An item, some weeks ago in Haaretz newspaper announced the opening of Herod’s Pool to the public. I had heard about archaeological excavations in the 1930’s that discovered a palace and a pool of Herod’s in Jerusalem near the Armenian Quarter, in the vicinity of the Jaffa Gate, I’d also read a bit of Josephus’ Jewish Wars where he describes Herod’s beautiful Jerusalem palace, apparently the most beautiful palace of all. He had palaces in many places, the most visited and ther
Shalom everyone, I'm forever telling people news of the past; memorable, big time, sensational events associated with the sites of Israel. But people are much more interested in the "no news" of the past; the unknown, unpublished bits of information. So for an interesting tour I always have to be on the lookout for these interesting bits of "no news". I'm like an entomologist looking for tiny, weird and sometimes scary insects which are almost invisible because they hide in c
Shalom everyone, You may have noticed that about once a week something new appears on my website. At the moment there's a link to a video of people shaking the lulav and a picture of a lulav, but life doesn't end with Sukkot;. What do I put there after Sukkot? What can compare with the joyous euphoria of the festival? I have to put something there that will be as attractive as Sukkot yet ordinary and commonplace, befitting my objective of "No News". In my search for the ordin
This week an English tourist mentioned some planned restrictions on eating in public in order not to offend the sensitivities of the Moslems who are fasting in Ramadan. Here in Israel we don't have a law like that, even though we are very strict about not making speeches of incitement against any population group or taking any action which may provoke the sensitivities of any particular group whether Jews, Moslems or Christians. This discussion started me thinking about the s
Dear friends and family, shalom, You know when I get a tour group for 2 weeks I get almost totally out of my usual home loving situation. I don't have many tours like that but I just finished one, which I enjoyed very much and the people were wonderful and very cooperative and appreciative and we all had a lot of fun. But I must confess, I love being at home also, writing to you and all that. I just love it and I must admit I missed it. I am happy to say that I enjoy both wor
You might know that my family is somewhat scattered over the face of this great earth of ours. My one brother, Raymond and his family, lives in Toronto Canada and my other brother Bernard and his family is in Sydney Australia.
To my great joy Bernard came to visit me the other day and to spend time with his nephews, my sons.
Needless to say we all had a good time with lots of partying, chatting about old times and above all touring together through Israel, mostly Jerusale
The days after Passover and the day of Shavuot celebrate two events when the Jewish People received two important gifts, namely the grains of wheat and barley, harvested on the days between the two festivals and the Torah which we received on Mt. Sinai on Shavuot, the 50th day after Passover. At this time of the year the Jewish farmer could really feel the truth of the saying "without flour there is no Torah and without Torah there is no wheat." In Judaism the gift of Torah a
On Wednesday morning I had a call, as I expected, from someone who wanted to join my twice weekly walk in the Old City. I happily took my sign and caught the bus down town. As I made my way through Ben Yehudah Str.to meet my clients, two young ladies who have family in Jerusalem and come here about twice a year, I was held up by a young girl and a bearded man playing Irish and Scottish melodies, she on a violin and he accompanying her on a guitar. I was so moved by their musi
Dear friends and family, As I told you yesterday I finally got round to the opera, Manon Lescaut by Puccini. I'm sorry to admit my ignorance but I had never heard of this opera of Puccini. I knew about Madame Butterfly and I hope the New Israel Opera will put that on one of these days. Manon knows great wealth and great love. Her efforts to take wealth from one man and love from another end up in her being a criminal and dying in the arms of her lover in a distant land, Ameri
Dear friends and family, One of the postcard sellers at the Mosque of Omar whispered in my ear that from the 1st of March we'll be able to enter the sacred shrine again. It's been closed for about 6 years now, since Ariel Sharon entered it in October 2000. This was good news. It might be a sign of improved relations between Jews and Arabs. Once again we'll be able to admire the architectural beauty of this ancient holy place, one of the best examples of the cultural heritage
Dear friends and family, The weather in Israel is going from warm to hot. Yesterday we basked in the sun on a boat on the Sea of Galillee in about 25 centigrade. The boat was taking a group of tourists and myself from Ein Gev, where we had just eaten a delicious St. Peter's fish lunch, to Nof Ginossar where we joined our bus to drive to Nazareth. It was already dark when we made our way back to Jerusalem. But not too late. This night, for a change I'd be early in bed. The nig
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 (ge
Dear friends and family, Here I am, in French Hill, a new suburb of New Jerusalem, thinking what news from Israel to tell you. Unfortunately I don't have any news. I only have "No News". What's going on in Jerusalem isn't news because, generally, it's the same as what goes on in any city in the world. News is something different. It's something unique. For example if it's nice and peacefull in your nich of the world and war is going on here. That's news. A bomb blast isn't ne