Thursday, February 21, 2019

1001 objects from Israel - The Suspicious Object

Introducing the "1001 objects from Israel" project!

As a push to get myself to write more on my blog, I am trying to make my monthly (cough...actually every once and awhile) newsletter a bit more interesting and content rich for my readers.

More readers = more writing on my part because I would be too ashamed to send out boring newsletters!

I usually add links to the blog posts that I have written the previous month plus a few more personal notes and photos.

Anyone signing up are definitely helping me to flex my writing muscle!

To make my newsletters a bit more interesting, I have started to add a section to my every-once-in-while newsletters called  “1001 Objects From Israel”.

It is inspired by the BBC series called 100 objects from around the world.  Quite a few of the objects mentioned in the radio series originated from Israel but I still felt that the entire large scope-ness of Israeli objects have not been explored thoroughly. Luckily I enjoy challenges and have decided to do my small part in highlighting interesting stuff from Israel..😊

Israel is an ancient country and a lot of things happened here, so we have tons of fascinating stuff in museums and scattered all over the place but I also want to write about modern day items. Some of them will be unique to Israel while others were invented here and are known now throughout the world.

Since I like to write about the trees and plants and flowers of Israel anyway in my blog, the  objects mentioned in the “1001 objects from Israel” project will be nearly be 100% inorganic.

As part of this announcement, I have added one of the objects story below. But remember that this is only for this one time ☺. The other 1001 objects from Israel will only be published via the monthly (I am going to try my best) newsletter.

Just fill in your email in to top right corner and click the button to sign up. And thank you for helping me to become more consistent with my writing!

And now, without any further talk, here is the story of one of the 1001 objects from Israel.

The suspicious object

The suspicious object, "חפץש חשוד" in Hebrew, can be any type of handbag, briefcase or backpack left unattended.

What makes the bags suspicious are that they are usually left 'forgotten' behind in a crowded public space. 
Don't forget your bag behind!

Unscrupulous people, okay terrorists, used to pack these bags with explosives and detonate them in crowded areas.

I know that is a bit grim tale to tell but one of the facts of life here in Israel is that people are taught from a young age to be on alert for suspicious objects.

Just like everyone knows that wildflowers are protected and should not be picked (link), so do they know that theses bags should be reported to security personnel ASAP.

I have never been in a situation, or have heard of friends or family, were a forgotten bag exploded. I have also not heard or read of something like this mentioned in the news for a long time.

But still everyone stays vigilant. People often ask each other if the bags and suitcases near them belongs to them. One day traveling in the train, I overheard one passenger tell another how his briefcase, that he forgotten on the platform, was exploded by a remote controlled robot.

A copy of a sign that I saw cautioning people to report suspicious objects. The Hebrew work for a bag is "tik" - so there is a play of words with a count-down timer going "tick-tock".

The next day when he asked about it in the Lost and Found, they returned it to him with the lock broken and all the papers inside wet. I am pretty sure that he never left anything behind again!

If you ever come and visit us here in Israel, remember that young and old have been taught to be vigilant. Don't forget your bags. An unattended bag is a suspicious object!

The next object that I will be writing about  (in my newsletter) is the small and humble Israeli shekel that have such a rich past.

If you'd like to receive my occasional "Letter from Israel" in your email box, how about signing up at the box in the top-right corner. I am a fierce hater of spam myself and I promise that I only send out these emails VERY occasionally - though I really should be a bit less lazy.

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