Friday, November 30, 2012

My street


My street is narrow, cracked,  and boring and has no sidewalk.
Like all the streets in our small  moshav on the hill.
No one of the poor new immigrants who started the village  had a car back then in 1949. 

Today it is a tight squeeze when cars  meet the infrequent bus;  often one of them has to pull over or even back up.

Once in a great while horseback riders come clip-clopping down the street, who knows from where. 

The best thing about my street is the view from it.
Look out across the valley and see Jerusalem on the horizon!
Look in every direction and see the forested Jerusalem Hills.
To see how other City Daily Photo bloggers presented "My Street" for the December 1st theme day, visit the group's nice new portal.
UPDATE: I added some links if you want to see more in and around the village.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

No room in the inn


Photo of Pundak Ein Kerem from its own webpage

I'm getting the feeling that my humor in the previous post took a wrong turn.
I didn't mean to diss the restaurant that much.
Probably only a photo blogger's eye would even pay attention to the sign on the dusty car, because the Ein Kerem Inn is always full of people.

You can read a glowing review of the place here  and see a video on YouTube .
Next time I'm in the village of Ein Kerem I should go in and take a first-hand look.

Helen in Australia asked what an inn is in the Israeli context.
I think pundak, meaning inn, is nowadays just a cute name for an eatery.

In olden days it meant a caravanserai, a place on the trade routes where caravans could overnight in safety.    Also called khan.
I discovered that the pundak that we now use in Hebrew is like the  فندق funduq in Arabic (from the Greek, pandocheion, an inn).
Arabic has no p sound, so the Greek p here came into the Arabic as funduk, which went back into Hebrew as pundak.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

This way to the inn


Would this sign, on this car, entice you to go eat at the restaurant it advertises?
It is parked next-door to Pundak Ein Kerem  (Ein Kerem Inn),  in the village which was annexed to Jerusalem.
The sign claims that eating there has been "a Jerusalem experience" already 25 years.
Who knows, maybe the car has been there that long, too.
(A post for Lesley's fun meme, Signs Signs.)
UPDATE:  Please see additional and more favorable information about the restaurant  in my new post

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tractor as trellis


I always wondered what the top of the old mosque looked like, the one built over Mary's Spring in Ein Kerem.
So I trudged up the steep winding narrow lanes to a vantage point way above.

You can enlarge the photo and find the Church of the Visitation and Gornensky Convent beyond the mosque. 

But the true treasure I discovered parked next to an ancient terrace wall, at the side of the narrow lane!
"Tractor as trellis" would be perfect for today's ABC Wednesday.

I sat on a rock near the tractor, ate my peanut butter sandwich, and tried to imagine the life the tractor had many decades ago.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Healthy exercise at Hadassah/Hebrew U. (?)


So which would you chose--to sit on the benches or on the exercise machines?

They were installed a few years ago and I have never once seen anyone using them.

The free outdoor "gym" is right next to the National Medical Library at the Hadassah Ein Kerem medical center.
The Hebrew U. medical and dental students study at Hadassah.
I'm sure they have no time and no energy for a daily workout.
Hmm . . . and what is my excuse? 

Reading all these cautions about using the machines is enough to scare away anyone but Superman.

Anyway, those contraptions bring to mind the tortures of the Inquisition.
Just kidding. Sort of.  
The Jewish collective memory is often a hard thing to bear when it rises to the surface.

(A post for Our World Tuesday.)

Church doors, John, and a bench


A blog-friend from Scandinavia came to visit today!
We walked down to the local monastery.
I took this shot through the church doors (while sitting in the church)  to catch a beautiful wooden bench resting on ancient stones.
(You can enlarge this photo a lot to see details.)

That's John the Baptist on the left with his message, in Hebrew.
(A post for Whimsical Windows, Delirious Doors.)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Honey from the rock

Beautiful Psalm 81 is for the Sunday PsalmChallege inspired by brave Robert Geiss at daily athens photo.   Please pay him a visit.
For the leader. on the gittith. Of Asaph.

2. Ring out joyously to God our strength; shout out for the God of Jacob. 

3. Take up a song, and apply the drum, the sweet sounding lyre and harp.

4. Blow the horn on the new moon, on the full moon for our feast day.
5. For it is a statute for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob;
6. He imposed it as a testimony upon Joseph when he went forth from the land of Egypt.

– I am listening to a language I do not know –

7. “I relieved his shoulder from the burden, his palms were freed from the basket.
8. In distress you called and I delivered you; answering you from thunder’s covert; testing you at the waters of Meribah.  Selah.

9. Listen, My people, and I will call you to testify, Israel, if you would but listen to Me:
10. 'You shall not have in your midst a foreign god; you shall not bow to an alien god.

11. I am the LORD your God Who brought you up out of the land of Egypt'—open wide your mouth, and I will fill it.

12. But My people did not listen to My voice, Israel did not yield to Me;
13. so I set him free with their stubborn heart, that they could follow their own counsels.

14. O that My people would listen to Me, that Israel would follow My ways!
15. At once I would subdue their enemies, against their foes bring back My hand.”

16. Those who hate the LORD shall cringe before Him; their doom will last forever.
17. But He would feed him the finest wheat: “So I will sate you with honey from the rock.”
Translation: Rabbi Benjamin Segal
1,2. A miracle harp strung with invisible sensors at the Jerusalem Science Museum.  Granddaughter Libby was playing beautiful music.
3. First century BCE Hebrew inscription: "Lebeit hateki'a" -- "To the place of trumpeting."
This stone block fell from the parapet at the southwestern corner of the Temple Mount to the street below during the destruction of the Temple. 
The trumpeting may have announced the new moon, or Shabbat, or festivals.

4. A stone fountain spout.  Italy, 1000-1300 CE.  Bible Lands Museum, Jerusalem. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

A capital idea. (And a bloody Ashura)


 An ancient capital reflected in the glass ramp that leads to

the Church of the Flagellation,  which was originally built by the Crusaders in the 12th century.
The Convent (monastery) of the Flagellation now belongs to the Franciscans.

The external wall of the sanctuary is the 2nd Station of the Way of the Cross, marking the imposition of the cross.
(A post for Weekend Reflections.)
I see that many readers are freaked out by the name Church of the Flagellation (or Scourging).
It refers, of course, to the whipping Jesus got from the Romans in that place. 

But by some strange coincidence, I now notice that today is Ashura, a major Shi'ite holiday marked by bloody self-flagellation. 

I just saw a YouTube video from Lebanon but will spare you by not giving the link.
The Shi'ite men walk through the street in procession, rhythmically whipping their bare back with chains, or hitting their head and chest, or cutting their scalp with razor blades or swords.
The street is literally running with blood.
The most shocking is to see a few fathers cutting on the head of their young sons! 

I would hope our neighbors in the surrounding countries  could find better ways to publicly express grief and mourning for Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, killed in the battle of Karbala in 680. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful today for quiet in the sky


Have no illusions, it is not the path to peace.
But today's ceasefire is a welcome relief from the week-long conflict.

Today the sky over my village  was so quiet!
No more fighter jets thundering,  no army helicopters to the hospital helipad, no rockets going over, no air raid sirens.
The quiet of the sky--a blessing to give thanks for day by day, not something to be taken for granted.

To all my family and friends and blog friends in America, happy Thanksgiving Day!
(A post for SkyWatch Friday.)
BTW, the photo shows the path I walk if I miss the infrequent bus to my moshav/village.  It is only 35-40  minutes brisk walk  from the city limits of Jerusalem to my home in the Jerusalem Hills.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A hard week is over


The bad news: a bomb went off in a Tel Aviv bus today.
The good news: the bus was not crowded, the bomb was small, no one was killed.

The best news: a ceasefire went into effect at 9:00 pm tonight.
UPDATE:  I should clarify that "no one was killed" does not mean that no one on the bus was injured; more than 20  people were taken to the nearby hospital. 
Thursday night update: Police is now announcing that the suspects were caught within a few hours of the bombing.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sirens, escalation, and transparency


S is for second scary siren for ABC Wednesday.

This afternoon the Red Alert sirens went off again in my village and in Jerusalem and in the villages to her south and west .
From various tweets I understand that the missile exploded in an olive grove in or near a Palestinian village in the West Bank.

The new transparent escalator in Hadassah hospital made me want to title this post

Despite, or maybe because of,  efforts for a ceasefire by tonight, the fighting seemed to escalate during the day.
And Operation Pillar of Defense is a conflict which, for the first time, is covered by minute-to-minute tweeting and live-blogs, with a lot of transparency.

The Burmese then and now. Hope.

Two strong things came together today.
No, I don't refer to Iron Dome intercepting a Grad missile.
Instead, the two things were in my mind.

One was the traumatic memory of the month and a half of being bombarded by Saddam Hussein's huge Scud missiles, the ones he threatened to arm with poison gas, during the 1991 Gulf War. 

It was a Shabbat morning when my employers called my home and said, "Dina, please come quickly. Our office was hit by a missile and we must salvage our equipment and move before the next barrage!"

This was when my family lived near Tel Aviv, the city that  was being targeted by Iraq.
The office where I worked for several years  was an old house in nearby Ramat Gan which was housing  the Embassy of the Union of Myanmar.

His Excellency the Ambassador, in suit and tie,  kept busy all day giving interviews to the countless foreign reporters in the yard while the First Secretary, the other two Burmese staff members, their wives, the Israeli chauffeur, and I salvaged things from the rubble and packed the old typewriter, fax, china, files, etc. into boxes.

My son, who was home from the army that weekend, collected small pieces of the Scud as souvenirs.
We worked without stopping until the kind Japanese ambassador came to visit, bringing Hawaiian pizza with pineapple on it. Bless his heart.

On the day I completed the two-year post-grad course in Translation Studies at Bar-Ilan University, the ad appeared in the paper: "Hebrew-English translator/interpreter wanted for small embassy."
That is how I came to work for the  embassy of a country under a military junta.
It was right after Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest in Yangon.

So imagine how thrilled I am today, November 19, 2012, to see President Obama visiting Burma, the first sitting American president to do so.
And to see him welcomed by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, now free, now a Member of Parliament!
What a woman, so noble, so humble, so strong of will!

The long-imposed and self-imposed isolation of Burma/Myanmar is easing up.
The world seems ready to welcome Burma back. 

See CNN's  beautiful pictures from the visit today.
And watch  Aung San Suu Kyi's acceptance speech for the Congressional Gold Medal.

What I learned today, even as Israel and Gaza are under fire, is that true leaders can eventually emerge and change their nation, and that change is actually possible in this world.
There is HOPE.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Tram travel getting less appealing

Operation Pillar of Defense is our new tram's first experience with hostilities.
The Jerusalem  light rail has only been up and running for a little over one year.

So after Hamas aimed two missiles toward Jerusalem on Friday evening, the officials had to start thinking--what to do if the air raid siren goes off when I am in the tram?

I heard it announced only once on the radio, but apparently it was decided that the tram would stop and passengers would stay inside. 

And--get this!--the passengers are supposed to get below the level of the glass.
Yeah, sure.
Can you see how low the windows go?

And often people are packed in like vertical sardines, over 250 in each of the two cars of the tram.
Where would there be room to lie on the floor or sit on the floor or even just bend down??
And with all those glass doors and big windows, think of all the potential shrapnel that would go flying.   Oi . . .
On Friday morning a fake bomb (wires sticking out of a bag or something) was planted in a tram near Mt. Herzl.
The entire line was stopped from 6:30 to 10 a.m.  while they brought in the police robot to investigate the "suspicious object."

Sometimes I wish we stilled used camels and donkeys.
UPDATE: Another dummy bomb was put in the tram again this morning (Monday).

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Vineyards in the Jura

The Psalms take on added power during times of danger and of fierce fighting, like  now.

For Psalm Challenge, here is Psalm 80.
(My beloved Swiss photos can be enlarged with a click or two.)

  For the leader; on shoshanim, eduth; of Asaph. A psalm.

1Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth
2before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh. Stir up your might, and come to save us!
3Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.
4O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?
5You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure.
6You make us the scorn of our neighbors; our enemies laugh among themselves.
7Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

8You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.
9You cleared the ground for it; it took deep root and filled the land.
10The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches;
11it sent out its branches to the sea, and its shoots to the River.
12Why then have you broken down its walls, so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
13The boar from the forest ravages it, and all that move in the field feed on it.

14Turn again, O God of hosts; look down from heaven, and see; 

have regard for this vine,
15the stock that your right hand planted.

16They have burned it with fire, they have cut it down; may they perish at the rebuke of your countenance.
17But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, the one whom you made strong for yourself.
18Then we will never turn back from you; give us life, and we will call on your name.
19Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.
Translation: NRSV New Revised Standard Version, c. 1989

Vines and vineyards on the Jura Mountains, near Lake Neuchatel, Switzerland.
Israel does have vineyards but I have not yet visited them. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Jerusalem as target


The air raid sirens went off in my village, and in Jerusalem, and in her surrounding communities late this afternoon--for the first time!
Very surprising and very scary.

This is how the Muslims in Gaza show their love for the city they call holy, Al Kuds, by firing missiles at it??  

The missiles landed short of the city, thank God, in an open area.  Some say in Gush Etzion.
Some friends in my moshav heard a few booms.

So it is not only southern Israel and Tel Aviv, now we too are in range of Hamas. 

Shabbat shalom, in spite of the situation.   

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A pillar of cloud, and danger in the skies


Who changed the name to Operation Pillar of Defense?
Our IDF Israel Defense Forces?

In Hebrew this strike against the Gaza rocket launching is called Amud Anan, literally Pillar of Cloud.
I wish they had kept the original name, straight from the Bible epics.
By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.
--Exodus 13:21

 Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel's army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them . . .
--Exodus 14:19

As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the LORD spoke with Moses.
--Exodus 33:9
A post for Sky Watch Friday. This week we watch the sky over southern Israel and now even over Tel Aviv for Qassams, Grads, and long-range Fajr missiles and hope that the Iron Dome batteries will intercept them.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pillar of Cloud

Operation Pillar of Cloud against the terrorist organizations in Gaza began two hours ago.
Things are really going to heat up now.
Keep tuned to your news media, e.g. the Jerusalem Post's  live blog with real-time  updates on the violence on the Gaza front.

Solitary work atop Mt. Tabor

Restoration was supposed to be yesterday's R word, until I found out it was Rodin's birthday.
Rodin won, but the restoration in the Romanian church on the top of Mount Tabor in the Lower Galilee certainly deserves a post too, so here it is.

 There is a man working up there on the scaffold.
You'll have to do the click trick to see him, and then another click on the photo that opens to see the man really well.

I think it was the top (canopy?) of the throne (cathedra) that he was meticulously  painting.
He seemed aware that the saints on the dome above him were watching him work.

The Eastern Orthodox monastery  was built in the mid-19th century with funds from Romania.
The Church of St. Elias was dedicated to the prophet Elijah and was the first religious structure built by Romanian Christians in the Holy Land.

The wall paintings (all around!) were added in 1912

The Orthodox place is totally different in feeling and appearance from its more famous neighbor on Mt. Tabor Barluzzi's Church of the Transfiguration.

 A Catholic friend took me there in August for the Franciscan Mass on the Feast of the Transfiguration.
I'll show you more pictures from the mountain sometime soon.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rodin in Israel


For today's ABC Wednesday R is for Rodin.
The Google doodle appeared yesterday honoring  the artist's 172nd birthday.

 The Israel Museum is fortunate to have one of his Burghers of Calais standing in the long corridor.
Best to click once or twice to enlarge the photos. 

Here are the interesting things the Museum website tells about the statue:
Auguste Rodin , French, 1840–1917
Pierre de Wiessant, Large Model , 1885–86
Bronze, 214 x 116 x 118 cm
. . .
The Burghers of Calais, Rodin’s first completed major public monument, commemorates an historical event that took place in 1347 during the Hundred Years’ War. The king of England, having besieged the city of Calais, agreed to free the inhabitants if six prominent citizens would surrender to him to be put to death. The six walked to the king’s camp wearing sackcloth and halters and carrying the keys to the city. At the last moment, the English king’s wife interceded on their behalf and saved their lives. 

Rodin portrays the six citizens as they are about to leave Calais. Each man expresses his own personal anguish. To heighten the dramatic impact, Rodin exaggerated the proportions of the hands and legs, and created strong contrasts of light and shadow. Rodin produced several hundred studies of the group, isolated figures, and parts of figures, recombining these elements until the six burghers became a cohesive unit. The individual figures were finished by 1888; yet it wasn’t until 1895 that the complete monument was unveiled in Calais. To Rodin’s dismay, the city council harshly criticized the work, as it was a depiction of human crisis rather than a heroic-patriotic statement.
Pierre de Wiessant is particularly impassioned. His bent head, furrowed brow, half-closed eyes, and parted lips express deep sorrow and apprehension. His enlarged, muscular limbs, and the dramatic gesture of his right hand amplify the emotional impact of the work and convey the burgher’s agony. Cloaked in the deeps folds of sackcloth, Pierre's twisted, elongated body and tragic face recall Gothic representations of Christ as the “Man of Sorrows.”

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pyramids here and there

 Yigal Arnon Square?
It is funny to call a pyramid a square. ;-)

Water runs down from the top of the cylinder.
Often a crow sits on it and drinks.

It's a little oasis in the middle of Hebrew University's white stone buildings on Mount Scopus.

On Saturday night an Egyptian TV show hosted radical Salafist Jihadi  sheikh and scholar Morgan El-Gohary  and he called for the destruction of Egypt's pyramids and the Sphinx because they "were once worshiped and could be worshiped again."

He proudly  recounted  how he participated in the blowing up of the Buddha statue in Afghanistan in 2001 when he  fought along with the Taliban.

If you don't believe me, see ahramonline
(For Our World Tuesday meme.)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

"How long, O Lord . . . ?"

For Robert Geiss' weekly PsalmChallenge, here is Psalm 79.
The intense feeling of this psalmist most likely comes in reaction to the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE.
He speaks of violence and calls for vengeance. 

Today is Armistice Day / Veterans Day in the world.
Since biblical days and before,  the need for soldiers and armistices continues.
Meanwhile, in the last 24 hours terrorists in Gaza have fired over 100 rockets, mortars, and missiles into Israel.
Will it ever end?

O God! Nations have come into Your estate, defiled Your holy Temple, reduced Jerusalem to rubble!
2. They have given Your servants’ corpses to the fowl of the heavens for consumption and the flesh of Your faithful to the wild beasts of earth.
3. They have spilled out their blood like water around Jerusalem. No one was buried.
4. We have become a disgrace to our neighbors, a scorn and derision to those around us.

5. How long, O LORD will You be angry, forever will Your zeal blaze like fire? 
6. Spill forth Your rage on the nations that do not know You, on the kingdoms that do not call upon Your name,
7. for they have consumed Jacob and laid waste his habitation.
8. Do not recall to us our former  iniquities; speedily may Your compassion come toward us, for we are very low.
9. Help us, O God of our salvation, because of the glory of Your name; save us and grant forgiveness for our sins, for the sake of Your name.
10. Why should nations say, “Where is their god?” Before our eyes  let the vengeance for the spilt blood of Your servants be known among the nations.

11. May the prisoner’s groan come before You; as befits the might of Your arm, reprieve those about to be put to death. 
12. Return sevenfold to the bosom of our neighbors the disgrace which they heaped on You, O Lord.

13. For we, Your people, are the flock You shepherd. 
We shall glorify You forever; from generation to generation we shall tell Your praise. 
Translation by Rabbi Benjamin J. Segal.  See also his notes on Psalm 79.
1. Sculpture by Kobi Knaan, at Bible Stories exhibition, Mamilla mall
2. An outdoor people warmer,  Mamilla mall
3. British solitary confinement cell, Museum of Prisoners of [pre-State]  Underground Movements Prisoners, Jerusalem 
4. My neighbor's goat flock and their shepherd

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Heroes of the day


Meet my Hero of the Day, and of the Sabbath day at that.

 It's a long way up.
The Israel Electric Company linemen are so brave.

The man on the ground and the man in the air worked quickly, carefully, and with a smile.
It was just half an hour before sunset and I and the neighboring house were mighty glad to get power back after 16 hours without any.

Enlarge this photo, it's fun!
It's like the worker and the wires are having a duel.
Or is he saying "Hocus pocus!" to the sleeping giant?
Just after midnight last night I was shutting down the computer when I heard a loud PATZ!  outside and out went my lights.
Today  the Electric Company worker explained to me that it was a combination of a little rain, a lot of wind, and the first contractions of the cables as we go from summer heat to winter cold that caused the explosion.

It's good, today they changed the burnt wires and put in stronger connecting thingies.
Better today, a mostly sunny day, than on a cold and rainy day later, when winter really sets in (IF it ever does). 
One night and one day of no Internet and no light.
It was a tiny price for the neighbors and me to pay compared to the on-going suffering of the  poor victims of Hurricane Sandy.
And may the American linemen have strength to carry on in the endless repair work ahead.
Thanks to all those who take care of us.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Birds enjoying the view


These crows for Camera-Critters and clouds for SkyWatch Friday are from two weeks ago.
But this Friday, Saturday, Sunday  we are expecting some real rain for a change and temperatures falling down to 18, then 17, then 16 degrees C.
It has not been that cold in a long long time.

The photo is taken from the trail leading down into Ein Kerem village.
I walked there and back, several hours, because on the Sabbath there is no public transportation.
The big wall you see surrounds the convent of the Sisters of Sion.  Notre Dame de Sion was built back in 1861 and it is a beautiful quiet place.

And the farming terraces  are often from biblical times and are common in the Jerusalem Hills.
I love how they were built to last. 
They, too, are part of our built heritage.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sugar cane and the etrog medicine man


You don't often see sugar cane in Jerusalem.
But two weeks ago these bundles caught my eye in the bazaar of the Old City.

And then in Mahane Yehuda market, there they were again!
The sign says 15 shekels for one kilo of fresh sugar cane.
A small glass of its juice, with a little lemon and ice added, will cost you 10 shekels.
A big glass is 18 shekels.

The pre-cut sections stood in the bucket, ready to be fed into the juicer below.

This is at the stall of the famous Uzi-Eli, the etrog medicine man.
He makes concoctions to improve your health and happiness.
I just now learn from Wikipedia that he came from Yemen in 1950 and is a 3rd-generation healer.
You will enjoy this little  video about him.
In medieval times the Galilee had many sugar mills.
If, like me, you never realized what a sugarloaf is, my earlier post has a picture of sugarloaves  and some history of sugar cane in Israel.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A quandary and a queue at the Holy Sepulchre

Queue is a queer word,  with too many letters.
I prefer to just say line.
But what to do, today is Q Day at ABC Wednesday

Most hours of the day there is a long queue of pilgrims wrapped around the  edicule, the structure built over the tomb of Jesus inside the rotunda of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The entrance is narrow and the clergy on duty regulate the flow, allowing you only a brief minute inside.
There is room for only 3 or 4 inside, next to the tomb.
The news broke this week that the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is in trouble.
They owe 9 million shekels (2.3 million dollars) for back payments on the water bill.

Apparently they had a tacit agreement with the late Teddy Kollek z"l, who was mayor of Jerusalem from 1965 to 1993, that the church would get free water. 
But now the water company says that under  law the company cannot do this. 

And now,  the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, which has extensive and valuable property holdings in the Holy Land and maintains a headquarters in the ancient church, had its bank account frozen. 

The Greeks threatened to close the doors to the church for a day  in protest. 
If that were to happen, it would be a sad day in the Holy City. 
'Tis a quandary. 
Read the whole story in the Jerusalem Post  and more at Ynet.  
(A last contribution  to Taphophile Tragics.)