THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVOURITE… ISRAELI… THINGS
Posted 4 January 2007on:
but before that ……
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANUSHKA
Today is Anushka’s birthday and if I have got my sums right, she is now a teenager, sweet 13. Axe is unable to get her anything for her special day and thought that she would try to take her to an internet cafe over the weekend and it would be a wonderful present and surprise if everyone would visit her blog and leave a message for her. Look at her… she’s such a beautiful girl. May this new year be a turning point in her and her brother’s lives, and of course for our dear friend Axe.
I thought I would share with you some other things that bring me pleasure (!) Actually it doesn’t take too much to please me…. what do they say, “simple things please simple minds!”
If you thought you knew me, well even I don’t really understand myself. Firstly I have a thing about olive trees. Okay I do have a predilection for the fruit of the tree, quite a fondness… erm, maybe I should call it a weakness for olives…. yummy. However, I love the tree. The first thing I bought when I moved into my new home was an olive tree for the garden. Its leaves mesmerize me. Their grey-green surface and the white underside shimmers in the breeze. Btw, this picture is not my sweet little olive tree…. this particular mighty one grows in Jerusalem.
The olive is one of the most important and symbolic plants mentioned in the Bible. It is associated with the dove of peace and of course the biblical account of the dove returning to Noah’s ark at the end of the flood (Genesis 8:11).
Its oil anointed prophets and kings (Judges 9:8-9) and alongside grain and wine it was the third great product of the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 7:13). Olive fruits provided the rich and the poor alike with oil for cooking, lighting, cosmetics, and medicine; while olives pickled in brine were an important food throughout the year. The Israelites were promised many things for which they had not laboured, including vineyards and olive trees which they had not planted (Deuteronomy 6:11) implying that olive cultivation was well established by the Canaanites at the time of the exodus. The Promised Land was to be “a land of olive trees and honey” (Deuteronomy 8:8).
I have an assortment of hamsa (yad) adorning the wall by my front door; they are crafted from ceramic, wood, glass or pewter. Some are decorated with doves or flowers or butterflies or scenes of Jerusalem, whilst others are inscribed with a Hebrew prayer like the Shema, (Hear O Israel, the L-ord our G-d, the L-rd is one) or the prayer for the home (Tefilat HaBayit) or the prayer for travelling (Tefilat HaDerech). A hamsa, or hand, gets its name from the Hebrew word chamesha which means five.
An alternative name for it is the Hand of Miriam, referring to Moses and Aaron’s sister Miriam. It serves as an ancient talisman, a way to avert and get protection from the evil eye or more generally speaking to provide a “protecting hand” or “Hand of G-d”. I am not at all superstitious and just collect them as ornaments because, well because I like them and they’re so pretty.
Ah, another thing I love… these pomegranates. I only have six so far in different sizes and assorted shades of red; some are slightly more decorated than others. They are handmade from terracotta and hand drip-glazed with a deep red marble glaze. The pomegranate is a symbol of fertility and prosperity and it is one of the seven species of Israel. “A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of olive oil and honey.” (Deuteronomy 8:8)
This picture was taken by Bridgitte last Wednesday when the snows fell on Jerusalem. It is where they live in Neve Daniel and it’s the last pomegranate standing so to speak. Notice the stone of the building… all buildings in Jerusalem have to be built in Jerusalem stone.
Of course these are my most ab fab fav Israeli things… born and bred Israelis…. litte Boaz with his new friend Mr Snowman and baby Moriah thinking that if no one else can be bothered to feed me, guess I’ll have to do it myself.
Now you may be wondering, what on earth has this got to do with Israel and although Vincent D’Onofrio may be my ab fab fav heartthrob, it’s the other guy who gets the mention… dearest Chris Noth.
To quote the man himself, “From what I’ve heard about Israel and its sites, landscape, beaches and historical and religious heritage, it is a wonderful place to visit. I told my friends that I’m going to Israel because I’m a New Yorker, and a New Yorker goes to Israel.”
Maybe the next time Chris goes to Israel he could bring his fellow detective and show him the sights and sites too… end of July in Herzliya would be perfect… sigh! Chris since Vincent seems to be a reluctant escort… what are you up to?