In the past 24 hours, the Kinneret rose 22 centimeters. At it’s last measurement, it was at 211.50 meters below sea level. With the rainstorm currently hitting Israel, the Kinneret is expected to rise even higher.
Posts Tagged ‘Tiberias’
Over the past few days the Kinneret has been steadily rising, and on Saturday it rose by 12 centimeters reaching 212.07 meters below sea level, which is 93 centimeters above the lower red line.
The Kinneret is now 327 centimeters below its maximum capacity which is at 208.8 meters below sea level.
The Kinneret’s highest level in 2012 was 211.30 centimeters below sea level.
An IDF base a few miles west of Tiberias was robbed Friday morning after masked men entered the base, tied up a soldier, and stole his rifle and several other weapons.
In an environment of regional instability and geopolitical threats to Israel, the IDF will hold a series of drills to prepare the country in the event of a biological, chemical or radioactive attack.
For the first time, the IDF will simulate a “dirty bomb” radioactive terror attack in Israel. The exercise, titled “Dark Cloud”, will take place in January in Haifa. It will include the IDF Home Front Command, hospitals, police, and emergency services.
On Wednesday, the Defense Ministry will hold its sixth annual “Orange Flame” exercise to practice a response to biological attacks. Hospitals in Afula, Nazareth, and Tiberias in the north will practice dealing with 5,000 patients a day exhibiting symptoms related to contact with biological weapons. An inter-ministerial committee will concurrently practice containing a national crisis, utilizing polices such as regional quarantines and mass vaccine distributions.
Syria is known to have a large cache of VX, sarin, and mustar gases, and Libya was discovered to have a large chemical weapons arsenal following the fall of Muammar Gaddafi.
Through April 24, 2011
Ben Uri Gallery: The London Jewish Museum of Art
108A Boundary Road, St. Johns Wood, London
The land of Israel’s holiness features four cities that are singled out as exceptionally holy, and which are imbued with special qualities. I have had the good fortune to visit all four – Hebron, Jerusalem, Tiberias and Safed – if only for a short time. Each of these cities is associated with a particular kind of holiness, corresponding to the four basic elements: Jerusalem – fire; Hebron – earth; Tiberias – water; and, my favorite, Safed – air.
Why is Safed my favorite? After all, Jerusalem was home to the two Holy Temples, and the Western Wall is accessible to us even to this day. The matriarchs and patriarchs are buried in Hebron. Tiberias housed the last seat of the great Supreme Court of Jewish Law, and is the burial place of the Torah giant Moses Maimonides.
I can say without reservation, though, that Safed is the most beautiful and spiritual place that I have ever encountered. The stone streets with the drainage depressions down the middle, the beautiful ancient architecture, and the ubiquitous blue building walls are all stunning. But it’s not just Safed itself. It is also the view, that beautiful view of the mountains. And the sunsets. It’s easy to see why kabbalah began and developed there. There is something very special about the air. The holiness of Safed’s air is palpable. You can stand in the center of town, surrounded by noise, sights and smells, and still breathe in the holiness. You can tune everything else out.
In 1997, I visited Israel for the second time. At that point in my life, I was on what I call the cusp of becoming more observant. I was taking it very slowly, which is the best way to do it. I had just bought a place in a largely Jewish neighborhood back home, feeling that if I were to move forward in my observance, I would want and need support.
I stayed with a friend in Rehovot, and rented a car for the duration of my three-week stay in Israel. Many people – Israelis and Americans – thought that I was out of my mind for driving in Israel. But I like my independence.
One day I drove to Safed – not an insignificant trek – and stayed in the nicest hotel in the city, figuring that since I was paying nothing to stay with my friend in Rehovot, I would treat myself. It was Friday night, Shabbat, and I was watching television in my room. I even remember what I was watching.
Dinnertime arrived and I was hungry. However, the dining room was filled with families, and I felt self-conscious sitting by myself. I went back to my room and planned to order room service. The problem: the only thing that the hotel would deliver to my room was chocolate cake. Why, I don’t know. This is not ordinarily a problem; I like chocolate cake as much as the next person – but I wanted a real dinner. So I decided to drive to a nearby city, one with – unlike Safed – eating establishments that would be open despite it being the Sabbath.
Now, in addition to being the most beautiful city in the world, Safed is the most confusing city in the world. I drove around and around, out of the old city and into the new – while 12-year-old boys yelled at me for driving on the Sabbath. It felt like I was in the eye of a storm.
Finally, I was out of Safed. Since Safed is located way up on the top of a mountain, the drive down is quite precarious. There are no streetlights and no guardrails. But I was determined to get dinner. Suddenly, my engine cut out. Nothing worked. Nothing. No brakes, no motor, no power steering. I was rolling down a mountain, helpless.
Almost reflexively, straight from my soul, I said, “God, if you save me, I will keep your Sabbath.” And somehow, while I’m not sure why, I wasn’t scared. If God chose not to save me, I believed that there was a reason. I tried to steer uphill, without the power steering. Nothing. Not knowing what to do, I turned the engine off, and then turned it on again and hoped for the best.
The engine started working. My life was no longer in danger. God had clearly intervened in a very open and miraculous way. He quite literally saved my physical life – and my spiritual life as well. We often miss smaller moments of intervention in our everyday lives, but you couldn’t miss this. There was clearly a sign here, an open miracle, and it changed my life forever.
I gave up my quest for dinner. I went back to the hotel and had my chocolate cake. It was the best chocolate cake I had ever eaten.
The screaming boys were right: I needed to keep Shabbat. And I have done so since my return to the U.S. a few weeks after this experience.
There is truly something in the air in Safed. Temima (Donna) Gorshel Cohen grew up in a suburb of Boston, and attended Wellesley College and Boston University School of Law. She and her family currently live in Brookline, MA. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Photos by Riva Frank
I have no doubt he’ll be back.
Ben G. Frank is author of “A Travel Guide to Jewish Europe,” 3rd edition; “A Travel Guide to Jewish Russia and Ukraine,” and “A Travel Guide to the Jewish Caribbean and South America,” Pelican Publishing Co., Gretna, LA.