Nature

Up in the air

Ramat Rachel Resort

Posted by Rafaela Barkay in Images
Gazelle valley in spring time

Gazelle valley in spring time

The gazelle valley is a natural paradise in the center of Jerusalem. I went there for a picnic with my family, and I noticed the tree full of blooming flowers announcing the coming of spring.

Posted by Eitan Schild

Bless the trees!

Every year, I think I’m going to fulfill the very simple mitzvah of saying the “Birkat HaIlanot,” the blessing said on flowering trees that do not yet bear fruit. It’s just a simple matter of walking to one of the houses in the community that has identified its trees correctly and has posted instructions and the blessing for the ease of passersby. Not a big deal, right?

But this mitzvah is done only in Nisan… and three guesses what I and all my fellow Jewish homemakers are up to our eyeballs doing. Invariably, the month passes, and I simply didn’t get around to it.

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Posted by Ruti Eastman in Snippets

Going with the herd

Today “going with the herd” got a new meaning for me…

Only in the Jerusalem Marathon!

Posted by Emanuel Cohn in Videos
Impromptu Parakeet Rescue

Impromptu Parakeet Rescue

As I was walking home through a community garden one afternoon, I saw a group of parakeets gathered in a place where I had never seen them before. They had gathered at the top of a bare tree and were pushing at the edge of a hole in the trunk with their beaks. When I stopped to look, I saw that the parakeets were touching one of their number who had gotten stuck in the hole head-first. Its green tail feathers blended into the scenery. I could hear its muffled squawks. There was no one else around.

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Posted by Rahel Jaskow in Essays
Grazing in the holy land

Grazing in the holy land

In Jerusalem you can stand in a nature reserve at the heart of the city, and watch gazelles – the Holy Land’s symbol in the books of the prophets – grazing under towers that carry the Holy Land’s name.

Once upon a time, before the Holyland Towers were even an idea, a model of ancient Jerusalem stood where they stand now. That model of antiquity was sacrificed to make room for modernity, and modernity was ushered in through hidden deals and hefty bribes.

The Holyland Towers toppled a government, and banished Prime Minister Olmert from his office (and all the way to jail). But they stand still, stark and proud against Jerusalem’s skyline, a silent testimony to what money can achieve. Below them, the green meadow tells a different story. There, local activists fought against developers – and won. And in the span of nature they secured for us, the ancient symbols of this land can graze in peace.

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Posted by Rachel Sharansky Danziger in Snippets