Category Archives: Israel

The nine Gates of the old city of Jerusalem

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Beautiful gate of the 'Ieshiva Bet El' in the Jewish quarter

Beautiful gate of the ‘Ieshiva Bet El’ in the Jewish quarter

 

Nine gates are in the wall of the Old city of Jerusalem built in the 16th century by Suleiman the Magnificent, they protect the cradle of the three monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam :

-The Golden Gate – the Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent while renovating the walls of the old city definitely closed that gate in order to refrain the Jewish Messiah to pass.
– The Dung gate – Poor people used to live in the lower part of the old city  where  they  probably threw garbage. Next to it and later on in the 1980’s excavation an old medieval gate was opened to allow an easier passage
– The Tanners gate reopened recently.
– The Sion Gate or David Gate where is the Tomb of King David
– The Jaffa Gate in the direction of the Biblical city of Joppée, called Jaffa today.
– The New gate built at the end of the nineteen century to allow a quick passage to the    Christian quarter .
– The Damascus Gate the most beautiful gate in the north in direction of Naplouse and Damas.
– The Flowers Gate also called the Herod’s Gate opened in 1875 after the construction started outside the walls.
– The Lions Gate according to a legend the sultan Soliman the Magnificent had a terrible nightmare,  lions threatening to devour him as he did not seriously provide the protection of his population living inside the old city. He immediately hastened the construction of the city walls.

DOMUS GALILAEAE – The Galilee’s Home

Domus Galilaeae The garden

Domus Galilaeae The garden

This magnificent building of Domus Galilaeae is in the lower galilee dominating the Sea of Galilee and the Mont of Beatitudes.

Domus Galilaeae first stone was laid in  January 1999, the building was built in a short period of time with traditional Tuscan stone.

The opening of the site was held in 2000.

Managed by the Catholic organization Neocatechumenal Way, Domus Galilaeae employs about 150 full-time people, including workers, technicians and volunteers. There are 37 Christian Arab workers, 32 Arab Muslims, 21 technicians, 20 Jews, Druze and 10 Maronites.

It was inaugurated by Pope John Paul II during his visit for the Holy Land Millennium .

In the center of the library is an ancient Torah.

Francisco José Argüello Gómez y Wirtz more fluently called Kiko Arguello Wirtz was born in Spain January 9, 1939. A Spanish artist who studied fine art at the Royal Academy of San Fernando in Madrid and received in 1959 the Special National Award for painting.

He is not only the architect but also the innovator of what became in 1964 the Neocatechumenal Way in the slums of Palomeras Altas in Madrid.

On May 13, 2009, he received an honorary doctorate by the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family.

The center is designed as a place where Christians would learn about the living tradition of Israel following the footsteps of early Christian saints “who have returned to their Hebrew roots by studying the meaning of prayer, celebrations and Hebrew liturgies” .

John Paul II, who illustrated a new era affinity between Catholics and Jews, stressed the need to appreciate the Jewish roots in order to live an authentic Christianity.

Domus Galilaeae entrance hall

Domus Galilaeae entrance hall

Domus Galilaeae roof and terrasse overlooking the Sea of Galilee

Domus Galilaeae roof and terrasse overlooking the Sea of Galilee

Domus Galilaeae magnificent library

Domus Galilaeae magnificent library

Domus Galilaeae - the chapel

Domus Galilaeae – the chapel

 

 

Sarona – Tel-aviv’s German colony –

Tel-aviv - Sarona

Tel-aviv – Sarona

”The Templers” were Protestant religious people who came to the Holy Land in the nineteen century with their mentor Christoph Hoffman calling for the return to the origins of Christianity and the establishment of urban and agricultural settlements in Palestine.

Their involvement with the Nazism government during Hitler’s time made them the ennemy of the British in power in Palestine and after World War II, the entire Templar community with their seven settlements in Palestine was deported to Australia, never to return.

They arrived in Palestine more than a decade before the first Zionist Jewish immigrants came and in many ways, they served as models.

Despite their small number in the country, the Templars nonetheless contribute to
modern techniques of agricultural development in Palestine and they quickly gained a reputation for their skill and precision in the execution of various works.

They planted vineyards and orchards using modern technology unknown in Palestine, they created the first oil mills for grain that operated with steam engine. They have tapped into the soil to find this water so rare and necessary for the survival of everyone. They opened the first European-style hotels and pharmacies, and embarked on the production of important commodities like soap and cement – or beer and wine. They were the first in the market of “Jaffa Oranges”.

Their beautiful houses,  of continental elegance, with their red tile roofs were surrounded by flourishing gardens. These neighborhoods have become today, after their renovations, trendy and luxurious places either in Jerusalem, Haifa, Bethlehem of Galilee, Jaffa and Tel Aviv Sarona.

The Sarona district includes 37  Templar houses that were renovated (out of 85 at the time of the Templars) 5 of them have even been raised and displaced to expand the Kaplan street and to allow better circulation. The project, which lasted for years, finally ended and we can see now numerous high luxury buildings that are being built on the site of the houses that were destroyed together with shops and “haute cuisine” restaurants even installed in underground vaulted cellar of the agricultural cooperative used by the German Templars.

This unique neighborhood, thanks to the renovation, allow us to keep an eye on the past and I was told  that the young german generation belonging to this community come sometime to visit the Holy Land and their ancestors patrimony. They are delighted to know that their heritage has been preserved and they are proud of it and so are we !….

 

Tel-Aviv - Sarona

Tel-Aviv – Sarona

Tel-aviv - Sarona

Tel-Aviv – Sarona

Tel-Aviv’s ”Cafe Tamar” and the Lady with the blue hair

cafe tamar 2While passing in Sheinkin Street in Tel-Aviv yesterday, I could not resist to glimpse at the remain of what once was  ”Cafe TAMAR”,  the mystic cafe where so many writers, artists and journalists sat down and wrote their articles, books and even songs related to the place.

The cafe was closed at the end of June after having being managed  by Sarah Stern for 74 years, the Lady with the blue hair, who celebrated her 90th birthday this year.

The café opened in 1941, and in 1956 was taken over by Abraham and Sarah, after they had met in the British army in the Egyptian sands. After the death of Abraham in 1966 Sarah took over and managed the café in a mastering manner. The toasted bagels were unique and it became the favorite place for the Sheinkin-south Tel-Aviv’s boheme, which spent many hours sitting and discussing about politics, religions and last trend of the day.

Sheinkin Street, called the ”Boheme street” became this mystical, amazing and interesting street thanks to the combination of reporters from the nearby daily newspaper Davar and the many politicians who would conduct their business there together with the people from the world of culture and art who had made the café their ”Home”.

I felt very sad to see the door closed. Gazing through the window I could see all the furniture remaining inert, motionless like in a picture.

 

 

DATES – Fruit of the Holyland

 palmiers dattiers

For all dates lovers….                                                                     

                                                                      DID YOU KNOW?

                               YOUR ARTERIES need DATES .. and they have all the qualities.

Israel is the country of dates. The Israeli Medjoul dates are the most coveted because of their softness, their flesh and their large size. They represent about 35 percent of the world market.

A sweet fruit, yet they do not raise cholesterol levels and even protect the arteries. They strengthen protection against heart attacks and stroke risk by lowering levels of triglycerides in the blood.

In the 1930’s the founder of Kibbutz Kinneret, Mr. Ben-Zion Yisraeli, made several trips to Egypt, Iraq, Kurdistan and Iran in search of date seedlings for transplanting in Israel. Nevertheless, the Medjoul varieties and Deglet Nour came decades later via California.

All varieties of dates are grown in Israel in areas that extend along the Jordan valley and the dattes 3Arava The Syrian-African fault that stretches from Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) in the north and the Dead Sea in the south, offers the perfect conditions for growing hot dates.

The high temperatures are necessary for the fruit to ripen, and palms also need a lot of water. This is not always sufficient, but fortunately these trees develop easily with water even slightly salty and recycled water.

The harvest season of dates starts in late July and ends in October

According to scientific research, the pomegranate, grapes and olive oil are the three foods that can limit heart attacks and cerebral accidents. For a long time, the date did not have a good reputation among nutritionists: “They were suspected to be cholesterol bombs,” says one researcher. Yet the results are formal: eating 100 grams of dates daily for the period of one month does not raise the sugar level in the blood for even an inch. Instead, cholesterol is found decreased.

Remember the Rambam – Moses Maimonides (1135-1204) A Doctor and a Jewish philosopher as well as an Andalusian Rabbi .. To him the word health (in Hebrew BRIOUT) meant:

1- B- “Bolem” mitigate R- “rogzo” anger
2- I-  “iafchit” reduce O- “ochlo” his diet
3- U- “viagbir”  increase T- “tnouato” movement

The three principles of the Rambam remain valid.

Epidemiological studies have shown that risk factors for cardiovascular diseases which are primarily responsible for mortality are:

– Smoking, hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol A and / or detriglycéride)
– Hypertension,
– Diabetes, abdominal obesity,
– Stress, low daily intake of fruits and vegetables
– Lack of exercise, excessive alcohol consumptions

All of these risk factors can be reduced or eliminated.
           

                          Besides, did Einstein himself not nod to the medical by declaring:

                                 “A clever person solves problems, a wise person avoids them.”

 

A dates palm tree

A dates palm tree