In November we took our first trip to the Holy Lands. The day before we left, this leaf was found on our deck at CoSM -- LEAVING for Israel!
Arriving at Tel Aviv airport after a long, all-night flight.
The Menorah is a seven-branched candelabra used in the ancient Tabernacle in the desert and in the Temple in Jerusalem, a symbol of Judaism since ancient times and the emblem of the modern state of Israel. The nine-branched Menorah is seen on the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.
The Great Synagogue was completed in 1982 in Tel Aviv. Located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline on the outskirts of the ancient port city of Jaffa, Tel Aviv, was founded in 1909 and contains 42% of Israel's population.
In Jerusalem, behind us is the Wailing Wall and the Dome of the Rock. The Dome of the Rock, the gold domed structure, is a shrine considered to be the first work of Islamic architecture. Located in the Old City of Jerusalem, the Foundation Stone at the heart of the Dome, bears great significance for Jews, Christians and Muslims. It is called “the most contested piece of real estate on Earth."
At the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Christian Quarter of the walled Old City of Jerusalem, Alex places his third eye on the Holy Sepulcher, a slab of wood on which Jesus was layed after he was taken down from the Cross. The site is venerated as Golgotha and is said to be the place where Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.
In the Torah, Lot's wife was told not to look back at the destruction of Sodom, a city filled with evil where no guest was welcome. Lot's wife did look back and was turned into a pillar of salt. Here she is standing sentry at the entrance of a Crystal Cave inside of Mount Sodom.
The caves are made of crystals. The Dead Sea is 1,385 ft. below sea level. It's shores are the lowest point on the surface of Earth's dry land The Dead Sea itself is the saltiest body of water on Earth. We floated naked in the Dead Sea (not pictured).
Jaffa is where we found mazuzahs for the doorposts of CoSM. A mezuzah is a prayer parchment prepared by a qualified scribe with many years of meticulous training. Written in black indelible ink with a special quill pen, the parchment is rolled up inside a decorative case. The Hebrew verses from the Torah (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 & 11:13-21) comprise the Jewish prayer "Shema Yisrael", begin with the phrase: "Hear, O Israel, Adonai, our God, Adonai is One." A Biblical commandment instructs Jews to inscribe these words "on the doorposts of your house."
Hamsa literally means "five" and is a palm-shaped symbol seen throughout the Middle East. Some believe this symbol represents the five books of the Torah. Some say it represents the Hand of Miriam, Moses’ sister. In Islam, the hamsa is called the Hand of Fatima, in honor of a daughter of the Prophet Mohammed. Some say the symbol represent the Five Pillars of Islam. Many scholars believe the hamsa predates both Judaism and Islam, though no one is certain of its origin.
Our dear friends, Yohai and Lolli (in her eighth month), are the biggest suppliers of medical cannabis in Israel. Thanks also to our hosts, Sagiv, Adi and the Moksha Project, producers of our trip and event in Tel Aviv.