Sunday, March 24, 2019

Purim Parade

We had Purim holiday  last Thursday.  Purim is the most joyous day on the jewish calendar. It is celebrated with  parades, costume/mask parties, gift giving, and a traditional, triangle shaped pastry  named  'hamantaschen' . These cookies are made with a variety of fillings to choose from:  poppy seeds/ fruit jam/  chocolate (My favorite filling - poppy seed or apricot gem).

hamantaschen (Web picture)

The parades are mainly for kids and youngsters;  adults will usually remark : 'once you've seen one, you've seen them all'. They do a great job, though, accompanying their children and sharing the fun and joys of the day.

parents leading the proud little girls to the parade site

muscle man with his baby kid in a red Purim outfit

no place like Dad's shoulders

Father and child in 'strawberry' costumes

little tiger, safely'n his Dad's arms

Each town organizes its own sort of parade ( the most grand and famous being the carnival of Holon city,  south of Tel-Aviv). 
I did not attend this year's local  parade, so I browsed through my pictures of a previous one to get the feeling of Purim. 

The parade included clowns, gymnasts, percussion bands, lots of balloons, cops, and other security guys to assure the order, viewers standing on the pavement or sitting on its edges.



younger group age of gymnasts

performance  with circles

The dominant color of the event seemed to be red, the color of Joy. However, khaki, white, black, and blue colors were also seen around. 

                                     youth movement teens in khaki uniforms

 bridal white gowns

geometry - squares and circles in white&black combo

blue &yellow ice cream cone hats 

lady in black - what a look in her eyes!!

here she is again; cop across the street watching procession

 percussion bands;  white&green shirts; stylish blue hats

Some adittional things that caught my eye: 

cop in a long embrace with a lady ; while on duty:)

walking on the wooden legs


Hoping we all  happily make it to next year's Purim festivities!

Friday, March 15, 2019

Mangal (Barbecue)

web picture

Spring (yes, it's  already here) signals the opening of the outdoor barbecue grilling season which reaches its peak on the Independance Day (also named, jokingly, National Mangal Day - 'mangal' being the hebrew word for both the griller and the grilling event itself ).

On weekends and holidays, the picnic spots of beaches,  parks and forests become crowded, as mangal is a very popular leisure activity among israelis. Most homes are equipped with the essentials for a successfull outdoor mangal  'adventure': portable grill device , charcoal, skewers, and other accessories.

adding charcoal

The grilling procedure is called Al- Haesh (literally meaning On the fire); the Esh (the  fire) being provided by either charcoal or gas. 

The device in these pictures - small and simple, suitable for a small gathering. The guy over the mangal in the backyard, seems to know what he's doing. 

Preparations start with buying the meat cuts from reliable butchers. Next, choosing the suitable spices from the market; then, marinating the stuff prior to placing it on the grill; fanning the smoke with some adequate cardboard or plastic  fan...

The goodies that usually accompany the grilled stuff on the set table are: salads, fresh pita bread pockets, dips (tahine, hummus), unless it's during the intermediate days of Passover when we have 'matza' instead of bread , and other specific dips - instead of, or in addition to tahine and hummus. 

looks very happy with the lamb meat on skewers and the matza

the cats searching  the grass for treats

Vegans also have Al -Haesh.  Instead of meat they place on the grill: tofu, veggies, eggplants, potatoes, mushrooms, fruit, and corn. This is best done by using skewers. The result is delicious.

web picture ; veggies on skewers

I had my share of mangal parties in my younger days. During the last years I try to keep away from them. The smoke, the mosquitos, the overeating  - create an atmosphere which has ceased to be funny and pleasant for me .

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

On Trees and Forests

sunset as seen through trees in Safed

With the aid of new technology, Police has only recently solved the case of rape and murder of a young woman found in a forest near Jerusalem 26(!!) years ago.

There were, sadly, many cases in the past, of  dead bodies found in the forests. That, and the wild fires that break out almost every year make me sometimes say "I love trees, I don't love forests". 
I'm aware, of course, of their huge importance to the planet; they are in fact the 'lungs' of the planet and stabilze climate by turning CO2 into oxygen, preserve the soil and support wildlife. And still...

Anyway, I do like those patches of forest arranged specially for picnics and recreation which bring  lots of pleasure and joy to people..

picnic area - Mizpe Ramon

picnic spot - Forest of the Martyrs near Jerusalem

As for trees, I love them all; the  fruit- bearing trees as well as the other species. Unlike the gloomy forest, the individual trees are bright and mood uplifting.

It goes without saying that we love fruit trees for giving us the best food on earth. I cannot imagine life without fruit. I eat them in all the forms possible: raw, cooked, with seeds, without seeds, and enjoy them immensely. I feel they are the true elixir of life.

cherries from the Golan Heights

 However, it is also those single trees,  fulfilling  a specific crucial function  in specific areas, that attract my attention; the trees providing shade in the desert, serving as lookout, marking a boundary, creating an urban 'green lung', ... the list is endless.

provides shade for animals in the desert (the Alpaca Farm) - desert

trees provide  shade to a cute  little puddle area

attraction on the Yarkon river bank - sort of decorative tree 

marks the boundary between town, cemetery, industrial zone

Green  tiny corner  ('lung'), for the passersby of Bialik street (Ramat-Gan )