Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Nuns in the olive branches

Judging from the lack of olives on the trees in my neighborhood, this seems to be an off-year.
Olive trees have what is called alternate-year bearing.

These Russian women, however, were diligently picking every olive they could find.

This nice scene was at the Gorny (or Gornensky) Convent for Women last month.
The woman in black is a nun but I'm not sure about the others. Maybe they were nuns in mufti (in civilian clothes). Sort of like in "play clothes."
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Gorny is a huge walled-in area built by the Russians in 1871. On the slope above Ein Kerem.

It is just 45 minutes walk from my house, but to enter the locked gate of the convent is to enter another world.
As if a village in old Czarist Russia had been lifted up and plopped down in the Jerusalem Hills.
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16 comments:

jeannette stgermain said...

Israel, like the USA is truly a melting pot of cultures!
Once we had a yard with 2 olive trees. I never knew that these are high maintainance trees - it's hard to keep them trimmed:)

cieldequimper said...

Wonderful reportage Dina! I wish I could taste one or two of them, they must be scrumptious, even in an off year.

Arija said...

This is so delight ful Dina, on so many levels. The historical aspect as well as the human and pictorial.
Thank you for posting this delightful glimpse of diversity in yur world.

Cloudia said...

So many wonders in your world, Dina.
We are lucky to know you (r blog).


Shalom & Aloha, Friend!


Comfort Spiral

Cloudia said...

PS: Russian Village?
Is there a fiddler on any of the roofs?

Kay said...

Terrific photos, Dina. Can you eat the ripe olives raw or do you have to pickle them?

GreensboroDailyPhoto said...

From reading your blog over the past year, I have this sense that EVERYONE guards their little "slice of the pie" in Jerusalem. Jerusalem must have an enclave of literally every religion! If you ever offer a summer tour of Jerusalem, I'm onboard!

Hilda said...

The compound sounds very interesting. I hope they allowed you to take more photos!

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

I suppose it is much like the life of a devout hermit and thoughtful prayers. I wonder what they do with every last olive they pick?

spacedlaw said...

Ours are already picked. It is so strange to see nuns perched in trees: they make the most amazing birds.

Mediterranean kiwi said...

i often mourn the olives lying under the trees - they are not all picked in crete, many just get lost...

Pietro said...

Great shots, Dina. You have always very interesting subjects.

Leif Hagen said...

I love these olive picking nuns photos! Something I could never see here in Minnesota! Bon weekend!

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

At least she's not standing on the top wrung. I've got to say, picking olives with so much cloth about your body seems dangerous to me.

Eki said...

Does one need to get a permit to enter the ground? Can a man enter it? I'd relly love to go in if it's possible. Your pictures are wonderful, Dina. I'd love to see more of places that can stay more or less the same as it was hundreds of years ago.

Dina said...

Eki,
I will post more soon about the Russian convent. Men and women visitors can ring the buzzer during visiting hours and speak in the intercom. The nun will press the button to unlock the gate and you just walk in. They don't speak English or Hebrew, only Russian. But if they catch me taking pictures they know how to get the message across: "No pictures!"
You can also go into the church and stay for their community prayer service. The chanting and incense are nice.
I always seem to be the only visitor.