Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Nativity, Ethiopian style

When I still lived near Jerusalem (sigh . . . ), I loved wandering alone in the Old City, getting lost, and seeing what I would discover off the beaten path.
Once I found a Churches Street, turned up al-Battikh Ascent, and then onto little Ethiopian Monastery Street.
Shyly I stepped into the empty courtyard of another world.
The building said "Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate."

A man saw me and invited me to see the monastery church and he graciously opened their 17th century book of gorgeous Bible illuminations  with text in Ge'ez.
Enlarge the photo twice to see Mary and child.
Later I realized this man must have been the head clergyman. 

Here is the beautiful old manuscript.

Up on the wall, a peeling but still touching scene of the Nativity.

Click to see "Ethiopia extends her hands to God."
To all you Christians  who can't be physically present in Jerusalem or Bethlehem tonight, I wish a silent and holy night followed by a merry Christmas.
Shalom from your Jewish Israeli friend Dina.


Catholicgauze said...

Dina, how lovely and thank you for this post. I still read your blog everyday. One day I pray I will make it to the Holy Land.

Bergson said...

merrry christmass for you and yours

Dina said...

Hi Catholicgauze, thank you for your visits; the blog is honored. Hope to welcome you in person someday.
Your Europe map of Santa Claus types today is fascinating.

Bergson, I and mine don't celebrate Christmas but I appreciate your good wishes. :)

VP said...

Thank you, Dina. I really like this post!

Adullamite said...

A lovely sight Dina.

Kay said...

Shalom to you, my dear friend. Sending you warm Hawaiian greetings from across the Pacific.

Hels said...

The manuscript and the murals are treasures.
You are privileged to been shown around.

Have a healthy, creative and oeaceful new year of blogging.

Petrea Burchard said...

I love the old book, the old door, the old walls. Old, old, old. Thank you, Dina.

crystal said...

Shalom and Merry Christmas, Dina :)

Mary Gerdt said...

Beautiful! Thanks for sharing these images. Have a Wonderful week.

Karl Demetz said...

Thank you Dina for showing this, have a good time!

cieldequimper said...

I'm adding my thanks to the other's.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this most interesting post on these very old special treasures. How fortunate that you were able to see them.
I enjoy your blog and learn so much from it.
Shalom to you.
Farm Gal in Va, USA

Sara said...

Shalom Dina, thank you for the special Christmas greetings from the Holy Land. All the best to you and yours in the New Year.

Sounds like you are missing Jerusalem a bit.

William Kendall said...

Beautiful, Dina. Thank you for sharing these.