Saturday, February 6, 2016

Sleepy cats share their bench with me

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 I tried not to wake the fluffy sleeping cat, but his was the only bench I could find for my picnic.


The cats at the Open Museum in Omer Industrial Park all seem to feel protected and are laid back and pettable.


And apparently also well-fed because they didn't beg while I sat between two of them and ate my cheese sandwich.
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(Linking to Camera-Critters.)
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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The 3-dimensional illusion in historical photos

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For ABC Wednesday, D is for Dina in 3-D glasses.


Dozens of glasses wait for visitors and pupils who come to the Open Museum in Omer.


You can't see them properly, of course, but here are some examples of the big three-dimensional photographs taken in Eretz Israel in the late 19th century.
Here above is Jerusalem's Jaffa Gate when it still had the Ottoman clock tower just outside the Old City wall (the tower was soon torn down by the British in 1922).


This is labeled "Ancient Fountain of the Virgin, Nazareth, Palestine."
It was fascinating to gaze at these pictures; I felt like I was really "in" the scene, mingling with the women and children. 


Fallahin plowing.


"Tiberias, a town of Jewish fisherman, Sea of Galilee"




Please click on the photo and then once again.
You can read how stereographs were made and how American publishing house Underwood and Underwood produced and sold the set about Eretz Israel in 1900, focusing mostly on the Christian market.
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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Departure hall "café"

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Merisi of Vienna chose this month's City Daily Photo Theme Day theme.
Vienna, coffeehouse capital of the civilized world! --  Merisi must have a thousand choices.
She is asking us CDP bloggers to share a favorite coffee place in our neighborhood.

Actually I am not a café type of person so I have few photos of such places, especially not Israeli places.
This strange one that I show you, well, I never sat there. 
But I LOVE walking by it.
Why? Because it is in the Departures terminal of Ben-Gurion International Airport, and that means I am on the way to a gate to a plane, to fly away somewhere!

The tables in the big circle are surrounded by over-priced coffee and cake stands; I think you just buy what you want and go sit down. 
In the center a fountain does its water show under the high dome, adding its noise to the general clamor.
All around the circle are duty-free shops and fast-food places. 
For some reason an "artwork" that always reminds me of a totem pole is part of the "decor."

People, a lot of them, sit and eat, drink and talk, and happily watch the screen on the wall show their flight's departure time getting closer and closer.  
(We have to be at the airport at least three hours before, because of all the security checks.)

If you want to see a real coffeehouse in the grand style, see my post on Café Museum, to which an Austrian friend took me in my first-ever hour in Vienna last November.
And check out the wide diversity of coffee places that City Daily Photo bloggers will be posting starting now.
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More about our nice airport in these earlier posts.
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Friday, January 29, 2016

What is a Messerschmitt but doesn't fly?

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Ta-da!  It opens up!
Lihi, the nice guide of the Open Museum at Omer Industrial Park, is proud to show us this special microcar.


It's a 1960 Messerschmitt Isabela, with a 690 cc, 2 piston engine, made in Germany of course.


After the war, the Allies for a time did not allow  Messerschmitt to build aircraft.
In the early 1950s the company turned instead to small motor vehicle manufacture.


The collection of 32 antique cars exhibited at the Omer Open Museum is owned by Eitan Wertheimer, son of entrepreneur and industrialist Stef Wertheimer.
I'll show you some more in future posts. 
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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Beer Sheva's Holocaust Memorial

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The United Nations decided that January 27, the day on which Auschwitz was liberated, should be the International Day in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.
Israel has its own day, in the spring, to remember the Shoah.


This is Beer Sheva's memorial square "to remember the victims of the Holocaust."
The four words written in Hebrew are from the Book of Esther 9:28 and mean
"Their memory will not fade from their descendants"
or in a different translation,
"The memorial of them should not perish from their seed."
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Monday, January 25, 2016

Growing like a tree

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Granddaughter Libby with Tu BiShvat goodies from pre-kindergarten (here in Meitar, 2014).
Dried fruit of the Land on a skewer!
Today, in contrast, is a cold and rainy Tu BiShvat holiday with snow in some parts of Israel.
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See yesterday's post for more about the 15th of Shvat, the ancient birthday or new year of trees.
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(Linking to Our World Tuesday.)

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Happy Tu BiShvat! Have some fruit.

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Tu BiShvat, the nice Jewish holiday marking the new year or birthday of trees, begins tonight.
Years ago, before the time of refrigeration and rapid transport, when Jews in the Diaspora wanted to celebrate the day by eating fruits of the Holy Land, they had to eat dried fruits instead of fresh.
It evolved into a custom even here. 


The colorful varieties on this Arab seller's cart parked on Mt. Zion, just outside the Zion Gate, are a treat for the eyes.
These days, however, dates and raisins are  about the only ones that are local; all the other dried fruit is imported from Turkey, Hawaii, and Thailand.

If you'd like to learn more about Tu BiShvat please see my posts from earlier years.
There are nice pictures there from a Tu BiShvat seder (modeled after the Passover seder).
Happy birthday, trees of Israel!
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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Two parents, two handwritings

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This has nothing to do with Israel, but . . . here goes.
Turns out that today is National Handwriting Day in some English-speaking nations.
Didn't want to illustrate this post with a sample of my own penmanship lest you submit it to a graphologist for analysis.  Oi! ;)
So here is a page from my mother's scrapbook that she made when my father went off to war as a U.S. Army Air Corps pilot in 1943, with all the mementos that sustained her in that difficult time of waiting.
If you click a few times you can enlarge my scanned photo enough to read  two very different styles of cursive:
Mom's left-leaning script (can you even read it?) with open circles to dot the i, and Dad's right-leaning easy-to-read writing (which is like mine).

I just hope my young device-prone grandkids will be taught cursive in school so they will be able, for instance, to read this family treasure, the scrapbook made by their late great grandmother.
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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Making circles in the sky

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Can you remember the last time you drew circles with a compass?
From many decades ago I remember the sharpness of the metal point and the pencil lead.


This giant compass welcomes workers and visitors to a hi-tech company, one of many on the sprawling campus of the Omer Industrial Park near Beer Sheva.


Linking to ABC Wednesday and to SkyWatch Friday -- making circles in the sky.  :)
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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Bronze bicycle, bare bum

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As promised, here we are at the Open Museum which is part of the hi-tech industrial park near Omer, in the Negev.


This sculpture is especially for today's ABC Wednesday.
B is for bronze bicycle and bare bum.


Too bad BICYCLE is so hard for Israelis to spell.
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The world consists of cogs

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As an old Yiddish proverb says,
The world consists of cogs: one depends on the other.
Di velt iz a hekeleh: ainer darf tsum anderen.


And on the wall, Hebrew idioms using the word "wheel," e.g. "to reinvent the wheel" and "If Grandma had wheels ...."
I found these in a play area for kids in the antique automobile museum at the Omer Open Museum and Industrial Park.
In future posts you will see their nice sculpture garden, a photography exhibit, friendly cats, and of course the old cars.
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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Double Helix bridges the gap

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Beer Sheva's new Double Helix bridge was officially opened last week!
Half a year ago train traffic was shut down for one weekend so giant cranes could lift the bridge parts into place.


The small pedestrian bridge on the left lets students walk from the train and bus stations over to Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
The new big bridge lets people walk over to the growing Advanced Technologies Park.


Trains go under (it's less than an hour to Tel Aviv).


And people go over.


The view from the bridge: Ramot, a new neighborhood of Beer Sheva.


The train station and bus stops.
And a parking lot for the Park and Ride folks. 


Some escalator repair was still needed last Thursday.


There are two flights of escalators up to the top and also an elevator.


All the photos can be much enlarged with a click or two.
Here is a bit more information:
Double Helix Bridge Connecting ATP to Train Station Dedicated
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(Linking to OurWorld Tuesday.)
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UPDATE: A nice article about how Beer Sheva is growing, with a photo of the bridge when it was still lying on the earth in two big sections.
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Friday, January 15, 2016

Double Helix bridge officially opened!

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Last June I showed you the new pedestrian bridge that had just been lifted and placed over the railroad tracks in Beer Sheva.
This week it was officially opened so I stopped by to go up and check it out.
The escalator repair man was also up on the bridge, checking out why one of the escalators was not moving.
His yellow sign said "ELEVATOR [sic] UNDER SERVICE.  PLEASE KEEP DISTANCE" but I could not resist going near to take this sweet picture!


It's quite a climb if the stairs are not rolling.
I will post more bridge pictures in the next few days.
It is in the form of a double helix and is quite beautiful!

Here is an article about the ribbon-cutting ceremony: http://in.bgu.ac.il/en/Pages/news/helix_bridge.aspx

P.S.  Yesterday's blog photo was taken from the bridge.
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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Fog, sun, clouds, sprinkles

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My bus drove very slowly through miles of dense fog at 7:45 this morning.
When I came out of the university after an all-day archaeology conference the late afternoon sun was shining on Ramot, the new neighborhood of Beer Sheva, out past the train station.
But tall gray rain clouds met my bus as we drove north, back home to Meitar.
And tonight we were glad for some gentle showers on the dry earth.
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(Linking to SkyWatch Friday.)
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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Juice fresh from the apples

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A is for apple juice, straight out of the apple press, in Austria!
Helping with the apple picking and pressing was a favorite Arbeit for me last October at the Franciscan community farm.
At noon and evening meals together, endless bottles of our homemade juice and cider and the fermented cider the Austrians call Most were always on the table.
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(Linking to ABC Wednesday, today entering its 9th year with Round 18!)
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Monday, January 11, 2016

Horse Yiddish

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What is a funny old way of saying "a distant relation" in Yiddish?

Dem ferds baytsh-shtekls potkeve   
דעם פערדס בייטש-שטעקלס פאטקעווע
Literally: the horse’s whipping stick’s horseshoe!

And what do I miss most about Vienna?
Her beautiful horses clip-clopping around the palaces!
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(Linking to Our World Tuesday.)
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Saturday, January 9, 2016

The green stone

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Eyal, my sweet grandson in Australia, can help illustrate another Yiddish proverb.

If a stone stays in one place, it becomes overgrown with grass.
Az der shteyn ligt af eyn ort vert er oykh bavaksn mit groz.
.אַז דער שטיין ליגט אויף איין אָרט ווערט ער אויך באַוואַקסן מיט גראָז

English proverb expressing the converse: A rolling stone gathers no moss.

German gloss (unattested): Als (wenn) der Stein liegt auf einem Ort wird er auch bewachsen mit Grass.
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Check out the proverb in many languages at Proverbial Planet.
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P.S. I added an update to the earlier post if you'd like to learn more about illegal firearms in my country.
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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Protesting blood feuds and illegal guns

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I snapped this yesterday from my bus going home from Beer Sheva.
Bedouin men were lined up along the highway in a small demonstration near their town.
The Hebrew part of their banners says
Ken, ken lasovlanut
Lo, lo la-alimut.
Yes, yes to tolerance
No, no to violence.

And also this:
The police are asleep,
Crime is rampant.

I assume it is in response to two of their townspeople being murdered just in the past week.
A blood feud is going on between two big clans in the town.
The Bedouin want the Israeli police to go into Arab towns and search for and confiscate all the many illegal firearms.

But today this appeared in The Times of Israel:
Arab Israeli MKs [Members of Knesset] from the opposition seek to establish a parliamentary investigative committee to examine the presence of illegal weapons in towns and villages across the country.
The coalition strikes down the proposal.
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UPDATE: This article was published about the subject today.
The best take-aways from it:
1. “From my point of view,” says [Arab MK] Tibi, “take the legal weapons too. We don’t want them in our communities. I held a hearing in the Knesset in 2012 in the presence of the prime minister, the interior security minister, bereaved families and 40 Knesset members. It was a historic event. We demanded that they collect the weapons.”

2. Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan: “What happens is that the police, when they go into an Arab village or town, need a much bigger force than when they go into a Jewish town. It’s very easy to blame the police and say that the illegal weapons in the Arab sector are because of them. But the problem has existed since the establishment of the state. A lot of Israeli Arabs want to have weapons for self-defense. Others want them for celebrations and weddings. Others want them for status, or for criminal activity. Each person has their own reason. But because the level of crime and violence is so high, as a result, even more people arm themselves.”

3. Muhammad Haj Daod, a theater actor from Umm al-Fahm:  “In the past, people would get into disputes and it would end with a sulha. People met and made peace. It never got to the point of weapons except for one incident of shooting that everyone remembers from the 1980s. Since we got the police station in Umm al-Fahm, we see the weapons and drugs spreading throughout the city.
“How do I explain it?” he asks. “In the past, families were organized in hamulas. Each hamula [clan] has its leader and he is the one who decides. It was easier to resolve disputes because there weren’t a lot of different people involved in the decision. The decision was up to the head of the entire family. Today, these leaders don’t exist anymore. Today, everyone does whatever they feel like.”
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Can one teach a bear to dance?

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Z is for zoo, the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem.

And another old Yiddish saying:

With time, even a bear can be taught to dance. 
 אַ בער לערנט מען אויך אויס טאַנצן. A ber lernt men oykh oys tantsn.
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(Linking to ABC Wednesday.)
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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Walnuts on the radiator

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In a nice shop for cooking and baking equipment in Vienna.
At the Christmas markets I saw plenty of chestnuts being roasted.
But this was my first time to see walnuts being dried on a radiator.
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