Friday, October 5, 2012

12-10-05 Dispatch from Jerusalem: Ushpizin - Feast of Tabernacles story

A growing movement of individuals and families come to Jerusalem on Tabernacles, who fail to belong to any State-recognized denomination. Apparently, they are seen by the State as a threat, sufficient of instigation... Local fiestas and pilgrimages like Feasts of Tebernacles and Passover in Jerusalem, should be seen as the last bastions of Free Assembly that would remain. International visitors/partiers/astraunauts are at once observers and transforming agents, while enlightening themselves on life in a fast-changing world.

One of the distinctions of Tabernacles is in the requirement to "Be Happy".  One of the distinctive customs - entertaining guests in the Sukkah. a. USHPIZIN - in Jewish tradition, respectable guests in the Sukkah; b. YOTAM? (real name unknown) - provocative, "messianic", in outfit from a cheap Hollywood movie, at times carries an IDF gun - unexpected guest in our sukkah.

View Blog with pics:

Jerusalem, October 6 - many visitors to Jerusalem during the holidays are not rich, or even poorer, from all over the world, who fail to belong to any State of Israel-recognized denomination. They are independent Bible readers and believers, who never found their place in any organized religion.

Last night, as usual, guests were invited to a Wine and Bread (Kiddush) by the Hostel.  However, given that it is Shabbat in the middle of Tabernacle, we conducted it under our Sukkah on the roof, instead of the kitchen.

Around 5:30pm, when I went up to the roof, carrying the wine and bread, I found there an old familiar face - YOTAM? (real name unknown).  I immediately asked the on-site responsible person to have YOTAM removed from the property.

I was in a rush, since I was also invited to attend the Kiddush (and dinner) in the neighboring Avraham Hostel, where a crowd of possibly 100 guests were gathered in the hostel's large dining room.  They have a professional kitchen with a center preparation area with cutting board top.  The chef is an Arab from Jerusalem, who gives it a real local flavor, and the guests are encouraged to help.  The dinner was delicious, with lots of fresh salads, middle eastern rice, omelette with spicy sausages and vegetables and more. White Israeli wine was served.

The Kiddush ceremony was basically Jewish, English translations were circulated, and explanatory notes were provided by staff. Nit-picking - they forgot the correct modifications for the Sukkot Shabbat, and it was not performed in a Sukkah.

The guests may purchase a ticket for the dinner (probably inexpensive), I offered to pay, but was declined.  In lieu, I was asked to dance a bit after dinner, cheer up the place, and I did my best, may take another time to get it accomplished.

Avraham Hostel have a built-in bar in the large dining room - kitchen space, which occupies a whole floor.  The beautiful Brazilian barwoman has total control of the music (and I have nothing against a woman in control).  I know for a fact that she is a great samba dancer, but for some ulterior motive, she insisted on running the evening under music that would maximize quiet but consistent beer consumption at the bar, while I was repeatedly asking for dance music.

Recommended dance music for the Feast of Tabernacles:
[1] Ofra Haza - Im Nin'alu - dance remix
[2] Amir Benayun - Omed BaSha'ar

By the time I came back to our Hostel, Yotam, our Sukkah guest was gone.e.

a. Jerusalem Hostel b. 

a. Avraham Hostel, b. Jerusalem Hostel, in the center of the west-side of Jerusalem.
Avraham Hostel is highly recommended for world travelers, back-packers and holiday visitors, who are not space-cadets enough for the Jerusalem Hostel! The feasts of Tabernacles (fall), which coincides with the beginning of the rainy season and Passover (full moon of the Spring equinox), which ends the rainy season, are some of the best times to visit.  The weather is great, and the countryside is green.

1) Friday Night

... who is on the black list of all long term staff, for at least a year, for the following reasons:
1) Manager said he was not allowed in, since he was basically occupying
the kitchen all day, loudly and provocatively preaching his zany ideas.
2) I said he must never be let in, since in his most recent appearance,
while he was still wearing the Moses costume, and acting the same persona,
he was carrying an IDF gun.  He stormed into the lobby, not by permission
of anybody, and flew up the stairs somewhere.

Basically, a person, who lives in Israel for a few years, dresses out of a
cheap Hollywood movie, acts erratically and provocatively, and carries an
IDF gun.

I don't believe that it is good for business to have him ever enter the
door again.
Joseph Zernik, PhD
Human Rights Alert (NGO);
Sent from "1984" - Iceland-based Internet Service Provider.

2) 12-10-05 EVENT: YOTAM is back at the hostel

Around 09:15am, I was at my computer.  "YOTAM" came to the front door with
bags full of produce, and appeared ready to squat in our kitchen.

I told him that he was not allowed in.

Then, he said he was a guest of someone, but when I checked, there was
nobody awake, who could be identified as his host.

Then he offered to pay as a guest.

I told him that he was not permitted even as a paid guest, and that to the
best of my recollection, Mariane told him that over a year ago.

We parted with blessings for the holiday, and he left.

Joseph Zernik, PhD
Human Rights Alert (NGO);
Sent from "1984" - Iceland-based Internet Service Provider.

3) Saturday, ~10:30am: Proposed Rule: No Guns


In relationship to the events with Yotam and others, I strongly suggest
that you establish a rule:
"No Guests, Visitors, Staff are permitted to keep guns of any type on
hostel grounds, visible or concealed."

If soldiers on vacation, etc, come in as guests, they should be required
to lock their guns with the reception. In the past, they often wanted to
go out at night, and often kept their guns locked in their rooms, which
obviously is insufficient security.
I suggest that we post a notice to about this rule near the door, near the
existing security rule:
"No Non Guests after 10:00pm."

As in other cases, I have no doubt that any of our international guests,
regardless of denomination, are not carrying concealed guns. It is the
Israelis that are the security risk, some operating under security forces
Joseph Zernik, PhD
Human Rights Alert (NGO)
Sent from "1984" - Iceland-based Internet Service Provider.

12-10-01 Hello World!

Friday, October 05 @ 01:36 : Chicago, Illinois, US
Friday, October 05 @ 00:55 : Peoria, Illinois, US
Friday, October 05 @ 00:44 : Los Angeles, California, US
Friday, October 05 @ 00:37 : Carson, California, US
Thursday, October 04 @ 22:34 : Les Lilas, FR
Thursday, October 04 @ 21:11 : Long Beach, California, US
Thursday, October 04 @ 21:02 : Concord, New Hampshire, US
Thursday, October 04 @ 20:34 : Pleasanton, California, US
Thursday, October 04 @ 19:49 : Dallas, Texas, US