Wednesday, March 31, 2010
"Kosher for Passover" Nutella (all the way from Italy) spread on "kosher lePesach" matsot (made right here in Jerusalem) = the winning combination for the week of Passover, when bread is not permitted.
See the K inside the circle? That's the rabbis' stamp of approval.
A kosher K for ABC Wednesday.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
On my way to the Great Synagogue seder yesterday, I passed this.
Just beyond the wall is the official residence of the Prime Minister of Israel.
The protest tent has been there for a long time. I myself have been posting, here and here, about the movement for too long a time. There seems to be no end to Gilad Schalit's captivity.
As the sign says, our young kidnapped soldier has been held prisoner for 1,373 days and nights.
Activists fighting for the release Gilad held a mock seder on Sunday night (one night before the actual holiday of Passover). This is the fourth year that they have held the seder to protest what they call government inaction at securing Schalit's release from the Hamas militants who have kept him captive since their 2006 cross-border raid from the Gaza Strip.
The all-too-realistic cutout of Gilad wears a sign asking the traditional question from the Hagadah of Pesach: What makes this night different from all other nights? Literally the sign asks: What has changed? The answer is sad in his case; the sign says: Nothing.
The seder plate at a real seder has several symbolic foods. Gilad's table has only maror, the bitter herb.
Two other worrying changes:
Once the signs and stickers (which appear all over the country) said "Gilad is still alive." Now a question mark appears at the end.
And the face of Ron Arad has been added to the banners. The Israel Air Force navigator was captured in southern Lebanon in 1986, held prisoner for two years, and then disappeared. The new signs suggest that Schalit may also go missing unless a deal is quickly struck with Hamas.
Gilad Schalit's parents asked that everyone leave an empty chair and plate at their seder table.
That's how it is in a little country where everyone feels like family.
Monday, March 29, 2010
The Passover stained glass window at the synagogue of Hechal Shlomo in Jerusalem.
I am going there soon for a communal seder. Must catch the 2:40 bus. After that public transportation stops until after Pesach. Bye!
Sunday, March 28, 2010
For me it is the day before Pesach, a day for cleaning the cupboards of the last vestiges of bread, cookies, pasta, etc.--anything that may have touched leavening. Tomorrow we start a week of eating matsa, the hard "bread of affliction," instead of soft bread.
But for Christians, today is Palm Sunday and I wish you all a joyous holy day.
If I were a braver blogger, I would have gone to the Holy Sepulchre to get you fresh photos of the festivities.
I should explain that this ancient church is not your modern orderly type of church. It has no pews or chairs. You do not have your own space.
Instead you have surging masses of pilgrims, the press of bodies, a lack of air.
Last time I was in the huge church for Palm Sunday, I was literally trapped in the crowd and could not force my way to the only door.
But my pictures from 2007 are basically no different from what is happening this very day and year.
So I invite you to see my previous slideshows, from the comfort of our own homes:
- Morning services for Palm Sunday in the Holy Sepulchre
- Afternoon pilgrimage of the faithful from Mt. of Olives to the Old City
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Tomorrow being Palm Sunday, the animal of choice for Camera-Critter Sunday can only be the donkey.
My favorite donkey story happened a few years ago, so permit me to repost it.
A funny thing happened on the way to Bethphage . . .
My two nun friends were taking me to see, for my first time, the Palm Sunday procession.
The walk up the Mount of Olives to the pilgrims' starting point at Bethphage is very steep.
Near the Garden of Gethsemane the sisters and I stopped to rest and admire the wildflowers.
We were quite alone among the olive trees and the goats.
Silence and peace all around.
Then I caught sight of a sleeping donkey (!) and could not help but be reminded of the story in Mark 11:
"And when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, he [Jesus] sent two disciples, saying to them, 'Go into the village opposite you, and immediately as you enter it you will find an ass tied, on which no one has ever sat; untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, 'Why are you doing this?' say, 'The Lord has need of it,' and he will send it back here immediately.' "
In Jewish tradition this is the gate by which the messiah, mounted on a white donkey, will enter Jerusalem. To prevent this, the Turkish Sultan Suleiman blocked up the gate five centuries ago.
But sealed gate or not, our donkey must have heard his marching orders, perhaps from a much earlier time, and nothing was going to stop him.
Homer Simpson and family have just toured the Holy Land, having been invited by their Christian neighor Ned Flanders, who is always trying to redeem Homer.
The episode of their visit in Jerusalem will be televised tomorrow, Palm Sunday, all across America on Fox.
(We in Israel will have to wait for it to come here. )
"The Greatest Story Ever D'ohed" --great title, eh?
An average of 100 tourists per year fall under the sway of Jerusalem Syndrome. Some 40% even need hospitalization.
And sure enough, Homer starts believing he is the messiah.
If you see it on TV please tell me the funny things I missed, OK?
At least I get to read the article http://www.jta.org/news/article/2010/03/21/1011264/holy-homer-sacha-baron-cohen-guides-simpsons-through-jerusalem.
Executive producer Al Jean says that in the end, “Homer tries to unite the faiths through a message of peace and chicken because everybody eats chicken, no matter what religion they’re in.”
To which I add the advice of Frank Lloyd Wright:
"Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral.”
Friday, March 26, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
The sky is dreary and dull today, not great for SkyWatch Friday.
What is jutting INTO the sky is more interesting: a 135-year-old windmill!
Before the Jerusalem neighborhood of Rehavia was built in the 1920s, the area was owned by the Greek Orthodox Church and was called Jinzeriah.
The Church built this windmill around 1875 to grind the local grain crops.
It even had a petrol engine for when the wind died down. This made it superior, in theory, to the other windmill built by Montefiore in Mishkenot Sha'ananim not far away.
Later, following the Russian revolution, the Greek Orthodox Church was nearing bankruptcy and had to sell the fields to the Palestine Land Development Company.
This (along with the new steam mill technology) put the windmill out of business.
Then, as the Jerusalem Step by Step guidebooks says,
"[The windmill] remained inactive for years and the children of Rehavia used the opportunity to remove the cross from the top of the structure."
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Passover begins this Monday evening.
Most people are busy cleaning the house and/or preparing food for the seder meal.
The lucky ones are packing their bags for a bargain get-away to Turkey or Europe.
And then, there is the traditional shopping for new spring clothes; and if you are invited to a seder, shopping also for a gift for the hosts.
Welcome to the mall! Malcha Mall is also known as Jerusalem Mall.
Have a seat by the fountain.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
For World Water Day join a protest. Be there or be square.
For World Water Day people everywhere are being asked to take a stand and join a Guinness World Record attempt to make the world's longest toilet queue.
One month from now politicians from across the globe will gather in Washington, D.C. to discuss what they need to do to fulfil two of the most basic rights of the world’s citizens – access to a safe toilet and clean water.
The World’s Longest Toilet Queue is a mass mobilisation event and Guinness World Record attempt bringing together thousands of campaigners from across the world to demand real change at the meeting.
The lack of access to clean water and basic sanitation affects 2.5 billion people.
These are some results:
> 4,000 children under the age of five dying every day from preventable water-related illnesses such as diarrhea , typhoid, cholera, and dysentery.
> Over half of hospital beds in developing countries are taken by those suffering with diarrheal illnesses, heavily overburdening fragile health systems.
> The UN estimates that half of girls who stop attending primary school in Africa do so because of the lack of safe and private toilets.
More info at http://www.worldtoiletqueue.org/eng .
P.S. This is the first square toilet I've ever seen. They are in the public WC at Jerusalem's Mamilla Mall.
That's it for That's My World Tuesday.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
rifling: the spiral grooves cut into a tunnel, gun barrel, etc.
A photo from exactly one year ago of my grandson and half-hidden daughter playing at a Tel Aviv beach on the Mediterranean.
We have the same sun and warmth today, a real spring day.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Israel's scorpions and snakes have woken up again, right on time for the official beginning of spring.
I came home yesterday to find this young snake on my patio, next to my door step.
Where are the cats when you need them?!
Making do with what I had, I dropped a cement block and a balata on the snake.
I am sorry if this saddens some of the Camera-Critter friends. But I live in a rural setting, in a little house almost right on the ground. And there is just not enough room for me and a venomous snake.
P.S. Check out my post about the hunter cat with a live snake in her mouth. It's more fun than this post.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Walking along Agron Street in central Jerusalem means seeing literally tons of American vehicles parked on both sides of the street outside the Consulate of the United States.
(Jerusalem is our capital but most countries are not ready to acknowledge that, so they have their embassies in Tel Aviv and maybe a consulate in Jerusalem.)
This big black car was conspicuously clean and shiny so I immediately thought of James and his Weekend Reflections meme.
Result: a nice reflection of a gnarly tree and a distorted me.
The weekend newspapers on sale today outside a shop near Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda shuk.
Hebrew, English, French, and one paper (I'm quite sure) in Thai language.
Thousands of citizens from Thailand are employed in Israel, mostly as agricultural workers.
Sad to say, one Thai man died yesterday while working in a greenhouse in Moshav Netiv Ha'asara. The Kassam that killed him was one of five rockets fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel within the last 24 hours.
His name has not yet been released. I would like to be able to call him by name. Instead we keep hearing the generic "a Thai worker. . . ."
His body will be returned to his family who live "in the provinces" somewhere in Thailand.
His relatives are entitled to receive compensation benefits from Bituach Leumi (our Social Security administration) under Benefits for Victims of Hostilities Law, 1970.
The webpage about this is quite interesting.
In legal language,
"A hostilities-related injury is a direct result of hostilities perpetrated by enemy forces, or an injury caused as a result of, or in connection with, hostilities (an injury sustained under circumstances that are reasonably presumed to be the result of hostilities, or an injury from a weapon that was intended to be used for hostilities by enemy forces, or to prevent such an action), or an injury resulting from an act of violence whose purpose was to harm people because of their national, ethnic origin, provided that it arises from the Israeli-Arab conflict or was committed by a terrorist organization."
The Color Red siren sounded when the rocket was fired. I wish this young man had taken it seriously and had run for cover to the concrete shelters of the community.
The alert gives you 20 seconds of warning, that's all.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
For SkyWatch Friday here you have yesterday's pleasant sky over Jerusalem.
Looking westward across the Old City ramparts to the new city.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
This building is part of the Technology Park located in Jerusalem's Malcha neighborhood.
A while back I went there to snoop around for photos.
More interesting than anything I found inside the building was something I spied down below.
Look at all those television vans!
So that's where some of the foreign press have their offices!
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Believe me, this little play model of the Third Temple (with my reflection like cherub wings) displayed in the window of a gift shop in the Jewish Quarter is the closest thing to a real-life Temple that we will ever see in Jerusalem.
No one is going up to the Temple Mount to rebuild the Temple.
Monday, March 15, 2010
My world, for That's My World, very much revolves around the developments in Jerusalem of the past week.
This tall crane was taken down a few days ago, after four and a half years of work.
The first one, from the early 1700s, was burned down in 1721 by Arab creditors angry that the Jews were not quick enough in repaying the money they had borrowed to build it.
After all these years, the mezuzah was affixed to the doorpost and Torah scrolls were placed in the holy ark.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
The last two weeks have been hard on Jerusalem.
For eights days straight we have had an unseasonable heat wave and several days of bad dust storms (the sand blew over from North Africa).
Then there was the undiplomatic "mishap" when Vice President Biden was here.
And before that, the young Muslim shabab throwing rocks from the Temple Mount down onto Jews praying at the Western Wall.
Trouble is expected tomorrow. If you hear about it on your media, these two photos will help you in your orientation.
The night photo shows the Western Wall on the left.
Behind the wall is the Temple Mount on which is Al Aksa mosque. Its grey dome looks golden at night.
The ramp leads up to the Mughrabi Gate, one of the entrances into the Temple Mount.
Here is a better view of the ramp and Mughrabi Gate.
The golden dome is the Muslim shrine called the Dome of the Rock (on the Temple Mount).
If you enter the Old City wall through the Dung Gate, you pass through the security check at the lower right corner of the photo and enter the Western Wall Plaza.
On the horizon is the Mount of Olives.
I am worried what tomorrow will bring.
Please friends, pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Hey, more "reverse shadows" for Hey Harriet's "Shadow Shot Sunday."
Friday, March 12, 2010
Perhaps in anticipation of "Weekend Reflections" this old carving was displayed with a mirror behind it at the Jewish Art Museum in Jerusalem's Hechal Shlomo.
The traditional Jewish prayer and study lectern or podium is called by its better Yiddish name: shtender.
Like most Yiddish words, it does not translate well.
When you are praying and studying the holy books all day and half of the night, like the yeshiva "seminarians" do, you really need a shtender.
When you get tired of sitting, you stand; when you get tired of standing, you sit.
The shtender rocks with you. The shtender leans with you. Or, it stands firm when it has to.
It has room inside and on top to hold your many books.
There's even a footrest.
Soon, just before sunset, it will be time to light the candles and welcome the Sabbath.
The old wooden Jew from long ago joins me in wishing you Shabbat shalom, Sabbath peace.
Update: I went back to the museum this week and was surprised to see that the man at the shtender was a lot smaller than I had remembered him from my first visit. Funny how things "grow on you."
UPDATE Jan. 2015: Everything you ever wanted to know about shtenders at the You're Not Crazy blog.
Israel's sky is blue with no rain in sight. All week we have been having a heat wave.
It's back to sandals and T shirts, for now at least.
As shot from the bus window, this is Yad Sarah House in Jerusalem.
Click the photo to see the unique staircase.
Yad Sarah, the largest voluntary organization in Israel, provides a spectrum of free or nominal cost services designed to make life easier for sick, disabled and elderly people and their families.
There are over 100 branches all over Israel.
Yad Sarah is best known for its lending of crutches, wheelchairs, etc.
Together with our Foreign Ministry, Yad Sarah is donating three tons of medical equipment to Haiti.
Happy SkyWatch Friday!
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Today Jerusalem Hills Daily Photo is flying the French Tricolor in honor of Eric Tenin.
City Daily Photobloggers are celebrating the 5th anniversary of Eric's blog, "ParisDailyPhoto, the blog that started the City Daily Photo community."
Click here to view thumbnails for all participants in this special Blog Day. We are all trying to post a picture imitating the Tenin technique/perspective.
The writing of the iron fence announces territory of the République française.
The Consulate's website has photos of the interior and the more ornate side of the grand old building, built in 1930.
(Other posts of French interest are about Paris Square in Jerusalem and Ben-Gurion Square in Paris.)
Mazal-tov to Eric Tenin and many thanks for inspiring 1,178 of us to begin blogs about our hometowns. Together we are making foreign countries less foreign and more friendly.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
We CDP bloggers are getting ready for tomorrow's Blog day: The Tenin Technique.
It is a 5th anniversary tribute to Eric of Paris Daily Photo. Eric started the "city daily photo blog" idea, and it has grown to 1,178 members.
And what luck! Just in time! A Paris-Jerusalem connection!
Ynetnews writes that the French have decided to name a big central Paris square after David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister, and that the inauguration ceremony will be on March 13. [Hmm, on Shabbat?]
The Yediot Aharonot daily says, "The square, which has a large fountain at its center, is located on the banks of the Seine River opposite the Quai Branly Museum. A statue of Ben-Gurion is expected to be placed in the square.
Come back tomorrow for a look at France in Jerusalem.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
For ABC Wednesday's H day: How Israel is helping Haiti.
"The Israeli government has decided to continue its official assistance to Haiti as part of the global effort of reconstruction of the country. This will be coordinated through MASHAV - Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Israeli ambassador in Santo Domingo, Amos Radian, is in contact with the authorities in Haiti to find an appropriate site for building an Israeli Children's Village and to obtain the necessary approval. The project plans include an elementary school that will operate in two shifts, a playground/sports field, and a medical center. The site could also be utilized for conducting evening adult education classes. A planned community center will work with youngsters on post trauma treatment and counseling, psychological rehabilitation and afternoon activities.
In coordination with the mayor of Port au Prince, a local principal and teaching staff will be recruited for the school, which will be comprised of 6-8 classrooms (between 30-50 students per class). They will be joined by professionals from Israel and, possibly, volunteer teachers from Jewish communities around the world. Meals will be provided to the school through an arrangement with various NGOs."
Monday, March 8, 2010
Earlier today I posted something for International Women's Day.
But in addition, for That's My World Tuesday, I invite you to see my post of exactly one year ago which is a tribute to the welcoming and hard-working Arab women of Dirijat.
Please click here to go down to their village in the Negev desert.
For International Women's Day I post two posters that were part of an exhibition at Ben-Gurion Airport a few months ago.
Please click on both photos to read the messages about women.