18 July 2017

Would you have the word מצה tattooed on your arm?

We have all seen it, people wandering around the world with tattoos in foreign languages bandied around their body.  In languages such as Hebrew, Sanskrit, Chinese, Arabic not to mention English just because the person who is having the tattoo done thinks it looks different and unique.  Well the word emblazoned across your body can certainly be different especially if the tattoo artist doesn't have a clue what they are writing or cannot spell.  I recently came across an article where a man in the US had the word "matza" tattooed on his arm.  Poor man.  As anyone who can read Hebrew knows matza is an unleavened biscuit eaten by Jewish people during Passover (Pesach).  It is usually not the kind of word one would wish to have as a tattoo on their arm.  It turns out that the unsuspecting man thought he was having the Hebrew word for strength permanently tattooed on his arm.  Needless to say, if you are going to have a tattoo done in a foreign language then it is best to do a thorough research beforehand.

12 July 2017

Miznon Down Under

Back in April 2016, I wrote a blog post about a restaurant serving Israeli street food called Miznon.  It is one of my all time favourite eateries here in Tel Aviv.  They have the best and tastiest pita sandwiches with a variety of fillings from minute steak to chicken livers and meat balls, from Lima beans to ratatouille, from 'red' (when the filling consists of red vegetables such as red peppers and tomatoes), to 'white' (when the filling consists only of white or translucent vegetables such as cauliflower florets and onions), to oven baked whole cauliflowers and sweet potatoes and so the menu goes on ... so you can imagine my surprise when I recently read an article in the Time Out magazine website by Delima Shanti that this renowned Tel Aviv institution was headed Down Under and they were due to open a branch in Melbourne's Hardware Lane  This is great news not only for Melburnians but for also for foodies and tourists alike.  I too am particularly happy with this piece of news as we are headed for the state of Victoria, Australia and so our regular visits to Melbourne will now need to include lunch at Miznon.  According to their Facebook page, Miznon will be open for business in mid-to late August 2017.   I will provide photographs of the Melbourne branch at a later date.

Address: 59 Hardware Lane, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 3000
Telephone: +61 3 8627 0000 
Twitter:  @MiznonMelb

 Bon appétit ~ Enjoy your meal ~ בתיאבון

10 July 2017

Run Hide Tell: Stay Safe in the event of a terrorist attack abroad

This informative video has been released by the Counter Terrorism Police in the UK offering advice to holidaymakers and the general public about what to do in the event of a terrorist attack.  Being aware of the rule of conduct Run Hide Tell could save your life and the lives of your family, friends and other innocent bystanders. 

27 June 2017

Participate in the world's largest sleep study

Yesterday, whilst I was 'burning the midnight oil', I came across an article on the BBC website which caught my attention.  It was entitled, How lack of sleep affects the brain by Fergus Walsh, Medical correspondent .  I started reading through the article and found out that The Brain and Mind Institute in Western University in Ontario, Canada are running a series of on-line cognitive tests which last for three consecutive days and are encouraging participants to take part in the world's largest sleep study which was designed by their Neuroscientists.  Anything to do with Neurology interests me and unfortunately my sleep pattern has been disrupted since about the end of January due to various reasons which I won't go into here, needless to say that I signed up to this study.  I have completed day one and I have been impressed by the scope of the tests which start off easy and become incrementally more difficult as you progress.   The Neuroscientists say the "detrimental effects of sleep deprivation on brain health is a global problem" and with the help of this study, they are hoping to gather enough data to answer questions about sleep and brain health. By using my blog as a platform it is my aim to give this worthwhile study international coverage.  If you choose to enroll on the sleep study you can find out fascinating facts such as "What are the long-term health effects of sleep deprivation?" and "Which types of cognition are most affected by sleep loss?"

21 June 2017

The Norman Hotel in Tel Aviv

Refined elegance and attention to detail appear to place this small boutique hotel with a choice of fifty luxurious bedrooms a cut above the rest and make it a preferred choice for the discerning, cultivated traveler.  Nachmani Street is located in the most prestigious of Tel Aviv's neighbourhoods and the hotel itself is an Architectural delight, "built in the Eclectic style and is brimming with Renaissance influence and oriental accents.

The Norman Tel Aviv
23-25 Nachmani Street
Tel Aviv, 6579441

Telephone: +972 (0)3 543 5555

20 June 2017

Delonix regia in full bloom

A large specimen of Delonix regia which can be seen in Frishman Street.
Throughout Tel Aviv the streetscape is ablaze with colour thanks to the gorgeous Delonix regia otherwise known as Royal poinciana.  In Israel, this tree is in flower during the months of May and June.  Its colour is so striking and vibrant and really adds value and interest and makes walking in the street particularly at this time of the year so pleasurable. As well, it also provides habitat for wildlife.

Delonix regia with Igael Tumarkin's Holocaust and Revival sculpture in the background.

Delonix regia is a species of flowering plant in the bean family Fabaceae, subfamily Caesalpinioideae. It is noted for its fern-like leaves and flamboyant display of flowers. In many tropical parts of the world it is grown as an ornamental tree and in English it is given the name royal poinciana or flamboyant. It is also one of several trees known as "flame tree". Delonix regia is endemic to the Madagascar's deciduous forests but has been introduced into tropical and sub-tropical regions worldwide. In the wild it is endangered, but it is widely cultivated elsewhere.  The royal poinciana requires a tropical or near-tropical climate, but can tolerate drought and salty conditions. It prefers an open, free-draining sandy or loamy soil enriched with organic matter. The tree does not like heavy or clay soils and flowers more profusely when kept slightly dry.

In addition to its ornamental value, it is also a useful shade tree in tropical conditions, because it usually grows to a modest height (mostly 5 meters, but it can reach an maximum height of 12 meters) but spreads widely, and its dense foliage provides full shade. In areas with a marked dry season, it sheds its leaves during the drought, but in other areas it is virtually evergreen.

Propogation:  The royal poinciana is most commonly propagated by seeds. Seeds are collected, soaked in warm water for at least 24 hours, and planted in warm, moist soil in a semi-shaded, sheltered position. In lieu of soaking, the seeds can also be 'nicked' or 'pinched' (with a small scissors or nail clipper) and planted immediately. These two methods allow moisture to penetrate the tough outer casing, stimulating germination. The seedlings grow rapidly and can reach 30 cm in a few weeks under ideal conditions.  Less common, but just as effective, is propagation by semi-hardwood cuttings. Branches consisting of the current or last season's growth can be cut into 30 cm sections and planted in a moist potting mixture. This method is slower than seed propagation (cuttings take a few months to root) but is the preferred method for ensuring new trees are true to form. As such, cuttings are a particularly common method of propagation for the rarer yellow-flowering variety of the tree.

Delonix regia adorning Rothschild Street in central Tel Aviv.

17 June 2017

Street or road names in Tel Aviv - part 2

This is a follow on from a blog post I wrote earlier in the week.  It is a worthy subject because the calibre of people after whom roads in Tel Aviv have been named are of such historical importance that they deserve recognition.

 Rothschild Boulevard (Hebrew: שדרות רוטשילד‎‎, Sderot Rotshild) is one of the principal streets in the center of Tel Aviv beginning in Neve Tzedek at its southwestern edge and running north to Habima Theatre. It is one of the most expensive streets in the city, being one of the city's main tourist attractions.  It features a wide, tree-lined central strip with pedestrian and bike lanes. Rothschild Boulevard was initially called Rehov HaAm ("Street of the people"). Later, the residents requested it to be renamed in honor of Baron Edmond James de Rothschild.  The Boulevard is an arts district, with galleries including Alon Segev Gallery, and Sommer Contemporary Art.

 Baron Edmond Benjamin James de Rothschild (19 August 1845 – 2 November 1934) was a French member of the Rothschild banking family.  A strong supporter of Zionism his large donations lent significant support to the movement during its early years, which helped lead to the establishment of the State of Israel.

 Herbert Louis Samuel, 1st Viscount Samuel GCB, OM, GBE, PC (6 November 1870 – 5 February 1963), was a British Liberal politician who was the party leader from 1931 to 1935. He was the first nominally-practising Jew, although a personal atheist, to serve as a Cabinet minister and to become the leader of a major British political party. He also served as a diplomat.  Educated at University College School in Hampstead, London and Balliol College, Oxford. He put forward the idea of establishing a British protectorate over Palestine in 1915, and his ideas influenced the Balfour Declaration.  He was appointed to the position of High Commissioner in 1920, before the Council of the League of Nations approved a British mandate for Palestine.  He served as High Commissioner until 1925.  He recognised Hebrew as one of the three official languages of the territory. He was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE) on 11 June 1920.

 Asher Zvi Hirsch Ginsberg (18 August 1856 – 2 January 1927), primarily known by his Hebrew name and pen name,  Ahad Ha'am was a Hebrew essayist, and one of the foremost pre-state Zionist thinkers. He is known as the founder of cultural Zionism. With his secular vision of a Jewish "spiritual center" in Israel, he confronted Theodor Herzl.  Unlike Herzl, the founder of political Zionism, Ha'am strived for "a Jewish state and not merely a state of Jews".

Theodor Herzl (Hebrew: תאודור הֶרְצֵלTe'odor Hertsel, Hungarian: Herzl Tivadar; May 2, 1860 – July 3, 1904), born Benjamin Ze'ev Herzl (Hebrew: בִּנְיָמִין זְאֵב הֶרְצֵלBinyamin Ze'ev Hertsel), also known in Hebrew as חוֹזֵה הַמְדִינָה‎, Chozeh HaMedinah (lit. "Visionary of the State") was an Austro-Hungarian journalist, playwright, political activist, and writer who was one of the fathers of modern political Zionism.  Herzl formed the World Zionist Organization and promoted Jewish migration to Palestine in an effort to form a Jewish state. Though he died long before its establishment, he is generally considered a father of the State of Israel, formed in 1948.  While Herzl is often mistakenly identified as the first major Zionist activist, scholars such as Yehuda Bibas, Zvi Hirsch Kalischer and Judah Alkalai were promoting Zionist ideas before him.

 Field Marshal Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby, 1st Viscount Allenby, GCB, GCMG, GCVO (23 April 1861 – 14 May 1936) was an English soldier and British Imperial Governor. He fought in the Second Boer War and also in the First world War, in which he led the British Empire's Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign against the Ottoman Empire in the conquest of Palestine. 

Honouring Jerusalem on foot: Allenby dismounted and entered the city on foot through the Jaffa Gate, together with his officers, in deliberate contrast to the perceived arrogance of the Kaiser's entry into Jerusalem on horseback in 1898 which was not well received by the local citizens.  He did this out of respect for the status of Jerusalem as the Holy City important to Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The people of Jerusalem saw Allenby's entrance on foot as a sign of his modesty.
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