Saturday, January 23, 2010

The floating tree of Jaffa


We spent last week in Israel. We stayed in Tel Aviv. Just a short walk down the boardwalk, along the Mediterranean, is the small area of Jaffa, named for one of Noah's sons. Once Jaffa was one of the most important sea ports in the world, now is a quaint "artsy" neighborhood within the ever-sprawling Tel Aviv.

Walking through Jaffa, we came upon this hanging tree. No signs leading up to it. No explanation why it's there. No over-wrought interpretive signage in multiple languages with an artist's statement. Not even any other trees around. Just a lonely tree suspended in the air, separated from the earth by inches.

According to Greek mythology, Andromeda was chained to a rock just off the coast of Jaffa -- a sacrifice to a sea monster as a punishment for her mother's bragging (but was saved by Perseus, her future husband). Here, also, Jonah was swallowed by the whale. 

While in Israel, we were able (with excellent tour guide Mimi) to visit Jerusalem, climb the Masada, float in the Dead Sea, drive through parts of the West Bank, see the Holocaust Museum, visit Haifa, Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, and Qumran (site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found).

It'll take months to comprehend all we saw and learned. My daughter's take-away was that she likes falafel, and that any place Jesus did something, they built a church.

10 comments:

  1. Wow, Jim, that tree is riveting. Israel is doing great things with landscaping, there is no doubt. I have a great good friend there who I work with online these days (and have for a few years...........http://www.IsraeliMom.org ) you might check her out.

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  2. Wow, that is a strange tree but very artsy. Sounds like a great trip. I'm reading a book set in that area so it certainly makes me want to visit.

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  3. I have been informed by a source close to the scene, that the Dead Sea is gross and slimy and not worth swimming in.

    I'm surprised you don't plant her in a ball and suspend her from a trellis or something....

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  4. That is beyond cool, really sublime. I will ask a friend who just move back home there about it.

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  5. There is surely and untold story. Sounds like a great vacation. Floating in the dead sea.....the first line of a suspense novel.

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  6. That is a lovely living art form.
    I too have floated in the Dead Sea, and I've also been on the Way of the Cross in Jerusalem, one Easter. The Holy Land is a place that almost takes you back in time, don't you think?

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  7. Steve,
    I checked out her blog, thanks. It was quite riveting. I believe there are other suspended trees in other Israeli cities as well.

    Jean,
    Israel is worth a trip. I've read a few books based in the area - mostly fiction crime/drama novels. Oh, and there was that good book.

    Teddy,
    The Dead Sea was not gross and slimy. The water was unusually soft. There's nothing in it to make it slimy - no plants, no fish, no nothin'. You're source is unreliable. But she did say to say, Hi Aunt Al!"

    Lynn,
    It was cool, no doubt. If I could figure out how to do it in my own yard, I would.

    Layanee,
    It was one of our better vacations (and we take a lot of them).

    Terra,
    Certainly does take you back in time. Even standing across from Jerusalem on Mt. Olive you can see how where the city started, grew and picture what it was like during some of the different centuries. We walked the stations of the cross too. Our guide, who was Jewish took us on what was for her, probably "Christian Tour Package #2." And she knew more about Christianity than we did.

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  8. Lovely post and I love your garden and flowers. Great photos

    Thanks,
    Aanee xxx
    Flowers Letterkenny

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  9. The orange tree is here:

    https://maps.google.com/?ll=32.053122,34.75272&spn=0.000882,0.003345&t=m&z=19&layer=c&cbll=32.053121,34.752721&panoid=jEmlE-0CCiT9ktrYcD-ezA&cbp=11,110.59,,0,-1.8

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