I didn’t get to see all the outside exhibits. I did get to see the ones that really called to me, and one that didn’t, but it stopped me cold when I got to it.
The first one we came to on the path we took was the cattle car. Beside the cattle car engraved into a wall behind it was testimony given at the Nuremberg trials. It’s the story of a man who was a prisoner in one of the cattle cars. He told what gems he traded a German towns person at a train stop for a cup of water. He traded some outrageous sum, a diamond maybe? But I think it was all the wealth he had left for that cup of water. There was a woman in the car with him who was determined he was going to give part of it to her little son. Not herself, her little son. And she kept after him, and kept after him until finally he did give her a little of the last for her son. He said when he left the cattle car the little boy was laying on the floor unresponsive and not moving. Yes, you can be unresponsive and the body still move.
Dedicated in memory
There was a section called “The Garden of the Righteous Among The Nations”. There are walls arranged by country. On each countries wall are the names of those who are not Jewish that risked their lives to save the lives of Jews. On each tree is the name of a person and their country. No, it’s not a forest. There are a lot of trees, but it’s not a forest. I can only hope there were many cases of just regular people helping, that no one ever heard about.
The Garden of the Righteous Among The Nations
There is a a HUGE pillar called “Pillar of Heroism”. This is probably my favorite sculpture. It’s so tall I can’t even get the whole thing in a picture! This picture is from the Yad Vashem site. At least you can see what it looks like.
Pillar of Heroism
There is a stone plaque near it inscribed “Now and forever in memory of those who rebelled in the camps and ghettos, fought in the woods, in the underground and with the Allied forces; braved their way to Eretz Israel; and died sanctifying the name of God”.
A few thoughts on all this. First, the movie Defiance. It starred the anti-gun twit Daniel Craig as Tuvia Bielski. Why does this anger me so much? Because part of the movie shows him going to a poor Russian farmer he had connections with and begging for a gun and ammunition. The farmer manages to procure one and gives it and the ammunition to him. The next time you see the Russian farmer he has been tortured and killed and the message left it was because he helped the Jews. One would think old Daniel might use some of his wealth to buy a clue, but that seems to happen with actors and actresses about never. He never catches on this stuff happened, and there is no reason it couldn’t again. And yet he uses the platform he gains from his movie fame to preach his anti-gun screed. No, I don’t see many movies. Most actors and actresses I refuse to enrich with either money or fame.
I think the world’s moral compass has gone nuts. While we see the outcome of allowing a group to be isolated and vilified, we now allow groups to freely play the “victim” or “racism” card to shut down open discussion on any topic they don’t want people to talk about, or when facts are about to get in the way of their agenda. And the opinions they seem to try hardest to shut down are the Judeo-Christian values that are most likely held by most of the population of this country at least. Politicians on the left and the “news” media freely join in this game labeling those that support traditional ways of life as “extremist”. They label returning military veterans as “extremist” and a threat. Then they condemn them to a socialized health care system, made worse purposefully by the VA. Politicians and the elitists on the left are creating different classes of citizens, but to what purpose I wonder. The majority in the past has rather meekly backed down when faced with such accusations of intolerance or racism or_____. I mean after all, most of us were raised to be polite, not purposefully giving offense to any. Far too many do not understand that giving offense, is the least of their problems. The left does this with a reason. It seems those preaching most loudly for “tolerance” have—none.
I remember when I first made the “hummus team” the fellow in charge at the time and I were having a discussion on guns. I know shocking. But he asked me why I was so insistent (ok, maybe he used a stronger word, I don’t remember) I turned and looked him in the eye and said “Because when I say NEVER AGAIN I MEAN IT! Not your people, not my people. Never again will any group of people be at the mercy of government that wants to exterminate them. EVER. I want to make sure there are tools there that can back it up. Words sometimes aren’t enough”. After he started breathing again, we ended up having a really good discussion about his time in the service and his M1.
The sculpture that tore at me? The one I hadn’t look for, the one that didn’t call to me? The one that was on our path out of the gardens. It was made of iron I suppose. It appeared to be just stick bodies piled up, arms and legs supporting the layer on top, horrifying in it’s simplicity. Perhaps I was meant to see and share it. There are things in this life that are not a game. They are a warning, a message. We ignore it at our own peril.
Why do I write about such sad things? Patterns, for one. Are you seeing them? Such a tragedy in the history of man-kind? Because if I can put enough detail about some of these people out there that you remember them, and you think about them from time to time, even though you never met them? Then in a way their lives are still touching others. The nazis failed. They didn’t snuff out their lives. People are still thinking of them, they are remembered, perhaps their surviving family will merit a prayer? Perhaps our country will get a prayer? Then the nazis failed. I win. You win. They lose. Good plan.
I’m continuing on my journey to learn to read and write in Hebrew. As you’ve no doubt figured out, I’m not having an easy time of it! A dear friend Christie, believes in my so much she bought me a book in Hebrew of stories. I plan to read it, not sure which year. Sigh. My friend Deb gave me a children’s coloring book with the words in Hebrew beside a picture and the word in English below. Nissim has gone through part of my reading assignments and helped me figure out which ones really are words, and which are just sounds for practice. And still I’m having a hard time.
I decided maybe the thing to do, would be to try to learn to read and write in Hebrew like I first did in English. This is complicated by the fact my Dad is no longer with us for me to sit on his lap and have him read stories to me and point out words. It is also complicated by the fact I can’t find a Big Chief Tablet! How do teachers and parents expect their children to learn to read and write without a Big Chief Tablet, I want to know! I think that is part of what is wrong with the world today, there are NO Big Chief Tablets! I think America was a better place when Big Chief Tablets were in stores on the shelves. Perhaps that is what has gone wrong with America, there are no Big Chief Tablets.
Why you ask am I hunting for a Big Chief Tablet? Well, my friend Deb helpfully pointed out that the path to success for me, she felt lay with a Big Chief Tablet and a fat pencil. Like the kind first graders use when they are learning to write. A measure of my willingness is pictured below. I have obtain the suggested fat pencil. For the record, they are called “My first Ticonderoga”. Okey dokey. If I learn to read and write Hebrew I’m happy. Now, my success may be threatened because there are no Big Chief Tablets to be had! Since I couldn’t get that, I decided to go for pretty. Pretty is good.
I’m not really Israeli, I’m not Jewish, but I care deeply about Yad Vashem, and you should too. Why? Read on.
Get coffee, get a BIG cup of coffee.
This was my first big adventure, after landing at Ben Gurion airport with it’s plaque telling when it was freed by the IDF on the 10th of July 1948 in the War for Independence.
The visit to Yad Vashem starts out in a theater. It has a looping film showing slices of life, conversation and music in the days before the madness began. It’s like being behind the lens of a camera that is panning a street. There are apartment buildings and you see people through the windows doing things like having dinner, practicing a violin, teaching, visiting. Then you might see a office building, or a factory. Through their windows you see people doing things. Eventually the panning shifts and you see country side with people working, children playing. Slices of normal life, the way life should have remained for them, but didn’t. Yad Vashem covers why it didn’t, what happened when it didn’t and the final “victory”, which it was, but at a fearful price.
The first of the displays talks about what life was like, before the nazis really had power, they were just beginning to grow in their influence. How many of the Jews were professional people, like doctors, lawyers, teachers. Many if not most, I imagine, of the children went to school, like other children. They had families, lives and their synagogues. Slowly that began to change. Initially Germans resisted the attempts to vilify their neighbors that had lived among them for so long. It took hitler a while to change people’s mindsets. When he first began to attempt to blame the Jews for all the ills Germany was undergoing, they didn’t buy in. Given time, and help they were not only willing to turn a blind eye, they did buy in.
I think if we look at where some of that help came from and what it was it could be very useful for us today. What is it they say? Those who ignore the past are doomed to repeat it.
I guess one of the things that struck me about how life was “before” was the feeling of trust. The Jews thought they were safe. The Germans, Poles, and others were their neighbors. They had “coexisted” for a very long time. Co-exist is a lovely sentiment, makes a darling bumper sticker (or an advertisement for who would be an easy target when things go south) and if all parties were willing it would be wonderful. But history seems to show us one of the parties in the “coexist” will decide they don’t want to “coexist” they want to rule, or destroy another party, and they set about doing it. The rest of the museum deals with the result of the “coexist” mindset.
Some of the exhibits, many actually would have film clips you could watch. Some of footage shot during the holocaust, some of survivors, some of observers. One was of a woman that told of her Mother having made a hiding place in the closet and when the nazis would come she would shove them in it. The last time the nazis came she talked them into letting her get her coat. She opened the closet, quietly said “Good-bye girls, if I’m not back by night, go to the TenBooms” I have to wonder if that would be Corrie TenBoom, the author of “The Hiding Place”. Quite a book and a movie. She didn’t come back. Some of the people knew who betrayed them. It was their friends, and neighbors. People they had known and trusted for years. But why would these former friends betray them to such a horrific fate? The museum had some very compelling evidence how it could happen.
A very charismatic leader came to power using the slogan “Hope and Change”, whoops wrong slogan, hitler’s was just “Hope”. Hope for Germany. Germany had been in a sad state of affairs since the last war they started, their debt was crushing them. And Mr. Germany (who wasn’t really German) knew who to blame. The Jews, he was very upfront about his feelings, but the low info voters blew off the warning signs in his book Mein Kampf. So hitler promised Germans he would provide ice cream, rainbow strew and free hitler phones to all when he was elected. He purchased a newspaper to spread his screed. Tyrants today do not need to go to such lengths as the print media is pretty well on board and does the screed spreading for free, as they’ve bought in to the ideology. Pretty much the same with TV, for those that get out of line and really are investigative journalists you can read my post on Sharyl Atkisson. Or perhaps study the late Andrew Breitbart. And, he had his new propaganda minister to help out. I don’t know if the media back then were willing participants, or if they were forced but you began to see “cartoons” of Jews handing out poison candy to unsuspecting children. In fact there is a whole collection of these cartoons. Some of them were used in schools, proving “common core” is really nothing new. You can see several of them here. http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/thumb.htm They sort of remind me of the way that cartoonist for the “Red Star” portrays gun owners. I haven’t taken that rag for years, if they can’t report a story involving a firearm accurately after it has happened why would I think anything else they report is accurate? Vilification of Jews in cartoons was nothing new, it occurred in the middle ages as well, and the nazis happily revived some of the old woodcuts. Wikipedia has info here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewpig it’s called Judensau. I will tell you before you look, it’s vile, the only reason I’m giving the link is I saw a platter with that woodcut image in the museum. Yep, people served food on them, there were also plates so people ate off them.
The culture was changing that made it not only acceptable but desirable to isolate and vilify one group of people. An artist named Charlotte Salomon (Apr 1917-10 Oct 1943 Auschwitz) did a series of paintings that chronicled her life entitled “Life or Theater”. They showed the changes in life the longer the nazis were in power. Her family had been quite comfortable before all the “hopey-changey” stuff took place. Her Dad was a surgeon, which became one of the prohibited professions for Jews. Charlotte had gained University acceptance to the United State school of pure arts, but in time she refused to go as it wasn’t safe. She and her husband fled to France where she continued to paint. When the nazis intensified their search in France for Jews, she and her husband were found. They were sent to Auschwitz, she was gassed the day she arrived and she was pregnant. Charlotte had turned over her paintings to a trusted friend for protection. She told the friend they were her life, she painted frantically towards the end. She lives on through the series of paintings. You can read more about Charlotte in wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlotte_Salomon
There was a picture of a beautiful young girl, she had long thick auburn braids in the picture. The braids are in the display case below, still braided, still thick and rich in auburn color. The owner long ago murdered. Part of the piles of things collected in the camps, like hair, teeth, glasses, shoes, some of this was re-purposed for the German army. And piles of bones and bodies, lots of bodies those things used to belong to. The jewelry of course had been confiscated.
My hands down favorite part of the museum was the section dedicated to the resistance. It was pitifully small. When you realize what the nazis did to the children of G_d, I suspect it might make the Egyptians look like a bad date. The weapons of resistance were pitifully few, and pitifully poor. I saw a rifle labeled as a pistol grip. Phooey! It was a rifle with the stock broke off. I’m sure it was easier to hide, but that’s all it was. There was one or two magazines laying beside it. Yes, there were a few other things in that section, but not enough. There should have been a room piled with magazines, rifles and all manner of things that had been used to defend the people. Two quotes struck me from this section.
Today it will be half a year since our destruction began [July 1942]. Had we but resisted then, at least as much as we resisted during the last deportation [January 1943], the Nazis would not have succeeded so easily in destroying such a large Jewish community. If the Jews had at the very least not gone of their own free will, but stubbornly hidden as they have been doing in the last few days – then the deportation would have lasted for months on end. One shudders to think that it required a quarter of a million Jews to give their lives, for the remainder to understand the reality of the situation and come to the right conclusions. From the diary of Shmuel Winter
“It is impossible to put into words what we have been through. What happened exceeded our boldest dreams. The Germans fled twice from the ghetto… My life’s dream has come true. Defense in the ghetto has become a fact. Armed Jewish resistance and revenge are actually happening. I have witnessed the glorious and heroic combat of the Jewish fighters.”~~Mordechai Anielewicz, Warsaw Ghetto, April 1943
I had coffee with a friend not long ago, we were talking about this. I said “If I were in charge, Yad Vashem would be a very different place. There would be rooms and rooms showing the different methods that were used to fight off an aggressor dedicated to erasing a section of the population off the face of the earth”. There would have been rooms showing the trials, and what happened to those that became tyrants and served tyrants. There would have been rooms dedicated to the victory celebration and one room to commemorate the six people that died fighting to save the lives of the innocents, because six people would have been all of the innocents that died. The death toll on the tyrant side would have been much higher.
So while the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto realized they were in a fight for their lives (finally) and news of the uprising began to come out, the rest of the world seems to have emitted a collective yawn. And so the poison gas flowed through the sewers, the tanks rolled in, fire spread and the people died. In recent times events have occurred that should make people sit up and take notice or at least open their eyes a bit wider in alarm, seems only to prompt only the changing of the channel to American Idol and people grab a coke with a smile. Putin rolls into the Ukraine and barry draws another red line in the sand. Isn’t it interesting that Putin is using the same excuse hitler did to invade countries? Well, when a country has ineffective leadership (at least in a positive direction, taking the country down the drain he’s a master at) you get things like the first lady holding up a sign begging a terrorist group to give back kidnapped girls. Yeah Mooch, that’ll do it.
Women in the camps didn’t have it any easier. They had to deal with things like Bloody Brigitte, she always struck till there was blood, she released her dogs on the prisoners. This sadistic German nurse spent time in prison for her crimes. I’m quite sure the prison she spent time in was much nicer than the ones she presided over.
There were also displays of pieces of medical equipment that could be used to determine if someone was Jewish, based on facial feature measurements. Now we don’t need those things, we have biometrics. They had helpful little “family tree” examples to determine the fate of someone’s life based on their grandparents.
I tend to look at patterns, and I’m seeing one. I’m seeing a pattern of a segment of a population being vilified by politicians, cartoonist ridiculing political and religious beliefs. Any attempt by the pitifully small remnant of a “news” media to point out the corruption is stifled. Anyone speaking out against it can look forward to IRS intervention to shut them down. And one party has called for the IRS to shut down political dissent. And yet from those espousing “tolerance” (but only for certain groups) are the very ones that push such policies using bully politics. You think people aren’t losing their jobs because of political or religious beliefs? Ask a pair of twin brothers that lost their new show on HGTV because it came out they were……..sssshhhhh, “Christians”. The same tactics have been tried against a store selling chicken sandwiches and a man that made & sells duck calls. WOW. So, HGTV pulled the new show. Darn, I will miss “Property Brothers”, but hey, they don’t want “my kind” of viewer,so I will oblige them, and their sponsors. You know, that’s the thing about a pattern, I’ve never bought a pattern for a shirt and ended up with a saddle blanket. They are worth paying attention to.
Next we will cover the gardens outside Yad Vashem.
Being a lacto-ovo vegetarian can sometimes be a challenge. Especially if you go visit another country. In Israel, I was right at home! It was easy to find wonderful food and drink to enjoy.
I had planned to start writing about my adventures by telling you about Yad Vashem, but then it occurred to me, that it really wasn’t my first adventure in Israel, Cafe Cafe was. Cafe Cafe is a chain, there are many of them in Israel, and they each are designed to fit into the neighborhood where they operate. This one is managed by our force of nature friend Nissim’s nephew, Yoel. So Deb thought we should start out the day’s adventure with a good breakfast and oh BABY was it GOOD! It was fantastic! I love that place. Deb ordered, which was a very good thing, since my Hebrew is very lacking when it comes to food. I can ask where the bathroom is though.
One of the first wonderful things I discovered was Sachlav, it is a hot drink. Hot steamed milk, with sugar, coconut, chopped peanuts on top. I think there are peanuts on the bottom of the cup too. Deb calls it “Israeli Carnation Instant Breakfast” You eat the frothy goodness with a spoon, well, I did. You might want to check back on this post, I’ve got a feeling some of the spelling on some of these items is going to need to be corrected. Not to worry, I’ve got an excellent source to get the information from. If I could have got my head in the cup I would have licked it clean. Deb is still grateful I couldn’t, I’m sure.
We also had Shak Shuka, and white and wheat bread, Israeli salad (if you come to the Israel booth at the Ethnic Enrichment Festival we served it last year) and what breakfast is complete without the drink of champions? Cafe Ha Fouch, if you know me at all, you know this is the stuff that flows through my veins. They make it pretty too, always a plus! It means basically, upside down coffee.
I waddled out of there. I love Cafe Cafe!
I came home very committed to learning to read and write Hebrew far better than I can now, which is not even first grade level. There is more than one reason for this, but here is a menu at a coffee shop at the Bus Station in Jerusalem. Thank goodness Deb could hold her own!
I would like to order????
Another wonderful place to visit in Beer Sheva is Glida Beer Sheva. They have the most amazing flavors of ice cream. Not pomegranate though, I was shocked. But they have plenty of other flavors, including coffee and mocha. Nice people, wonderful ice cream!
Glida Beer Sheva-yummy!
And finally, one more Israeli delight I enjoyed after I came home. Halvah. The best way Ican describe it is, like a very dense cheesecake, a bit dryer. But heaven (shamime) on a plate. Don’t let the fact it looks like a mere mortal marble cake fool you, it’s not! Deb was merciful and sent this home with me. I think she knew I might go through Israel withdrawl. Am still dealing with it, but have found a few activities that seem to be of help.
Halvah-mere words can not express….
This isn’t the end of the food review. I will tell you all about a great restaurant in Jaffa when we get to that stage of the journey, but for now this gives you an idea. It’s a miracle I didn’t come home weighing 400 lbs.
No, not the phony income inequality stuff barry is always talking about in yet another attempt to divide Americans. This one is real. This one was a crisis. I was out of Pita bread and I NEEDED it to make my lunch to take to work. Walmart usually has Pita bread back in the deli section but this time no luck. Here I was with a tub full of yummy roasted red pepper hummus and no Pita bread. I went to the bakery section, 4,329 kinds of tortilla, burrito, taco, tostito, superdito, expidito, wrappers. I mean PILES of them, TONS of them. Enough to open your own restaurant. I resumed my search for Pita bread, thinking this should be easy, this was on Tuesday, which was Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence day. I couldn’t find Pita. Back to deli where I asked a lady and she told me I had to go to bakery and ask for it, they would bring it out. I’m thinking, um, while I’m not in marketing this seems like a bad marketing plan to me. Why not just put it out with the 4,329 kinds of Mexican bread stuffs? Then people could BUY it. But I did as she said, found someone in produce and asked. She went and got a gal from inside the bakery, she said they were out. OUT? It’s Yom Ha’atzmaut, HOW can you be out of Pita? Apparently Israel’s Independence day doesn’t rank in the Walmart marketing mind the same as a holiday made famous by beer companies. Now there was a battle in Mexico on that day when the Mexicans kept the French from helping the Confederacy in the Civil War, but they don’t even celebrate this holiday in Mexico that much. Beer companies in the 80s made it very popular in the states. Weird, huh?
Not only Walmart gives Israelis a hard time. So does Newsweek magazine. In what I would call a hit piece they claim a congressional staffer said Israel’s spying on the US “very sobering…alarming…even terrifying.” Another staffer called it “damaging.” I guess I wonder WHAT are they spying on? How barry is going to pressure them next to give up the land that is their birthright? How much can they give away? They have given away land more than once trying to gain peace, and it just never seems to work. I guess I wonder what does G_d think of them giving away the land he gave them, and what does he think about nations that pressure them to do so again? The Israelis are plenty tech savvy enough on their own, I can’t imagine what they would need to spy on US to gain. Yes indeedy, I do love my cell phone, thank you Israelis.
The hit piece also pointed out Israel wanted to be on the list of nations that their citizens don’t need a visa to visit the US. Probably the same helpful “congressional staffer” gave some BS reasons why that wouldn’t happen and claimed Israel hadn’t done anything to get on the list. They seemed very worried about Israelis coming into the country. If it weren’t so ludicrous it would be funny. I mean really, was it Israelis who flew planes into our Twin Towers and the Pentagon? Israelis who shot up Fort Hood, either time? Was it Israelis who set off bombs at the Boston Marathon? Israelis who are sneaking across the Southern border and running drugs, signing up and getting welfare and obamacare benefits WE pay for? Um, NO! Nope, THAT lot barry and biden want to give amnesty to, and make sure they vote. To be fair, bohner wants to give amnesty as well.
Somehow, I can’t see the Israelis threatening violence against anyone wearing an American Flag t-shirt on Yom Ha’atzmaut. If all of our countries problems were as “terrifying”, I wouldn’t be so terrified.
Say, didn’t I hear Newsweek is going out of print? With solid “journalism” like that, I can’t see why, can you?
This is going to be out of order from my trip because I was so honored to be invited to Yom HaZikaron services at the Jewish Community Center tonight. It was the first time, though it won’t be the last that I’ve observed and been present at the service. Originally Yom HaZikaron was observed on Independence Day, but in 1950 responding to the requests by the families of fallen soldiers the day was moved to the day before Independence Day and so is now observed separately. Yom HaZikaron honors the fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism. This day is very solemn. The next day, Independence Day is a time of joy.
At 2000 (8PM) a one minute siren sounds, in Israel people stop what they are doing, including driving or riding on a bus. Tomorrow at 1100 a two minute siren sounds and the same cessation of activity will occur. This was Israel’s 66th observance.
The service started with a short film, on the Peretz family. The Mother talked about having two houses (and how glad I was it was subtitled). One is where she lives, one is in the cemetery. She has lost two sons to war. She talked about the only thing she wants to hear is the word “Mother”. They won’t be returning to her home, they are in their final home. She pointed out they fought for all, that they carried you in those knapsacks. Her answer? It is to live, and she intends to. Israel has lost 23, 169 soldiers from 1948 until the present. That doesn’t count the civilian victims of terrorism.
Early in the service a candle was lit by a friend of mine, Lt.Col. Effie to honor those he had served with in his unit and his country that have fallen in her service. A prayer called the Yizkor was said, it’s a prayer for the fallen casualties of war. This was followed by The El male rachamim. The leader then talked about the poem “The Silver Platter”. It is a VERY moving poem. She also talked about the attacks on the JCC 13th April this year.
There were many beautiful songs throughout the service. This one is “Walk to Caesarea” it was written by Hannah Szenes. Hannah deserves her own post!
Then a beautiful young lady related the story of finding out her invincible brother Gabriel being killed in a terrorist attack. She said he was strong as an angel. When she first heard the news she didn’t believe it. She said when her Mother cried over losing Gabriel, she would make it a point to go over and kiss her.
The next speaker pointed out that after the loss of a family member, life doesn’t continue. It stops and then starts again, but it’s not the same, it’s different.
Another very moving song was “A Million Stars” written by Amit Farkash, in honor of her brother Tom, and Israeli Pilot.
The another poem was about Angels talking about how many things they gave to bless this child.
The guest speaker was Moren Omer, he is in the Armored Corps. He paid honor to one of his soldiers Nir Leibovitz that had lost his life when his tank flipped in August of 2004. In Israel, they train for a year to work with a tank, in America for six years. I know from an interview I did with a Israeli Navigation Unit Commander for a Tank Battalion that the Arabs sometimes train as long as nine whole days. Americans have the luxury to train for six years. They don’t have their neighbors on every side denying their right to exist, and trying to kill them.
The service concluded with a prayer for Israel.
Then a bit of milling and visiting. I was introduced to several very kind people, one of whom had been instrumental during a war because he could tell them everything the enemy was saying. Good man to have on your side, don’t you think?
After that there was a question and answer session with Moren Omer, and yes, I was lucky enough to get to sit in on that as well. He is over here for a year with his family at Ft. Leavenworth. There are also soldiers from other countries over at Ft. Leavenworth and he has become friends with many of them. In fact since he is taking Arabic now, some of them help him with his studies.
The flower at the top? That’s my sticker from tonight. It’s a Helichrysum sanguineum, the Red Everlasting,(blood of the Maccabees). The story is The Macabees are described as a symbol of “fighting without fear – for faith, the right to faith, for the homeland, to live free in the homeland, self-defense, to stand in battle and in the end, victory. And their blood, let’s say it in all simplicity and confidence, flows in our veins. We are exactly like them. If a drop of our blood falls on the soil of our homeland, a flower will grow… small and red – dam hamakabim (Helichrysum sanguineum). Only in this land, the homeland, does this flower grow amongst the other flowers … dam hamakabim”.~~Itzhak Sadeh
So, for those that don’t read Hebrew, Shalom! Actually, I don’t read or write it well. This became abundantly clear last week. How? Well, I was in Israel. I speak a little, not well, though I’ve been told otherwise. I know enough to get myself out of, or into trouble. I had a wonderful time. For one week, I was an Israeli, a little, maybe. My heart was there long before my body followed. I have an Israeli phone number, and at the end, I decided to keep it. Just in case I ever get to go back. So it is MY phone number, if/when I go back, I will have the same phone number. I like that thought, alot.
I also have Etz Tamar, a palm tree. I stayed with my friend Deb who is teaching at Ben Gurion University for a few months. Deb’s landlord is the brother of my friend, well and her’s too, Nissim. Nissim is a force of nature. In front of the apartment building is a huge planter, in the huge planter was a palm tree. Of a morning I would take my coffee and devotional book out there and read, think, pray, watch life in Beer Sheva, well and swill coffee. A day or so after I had been there I decided it was going to be MY palm tree for one week. So every time I was out there I would police my tree, make sure there was no trash around it. Pick up any cups or wrappers and discard them in the trash. The trash room had a couple of resident cats. There are stray cats everywhere in Israel, though they have started a spay/neuter program I understand. I might mention I never saw one mouse anywhere. I wanted to ship one back that looked like a cat I used to have named Maccabee. I still miss Maccabee.
I loved Israel, the people, the life, the land, the shopping, but most of all the adventures. I hope you can join me over the next few weeks as I share them with you.