Monday, March 26, 2018

The Encounter Chapel at Magdala


The woman in Mark 5:24-34 believed she would be healed of her bleeding if she could only "touch the hem of his garment"  [some think this means the ritual fringe on the bottom of his garment, such as Orthodox Jews wear till today].
She had courage and touched and was immediately healed by Jesus, the New Testament says.
This mural-sized painting of the famous scene is in the lower chapel of Duc in Altum, below the Boat Chapel and the Women's Atrium that we visited in previous posts.

(Remember that my photos here can be greatly enlarged with a click or two.)

The Magdala Center brochure describes The Encounter Chapel:
The basement chapel makes use of original stones found in the excavations of the road and marketplaces near the port.  This interdenominational place of prayer is modeled after the synagogue plan with its 6 columns, colorful walls and placement of stones.
The chapel features a beautiful mural-sized painting of the encounter between Jesus and the hemorrhaging woman (Mark 5:25). 

The stone benches along the walls are also like in the ancient synagogue of Migdal.

The one and only window looks out on the Sea of Galilee.

And the window creates the shadow of the cross.

Mother Teresa, Saint Teresa of Calcutta, adds her prayerful presence to the special place.
There is more about the chapel at the website:

To all the Christian readers, Holy Week blessings and happy Easter wishes from me, your Jewish friend here at Jerusalem Hills Daily Photo.
(Linking to inSPIRED Sunday, Monday Murals, and Our World Tuesday.)

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Sparkling SodaStream water!


The 2018 theme is Nature for Water and the idea is to raise awareness about nature-related solutions to the water crisis.
Over the last few years Israel has gotten itself out of our water shortage; now we re-use a whopping 86% of our water.
So I'm going to blog today instead about a more exciting topic--SPARKLING WATER!

On a blustery January day our group's bus pulled up to the gate for a factory tour.
The sign says Welcome to the SodaStream family.

The plant is huge, spread out in many buildings, in the brand-new Idan HaNegev industrial park.
SodaStream moved here and closed its much smaller factory in the West Bank less than four years ago.

Our tour started with a little lecture in the Visitor Center where all the varieties of soda makers are on display.
Here is how to make flavored soda water at home:

We also got to see the funny video with Mayim Bialik and Hodor about the Lost Tribe of the Homoshlepians, the primitive people who used to schlepp water around in plastic bottles.  :)
Watch it here!

Then our guide took us into the factory!

You don't see many workers because so much of the production is automated.

But if something is a bit off, you do need a person to get right in there and fix it!

Our SodaStream guide needed amplification to make her voice heard over the machine noise.

Watching the robots is a bit mesmerizing, even in my little videos!

This man is from Peru!
SodaStream prides itself on fostering a happy work atmosphere filled with mutual respect and equality among its 1,700 employees.
Jews and Arabs, new immigrants and native-born Sabras, all ages, all work together in peace.
Every day a bus from Jerusalem brings 80 of the Palestinians who worked in the previous factory in Mishor Adumim.  (And travel time is paid.)
And 40% of the workforce are Bedouin--Israeli citizens from the close-by Bedouin city of Rahat or from the Negev's many unrecognized villages.
And half of those Bedouin are women!

Just outside SodaStream's gate you can see Rahat (well, you might have to click a few times on the photo to see the houses).

It was early afternoon Friday when our bus left in order to be back home in Meitar before Shabbat.
What warmed my heart that cold day was this picture of two smiling young men bringing platters of food or goodies as a nice little Sabbath Eve extra for the "SodaStream family" that stayed on to work, 24/7.
At the official website you can click on your country for local information about SodaStream.
SodaStream came to Israel in the 1970s, and today its headquarters are here and the products are exported to 47 countries.  Soon China will join that list too!

Learn all about SodaStream over at Wikipedia and check out the links at the end too.
And happy World Water Day!

Friday, March 16, 2018

A tale of a tail for sale


I was surprised to see something new in our local supermarket's meat department.
I was then somehow shocked to read the label; it said (and I translate literally from the Hebrew)  "TAIL OF A CALF."
I was really curious by then because never have I seen a whole long tail for sale!
After sneaking a photo for the blog, I came home and started googling.

OK, so I did already know there is something called oxtail, but oxen are not used for that anymore; and if you do see it for sale, the tail bone is chopped into smaller pieces.

Apparently there is a new approach to eating meat based on a 2004 foodie classic, The Whole Beast, Nose to Tail Eating by chef Fergus Henderson.
As one kosher butcher explains it,
"Nose to tail eating is a philosophy in which one eats the entire animal thereby honoring the animal's sacrifice and reducing food waste." 

Here is how an Australian organic food blog talks about it.

I am not qualified to explain about the historic complications of kosher tail requirements.
There is something about having to remove the sciatic nerve and having this nikkur done by specially trained menakrim.
In fact many Jews believe/d -- mistakenly -- that eating beef hindquarters is forbidden.
But if you are interested please see "Cow butts are kosher" in the blog The Kosher Omnivore's Quest.

Your input is welcome, dear readers.
P.S. Speaking of beef, here is a favorite photo of mine from Jerusalem's shuk (open market):
(Linking to ABC Wednesday. My K is for kosher.)

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Seeing eye dogs, eyes, and balloons


It's not every day that you see a guide dog; but today I saw TWO.
This beautiful mature one stayed quietly at its master's feet in the Wilhelmina Auditorium from 9:00  to 2:30.

Beer Sheva's Soroka Hospital gave a study day about various eye problems and treatments.
How the dog sat through all those lectures I don't know.
Poor thing was too low to even see the slides on the screen.

One of the talks included videos of eye surgery, including sticking needles into the eye.
Oi, not for the faint of heart!  But amazing what the surgeons can do to save vision.

Comic relief came unintentionally, haha!
At the end of the day the Eye Department balloon decorations had somehow gravitated to the EXIT stairwell and the old folks were trying to climb through them.

Then at my bus stop a sweet younger dog was waiting for the bus.
Her jacket says she is a guide dog for the blind puppy in training.

The bus stop is right outside Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
Many students there volunteer to take such puppies into their homes for a year and go everywhere with them in order to socialize them.

You can see how the Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind works in my earlier post.
And this post shows some playful puppies at our President's open house.
(Linking to Our World Tuesday and Camera Critters.)

Thursday, March 1, 2018

A 21st C Purim Spiel?!

Today is the happy holiday Purim!
It's also our monthly CDP Theme Day and City Daily Photo bloggers are busy interpreting the idea "play."
I'm going to try to link the two by using PLAY as a noun.

Purim Spiel is the Yiddish term for the boisterous plays, sometimes even mini-musicals, that are thought up and put on every Purim.
So Spiel, pronounced shpeel, means a play and in Europe Jews have been keeping this Purim custom for centuries.

In Meitar this afternoon the Scouts put on a whole carnival. (More about that later.)
On stage was Tooti the Superhero.
Instead of  Esther saving her people from wicked Haman, we had Tooti, a woman with super powers, saving humanity from some kind of alien invasion (or something ...).

Here's a tiny video so you can hear as well as see our modern little Purim Spiel:

Happy Purim!
UPDATE: Here are nine life lessons we can learn from the Purim story of the Bible.