Saturday, October 18, 2008

Camels and oxen

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Oi veh, I thought, how am I going to tie in animals with my Sukkot theme this week?? It is, after all, time for our bloggers' weekend meme centered at Camera-Critters. So I started reading up, and sure enough, there are at least two animal connections!

The Talmud, in Sukkot 2.3, says,

"If one erects his sukkah on the top of a wagon (though it is on the move) or on the deck of a ship (where it is exposed to gales), it is valid and they may go up into it on the festival. If he made it on the top of a tree, or on the back of a camel, it is valid, but they may not go up into it on the festival . . . ."

And why, I hear you asking, may we not be in the sukkah on the camel on the first day of Sukkot, when work is forbidden? It is because of a side reason. The Sages enacted a gezera (a rabbinical decree) against riding on animals on Shabbat and the holidays, out of concern lest a rider unwittingly break off a branch as he rode along an overgrown trail, and that (the breaking of the branch) would be a violation of a melacha (an activity regarded as work which a Jew must not do on the Sabbath). Got it?


Photo courtesy of Gerald Johnson at Heifer Ranch, Arkansas

A Chabad website explains how oxen are connected to Sukkot's message of universal peace:
"When the Jewish people rejoice, our hearts go out to the whole world.
In the days of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, the Sukkot Festival offerings included seventy oxen, corresponding to the seventy nations -- in prayer for their well-being, and for peace and harmony among the nations of the world."

33 comments:

ER said...

Well done for linking the two themes together! I've been enjoying this blog for a long time but don't think I've commented until now so let me just say how much I enjoy it. It is really wonderful to catch these little glimpses of life in Israel, it's a country I'm quite desperate to come visit at some point.
Ellen
x

Dirk said...

Nice pictures, especially the first one.

Dina said...

Shalom Ellen! Thanks for making yourself known. You are always welcome here, both at the blog and in Israel. Hope your visit will be soon.

twobarkingdogs said...

Thanks for sharing!

Sandy Kessler said...

great post I love mthem both for their dedication and hard work camel smiling??sk

Carletta said...

The camel is really regal looking!
You approached your themes well and I learned something here today.
Nice post!

Webradio said...

Hi Dina !

Nice photos, and thank You also for the text...

I copy all Your texts... I have brother who is Catholic priest, and we discusse together about traditions of different religions...

Rebeckah said...

What a cool picture! What a cool animal : ). I always liked camels!

AppleDebbie said...

Wonderful post, Dina! I think the camel is smiling.

ratmammy said...

another wonderful post!

GMG said...

Hi Dina! I’m glad I could take some time to get to your wonderful blog! This time to be rewarded with a camel... ;)
Great post!
Amazing tree huts!
Want to have a look at a magic place: Delos? Blogtrotter has it! ;))
Hope you enjoy! Have a great weekend!

Dina said...

Thanks everyone. The camel might well be smiling. She has an easy life working for the tourists.

Webradio, cool, a priest brother! I would love to hear your conversations, although the French would be a problem for me. "Shalom" and blessings to your brother.

kaybee said...

Dina, I was so fascinated by the Sukkah huts that I went surfing the 'net for some more info. Here is a link to some most amazing and elaborate Sukkah projects -- even a 'snowed-in' one just right for Canada!

http://www.sukkot.com/gallery.htm

Great job tying the animals in with the theme!

Dina said...

Thanks Kaybee, great gallery of sukkahs! I'd love to sit in any one of them. I don't have a sukkah in my little yard.

Lapa37 said...

Love the Camel he is handsome.

JC said...

Dina, you blog is by far one of the most interesting I visit. Thanks for sharing your life and your faith.

Leora said...

Cool connections to Sukkot. I'll think about building a sukkah on a camel, just for Hol HaMoed. Except we don't have too many camels wandering around here in New Jersey.

Yen said...

Great photos! WOW!~Mine is posted HERE. Happy CC!~

Anonymous said...

Hello beautiful Dina.
Wow thanks for these wonderful messages from Jerusalem on the Sukkot.
this is very beautiful to me because the hebrew religion is so deeply embedded into the nature and salvation of the holy land.
thanks.

See you again soon.
Nice to be back at Jerusalem for a while.

As I was telling you I will have only a french blog for a year or so.
any messages
ichandrae@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Yes I forgot to mention. I love the camel. He is so majestic.
ichandrae

Larry said...

Hi Dina, Excellent post! You have a great blog here. It is a pleasure to explore your world and Israel. I have always been fascinated by your culture and tradition. Shalom!

Kay said...

Beautiful, Dina. You need to complile these into a book. I'm not partial to riding a camel though. Once was enough.

Eki Akhwan said...

Dina:
I enjoyed reading your Sukkot series very much and learned so much from them. Knowledge about Judaism and its traditions are not something many would have in the part of the world where I live (probably only those who study comparative religion studies or philosophy know about it). Thank you for sharing them. I would love to learn more.

So, do I say Happy Sukkot? (What's the appropriate way of saying it?)

Oh, and thank you too for your kind comments on my posts.

Eki

R and J said...

Such the interesting creature and the blog...

Abraham Lincoln said...

I have, very much, enjoyed this post.

Reader Wil said...

Hi Dina, thanks again for all the very interesting information. I enjoy reading your blog. What you said about the erecting a sukkah on the back of a camel, is quite new to me. But then I don't know the Talmud. All those rules need a lifetime to learn. The Jewish people must be very intelligent to learn those laws by heart.

fishing guy said...

Dina: Now that is an interesting set of animals to show for CC. Nicely done.

babooshka said...

Nicely comnined themes. Always know the animals are not you average ones here.

Anonymous said...
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richies said...

As a Sabbath keeping Christian I was interested in the reasons for not riding animals on the Sabbath day. As always a very informative post

Dina said...

Hi Lapa, he, or hopefully SHE, is indeed handsome.

Thanks JC. And thank YOU for sharing YOUR faith and life.

Leora, you're funny! LOL I also laughed in wonder when I discovered that now in the Talmud. The Talmud is full of fascinating things! Someday I hope to find a way to study it properly.

Thank you, Yen!

Welcome back, Ichandrae. You have such interesting thoughts. Good luck with your French blog. "Majestic" camel--nice.

Hi Larry, so glad you are a fan of Jewish culture. Shalom to you all.

Kay, haha, yes , I remember the picture of you on the camel.

Eki, that is so good to hear! God bless the bloggers. And thank YOU for teaching me about your religion and country.
A good Hebrew phrase for any holiday is "Chag (or some might write xag, the gutteral ch) sa-ME-ach." Chag=holiday. Sameach=happy. So, chag sameach!

Thank R and J. Welcome to Jerusalem!

Hello dear Abraham. That makes me happy.

Wil, sukkah on a camel was new to me too! Yes, you could learn such things all your life and even in the next life. Jewish heaven is thought of as a time and place after death where one can sit and study Torah all the time.
Intelligent? Well, I guess everyone learns at his own level, whatever depth s/he is capable of. I'm sure any such study makes God happy.

Fishing Guy, thanks. It was a challenge to find them.

Babooshka, well, we don't have much wildlife around here and I don't keep a pet, so I have to come up with other ideas for critters. :)

Richie, it's not the idea you and I expected, is it? BTW, I went flying off a horse I was stupidly riding bareback (in Arkansas) and in great pain vowed never to ride on the Sabbath ever again.

Dina said...

Richie, sorry, I meant it's not the REASON, not the idea.

Misty Dawn said...

Your posts are always spectacular! I learn so much from you!!! Thank you.