Jewish and Catholic "Coffee Shop"


#1

Hi All,

I started this thread (“coffee shop”) for Jewish and Catholic people to discuss any topics relating to Catholic and Jewish theology, understanding, and associated culture (as opposed to having a specific topic).

Here are some pictures of the Holy Father’s visit to Israel. He is a wonderful model for Catholics:
jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/anti-semitism/jp.html

Greg


#2

Here are some excellent links to pictures, audio, and video of the Pope’s trip to Israel.

ewtn.com/holyland2000/multimedia.htm

The Pope at the Wailing Wall:
ewtn.com/holyland2000/audiovideo/wall_v.ram

The Chief Rabbis with the Pope:
ewtn.com/holyland2000/audiovideo/interriligious_v.ram

Greg


#3

Hi Greg!

Back in March 2000, I was fortunate enough to work on Pope John Paul II’s historic visit here to Israel (see tinyurl.com/4co5r). I have very great admiration for the current Pope’s work in furthering dialogue & conciliation between our respective faiths. If the next Pope continues in the footsteps of John Paul II & the saintly John XXIII, I have no doubt that Jewish-Catholic dialogue will continue to make considerable progress (see also tinyurl.com/6vwqj).

I take my cue from our (Israel’s) former chief rabbis, the ones (now retired) who welcomed the Pope when he visited here 4+ years ago. Then Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau is a survivor of Buchenwald & was born in Poland. He & the Pope chattered away in their native Polish. If Rabbi Lau and (then) Sephardi Chief Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron could welcome the Pope as their guest & receive him cordially, who am I (an unlettered yokel compared to Rabbis Lau & Bakshi-Doron) to disagree with them?

Be well!

ssv :wave:


#4

Hi SSV,

Just noticed your post here! What is the climate like in Israel?

Greg


#5

Hi Greg!

This tinyurl.com/6fe8f is an article from the Israeli Foreign Ministry website entitled: “The Land: Geography and Climate”. An excerpt reads:

Israel’s climate ranges from temperate to tropical, with plenty of sunshine. Two distinct seasons predominate: a rainy winter period from November to May; and a dry summer season which extends through the next six months. Rainfall is relatively heavy in the north and center of the country, with much less in the northern Negev and almost negligible amounts in the southern areas. Regional conditions vary considerably, with humid summers and mild winters on the coast; dry summers and moderately cold winters in the hill regions, hot dry summers and pleasant winters in the Jordan Valley; and year-round semi-desert conditions in the Negev. Weather extremes range from occasional winter snowfall at higher elevations to periodic oppressively hot dry winds which send temperatures soaring, particularly in spring and autumn.

Maaleh Adumim (jr.co.il/ma/), where I live, is Jerusalem’s major suburb to the ESE. Our climate here is (taken from the above site):

  • Situated geographically on the periphery of the desert, Ma’aleh Adumim is cooled by regular winds blowing between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea (tinyurl.com/ywbot).

  • During summer months, it is hot and dry during the day and pleasantly cool at night.

  • Ma’aleh Adumim’s winters are not as cold as Jerusalem’s.

  • Annual percipitation varies and ranges between 160 millimeters in the east and 400 millimeters in the west.

We Jews actually pray for rain, starting on our early autumn holyday of Shemini Atzeret (jewfaq.org/holiday6.htm, see Numbers 29:35-38 ), which was on October 7 this year. See ou.org/chagim/shmini-simchat/geshem.htm & ou.org/chagim/shmini-simchat/windnrain.htm for our rain prayers.

The prayers are geared toward the rainy season in the Land of Israel, which should begin in mid-October & run until Passover. This is when we get our rain here. It simply doesn’t rain at all in the late spring,summer & early fall here; when it does, like it did in I Samuel 12:17-18, it means that something bigger is afoot. We really depend on the winter rains to fill up the Sea of Galilee (a freshwater lake, tinyurl.com/6ruk5) & replenish the two underground aquifers; hence, we pray for it. When we have a dryish winter, the whole country feels it the following summer.

The (winter) rain here is (usually) a cold rain. One of the things that I miss about the USA is a cool, refreshing summer rain that breaks a long heatwave. I remember back in the mid-1980’s, in the summers when I worked at a seafood restaurant (these were my pre-kosher days) in Ocean City, Md. I remember walking in these marvelous summer rains & loving every second of them. SIGH

(cont.)


#6

(cont.)

We get some really spectacular rainbows here in Maaleh Adumim. I even saw a double rainbow here once. We have a special blessing that we recite when seeing a rainbow:

Praised are You, Lord our God, King of Creation, who remembers the covenant, is faithful to His covenant and keeps His promise.

Our Sages actually debate whether rainbows, for all their beauty, are actually good or not. God put the rainbow in the sky as a token of His promise never again to bring a Deluge upon the earth, which He brought due to humankind’s wickedness. Some of our Sages suggest that seeing a rainbow means that, given our actions, God would at least be thinking about whapping us again if it weren’t for his promise to Noah.

Snow is very rare here in the Jerusalem area & unheard of in Maaleh Adumim. It snows on Mt. Hermon (bibleplaces.com/mthermon.htm), the northern Golan Heights (english.golan.org.il/) & the upper Galilee every winter; it’s no big thing up there. But like I said, it’s very rare down here. In the 1991-92 winter (which had the most precipitation since the Turks started keeping records about 160 years ago), Jerusalem got TWO whopper snowstorms The most since the winter of 1949-50). It was wondrous!

In February 2003, Jerusalem got a good dusting; however, I wasn’t around to see any of it. I was off in the Jordan Valley doing my annual stint of reserve duty in the army. We had rain, mud, mud, more mud, rain, mu…you get the picture. (I could see snow on the heights of Gilead across the Valley in Jordan but that was as close as I got.) But DW took Da Boyz up to Jerusalem to play in the fluffy white stuff. DW works on Mt. Scopus (right next to the Mt. of Olives; the Hebrew University & Hadassah Hospital are there, tinyurl.com/6jwna), which happens to be the highest point in the city. Yohanan (had just turned 6) & Naor (was 2.5) had a ball. While they were romping in the snow, Yohanan found a plastic bag & told DW: “Mommy, let’s fill this with snow & take it home & put it in the freezer for Daddy when he comes home from the army!” (So, when I got home there was a bag of ice in the freezer…)

See Job 38:

Have you entered the treasuries of the snow, or have you seen the treasuries of the hail?..Out of whose womb came the ice? And the hoar-frost of heaven, who has gendered it?

“Out of whose womb came the ice?” I LOVE that!

Be well!

ssv :wave:


#7

Interesting. Does it rain often in the winter or are many days mild and dry? Is it ever 80 degrees or so in the winter?

Greg


#8

Hi Greg!

You posted:

Does it rain often in the winter or are many days mild and dry?

It depends on the winter. Last winter (a very rainy one), it seemed to rain all the time.

Is it ever 80 degrees or so in the winter?

Yes, but very rarely. More frequently in Eilat & along the Dead Sea.

Be well!

ssv :wave:


#9

[quote=stillsmallvoice]Hi Greg!

You posted:

[/quote]

It depends on the winter. Last winter (a very rainy one), it seemed to rain all the time.

Yes, but very rarely. More frequently in Eilat & along the Dead Sea.

Be well!

ssv :wave:
Hi Still,

The LORD bless you, and keep you;
The LORD make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.’

My question is, when would be the best time to visit Israel, weather wise? Thanks.


#10

Thank You SSV, for the excellent information. I can see that winter days are often rainy and I understand winter rain is good to prevent droughts in the summer.

Do you have any hobbies or interests? I enjoy computers and I like going to the movies.

Greg


#11

Hi all!

Greg, I’d have to say that other than my work (tinyurl.com/58yll), I have two main hobbies/interests. They are Yohanan, who will turn 8 in January, and Naor, who just turned 4. Running after/parenting these two little dynamos :bounce: doesn’t leave my wife & I much time for hobbies!

Seriously, I suppose my main hobby would be surfing sites like this one.

RBushlow (glad to make your cyberacquaintance!), you asked:

My question is, when would be the best time to visit Israel, weather wise?

Hmm…

Spring is nice because most of the rains are over, the water level in the Sea of Galilee will be high, everything is green & it hasn’t begun to get hellishly hot yet. The only place it will be warm enoiugh to go to the beach though, is way down in Eilat.

Howzat?

Be well!

ssv :wave:


#12

[quote=stillsmallvoice]RBushlow (glad to make your cyberacquaintance!), you asked:

Hmm…

Spring is nice because most of the rains are over, the water level in the Sea of Galilee will be high, everything is green & it hasn’t begun to get hellishly hot yet. The only place it will be warm enoiugh to go to the beach though, is way down in Eilat.

Howzat?

Be well!
ssv :wave:
[/quote]

Great. Thank you. How far is it from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem? Should a tourist stay in Tel Aviv? Thank you.

Health and peace to you!


#13

Hi all!

RBushlow, you posted:

Great. Thank you.

You’re welcome!

How far is it from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem?

To drive (not during rush hour), no more than an hour. Buses run (I think) around the clock. there are also fixed-rate group taxis.

Should a tourist stay in Tel Aviv?

I look up at the sky and yell Noooooo-ooooo!!!

(Just kidding)

For the spiritually-minded tourist (whether Jewish or Christian), there’s not that much to see in Tel Aviv apart from the Old City of Jaffa (tel-aviv.gov.il/English/Tourism/Sites/Jaffa.htm). Stay in Jerusalem (jerusalem.muni.il/jer_main/f1_main.asp?lng=2) and somewhere up in the Galilee (nazareth.muni.il/home.html) and visit Old Jaffa one morning or afternoon. my-holyland.com/ and gemsinisrael.com/biblical.html are good sites for Christian tourists who would like to visit Israel.

Be well!

ssv :wave:

Thank you.


#14

[quote=stillsmallvoice]Hi all!
For the spiritually-minded tourist (whether Jewish or Christian), there’s not that much to see in Tel Aviv apart from the Old City of Jaffa (tel-aviv.gov.il/English/Tourism/Sites/Jaffa.htm). Stay in Jerusalem (jerusalem.muni.il/jer_main/f1_main.asp?lng=2) and somewhere up in the Galilee (nazareth.muni.il/home.html) and visit Old Jaffa one morning or afternoon. my-holyland.com/ and gemsinisrael.com/biblical.html are good sites for Christian tourists who would like to visit Israel.

Be well!

ssv :wave:

Thank you.
[/quote]

Peace be with you.
Thanks for the great tips.

May you and all of yours be well also.


#15

Is it safe to visit Isreal EVER? It seems ever since I was born (I’m 30) it’s been labeled a “dangerous place” yet I’ve known countless faithful of all Christian religions alike who have visited. Given the current climate surrounding terrorisim, politics, etc…is it possible to safely travel there?

I keep thinking it would be wonderful to have a sort of “exchange program” where the faithful could stay in the homes of the other faithful (Jewish and Christian) in Isreal…but then I wonder why in the world would any faithful person from Isreal ever come to the U.S.???

So there goes the thought

In any case…this is a great thread! I’ll keep checking in!


#16

Hi all!

The problem with Israel is that we only seem to maqke the news when there is particularly acute bad craziness here. Good, beautiful & just plain ordinary things don’t seem to make for big, juicy headlines & TV ratings. This mfa.gov.il/mfa/israel%20beyond%20politics/ is a section from our Foreign Ministry’s website entitled: “Israel Beyond Politics.”

It’s always safe to visit here; tourism to Israel is up in 2004 tinyurl.com/3pb5e.

Be well!

ssv :wave:


#17

Since this is a coffee shop, do you drink coffee SSV? :smiley: Is there good coffee in Israel? Is any grown native to the area?

I enjoy regular coffee, but I think I may cut back a bit.

Greg


#18

Hi all!

Greg, you posted:

Since this is a coffee shop, do you drink coffee SSV? :smiley: Is there good coffee in Israel? Is any grown native to the area?

I enjoy regular coffee, but I think I may cut back a bit.

I drink 3 mugs of Turkish coffee (sometimes laced with cardamon; beans for Turkish coffee have been roasted medium-high & then ground till they’re pulverized).

Any good Mediterranean or Arab grocery, or a kosher supermarket with imported stuff from Israel, should have ready-ground & pre-packaged Turkish coffee. Here is Subhi Nahala’s recipe for making Turkish coffee (the proper way):

Boil water in a medium-size finjan (two small cups). Remove from the flame. Add one and a half to two teaspoons of coffee. Set the fire on as low a flame as possible. Put the finjan back on the flame and wait for the foam to disappear. Don’t keep shifting the finjan back and forth on and off the flame, simply leave it on the burner above a very low flame.

When the foam disappears, add sugar, stir vigorously and immediately turn off the flame and remove the finjan from the burner.

Never permit the sugar to cook together with the coffee, as it burns and spoils the aroma. There is also a strict prohibition on putting the coffee into cold water - the water has to boil first in the finjan.

In the second stage, there is a danger that the coffee will overflow if the fire is not low enough. But if it is properly low, the foam will vanish and you will get a taste of paradise.

What’s a finjan, also called an ibrik? See the pictures at natashascafe.com/html/ibrik.html and tea-and-coffee-emporium.co.uk/access_ibrik.htm.

The quick way to make Turkish coffee is simply to put a heaping teaspoon of Turkish coffee in your favorite mug & pour b-o-i-l-i-n-g (“very hot” is not good enough; it has to be boiling!) water over it. Add sugar if you must (I use a small amount of natural demara sugar). Stir vigorously. Wait a minute or two for the grounds to settle and Mmmmmm!!!

Only an utter barbarian would add milk or cream to Turkish coffee. :bigyikes: :tsktsk:

I moved to Israel from the USA just over 18 years ago & acquired my taste for Turkish coffee when I started doing annual reserve duty in the IDF. The Druze (who are conscripted, just like us Jews) and the Israeli Bedouin (who may volunteer) live on the stuff. I find that there is nothing that will keep me up & alert on the dreaded midnight-to-08:00 shift of border patrol than my thermos of Turkish coffee, or better yet, when our jeep stops for a break & the Bedouin tracker makes it fresh on his portable gas burner. I remember way back in August 1993, I was at a little base way down on the Israeli-Egyptian border, about 50 miles northwest of our southern port of Eilat, i.e. really in the middle of nowhere. One night, I drew the all night/wee hour shift. Myself & three other guys were about 20 kilometers north of the base, on motorized patrol. We stopped for a break. Our Bedouin tracker made coffee on his little portable gas burner & we turned off the lights on the jeep to enjoy the stillness. We were at least 20 miles from the nearest electric light & it was a perfectly clear night. I remember looking up, sipping the coffee, and just staring in awe at the heavens. I remember standing there and looking at that incredible display (which I have never, either before or since, seen the likes of; the sky was carpeted with stars, I could see the Milky Way, I saw falling stars, it was both awesome and humbling).

Ah, God :bowdown: must have been in an exceptionally good mood (so to speak) when He created the coffee bean!

Boy, don’t you just LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT when scientists tell us that something that we like is actually good for us! See tinyurl.com/5tyh6.

Be well!

ssv :wave:


#19

[quote=stillsmallvoice]The quick way to make Turkish coffee is simply to put a heaping teaspoon of Turkish coffee in your favorite mug & pour b-o-i-l-i-n-g (“very hot” is not good enough; it has to be boiling!) water over it. Add sugar if you must (I use a small amount of natural demara sugar). Stir vigorously. Wait a minute or two for the grounds to settle and Mmmmmm!!!
[/quote]

Never occurred to me that coffee could be made that way. It does sound good. Perhaps I will try some Turkish coffee.


#20

Hi Greg!

I have a question. A Protestant (I think) cyberacquaintance told me that he believed that the angels that Jacob wrassled with, that appeared to Samson’s parents, to Balaam, etc. were Jesus. (Naturally, I disagreed.) What does Roman Catholicism hold on this?

Be well!

ssv :wave:


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