain! A nice slow rain that gets into the soil and doesn't just run off.

It's amazing how many artifacts still remain from so far back in history. Your job must be extremely interesting.

Dina said...

EG tour guide, shalom. Yes, doing archaeology in Israel is exciting.
We are now in the half of the year where it is normal not to have any rain. The first rains come in the fall. They are working hard to finish a third desalination plant to help ease the looming crisis.

kjpweb said...

Yofi Post with lot's of Y's!
Good the find - bad the water situation! You better start building desalination plant 4-10 pretty soon!
Cheers, Klaus

Judy said...

I enjoyed your post. I too hope you get rain soon.

leslie said...

I'd love to visit there some day but would make sure I come during the coolest time of the year. So much history there!

Michelle said...

Oh Dina..no rain..We have so much water here from the Great Lakes and the River..but much of the power gained is sent elsewhere. I think our water comes from the river. Hope they clean it up very well...

ellen b said...

Love reading about all these familiar places. Oye! the yarmulke with spiderman is hilarious!

Louis la Vache said...

Very interesting post, Dina. "Louis" was especially interested in the archeology part of it.

The Bay Area, like your area, must get its rain in the fall and winter. We didn't this year and rationing is upon us.

The D in D & T said...

Oh my, that first photo is so beautiful.

I wish you rain, lots and lots of rain.

the donG said...

nice one. even the people there starts to get influenced with marvel super heroes!

i only read about tiberias. i hope you'll share photos of the place.

Petrea said...

The video is fascinating. I believe we are indeed entering upon a world water crisis, where as weather patterns change, water will become the new oil.

photowannabe said...

I am sorry to see the Sea so low. That's a worry.
i was totally surprised to see the Spiderman Yarmulke.

evlahos said...

excellent post.

I wish you a great summer

USelaine said...

I always find mosaics fascinating - maybe I laid such tiles in a past life! ;^) I would imagine the rabbis used the fact that the depictions were being walked upon as a "mitigating factor", don't you think?

Like Petrea said, water is the big crisis looming here in the west - even more than ever in its history. May you have the blessing of water soon.

Reader Wil said...

Dina is the Sea of Galilee the same as the Sea of Tiberias? Thanks for showing these photos! I hope and wish that you'll soon have rain. We have plenty of it, too much to my taste.

MEDITERRANEAN KIWI said...

so many y's in one post - so clever!

Abraham Lincoln said...

I do like your photos and your dire warning about water. It is a sad fact that people pee a dribble or two in a toilet and then use 3-9 gallons of fresh drinking water to flush it away. That is supposed to be a modern convenience but it is a kind of environmental rape.

Patty and I will be celebrating 53 years of marriage on July 12th. Think of it as a long-term relationship.

I have invited bloggers to offer suggestions on a gift for me to give Patty and the list would not be complete without your ideas.

Abraham Lincoln
Brookville Daily Photo

Kay said...

Hawaii is having a water shortage also. It's a terrible problem everywhere, I think. Well... there are so those places that get too much water and that's not great either. I love the history of your country. Great post, Dina.

Dina said...

Klaus, Judy, Leslie, Michelle, Ellen, Louis, D, Petrea, Evlahos, Photowannabe, Kay-- thanks for your good wishes and prayers for rain and for comparing notes in our various places.

Dong, I don't really have pictures of Tiberias on digital. Two years ago my nun friends took me with to Tiberias, but our two days were mostly spent at Tabgha for the Feast of the Multiplication of Fishes and Loaves. I try to stick to Jerusalem area for my blog, but you're right, I guess I can branch out.

Elaine, well then, you must have spent as much time as I have on your knees, working on a mosaic floor. I gasped to read your theory of the rabbis' rationale. I seriously doubt they would have thought that way (back then, at least).

Wil, it has several names. Lake Kinneret, Sea of Galilee, Lake of Tiberias. In the New Testament it is often called Lake of Gennesaret, the Greek form of the Hebrew Kinneret.

Abe, I agree totally. You are right to be uh, pissed off, at the flushing thing.
I'll send you a gift idea to your blog soon. Mazal-tov on 53 years!

Kay, strange to think of Hawaii having not enough water. Wow.

me ann my camera said...

Nice photos and informative text.

babooshka said...

I have to say this is the most facinating Y. I had no idea what the Sea of Galilee was in Hebrew. We anglocise so many words now. Yofi, I will be using that one a lot. I do hope it rains soon. Favourite Y post today for me.

Dina said...

Me Ann my camera, Thanks! Your yellow bird shot is amazingly beautiful!

Babooshka, yofi, glad you enjoyed your visit today! But we can't expect rain until the fall. It is dry season now.

Denise said...

I too was shocked to see how low the lake of Galilee is. I remember a lovely song we sang in Sunday School about the sea of galilee.

See this link

http://www.slideshare.net/tubaism/reflections-in-nature

Ackworth Born said...

Receding lakes seem to be a common phenomenon around the world.

Sara said...

Boker Tov Dina...or I should say, Erev Tov, since you are on the other side of the world.

A fascinating study in Y...I enjoyed it. I'm glad you added that info from the sign explainng the synagogue mosaic; that's the first thing I thought (before I read that far) was how odd to see a human face depicted, since images were forbidden.

We all need to pray for rain to fall in Israel...it's truly serious.

Bear Naked said...

The yarmulke photo was a very original choice for ABC Wedneday.
The other photos are lovely also.

RuneE said...

Then I have learned something new today too, ant the day has not been wasted.

BTW - If you want rain we have something to spare. We get around 2m per year...

Jerez said...

Per usual Dina, so much of interest on your blog concerning a land we all hold dear in our hearts and whose history so much of the world identifies with, and whose literature is settled on the religions of this land.
What will it take to fill those lakes? 40 days and 40 nights? :)

John said...

Great photos and very interesting post!

Granny Smith said...

A very interesting set of "Y"s! We are suffering from the same problem here in northern California. Flying over Lake Shasta recently provided views of a little bit of water surrounded by wide borders of bare clay banks. The intense heat this week plus our more than 1000 wildfires has not helped the situation!

esnorway said...

nice y

Eki Qushay Akhwan said...

I like the insightful notes that come with your pictures - especially about this floor ornaments. Viva history.

raf said...

As always, Dina, your ABC Wednesday posts are filled an interesting array of history, culture and surprises. Thanks for sharing all!

Katney said...

Excellent and informative. I remeber Lake Tiberias as very very blue and lovely with a lovely blue sky dotted with fluffy clouds, and I think I have a picture of the place where the fishermen were taken from the lake. Don't ask how long ago this was.

I like the Spiderman yamulke, too.

Catherine said...

The Y letter allows us to discover as usual, a very interesting post. Living in a desert, you're probably more conscious about water "value".That's the most important element in life!
Concerning the ancient city, you can teach me all about it.
When I come and visit your blog I must think to open Google map to follow and share from far away your adventures.