Tag Archives: tradition

The seven species of the land of Israël

Due to the seven types of fruits and grains, the main products of the land of Israel, it is mentioned in the Torah as :

“A land of wheat, barley, grapes, figs and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey.

WHEAT

This is the first element needed to build Personality, the Spiritual and Intelligent side of a person

Wheat field

Wheat field

BARLEY 

This provides animal feed, an important element for human existence.

Barley

Barley

 

 

 

 

 

 

A VINEYARD expresses Joy and Festivity

Life is made of moments of happiness which are celebrated by enjoying a good wine.                    ” The wine delights the hearts of humans ” Psalm 104-15

Grape vine

Grape vine

DATE HONEY symbolises a Good, Sweet, and Abundant life in the Land of Israel

In biblical Hebrew, the word for date palm is Tamar, a woman’s name evoking grace and elegance. The name is popular even today.

Palm Tree with date fruits

Palm Tree with date fruits

 

 

 

 

 

 

The FIG is the symbol of Celestial food

The fig tree is a Messianic tree and one of the first tree to bloom in February.

It has this peculiarity that none of its leaves are the same, like the image of Israel, or the Torah, where every biblical verse can have a different explanation.

Figs

Figs

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE POMEGRANATE  is the symbole of  Prosperity,  Fertility and Beauty.

It has many seeds. The children of Israël should feel inclined to perform as many good deed (Mitzvoth) as the number of seeds of the pomegranate.

Pomegranate

Pomegranate

The OLIVE tree is the symbol of a Blessed and Happy family life.

It is also that of Longevity, Hope and of Peace … and is reputedly to live forever.

Olive tree

Olive tree

                                                                                                                                                                                      

 

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The ‘Three Marys’ and the ‘Saint Marys of the Sea’

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Mary Magdalene, Mary Salome and Mary Jacobe

There is a fascinating legend about the city called ”Saintes Maries de la Mer” in Provence, the southern part of France.

Three Saints, Mary Magdalene, Mary Salome and Mary Jacobe, whose relics are the object of devotion for pilgrims in the ” Saintes Maries de la Mer”, were the first witnesses according to the Gospels  of the resurrection of Jesus after his crucifixion in a place called Golgotha in the Old City of Jerusalem.

They followed their Uncle Joseph of Arimathea by boat to Alexandria, Egypt. A French legend tells us about their drift that led them on this Mediterranean coast to a Fortress city called at the time ” Oppidum-Ra” and which became  ”Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer” in 1838.

A beautiful church fortress, built in the Middle Ages at the heart of the city, reminds us of the dangers that were rampant in this region due to the impromptu arrival of pirates. It was a strategic retreat that allowed the population to shelter far from danger. This also explains the walls with slits and a fresh water well that is located inside it.

When talking about the Camargue and the Saintes, there is always the image of the Gypsies that comes to our mind with their annual religious pilgrimage the last sunday in May, in honor of their landlady the Holy Sarah.

Black Sarah the patron Saint of the gypsies
Who was she ?

An Egyptian child servant with dark skin, who was entirely devoted to the three Maries

or

A generous woman from the village who welcomed the three women warmly upon their arrival and offered them hospitality.

Several Mediterranean towns such as Arles, Les Baux de Provence, Marseille claim the privilege of hosting the Barque of the Holies Marys.

The three Marys were buried together at the heart of the city where the medieval church was built.

The tomb of Mary Magdalene can be seen in the Massif of the ”Sainte Baume” ….

Martha, the sister of Lazarus converted to a terrible monster (the Tarasque) that used to rise out of the waters of the Rhone to devour people and livestock at Tarascon …

 

 

 

City's Emblem of Saint Mary de la Mer

City’s Emblem of Saint Mary de la Mer

The Italian architecte Antonio Barluzzi and his artwork in the Holyland

The architecte Antonio Barluzzi

The architecte Antonio Barluzzi

The architect Antonio Barluzzi (1884-1960) was born in Rome. He devoted his life to the Holy Land and designed, on behalf of the Custody of the Holy Land, new Sanctuaries. the first one was at the foot of the Mount of olives called ‘Gethsemane’  meaning the Olive Oil Press. After that he created the  ‘the Church of the Transfiguration’ on Mount Tabor, which was to be followed by many others works.

Barluzzi brought new architecture to the Holy Land. At that time, designers were following the styles of past eras by rebuilding of gothic cross-shaped churches in a  classic Byzantine style

Antonio Barluzzi was a strong believer. He conceived these religious sanctuaries to remind “the Mystery of Jesus’ life”, so that every pious visitor would be able to feel the serenity of this sacred place.

After receiving the task of designing the new “Church of All Nations” in the Gethsemane project, which also included the design of the Sanctuary of Mount Tabor, Barluzzi adapted the project according to the discoveries that took place at the same time on the ruins of the Byzantine church of the fourth century.

The basilica buit in 1924 was designed as a unique space. It contains only two rows of six columns, into which the light is filtered throughmidnight blue glazing, where thousands of stars are reminding Jesus’ Night of agony.

The mosaics that decorate the apses are the illustrations of events that occurred on the next morning of the agony, the kiss of Judas and his arrest.

Everything has been designed to make this place for meditation and prayer and to lead to the most important element : the Stone, remembering the location where Jesus spent the night crying and praying,  located near the ‘altar.

Antonio Barluzzi was getting quite frustrated at not being known enough and left his mark by been represented on the vault of the dome to the right of the apse.

Also in ‘the Church of the Visitation’  at ‘Ein Karem one can see the architecte been painted in one of the drawings inside the church.

In 1960 began the construction of an even more remarkable church : the ‘Annunciation to Mary’ in Nazareth.

Barluzzi died that year and did  not have the opportunity to see this church built according to his plans.

The Basilica of the agony - Gethsemane

The Basilica of the agony – Gethsemane

 

The church of the Mount of Beatitudes

The church of the Mount of Beatitudes

The Church of the Transfiguration - Mont Tabor

The Church of the Transfiguration – Mont Tabor

View of Mont Tabor and the Church of the Transfiguration

View of Mont Tabor and the Church of the Transfiguration

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

The Trumpeldor Cemetery – the Tel-aviv ”Père Lachaise”

Shoshana Damari

Shoshana Damari

Trumpeldor street in Tel-aviv, situated south of the White City and close to its beautiful beach is where one can find the most famous cemetery of Israel. One could call it the Israeli  ”Père Lachaise’.

The cemetery was named after
Yosef Trumpeldor – a  Hero of the Modern                         History of Zionism.

At the end of the nineteenth century it was located outside the City of Jaffa,  when Tel- Aviv did not yet exist..

The cemetery was situated far away to the Northern part of the Ottoman urban City of Jaffa. During late afternoons, when darkness fell over the country,  the ‘undertakers” had sometimes difficulties to find their way to the cemetery, and many stories were spread about this awkward transportation. One of the reasons was that the Plague invaded the city and in order to avoid an epidemic the bodies had to be hastily buried as far away as possible.

The dilapidated state of the cemetery has been a deep concern for the Israeli patrimony lovers. Some of the graves are even nameless.

But what a wonder to discover the names of some notabilities that are buried here :

Moshe Sharett – second Prime Minister of Israel , Meir Dizengoff – the First mayor of Tel Aviv, Chaim ArlosoroffMenahem SheinkinMax Nordau and other founding characters of Zionism, Hayim Nahman Bialik, the National Poet and other writers like Shaul Tchernichovsky, Menahem Sheinkin, and the great painters  Nahum Gutman and Reuven Rubin, who rest alongside well-known singers buried more recently Shoshana Damari and Arik Einstein.

              As children say, in the Trumpeldor Cemetery one can find

                                          ALL THE NAMES OF THE STREETS OF CITIES OF ISRAEL

Arik Einstein

Arik Einstein