So much for Continental thru Newark that we heard so much about! "Irene" saw to it that instead we left two days later, spent numerous hours walking around Frankfurt, arriving at Ben Gurion at 3 am several days later than originally scheduled! Amazing how busy the airport is at that hour as all the European flights arrive in the middle of the night.
|detail Palace Hotel|
|Neighboring courtyard with hotel in background|
UPGRADING THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Surprises awaited us: the Waldorf Astoria, built in 1923 as the highly acclaimed Palace Hotel is on its way to completion. The scaffolding is down, once again revealing the magnificent architectural details of this fusion of Greco Roman, Gothic and Ottoman architecture. It is being lovingly restored to its original grandeur with additional buildings for the hotel and private apartments; the buildings and the courtyard in back and to the side of us are essentially completed. Although certainly an improvement over what used to be there, upon examining the so called lovely Moroccan style tile work around the planter boxes, we noticed it was peeling, a rather strange phenomenon for tile. As Lauren pointed out, it's shelf paper covering wood! Now the noise and dirt are from the other side of us where a multi story building is going up where there was a lovely home. We think they may be building on top of it but meanwhile it is a continuous mess here with no end in sight! Poor Lauren!
ZALMAN'S SIYUM AND FUTURE PLANS
|Zayda doing the kazatsky with Zalman|
|Zalman, Alexander, Marc|
Zalman has made a major decision concerning his future that is very exciting. He has chosen a course of study leading to being a judge in the beit dien or "house of judgment", a rabbinical court of Judaism. Every city in Israel and some US cities that have large Jewish communities have religious courts. There is an order to everything done in Judaism. To become a rabbi one must pass 6 tests: shabbat laws; laws of kashrut or keeping kosher; laws on death; marriage; mikve or ritual bath for women; and the menstrual cycle. A student studying to be a judge may postpone the above 6 tests and take only one at a later time. However, the rules for becoming a judge include 7 years of learning the laws, being at least 27, married and a father. The reason for the latter is that in ancient times a judge could not sentence someone else's son to death without having children of his own. Now the criminal courts have taken over that job. It is amazing to learn the various laws involved, ie restaurants have laws re kashrut and the courts are in charge.
NO FINER MUSEUM SHOWS THAN...
Spent Wednesday evening with our friends Gloria and Mike Kramer, shmoozing on their Yemin Moshe balcony and gazing at the magnificent view of the Old City walls lit up. Being a long time docent at the Israel Museum, Gloria knows what's good and she told us to spend a minimum of 10 minutes watching The Clock, a 24 hour video by Christian Markley. Some 45 minutes later after tearing ourselves away (and on 2-3 person sofas too) from being totally mesmerized, we spent another hour walking through the art department including a wonderful retrospective of Micah Ullman. An Israeli, Ullman was responsible for the fabulous underground "library" in Berlin memorializing the book burning during WWII. On our way out we thought we would spend a few extra minutes in The Clock and another 45 minutes later we finally pulled ourselves away. It played at the Paula Cooper Gallery in NYC where people lined up in the snow and at LACMA but unfortunately not in our neighborhood. It is comprised of snippets of literally thousands of movies in all languages and each has a watch, a clock or dialogue referring to time and if you look at your own watch you will see that exact time. At some point each venue stays open 24 hours so those who can do it will watch the entire day. The scenes also flow from one to the other so you are never sure unless you recognize the actors if you are on the next one. It is a masterpiece in Real Time!
|Moment of Glory|
|Light Rail Interior|
|Light Rail on Jaffa Road|