Monday, January 30, 2012
"Al tichapess, SMS!" - Don't go searching, just SMS!
It even rhymes.
That's what the new sign at Tel Aviv's historic Trumpeldor Cemetery invites you to do.
For only one shekel you can text them the deceased's full name and name of the father, and you will receive the plot number of the grave.
The gate is open every day except Saturday, according to the hours posted.
This little post is for Monday Doorways, Signs, signs, and the new Taphophile Tragics.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
For Sunday's PsalmChallenge, here is Psalm 46.
46:1 For the Leader; a Psalm of the sons of Korah; upon Alamoth. A Song.
46:2 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
46:3 Therefore will we not fear, though the earth do change, and though the mountains be moved into the heart of the seas;
46:4 Though the waters thereof roar and foam, though the mountains shake at the swelling thereof. Selah
46:5 There is a river, the streams whereof make glad the city of God, the holiest dwelling-place of the Most High.
46:6 God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, at the approach of morning.
46:7 Nations were in tumult, kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted.
46:8 the Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our high tower. Selah
46:9 Come, behold the works of the Lord, who hath made desolations in the earth.
46:10 He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; He burneth the chariots in the fire.
46:11 'Let be [or: Desist, or: Cease striving], and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.'
46:12 the Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our high tower. Selah.
Jewish Publication Society translation, 1917.
"Jerusalem" by Reuven Rubin, at Hechal Shlomo museum.
Friday, January 27, 2012
Apparently visitors to the Western Wall are not the only ones who write letters to God and stick them between the stones.
This nun in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is collecting some notes left by Christian pilgrims with her brush and dustpan.
Reaching the ones under the glass floor might be more complicated.
Every year the various Churches have a week of prayer for Christian unity.
In the Northern Hemisphere this is in January.
In the Holy Land Christians wait until after Armenian Christmas, so this year the week of prayer is January 21-29.
Every day, the common liturgy is hosted by one of the cathedrals of the different communities.
Jerusalem's Week of Prayer started, of course, at Anastasis (Church of the Holy Sepulchre), in the Calvary chapel, with the Greek Orthodox Office of “Apodeipnon”(Compline).
The following days were at the Anglican Cathedral of St. George, the Armenian Cathedral of St. James, the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, the Latin Patriarchate’s Church, then the Upper Room (Cenacle).
Tonight all are invited to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and tomorrow to St. Anthony’s Church, Coptic Orthodox.
The week ends on Sunday at the Greek Catholic Church of Annunciation.
But getting back to our nun in the photo . . .
She tends the Chapel of Adam which lies directly under the chapels at the summit of Calvary, where the cross was raised.
The New Testament says that when Jesus gave up the ghost, "The earth shook and the rocks split."
The rock you see behind a glass in the wall, reflected* in the glass altar top, is indeed a cracked slab.
Christian tradition maintains that Adam was buried at the base of the Rock of Golgotha.
When the rock split, a drop of blood from Jesus' wounds seeped through and touched Adam's skull, thus bringing redemption to the first sinner.
And I thought it apropos for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity what Yad Ben-Zvi's guidebook notes:
"The Chapel, which is situated on the traditional burial place of Adam, exactly under the location of the crucifixion, was much sought after as a burial site by the Catholic Crusader kings. The Greek Orthodox, however, who were hostile to the Catholics, destroyed these tombs at the first opportunity, during the course of the renovations carried out after the great fire in 1808.".
(*The rock's reflection is for Weekend Reflections and the slight shadow of the nun's head on the wall is for Shadow Shot Sunday 2.)
Thursday, January 26, 2012
I saw this plaque tucked away in a little garden at the Hebrew University on Mt. Scopus.
Friday, January 27, many in the world mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day (although Israel's Yom HaShoah is in April).
This year, 2012, many countries and especially Hungary are having events to commemorate the 100th birthday of Raoul Wallenberg.
The young Swedish diplomat was posted in Budapest in July 1944, four months after the Nazis marched into Hungary
In the space of a few months he managed to save 20,000 Jews from deportation and from the Hungarian nationalist socialist Arrow Cross by issuing Swedish diplomatic papers and establishing “safe houses” throughout the city.
Raoul Wallenberg was taken into custody by the Soviets on January 17, 1945 and was never heard from again. He was 32.
His disappearance remains a mystery.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY to my daughter and her family in Sydney and to all the Australian blogger friends!
I love the red unmanned lightship, a floating lighthouse, built in 1917.
Behind it is the Australian National Maritime Museum.
Near the museum is the Welcome Wall, with names of many of the immigrants who came to these shores.
Please enlarge the photos and read the moving words.
I too was an immigrant and I savor the memory of stepping down from the ship and setting foot on Israeli soil for the first time, that bright morning of March 18, 1968.
America, Israel, Australia--all lands that welcomed newcomers. All built on diversity.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Bread--before and after.
A bunch of B words for ABC Wednesday.
Bread being baked by a Bedouin.
Back in 2008 a dozen Jewish Israelis took part in a 5-day immersion course in spoken Arabic.
Part of each day we studied in class.
Each of us was hosted by a different family.
It was a blessed being together.
Click here to see more pictures of my time in the village of Darajat, down south in the Negev desert.
Monday, January 23, 2012
You don't really expect to see much new when you visit a small cemetery begun at the end of the 19th century; so when I stopped in to the Alliance Church International Cemetery in Jerusalem's German Colony in November, I could hardly believe my eyes.
A grand mural painting was underway!
Most days the tall gate is locked on this place of final repose of Christians, Messianic Jews, internationals, and people refused burial elsewhere.
I took advantage of an open moment when a woman came out; the gardener allowed me in and when I asked him about the mural, he said that was the artist who just left.
Back home, I found their website which explains it thus:
[In 2009 a Wisconsin woman, Patricia Solveson,] announced to us how the Lord laid it on her heart to donate her talents to the cemetery. As the Lord would provide, she would put together an assisting work team and periodically visit Jerusalem to paint a biblical mural on our "unfinished" cement walls. The mural would begin with Genesis and continue through Revelation and tell the prophetic story of "God's Sacrificial, Salvation Lamb".
This webpage, with photos, interprets each Bible scene of the mural in a messianic way.
They call it "The Jerusalem 'Wall of Life' ministry project."
Tall enough to need a scaffold.
Here you see how part of the 300-foot wall is being prepped for painting.
"Over the years, neighboring construction projects have caused some of our historic stone walls to be destroyed and replaced with unsightly, unfinished cement walls," the website explains.
It seems like artist Pat couldn't wait, got ahead of herself and skipped over to the end of the Christian scriptures to what looks like her favorite scene, Revelation 1:13:
"and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest."
This portrait is not yet finished.
In future posts I'll tell more about the interesting history of this place and of those buried here.
I want to contribute this post to some new memes--Monday Mural and Taphophile Tragics (for those who like to wander through graveyards), and also to our old favorite Our World Tuesday.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
For our PsalmChallenge at Daily Athens Photo, here is Psalm 45
1 For the Leader; upon Shoshannim; [a Psalm] of the sons of Korah. Maschil. A Song of loves.
2 My heart overfloweth with a goodly matter; I say: 'My work is concerning a king';
my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
3 Thou art fairer than the children of men; grace is poured upon thy lips;
therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.
4 Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O mighty one, thy glory and thy majesty.
5 And in thy majesty prosper, ride on, in behalf of truth and meekness and righteousness;
and let thy right hand teach thee tremendous things.
6 Thine arrows are sharp--the peoples fall under thee--[they sink] into the heart of the king's enemies.
7 Thy throne given of God is for ever and ever; a sceptre of equity is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
8 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated wickedness;
9 Myrrh, and aloes, and cassia are all thy garments; out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made thee glad.
10 Kings' daughters are among thy favourites; at thy right hand doth stand the queen in gold of Ophir.
11 'Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house;
12 So shall the king desire thy beauty; for he is thy lord; and do homage unto him.
13 And, O daughter of Tyre, the richest of the people shall entreat thy favour with a gift.'
14 All glorious is the king's daughter within the palace; her raiment is of chequer work inwrought with gold.
15 She shall be led unto the king on richly woven stuff; the virgins her companions in her train being brought unto thee.
16 They shall be led with gladness and rejoicing; they shall enter into the king's palace.
17 Instead of thy fathers shall be thy sons, whom thou shalt make princes in all the land.
18 I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations; therefore shall the peoples praise thee for ever and ever.
Translation from the Jewish Publication Society 1917 edition.
To hear the Psalm read in Hebrew: http://media.snunit.k12.il/kodeshm/mp3/t2645.mp3
Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Ascension, Augusta Victoria, Mt. Scopus
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Oi! Would you trust your co-worker enough to steady your ladder here?
The ladder rests on the slippery slope of Greek Catholic Patriarchate Street, which is just inside Jaffa Gate, in Jerusalem's Old City.
Hmm . . . this could be for Monday Doorways.
And if you enlarge the photo and look in the mirror on the Franciscan Book Shop door, you also see a reflection of the photographer, for Weekend Reflections.
Friday, January 20, 2012
Get your hot sachlab, only eight shekels!
Or-- just feast your eyes on the beautiful old-style hot-pot container for free.
Also in shuk Machane Yehuda market was this sleek modern container of sachlab.
But here they added the English sign "Hot salep."
Salep is the original Turkish name of the hot sweet porridge or beverage that has been loved in the lands of the Ottoman Turkish Empire for centuries.
In what is now Israel, it became known by its Arabic name, sachlab.
The salep flour is made by grinding the dried tubers of a certain type of orchid; and indeed, sachlab or sachlav means orchid in both Arabic and Hebrew.
For four servings you'll need
|4 cups milk|
|4 teaspoons sugar|
|1 teaspoon salep powder|
|1 tablespoon rosewater|
|1 teaspoon cinnamon|
Now click over to the beautiful Turquoise Diaries and see how inviting hot salep looks in the cups of my favorite Turkish blogger.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Winter clouds for SkyWatch Friday.
The Consulate General of Spain is in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in east Jerusalem.
It looks less ominous from the other side, in full sunlight.
Spain and the State of Israel have had diplomatic relations only since 1986.
The Spanish embassy is in Tel Aviv, like all the embassies, because of the problem nations have in recognizing Jerusalem as our capital.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Our Prime Minister Netanyahu is paying a state visit to The Netherlands today and tomorrow.
Jerusalem has a Holland Square.
According to photographs in a Harvard archive it was built in the mid 1970s.
A lot--almost everything--has changed since then, and the big tree is probably the only original survivor of how Holland Square used to be.
Many lanes have been added to the once-narrow Herzl Boulevard.
Parallel to the street, the light rail was just last year completed.
The Calder stabile, installed in the old Holland Square in 1977, had to be dismantled and moved while underground parking for the tram was being built.
Now it is back in place, again with a panoramic view of the Jerusalem Hills, but now sharing the top of Mt. Herzl with the final station of the tram.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
ABC Wednesday is in its fifth year, an amazing accomplishment for A-Day.
Adding to the group effort, I hereby add ARMY MEN and their ARMS.
Thinking to eat my granola bar in the normally empty little garden adjacent to the Tower of David, I entered and was amazed to see some soldiers there!
And their arms were in piles. Automatic rifles everywhere.
Their backpacks were assembled just outside the Old City wall, next to the Jaffa Gate, with one soldier guarding them.
In guided tours, IDF soldiers are taught about Jerusalem, Israel, and all the heritage as part of their training.
But the young men and women certainly don't want to schlepp their pekelach all over the Old City.
And the churches and museums do not allow weapons inside.
But I have never seen such an "arsenal" as was assembled there in the garden a few weeks ago!
Monday, January 16, 2012
Every winter, with the first rain, my little old house in the hills gets Internet connectivity problems and my phone often dies for days or weeks.
Whether this may have played a hand in Google's lock-down on my blog for a week I don't know.
But I know I was over-joyed to find this telephone infrastructure man out on the street a few days ago!
Bless his heart, Yossi was patient with all my questions and picture-taking.
He worked for hours out in the cold.
The Bezeq man replaced the old cables on the two wooden poles nearest my house.
Yossi showed me how the cables were full of holes.
Can you believe?! He said woodpeckers made the holes, thinking the cables were the commonly used black drip irrigation tubes!
The birds were hoping to get a drink of water!
Well, it made good fodder for the blog, this story, but I am still waiting for my telephone to work properly.
Thank you Yossi, you tried, and I appreciate your dedication.
Now it's time to wait for another Bezeq technician, but from a different department.
(This is not a grand tour but it has been very much "my world" these past weeks, so I will add it to Our World Tuesday meme.)
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Returning to our little group (you are invited to join us) at Robert Geiss' Psalm Challenge meme, I add some illustrations for Psalm 44.
1We have heard with our ears, O God, our ancestors have told us, what deeds you performed in their days, in the days of old:
2you with your own hand drove out the nations, but them you planted; you afflicted the peoples, but them you set free;
3for not by their own sword did they win the land, nor did their own arm give them victory; but your right hand, and your arm, and the light of your countenance, for you delighted in them.
4You are my King and my God; you command victories for Jacob.
5Through you we push down our foes; through your name we tread down our assailants.
6For not in my bow do I trust, nor can my sword save me.
7But you have saved us from our foes, and have put to confusion those who hate us.
8In God we have boasted continually, and we will give thanks to your name forever. Selah
9Yet you have rejected us and abased us, and have not gone out with our armies.
10You made us turn back from the foe, and our enemies have gotten spoil.
11You have made us like sheep for slaughter, and have scattered us among the nations.
12You have sold your people for a trifle, demanding no high price for them.
13You have made us the taunt of our neighbors, the derision and scorn of those around us.
14You have made us a byword among the nations, a laughingstock among the peoples.
15All day long my disgrace is before me, and shame has covered my face
16at the words of the taunters and revilers, at the sight of the enemy and the avenger.
17All this has come upon us, yet we have not forgotten you, or been false to your covenant.
18Our heart has not turned back, nor have our steps departed from your way,
19yet you have broken us in the haunt of jackals, and covered us with deep darkness.
20If we had forgotten the name of our God, or spread out our hands to a strange god,
21would not God discover this? For he knows the secrets of the heart.
22Because of you we are being killed all day long, and accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
23Rouse yourself! Why do you sleep, O Lord? Awake, do not cast us off forever!
24Why do you hide your face? Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?
25For we sink down to the dust; our bodies cling to the ground.
26Rise up, come to our help. Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love..
Translation is NRSV. Hebrew original and an older translation are here. See also Rabbi Segal's study of this psalm.
A sculpture at the Israel Museum.
Sheep grazing in the Jura Mountains, Switzerland.
A dead jackal in my village.
"The [Aztec] god Nanauatzin" by Yifah Adir, Mamilla mall, Jerusalem.
Grandson Dean at the Children's Wing, Israel Museum.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Shalom again friends! The blog and I are back! We missed you!
I am in heaven again after a "week from hell."
No, not really; I didn't let my mood get that bad.
But it was disconcerting to see the screen (above) saying, "You are not the author of any blogs."
And elsewhere to see Blogger using ominous language like "This blog has been deleted."
And "Google has detected unusual activity on your account."
I imagined the worst -- hackers, connectivity issues, being locked out forever in blog exile. . .
I wrote to Google via their online support form and today, a week later, still no reply.
So I got down to work on it and with friends' patient help, regained my blog this afternoon!
Thanks, old friend Kay in Hawaii, who today published my e-mail to her about my blog problem.
Her "Musings" blog post is getting helpful comments.
Thanks to Israeli friend Robin of "Around the Island" blog for encouraging me and for accepting and forwarding my Verification Code from Google today. It was as easy as asking for this code to be sent in an SMS in order to get back in to my blog.
It is not easy, me not having a cell phone and having my home telephone out of order for weeks, plus having the Internet connection unreliable right now.
Thanks to blog-friends who got worried and e-mailed to ask.
Thanks to God who tested me and taught me lessons through this week's trial.
I never panicked but lived in hope; I did not slander Google/Blogger or Bezeq phone company or "curse them in my heart."
I kept the faith, knowing my labor of love of four years for the Holy City Jerusalem should not disappear.
I prayed for help.
God rewarded this attitude.
I am grateful for all of you!
Friday, January 6, 2012
Continuing the previous post, here is what I found when exploring the burned down and chopped down forest next to my village in the Jerusalem Hills.
A sweet little pine shining in the day's last rays of sunlight.
Hundreds of baby pine trees have sprouted around each parent stump!
Enlarge the photo to better see the cuties.
But surely the Keren Kayemet foresters will have to thin them out, no?
That will be a Sisyphean task.
I hope they start before the little ones get too big.
So many pine cones gave so many seeds.
Fire is actually nature's way of releasing the seeds and propagating many more pines.
As I hiked out of the wadi, the moon was rising over the bare hills and of course it got snapped for SkyWatch Friday.
Someday, after a few decades of new growth of trees and vegetation, this may be a historic photo.
Meanwhile, Catholics in Israel celebrated Epiphany today while the Armenians marked the feast day of St. James the Minor.
And tonight the Orthodox, Coptic, Syrian, and Ethiopian Christians celebrate Christmas Eve in Bethlehem, while we Jews welcome the Sabbath Eve.
Something for everyone!
Blessings to all.
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
I walked down to the valley this afternoon to see how winter is changing the charred landscape.
In July 2010 a fire burned the forest on the hills west of my village (shown here and here).
In June 2011 the Keren Kayemet foresters started sawing down the dead trees and putting in firebreaks.
Recently they must have gotten down to the more cosmetic touches, like sawing the two small trees that you see in the photo above.
The problem is, those trees had been growing out of the ancient terrace wall.
Their removal left a big hole.
I left the photo nice and big so you can click on it and enjoy the beautiful stones in detail.
With nothing to support them, that row of stones is not long for this world, I fear.
And once there is one breach in the wall, more will follow.
I love Isaiah's prophecy in Isaiah 58:12:
You will rebuild the ancient ruins, raise foundations from ages past, and be called "Repairer of the breach [or: of broken walls], Restorer of streets to live in."
Jerusalem is surrounded by hills and the only way to raise crops was to build agricultural terraces.
Farmers picked rocks from the ground and built the terrace walls; they may have had to bring in soil for each little plot.
They devised irrigation channels from the many springs in the Jerusalem Hills.
In the bottom of the valleys they built dams, as pictured above.
When rain water rushed down the valley from the hills, these dams stopped the soil from being washed away.
In Biblical days, farmers were able to feed their families from these terraces and also most of the great throngs of pilgrims who ascended to the Temple in Jerusalem on the pilgrimage festivals.
In recent centuries, up to 1948, Arab farmers grew many fruit trees and I'm not sure what else in the hills.
I admire all who did this hard work in a not easy land.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Y is for Yoni this ABC Wednesday.
Yonatan, also known as Jonathan, is a dear relative who became a bar mitsvah on December 24.
Here he is trying on his beautiful new tallit (prayer shawl).
Rabbi Konstantyn of the Tel Aviv International Synagogue Congregation Beth El made us promise not to take pictures during the bar mitsvah ceremony because it was to be on the Sabbath day.
So we, just a few family members, went to the empty synagogue on the Thursday before, when photography IS permitted, and I asked Yoni to pretend he was reading from the Torah scroll.
He did well (but couldn't hold back a smile).
He is pretending to hold the yad, the silver pointer used to keep one's place when chanting the Torah portion.
Mazal tov, Yoni!
Monday, January 2, 2012
A friend and I were wandering around the Abu Tor neighborhood yesterday, looking for the beginning of the Sherover Promenade.
But first we just HAD to check out a huge pit!
Well, the door was open and there was no guard there to chase us away.
The signboard announced the construction of the Sherover Culture Center.
I see now in Haaretz that the groundbreaking ceremony was only just last November.
The article says the center will
occupy an area of 13,000 square meters and include more than 10 movie theaters as well as galleries, a restaurant, cafe, stores, multipurpose auditoriums and an underground parking garage. The Sherover Foundation has promised that the stores will be of a cultural nature, selling books, music and design products, rather than "mall-like" retail establishments . . .And unlike most cultural and entertainment institutions in Jerusalem, the center will be open on Shabbat.
Neighbors appealed to the District Planning and Building Committee against it but lost.
The committee determined that the petitioners were motivated by NIMBY (an acronym for "not in my backyard" considerations).
I am sure the neighbors in the building visible in the top of the photo are not happy with the prospect.
They are the Silent Clarisses, a Catholic order founded by St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi.
The Poor Claire Monastery has been there for over a hundred years.
(I should be so poor! The huge monastic complex today sits on prime Jerusalem real estate.)
A post for Our World Tuesday and Monday Doorways.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
For the weekly PsalmChallenge that Robert Geiss in Athens challenges us with, here is my illustrated Psalm 41.
1 To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
Blessed is he who considers the poor! The LORD delivers him in the day of trouble; 2 the LORD protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land; thou dost not give him up to the will of his enemies.
3 The LORD sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness thou healest all his infirmities.
4 As for me, I said, "O LORD, be gracious to me; heal me, for I have sinned against thee!"
5 My enemies say of me in malice: "When will he die, and his name perish?"
6 And when one comes to see me, he utters empty words, while his heart gathers mischief; when he goes out, he tells it abroad. 7 All who hate me whisper together about me; they imagine the worst for me. 8 They say, "A deadly thing has fastened upon him; he will not rise again from where he lies."
9 Even my bosom friend in whom I trusted, who ate of my bread, has lifted his heel against me.
10 But do thou, O LORD, be gracious to me, and raise me up, that I may requite them! 11 By this I know that thou art pleased with me, in that my enemy has not triumphed over me. 12 But thou hast upheld me because of my integrity, and set me in thy presence for ever.
13 Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen. .
This week I used the Revised Standard Version translation.
The Hebrew original and a different English translation are here.
In Jewish usage the Book of Psalms is divided, after the analogy of the Pentateuch, into five books, each closing with a doxology or benediction.
In his study of Psalm 41 Rabbi Segal says this:
"The last verse is widely understood to conclude the first book of Psalms. Each of the first four books ends with such a doxology (statement of praise). . . .PHOTOS:
'Amen' (last verse) is a term of confirmation ('verily, truly').
Although it appears elsewhere in the Bible, in Psalms it is found exclusively in the doxologies that end the first four books (Psalms 41, 72, 89, and 106)."
1. An old synagogue door with an arrow pointing to the slot through which you can give anonymous charity (tsdaka).
2. An old photo (exhibited at the new Shaare Zedek) shows windows of the old Shaare Zedek hospital on Jaffa Road covered by wooden beams for protection against the constant shelling during the War of Independence, 1948.
3. A nameless grave in Tel Aviv's historic Trumpeldor cemetery. The marker says only "Po nikbar galmud" meaning something like "Here lies someone who had no one."
During Turkish times (i.e. before 1917) a plague killed so many that no one knew all the names of the dead.
4. Kneading dough for a monastery's daily bread.