Thursday, April 30, 2015

Revolution and the Monster


How many Revolutions Per Minute can the kids get the merry-go-round to turn?

City Daily Photo bloggers are posting for our monthly Theme Day about the multiple meanings of REVOLUTION.   Give them a visit here.

My photo is from 2009 when daughter Naomi and grandsons Dean and Eyal come for a visit to Jerusalem.
In back of them is The Monster, in profile view.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Proposals to protect our fish population

Lots of fish on ice are always available at Beer Sheva's open-air market.

For ABC Wednesday, P is for protecting our population of Mediterranean fish.

According to this article in Haaretz --

Restrictions will soon be imposed on commercial fishing in the Mediterranean Sea in order to stem the decline in fish populations, the state promised the High Court of Justice this month. . . .

Among other limitations, the state will restrict fishing by divers during the May-June spawning season along the Mediterranean coast. The use of trawlers – boats that drag large nets along the sea bed, sweeping up everything in their path – will be prohibited from June to August near the shore and at depths of less than 30 meters. . . .
According to environmental advocacy organizations, the two dozen or so trawlers operating along the Mediterranean coast are responsible for the decline in fish populations, both because they account for around 70% of the catch by Israeli fishermen in the sea and because of the nets’ deleterious effect on marine habitats.. . .

But according to Uri Sharon, a spokesman for the fishermen who owns a trawler, the real culprits are pollution and the Aswan Dam, which reduced the amounts of food sources and marine life reaching the Mediterranean from the Nile River.
Menakhem Ben-Yami, an expert on Israel’s fishing industry,  argued that tens of thousands of amateur fishermen use nets and poles, without facing any catch restrictions. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Science and beauty on 32 tiles


This unusual work of ceramic tiles hangs in the staircase of our Meitar Local Council offices.
Click a few times to enlarge the photo and you will find a variety of subjects. 

A metallurgical engineer and enameller named Boris R. created it in 2008.

You can tell Boris is an engineer.
(Linking to OurWorld Tuesday.)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Myrrh, women, tombs, and a video


For Orthodox Christians, today is the Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearers, remembering the women disciples who came to the tomb and found it empty. 
In the picture are two 1st century tombs in the Chapel of St. Joseph of Arimathea and St. Nicodemus, in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
When I visit, I always have a feeling these burial places in the modest Syriac Orthodox chapel may be the real place, instead of the famous one inside the edicule in the rotunda.

Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin, of  Coffee with Sr. Vassa fame, offers a good episode about Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearers (and why the women were right and the Apostles were wrong):

 (Linking this post to InSPIREd Sunday meme.)

Friday, April 24, 2015

For the Armenians


This khachkar cross-stone in Jerusalem's Old City  recalls the Armenian genocide, a painful and complex chapter of history still waiting for wider recognition.

Yesterday, after prayer, eighteen Jerusalem churches rang their bells one hundred times to mark the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the genocide.
Today, after a memorial Mass at St. James, wreaths were laid at the monastery in the Armenian Quarter.
At noon there were demonstrations at the Turkish consulate in Jerusalem and at the Turkish embassy in Tel Aviv.
In the afternoon all the Patriarchs of Jerusalem gathered at the Holy Sepulchre for a memorial Mass.

In Armenia one and a half million victims were yesterday canonized.
There is also a  video of today's ceremony at the monument in Yerevan, Armenia, to which Israel sent an official delegation of several Knesset members.
For more about Armenian Christians in Jerusalem see my earlier posts.
May justice be done, as we remember this tragedy.
To learn more:

Video of "Face the Shadow," Armenia's 2015 song for the Eurovision contest.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Fireworks for Independence Day


Independence Day fireworks, with and without bokeh.

I watched from my back yard, so the neighbors' house got in the way a bit.

Israel has reached the ripe old age of 67 years.   Mazal tov!
(Linking to SkyWatch Friday.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Yom HaZikaron ceremony at our cemetery


At 11:00 a.m. sharp the siren sounded and at Meitar's cemetery  all of us stood in a collective remembering of our defense forces dead and of the victims of hostile actions [terrorism].

Speeches and Psalms and prayers, all very moving.

Wreaths were laid at the Yizkor memorial wall of the small military section of our cemetery.
The quotation from Jeremiah 31:19 says, "For as often as I speak of him, I do earnestly remember him still."

Two graves were added to the military section during last summer's fighting.

Just last July I shared with you Captain Liad Lavi's funeral.
May he now rest in peace.

Please give a thought to the thousands of bereaved families for whom every day is a Day of Remembrance.
And remember that about 600 fallen soldiers and terror victims are from the Druze, Bedouin, Circassian, and Arab (both Christian and Muslim)  communities.
At sunset tonight we will make the sudden transition from the agony of memorial day  into the festivities and fireworks of Independence Day.
You can't have one day without the other.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Dedicating the fallen soldiers' monument


Here in Meitar, ceremonies for Israel's Remembrance Day  began at 6:30 tonight on the library  lawn.
Our new monument (still draped in black in the above photo) was unveiled by Mayor Avner Ben Gera. 

Meitar lost two of her sons in last summer's fighting with Gaza.
One of the bereaved fathers laid a wreath after giving a short and moving speech.

On the monument you see the symbolic Red Everlasting or Blood of the Maccabees flower we discussed in the previous post.
What worries me is the white empty space under the soldiers' names; please God, may it not be filled with new names any time soon.

The monument was placed next to the library and also in between our three schools.
As one of the speakers said (I think it was the town rabbi who made the point, or perhaps the mayor), the closeness to the library stresses that we are the People of the Book and only become the people of the sword when forced to.
And among the schools, why?  Because to this our youth are educated--to live for their country and if needed, to also die fighting for our home, our only home in this world.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Blood-red flowers for memorial day


Tuesday evening Israel will enter into the saddest day of our calendar, Yom Hazikaron, the memorial day for Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism.
The soldiers number 23,320.

This year's poster says, Nizkor et kulam, we will remember them all.
The roundish red flowers have become a symbol for our day of remembering (perhaps influenced by the tradition of the red poppy in other countries).

Wikipedia says, "The red everlasting is a flowering plant of the genus Helichrysum in the daisy family (Asteraceae).  It is a protected plant in some jurisdictions (in particular, Israel and the Palestinian Authority).
It is known there as 'Blood of the Maccabees' (Hebrew: Dam Hamakabim).
Its name is derived from a legend saying that in every spot one grows, a drop of blood has been spilled on the earth."

Indeed . . .
An article at Israel21C  talks about the flower and how its portrayal on Israeli stamps has evolved over the decades. 
And here is more about the plant. 
(Linking to OurWorld Tuesday.)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

A campus cat to my rescue


I read one of those lists.
This was Ten Ways to Quickly Calm Yourself.
One good way was to pet a cat.
Fine, I said, but oi, where am I going to find a tame cat?

A day later, as if by miracle, this sweetie walked over  while I was sitting on a "bench" at Ben-Gurion University in Beer Sheva and started snuggling up to me.

Even though I didn't let the kitty sit on my lap, students passing by looked at the two of us with curiosity and a little disbelief.
I calmly smiled back at them.   :)
(Linking to Camera Critters.)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The former-green, almost-brown season


The wild places around the periphery of Meitar are going into their in-between period, no longer green but not yet brown.

We had a few minutes of rain today, but that might be the last until next fall.

Just a month ago it looked like this, all green and flowery.
I hiked for a whole hour out there today without seeing even one person.
(Linking to SkyWatch Friday.)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Fresh produce of many colors


For ABC Wednesday, now in its 8th year, N is for Nature's bounty.
This is what I brought home from the big open-air market/shuk in Beer Sheva.
The prices were higher than usual today but still, all this cost just 60 shekels, which is 14 Euros or $15.
They say it is very beneficial to our health to eat a variety of different colors.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Matza for Natl. Grilled Cheese Day


Now that the big important Jewish and Christian holidays are wrapping up, we can blog instead about those silly unofficial national days like the one America is observing today -- National Grilled Cheese Day.

Today bread would have been in the stores again, after the week of Pesach/Passover when it was prohibited, but I didn't want to walk to the supermarket in the rain to buy it.
So for Grilled Cheese Day I had to (again, still!) microwave-melt cheese on MATZA!

Easter greetings to Orthodox friends

 "When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint his body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, 'Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?' 
But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away."
Mark 16:1-4

Do you see the angel in blue, pushing back the rolling stone with just one hand?
 (You can always click and enlarge the picture . . .)

Here is the entrance to the tomb (one of the tombs in Jerusalem) seen from above.
Wishing Orthodox Christians a blessed Pascha, joyous Easter!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Orthodox Great Friday


One lone taper standing, much melted wax floating.
And reflected in the water, the Holy Sepulchre.
Today, tonight, tomorrow is a somber time for Orthodox Christians, the time before the brightness of Easter Sunday.
(Linking to Weekend Reflections.)

Orthodox Holy Week in a dome


Orthodox Christians are now in Holy Week.
Here are all the events of Holy Week, starting with the raising of Lazarus, in one beautiful dome.
Click on the photo 2x to see all the details.

The dome is on the Orthodox church, St. Elias,  on the summit of Mount Tabor.

Kali thinamis, good strength, to the Orthodox Christian friends.
It has been a very long and strict Lenten fast for them.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Healing Garden at the Medical Center


Next to the helicopter landing pad,  in between the sprawled-out buildings of big Soroka  Medical Center in Beer Sheva,  is this sculpture-filled garden.
In Hebrew its name is Gan Roga', meaning a garden of calmness and relaxation.
In English it became the Legacy Heritage Healing Garden.

Legacy Heritage Fund's motto is  "the light of the past will illuminate the future."

Benches to welcome patients or their visitors.
Shade is needed on the hot days in the Negev desert.
(For ABC Wednesday,  M is for Medical Center.)
(And also linking to signs, signs .)

Monday, April 6, 2015

Two wheels or four?


This is one way not to get stuck in traffic during Passover week vacation,  when hundreds of thousands of Israelis get in their cars and look for a little bit of nature to picnic in.

Ynet has an article about the holiday traffic jams on the roads and the parks having to close after being packed to capacity.
Today half a million people were outside.
Moadim lesimcha--happy Pesach week!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

An open cave


It being Easter on the Western Christians' calendar, I thought I would hike to my Christmas cave and see if anything had changed.
The "door" was open, blocked only by spring flowers and a tall thistle.
No rolling stone.
The cave was empty.
And silent. 

Almost hidden by the new spring growth.
I trampled down the thistle and entered into the mystery. 
Happy Easter to all you friends out there who are celebrating today!

Pope Francis gave a wonderful homily at the Easter Vigil last night.
(Go to the link for the full text.)
Here are my favorite parts:
“To enter into the mystery” means the ability to wonder, to contemplate; the ability to listen to the silence and to hear the tiny whisper amid great silence by which God speaks to us (cf 1 Kings 19:12).
To enter into the mystery demands that we not be afraid of reality: that we not be locked into ourselves, that we not flee from what we fail to understand, that we not close our eyes to problems or deny them, that we not dismiss our questions…
To enter into the mystery means going beyond our own comfort zone, beyond the laziness and indifference which hold us back, and going out in search of truth, beauty and love. It is seeking a deeper meaning, an answer, and not an easy one, to the questions which challenge our faith, our fidelity and our very existence.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Holy Sepulchre

Happy Passover to my fellow Jews.
And for my Christian friends, photos from the Holy Sepulchre.

The edicule (the structure built around the tomb) seen from above.

At ground level.

And inside, the tomb itself.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Let's give a hand to donkeys


If I had a face as pretty as this donkey's,  I would post it.
But all you're going to get is my hand. 

This donkey near the Jordan River was nibbling my hand in a friendly way.
Ya just gotta love donkeys; they're the best!

Today is our City Daily Photo bloggers' theme day on "My camera-shy self portrait."
Here are the guidelines from the website:
"Everyone is shooting selfies.  But, some of us don’t like to be on that side of the camera.  So, if we ask for your self portrait but you are camera shy, what would you show us?  Your shadow?  Your silhouette?  Your back or feet or hands?  Your heavily photoshopped self?  A collection of the things that are important to you?"

Follow the link to see what other city bloggers decided to post.
And happy April Fool's Day.  :)