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March 27, 2015 / 7 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Dead Sea’

Ancient Leviathan Fossils Found in Arava Valley

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

The land that runs along the edge of the southern end of the Dead Sea, near a certain section close to Masada, is soft and white. Although there are steep mounds of chalky white deposits that seem to stand guard along a path that moves inward towards the cliffs that rim the sea, they too are brittle, delicate and soft. They crumble at a touch.

One can climb those mounds, reach the top and then slide down just for fun. Desert tour guides sometimes take their private clients there to do just that – especially if there are children along for the tour.

The entire area, you see, was actually an ancient seabed. So it should come as no surprise that the remains of what may have been the Leviathan were found in southern Israel, researchers announced Tuesday.

Thirty fossilized remnants of the Elasmosaurus, described by Dr. Sarit Ashckenazi-Polivoda in an interview with The Jerusalem Post as the “cousin of dinosaurs” were found in the Arava Valley between 2012 and 2014.

During the period from which the fragments came – some 85 million years ago – the area was covered in ocean water 200 meters deep, the researcher said. “All of Israel was under water until 20-30 million years ago,” she told the Post. “The sea had a lot of algae and plankton that bloomed then, that attracted a lot of fish that fed on the algae, which the reptile ate.”

No one knows how or why the creatures from that period became extinct, but they disappeared about 66 million years ago, she said. Global changes such as volcanic eruptions that warmed and cooled the environment and caused changes in the ocean, as to the fish and algae, certainly could have contributed.

A dinosaur footprint was also found in Jerusalem in the 1980s, she said, and a 75 million-year-old reptile skeleton was found in the Negev in 2005.

The Elasmosaurus remains are currently on display at Hebrew University.

US Beauty Pageant Winners Uncover Media Lies in Visit to Sderot

Monday, October 6th, 2014

“If Israel had a ‘cover’ title based on what the media portrays, it would be ‘danger,’ ‘warfare,’ ‘disagreement,’ ‘pain,’ ‘death,’ ‘conflict’… and yet after just the first day I realized that this couldn’t be any further from the truth,” said Alicia Monique Blanco, Miss Arizona USA 2009.

The trip was organized by The Face of Israel organization, which offers tours for influential global figures. In Israel, the beauty queens visited all of the standard tourist destinations—like Jerusalem’s Old City, the Dead Sea, and Yad Vashem—but they also got off the beaten path with visits to the rocket-battered city of Sderot and Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon.

“[Israelis] have created an exquisite, highly innovative country that provides job security, democracy, health insurance, and top-quality education to people of all religions and races. Most importantly, they value life over death,” said Kristen Dalton, Miss USA 2009.

This article was published by JNS.org as an exclusive from Israel HaYom.

Anti-Israel BDS Protesters Target Kedem Cosmetics in Manchester

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Riot police in the British city of Manchester have had their hands full this summer trying to keep people safe when they shop at the Israeli-owned Kedem Cosmetics shop on King Street.

Products from Caesarea, a town located along the Mediterranean coast, are sold in the shop, along with Dead Sea products from Israel.

“This shop has been under siege for weeks from pro-Palestinian protesters in a smart part of Manchester’s shopping area. Things have got ugly,” a source told TheJewishPress.com on condition of anonymity.

The shop has been the focal point of a campaign to denounce Israel over its counter terror Operation Protective Edge, which started last month to silence the incessant rocket fire raining down on southern Israeli civilians.

Pro-‘Palestine’ demonstrators – some of whom could easily be called rioters – have abused and shoved the store’s staff. Others block customers from entering the shop, a source said. At least one “protester” was arrested last month on charges of disturbing the public order, according to the Manchester Evening News. Riot police were required to maintain order on several occasions.

A counter protest group also appeared to support Israel in front of the shop, a British-registered company.

A protester from ‘Palestine Solidarity,’ John Nicholson of Longsight, told MEN he had been demonstrating in front of the shop for ‘six days running to try and close down Kedem, a shop selling Israeli goods.”

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police told MEN, meanwhile, that police were present to maintain “lawful and peaceful protest” but that there had been “no reports of any serious disorder” and that protests had “passed peacefully.”

Negev Loses Airport Night Trains

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Residents of southern Israel – particularly those living in the periphery communities in the Negev – will no longer have the option of taking the train to and from the airport after 11:00 p.m.

A spokesperson for Israel Railways told The Jewish Press on Thursday morning the service just didn’t pay for itself. “The government and the railway company made the decision together,” said the spokesperson, who added the figures totaled only an average of five or six riders per night on the line. “It wasn’t cost effective.”

Instead, it was decided the Metropoline Bus Service will take over the route, she said. Bus #469 will begin at the Arlozorov station in Tel Aviv and then make a stop at the airport, travel to Kiryat Gat and then go to the central bus station in Be’er Sheva.

That’s a solution for folks who live in the city of Be’er Sheva itself, perhaps – but what about those who live in the small periphery towns where bus service doesn’t exist overnight?

“Tough luck, baby,” said one consumer. “We’re stuck with paying hundreds of shekels for travel after 11 pm, just like we always have – and that after first spending hours traveling to the other cities just to get a little closer. Instead of paying NIS 600 to get home, I end up paying NIS 300 from Be’er Sheva, but spend three more hours after a 12-hour flight and another hour or more in baggage claims. Forget it.”

The Negev region comprises 60 percent of the nation’s land mass – but its travel network has yet to be developed to the point that even half of its communities have any access to railway service at all.

When asked why there is still no railway branch route to Arad, for example — while Dimona, a city of similar size and population, has had one for several years – the spokesperson for Israel Railways could not find a reason. Arad, a ‘clean air’ resort town located about 45 minutes east of Be’er Sheva and 25 minutes west of the Dead Sea, is in the midst of a major development boom due to the expansion of Route 31, which runs between the two points.

The Nevatim air base is located near Route 31 – described in Hebrew media as ‘death road’ due to the high number of motor vehicle fatalities that have occurred along the highway — as is the Nahal army base at Tel Arad.

Unexpected Downpour Swells Lake Kinneret, Creates Havoc in Israel

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

The sun peeked out just long enough Thursday afternoon for Israelis to see the flooding caused by the “sound and light show” they endured over Wednesday night.

Cracks of thunder and long streaks of lightning interspersed with the downpour that sent sheets of rain down through the skies over Israel, drenching the entire country.

Downpours at this time of year are unusual but not unheard of, meteorologist said. By mid-afternoon Thursday, the skies in southern Israel were once again filled with leaden clouds that appeared once more to be pregnant with rain. It was not clear whether in fact more precipitation was on the way; the forecast calls for the possibility for rain, continuing even into as Friday morning.

Rain is considered a blessing in this part of the world no matter when it arrives. There has been a 2.5-centimeter (one inch) rise in the water level of Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) as a result of the record-breaking downpour.

But some may have seen it as a mixed blessing: Fifteen members of the Bnei Akiva youth group were trapped in a southern Israeli parking lot due to the flooding. They were rescued by special teams and evacuated from the scene by helicopter. IDF vehicles prepared to enter the area to help evacuate remaining hikers who had been touring in the area.

Bezeq phone lines were still down around the Dead Sea area at midday and service was sporadic at best.

Cell phone companies were scrambling to restore service in the central region. In the Jerusalem area, Cellcom customers reported all kinds of difficulties in placing their calls and in sending text messages Thursday afternoon.

The company had not formulated a response to the complaints by mid-afternoon.

Further south, near Eilat, Route 90 was still closed to traffic by late afternoon due to flash flooding that swamped the road after a night of thunder and lightning that swept Israel from north to south. Route 31, which had been closed earlier in the day, is now open.

Thunderstorms Strike Israel

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

The blessing for rain may have been left behind for the winter season, but the Heavens re-opened on Wednesday night anyway with additional blessings for the Land of Israel.

The entire country was hit and the rainstorms that began overnight are carrying on through Thursday and expected to continue possibly into Friday. Storms of this intensity are unusual in Israel in May, but not unheard of.

Communities in Gush Etzion were left without power overnight. Main highways were shut down due to flooding around the Dead Sea and in the northeastern Negev city of Arad at least one home was flooded due to cracks in a ceiling where the roof gave way.

There were also reports of numerous Bezeq telephone lines being knocked out at the southern end of the Dead Sea, in the Ein Bokek area, due to flooding in the region.

Israeli rescue teams are warning the public about the dangers of trying to cross flooded terrain across the country. Even if the flow of the waters appears to be weak, warned officials, there is simply no way to measure the water’s depth and strength.

Waves can be intense and suddenly rise to flip a car over, officials explained. Floods also loosen rocks, which can easily trap a car within the flow of the water. If a driver encounters a flood while driving, he or she is advised to wait until the rush of the water has stopped entirely before continuing to drive. Failing that option, turn around and head back. Better safe than sorry, in all cases.

Anyone who requires assistance is advised to dial 100, the Israel Police.

Due to the flooding, Route 90 is still closed to traffic in both directions from the Dergot Peaks to the hotel strip at Ein Bokek. The same road has been shut down at the northern end of the Dead Sea up to the Arava Junction as well. Traffic police are deployed at both locations to head off unwary travelers.

In addition, Route 31 heading down to the Dead Sea has also been closed.

German Grandmother Celebrates 104th Birthday by Dead Sea

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

German tourist, Eleonore Kastner, affectionately known as Oma Ella, celebrated her 104th birthday in a Dead Sea hotel with 40 friends and family who traveled with her to Israel for the special event.

Since she turned 100 four years ago, Oma Ella had decided that the time had come to “live a little.” She has been celebrating her birthday each year in a different corner of the world together with her family. For her 100th birthday, Kastner celebrated at the Vatican.

During the following years, she marked 101 in Monaco, 102 in Austria and 103 in Munich.

Kastner, a devout Christian, has visited and prayed at Christian holy sites in the Holy Land, even traveling on a donkey to reach an isolated monastery in the Judean desert.

Kastner, who was born in 1910 in Kelheim, Germany, has accomplished some ground-breaking feats in her older age. She is thought to be the oldest person to tour the Himalayas and meet with the Queen of Bhutan, and is the oldest member of the Eurovision Club that travels to every song competition.

In addition, the German grandmother is considered to be the oldest person to have a Facebook page which she has already updated since arriving in Israel with a video greeting. She also appears in YouTube videos celebrating with youth at beer festivals in Germany, enjoying fairground rides and dancing to contemporary music.

And her secret for longevity? “Be healthy and enjoy a sweet schnapps every day!” is Kastner’s motto.

After she married in 1932, Kastner moved to Amberg, Bavaria where she raised four children, only one of whom is still alive. Her elder brother, who was born in 1906, was murdered in the Dachau concentration camp in 1943 after resisting the Nazi occupation.

During her visit to Israel, the Tourism Ministry presented Kastner with a birthday present: a silver-bound Bible along with a certificate of appreciation, nominating her as an ambassador of good will for tourism to Israel.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/german-grandmother-celebrates-her-104th-birthday-at-dead-sea/2014/01/08/

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