The Arab Christians in Haifa take their Christmas decorations very seriously! It feels a bit strange to write about Christmas in Israel because the majority of the population here do not celebrate it. For most of us, it is just another working day.
By Roylindman - Template:Roy Lindman, CC BY-SA 3.0 We have just reached the very end of a long list of Jewish holidays. We went through RoshHaShana (the Jewish New Year), Yom Kippur, Sukkot (the holiday of the huts) and now finally we have reached Simchat Torah. Simhat Torah literally means to “Rejoice in the Torah”. The Torah is the first five books in the Jewish Bible. It is sometimes called the Pentateuch by Christians which means “five scrolls”. The rest of the Jewish Bible is made out of the stories of the prophets (Nevi'im) and the writings (Ketuvim). The T of T orah, N of N evi'im and the K of K etuvim give us the Tanakh. The Tanakh is known to Christians as the Old Testament. But this is all about the Torah, so let’s go back to the beginning... The five books of the Torah - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy are known in Hebrew by the first word in every book. Genesis is called “In the beginning” - בְּרֵאשִׁית Exodus is called “Nam
The old Roman aquaduct near Caesarea I sometimes get jealous when I see what cool stuff people from other countries get to do. They can easily visit world famous museums, ski in the snow every winter or climb really high mountains. Or there are these amazing trails such as the Appalachian trail or the Camino de Santiago were you can just lose yourself in nature. (In Israel we lose ourselves on the couches under the air conditioning.) But you know what they do not have?
Life in Israel is never boring. The other day I was walking along a street in Tel Aviv and suddenly a guy next to me just chirped like some kind of robot chicken. And of course I didn’t freak out, or even floated the “WTF!” thought bubble above my head. I knew exactly what was going on. The guy was merely singing from Netta Barzilay’s song “ Toy ”.
Middle Eastern Sesame Cookies Having a decent cookie to dip in your cup of coffee or tea has always been part of my childhood. And now I am the one that has to fill the cookie tins.... :) The taste of my cookies is usually influenced by my Western upbringing but I have been living in Israel for a while now, so I have decided to experiment with honey and sesame seeds. These two ingredients are as Middle Eastern (and Mediterranean!) as it gets and are often found in sweet treats. You can find the entire recipe here: Middle Estern Sesame Cookies I encourage you to try the recipe. It is quite easy, the ingredients are not difficult to get hold of AND it is really delicious!
We had just experienced another tense and emotional period here in Israel. Once again we commemorated Holocaust Memorial Day and remembered the fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism. And then the sorrow slowly turned into joy as we celebrated 70 years of independence.
This evening, we will start to commemorate the Holocaust here in Israel. All the movie theatres and restaurants and other places of entertainment will be closed and only movies and documentaries about the Holocaust will be shown on the local television stations.