Monday, October 09, 2017

Back on my bike.

I have a dear friend whom I know already for about 50 years.
She has a PhD in social work.
We have a talk once a year, because we share our birth dates. If that wouldn't be the case we would talk twice a year.
Usually it is about the kids and the grandchildren.
Her field of expertise is dealing with elderly people. She asked me what I am doing with my free time now I am retired. I retired some years ago and was busy doing all kind of tasks  I neglected.
The biggest project was updating and redecorating my house. It was a huge one.
I also have some hobbies and I guided groups of foreign tourists  around the country, as I also am a licensed tour-guide.
This was a kind of hobby and work, because I love touring the country.
I also like photographing and people say I am quite good in it.
I also am a radio amateur with a very minimalist station. As my hearing was damaged during my military service, I don't hear very well and that is the reason I prefer digital modes.
The question about what I am doing with my free time bothered me and I started thinking what I could do and enjoy. Preferable it would have to be something good for my health.
As child I rode on a bike, mainly to school, but also around the country. 
I became an only child during the first years at secondary school and had a very few friends. So I would take my bike and make very long trips. I loved it.

Till some years ago I would bike around in the area where I live. As the infrastructure in this country for biking is very poor, it was extremely dangerous. One day as I was on my way a driver almost killed when he ran into me. I heard a car approaching me and looked in my mirror. The only solution was to jump from my bike and roll over the shoulder of the road into the ditch at the side of the road. My bike was totally ruined and I had a traumatic shock. The guy who just almost killed me apparently was busy doing something else and didn't look at the road.
I also used to run till my knees started to hurt, then I swapped running with walking.  The problem with walking for me is that it goes too slowly and therefor it bores me.
I bought a new bike and used it several years, but my work didn't leave me much spare time and I left it and gave it to my youngest son.

After the question of my friend I wanted to go back to cycling but in a way that would suit my age and physical condition, which is OK, but not brilliant and nothing to complain about.
After much thinking I bought a pedal assisted e-bike. It helps me, but leaves enough space to work on my fitness. 

So now I ride every day in the paths and dirt roads in my area, avoid riding on main roads, look at the nature and enjoy it immensely.  

Today it was the first really rainy day of the year, "the former rain" - Hayoreh, as it is called in the Old Testament - Deuteronomy 11:14.
There was not a single spot in my body that stayed dry and it was great fun.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Visiting Yad Washem with tourists

Almost all tourists I guide, visit Yad Washem the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.
We try to understand what happened then and how 6 million innocent people were killed by an industrial system of hate.

Both my parents were active members of the Dutch resistance and I remember that even as a young kid I was aware of the history of the Sho'ah which wiped out almost my entire family.

Many questions are asked during those visits and it is hard to find answers, but some time ago one of the tourists asked me a question that left me speechless.
The person was extremely shocked by the sights shown in the memorial and than I heard a question I as a non-christian couldn't answer.

"Could it be that Jesus came back to earth before the Holocaust and was killed together with the 6.000.000?'

What could I answer?

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Jabel - Tourism in Druze and Circassian Villages

Well-hidden jewels of tourism in Israel are the Druze and Circassian Villages in Galilee.
Many tourists may pay a short visit at the Druse villages on Mount Carmel near Haifa, but very few take their time to see the authentic life of the  Druze and the Circassians.

On your next visit in Israel it is worth to include an in depth visit to one or more of their villages. For details please visit the Jabel website

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Massada the last stronghold of the Great Revolt

Herod the Great (or rather the Cruel) built near the Dead Sea a fortress where he could hide in case of a revolution.
In the year 73 CE, three years after the Temple and Jerusalem were ruined, fought here 960 Zealots under Elazar ben Jair fought against the Tenth Legion led by Lucius Flavius Silva.
Flavius Josephus tells us that at the end of the battle 10 of the defenders of Massada were chosen to kill the others and one of them to kill the other nine ones. The last survivor took his own life. 
Flavius tells us that they preferred to die as free ones rather than living as slaves.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Nazareth the village of Maria and Joseph

In Galilee in Northern Israel Nazareth was 2000 years ago a poor little village.
Nathanael spoke with Philip about Nazareth (John 1:46):
45Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, "We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, wrote: Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."
46Nathanael said to him, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see."

It became the cradle of Christianity.
Here Maria, Joseph and Jesus lived.
Here according to the tradition Gabriel announced Maria that she was pregnant.
Nowadays it is a centre of pilgrimage and tourism.

The following video can also be viewed in HD

Gamla - "Massada on the Golan"

Flavius Josephus wrote about the Great Revolt and told the story of Gamla, that was conquered and destroyed in the year 67 CE when the Temple and Jerusalem were ruined too.
Three years later in 70 CE also Massada fell .
This is the story of thousands of men, women and children who were killed during the Great Revolt.
Have a look at this great site on the Golan.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The great menorah - המנורה הגדולה

The great Menorah was made from gold and stood in the temple in Jerusalem.

About 2000 years later the British House of Lords gave the people of Israel a menorah made by the German-born British sculptor Benno Elkan (1877-1960)
The monument shows the history of the Jewish people in a nutshell.
It is located near the Israeli parliament - the Knesset

The following video can be seen in HD 

The legend of the menorah is on the following picture:

Actually the original menorah had three little legs like shown in the following picture:

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Sunday, March 06, 2011

Winter is ending - the Cranes and Storks are leaving to Europe

After we had a dry winter again in our hectic place under the sun, the Cranes are leaving Israel and return to Europe once more. Thousands of them stayed in Israel for winter.

This elegant bird was chosen by Lufthansa to be the company's logo.

The Agamon Hula nature park is chosen by many Cranes as their winter home and  they get there a free meal to reduce the damage they cause to the fishponds and crops.

The Storks too are going back to Europe now and soon the Pelicans will follow.

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