June 28, 2016

In Tel Aviv: International evening beach picnic

Le dejeuner sur la sable

At the Mediterranean Sea, near Tel Aviv's Carmel Market, we gathered to cool off in the oppressive heat and humidity and to lift our glasses, forks, and voices to celebrate friendship and discoveries.

We: Two American-Israelis, one Israeli, one Canadian living in Portugal, and one Portuguese. 

Photographer: A New Zealand Maori living in Sweden and attending a local friend's wedding. 

Menu: Merlot wine followed by focaccia breads, pastas, salads, watermelon, and white chocolate.

What's up with the footwear? I dislike wet and sandy toes and delight in wearing my GORE-TEX® boots not only in puddles, the rain, and snow but on the beach, too.

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May 30, 2016

Memorial Day: Do we find the cost of freedom / Buried in the ground?

Gathering poppies in central Israel (2009)
I first published this post on Memorial Day in the USA in 2009

Find the cost of freedom
Buried in the ground.
Mother Earth will swallow you;
Lay your body down.

It's the refrain of an old Crosby, Stills & Nash song by Steven Stills that I first heard in the early 1970s. Today, I was humming it while listening to Bob Edwards interviewing on XM radio several members of the Navy’s Third Medical Battalion, which served alongside the Third Marine Division during the Vietnam War.

For today is Memorial Day when we are called to remember and pay tribute to our service men and women, whether they died on native soil or overseas in German forests or on British coasts, in the jungles of Vietnam or atop the mountains of Afghanistan, or in the sands and urban jungles of Iraq. And while we honor those who sacrificed their lives responding to their country's call to duty, we are also called to address the forces that drive men to war.

Reworking the Crosby, Stills & Nash antiwar anthem
A couple of years ago, in Bountiful, Utah, Scott Wright crafted a video of his photos set to the folk rock supergroup's classic, "Find The Cost Of Freedom." Scott explains, "Their songs carry so much meaning. My thanks to my nephews Ben and James for letting me use their photos in this compilation, both of whom are currently active in the US military; and to my Father Warren Wright who served in WWII. I hope you will watch it in the spirit in which it was made of Peace and Love...one day we will get to the place where there is no more war...of this I am certain."

Watch the video (4:32 minutes). The lyrics are below the screen.

Daylight again,
Following me to bed.
I think about a hundred years ago,
How my fathers bled...

I think I see a valley,
covered with bones in blue.
All the brave soldiers
That cannot get older 'been
Askin' after you.

Hear the past a callin',
From Armageddon's side.
When everyone's talkin'
And no one is listenin',
How can we decide?

Do we find the cost of freedom
Buried in the ground?
Mother Earth will swallow you;
Lay your body down.
(Repeat x2)

Lay your body down...
Lay your body down....

Related posts

May 05, 2016

Categories of Extermination (poster) in the Museum of the Liberation of Rome

Categories of Extermination (poster)
The poster shown in the photo is among documents and artifacts in the Museum of the Liberation of Rome, the former headquarters of the Gestapo terror apparatus during the German occupation of Rome during World War II. The building contained a prison in which Jews and political opponents — members of the Italian Resistance were incarcerated and tortured.

Half a day was not long enough for me to explore carefully documentation on the persecution of Rome’s Jews (with copies of newspaper reports and posters imposing bans and anti-Jewish orders), underground struggles (including resistance manifestos and handbills, and torture and murders of its members), and in some torture cells, messages on life and freedom etched in the plaster walls and other graffiti by prisoners often nearing death.

On this somber day in Israel, we are marking Holocaust Remembrance and Heroism Day when we remember approximately 6 million Jews, among them 1.5 million children who were annihilated during the Holocaust. As we pledge to never forget, may we remember also 5 million more who perished during this tragic episode in human history, among them Gypsies/Roma, Serbs, Polish intelligentsia, resistance fighters from all nations, German opponents of Nazism, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, people with disabilities, habitual criminals, and the "antisocial," such as beggars, vagrants, and hawkers.

My related posts

April 22, 2016

In Rome: A children's bookmobile

Read-aloud picture books for enthusiastic lilliputian-size
Italian-speaking or -babbling listeners and their minders

What could possibly top off a visit to MAXXI, Italy’s National Museum of XXI Century Arts, in Rome? As the country’s first institution devoted to contemporary creativity in art and architecture, it’s no wonder that in the museum courtyard, a public space, I came upon a public library bookmobile!

The MAXXI building is a major architectural work designed by Anglo-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, and features innovative and spectacular forms.

Related post

March 22, 2016

In South Tel Aviv: Children of foreign workers, asylum seekers and Israelis celebrate Purim

Costumed twins during events marking the Jewish holiday Purim.
Photo credit: Reuters
Happy Purim! These magnificent children join Purim festival joyous traditions — wacky costumes, parades, performances.

Applause and praise for their dedicated teachers at the famed inner-city Bialik-Rogozin School in South Tel Aviv and their Israeli and international friends, tutors, health and legal professionals, hi-tech companies and other businesses and individuals who understand that —

"There is only one man in the world and his name is All Men.
There is only one women in the world and her name is All Women.
There is only one child in the world and the child's name is All Children."

— Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) American poet, writer, editor

My Purim posts