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Newsletter 2: Tu Bishvat


Dear friends and family,

My son, Emanuel, sent me an important bit of no news. The singing group Depeche Mode will be giving a one time performance on the 3rd Aug 2006.

You might know that this date is the festival of Tisha B'Av, in memory of the destruction of the 1st and the 2nd Temples.

Those destructions are considered the beginning of the exile (galut). They'll be performing at the end of the festival.

The end of the festival is considered the beginning of redemption (geula), one of the possible times when the messiah will be arriving. If the Messiah arrives he will be arriving to the accompaniment of Depeche Mode.

One of the festivals considered to be the opposite of Tisha B'Av is the festival we celebrate tonight, namely the New Year for trees, Tu B'Shvat. Tonight we'll be making a little party in honor of the festival and we'll eat dried fruit and nuts and sing songs about the Almond tree that is blossoming all over Israel now, the Kalanit, a beautiful little red flower that covers the field like a red persian carpet, and of course the Cyclamen, a very rare plant which grows between the rocks in the forests.

There's a little hill near Ariel Sharon's farm which is famous for its Kalaniot and yesterday thousands of people were there to see the pretty sight. At the same time they heard the news of a slight turn for the worse and had to be operated on. Thank God he pulled through again, even in his unconscious state.

The Arab terrorist organizations never stop. The Yediot newspaper gave a summary of rockets fired into Israel since the withdrawal from the Gaza strip, 400. Thank God nobody was injured. Before the withdrawal, 8 people had been killed, now they're living quite far from the rockets and they're safer. But just think how many mouths could be fed in the starving Gaza Strip with money used to buy rockets.

It seems that Al Kaida have infiltrated into South Lebanon and are directing operations against Israel from there. Just imagine what a paradise we could have on earth without the hatred of those terrorist organisations. Hatred simply nulifies all solutions to international problems. Hatred is the real obstacle to peace. Those terrorists will never achieve anything as long as they have hatred. Hatred isn't a sentiment that seeks to achieve anything constructive.

This week I have my usual busy schedule. Tomorrow, Monday I'll have my usual Old City walking tour and Tuesday I'll be going to the North to check out some new attractions for tourists. I'm going to a place called the Dalton valley. I expect to see Kalaniot and to try out the wine of a little wine press stuck away in some little known nook of the valley. I'll also be trying out a new Biblical farm near Nazareth. They promised me I could milk the goats. I'll let you know how it goes.

Wishing you a great no news day

Yours truly

Leon Gork

#christiantours #jerusalemtours #jewishfestivals #judaism #toursofisrael #flowersofisrael

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