Saturday, October 31, 2009
Resting on the ubiquitous black basalt stones of Tiberias, a meditative cat gazes over the tranquil Sea of Galilee.
I have been in Tiberias doing archaeology two weeks now (one more week to go) and most of the hot days were hazy like in this shot taken at 4 pm.
Only a very few times was the visibility excellent, allowing us to see the kibbutzim on the eastern shore of the lake and roads up to the Golan Heights.
Shalom to all the meme friends coming to visit from Camera-Critters.
Friday, October 30, 2009
This is a party boat about to dock at the Lido. From the shore I could hear the loud music and the stomping of dancing feet.
Later I will show you the more reverent kind of Galilee boats--the ones for Christian pilgrims.
For "Weekend Reflections," hosted by James in Pennsylvania, half a world away from Tiberias.
Shalom dear friends!
I have missed you so much while being away these last two weeks doing archaeology in Tiberias.
Fortunately the phone company fixed my Internet connection meanwhile, so I can catch up on your blogs this weekend before returning to the final week of the dig.
Thank you for your patience and your comments!
For RuneE's "Bench on Friday" mini-meme over at Visual Norway (to which you are invited), here is a whole truckload of picnic benches.
They were being off-loaded at the place (whatever it is going to be) across from the hostel where I am staying in Tiberias.
Notice the wall on the right. All of old and older Tiberias is built of this same heavy black basalt stone. The preponderance of it somehow gives a heavy and dark feeling in this strange city below sea level.
So different from Jerusalem of Gold.
Shabbat shalom to you all!
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Hopefully, after another week of archaeology in Tiberias, I'll come home next Friday and the telephone company will have fixed the ADSL connection. Missing you!
Digging is not all pickaxe, turia, trowel, and brush. Sometimes, if you are lucky, it is also washing a mosaic floor with wet rags!
This one is probably 6th or 7th century.
The dig is fun. Nice group of young staff and many volunteers from abroad. Tiberias is very hot, in the 90s F.
Lots more pics next week. Thanks for waiting. Shalom to you all!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
"You do not need to attain perfection in order to lead.
You need only to discover which way is forward
and begin moving in that direction."
A Daily Dose of Wisdom from the Lubavitcher Rebbe
-words and condensation by Tzvi Freeman
Tishrei 30, 5770 * October 18, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Israel Antiquities Authority, Hebrew University Department of Archaeology, and the Moriah Construction Company yesterday gave a whole day of lectures about current and recent digs in and around Jerusalem. Over fifty of them (digs, not lectures)!
Lectures and some discussion from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm.
That is a lot of sitting.
The best presenters were the three archaeologists with whom I have been privileged to dig in the last few years.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Hey, where's autumn??
Jerusalem is having some days of 34 degrees (low 90s F) and even at night it's in the low 20s (low 70s F).
The sky was hazy and hot today at 4:30 pm, close to sunset.
Here we are looking south from Mount Scopus toward the "holy basin," which contains the Temple Mount and the Old City. Enlarge these photos; you will recognize the golden Dome of the Rock.
Over the hills on the horizon starts the desert.
Here is the same view as seen through the window of the Hebrew University's Hecht synagogue.
Today was my first time inside.
What a place to pray for the peace of Jerusalem! It doesn't get much better.
Other skies can be enjoyed today at SkyWatch Friday. Endless variety.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
M is the letter of the day on ABC Wednesday.
Metal shutters blowing in the wind?
Monday, October 12, 2009
Turkey and Armenia have just signed historic accords aimed to end a century of hostility and mistrust between them.
I wish them luck. Today's post for That's My World Tuesday (Klaus' meme is one year old today!) is dedicated to the people living in the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City.
If you remember an earlier post about the Armenian Orthodox St. James Cathedral, we said that many centuries ago the Ottoman Turks issued an edict forbidding the ringing of church bells in Jerusalem. As a legal loophole, a wooden board or an iron sheet called a simandron (or nakos, in Arabic) cleverly replaced bells to call the monks and the public to prayer.
Ottoman rule ended in 1917 and today Israel has freedom of religious expression. Many church bells ring in the Old City. But in memory of those centuries of Moslem prohibition of the bells, an Armenian monk emerges from the church every weekday and hammers on the simandron just before 3:00 pm vespers.
Try not to be distracted by the two women who cross the church courtyard on their way to buy candles to light during the service. Let's just say that it shows how well "hidden" I was beside a pillar while filming.
What do you prefer? Did you enjoy the spirited hammering on the simandron, right next to you, or would you rather hear bells up in a tower?
(For more about Armenians in Jerusalem please click on my "Armenians" label below or in the margin.)
UPDATE June 26, 2016: Pope Francis has journeyed to Armenia for an apostolic visit June 24-26 and we can see the rich traditions, history, and worship of the Armenian people on LIVE broadcasts!
(Linking to inSPIREd Sunday.)
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Mazal tov! Congratulations to Hawaii. Their first saint was canonized in Rome this morning by Pope Benedict XVI.
Father Damien came to Hawaii in 1864. Saint Damien spent many years ministering to the leper colony on Molokai.
But no one tells his story more movingly than Cloudia at Comfort Spiral in her post today.
Nineteenth century Jerusalem also had what were then (mistakenly) called lepers, and they were housed behind this meter-thick stone wall in Talbieh.
Talbieh was not the prestigious neighborhood it is today. It was on the pale of settlement, subject to attacks by bands of robbers.
This one little gate was therefore the only entrance to the compound.
Jesus Hilfe (the Jesus Help Asylum) was established in 1887 by the city's Protestant community.
(Another source says that Jesus Hilfe was the name of the builder.)
It was designed by Conrad Schick, a German missionary and self-taught architect.
The Herrenhut Brotherhood of the Moravian Church ran the facility between 1887 and 1950. Staff came from Europe to care for the patients, who were mostly Moslems, although there were some Christians and a few Jews. The German Deaconess sisters were devoted to treating the suffering ones.
Rabbi Aryeh Levin (1886-1969) was our Jewish version of a saint. He is called The Tsadik (the saintly one) of Jerusalem.
He voluntarily came to visit the sick regularly, it is said, and especially on Rosh Hashana when he would blow the shofar.
Part of the site now serves as an outpatient clinic and learning center for the disease, the incidence of which has dropped significantly. [See update below!]
Rivka Regev, the daughter of the hospital’s veteran general physician, lives in the compound to this day.
The biblically inspired garden had a system of wells, channels, and four big cisterns.
Rivka Regev is the living spirit behind the vision of reclaiming the wilderness.
UPDATE: "In 2009, the Unit became the responsibility of Hadassah Hospital ... and the Hansen Hospital has moved to another historic building - Hadassah's Beit Habriut at 24 Strauss Street. Following a government decision in May 2009, the Hansen Hospital compound - designated for preservation - was transferred to the Jerusalem Municipality Culture and Art activities in November of 2011."
See more at Hadassah's article.
Guided tours are available and there are photographic exhibitions inside.
In fact, photographers who first went in and recorded their impressions with much feeling are the ones who brought public attention to the building's plight and moved it closer toward preservation.
Here is more about the artifacts now on display.
And the most comprehensive and entertaining telling of the Hansen's story is at this blog:
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
The Torah is opened and read on the reading table in the center of the synagogue. Here, too, the artist created a soft sculpture to cover the table, in wool, cotton, silk, hemp, and metallic thread. It can be seen better, without the glass, in a slideshow at the artist's website.
The artist explains in just a few wonderful paragraphs how she came to the ideas for her Two-Piece Soft Sculpture.
Happy birthday dear Dean, light of my life!
Today my first grandson turns SIX. -- Six blessed years of steady growth.
Here he is, struggling with a water bottle, in a kindergarten yard in Tel Aviv.
Dean's family lives in Australia but they came home to visit Israel last March and April.
The Tel Aviv bench is for Visual Norway's RuneE and the friends who meet every Friday to share benches they've found. Join us.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
October, but it still feels and looks like summer. SkyWatch Friday visitors have been seeing blue skies at Jerusalem Hills Daily Photo for half a year now. Ho hum . . .
Israel did do one autumn-like thing however, and that was to end Daylight Saving Time two weeks ago already. Night comes so soon now.
The photo shows the 5:30 pm sky, looking east.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
All week we are celebrating the Jewish festival of Sukkot (instructions begin in Leviticus 23:39).
Let us combine it with L-Day at ABC Wednesday.
Lulav! This Hebrew word לולב is the name for a ripe, green, closed frond from a date palm tree.
The man is meticulously examining the lulavim, deciding which one meets his standards and his budget.
The leaves of the lulav make a nice snapping sound.
Monday, October 5, 2009
I had never heard of the Saheraneh until I came (3 years ago) to live in a moshav built by Kurdish Jews.
Yesterday I went to big Sacher Park in Jerusalem to see what it's all about.
Saheraneh is a yearly outdoor festival which our Kurds brought with them when they made aliyah to Israel from Kurdistan.
The region known as Kurdistan includes parts of Iran, Iraq, Armenia, Syria, and Turkey.
Beforehand, while the elder had been sitting, people came to him, bowed and kissed his hand; and he put his hands on their head and blessed them.
There are over 150,000 Kurdim in Israel.
Their national association's website is in Hebrew but it offers a sample of the music.
UPDATE Oct. 20, 2014: An article about this year's Saharana and thoughts about the Kurds fighting for their lives against the Islamic State.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Our neighbors the Franciscans have a feast day on Sunday. It marks the death and burial of St. Francis of Assisi in 1226.
"My sister birds, you owe much to God, and you must always and in everyplace give praise to Him; for He has given you freedom to wing through the sky and He has clothed you . . . you neither sow nor reap, and God feeds you and gives you rivers and fountains for your thirst, and mountains and valleys for shelter, and tall trees for your nests. And although you neither know how to spin or weave, God dresses you and your children, for the Creator loves you greatly and He blesses you abundantly. Therefore . . . always seek to praise God."
--from the "Fioretti" ("Little Flowers"), a collection of legends and folklore about Francis that sprung up after his death
The result surprised me.
What a jumble of reflections!
James at Newtown Area Photo has just opened a Reflections meme. Let's all get together at his blog and reflect. :)
Friday, October 2, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
The sky is for SkyWatch Friday. The tent is for the yearly Shuk Arba'at Haminim.
Arba'at haminim are the four species of plants needed in order to make the blessings for the holiday of Sukkot, starting Friday at sunset.
For the whole next week Jews are supposed to dwell in the sukkah (or at least to eat our meals there). The temporary "booths" are to remind us of the wandering in the wilderness for 40 years, way back when Moses was leading the people out of Egypt.