Hannukah in Jerusalem 2012

Its the third day of Hannukah today.

Have to admit I have not paid a great deal of attention to this particular festival right now,

After church on sunday a friend surprised me with a gift of a candle set.   I forgot about it until this evening, so I got it out of my rucksack and set it up.   I think we are on the third day, so I have lit it as far as I am aware close to the same sequence as the electric ones I have seen erected in the street – hope I have got this right…. 🙂


This set is interesting for several reasons, this set is made to be extremely low cost.    Its true I have some extremely elaborate ones, like the gold one my friend Judah got a photo with close to the Western Wall which I think cost several million dollars, and there’s the ones cleverly fabricated from spent Hamas rockets I wrote a while back.   Its admirable there are some truly outstanding craftsman in the Jewish world, and many implements used in Jewish practices are extremely precision made to a very high standard.


But this one has its only unique charm as its built to a price.   Its a one-piece section of sheet aluminum pressed in half to shape in a similar fashion to a mass produced beverage can, including the circular holders.    As poverty is a big issue (1 in 4) in this country this is good, so everyone can afford to celebrate this holiday.

Yeshua said himself that he appreciated the poor giving what they could, just like parable of poor woman who gave some small value copper coins as a tithe.

Right now, I’m frantically finishing up some projects at work, getting Christmas presents, host a party for some friends at my flat this friday, then preparing to fly back for a month to see family and friends and get some recuperation.


Fire in the north and in my neighbourhood

After the tragedy that happened in the north of Israel, around Carmel it seems everyone is quite nervous of fire.

I often see people burning garbage around Arab districts, the smoke is visible on the horizon.  Ultra Orthodox Jews sometimes burn green plastic rubbish bins when making a protest about something every now and then, sometimes you can see bits of melted plastic around.

Usual ignorance and hate mean that some of the Arab media enjoy seeing tragedies like this even though the people who died were prison staff going to evacuate prisoners (ie: mostly Arab terrorists) from a jail in the path of fire.

Today coming back home after going to an engagement party of a friend, I heard a fire truck with sirens going (they have red lights in this country)  behind me whilst cycling home.

Then to my horror, they were following me into my street.   It seems the three blocks away from my apartment there was a fire.

There was two normal ‘appliances’ (what the British fire service call them, most other countries just call them fire trucks) and two police cars, and a large crane type fire vehicle as well, only it couldn’t get into the car park due to some bad parking on part of our neighbours.

I was a tiny bit nosey and went to take a look, but it seems there was only a small fire and a basket of some burnt material was taken out of someone’s flat.  I think someone probably just knocked over some Hannukah candles.   It seems probably not much damage was done, however you can imagine how nervous this country is with the events of this week.

I really hope the government can take steps to expand the fire service and improve general health & safety practices around this country.  In my house and almost every other place I have visited I never see smoke alarms, in the UK all new houses have to have them, and with rented property, Landlords have a legal obligation to have the installed.  As candles play a part in Jewish culture it should be extra important to have them here.   Many of the news here in Israel is saying there was not enough fire staff to cope with any kind of big incident.

Please do pray for the fire to stop in the north and that the damage can be repaired soon.   I imagine the charity I work for here will need to help more people who may have lost their homes or businesses due the fire.

Here is a panoramic picture of my dad and his friends when visited the beautiful forest up on the biblical location of Carmel last year.  The rocks are similar to the ones described by Elijah.

Israeli fire service web site is at www.102.co.il (seems to be Internet Explorer only, doesnt work with Firefox, unless you have IE tab 2 extension)