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Showing posts from 2021

The torch-lighting ceremony of Israel's Independence Day

Screenshot taken from Israel's Independence Day is actually celebrated over two days. On the first day we remember all the fallen soldiers who died since Israel declared its first independence in 1948. Officially it is called the 'Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers of the Wars of Israel and Victims of Actions of Terrorism'. This day is somber and sad and I always cry my eyes out when the stories of the fallen soldiers are shown on television. There are wreath-laying ceremonies all over the county and every Israeli stands quietly when sirens ring throughout the country to acknowledge their sacrifice. The second day is PARTY time! Just about everyone is either having a barbeque or picnic or going to the beach. The fun is however bittersweet. The sadness of the previous day and the human cost of living in a Jewish country cast a deep shadow throughout the day. When and where are the torches lit? The end of the first day and the start of the second day is bridged

The dark side of Passover that nobody tells you about

There are many Jewish holidays but Passover is the big one. It is not only the longest Jewish holiday (7 days) but is also the holiday with the most happenings. Street fairs, special museum exhibits, festivals and   hundreds of family-centered activities are organized for Passover every year. Passover also has the best time-slot. It takes place right in the beginning of the spring which means awesome weather. Not too hot and not too much rain. The fields are still green from the winter rains and the summer heat hasn't arrived yet.                Our short springs make us appreciate the short-lived wildflowers The Israeli summer is around the corner though. The Passover holidays could be the last chance to enjoy the outdoors before fleeing to air con to survive the summer heat. So what are these 'dark' things then? Passover requires a lot of preparation It is customary for Jews not to eat bread or any other leavened products during Passover. This is to show solidarity with t

Khubeza - Israel's wild ‘spinach'

  During the winter months in Israel, as soon we had a bit of rain, the fields are covered in  green khubeza plants. The word fields are actually not 100% correct. Khubeza will grow anywhere. Empty lots, forgotten plant containers, refuse heaps or in any patch of upturned earth. They grow close to the earth and turn the dry Israeli landscape into an unexpected emerald green. Their willingness to grow to easily and luxuriously make them seem nearly weed-like. Khubeza is however the opposite of a weed. It is one of the most well-known edible plants here in Israel. Every self-respecting forager definitely has khubeza on their top-ten list. Sounds like bread (in Arabic) Is it mostly known by its Arabic name here in Israel. Khubeza comes from the word "hubz"  which means bread in Arabic. Apparently the plant has edible fruit that looks like a small loaf of bread.  Just like young children are taught that you can suck the sap from honeysuckle flowers and look for pine nuts under p

Vaccination Nation

Photo credit: Steven Cornfield Yesterday (9 January 2020) Bibi, the prime minister of Israel and our health minister got their second vaccine against the coronavirus. Once again the event was broadcasted live on television.  They got their first vaccination three weeks ago. The idea was to show everyone that the vaccine is safe and people shouldn't be scared to take it. One can however not say that the Israelis were all that worried about taking the vaccine in the first place. It was more like a frenzy to go and get vaccinated and then tell everyone that you got it. I noticed only one anti-vaxxer, originally from the USA, going on about how unsafe and untested it is and the government is just trying to placate us. Others, including me, were a bit hesitant for maybe two seconds but quickly got swept up in Operation "Let's jab everyone".  Age before beauty For two weeks we heard and saw all the over 60 year olds and health-workers getting shots. They would book