Saturday, August 28, 2010

The sabra passes hands

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I love this photo.
The Muslim opens a sabra for a nun while the Jew takes their picture.


During sabra season, this Arab woman sits on the ground at Denmark Square in Jerusalem
and sells the sabras she has brought from home.
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At prayer time she spreads a little rug among the bushes and prays.
She is the only Muslim woman I have ever seen praying in public.
I like her. Someday I will find a way to open a conversation.
So far it has only been, "Please, may I take a picture of you and the sister and the sabra, no faces?"
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In yesterday's post, readers and I talked about sabras and Sabras.
But you know, tsabar is originally an Arabic word; it was adopted by modern Hebrew.
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Sabra cactus can grow to five meters tall and is also very wide.
Arab farmers used to plant them in rows as living fences against intruders.
Whenever I am out hiking and come across a straightish line of sabras "in the middle of nowhere," I can guess that there might have been a village there around the middle of the previous century.
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18 comments:

Ann said...

Are they what we call prickly pear and are a noxious weed here? They were called indian fig in Sicily which was the first, and only time, I had the fruit.

Kathy said...

I love your picture too! It would still be a great photo even if we didn't know what it represents, but knowing about the three faiths "working" together makes it so very special! Blessings to you all.
P.S. It is the same here on the Canadian prairies; we can come across a lovely straight stand of trees in the middle of nowhere and know that years and decades ago, somebody had lived and worked in that very spot; a sort of bittersweet feeling, no?

Randy said...

Very interesting photo.

spacedlaw said...

In the south of Italy (and sicilian islands) they also use the fico d'India as fences. Very effective.

Petrea said...

I love the photo, too, and what it stands for.

I think you've already got your conversation opener!

oldmanlincoln said...

Wow. That is nice to see. I saw an important video on fertility rates in different parks of the world and how that has changed and is changing the dynamics of the different cultures of the world.

Sara said...

This form of cactus grows wild in Southern California too. Sometimes they sell the prickly pears in the market. I've never tried one...but you've inspired me.

Dina said...

Ann, so Australia calls the sabra a noxious weed?? Well, I can see how they would spread and be a big problem to get rid of. It seems other countries are not emotionally attached to the sabra as we are.
Yes, I read that others call it Indian fig.

Kathy, thanks for your blessings.
Yes, I almost put "bittersweet" in the title of the post. Who is your "somebody"--Indians, homesteaders?

Randy, shalom. Thank you.

Spacedlaw, really, in Italy too?
I imagine the natural fence is even more effective than barbed wire fences.

Petrea, knew you'd like it. :)
OK, I'll try and report back to you.

Abe Lincoln, hello. That would be interesting to see, that video.
I will soon be part of a minority in my own country due to the prevailing demographics.

Sara, yes, you must try. Eat, eat. Maybe you will become "half a Sabra"!

Pietro said...

I also like that photo, it's really significant.

VP said...

A lovely image, to be remembered...

Francisca said...

If Ann and others are right and it's the same as prickly pear, then if recall serves a little, it's the same fruit. Dina, this is a wonderful photo and wonderful statement of tolerance.

Kathy said...

Dina, the tree planters here would have definitely been homesteaders, brave souls all.

Reader Wil said...

I wonder how it tastes. I have never seen this. I don't think we had them in Indonesia. The symbolic meaning of the photo is very important. Well seen Dina.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

How does she do it? All black in the heat of summer. Interesting that she prays in full view. I've never seen a woman do this although I come across men doing so

Dina said...

Pietro, VP, Francisca, thank you for thinking so.

Kathy, OK, I see. Thanks.

Wil, you have to eat at least one sabra in your life. A good reason to come visit.

PA, yeah, I don't see how anyone can wear long sleeves in this heat, but all the observant of all the faiths do.
Well, this lady does seek the most privacy possible, which is inside a few bushes at the side of Denmark Square. I never see Muslim women praying in public like the men do.

Dina said...

PA, someone told me (when we were talking about the Bedouin women in black) that because black is not so see-through, the fabric can be light and not so hot.

Kay said...

How great that prickly sabras brings people together.

Kay said...

A Bedoin told us the same thing about wearing black when we were in Jordan. It was a guy who said that so I wasn't convinced.