Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What's your lucky number?

" 'Round and 'round she goes; where she stops, nobody knows."

This roulette wheel in Tiberias is on display at the Dona Gracia hotel and museum.
And the August 1st City Daily Photo theme is numbers.
Voila, a winning combination!

Notice the cunning sliding top which could be quickly turned over and closed to hide the illegal gambling table in a former century (should the authorities drop in).

On the face of it, the antique table was an innocent chess board and card table.

I think the local guide might have said that it was crafted in Italy. Venice maybe?
See how other City Daily Photo bloggers have illustrated numbers here, at the gathering point.
I hope someone finds a way to use the biblical Book of Numbers in the Theme Day.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Holy work (on a ladder)

Holy work!
Today for the first time I saw how they fill the oil lamps on the edicule, above the entrance to the tomb of Jesus.

You see the monk's assistant holding up a little "tool kit," containing tweezers for the wicks (I would assume).

After his work on the tall ladder in the dimness inside the Holy Sepulchre, the Greek priest stepped out into the bright sunlight of the church's parvis and happily posed with many members of a tourist group.
(A contribution to Our World Tuesday and Taphophile Tragics.)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

"Eikhah, how can it be?! "


1 How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! How is she become as a widow! She that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!

2 She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks; she hath none to comfort her among all her lovers; all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies.

3 Judah is gone into exile because of affliction, and because of great servitude; she dwelleth among the nations, she findeth no rest; all her pursuers overtook her within the straits.

4 The ways of Zion do mourn, because none come to the solemn assembly; all her gates are desolate, her priests sigh; her virgins are afflicted, and she herself is in bitterness. . . .

Thus begins the biblical Book of Lamentations, read every year on Tisha B'Av, the 9th of Av, our day of fasting and national mourning for the destruction of the First and Second Temples and other calamities that befell the Jewish People on this day.
Learn more about Lamentations at Wikipedia, more about Tisha B'Av at Chabad.org or at MyJewishLearning.
See how the day is observed at the Western Wall and in other ways at my other posts.

Noisy bird on a dead tree

Oof, this bird made such a racket when I walked through its territory!
You know, crow-type noises.

Finally I turned around to shoot, but he was one step ahead of me--tail was fanned out and wings stretched to the side, ready for take-off.
(Adding this bird to the many animals at Camera Critters.)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Reflection in a rolling stone

This photographer is really "on the ball."
For Weekend Reflections, that is.
"Rolling Stone" turns and turns, with water cascading over it, to the delight of grandchildren.
At the Bloomfield Science Museum, Jerusalem.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A red double-decker

Na, this is just Jerusalem, on Mount Herzl.

Tis the season for tourists to sit upstairs in the circular tour bus, under a blue (and very hot) sky.
For SkyWatch Friday.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A serious no-no

It was dark outside, nearing closing time; the cavernous Church of the Holy Sepulchre was almost empty.
Suddenly this boy took off his T-shirt and rubbed it on the Stone of Unction, holy to Christians as the place where Jesus' body was prepared for burial.

I'm not sure if it was an act of great devotion or just a request for the other young man, his companion, to snap a photo as a souvenir.

Just when the boy stood up and turned around to walk out--a tall, strong, and very angry priest of the Holy Sepulchre came in the door and said "WHAT are you DOING?!!"

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Babies' bedtime

Just because it's B-day at ABC Wednesday I thought I'd bring you these babies and their blankets at bedtime.

Wang Fu's "Beneath the Stars" (1999)
at the Israel Museum's exhibition "Good Night"

The exhibition aims to probe "the rite of passage marking the transition from the exertion of the day to the repose of the night and the sweetness of slumber."

You can click through here and see all the contemporary art on the subject at the museum's Youth Wing.

One local blog talks about the sinister aspects she saw in the collection.
On the other extreme, Haaretz calls it the stuff of dreams in its article which includes topics like kibbutz mythology and the twilight zone.

Back to our B theme: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Anthropoid coffins from Deir el-Balah

The 13th century BC anthropoid coffins again, this time close up!

Last month I blogged about the ones standing in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

These two here are at the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv.

Please click on the photo below to get a reminder of their history.

A post for Taphophile Tragics and Our World Tuesday.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Stabilized fruits

A novel way to pick at fruit!

Enlarge the photo and see the colorful variety of fruits nailed to the palm tree stump.

This bird at Jerusalem's Biblical Zoo is a lucky Camera-Critter, having such a delicious diet.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ramadan mubarak

The domes and minarets and the long flat building are the Al-Aqsa mosque up on (what we call) the Temple Mount.
More than 100,000 Muslims prayed there yesterday, the first Friday (and first day) of Ramadan.
I wish my Muslim readers Ramadan kareem. (I think kareem means generous, yes?)
The Atlantic has a new article about religion in space which contains a delightful video of a Muslim trying to pray in the microgravity of the Space Station.

They write
Muslim astronaut Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor had to figure out how, exactly, one faces Mecca during prayers when you are moving at about 17,000 miles per hour and its location relative to you is changing minute to minute, sometimes as much as 180 degrees in the course of one prayer. It was decided that Shukor, who was on the International Space Station during Ramadan, could do no more than the best of his abilities, in trying to face Mecca, kneel, and perform ritual washing.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Face to face

This neat thing at the Science Museum makes kids ask, "So do I look like my Mom?"

My daughter Naomi got her son Eyal to sit opposite her and the mirror board merged their faces.

When my turn came to confront the cut-out mirror, all three kids had already run off to the next hands-on exhibit.
So I got to take a quiet picture for Weekend Reflections.
Hope you like it.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The stuff of dreams

I just wanted a picture of the old and pretty cradles in the Good Night exhibition at the Israel Museum.
But, as if in a dream, a woman walked into my photo and behold, she was with child!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Old-fashioned fun

Hot hot hot. Our heat wave in Israel is lasting weeks this time.
So what's a grandma to do when three grandkids come visiting to my one-room house with no air conditioning?

Water play, outside! Dean turned on the hose.

Eyal filled up a plastic water bottle shpritzer and shpritzed us all.

Libby watered the grapevine and then took care of her big brother.

Luckily their mom, my smart daughter, had brought a change of clothes for each.

It doesn't take much to have fun and be happy together!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ancient two-armed anchor

To open Round 11 of ABC Wednesday here is an ancient two-armed anchor.
It is around 2,100 years old but enlarge the photo and you will still see jujube wood, palm fiber, lead, iron, and bronze.
The anchor was found on the shore of the Dead Sea, north of Ein Gedi.

The Israel Museum says this about it:
In ancient times the Dead Sea was an active sea route, used for the transportation of passengers as well as the agricultural products and natural resources for which the area was famous.
This rare anchor, found on the Dead Sea shore, was made with the best of Hellenistic-Roman technology.
Its size and style suggest that is belonged to a luxurious ship, one that may have been part of the royal fleets of King Alexander Jannaeus or Herod the Great, each of whom built palaces and fortresses near this shore.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Oi what a schnoz!

Here is a "cute" ossuary I saw at the Eretz Israel Museum near Tel Aviv.
It was discovered in Peki'in, in northern Israel.
The bone box is from the Late Chalcolithic period, i.e. about 4000 BCE.

The museum calls it a "double-faced ossuary, modeled and painted."

They write
The human figure is distinct for its head sculptured in the round with a marked mouth.
The exaggerated nose, typical of the selective facial features of the period, possible symbolized the breath of life.
In the ossuaries it may have been an expression for the dead person's revival in the afterlife.
A post for Taphophile Tragics and Our World Tuesday.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mammals of Israel, stuffed

While the grandkids were visiting, I finally had an incentive to go check out the old Nature Museum in Jerusalem's German Colony.
Here are some of Israel's most common mammals, all of which I have seen in the wild.

Once I met a big porcupine in the woods in the dark of night.
Luckily it was in a hurry to dig down into its burrow.
I could hear its quills rattling as it ran.

My old friend, the jackal.
So many of them here in the hills and even in my backyard.

One evening I saw from afar a hyena down at the spring.

And there are still wild boars, too!
All for Camera Critters meme.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Le quatorze juillet -- Bastille Day


Wanting to wish all my blog-friends in France a happy FĂȘte Nationale.

But over the years I have already published all the French flags and things I could find in Jerusalem.
So instead, let's show today's Google logo!
HT/hat tip to Doodle Tracker, Latest Google Logos.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Jet lag in a highchair

It may seem gruesome to some, but my grandkids were interested in looking at the baby skeleton.
In this photo for Weekend Reflections you can see Eyal and Libby at the bottom.

Just a few days ago daughter Naomi and I took the kids to Jerusalem's old (and old-style) Nature Museum.

Fresh photo from Naomi and Guy's blog

But today the family is already enroute to Australia, luckily with a 24-hour stopover in Seoul.

Remember how you saw little Libby napping on the deck floor of the Science Museum?
Well, here she is right now, giving in to jet lag, somewhere in Korea.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Trains and planes

The 06:43 train leaving Jerusalem, heading into the narrow valley between the mountains.
One hour and 45 minutes later it will be in Tel Aviv.
A clear blue morning sky for SkyWatch Friday.
I took the train to Tel Aviv many times in the last few weeks to meet my daughter and her family.
An hour ago Naomi and Guy, Dean, Eyal, and Libby took off into the night sky, heading back home to Australia.
Fly well, dear kids, and shalom until next time.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Three together in life and in death

An unusual grouping of tombstones from World War I.
The reason for it: the three men died together when their vehicle was blown up.
Please enlarge (click once and then again on the photo that opens) and see and say the names of the British soldiers who died fighting a war far from home.
To see more of the [British] Jerusalem War Cemetery (of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission) please click on my ANZAC Day label.
A post for Taphophile Tragics.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Z at Jaffa Gate -- a quiz

This first picture is a test of your Israel knowledge.
No guessing. Either you know what it is or you don't.
Hint: It's inside the Jaffa Gate.
Hint 2: It starts with Z (for ABC Wednesday).

OK, here are the boys mixing a little za'atar and a little salt and twisting shut the pieces of paper (sometimes newspaper) into a tiny bundle.
You get one when you buy a sesame-covered oval "bageleh" from the Arab seller's cart.
He is always at the Jaffa Gate.

Even my toddler granddaughter knows how to dip her bageleh in za'atar before each bite.
To see a mountain of za'atar, topped by a tiny Dome of the Rock, click here.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Life in the gutter

"Life in the gutter," in this case, is a good life--cool stones, shade, safety from predators.
How does she get up there?!

After posing for a few photos this morning, Shachar jumped.

My camera caught only her tail, going straight down!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Reflections in a gelato case

After visiting the Nature Museum and before going to slide down the three tongues of the Monster,
Naomi, Dean, Eyal, Libby, and I had to make choices of ice cream flavors in Jerusalem's old German Colony.

I took these pictures with Weekend Reflections in mind; I even gave up having a cone so that I could hold the camera. Such sacrifices, all for the blog . . .

Here the boys and the ice cream are real and everything else is a reflection.

Friday, July 6, 2012

With Dean at the Western Wall

Sorry I've had no time to blog all week.
But I have a good excuse!
My daughter, her husband, and their three young kids are back home in Israel for a few weeks, taking a break from Australia winter.

Dean, my oldest grandchild, got to have a sleepover at my little house for two nights.
We had fun doing things in Jerusalem, just the two of us.

But the most moving thing was standing at the Western Wall with Dean.
After he wrote a kvittel, a little note to God, he stuck it in the wall.
With my one hand touching the stones of the Kotel, I put my other arm around the boy's shoulders in a big hug and a wave of emotion swept over me.

Dean also helped me find a place for my note in the already-stuffed crevices.
I wonder how different--or how alike-- our petitions were. . . .
Another post about the kvittel is here.
And look here to see how you can e-mail your own prayer to the Western Wall.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Listen to your body

My granddaughter, Libby, she has the right attitude to life.
When it is hot and you are tired, just plop down wherever you are, on the floor even, and rest.

My daughter and all her family are visiting from Australia.

We had fun at the Science Museum and stepped out to picnic in their little outdoor place, where Libby found this wooden deck good enough to snooze on.

I found its semi-shade good for Shadow Shot Sunday 2.