Shalom from Israel and welcome to another In Israel Blog.
A very warm Bruchim HaBaim (Welcome) to the Chilean miners, who arrived in Israel yesterday, at the start of a week-long visit that will take them many of the holy places in Israel.
The first signs of spring have started to appear. As we reported a few days ago some blossom has been spotted in Jerusalem in the Emek HaMatzleva – Gan Sacher area. The first blossom always causes excitement here in Israel – as we look forward to the spring, the upcoming festivals and summer cannot be too far away now. The main road to Jerusalem also has many trees showing their spring finery.
Another sign of early spring are the huge carpets of red anemones. At the moment they have started in the south west parts of the country. One popular location is the Fura nature reserve on the southern exit of Route 6 (The Trans-Israel Road). In a few weeks the north of the country will be filled with these red carpets as well, if you drive on the road from the Sea of Galilee to Zefat, you will be able to see other colors such as white and blue, it’s not that the wild flowers are patriotic but it is attributed to the rock minerals in the northern soil.
These signs of spring are presumably helped by the recent impressively wet weather. We are looking forward to some more winter over the coming weekend and into next week. In honor of the rain this week’s featured attractions are indoors; whether you are in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv we recommend that you take some time to visit some of the terrific art galleries – both cities have some large collections and also some specialized galleries. See Jerusalem Art Galleries & Tel Aviv Art Galleries. For an alternative indoor cultural activity then Jerusalem is hosting an International Book Fair this week.
This is the second In Israel blog to be distributed in parallel by email – so if you haven’t already done so please take a minute to subscribe to the email and to follow us on the social media (all the sign up links are on our Israel Inside Out home page.)
Regular readers will be aware that there have been some impressive archaeological discoveries announced over the past few weeks. We featured an underground water tunnel that runs from the Ancient City of David towards the Temple Mount ending in the general area of the Davidson Center. What we didn’t reveal was that the finds included some of the street that must have been used by the pilgrims to walk from the Shiloach Spring (the end of Hezekiah’s Tunnel) towards the Temple. The Israel Antiquities Authority has released a video of the new Jerusalem Tunnel findings, whilst the commentary is unfortunately only in Hebrew the film is worth a look. The archaeologists talk about discovering and touching history and how part of the tunnel was used (unsuccessfully) as a hiding place at the time of the destruction of the Second Temple. It was reported today that the recent rains have helped to uncover a Roman era statue in Caesarea.
The happy festival of Purim is less than a month away. Traditionally, Haman’s Ears – a sweet, flat triangular filled pastry is eaten. A report on the news interviewed some chefs who are promoting some changes – a savory range with different cheese and vegetables and also a variation on the traditional shape to include Haman’s Pyramids.
Finally, a reminder that our Where in Israel Competition closes in a few days time at the end of February. So hurry and get your entry in.