Tuesday, April 27, 2010

T.L.C. Trivia Challenge?

IMG_1450Posted by Tally, Lillian, and Celine

“Little children, let no one deceive you: The one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as Jesus is righteous.” I John 3:7

Shalom Ya’ll! Well, we only have a few more weeks in Jerusalem. We have learned so much. Lillian says thing like “can we have gummy worms with Shabbat dinner” and “ani rotsa mashahoo (I want something).” Those are things we hear all the time. We will forever have a part of Israel in us.  We wanted to give you a shot at seeing if you have gained anything through reading our blog.

We have put together a little identification game that we hope will be fun. If you want to participate, just send us an e-mail with your answers by the corresponding numbers. We hope you enjoy playing! We will announce the winner of the contest in 1 week on May 4th and publish the answers.

*Questions that will be used in case of a tie.

image 1.
What is this?
*Why do some have 7 and some have 9 holders?
IMG_0323_thumb[1] 2.
What is the man holding?
image 3.
What mountain are we looking at?
image 4.
What is this?
*On what holiday is this the staple?
image 5.
What is the green bin?
IMG_0231_thumb[1] 6.
Who is mom standing next to?
*Where are they standing?
image 7.
What is this? 
*Do you know what is it used for?
image 8.
Who is this?
image 9.
What is this?
IMG_0306_thumb 10.
What street are we climbing up? *Who are we with?
image 11.
What is this man wearing?
image 12.
What is this symbol?
image 13.
What are these called by the Jewish people?
*What do we call them in the US?
100_9995_thumb[4] 14.
Who’s house are we looking at?
*What is the name of the street?
image 15.
What is this?
*When is it used?
image 16.
What do you call the strings hanging down from under the boys’ shirts?
image 17.
What is this structure called?
*Where is it located in Jerusalem?
image 18.
What is this furry thing?
image 19.
What is the language?
*What is this document for?
image_thumb[9] 20.
What is this?
*Where did we see a similar one?
image 21.
On what holiday do you see this?
*Who is it named for?
image 22.
What do you call the metal thing attached to this door frame?
*Name some places you find them.
image 23.
What building is this?
image 24.
What is this IDF soldier doing?
image 25.
What is this?
image 26.
What neighborhood is this?
*What is the name of the windmill?
image 27.
Where can you find these in abundance?
*How many of these did we have before moving to Jerusalem?
image 28.
What gate is this?
*Where are you when you enter?
image 29.
Who is this?
image 30.
What is this?
image 31.
What is this? (Hint: If you can read Hebrew, the word above the crest will help.)
image 32.
What is the building in the top-center?
*Name of the valley below?
image 33.
What building is this?
image 34.
What is this?
*What is it made of?
image 35.
What is this?
image 36.
What does this say?
image 37.
Who is this?
*In most of the stories he tells, what grade is he in?

Shalom Ya’ll!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Israel!

Posted by Colleen


IMG_1237 I will rejoice because of the Lord;
I will be happy because of the God who delivers me!
The sovereign Lord is my source of strength.
Habakkuk 3:18-19

Holocaust Day

After Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Day) which was April 12th, a friend e-mailed and asked if the Israelis “truly remember.” From what I can tell, the level of remorse over the Holocaust is very fresh to the adult generation and the children of those that still tell the stories. But the loss doesn’t stop with Hitler’s Holocaust. We know as Americans that freedom comes with a great cost and the Israelis have paid a great price for theirs. In Israel, everyone knows someone that has been killed in the Holocaust, the wars for independence or a terrorist attack.

Remembrance Day

On April 25th, Israel turned 62. However, the idea for the Jewish people to have independence began long before. One of the key forefathers was a visionary named Theodore Herzl (1860-1904). In 1896, in Der Judenstaat he wrote, "The Jewish question persists wherever Jews live in appreciable numbers. Wherever it does not exist, it is brought in together with Jewish immigrants. We are naturally drawn into those places where we are not persecuted, and our appearance there gives rise to persecution. This is the case, and will inevitably be so, everywhere, even in highly civilized countries—see, for instance, France—so long as the Jewish question is not solved on the political level. The unfortunate Jews are now carrying the seeds of anti-Semitism into England; they have already introduced it into America."

Theodore Herzl (1860-1904), visionary of the state of Israel


In other words, the long tried attempts to integrate into society had routinely failed and it was becoming ever more evident that the only way for the Jewish people to survive was by forming an independent state.

While Herzl was writing about an independent Israel, a man named Eliazer Ben Yehuda had already begun reviving the Hebrew language as a modern spoken language in Palestine. It soon replaced several Jewish dialects such as the Judeo-Spanish language (also called Judezmo or Ladino), Yiddish, Judeo-Arabic, and Bukharian language as well as local languages spoken in the Jewish diaspora such as Russian, Persian, and Arabic.

There is so much that happened in the following years that led up to independence.  In 1918 Britain, who ruled the land, issued the Balfour Declaration promising to establish an independent state in Palestine.  The United Nations began the process, but for various reasons Britain later backed out. Sadly, the atrocities of the Holocaust that occurred during World War II  acted as the needed catalyst to keep the ball rolling.  Finally, 62 years ago, in 1948, having a common language, a need for an Israeli State and a last minute blessing of the UN, David Ben-Gurion announced their independence (knowing full well that the minute they did so, the Arab states surrounding her would declare war).


Modern Celebrations

Last Saturday night on April 17th there was a ceremony at the Western Wall to remember those lost in wars and terrorist attacks since 1948. This time of remembrance is called Yom Hazikaron (Remembrance Day) which ran from sunset on Saturday to sunset on Sunday. The ceremony began after the sirens sounded for 1 minute. We were going through security to where thousands of people were already gathered. It is truly amazing the reverence given to this time of silence. I can't say I have ever been in a crowd of so many when it fell completely silent and still. The crowd was overwhelming, and our neighbor, President Shimon Peres opened the ceremony.

“Peres sent a message of peace: ‘We don't seek war. We are a peace-seeking state, but we know, and will continue to know, how to care for ourselves. We are a democratic state, replete with rifts and divisions, arguments and internal disputes – but we are also a nation that knows how to unite and rise up in the hour of need, to defend our lives and defeat those who lie in ambush.’” ynetnews.com

I held Lillian on my shoulders so she could see but you can imagine, at only 5', there wasn't much I was going to get to see anyway. Eric and Celine were on the other side of the plaza from Tally, Lillian and I. The ceremony was in Hebrew so I didn't understand what they were saying but it was very somber. At the end of the ceremony, a song was sung. If only I could have understood what they were singing, but even so, I was awed. As the song ended the whole crowd began singing the Hatikva anthem-the National Anthem of Israel- which closed the event… So, I couldn’t understand or see much but was impressed. How often can you say that? You can hear the 2 songs here:


They really are beautiful as you watch the camera scan the crowd.

President Shimon Peres (archives) Photo: Gil Yohanan
Siren marking Remembrance Day (archives) Photo: Gil Yohanan
The ceremony at the Wall. "We don't seek war." (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Memorial Day--Shimon Peres speaking
Eric’s taking a picture of someone else taking a picture of Shimon Peres.


The following morning, Sunday, there was another siren at 11:00am for 2 minutes. We were on Dereck Gaza which is where the ice cream shop with the swings is located. As the sirens began, all traffic stopped, people got out of their cars and stood, people on the street stopped and we watched with great interest. It was amazing to see everyone just come to a standstill. Some even put their head down, as though praying or thinking of that person or persons they have lost. Once the sirens ended, life continued. The collective willingness to observe this 2 minutes is overwhelming to me. They do it on Holocaust Day and twice on Yom Hazikaron.

Around 4:00pm we grabbed a taxi for Mt. Herzl, the military cemetery, named after Theodore Herzl, who I spoke of above.

It was a beautiful place but very sad. Families were everywhere sitting around graves, some remembering, some reading, some crying, some enjoying a picnic.

Mt. Herzl cemetery The girls around the grave sights at Mt. Herzl. Each grave has a patch of grass growing on top. People show their respects by leaving flowers and stones.
IMG_1240 IDF soldiers guard the eternal flame. This same flame was at the Western Wall and the ceremony for Independence Day.
It really is lit, I promise we didn’t snuff out the eternal flame!

When we left the cemetery we headed home to see the celebration of Independence Day on TV. (Actually, we tried to get into the live ceremony, but we didn’t know it was by invitation only.  We tried to tell them we live next to the President, but that didn’t impress anyone. Eric was so bummed!  Oh, well! It was probably a better view on TV anyhow). There were soldiers that marched in formation, dancing, singing, lighting of 12 large torches for the 12 tribes of Israel but above all, patriotism. 

The whole day had been somber and mournful. Greetings were not the usual, “Shalom.” As a matter of fact, I had one lady say to me, “Have a happy tomorrow” which, of course, was Yom Ha'Atzmaut (Israel Independence Day). As you probably already know, every holiday begins at sunset the day before.

The celebrating began that night, of course, with fire works all through the night—much like our Independence Day. But we were getting to bed because while the Israelis would be celebrating the next day, we would miss out, instead heading to Jordan for two days, starting at 5:30 the next morning. Oy Vey

OK, come on,  tell me, have you ever seen this where you live? Yes, that’s actually camels in the back of a pickup driving down the famous International Desert Highway through Jordan!  Our-adventure-in-Jordan blog to come…


Congratulations Israel! Here’s to your next 62 years! La’Chaim!


Monday, April 12, 2010

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (courtesy of JPost, GPO)

JERUSALEM — Israel used the solemn occasion of Monday's annual Holocaust memorial day to call on the world to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons and to draw new attention to the plight of the dwindling number of survivors.

The wail of air raid sirens pierced the air for two minutes as the country came to a standstill in a yearly ritual remembering the 6 million Jews who perished in World War II. People stood at attention and traffic halted during the moment of silence, as radio stations played mournful music throughout the day.

Israel was built on the ashes of the Holocaust, and preserving the memory of the Nazi genocide plays a central role in the country's identity… "If we have learned anything from the Holocaust, it is that we must not be silent or be deterred in the face of evil," Netanyahu said. (On Holocaust day, Israel warns of Iranian threat, By AMY TEIBEL AP)

Yes, today was the Holocaust Memorial Day in Israel. Flags waved at half mast as many other flags waved from cars, businesses and homes.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Yesterday, the girls and I attended an Arab Christian church in Old City in the morning and a Messianic congregation in the evening. As I sat in both services on the eve of the Holocaust Memorial Day, I was overwhelmed with emotion as I got to witness people from 2 different races who are not known for their love or worship of Yeshua the Messiah. Both know of the man Jesus but as I have come to learn, they don’t know much of Who Jesus is or says He is. You might be surprised to learn that some Jews don’t even know that Jesus was Jewish--a Hebrew just like them. The Messianic Jews that I have read about said that passages from the OT that point to Jesus Christ as Messiah was not even a part of their reading each year growing up in their Jewish homes. All the stories I read, say they approached the New Testament with caution. What they discovered was that this man Jesus, Yeshua, fits perfectly in the prophetic scriptures of their own Hebrew Bible.

The Arabs have 2 different stories, that I have discovered anyway. Some are Arab Catholics that have roots dating all the way back to when the disciples started sharing the gospel with the gentiles which you can read about in the book of Acts in the New Testament. Others have more dramatic and more dangerous stories. When the Arab Muslims come to know Jesus as their Messiah, many live double lives—worshiping Jesus their Lord privately. Others have to just leave their families to save themselves from death. In Jerusalem, you have all of the above. Not too long ago, when Celine and I were doing work with an Arab outreach group, they told me that 25% of Muslims that come to know Jesus as their Messiah received visions ahead of time of the person that would actually tell them about Jesus.

Last night as I sat in the Messianic church singing, I was moved by the reaction people would have when they sang of Jesus being their Lord, or He had risen and conquered death. They actually cheered! Yes, they hooped and hollered.

During the service, one of the speakers spoke of how people are attracted to strong people, people we can lean on, people we can draw from but God is attracted to the needy, the weak, the humble (Isaiah 57). Who is more needy than a people who have been persecuted all around the world dating all the way back to their slavery in Egypt, the Jews.

As stated by the A.P. above, “Israel was built on the ashes of the Holocaust.” They stop every year on April 12th to remember those they lost and those who suffered at the hands of the Nazis. They also have left bullet holes from their own guns at the Zion Gate to serve as a reminder of what it took in 1948 to get their city back.

The Jews are as different from one another as anyone can be from “Ultra-Ultra Orthodox” to “secular” but they are united under one cause.


Monday, April 12th, 2010

This morning as I was trying to figure out why my wireless internet wasn’t working (I didn’t have Eric here to fix it for me, he is in Jordan), I was alarmed to hear the sirens outside. Now, we have heard helicopters, jets, police sirens, police loudspeakers and all varieties of parties outside because of the President living across the street but this was a first! The sirens were loud, ominous, scary and lasted 2 minutes. I seriously thought we were being bombed. I ran outside thinking that the President’s guards would be able to help me. He was relieved to tell me that it was the siren for the country to stop and remember the Holocaust.


During a two-minute silence across the Jewish state for Holocaust Remembrance Day, pedestrians stopped in their tracks, some with their heads bowed, and road traffic came to a halt.
Photo: Jack Guez in Tel Aviv, AFP Copyright 2009
European Jewish Press

Later today, when talking to my friend Libby, she said that she, her kids and Celine (Celine spent the night with them) were out playing when the whole city just stopped. Libby said it was like the Twilight Zone. She said people were stopped in the middle of the street while crossing, cars were stopped in the roads with drivers standing outside their cars and soldiers were standing at attention. She approached a gentleman that had his head down and asked, “What is going on?” He solemnly responded, “We are remembering.” She instantly knew he meant the Holocaust. What I would have given to have seen what she saw.

An Israeli woman pauses during a two-minute siren in memory of victims of the Holocaust in the market in Jerusalem
YouTube video on the streets and cars stopping. Celine was outside during this and she said, “It was like time had frozen.”


So now the day has ended, tomorrow the flags will return to full mast but the Israelis will not forget. Not this time.

Praying for Peace in Jerusalem! La Chaim!