Another hard week has gone by, but at least for me and my family it had a very happy end. We became the proud grandparents of a new baby granddaughter! ❤
The happy (and rather overtired) new parents are our son and daughter-in-law, who are now the parents of 6 beautiful girls! (I kid you not!). 😀
Here is the Princess in all her glory. 🙂
We wish heartiest mazal tov to our son and daughter-in-law, our mechutanim (the “outlaws”) our parents and their parents (the great-grandparents) and all the wider family. May our children have the privilege of bringing up the new baby into Torah, the Chupa and to good deeds.
Since we’re on the subject of new babies, here is an astounding medical miracle performed by Dr. Yuval Gielchinsky in Hadassah Hospital, Ein Kerem, Jerusalem.
To think that there are people who call themselves doctors who want to throw Israel out of the World Medical Association! Let’s hope for their own sake they never need to services of Israeli doctors like Dr. Gielchinsky.
We’ll skip now from the very newborn to the very ancient past, where we find a 1,700 year old inscription referring to Rabbis in Tzipori in the Galilee which was a major Jewish center during Mishnaic times:
Three 1,700-year-old funerary inscriptions referring to rabbis written in Aramaic and Greek were recently unearthed in Moshav Tzipori, in the Galilee, the Antiquities Authority announced on Wednesday.
The finding was made following a joint effort carried out by residents of the moshav, researchers from the Kinneret Institute for Galilean Archeology of the Kinneret Academic College, and the authority.
According to the authority, two Aramaic inscriptions mention individuals referred to as rabbis, who were buried in the western cemetery of Tzipori, although their names have yet to be deciphered.
“Researchers are uncertain as to the meaning of the term ‘rabbi’ at the time when Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi resided in Tzipori together with [other] Tannaim, and after him by Amoraim, the large groups of sages who studied in the city’s houses of learning.”
A notable surprise in the newly discovered inscriptions, Aviam said, is that one of the deceased was named “the Tiberian.”
“This is already the second instance of someone from Tiberias being buried in the cemetery at Tzipori,” the researcher said. “It is quite possible that Jews from various parts of the Galilee were brought to Tzipori to be buried in the wake of the important activity carried out there by Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi.”
“Several of the ancient inhabitants from Tzipori are mentioned in these inscriptions, which include the names of rabbis, and often have the names of the professions they were engaged in. Aramaic was the common language used by the Jews in the period of the Mishna and Talmud, but some of them also spoke and read Greek, and thus there are also funerary inscriptions in that language.”
Tzipori was the first capital of the Galilee from the time of the Hasmonean Dynasty until the establishment of Tiberias in the first century CE. The city continued to be central and important later on, and was where Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi resided and compiled the Mishna.
All those who had the benefit of a religious Jewish education will have learned about Rabbi Yehuda Hanassi. He was a pivotal figure in Jewish history and is of major importance. So you can understand the excitement at discovering these inscriptions which refer to him and his milieu. It’s not that we needed any proof that he existed – the Mishna itself is proof of that – but it’s quite an amazing feeling to be able to see actual references to him from his own time.
Kol hakavod to all the archaeologists and researchers involved in this fascinating project.
And now, moving back to the very modern present, the Arava region recently held a fascinating Open Day to celebrate the success of Israeli agriculture in the Arava desert which is not just blooming, but fruiting!
About two hundred organizations, entrepreneurs and companies exhibited the latest innovations in the field at the largest agricultural exhibition in Israel: from seed improvement to biological pest control, from tractors to sensors for measuring the growth rate of plants, from irrigation implements to local cultivars of fruits and vegetables.
“This is a celebration of agriculture in Israel and it presents the many aspects of the agricultural sector -the farmers, the companies, the tools and the developments,” said Dr. Eyal Blum, the Mayor of the Central Arava Regional Council. “The conferences and meetings being held during the two days of the exhibition provide an opportunity for getting updated and acquainted with new trends being led by the Arava region in agricultural research and development.”
Visitors from many countries attended the Arava Open Day to learn about the miracle of Arava agriculture, where vegetables are grown in the heart of the desert. Among the visitors was a delegation of farmers from Gaza. “It was important for us to find out what is new in this field,” explained one of the members of the group from Gaza. “Agriculture provides food for people, on the most basic level, and perhaps joint ventures in agriculture could pave the way toward a better future for both peoples.”
Noticeable participants included students from the Arava International Center for Agricultural Training (AICAT), an agricultural school for students from developing countries, which is supported by KKL-JNF. The students were dressed in their colorful traditional costumes and gave cultural performances with dancing and singing.
The Central and Northern Arava R&D station, which is operated with major support from KKL-JNF, is located in the middle of an intensively cultivated area. The R&D scientists develop crops and agricultural techniques for adapting cultivation to the harsh climatic conditions of the Arava -extreme temperatures, aridity and water salinity.
“Our job is to support Israeli farmers so that they can make a living from the work of their hands,” said Boaz Hurvitz, the director of the Northern and Central Arava R&D station, “and the know-how we are developing here helps different countries in the world to advance their food security.”
“The Arava is the Silicon Valley of Israeli agriculture,” said Noa Zer, the Director of Resource Development at the Central Arava Regional Council. “Agriculture is making the desert bloom and is a growth engine for the settlement of our region.”
Kol hakavod to all those intrepid farmers and agriculturists who persevere in such harsh conditions to fulfill Ben Gurion’s dream of making the desert bloom. They are a source of huge pride for Israel and can teach the world so much.
Watch this great video and enjoy the fruits of our land – literally!
And one final note, since I started with a birthday I’ll finish with one. This week was my blog’s 5th birthday. Happy bloggieversary to me. 😀
May we only have good news to report.
And on this note I wish you all Shabbat Shalom!