Friday, August 18, 2017

Pigeon in a bad place


This is the first time (fortunately!) I've ever seen a pigeon on the shopping carts just outside our town's Shufersal supermarket.
It was standing on the slot where you put in your 5-shekel coin deposit.
The poor bird looked like it could not fly, as if its tail was too short or something not quite right.
Poor thing. . .
(Linking to Camera Critters.)

Friday, August 11, 2017

Davening birds?


This is the spot where I often walk out of Meitar and into Nature.
It was Friday just before sunset, Sabbath Eve, and all these birds were on the wire as if in a long prayer line. 

I approached quietly, slowly, respectfully; but there came a point at which they could no longer abide my presence.
And they took off. 

Shabbat shalom! 

(Linking to Camera Critters and to SkyWatch Friday.)

Friday, August 4, 2017

Being comforted on Shabbat Nachamu

Click to enlarge for the beautiful window details

Shabbat Nachamu begins this evening.

After going down to the depths on Tisha B'Av, mourning the destruction of the Temple and of Jerusalem [in my 9 B'Av posts], we are brought back to the light by Isaiah's visions of a better future.
He tells us that Jerusalem has paid the price for her sin and is now forgiven.

The haftorah, Isaiah 40:1-26, begins "Nachamu, nachamu ami . . ."
God is telling his prophets to console his people:

" 'Comfort, oh comfort my people,' says your God.
'Speak softly and tenderly to Jerusalem . . .' "

Are they not lovely and welcome words?!

The other verses are equally lovely and well-known.
You can chose your preferred translation of the Isaiah chapter:
"The Message" in modern English or NIV or the translation used by Chabad or the Hebrew with classic old English.

The painted stained glass window is exhibited at Hechal Shlomo museum of Jewish art in Jerusalem.
It was made in England in 1907, one of twelve windows that graced a synagogue in Manchester.
It is based on sketches made by 19th century pilgrims to the Holy Land.

Shabbat shalom!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Dean and Dina down by the sea


Number One grandson Dean and I were talking about sloths and how they hang upside down
I decided to throw decorum to the winds and demonstrate, despite my grandmotherly age. 
This was about ten years ago, in Australia, but I still remember the fun of acting young at heart in a public park! 

Visit the gallery to see what other City Daily Photo bloggers dared to post for our August theme, "young at heart."

(Linking also to ABC Wednesday's D day.)

Friday, July 28, 2017

Surprise clouds at sunset


Not just here in the Negev desert, but all over Israel, July has been crazy hot.
One heat wave after another with no respite.
Temps in the high 30s (near 100 degrees F) in the shade (if you can find any shade). 
Even our nights are too warm, which is not normal. 

During my sunset walk I was treated to these strange clouds and, mercifully, the breeze began to blow. 
Our summer skies do not often have any clouds.
And the long hot rainless summer can last for eight months.  

Shabbat shalom! 
(Linking to SkyWatch Friday.)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

When is a deck a boardwalk?


Can this long wooden walkway qualify as a "boardwalk"?
Hope so, because I need a B word for today's ABC Wednesday.
This was my first time to see Jerusalem's cultural and entertainment venue, the First Station.
I was last there in 2013 when the old heritage site train station was being re-done, so my construction photos are now history.
Just look at all those carts!
I walked through at 2:30, returning from the nearby International Book Fair, and nothing much was open yet, except the restaurants.

The rough-hewn wood of the selling carts is meant to evoke the memory of old-time luggage carts for the train passengers back in the 19th century.
The journey up to Jerusalem with the coal-burning locomotives is one I would love to have made back then, when this was still part of the Ottoman Empire.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Tmol Shilshom, Only Yesterday


For the brand new version of the long-running meme ABC Wednesday that begins today, my A is for Agnon.
Shai Agnon, 1888-1970, was the only Israeli to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Alongside the walkway of the long Train Track Park in Jerusalem I was delighted to find this clever waist-high sign.
You can read (if you know Hebrew) either the cut out letters in the metal or the shadow of the words on the ground.
The quotation is from Agnon's famous masterpiece Tmol Shilshom, published in 1945.
Just a few years ago the book was translated into English as Only Yesterday.
You can sample some pages of the peculiar style here in Google Books.
UPDATE:  More about where this is located:

(Linking to signs, signs and old-new ABC Wednesday.)

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

High tension


The Electric Corporation had to send us this special crane, and we waited several hours without electricity as it drove over from Ashdod, the port city of the Mediterranean coast. 

Then they had to adjust the feet of the truck, to make it level and solid. 

Remember this post about the burning palm tree from last March? 
And this post on how the black dead tree was cut down? 
So the fire was the culprit!  Three months later the apparently frayed cable tore and ended up on the sidewalk. 

I know the technicians turn off the electric current for blocks around, but still, I always worry that the brave man on top might get zapped, God forbid!

Here he tried to "splice" the two ends of the cable.

But his helper on the ground later had to lift the cable up to him on a stick.

Oi, look how high he is, working hard to take up the slack and make it taut.

Leaning so far out of that cherry picker bucket. 
We all watched in awe.  

You can enlarge these pictures and see how the man is smiling through it all, as if to calm me, the Worrying Jewish Mother.
Thanks electric company. You guys are always here when we need you.
Stay safe and may you never ever get zapped. 
(Linking to ABC Wednesday Z-day.)

Friday, June 30, 2017

Grandkids in motion


Grandson Dean jumped nearly into the winter rain clouds back in 2013 when my Australia family was here in Israel.
His younger brother and sister were also in harnesses and bouncing off the big trampoline in a Beer Sheva shopping center.
You can see all of them jumping in this post.

We City Daily Photo bloggers have our July 1 Theme Day on the subject of MOTION.
See what other photographers are adding to today's CDP gallery.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Our yearly Night Run (in the sun)


Our yearly Meitar Night Run got underway just after 7 pm. 

Some parents ran together with their sons and daughters. 
Long shadows in the setting sun.  

The runners rounded this roundabout and ran back to the center of town, up hills and down hills. 

On the uphill, into the strong still-hot glaring sun, some of the less-inexperienced participants had slowed to a walk. 
The other, marathon-type, serious joggers would run for hours into the night on longer routes.  
I was happy just to stand still and take pictures and admire other people's endurance. 
(Linking to ABC Wednesday.)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Die goldene Medina


Every spring when these Israeli trees shed their flowers, turning the sidewalk a bright yellow, I am reminded of the Yiddish expression Die goldene Medina.
The Jewish immigrants disembarking at Ellis Island probably did not expect to see America's streets literally  paved with gold  in "the golden country," but they knew that with hard work and patience they would rise out of poverty.

The trees responsible for my reverie look like this, with rough bark.
(Linking to Camera-Critters meme, for the sweet black cat.)

Monday, June 19, 2017

I want a Russian dollhouse!


The most delightful booth at last week's Jerusalem International Book Fair was this Russian one with do-it-yourself scale models! 
I visited on the next to the last day and as you can see, eager Israelis had just about emptied the shelves.   
All that was left to buy was a small church, a truck, and a bridge. 

The nice sales rep from St. Petersburg was quite proud of the little wood-burning stove that goes into the fantastic dollhouse.    
See a close-up of the stove at the website. 
And here you can read all about the dollhouse. 
The "Clever Paper" publishing house makes a zillion different models--there is even a medieval series.  And not expensive.   Take a look! 
Amazon sells them too, under the name UMBUM. 

Soon the engineer, whose brainchild all this is, came over and they showed me how the UMBUM construction works--you just snap the pieces out of a flat card made of hard, solid binder board  and put them together (they call it "splicing the details") per the printed instructions. 
It is supposed to be for kids over three.  
I think WAY over three!  I would love to build some! 
(Linking to OurWorld Tuesday.)

Saturday, June 17, 2017

A very long autobiography

More from the Jerusalem International Book Fair which ran last week.
(See also the previous post.)

All these books are by Norwegian author Karl Ove KnausgÃ¥rd.

He was awarded the coveted Jerusalem Prize on opening night of the Book Fair. 
At the ceremony he said very welcome and surprising things about how he learned about Israel as a schoolboy. 

You can see a short TV report about him and about the fair. 
His autobiography spans I think six volumes and thousands of pages and in Norwegian is entitled Min Kamp
Fortunately neither the German nor English translations carried that title over as Mein Kampf. 
More about his My Struggle here

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Jerusalem International Book Fair

Every two years many foreign publishing houses flock to Jerusalem to talk and to exhibit at our International Book Fair.
Yesterday I traveled up to Jerusalem to sample their wares.

You wouldn't know it from the photo, but the pretty Austrian representative is hidden at her desk behind the flowers.
Sometimes, even more than the books, it is the people who leave the nicest and most lasting impression.
I loved hearing her accent in English, and I told her how I loved my month in beautiful Austria.
She gave me a booklet and a big map of the country.

The booth of the Esperanto League in Israel was pretty quiet.

A slideshow of Italy drew me in and made me really really want to go there.

Hopefully these program objectives are clearer in the original Russian.

For the first time ever, the fair took place inside the Hangar next to the First Station.
In previous years the venue was the more solid and impressive International Conference Center (Binyanei HaUma).

I left for my long homeward journey weighted down with four new books, but my wallet was a lot lighter.

More about the Fair in the coming posts.

Monday, June 12, 2017

The books are calling


International Book Week has started!
Tomorrow or the next day I'll be taking this train from Beer Sheva up to Jerusalem.
It's a long way there and back "just" to see a few thousand books and their exhibitors, but who can resist! 
(Linking to Our World Tuesday.)

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

People of the book


Tomorrow the annual Hebrew Book Week will be starting in many cities and towns.
And on Sunday the big International Book Fair will open in Jerusalem.
It is the first time the two are at the same time and that should be great!
I'll take the train up to Jerusalem in hopes of bringing you some exciting photos from the events.
UPDATE:  If you just can't wait, take a look at my posts from Book Fairs past.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

A tongue of fire?


In the dim recesses of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a priest and his reflection.

Enlarge the photo and you will even see the light reflected in his eyeglasses as well.

What almost looks like a flame above his head reminds us that this Sunday is Pentecost for some Christians.

The Book of Acts says that the Apostles were gathered together in one place [Jerusalem's Upper Room] when suddenly a sound came from heaven like a rushing wind, filling the entire house where they were sitting.
Then tongues of fire appeared and one sat upon each one of Apostles!
They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as directed by the Spirit.
Happy Pentecost to all the Christians celebrating it today!
There is a surprising and beautiful blessing for you here, by the modern poet Jan Richardson. 
(Linking to the meme inSPIREd Sunday.)

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Our most beautiful desert oasis


A real oasis in the desert, near the Dead Sea.
Ein Gedi, my most beloved nature spot in all of Israel!

This Apple of Sodom grows from the rock and clings to the canyon wall in Nahal David, on the way to the waterfall.
June 1 is Theme Day and City Daily Photo members are starting to blog about Nature today.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Cool campus cats


Cats are EVERYWHERE on the campus of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. 
Even indoors, it now appears! 
This one was feeling right at home inside the Student Administration Building. 

When she saw me sit down near her, the kitty perked up, assessing me: would I be a good source of food and cuddles? 
(Linking to Camera-Critters.)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Sculptures at sunset


Art in between two Brutalist buildings at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev!

The light of the setting sun (see it in the tree?) silhouetted them nicely.

The BGU booklet Beyond the Classroom about the sculptures on campus offers this:
Three Fanfare Trumpeters and a Climber
Ofra Zimbalista
2014, cast aluminum, life-size figures
Three musicians scale the side of a building, representing a group  going in a single chosen direction.   On a nearby building, the W.A. Minkoff Senate Hall, an individual chooses to climb a new, previously unexplored peak. 

Click the photos if you'd like to see them bigger.
There are three other posts in the blog with more sculptures by the same Ofra Zimbalista z"l.
(Linking to Our World Tuesday.  And T is for Trumpeters for ABC Wednesday.)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A spooky whirling skirt


Ben-Gurion University is having a very unusual exhibition right now.
"Tzena Urena" is a group exhibition focusing on Israeli Jewish women's responses to their religious and female identity.


Watch Zipora Mendel's "The Twirling Movement of a White Skirt" in my little video clip.

Here is an explanation!
You can enlarge the photo if necessary.
I was the only one in the exhibit and being there alone with this whirling skirt was a bit spooky.
UPDATE May 18: On the subject of white shirts, here is something funny from today's Haaretz:
(For ABC Wednesday.).

Monday, May 15, 2017

Lag BaOmer bonfires


We celebrated the Jewish holiday Lag BaOmer last night!

The mama cat, who has a litter of kittens hidden nearby, kept coming over to investigate this intrusion on her territory.

The authorities asked that Israelis not make the huge and numerous bonfires this year, to cut down the pollution and fire danger.
So we had a small, civilized one.

Wings on the charcoal.

Today, the morning after, kids have a day off from school.

More about Lag BaOmer here.