26 September 2009

Megalithic Stone Circles

At one time, building stone circles meant a lot to many people in many parts of the world. Having once tried my hand at duplicating Stonehenge in the backyard, I can understand this. But nowhere are the megaliths more beautiful than in the British Isles, and especially Scotland Highlands and Islands. This picture is the Callanish Circle on the Isle of Lewis & Harris, in the Outer Hebrides off the west coast of the Highland Scottish mainland. An enchanted land without a doubt.

High tourist season, a beautiful stretch of weather, well-served by modern transport, and not a soul in site. At least for a while. The average view out the train window in most of Scotland would be a designated natural beauty site in most other countries. I had to stop taking photos.

Fathers: Abba Shimshon & Bedouin in Sinai

Every son ought to have at least one photo of his father like this one. It doesn't have to be on a camel, though that helps, as does being at the foot of Mt Sinai. (Actually, Jebel Musa, Mt Moses, a traditional possible location of the famous Giving of the Ten Commandments.)

The nameless bedouin is certainly someone's beloved father, too. This is probably not his son's first choice of photos for the family album, but it does not represent subservience, but rather parnasa--making a living--and bringing home the lahbnei to his goat-hair tent full of children.

16 September 2009

A Window on Eternity

Hard to believe that only a few meters away from this view of the Mount of Olives you can order fat bagles, thin-crust pizza, soft ice cream, or a skull-cap embroidered with your name. That is Israel. That is Jerusalem. One foot in the 21st century, and another out of time altogether. A living, breathing contemporary city, and a gateway to eternity.

14 September 2009

Shanah Tovah for the New Year 5770

What? A view of the Kotel without the al-Aqsa mosque?! Can it be so?

Well, really now, it never was a very good symbol for Israel, was it?