Thursday, April 19, 2018

Fireworks for 70th Independence Day

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Like every year, when night came, the heavy day of remembering our fallen soldiers and our victims of terrorism gave way to the joy and exuberance of Independence Day celebrations. 
Last night I watched our town's fireworks display from my place.
Enjoy the little video and its sounds!
Happy 70 years of independence, my dear Israel!  
I am fortunate to have lived here for 50 of those eventful years. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Stamped on our memory

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Israel came to a standstill this morning during the 2-minute memorial siren at 11:00 commemorating our 23,646 fallen members of the security forces and 3,134 victims of terrorist attacks. 

Israel Post describes the new stamp issued for Israeli Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism Remembrance Day: 
This stamp features a poppy/red everlasting flower and a military dog tag engraved with the words "we shall always remember" [lenetsach nizkor] against the background of a tombstone with small rocks placed on it by loved ones who visited the grave.
The tab features the official IDF symbol and the symbol of the Ministry of Defense Families and Commemoration Dept.
May their memory be for a blessing and may God console the many bereaved families. 
This https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_casualties_of_war information is so interesting. But sadly, so long.
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For more about Yom HaZikaron please see my previous posts.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Bored police horses

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In Jerusalem I would from time to time see mounted police riding around, usually just outside the Old City (e.g. as in my posts here, here, and here).
Today was my first time to see a police horse in Beer Sheva.
He was just standing in the shade near the Central Bus Terminal.


On the vehicle towing the horse trailer is written Mounted Police Unit, Southern District.
Wait! -- Is that horse in the drawing wearing a gas mask??
THAT I've never seen, but I guess it would be needed in riot control.
Actually, maybe it's just my imagination working overtime, maybe he just has a black nose.


I walked in back and discovered a second horse.
Really wanted to ask the officer in charge if I could talk to, I mean pet, one of the nice horses.
Alas, he was in the middle of an animated conversation on his phone and didn't even notice me.
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(Linking to Camera-Critters.)
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Monday, April 9, 2018

Mosaics of the Magdala side chapels

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Greetings to the many Orthodox Christians who are celebrating Easter Monday today.
It might be the right day to give you the final installment of my description of the new Magdala Center on the Sea of Galilee.
(My previous posts are under Magdala.)


Thank you, people of Singapore, for donating this side chapel.
In the reflection is the main Boat Chapel.


I will quote the descriptions from the official website, since they explain it best.

(You can click on the photos to greatly enlarge them and enjoy the details of the wonderfully colored, sparkly tesserae.)

"Each of the four chapels are home to a mosaic that illustrates events from the public life of Jesus and each mosaic is an open window inviting us toward the infinite love of God in the Gospel. Each chapel has enough room for up to 30 people and an expressive mosaic depicting a biblical event near the Sea of Galilee. They are realistic representations in dialogue with the original sites and invite us to meditate the Gospel scene in its authentic context.
The first chapel facing the lake is the Walking on Water Chapel, representing the story in Matthew where Peter’s faith was tested by walking on water with Jesus. “‘Come,’ he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?'” Matthew 14: 29-31 NIV"

"The second chapel facing the lake is the Fishers of Men Chapel, representing another story in Matthew where “Jesus Calls His First Disciples”. As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’ At once they left their nets and followed him.”    Matthew 4: 18-20 NIV"


"The other is dedicated to the daughter of Jairus. This holds great significance because she was the only woman whom Jesus raised from the dead. In this we see the Magdala messages woven together.He took her by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha koum!’ (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.”     Mark 5: 41-42 NIV"
 

BTW, you might enjoy the story of Jerusalem's 1867 school called Talitha Kumi.

Our tour group was in such a rush that I somehow missed the fourth important chapel, so you will have to see the photo at the Magdala website.

"One of these chapels is of course the Mary Magdalene Chapel, where we remember the story in Luke of Jesus casting out demons.After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out.” Luke 8: 1-2 NIV"
Duc in Altum at Magdala Center is a Catholic spiritual center being built by the Church of Mexico.
They are doing a really good job.   Do stop in if you are in Israel.
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(Linking to inSPIREd SundayWeekend ReflectionsMonday Mural, signs, signs and Our World Tuesday.)
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Friday, April 6, 2018

A farewell to matza

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Today is the 7th and last day of the Passover week in Israel.
Last Friday our town's Chabad rabbi and rebbitzin arranged a big community seder with about 45 guests.
It was nice, and four hours long, and at the end the men danced in a circle with gusto!
But because it was the Sabbath, photography was not allowed.  Sorry!


We have been eating matzo for a week.
Only on Sunday, when the stores open again after Shabbat, will we be able to go buy BREAD.
And I bet the big boxes of matzot will be deeply discounted.  :)
Chag sameach and Shabbat shalom.
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If you're in the mood to see more about the seder and Pesach, please see my older posts under Passover.
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Monday, April 2, 2018

"Holy ceremony" underway

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Six Israeli Border Guard policemen were there at the entrance to the tiny room which contains the tomb of Jesus.  To keep order. 
Hundreds of eager pilgrims and tourists were in line, waiting for their one minute inside. 
Hundreds more were there on that Easter in 2012 when I took this picture, filling every space in the huge Church of the Holy Sepulchre. 


Just recently I was surprised and happy to find something new in the ancient church--this police barricade or small fence which now says 
"Holy ceremony"! 
On the sides are the insignia of the Jerusalem District Police. 

I must admit, it is a big improvement over the older ones in the first photo, which say in Hebrew "Mishtarah," which means Police. 
I think it shows more sensitivity.  Slowly slowly we are learning.  It has only been 50 years since Israel got responsibility for the security and safety inside this holiest of Christian holy places.  Be patient. 
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(Linking to inSPIRED Sunday,  Our World Tuesday, and signs, signs.)
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Sunday, April 1, 2018

Isaiah's prophecy in a blue mail box


ONE COLOR is our challenge for today's City Daily Photo bloggers' Theme Day. 
This blue "artwork" is signed in the lower corner by Israeli artist Dan Chamizer
He lives in Ein Hod, an artists' colony at the foot of Mount Carmel. 


The funny part is that right next to it are the actual post boxes for the residents of the village. 


The title on top explains why certain animals inhabit the boxes.
"Doar Acharit HaYamim" means Post at the End of Days, meaning, how it is supposed to be --allegorically -- in the future Messianic Era. 

The prophet Isaiah says in chapter 11, verse 6 that


The wolf will live with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion will graze together, and a little child will herd them. 
You can see this verse in the famous Isaiah scroll of the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls here:
http://dss.collections.imj.org.il/isaiah?id=11:6

Happy Easter and happy Pesach to you all! 
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