Lemon Tree by Julie

Lemon Tree by Julie Zagdanski
My friend Julie sent me her painting of her lemon tree to post on this blog. Julie, who lives in Hashmonaim, Israel, writes: “All of the fruit on our three citrus fruit trees are ripe. We also have an orange and a pomelo tree.”

tree in Julie's backyard
This is one of the trees in her backyard. I took this photo in June 2008, when we visited her family.

See more of Julie’s art and photos on her new blog, Israel Inspirations Art.

Nature Notes: Cardinals and Rain

cardinal in December
Yesterday it rained and then it poured and then it drizzled. During one of the drizzles, I spotted a cardinal pecking away at my compost. I ran to get my camera, and when I came back, it was in this small tree.

flaps away
Almost as soon as I saw it, the cardinal flapped away.

In contrast to all the rain we got on the East Coast, Israel has been having a very dry, dry spell. Here’s a photo from our 2008 trip to the Dead Sea:
dead sea

For more Nature Notes, visit:
Nature Notes
Update: Jameel on the tragic fire raging in the Haifa region of Israel

Tax Raises Cause a Split

Tel Dan
More stories from the prophets: Archaelogical Dig at Tel Dan in northern Israel, Where Jeroboam built a cult as an alternative to the Temple in Jerusalem

My husband told the following story:

Long ago there was a king. He was a new king. He was trying to get the people who lived far to the north to adhere to his sovereignty. So he asked his elder advisers: What shall I do? They told him to speak gently to the people, and the people will serve him. He did not take the advice of these elders. He then went to the younger advisers. The young advisers told him to say: “My father chastised you with whips, I will chastise you with scorpions.” They wanted him to show the people who is boss and increase their burden. And that he did. And he lost the kingdom.

For more on this story of Rehoboam, read A Divided Nation on the Aish website or Kings Chapter 12 (Melachim Bet).

How was this related to last week’s parsha? We learned about the law of jealousy in the ten commandments, and from there, my husband told the story of jealous Jezebel, and then there were more stories from the Prophets…

Baila Hosts HH, Modiin Signage and Images of 2009

modi'in signs
Follow the Signs to Baila's House

Baila (who lives in Modi’in) hosted Haveil Havalim, the Jewish blog carnival: the Welcome 2010 and Israeli Bloggers’ Edition.

I started working on a post of favorite images of 2009 – if you have a similar one, I would be happy to link to it later this week. I would like to do favorite recipes of 2009, also; but first, let me see if I can finish the images post. I am up to May 2009.

Review with Road to Kinneret

Road to the Kinneret, Galil, Israel, June 2008
Road to the Kinneret, Galil, Israel, June 2008

I was going through photos of family for our upcoming celebration of my son’s bar-mitzvah, and I found this one of the road on the way to the Kinneret in Northern Israel. So in honor of my cousin who lives near here and said he is sorry but “he won’t be in the neighborhood” for the bar-mitzvah, here’s the photo.

Some Images on My Blog in the past few weeks

azalea_fall Ushpizin, the guests of the holiday of Sukkot mums_orange

drawing_concentrating farm_flowers bouquet

Some Posts on My Blog in the past few weeks

Elsewhere in the Blogosphere

Reluctant Veggie educates about nightshades and remarks “it makes perfect sense that the food we put into our body has a direct impact on how our body performs. or, rather, how it doesn’t perform. and yet, most doctors have no clue. or would rather treat the symptom versus finding the root cause.”

Ilana-Davita had blogger’s block, but yet she managed to write an elucidating post about Bereshit.

Mimi posted a scrumptious photo of her Moroccan fish.

Thursday Challenge: Hot Desert

Mountains of Judean Desert on the Edge of Dead Sea, Israel
Mountains of Judean Desert on the Edge of Dead Sea, Israel

Taken on our 2008 trip to Israel: it was hot.

Theme for Thursday Challenge this week is HOT (Day, Sun, Desert, Fire, Oven, Stove, Food, Peppers, Hot-Air Balloon,…).

What does U.S.A. mean to you?

Liberty Bell in Independence Park, Jerusalem, Israel (photo: 2008)
Liberty Bell in Independence Park, Jerusalem, Israel (photo: 2008)

I’ve been waiting a year to use that photo. Yes, that is the liberty bell, a copy of the one in Philadelphia. I believe the bell and parts of the park were donated by Americans and Canadians, the bell in particular by Americans in 1976. One year ago today we were in that park; on July 4th itself we were on a plane, flying back to New Jersey.

So, what does the United States of America mean to you? I am especially interested to hear if you do not live here.

As I have talked a bit about my mother’s parents (see, for example, Greetings from Mariampole), now I am going to mention my father’s parents. In brief, when my grandmother was a little girl in a shtetl (I always think of a shtetl house as one that had dirt for floors instead of wood or linoleum or marble or whatever – she lived somewhere in the Austro-Hungarian Empire) she had to hide under a bed to protect herself from a pogrom. Soon after that, she and her family came to the United States of America, to New York City. On my grandfather’s side, his family came from Poland (from Głogów or Glogov). He and his siblings were fortunate to come in the early part of the twentieth century; he had cousins, however, that were caught in Europe in World War II. Supposedly, they hid from the Nazis and survived by hiding in the sewers. I feel so fortunate to have escaped these experiences (a pogrom and hiding in a sewer). And to have a beautiful family and home, and to be able to express myself without fear. Well, maybe a little, the general “opening up in public” kind of fear, not the Stalinist lock you up in jail sort. My maternal grandmother once spent the night in jail in the Soviet Union, but that is a topic for another time. I don’t even know that much to tell about it.

Little Leora, Zaydie, Bubby and my brother, somewhere in New York
Little Leora, Zaydie, Bubby and my brother, somewhere in New York

Perhaps this is taken in Far Rockaway? They did live there for a while when I was little. Any New Yorkers know?

Your turn.

Jerusalem Day

wall in old city of Jerusalem
Wall of the Old City, Jerusalem, July 2008

Fifty years ago Jews could not walk here, along the walls of the Old City. There was a barbed wire fence preventing entrance. In 1967 all this changed, and thus tonight begins Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day. After June 1967 not only were Jews and others allowed into the Old City and to visit the Kotel, the City was once again in Jewish control, as it had not been for 2000 years. Jerusalem has been a holy city for the Jewish People since the time of King David.

From Wikipedia, here is what Moshe Dayan said on that day:

This morning, the Israel Defense Forces liberated Jerusalem. We have united Jerusalem, the divided capital of Israel. We have returned to the holiest of our holy places, never to part from it again. To our Arab neighbors we extend, also at this hour—and with added emphasis at this hour—our hand in peace. And to our Christian and Muslim fellow citizens, we solemnly promise full religious freedom and rights. We did not come to Jerusalem for the sake of other peoples’ holy places, and not to interfere with the adherents of other faiths, but in order to safeguard its entirety, and to live there together with others, in unity.

Posts on Jerusalem Day or about Jerusalem in the news:

U.S. Consulate on Agron Road

Agron Street U.S. Consulate Jerusalem, Israel
U.S. Consulate on Agron Street, Jerusalem

The Rebbetzin’s Husband has a radiant Haveil Havalim, the blog carnival of the Jewish blogosphere, posted. I thank him for including my Windows of Jerusalem post, which has a detail of the above photo. And for connecting my post to Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, which is at the end of this month of Iyar.

Klara correctly identified the building on Agron Road as the U.S. Consulate:

On Agron Street there is a U.S. consulate building, not THE Embassy, but definitely has an American flag there. I have to agree with Batya that the building (stone) and the windows (and trissim, shutters) are common in many older buildings.

History of the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem

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