Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mending wall

A moshav is a collective agricultural village. Today, Israel's moshavim are largely privatized.
My moshav nestles in the Jerusalem Hills, also known as the Mountains of Judea.
The public buildings are on top of our hill. Then, in about 7 or 8 concentric circles, the houses and chicken coops of the moshavniks (members) cling to the sides of the hill.

Enlarging the photos will help to clarify the text.
Just like with the ancient agricultural terraces that fill the hills that surround Jerusalem, each terrace (or level) of houses in the village has to be supported by (modern) stone terrace walls above and below it.
The village was founded in 1949 so our terrace walls are only 60 years old.
In the wake of our winter rainy season, my next-door neighbor's wall collapsed into the street!

A few weeks later I saw several young men rebuilding the wall. To my surprise they were not speaking Arabic. I'm glad there are still a few Jews who retain the knowledge of terrace wall construction.
I would love to try it!
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This post was prompted by Petrea's post about a mysterious wall she found in her town, Pasadena, California. The lively comments there include Robert Frost's wonderful poem "Mending Wall."
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The skies above the village will be my contribution to SkyWatch Friday. Pay a visit to some other bloggers and their sky. Enjoy.

33 comments:

Vagabonde said...

I love the old wall. The first photograph is lovely – the village is in a beautiful landscape. I guess it should be cooler there – how warm does it get there in summer, Dina? Here today we’ll be in the mid 90s (35 C +)

Eki Qushay Akhwan said...

Yes, the first photo is lovely. It's a beautiful view you have from the top of the hill.

Thank you for the anniversary wish, Dina.

Shalom,
Eki

Trotter said...

Hi Dina! I'm always learning when I come here...

The Republic of Uzupis. Never heard? Blogtrotter has it for you… ;) Enjoy and have a great weekend!

kavita said...

I echo....the first pic is great...my hometown Almora (uttranchal...India)too has similar stone walls ,being a hilly agricultural area....i have not been there for last 12 years...this post evoked many beautiful memories of my hometown.LOVELY POST..DINA.Regards

Shell Sherree said...

Nice series, Dina! I'm glad that lovely old wall was rebuilt.

Petrea said...

I always learn here, too. I like all the photos, including the close-ups of the wall. I'll bet take shots of everything, never knowing if you'll use it later!

I haven't memorized poetry, but I always remember the first line of "Mending Wall."

Guy D said...

Great shots Dina, thanks for sharing.

Have a great weekend
Guy
Regina In Pictures

Daryl said...

Fascinating stuff .. lovely skies and wall rebuilding artisans ..

Carver said...

This was a very interesting post and beautiful shots.

Vita Stunder said...

Fascinating!

And great shots :)
Have a nice weekend!

Dina said...

Shalom dear readers and thank you all for your sweet comments. I always love to hear what you are thinking and feeling.

Vagabonde, in the summer it can be in the 30s for days at a time. Normal is more like 28. But at sundown it cools off nicely for a good night's sleep. About 18 degrees tonight.
In a desert heatwave the humidity will be ~15%. Today is 30%. Dry heat is fine. In Tel Aviv, over on the Med coast, the humidity is always at least twice ours.
No rain at all in Israel from about May to October.
We in the moshav are about 640 meters altitude.
Good luck with your heat in the Deep South.

Petrea, true, I snap whatever looks interesting to me and hopefully to y'all.

SandyCarlson said...

So much going on there all the time. That old wall is really gorgeous.

erin said...

beautiful captures and your commentary that accompanies it adds so much. always enjoy my visits to your blog.
have a lovely weekend.

Barb said...

Hi Dina,
I enjoyed seeing the pictures of your moshav. Do you think the old wall crumbled from moisture or just 60 years of retaining on those steep hills?

Thumbelina said...

Lovely photos and background. Thanks for sharing. Come see my skywatch if you get time!

James said...

Great photos and very interesting commetary.

Barbara Martin said...

These are wonderful photos of your area, Dina, and an excellent narrative too.

Island Rambles Blog said...

I love the part about the wall falling down... wonderful photos today... Really like your blog layout also, I tried to change mine today ....Lovely Sky Watch.... have a great weekend.... cheers

Calm Energy said...

Thanks for the great photos and lesson on these walls. A great read! *A wonderful weekend to you* Maria

J Bar said...

Interesting.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I find this fascinating. The workmanship on the mended wall is incredible.

Paul said...

Thank you for sharing these very cool pics

Pietro said...

Dina, I find the village both interesting and picturesque. Your text is very informative. It's good the wall has been rebuilt.

Nathalie said...

We have the same problem here in Provence, these retaining walls are part and parcel of the countryside and they need regular rebuilding. My father used to love to do that, he was very good at it too! No-one could ever help him because he was quite specific about which stone should go where to fit in nicely ! He used to work on his own and I suspect he used that as almost a source of meditation.

Cloudia said...

Ah! The Hawaiians built prodigous stone walls and temple platforms: Hawaiian Wailing Walls of meaning today. They also stack stones. The mikssing tribe?
Aloha-Shalom, Dina

Karen said...

I agree with what many others have said...the first photo is beautiful..

What a lovely village you live in and that wall is quite impressive..

Kay said...

Beautifully done wall. All the walls around here seem to be made of lava rock.

RuneE said...

Such old techniques are well worth taking care of. One thing is to preserve the cultural heritage as such - but we may come to need them!

Regina said...

Thanks for sharing. Nice post.

JM said...

I allways find very interesting this terrace thing. Here we have them on the Douro River valley with vines and they make stunning landscapes.

pasadenaadjacent said...

I've built three walls, some stairs and two benches out of collected river rock. It's an art. I doubt my walls will last 60 years.

at the cottage said...

I love seeing the villages and walls. Thsi was so interesting and I learned some things about israel. Thanks.

I also read the post about the mosaic floor. WOW

Wonderful blog. Thank you for sharing.

Deb

FA said...

Great post, Dina. I love hearing about towns like Judea that I know because of scripture. Perhaps, someday I will get to visit this holy and beautiful place.

Thanks for the telling me about the Zenit article on the opening of the Year for Priests. One could say that we are doing our own little part in promoting good Jewish-Catholic relationship.

I appreciate your blog, too. FA