Saturday, April 28, 2018

World Veterinary Day today


Happy World Veterinary Day!
Let's appreciate the veterinarians who keep our livestock and pets healthy.
I don't have either, but I really admire vets (and for years wanted to be one). 

These are some good-looking cattle at a private farm not too far from my place. 
They also raise goats and we go there to buy creamy yogurt, tangy labaneh, and wonderful cheeses. 

Enlarge the photos and you'll spot the new concrete security wall just across the road.
Less than two years ago there was only a rather useless fence. 
On the other side you can see Palestinian villages in the West Bank. 

(Linking to Camera-Critters.)

Wednesday, April 25, 2018



Today is ANZAC Day, which Wikipedia explains as
 a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders "who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations" and "the contribution and suffering of all those who have served".
But the ANZAC troops are also remembered in other countries, and especially at the Commonwealth War Cemeteries in Israel and nearby Gaza.

Here in the Negev we have the beautiful Beersheba War Cemetery.
Some of the graves are of Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) soldiers.  
The administering Commonwealth War Graves Commission says that 
The cemetery was made immediately on the fall of the town [Oct. 1917], remaining in use until July 1918, by which time 139 burials had been made. It was greatly increased after the Armistice when burials were brought in from a number of scattered sites and small burial grounds. The cemetery now contains 1,241 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, 67 of them unidentified.

 A Jewish officer's tombstone says
The pebbles on top are left as a traditional sign of respect by visitors to his grave.

Written in Welsh.
And a little LEST WE FORGET cross.

The traditional red poppy on the cross and one stuck in the ground.

A trooper from New Zealand.
Someone added the Kiwi's photo.

An Australian from the famous Light Horse brigade.

A New Zealander from the Mounted Rifles.

The unidentified ones are the saddest.

"In memory of a Ballarat boy.  Trooper Thomas Bell was aged just 16 when he died of wounds received in the charge*.
All gave some, some gave all."

[* i.e. the mounted charge on the Turkish trenches, to liberate Beer Sheva.]

The tall white structure is the Cross of Sacrifice, standard for all Commonwealth War Cemeteries around the world.

The Visitors Book, with lots of information, in the wall near the always-open entrance gate.

In the background is Beer Sheva's new and wonderful ANZAC Memorial Centre.
More on that in a future blog post.

One of the dedicated and caring Arab gardening team planting more flowers. 
Thank you, brave ANZAC soldiers, for turning the tide of World War I down here in the Negev desert that I now call home.   Your memory will live on! 
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
-- fourth stanza from Laurence Binyon's poem For the Fallen, 1914
(See more about this cemetery and about commemorations in Beer Sheva in 3 previous posts.  See also my posts about ANZAC Day in Jerusalem.)
More about this and other Australia places in Beer Sheva:
How the Australian army talks about ANZAC Day:
(Linking to inSPIREd SundayOur World Tuesday and to  ABC Wednesday -- p is for poppy.)

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Fireworks for 70th Independence Day


Like every year, when night came, the heavy day of remembering our fallen soldiers and our victims of terrorism gave way to the joy and exuberance of Independence Day celebrations. 
Last night I watched our town's fireworks display from my place.
Enjoy the little video and its sounds!
Happy 70 years of independence, my dear Israel!  
I am fortunate to have lived here for 50 of those eventful years. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Stamped on our memory


Israel came to a standstill this morning during the 2-minute memorial siren at 11:00 commemorating our 23,646 fallen members of the security forces and 3,134 victims of terrorist attacks. 

Israel Post describes the new stamp issued for Israeli Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism Remembrance Day: 
This stamp features a poppy/red everlasting flower and a military dog tag engraved with the words "we shall always remember" [lenetsach nizkor] against the background of a tombstone with small rocks placed on it by loved ones who visited the grave.
The tab features the official IDF symbol and the symbol of the Ministry of Defense Families and Commemoration Dept.
May their memory be for a blessing and may God console the many bereaved families. 
This information is so interesting. But sadly, so long.
For more about Yom HaZikaron please see my previous posts.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Bored police horses


In Jerusalem I would from time to time see mounted police riding around, usually just outside the Old City (e.g. as in my posts here, here, and here).
Today was my first time to see a police horse in Beer Sheva.
He was just standing in the shade near the Central Bus Terminal.

On the vehicle towing the horse trailer is written Mounted Police Unit, Southern District.
Wait! -- Is that horse in the drawing wearing a gas mask??
THAT I've never seen, but I guess it would be needed in riot control.
Actually, maybe it's just my imagination working overtime, maybe he just has a black nose.

I walked in back and discovered a second horse.
Really wanted to ask the officer in charge if I could talk to, I mean pet, one of the nice horses.
Alas, he was in the middle of an animated conversation on his phone and didn't even notice me.
(Linking to Camera-Critters.)

Monday, April 9, 2018

Mosaics of the Magdala side chapels

Greetings to the many Orthodox Christians who are celebrating Easter Monday today.
It might be the right day to give you the final installment of my description of the new Magdala Center on the Sea of Galilee.
(My previous posts are under Magdala.)

Thank you, people of Singapore, for donating this side chapel.
In the reflection is the main Boat Chapel.

I will quote the descriptions from the official website, since they explain it best.

(You can click on the photos to greatly enlarge them and enjoy the details of the wonderfully colored, sparkly tesserae.)

"Each of the four chapels are home to a mosaic that illustrates events from the public life of Jesus and each mosaic is an open window inviting us toward the infinite love of God in the Gospel. Each chapel has enough room for up to 30 people and an expressive mosaic depicting a biblical event near the Sea of Galilee. They are realistic representations in dialogue with the original sites and invite us to meditate the Gospel scene in its authentic context.
The first chapel facing the lake is the Walking on Water Chapel, representing the story in Matthew where Peter’s faith was tested by walking on water with Jesus. “‘Come,’ he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?'” Matthew 14: 29-31 NIV"

"The second chapel facing the lake is the Fishers of Men Chapel, representing another story in Matthew where “Jesus Calls His First Disciples”. As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’ At once they left their nets and followed him.”    Matthew 4: 18-20 NIV"

"The other is dedicated to the daughter of Jairus. This holds great significance because she was the only woman whom Jesus raised from the dead. In this we see the Magdala messages woven together.He took her by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha koum!’ (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.”     Mark 5: 41-42 NIV"

BTW, you might enjoy the story of Jerusalem's 1867 school called Talitha Kumi.

Our tour group was in such a rush that I somehow missed the fourth important chapel, so you will have to see the photo at the Magdala website.

"One of these chapels is of course the Mary Magdalene Chapel, where we remember the story in Luke of Jesus casting out demons.After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out.” Luke 8: 1-2 NIV"
Duc in Altum at Magdala Center is a Catholic spiritual center being built by the Church of Mexico.
They are doing a really good job.   Do stop in if you are in Israel.
(Linking to inSPIREd SundayWeekend ReflectionsMonday Mural, signs, signs and Our World Tuesday.)

Friday, April 6, 2018

A farewell to matza


Today is the 7th and last day of the Passover week in Israel.
Last Friday our town's Chabad rabbi and rebbitzin arranged a big community seder with about 45 guests.
It was nice, and four hours long, and at the end the men danced in a circle with gusto!
But because it was the Sabbath, photography was not allowed.  Sorry!

We have been eating matzo for a week.
Only on Sunday, when the stores open again after Shabbat, will we be able to go buy BREAD.
And I bet the big boxes of matzot will be deeply discounted.  :)
Chag sameach and Shabbat shalom.
If you're in the mood to see more about the seder and Pesach, please see my older posts under Passover.

Monday, April 2, 2018

"Holy ceremony" underway


Six Israeli Border Guard policemen were there at the entrance to the tiny room which contains the tomb of Jesus.  To keep order. 
Hundreds of eager pilgrims and tourists were in line, waiting for their one minute inside. 
Hundreds more were there on that Easter in 2012 when I took this picture, filling every space in the huge Church of the Holy Sepulchre. 

Just recently I was surprised and happy to find something new in the ancient church--this police barricade or small fence which now says 
"Holy ceremony"! 
On the sides are the insignia of the Jerusalem District Police. 

I must admit, it is a big improvement over the older ones in the first photo, which say in Hebrew "Mishtarah," which means Police. 
I think it shows more sensitivity.  Slowly slowly we are learning.  It has only been 50 years since Israel got responsibility for the security and safety inside this holiest of Christian holy places.  Be patient. 
(Linking to inSPIRED Sunday,  Our World Tuesday, and signs, signs.)

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Isaiah's prophecy in a blue mail box

ONE COLOR is our challenge for today's City Daily Photo bloggers' Theme Day. 
This blue "artwork" is signed in the lower corner by Israeli artist Dan Chamizer
He lives in Ein Hod, an artists' colony at the foot of Mount Carmel. 

The funny part is that right next to it are the actual post boxes for the residents of the village. 

The title on top explains why certain animals inhabit the boxes.
"Doar Acharit HaYamim" means Post at the End of Days, meaning, how it is supposed to be --allegorically -- in the future Messianic Era. 

The prophet Isaiah says in chapter 11, verse 6 that

The wolf will live with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion will graze together, and a little child will herd them. 
You can see this verse in the famous Isaiah scroll of the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls here:

Happy Easter and happy Pesach to you all!