The first and the head of the year

Today is Rosh HaShanah, Jewish New Year.

Because my current employer (close to London) is made up of a lot of Jewish staff.   I have two days off, yay!

I was looking at some interesting similarities in Hebrew.

Rosh is Hebrew for head.

Rishon is Hebrew for first.

In Hebrew text, they look more similar than they do written phonetically in English.

There is a city in Israel called “First of Zion” as you can see here.

Also, days of the week in the English speaking words use various pagan god names, ie: Thor is in Thursday, etc.  Hebrew simply uses “first days” or Yom Rishon for Sunday.  Please note, I don’t get all uppity about the religious meaning of holidays like Christmas or Jewish holidays, this gets my goat, and I avoid those sorts of people that do!

Switching to another ancient language, Jesus said he would be the first and the last.

Revelation 22 : 12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

I’m hoping that 5779 will be a year that more Jewish people will move to the land of Israel, but more importantly that more Jewish people in Israel and around the world will find their Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) as their Lord and Saviour.    Chag Semeach.



Sweet New Year

There been quite a few Jewish holidays happen in the last few weeks, one of them is new year.

We are now in the year 5773.   At my work, the food bank was working hard with not only regular food deliveries but also to provide apples and honey which is popular during Jewish new year to some of Israel’s most disadvantaged families here.   I got a jar of honey and some apples which I tend to stick on my cereal in the mornings.

Whilst I was staying the Galilee city of Tiberias which is on the coast of the Kinneret, the famous lake where Jesus did many of his ministry, I tried doing some walking around the edge of the lake.   Not that close to the lake mind you, only small part of it has beaches open for public use.

But, this path on the side of the road I thought was public, but led to a dead end:

I came across this, no less than 40 hives on this hill next to the main road, I didn’t get too close there are actual bees here.

The Galilee area is quite famous for its vibrant active agricultural industry here.   On the direct opposite part of the lake I see many banana plantations there.   Close to here there were many orchards of oranges here too.    I am not quite sure what flowers the bees get to pollinate though.



September back in UK and back in time for Rosh Hashana

I mentioned that I took some time back in the UK to see family, this was good to have a break, as I had been particular busy at work, and have new servers and network equipment to install quite soon, some of this will mean some weekend work maybe.   I hadn’t been back home since January so this was a good chance to relax for a bit.

Back in the UK, I decided to take a trip to London on a National Express coach to attend a prayer and demonstration outside of the House of Commons buildings in London, to stop Israel from being divided, and the very real threat of violence and war as a result of this.

There was about 300 people outside here, some of the banners were also in Hebrew as there were a few Messianic Jews and Hebrew speaking Christians there.   This was organised by Christian Middle East Watch, a ministry I haven’t heard of before, but was impressed at what the had to say.   The only thing that worries me, is that most British Christians that support Israel tend to be over retirement age, I wish there was more of all ages of people involved, for people praying, promoting and visiting Israel into the future.

Back in Portsmouth, I got a chance to have a decent roast dinner and beer for £6.50 (wow bargain!) with friends from church for lunch at a new Wetherspoons pub.   I also got to go blackberry picking with my family including my 1 year old niece by some bushes next to a golf course.   It was a bit of a shame I only got to see a fraction of the friends I wanted to see in the two weeks though.

I took a train to Wales to visit the UK office of the charity I work for, to roll out some necessary new equipment and antivirus software.  I didn’t manage to get everything done, but I have remote software to do some updates, the 2 hour time zone difference gives me an advantage that I can make some changes without disturbing the users from working.  Working at this site isn’t part of my official responsibility but I really wanted to do some preventative maintenance to ensure they are less likely to hit problems in the future.

Got to watch a brief bit of TV in Wales at our UK director’s house of the UN conference with Benjamin Netanyahu speaking, which he did brilliantly, with difficult decisions ahead with more determined plans for a Palestinian state being presented.

Slightly humourous moment on the plane back to Israel, I was flying on a Saturday so there weren’t any religious Israelis on the plane, but when using the toilet on the plane, someone had eaten some bacon flavoured crisps and left the empty packet behind on the floor!

Now back in Israel again, just at the right time before Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year), so I got only work half a week, and spend 2 1/2 days relaxing, actually had to 3 hours of important work from home due a server that broke just before leaving.  Its funny when celebrating the New Year (5772)  people aren’t actually waiting for a special change of a clock or anything like that, just good food and company of friends.

I am also fixing two other volunteer’s laptops, setting up a wireless router in a neighbour’s home which the current one won’t work with the HOT supplied cable modem for some reason, enjoying church, friend’s birthday evening out at a waffle restaurant today.

This week Rosh HaShana, happy 5771!

Rosh HaShana is a festival celebrating Jewish New Year and gives us 2 1/2 days off work, hooray!

I went to a Messianic congregation (a synagogue with Jews that believe in Jesus)  with some friends.  The service is in Hebrew, so I didn’t understand much as I know about 15-20 words but its nice to see the Shofar being blown and join in with the worship (well hum along at least 🙂 )  and chat to some of regular people there.

The next day, on the way out to town, I decided to do some fruit picking.  Grabbing some Pomegranates.  There is some in a row of trees between the two lanes of traffic in a main road near my house.   These ones in a outskirts of a car park near the Zion Hotel.

The fruits I got were nothing special, they were quite small and not that sweet.  There were some bigger, more red pomegranates on the other bushes but most of them were rotten.

I think all the pomegranates I see in the UK for sale in say, Tesco are all imported from from Israel and cost about 1.50 each.

Near the abandoned railway station there is a path that goes between roads, its marked up Bible Hill.

At the top of the hill looking back onto the abandoned station, there are some ruins of a house there.   There is a couple of houses, one of them as lots of junk outside including this wrecked car which looks like an early 1980s Alfa Romeo.  Strange place to find it, as I don’t think a working car could easily get up this steep hill.

I went to the Kotel with my friend Donald from Scotland as its his last day before he goes home.   We took a shortcut through the Damascus gate, as it then around 8pm, its incredibly quiet around the old city as it is both Jewish New Year and also the end of Muslim festival of Ramadan.  From the picture you can see the strings of lights here for Ramadan, not many places are open and its quiet.

The Kotel (Western Wall) is fairly busy as well there.

Lastly, this poster seen in the Arab quarter was quite interesting on the way home.   Issa is Arabic for Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew)  I think its quite common and doesn’t have much significance to most Arabs though.