This Friday evening, both Jews and Muslims will be welcoming important holidays. Jews will begin Yom Kippur, and Muslims will start Eid al-Adha.
Eid al-Adha is translated to “Feast of the Sacrifice” and directly correlates to the biblical story of Abraham sacrificing a nearby sheep, instead of his son, Ishmael. This is a major holiday and Muslim families celebrate that they do not need to sacrifice their first born son in order to show their devotion to God. It is traditional to sacrifice a sheep, goat, or a camel and then share it amongst family, friends, and people who are poor. This holiday lasts at least 3 days, although certain cultures have the holiday last longer.
Similar to other holidays in Islam, Muslims celebrate by eating a big meal with their family and then everyone goes from house-to-house drinking coffee and eating sweets–like cookies with dates and nuts.
Therefore, if you are in the Holy Land and are looking somewhere to go to celebrate Eid al-Adha, look for a nearby Mosque. Once the sun sets it is easy to spot Mosques because of the green light near the top of it.
Additionally, if you will be in Jerusalem not celebrating either the Eid or Yom Kippur, there will be a group of like-minded people hanging out. Click HERE to find out details of the event. I found out about this get-together from the Facebook group Secret Al Quds- East Jerusalem. To learn more about these usual Facebook groups, check out THIS previous blog post.
For all who are celebrating Yom Kippur–gamer chatima tova, May you be inscribed in the Book of Life; and for all who are celebrating Eid al-Adha–Eid Mubarak, Happy holidays!
In the midst of the fall holiday season that includes Jewish high holidays of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur followed by Sukkot and the Muslim holiday of Eid – the site of blossoming trees throughout the Holy Land can’t help but remind us that the fall harvesting season is fast approaching. During the month of October, Palestinians and Israelis alike will begin harvesting their fields. The Holy Land is the home for some of the oldest olive trees, which are about 4,000 years old. For Palestinians, the olive tree is important for economic and symbolic reasons. The olive tree parallels to the Palestinian connection to their land. Olive trees are drought-resistant and can grow in poor soil conditions. Similarly, Palestinians are resilient and continue to survive and resist for their independence.
This is a popular time for people with different backgrounds coming together to harvest the olive trees. From my experience, some Palestinians are not allowed to harvest their olive tree fields because of the Israeli army or Jewish settlers. To assist these Palestinian farmers, internationals play an important role. There are dozens of organized opportunities to experience the olive harvest.
Since the olive harvest is approaching, an art exhibit focusing on olive trees recently opened and will be on display until December 13, 2014. The exhibit is located in the primarily Israeli Arab city of Umm el-Fahem and is called “The Benevolent Tree.”
The gallery is three stories with multiple rooms. According to the gallery’s description, the exhibition “is an attempt by 78 Israeli and Palestinian artists, to reinvigorate the broader discussion on the essence, importance and symbolism of the olive tree.” Continuing, the description says, “the sanctity of the olive tree has become intertwined with the sanctity of the land, to form a single entity symbolizing the difficult arguments and bloody conflict that have been going on for years on end.”
For more information about the Umm el-Fahem Art Gallery click HERE.
This Wednesday evening (Sept. 24), Jews in the Holy Land and the Diaspora will be entering into the Jewish New Year, 5775. How is it that the Jewish calendar is starting year 5775, but based on the the Gregorian (aka Western) calendar, it is 2014?
The Jewish Calendar starts from the creation of Adam and Eve, which was estimated to have happened just about 5,775 years ago!
Rosh Hashanah, literally translated to “Head of the year,” is a happy and serious time for Jews. According to a prayer said during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, “On Rosh Hashanah [your fate] it is written, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed.” There are ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and those are the known as the “Days of Awe.”
In Judaism there is the belief that when you transgressed by hurting someone, God will not pardon your transgressions without you first apologizing the person you hurt. What’s fascinating is that apologizing one time is not enough. Two times is still not enough. However, after the third time, if that person you hurt still does not forgive you, God will pardon your error.
For Rosh Hashanah, there is a tradition of dipping apples into honey, in hopes for a sweet, new year. Also, the traditional Jewish bread, called challah, is made round, instead of braided. The roundness is supposed to signify the circle of life.
Additionally, a ram’s horn (called a shofar) is blown 200 times throughout Rosh Hashanah. There are different interpretations as to why it is a ram’s horn and why it is blown on Rosh Hashanah. One interpretation is that the sound is supposed to wake up our souls.
It is a special opportunity to be on a Holy Land tour during holy days, specifically the High Holy Days. In addition to seeing what was mentioned above, you may also see other traditions, such as people throwing bread crumbs in moving bodies of water, in order to “cast off” their sins (this custom is called tashlich, which literally means “cast off”).
I hope that this upcoming year, 5575, will be full of happiness, non-violent action, love, and yummy food.
L’shana tova u’metuka (Happy and sweet new year)!
– This day is dedicated to world peace and was first celebrated in 1982.
– This day is respected by many nations, political groups, military groups, and peoples.
– This year has a theme, which is “Rights of People to Peace.” This theme is in honor of the 30th year of the UN Declaration’s Rights of People to Peace.
While being on a Holy Land tour, there are always conversations about why there is not peace in the Holy Land. Participating on a Breaking Bread Journeys tour is incredible because in addition to experiencing the Holy Land, you can intimately learn the perspective of an Israeli and a Palestinian. Additionally, Breaking Bread Journeys actively supports peace and sustainability efforts.
By clicking here, you can read about actions you can take to participate in this global Day of Peace. These ideas include include individual as well as global actions. One I found interesting is Peace Breathing. Also, there is an organization called Peace One Day, which is dedicated to spreading awareness of this global day of peace, as well as reducing violence on this day.
What will you do this year to celebrate International Day of Peace?
A few years ago I was on a plane in the U.S. and started small talking with the woman sitting next to me. Religion came up and when I told her I identified as a Jew, she laughed and told me that when she tells people which religion she identifies with, people often think she is saying “Jew.”
She told me that she was “Druze” and asked if I had heard of it. I nodded my head excitedly and told her that I had visited a Druze village while on an organized tour to Israel!
I remember them welcoming us with open arms and superfluous amounts of food. While we were being served lunch, a few Druze taught us about their religion and cultural values. Although their religion is secretive, they were open about teaching us the basics. Additionally, they were happy to answer any question we had.
While you are on a Holy Land tour, it is an amazing opportunity to meet Israeli Druze to learn about the fascinating Druze lifestyle.
Fact #1: Druze is a monotheistic religion and are often referred to as “People of Monotheism.”
Fact #2: Druze originated in Egypt at the end of the 10th century.
Fact #3: Druze is a blend of Islam, Hindu, and Greek philosophy.
Fact #4: In addition to not having Druze clergy, there are no ceremonies or rituals. This is because they believe ceremonies and rituals are distract one’s connection with God.
Fact #5: They do have a sacred text called Kitab Al Hikma (Epistles of Wisdom), which is only available to religious Druze.
Fact #6: Instead of following the Five Pillars of Islam, they: (1) Speak the truth, (2) Support their community, (3) Abandon the old creeds, (4) Purify from heresy, (5) Accept the unity of God, and (6) Submit to the will of God.
Fact #7: Like Muslims, Druze are forbidden from eating pork, smoking, and drinking alcohol.
Fact #8: Druze do not have nationalistic ideals and therefore, support the country they live in. However, they do have a flag and a five-pointed star symbol. Both contain five colors, each representing a limit which shows the difference between humans and animals.
Fact #9: There are religious Druze women and they are preferred over men because they are perceived as better “spiritually prepared.”
Fact #10: There is a population of over 100,000 Israeli Druze. Most Druze communities are in the North. There are also large populations of Druze living in Syria and Lebanon.
In the Torah, the Land of Israel is described by God to be a land “flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:8). Once you taste the fruit in the Holy Land, you will understand that this biblical reference remains true, even in modern times.
As mentioned in a previous post about ice cream and sorbet, the produce in the Holy Land is f-r-e-s-h. There is always a fruit in season that the whole country raves about. A few weeks ago the talk was about figs. For the next few weeks, pomegranates will be hot on the market.
Both figs and pomegranates are considered to be part of the Seven Species. According to Judaism, these fruits are special and during the times of the Temple, they were brought to the Temple as an offering to God. Today, because there is no Temple, Jews say a special prayer before eating one of the seven species. The other five other species are wheat, barley, grapevines, olives, and date honey (which is believed to be the honey in the biblical reference mentioned above).
According to Christianity, the fig symbolizes the search for truth. A way to search for truth is by producing fruit. It is said that if a Christian does not produce fruit in a certain period of time, his life is cut off from God because God does not profit from unproductive Christians. When the New Testament talks about this, it specifically references fig trees. Perhaps it refers to fig trees because it is a sterile fruit, meaning it requires seasonal labor.
Fun fact: It is believed that edible figs are one of the first plants cultivated by humans back in 9400–9200 BCE.
More fun (because “funner” isn’t a word) fact: It is also believed that these figs were cultivated in the Holy Land’s Jordan Valley.
It is also written in the Torah that Adam and Eve “sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths” (Genesis 3:7) once they discovered they were naked. They discovered their nakedness after they ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Some Jewish scholars believe that it was a pomegranate Adam and Eve ate. Additionally, is believed that pomegranates contain 613 seeds, which correlates with the 613 commandments.
In Christianity, opening pomegranates symbolizes the fullness of Jesus’ suffering and resurrection. Pomegranates are used for religions decoration in both Christianity and Judaism.
Which fruit season do you want to be in when you come on a Holy Land tour?
How many times have you attempted to search on the Internet for specific information and failed miserably, not wanting to trust a Yahoo answer from 2007?
If you are similar to me, your answer will range from “Often” to “[sigh] All the time.” While being in the Holy Land, however, I was introduced to different Facebook pages that are useful, safe spaces for me to ask my questions. The answers come within minutes and are relevant. It is also a place for me to learn something new by reading other people’s questions and answers.
These Facebook groups are regional and are called: “Secret Jerusalem”, “Secret Al Quds – East Jerusalem“, “Secret Tel Aviv”, “Secret Ramallah”, “Secret Bethlehem”, and “Secret Haifa”. Nearly all the posts are in English. These groups are also used for selling products and promoting upcoming events. There are additional groups on Facebook, however, the posts are frequently in Arabic or Hebrew.
These groups directly show the culture in this region, even amongst native English speakers. People openly connect with each other. When people have questions, they ask them. When people hear/see asked questions, they answer (although sometimes this happens without a question being asked!).
While talking with a friend who also lives here, she talked about how such pages “keep people from falling into tourist traps” and it helps people “find the trendy, hip places.” She admitted that on her free time she scrolls through these pages because it is both entertaining and beneficial.
For example, you can find posts like these:
And also posts like these:
With a new school year around the corner…pop quiz! Which one of these statements about King Herod is FALSE?
A) King Herod was known for being extremely friendly.
B) King Herod was King of Judea from 37-4 BCE.
C) King Herod attempted to kill Jesus as a baby.
D) King Herod had astonishing architectural achievements in the Holy Land.
E) King Herod died in Jericho.
If you thought A) was false, then you are correct!
King Herod was not known for his friendliness. He suffered from immense paranoia which led him to killing many he felt threatened by, including a wife and two sons. In the New Testament, it mentions King Herod killing the male babies in Jerusalem so there would not be anyone to heir the throne after him. Although his personal life and kingship were ugly, his architectural achievements were the complete opposite. Here are a few of his major accomplishments you will see on a Holy Land tour.
The Second Temple (Jerusalem): The Second Temple construction began in 20 BCE, and was destroyed in 70 CE. The remainings of this Temple are the outter walls, which includes the Western Wall–the holiest site for Jews today. It is holy because it is the closest remaining wall to where the Temple used to stand. The Dome of the Rock is situated where the Temple itself was located.
Fun fact: This is a place for prayer, and often people write their prayers on pieces of paper and stick them into the cracks of the wall. Everyone is welcome to participate!
Masada Fortress (Judaean Desert): Masada was built between 37 and 31 BCE and was the first fortress King Herod built while in power. Besides the magnificant view overlooking the Dead Sea, Masada is most known for the Siege of Masada from 73- 74 CE. Years after the death of King Herod and soon after the destruction of the Second Temple, Jews hid in the abandoned Masada Fortress. They fought and prevented the Romans from entering the Fortress for some time. Eventually, the Romans got up to fhe Fortress, however, everyone there was dead–the Jews committed mass suicide to prevent becoming prisoners of the Romans.
Fun fact: The Siege of Masada symbolizes Jewish heroism and is used for Nationalistic purposes. Therefore, this site is used for tourism as well as ceremonies for the Israeli army.
Caesarea Maritima (Caesarea): This port city was built between 25-13 BCE and its ruins include the city walls, castle, theatre, and aqueduct. The city was continuously used, and after King Herod, was ruled by Arabs and Crusaders. This city is a must-see sight for Christian tours to Israel. It is located where the Pilate Stone was found. This stone mentions the name “Pontius Pilatus,” who, according to the New Testament, was the one who ordered Jesus to be crucified. Historians think that Pilatus lived in this city. Additionally, this was where Peter baptized the first gentile convert.
Fun fact: This is a fun place for all groups, including for children. Since the theatre is still in tact, it is a fun opportunity to show off your acting skills 😉
Every holiday has its star food. Whether its Easter with chocolate eggs, or potato latkes and donuts during Hanukah, or Ramadan’s delicious Qatayef pastry, there is always a special food that is synonymous with a holiday.
And honey claims lead billing during the Jewish high holidays.
A bowl of honey is a traditional ‘dip’ eaten throughout the Jewish holiday period – eaten in hope of a sweet new year. Dipping apples in the honey reminds us just how sweet life can and hopefully will be in the coming year. Abbie Rosner, author of “Breaking Bread in the Galilee, cites Nogah Reuveni, one of the pioneering scholars of the Holy Land’s biblical landscape, who observed that of all the seven species, one is not a plant or plant product. Most of us might think of honey as coming from a beehive, but actually, it can refer to any sweet syrup made from boiled-down fruit. Reuveni thought that honey made from dates, known as Silan, was the seventh specimen which would make it consistent with the other products on the list. Silan is a popular authentic type of syrup that is quite similar to honey, and considered the authentic sweet Holy Land syrup.
With the late summer harvest now in full swing (one can easily enjoy a day out picking apples, pomegranates, peaches, grapes and more), tasting honey is also a late summer ritual in this biblical landscape. The Israel Honey Board is now holding its annual Honey Festival (August 22 through September 27) and if you are on a tour to Israel or the Palestinian Territories you can easily participate in the many kid-friendly activities that are underway throughout the region.
Honey manufacturing visitor centers focusing are offering a variety of fascinating activities focusing on the world of bees and honey, meeting with beekeepers, honey tastings, and learning about the importance of bees pollinating flowers in order to make fruit and vegetable plant food. Bees are critically important to the world, not only for the honey they product but because of their participation in pollination.
Below you’ll find a listing of several honey making visitor centers offering festival-related activities and tastings. Call before you go to find out the hours of operation and the exact times and costs for any special activities that are going on during the festival.
Galilee and the North
Kibbutz Shamir – Apiary of the Galilee Kibbutz Shamir
Within this visitor center you can watch the activities of the bees and the queen bee through the glass. Visitors learn about the health qualities and enjoy tasting the finest products directly from the source. A nice film on the life of bees and how all the hive products are produced including honey, beeswax, propolis, pollen (pollen), and bee venom production process. In addition to the apiary the center also produces olives.
Venus Reuben beekeeping since 1984 celebrates 30 years of service. Today, 650 Honey Reuben and another 300 hives and queens increase the powder, making the Galilee Flowers Beehive particularly large breeding farm.
There is a visitor center which tells varied activities on the world of bees, honey and more. Beehives tour includes the movie “Sweet Honey Queen to” explain the world of bees, self harvesting experience, viewing glass hive bee activity, “beehive kids’ craft corner with corner with wax sculptures, costumes, reading and research. “The Time Tunnel” – represents a unique way to teach kids about bees and honey since then includes the stories of the Bible.
Pek’in – Orchard Hive Pekiin
Founded by Jamal price Peqi’in village in 1977. Hir invites families and children enjoy a unique combination of rural tourism in nature Druze variety of educational activities and knowledge of the world of the bee. Visitors will learn about the process of honey production, the sundials and the history of the village Peqi’in Druze community.
Beehives, Workshop candles by rolling slabs crude beeswax special thread, decorative candles with colored sequins and pins. In addition, basket weaving can join to fill bottles with colored sand, petting zoo and spend petting zoo, camel riding, BBQ picnic benches and more.
Machman im Honey
Machmanim was established in 1980 as a small apiary Galilee. Beehives and bees are handled carefully, allowing them to collect high-quality honey which come from within the flower nectar found in nature. You can come and visit the beehives and hear the ‘Natural Therapy’ healing products bees, pollen, propolis, bee venom therapy, honeycomb, and more and enjoy activities such as creating beeswax candles decorated and other workshops.
Tour “Through the Bible to nature”, a biblical village eco tour that combines visiting beehives, activities and preparation respecting nature: whole wheat bread, natural honey preparation of milk, tahini and sesame, white, hyssop herb tea. Visitors tour the observatory Michmanim, Khan stone, magnificent views, tour and tasting beds perfume ancient cuisine flavors.
Phone: 04-9881337, 052-2476768, Website: www.michmanim.co.il
Moshav Shedmot Devora –Tabor bee
Renowned Beekeeper Boaz participated in the 2014 in the international competition in Canada earning third place in the world. During “Honey Festival”, visitors are invited to watch a movie about the competition, children will enjoy being made up as a bee and other including a tour of the site. guidance on how to prepare honey and the learning about the importance of nature. Bees visit the observatory and increase patrol in silk cocoons thousands (only in Israel). Children enjoy a variety of creative activities such as preparing a chocolate honey, candle wax, plaster decoration, sign and cape bee room, living area with the option of hand-feeding pygmy goats and a giant bee going around among the guests. Honey Festival will be possible during the trip by tractor and wagon (extra charge).
Phone: 04-6769598, 050-5637645 Website: www.dvorat-hatavor.co.il
Alon Hagalil – Alon Ophir Apiary
The visit to this center in the northern Galilee includes a movie on the world of bees. Watch the bees inside the beehive glass, how they make the honey, meet the beekeeper and learn about the various products of the hive. Preparation of candle wax, tastings and more.
Who want to be able to tour the winery and taste the next Yiftachel wines.
Phone: Zvika 052-2824644 Website: www.yfw.co.il
Emek Hefer Apiary
View a short film for the whole family to our wonderful world of bees, the structure of the hive, collecting nectar to make honey and the importance health person, workshops for children on the subject of bees, honey and blossom, and a lecture accompanied by slides for adults, meeting area with a beekeeper apiary Emek Hefer to open a hive and demonstrate his work.
Factory store tasting of a selection of honeys, pollen (pollen), royal jelly and more. A tour of the factory and packaging production lines is also available.
Phone: 04-6370105Web-site-hefer.com/ http://www.emek
Kfar Bilu A – Inter Bee Farm Village
Lin’s Farm is a family farm that has been more than thirty years the bees are part of the family. Dedication in taking care of bees and honey production respondents Love-natural, pure, delicious and nutritious. To foster economic approximately 1000 hives around the country, where the economy shop with a natural delicacies produced in Lynn bees and honey are based on quality raw materials.
Visitors learn about the similarities and differences between the bee family man, dressed in work clothes with the help of bee keepers and games, creative activities, watch video and learn about glass hive field work, the communication between the bees, the queen, active and males.
Kfar Chabad – 0333339606367
South (depending on the security situation)
Kibbutz Yad Mordecai –House of Honey and the Bee – Sweet experience in Kibbutz Yad Mordechai
Yad Mordechai Apiary was established in 1936 and is now the largest apiary in Israel, numbering about 5,000 hives. Visit Honey and Bee House “is a showcase for the world of bees, hive and the routine work of beekeepers. Visit suitable for all the family and includes: Opening honeycomb behind a glass wall, meeting with beekeepers demonstrate their work, display a hive of glass illustrates everything that was happening in the hives, watching a movie depicting the honey production and operation of honey harvesting, baking honey cakes, tasting different kinds of honey, creating candles beeswax, explanations of the bees in the hive family structure, living in it, explanations of health products that are produced from the hive, royal jelly, propolis, pollen, and more. Instead shop for Honeycomb.
The activities are part of an integrated card activity tourist resorts Yad Mordechai (driving a tractor and wagon, “a grouping of time” type recovery tank battle site and watching the milking barn).
Reservations: 08-6720559, 052-3923104 Website: www.ym-tayarut.co.il
Moshav Ein Yahav – Porat apiary honey from the Desert
When love bees and desert growing art she met a charming attraction Prairie “art and agriculture meet in the desert” – a world of bees, colony formation presentation in memory of holidays Porat, founder session and meeting with artwork of Chacha Porat, including the works of bronze, iron and wood.
Apiary Porath introduces the visitors to the wonderful world of the honey bee, and the most important animal in the most fascinating lives today, a creative and unusual way. Museum space, in the light of special lighting and desert never displayed apiary bee close-ups ever, thousands of bees flying metal museum space, hives containing bees transparent low-down busy work diary. In addition, there is a movie about a world of bees and shop to buy honey, olive oil and wine. In addition, there is a possibility the meeting and dinner in the dining room of the old eye and view the presentation about the establishment.
Phone: 052-3666032 or via the website: www.45c.co.il
For more information visit this website.
Additional information on the festival site Honey Council – www.honey.org.il
This September, the city of Jerusalem, through its Jerusalem Season of Culture, will issue a clear and pure call to the peoples of the world to ascend to Jerusalem and celebrate with sounds of unity and compassion. Beginning September 9 through September 12 Jerusalem will host a musical journey that spans continents, definitions and faiths. Over 150 artists, 60 of which will be coming from overseas, will take part in the festival’s performances and offer audiences an experience of healing, spirituality, hope and some heavenly music
Due to the hostilities in the south, Jerusalem cancelled and postponed dozens of cultural events that were to be part of the Jerusalem Season of Culture’s annual slate of special events. However, with the renewed quiet, the city of Jerusalem is proud to announce that the Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival will take place as originally scheduled in collaboration with hundreds of leading artists from Israel and across the globe and the festival will begin on September 9 and is to span four days..
Performances will take place in unique and historical venues in Jerusalem including King Herod’s fortress – the Tower of David, situated just inside the Jaffa Gate, Zedekiah’s Cave, where the stones used to build Solomon’s Temple were quarried -just south of the Damascas Gate, and at the Music Center inside Mishkenot Shaanim. Performances will unfold under the night sky and are sure to off a multi-sensory and mesmerizing experience embracing all sacred traditions.
Whether you are visiting Jerusalem for the evening or on a Holy Land tour, pilgrimage tour to Israel, or any other Christian or cultural tour, make sure to join the festivities while staying in Jerusalem.
Participating artists include: The Klezmatics with Joshua Nelson (USA), Agama Naná Vasconcelos (Brazil), Naná Vasconcelos (Zimbabwe), Orchestre Chabab Al Andalous (Morocco), Ehud Banai, Piris Eliyahu and many more.
The schedule of events for the festival is as displayed below.
Please call 972-2-6535854, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information visit the Jerusalem Season of culture website.