Reflections were everywhere at Ticho House, just waiting to become part of James' (Newtown Area Photo) meme, "Weekend Reflections."
A Ministry of Tourism website begins to describe Ticho House like this:.
" Long before anyone ever thought of rebranding Jerusalem, the archetype for its user-friendly, family-atmosphere cultural image existed in the home of an ophthalmologist and his [artist] cousin/wife from Austro-Hungary -- a building purchased from a 19th century Arab dignitary."
But in addition to being a gallery for the late Anna Ticho's artwork, the place has an exclusive cafe/restaurant called Little Jerusalem.
A friend visiting from Europe invited a few of us to celebrate her 80th birthday there.
See us reflected in the flower pot?
I had Saint Peter's fish from the Sea of Galilee.
But seriously, I want to tell you about the amazing lady in the white shirt who is over a decade older than the birthday girl.
When she told her story I got shivers up my spine. She was delivered from death by a miracle I had only just read about in history books.
Quoting from the synopsis of the film "Transport 222":
"In June 1944 a hundred and twenty Dutch Jews were released from Bergen-Belsen and transported by train across war-shattered Europe, arriving ten days later at Atlit, in Palestine. Years later these Jews learned that they had been part of a deal in which the Nazis traded Dutch Jews for German Templars detained in Palestine by the British as enemy aliens.
Transport 222 retraces the incredible journey of two groups of people: Germans returning to a collapsing Third Reich, and Jews making their way to what would eventually become the State of Israel."
(Templers were a sect of German Christians who came to Eretz Israel in the 1860s and established colonies, including the beautiful German Colony in Jerusalem.)
The "emaciated and bedraggled" Jews rode in the trains for ten days, all the way from Germany to Israel.
I remember standing on the railroad tracks decades ago at Rosh Hanikra, at the border with Lebanon, looking sadly at the bricked-up tunnel. Tracks leading to a brick wall. So symbolic of "the situation."
I had wondered what people had ridden the train when things were still open. . .
At the birthday party I found out.
That lady is one strong woman!