Mikadesh Melech: Synagogue in Herzlya…

I took a walk the other day…

Eileen had some personal errands to take care of so I decided to walk around the neighborhood “alone”. It can be a daunting task with the streets having Hebrew names and there is no apparent order in how they are laid out. So, breadcrumbs in hand, I wandered about.

I walked through some interesting neighborhoods but found nothing really exciting to shoot. But then, as I was heading home, I remembered there was a synagogue near where we live. A few weeks ago they held a parade and had a large and  loud party celebrating the temple’s new Torah.

The synagogue is located behind the houses where we live, and you have to enter through two alleyways or a small side street. You would never know the synagogue is there unless you were looking for it, which I was.

I entered the synagogue with few expectations to shoot inside, since I have been asked not to shoot at other religious buildings. When I entered, I met a member of the congregation who spoke no English. I asked him, with hand gestures and holding up my camera, if it was okay to take photographs. He indicated it was okay, but also indicated that I should ask the Rabbi. The Rabbi, a very kind, genial man, agreed to allow me to shoot inside, took me to the upper sanctuary where the shabbat and holiday  services are held, and even opened the Torah ark (Aron Kodesh)  to allow me to see, touch and shoot the Torah’s,  He also encouraged me to shoot from the upper section, the mechitza, reserved for women during the services. It was a terrific albeit brief experience, one that I soon won’t forget.

The Rabbi reveals the Torahs in the Aron Kodesh

The upper sanctuary

The upper sanctuary

The rabbi

The lower sanctuary 1

The lower sanctuary 2

This will be our last blog from Israel as we return to the states tonight. We still have many photos and experiences to share and we will post some more once we get home and settle in. Thanks to all for your support and positive comments. We appreciate it very much.

e&E

Advertisements

Nazareth…

Nazareth…

Nazareth  is the largest city  in the North district of Israel and is known as “the Arab capital of Israel”.  Nazareth has a population of about 60,000, of whom half are Arab Muslim and half are Arab Christian.

According to the New Testament, Nazareth is described as the childhood home of Jesus, and is a center of Christian Pilgrimages.

Basilica Of The Annunciation…

The modern Basilica of the Annunciation is built on the site believed to be Mary’s home, where the archangel Gabriel heralded the birth of Jesus. Inside on the ground floor level of the Basilica the Grotto of the Annunciation, which is supposedly Mary’s house.

We walked upstairs to find a surprisingly large light-filled upper church…

The Basilica’s beautiful dome can be seem throughout the city.

Saint Joseph’s Church...
The St. Joseph Church is built where, according to tradition, used to be the carpentry workshop of Joseph, father of Jesus. Some of the traditions also claim this was Joseph’s house.This church was built in 1914, on top of the cave thought to have been Joseph’s house.
Greek-Catholic Synagogue Church...
The Greek-Catholic Synagogue Church is built on the site of the synagogue where Jesus is believed to have preached at the beginning of his ministry.
Nazareth Bathhouse...
Located in what was originally supposed to be a jewelry shop, two local residents…

Elias, owner of the bathhouse and tour guide...

while doing the renovations, uncovered the historic remains of the only public bath house in Nazareth. The national department of antiquities declared that the remains were part of a 19th-century Turkish hammam (bath). The water for the bath, is believed to have come from Mary’s Well, located nearby, since it was the main available water source in those times.

Pipes brought hot water to the upper level from the furnace below.

Salesian Church Of Jesus The Adolescent..
This magnificent 80-year-old Gothic church is perched on a hilltop overlooking the old city of Nazareth.
We had to climb the steep, winding 250 stairs through Nazareth’s stone alleyways…
sometimes almost impassable…
to reach what is described as one of the largest and most beautiful churches in Nazareth. Unfortunately the Church was closed when we visited.  The church is located on the highest hill with beautiful views of the city below.

Greek Orthodox Church Of Saint Gabriel...

The Church of St. Gabriel stands over the town’s ancient water source. The original church was built there on the logic that the Annunciation story in the Bible mentions Mary filling a pitcher with water, and this was Nazareth’s only water source at the time. (see bathhouse)

Hence, the Orthodox believe that this was the spot where Gabriel appeared and not the and not the Basilica of the Annunciation. The present structure was built in 1750. At night, the Church is dressed up in festive lights.

The White Mosque…

The White Mosque is the oldest mosque in Nazareth  and is located in Harat Alghama or the “Mosque Quarter” in the center of Nazareth’s Old Market. Its  sleek minaret,  cream-colored walls, green trim and green dome are just one example of the Ottoman  architecture common throughout the city.
Is it me…
or is this the only place where Sammy Davis Jr. is allowed to cross the street?

Ein Kerem: The birthplace of St. John the Baptist…

Ein Kerem…

Ein Kerem is an ancient village which is now a neighborhood in southwest Jerusalem. According to Christian tradition, John The Baptist was born here. This led to the establishment of many churches and monasteries. It attracts over 1,000,000 people on pilgrimages each year.

Nuns on pilgrimage outside the Church of St. John the Baptist.

Nuns entering the Church of the Visitation

The Curch of St. John the Baptist…

Church of St. John the Baptist

There are two churches by this name in Ein Kerem. The Catholic church has been under the guidance  of the Franciscans since 1674.   Inside are the remains of an ancient mosaic floor and a cave where, according to Christian tradition, John the Baptist was born. Unfortunately it was not open when we were there.

The Church of the Visitation…

Another ancient church at Ein Kerem is located across the village. The site also attributed to John the Baptist’s parental summer house, where Mary visited them. The modern church was built in 1955  on top of ancient church remnants.

The Church of the Visitation

A walk through Tel Aviv: A city of many neighborhoods…

Bauhaus Style Building

Tel Aviv…

Tel Aviv is by far the most modern of all the cities in Israel. But, it is also able to maintain it’s old world charm as well (okay so it’s not thaaaat old). Whenever we walk through the city there is always something new to see and shoot.

Hassan Bek Mosque…


The Hassan Bek Mosque is considered to be one of the most well-known mosques  located in the Jaffa neighborhood, which is now part of  Tel Aviv. It has long history of  controversy. The mosque was built in 1916. The unique  style architecture it displays is in sharp contrast with the   modern high-rises and hotels that are in the surrounding area. It is located near the Mediterranean Sea across the road from the Tel Aviv beach area. The mosque was open to the general public but at the time we visited there were no sightseers, just a few men who were there for silent prayer and contemplation.

Washing before entering the mosque

Sights around the city…

There’s always something new to see in Tel Aviv. Here are some of the things we saw:

Wind surfing on the Mediterranean

Surf Club

Everything for the best dressed in Tel Aviv

Singing on Nahalat Benjamin

Druze women making laffa

Asleep on the beach...

Building in Neve Tzedek

Tel Aviv: The Dolphinarium…

The Dolphinarium…

The Dolphinarium, located on the beachfront in Tel Aviv, was once an active facility for viewing dolphins and other sea life.  Later it became a discotheque attracting young people from the surrounding areas. On June 1, 2001, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the discotheque killing 21 teenagers and injuring 132. What struck me the most was that of the 21 senselessly murdered, 10 were 16 years old or younger.

Today, the Dolphinarium lies empty a vivid reminder of what occurred in the past but it also serves as a home for the homeless as well as a  ‘canvas’  for local graffiti  artists.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Sea of Galilee (Kinneret) – Part III

Dubrovin Farm…

After we spent the morning in Safed (Tsvat) we continued on the days’ journey with a stop at Dubrovin Farm. This farm was one of the first farms in the Hulah Valley which is located northwest of the Sea of Galilee. It was established in the mid-19th century by a family named Dubrovin. Dubrovin and his family were Subbotniks,  Russian Christians who kept the Saturday as the Sabbath. After their conversion to Judaism,  they took Hebrew names. The original founder of the farm, Stanislav Dubrovin lived to the age of 104. His family continued to live and farm here until they the donated it to the Jewish National Fund. It is now a farm museum and also has a restaurant and catering area.

The farm is shaped like a compound with rooms surrounding an inner courtyard.

The museum commemorates the early pioneers who settled the area. It also has on exhibit the personal possessions and furniture brought with them from 19th century Russia.

Our journey continues…

The Gesher Arik Bridge…

Destroyed during the Yom Kippur War to prevent the Syrian tanks from crossing the Jordan River and advancing into Israel.  This rebuilt bridge stands as a quiet memorial to the war.

Gesher Arik Bridge

The Jordan River

Rosh Hanikra…


The Grotto at Rosh Hanikra

The next day, our day to return to Herzylia, we first drove to Rosh Hanikra which is located at the Northern border alongside Lebanon, The grottos at Rosh Hanikra are a series of tunnels that were formed by the action of the sea.

The coastline looking southward from the cliffs...

When I first came to Israel to visit Eileen in 1971, there was no access to the grottos except by boat.

 

There is now a cable car that takes you to the  grottos’  entrance tunnel.

The Rosh Hanikra grottos are cavernous tunnels formed by the Mediterranean Sea eroding  soft chalk rock. The total length is about 200 yards. The tunnels branch off in various directions.


Acre (Akko)…

Our final stop before heading home was the town of  Acre (Akko) which is one of the oldest towns in Israel.

The Mosque of Jezza Pasha is located in the Old City which is populated by Israeli Arab citizens. The mosque  was built in 1781. It is one of a few in Israel that are open to non-muslim visitors.

Heading home to Herzilyya…

In the states we see horses and cows along the side of the road, in some parts of Israel, things are different…

Yes! He is.

The Sea of Galilee (The Kinneret):- Part II…

Safed (Tsvat/Zvat)…

This ancient city is the highest city in Israel, and commands a breathtaking view of the  Galilee in the winter with its green mountains and the white snow-capped peak of Mt. Hermon. Unfortunately for us the day we visited Safed it was very foggy and the distant views were limited.  But, it gave us an opportunity to make some interesting images within the city’s quarters.

Safed is a picturesque city of spiritual people and artists, wrapped in mysticism and mystery, and steeped in sacred atmosphere. Visitors to Safed sense the city’s warm embrace as they wander through its alleyways past charming stone houses with their artists’ studios and workshops.*

Safed is one of the four holy cities in Israel. It has been a spiritual center since the 1600s when it was the center of Kabbala (Jewish mysticism). The Kabbalist mystics lived, studied, taught, and wrote in the city and many of the graves are objects of veneration.

The ancient picturesque alleyways of the Jewish quarter contain hidden niches and beautiful synagogues whose rich past eminates from the high ceilings, colorful decorations, and ancient Torah scrolls.

The artists’ quarter is located in what was previously the Arab quarter of Safed.  Artists reside and work in their studios in the ancient and magnificent houses, and their paintings and artifacts fill the display windows and can be viewed while walking through the narrow alleyways.

Parking is very difficult in Israel in general, but it is even more difficult in areas visited by tourists. Our quandary for today was where to park.