Ancient Astroturf


When one visits a city to see the important “sites” there are things you miss in the every day world of the residents.  Of course, a city like Jerusalem is full of subtle life elements that an ordinary visitor would certainly miss. Traveling in a country like Israel that is full of history, past and present is always with you.  One does not take a step without thinking about what is underfoot from ancient times, how people incorporate the ancient with the new, how people make their faith meaningful for the modern world we live in, all questions that come up daily in this place.

For those of us who live on the North Coast of California we often are confronted with when something is “home” and when it’s a “tourist destination.”  When we live in a place, we often don’t see the sites that visitors do and vice versa.  And sometimes the places we hold dear, holy, or pristine become tourist destinations in spite of our efforts.

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A display of various piles of astroturf. In a desert climate where water is precious and soil is even scarcer in a city environment one might like to have a little greenery. Also, one of the most important Jewish holidays called Sukkoth requires you to build a temporary hut outside your house and often people put down astroturf to make the carpet inside the hut.
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Looking out the window of the restaurant where we had lunch following our visit to Bet Shean and there it was, the ancient astroturf.
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In an apartment by the entrance is a patch of stone that is not stuccoed and painted to remind the inhabitants that nothing is “finished” and especially remembering the destruction of the Temple here in Jerusalem. Things remain incomplete so therefore, we should leave a bit of our home incomplete as well.

 

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“Do We Have a Minyan?” by Dov Abramson, 2006. A minyan is the quorum of 10 men (or 10 people depending on your tradition) for prayer. It does not generally include anyone under the age of 13.  The words they are holding say (right to left): Save Your People
Right to left again: And bless your inheritance
Right to left again:
And bless your inheritance
(Right to left again): And tend them and carry them
(Right to left again): And tend them and carry them 
Forever.... this phrase is part of "Pesukei Dezimra" at the start of the daily morning service.
Forever….
this phrase is part of “Pesukei Dezimra” at the start of the daily morning service.
Wall of the breakwater of Caesarea with a modern Neptune like figure similar to one you can buy across the road.
Wall of the breakwater of Caesarea with a modern Neptune like figure similar to one you can buy across the road.
Walls of the ancient tower at Caesarea that guided sailors into the harbor at night now a bistro.
Walls of the ancient tower at Caesarea that guided sailors into the harbor at night now a bistro.
Excavations on the bottom boutiques on top.
Excavations on the bottom boutiques on top.
Power plant in the background fallen columns in the foreground.
Power plant in the background fallen columns in the foreground.
Columns as adornment along the walkway.
Capitals of columns as adornment along the walkway.
Sarcophagus in front of the mosque that is in the process of refurbishment. By the way noting that this is "real" grass.
Sarcophagus in front of the mosque that is in the process of refurbishment. By the way noting that this is “real” grass.
Sarcophagus top in front of a crusader structure that is a shop selling Roman glass and artifacts.
Sarcophagus top in front of a crusader structure that is a shop selling Roman glass and artifacts.
Rosh Pina is a small town in the north that we really like partly because it reminds us of home.  Just as at home it is changing as it's been "discovered"
Rosh Pina is a small town in the north that we really like partly because it reminds us of home. Just as at home it is changing as it’s been “discovered”
Old simple homes built by some of the 19th century immigrants from Europe are being turned into bed and breakfast or rental cottages, old stone on the outside IKEA on the inside.
Old simple homes built by some of the 19th century immigrants from Europe are being turned into bed and breakfast or rental cottages, old stone on the outside IKEA on the inside.
Pina Ba'Rosh, one such inn and small world it was the home of the grandparents of the inn owner where we stayed two nights earlier closer to Lake Tiberius.
Pina Ba’Rosh, one such inn and small world it was the home of the grandparents of the inn owner where we stayed two nights earlier closer to Lake Tiberius.
This is the view from Rosh Pina on the top of the hill looking out over the Golan (Syria beyond) but notice the pile of stones below.  Do you think they are getting ready for expansion?
This is the view from Rosh Pina on the top of the hill looking out over the Golan (Syria beyond) but notice the pile of stones below. Do you think they are getting ready for expansion?

 

 

 

 

 

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