Caesarea and "Bet Hagidudim" (Jewish legion museum) tour with Shalom Pollock on Sunday, June 6 and The Origins Of My Baseball Career (Part II) By Irwin Cohen and On A Mountain - With A Trumpet by Rabbi Kahane and What's My Line? - Muhammad Ali; Joe Garagiola [panel] (Sep 19, 1965) and Shavuot Bikkurim Celebrations In Pre-State Eretz Yisrael By Saul Jay Singer
Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher, and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement.
Caesarea and "Bet Hagidudim" (Jewish legion museum)
On Sunday, June 6, we will have a very special touring experience
Caesarea, the most visited archaeological excavation in Israel offers the largest and well-preserved site of its kind in the world. Classic historical levels of civilization that left their impressive print on Eretz Yisroel are uncovered and understood at this magnificent site along the beautiful Mediterranean shore. We will see a special audio - visual presentation that encapsulates the ancient grandeur of what was one of the most beautiful port cities in the ancient world. Pivotal Jewish history comes alive amongst the unearthed ruins of the past. We will also visit the one and only museum and memorial (in moshav Avichail near Netanya), to the brave Jewish men and women who volunteered in the British army in both world wars and later formed the nucleus of the IDF. Their story is very powerful and inspiring. Audio visuals and a guided tour will make this critical period in Jewish history come alive for us.
This is a casual walking day Please bring lunch
Depart 9:00 from the Inbal hotel. Return approx 5:00 Cost: 280 shekels.
The Three Musketeers at the Kotel
The Origins Of My Baseball Career (Part II) By Irwin Cohen
In my last column, I talked about my favorite player as a youngster (and as an oldster).
Walter "Hoot" Evers was born 100 years ago in 1921 in St. Louis. He grew up going to Western movies and following cowboy star Hoot Gibson; he saw all his movies at least once. His family and friends began to call him Hoot and the monicker stuck for the rest of his life. Evers reached the majors with the Tigers in 1946, the last season Hank Greenberg played for Detroit.
In 1950, when I started following baseball, Evers had his best season, batting .323, topping the .300 mark for the third time. It was downhill from there, but I stuck with him.
He was traded to the Boston Red Sox in 1952, sold to the New York Giants two years later, and, after 12 games in the National League, sold back to Detroit. Then it was on to Baltimore, Cleveland, and back to Baltimore where he ended his career in 1956 with a career .278 batting average.
I followed him through newspaper reports as he coached for Cleveland and became its director of minor league clubs and then was hired by Detroit to head its minor league system with the power to release and promote players. The Tigers won the World Series in 1968 but had an aging team by 1973. That year, the talk of the town was Hank Aaron getting closer and closer to Babe Ruth's career home run record of 714.
In early 1973, Detroit had a weekly call-in sports talk radio program and most of the talk centered on Hank Aaron. But the host never mentioned that when Aaron would pass Ruth's mark, he would have many more at-bats than Ruth had. I decided to call in and state the facts.
I chickened out twice. Finally, after three weeks, I called late in the program. The producer said there were a few callers ahead of me and I probably wouldn't get on the air. "Fine," I said, "I just want to give the host some statistics."
A few minutes after the program ended, the host, Vince Doyle, the sportscaster for the station, was on the line and I shared my numbers and opinion. I was ready to say bye but then decided to ask, "By the way, who is your guest from the sports world on next Monday's program?"
"Hoot Evers," Doyle answered. "He's in charge of the minor leagues for Tigers but most people don't remember that he played for the Tigers."
"Hoot Evers!" I exclaimed. "He was my all-time favorite player. I always tried to sit behind him in the lower left field seats. He wore uniform number 14."
"Really," Doyle responded. "Why don't you come down to the station and introduce him on the air. It would be a nice touch to have a fan introduce his favorite player." I agreed and wrote the introduction and read it on the air and sat in the studio watching and listening to the program.
Evers, 52 at the time, put on his gray hat and coat over his gray suit, and looked more like a banker than a former ballplayer. He told Doyle that his car was at the stadium about a mile away from the downtown studio and that he got a ride to the station. I offered him a ride back and he accepted.
We spoke about Roberto Clemente, the Pittsburgh Pirates superstar who was killed in a plane crash while on a mission of mercy taking medical and food provisions to victims of earthquake stricken Nicaragua a month earlier.
As I drove home, I realized that I enjoyed being on the radio and writing more than working at my government job in Detroit's City Hall. I also realized that if I had not chickened out calling the radio station twice, this evening wouldn't have been possible. It was possible only because I talked to the host after the show went off the air and had the time to ask, "By the way, who's your guest next week?"
It wasn't luck. It wasn't a coincidence. Hashem opened the door for me to step into the baseball field. Now, I had to do my part. In the next column I'll tell you the rest of the story.
Shalom Pollock -two addtional tours
Tour #2 Sunday, June 20 Ramla - Lod guided tour Latrun museum/memorial
We shall be the guests of the very special people of the "Garinim Toranim" of both Lod and of Ramla. We will be guided by local pioneers through both towns to see, hear and feel what has transpired and is happening in these two battlegrounds "mixed cities" where much is at stake for the entire country. This will be a very rare and memorable experience, not to be missed. We will also visit "Latrun", the site of the main battle for the road to Yeushalayim in 1948. Today, it is the home base of the armored Corps with a spectacular museum, audio visual presentations and very moving memorials. It is the number one military museum and memorial in Israel. Located in the biblical valley of Ayalon, the battles of Joshua and the Maccabees are a direct line to the battles waged by their brave descendants in 1948. It all comes alive! Departure at 9:00 Return approx. 5:00 Cost; 250 shekels Bring lunch
Tour # 3 Wednesday, July 7 Stargazing in the fabulous Rimon Crater Tel Lachish excavations Largest cactus collection on moshav Lachish.
We will be hosted by astronomers of the Negev and be awed by the stars of the Negev sky just at the perfect night of the month. We will be guided, using professional telescopes with a very interesting/entertaining explanation of the endless beauty above .We will be treated to tea and marshmallows as we enjoy the unique desert night ambience. Before we arrive at the Negev Desert, we will walk up the massive archeological "Tel Lachish" and see the Tanach come alive amongst the well-preserved remains of this key biblical city. Next door is kibbutz Lachish where I have discovered an amazing private collection of the most beautiful and exotic cacti I have ever seen! Departure from the Inbal hotel at 3:00 pm Return: after midnight Cost: 320 shekels Family discounts available
What's My Line? - Muhammad Ali; Joe Garagiola [panel] (Sep 19, 1965)
MYSTERY GUEST: Muhammad Ali PANEL: Arlene Francis, Joe Garagiola, Dorothy Kilgallen, Martin Gabel
Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto.
K A H A N E The magazine of the authentic Jewish Idea July –August 1988 Tamuz – Menachem Av 5748
On A Mountain - With A Trumpet
"But if the watchman sees the sword come and blow not the trumpet and the people be not warned; if the sword cometh and take from them a soul…his blood will I require from the watchman". (Ezekiel 33)
I sit on the mountain with a trumpet in my hand. We all sit on a mountain, each of us a watchman with a trumpet in hand. Our mission is to sit and see the enemy. Our mission is to see the danger, to search our own souls and to blow the trumpet and warn the rest – the rest of the Jewish people.
I sit on a mountain as the sands slip through, the clock ticks away and the Almighty watches from above to see whether the sleeping Jew will awake on top of the mountain to see the enemy and blow the trumpet and save himself and all the rest and reclaim his greatness and his destiny before there are no more years left.
We are all watchmen, we Jews. We are commanded to know the danger, to see it approach, to blow the trumpet and save, both ourselves and our fellow Jews.
How possible to sit on a mountain and behave like valleys! How incredible that we sit on high, seeing all that is below, and sees nothing! How awful that the watchman sleeps even as the enemy grows bolder and comes closer and the clock that ticks, rings its alarm, shrilly, without pause, and he hears nothing. We are a nation of watchmen on a hill and we sleep the sleep of the mediocre fool. "Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest; so shall thy poverty come as one who travels and they want as an armed man." (Proverbs 6)
I sit on the mountain and, behold, the enemy, the terrible dangers, are in full view. There they are, there they approach, those who travel, as armed men. Jew, can you not see them:
· A land of Israel that sees Arabs rioting without fear of an army hobbled by tragic orders of small men, fearful of the nations and what they will say; little men who never thought for a moment of fear: What will G-d say? A land in which soldiers and civilians – are stoned by howling Arabs whose self-confidence and certainty grow in proportion to the hesitation, uncertainty and loss of confidence on the part of Jews. A land in which Arab citizens of Israel puncture the absurd myth of "loyalty" to the Jewish State by carrying the riots and hatred and the cries of "We will free Palestine," into the Jewish cities of Jaffa and Lydda and Acre. A land of Israel which sees its Jewish citizens, frustrated and bitter at the impotence of the government, who are gripped by the terrible thought: Perhaps, G-d forbid, the State will not survive...
· A Land of Israel in which the "stranger", so beloved by the guilt-ridden eyre rav, a mixed multitude, of our times, the "stranger", the Arab, "rises above us higher and higher and we sink lower and lower."
· A Land of Israel in which fear stalks the highway, and the inner psyche of the Jewish citizen, as soldiers and civilians are murdered regularly and the proud new Jew, the product of the Zionism of Herzl, and Borochov and Jabotinsky, the one who left Minsk and Pinsk and Fez and Sa'ana, who fled the fear and psyche of Minsk and Pinsk and Fez and Sa'ana and the psychological ghetto of the exile. A land in which fear grips the Jew and Zionism dies a pathetic spiritual death.
· A land of Israel in which there are funerals each week, funerals of Jews who did not fall in battle but who were murdered in the streets and in the fields of Eretz Yisrael, and an impotent Jewish government "gropes at noonday as the blind gropeth in darkness," and has no answer, even as it frees 1100 terrorists and jails Jewish heroes. A land in which the glory of Samson is shorn from our heads by the Peresitic Delilahs and strength ebbs from the body Israel even as the Palestinian-Philistines pledge: "See wherein his great strength lieth and by what means we may prevail against him…. And we will give you every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver."
· A Land of Israel in which the army is slowly destroyed as a fighting force and the morale of its soldiers shattered by timid and frightened orders, conceived in gentilized concepts and born in fear of that gentile, not to strike with an all-powerful hand at the enemy – lest women and children, who are an integral part of that enemy, be hurt. A land that ties the hands of its soldiers and thus passes a death sentence on them, a land that sees more and more Jews fearful of army service and fearful of taking the action that will save their own lives.
· A Land of Israel that sees our enemy grow bolder, encouraged by the madness and gentilization of the Hellenists, the mixed multitude who destroy the Jewish state in stages even as they pretend to govern it. A land that see Arab boldness and confidence increase in proportion to Jewish insecurity, guilt, weakness, confusion, stumbling and fear. A land that sees a guarantee of worse, much worse, Arab action and slaughter of Jews, as the barrier of fear is swept away, a land that will make Northern Ireland appear idyllic, as the wild man who is Ishmael, emerges in all his barbarism and savagery.
· A Land of Israel that sees the Jewish character of the land disappear under the hobnailed boots of the storm troopers of the self-hating and fascist Left. The ones who spiritually destroyed Sephardic Jews and who kidnapped young Yemenite Jewish infants even as they stripped Jewishness from the souls of their parents. The ones who, driven by self-hate and with a Judaism that they see as hideous hump they cannot escape, attempt to destroy our children, our people, by ordering enforced gathering together of Arab and Jewish youngsters in Arab villages and Jewish towns, in weekends and dances and songs, sounds of music that are a funeral dirge for Jewish survival. A land that opens the doors to the impurity and pollution of intermarriage and assimilation and calls them "good." A land that in the moves to increase the defilement of the Jewish seed and Jewish purity, that is seen already all too clearly in the Jewish women living in Arab villages, in the Jewish prostitutes and their Arab pimps, in the Jewish girls sitting and laughing with Arabs on the beaches and in the coffee houses.
· A Land of Israel in which the economy dies even as the men of fraud pretend that it improves; a land in which unemployment and disaster will unravel the social fabric leading to chaos and anarchy in the streets. A land in which young Jews, released from the army, find themselves unemployed, as greedy Jewish employers prefer two Arabs for the price of a single Jewish worker. A land in which cities see entire areas becoming Arab, as Ishmaelite arrives, cash dollars in hand, dollars that come across the Jordan bridges from the PLO coffers, and buys apartments, in neighborhoods and towns.
· A Land of Israel that sees a Knesset populated, not only by Arab enemies of the state, but by Jewish ones. Jews who are enveloped with blind, obsessive hate against religion, against Judaism. Jews who cannot sleep without dreaming of ways to liquidate Judaism. Who yearn to go to war against Judaism and erase it from the earth and who are so spiritually sick that they prepare to go to war and murder the Jews they so hate.
· A Land that sees the Arab, free of obligation to serve the country, free of paying his full share of taxes, multiplying at a rate that sees the Galilee and Wadi Ara and the Triangle, filled with a majority of Arabs, Arabs whose quantity is matched by a quality stemming from Jewish madness as the Hellenists in their guilt and self-hate took an ignorant, illiterate peasant's child and turned him into an educated intellectual who is the greatest danger to the survival of Israel, who is the future leader of the PLO. A land that sees Jewish madmen subsidizing the Arab birthrate by paying checks each month for every child.
· A land that, through a perverted "democracy" and "coexistence" calmly salutes national suicide as it allows the Arabs to grow swiftly and move towards a majority, a majority that will vote Israel out of existence on the way to slaughter that will be a thousand fold that which they commit against each other daily in Lebanon.
· A Land that sees immigration into the country dry up even as Israeli Jews seek to flee the country, their main obstacle being American and Western immigration quotas. A land that is unhappy, that has lost confidence in itself, in the justice of its own cause and in the iron guarantee that "Israel can never go under." A land in the hands of the gentilized Hebrews, the hideous Hellenists, the mixed multitude.
The enemy comes nearer, the dangers are closer, and I sit on a mountain and blow the trumpet. Arise, O slumbering Jews and save yourself, save your body, save your soul!
I sit and blow the trumpet and the Jew sleeps on, or reacts in vicious anger and shouts: Silence, we sleep! I sit and blow the trumpet and plead with brothers and sisters to arouse themselves, their people – to bring the Messiah now.
Time is running out. The sands slip through, the clock ticks away and the Almighty waits to see whether the sleeping Jew will awaken from his slumber to reclaim his greatness and destiny before there are no more years left.
Shavuot Bikkurim Celebrations In Pre-State Eretz Yisrael
As per the Torah (Numbers 28:26), bikkurim – or the first fruits of the "seven species" grown in Eretz Yisrael (wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates) – were brought to the Beit HaMikdash in Jerusalem and offered as a sacrificial gift to Hashem on Shavuot.
The farmers bringing the bikkurim to the Temple were obligated to recite a formulaic "avowal" summarizing Jewish history from the time of Abraham through the Egyptian exile and the exodus, the 40 years in the desert and the entry into Eretz Yisrael, up to the current point in time. They would then proclaim, "And now, behold, I have brought the first of the fruit of the land, which you, Hashem, have given me" and acknowledge that the success of their crops was wholly attributable to Hashem's blessing (see Deuteronomy 26:3-10).
As described in detail in Tractate Bikkurim, the first fruits ceremony began with a beautiful and joyous celebration featuring a grand procession of Jews from all across Eretz Yisrael entering Jerusalem bearing gold, silver, or willow baskets. They were led into the Holy City by flutists, who continued to provide a musical escort up to the Temple Mount, where the Levites would sing Psalms. The farmer, with the basket on his shoulder, would then recite the avowal before a kohen, after which he presented it to the kohen, who swung and raised it before placing it on the altar.
With the destruction of the Beit HaMikdash, both the bringing of the first fruits to Jerusalem and the poignant avowal ceremony ceased, but the Jews who worked the land of Eretz Yisrael in the early 20th century decided to revive the millennia-old celebration of the first fruits in their own manner.
Shavuot celebrations on the early kibbutzim across the land made the first fruits harvest a central theme, with the festivities including elaborate pageants showcasing the kibbutz's agricultural triumphs, decorative floral floats and wagons heavily laden with fruits and vegetables, and parades featuring newly-acquired machinery and equipment.
Instruction manuals related to these celebrations in the archives of Israel's National Library contain remarkably specific descriptions of decorated wagons ("A car whose sides have been removed and covered with tent cloth until it resembles a sort of a hill, on which the various grains are suitably arranged in a natural fashion"); dairy production in the land flowing with milk and honey ("A decorated cow, whose horns are coated in gold, carrying a basket in which a calf has been put"); and the work of fisheries ("A boat on a wagon. Nets and fishing equipment. The fish itself – the first produce to be presented – should be placed in the net").
These kibbutz celebrations reflected the secular aesthetic of the overwhelmingly socialist settlers and expressed the new Zionist spirit of national renewal and agricultural revival, but nonetheless served to re-establish religious themes central to the Torah: the immutable spiritual association between the Jews and Eretz Yisrael and the requirement to give thanks for one's crops and sustenance. Some cities also began to host such celebrations, most notably Haifa, where bikkurim street partying and merriment rivaled those of the more famous "Adloyada" Purim festivities in Tel Aviv.
The first municipal Shavuot celebration in Eretz Yisrael, which was held in Jaffa in 1912, was less a celebration of the harvest than a flower festival with homes decorated with floral wreaths and women and children wearing flowered crowns and ensembles. Exhibited here is a truly unique document, the award for the best floral decoration in the 1912 Jaffa Shavuot "Festival of Flowers."
In the next decade, these celebrations began to merge into a joint festival held at Ein Charod, a kibbutz in northern Israel founded in 1921 near Mt. Gilboa. Exhibited here is postcard issued by the JNF in Eretz Yisrael during this period featuring the music and lyrics to an enchanting poem, "Chag Habikkurim Ba'Emek" ("The Festival of the First Fruit in the Valley").
The verse specifically mentions Ein Charod and the kibbutzim at Nahalal, the first agricultural worker's cooperative in Eretz Yisrael (also founded in 1921); Tel Yosef, which split off from Ein Charod in 1923; and Beit Alpha, founded in 1922 at the base of the Gilboa ridge.
It is a holiday, a holiday in the valley, that lies between the hills. All its workers will bring today, the best of the bikkurim.
They have gone out to the vineyards, to pick grapes: this one picks and this one gathers – grapes from Tel Yosef.
They have gone out to the vineyards, to pluck the almonds, almonds that are extremely fine, the almonds from Ein Charod.
We have gathered in the gardens, many tomatoes, we have gathered a full basket, the vegetables from Nahalal.
We have gone out to the fields, to harvest various wheat grains, the grain is high, and beautiful – the grain from Beit Alpha.
In 1930, Haifa, a port city that also boasted a railway depot and had become the center of all industry in the area, hosted its first bikkurim festival, which drew participants from all across the region. Massive crowds that congregated in the Technion courtyard viewed an exhibition of products from nearby kibbutzim and from various manufacturers, after which they were treated to performances by a children's choir and an orchestra.
The 1931 Haifa celebration began with a first fruits harvest ceremony followed by a parade of schoolchildren waving banners while marching down the streets of the Hadar HaCarmel neighborhood accompanied by a trumpet band. The event proved so successful that the Bikkurim Committee decided to invite all the smaller celebrations in northern Eretz Yisrael and the Galilee to join together in Hadar HaCarmel for the 1932 festival.
Invitations were sent to the agricultural settlements to present their work in "an Israeli style celebration and an expression of renewed Hebrew agriculture." The event, which met with great success, was attended by many important dignitaries, including Shmaryahu Levin, a rabbi and author who served as director of information for Keren Hayesod, and JNF president Menachem Ussishkin.
The ambitious program included performances by the HaOhel theater company, the Orenstein Sisters dance troupe, the Haifa Workers Choir, and the HaZamir choir; other features of the event included an athletic demonstration, a procession of schoolchildren, and an exhibit dubbed "Haifa – The City of the Future."
As part of the festival, the Technion hosted an exhibition of works by famous Eretz Yisrael artists, including Nahum Guttman, Joseph Zaritsky, and Avigdor Steimatzky, and participants took tours of Haifa and Har HaCarmel and attended various lectures on the city's achievements.
Exhibited here is a May 24, 1932 correspondence from Zev Raban, then director of the Bezalel School of Art in Jerusalem, to the "Committee for Bikkurim" in Haifa regarding decorative Shavuot pins ordered by the Haifa municipality for everyone to wear during the festival:
With respect to our telephone chat this morning with Mr. Yehuda Shneur, we hereby forward to you four sketches for the pin which you want to order from us for Chag Habikkurim.
It is understood that you need to review these sketches not as a final product but, rather, as a foundation from which to choose the drawing and the subject, and after we review your decision regarding the drawing and subject as final and implemented, we will create a beautiful item that will touch the heart of the purchasers of the pins.
[He goes on to list prices.]
We would be pleased if you make a positive decision because time is short, and we would request that you make your decision ASAP. To prepare the template and pins will take some time. As to the terms, if it turns out that we lack funds, we will have to ask you to pay half along with the other and the other half upon receipt of the work.
Raban (1890-1970), who acquired his reputation through the designs he made for Bezalel and was undoubtedly one of the most important artists and designers in pre-State Eretz Yisrael, synthesized European techniques with authentic Jewish art based on specifically Jewish motifs. He was renowned for his original depictions of beautiful Israeli landscapes, holy places, Biblical tales, and people.
Notwithstanding the incredible success of the 1932 Bikkurim Festival, the event did not meet with universal approbation. First, significant discontent was generated regarding the dominant presence of the Histadrut's red/socialist flags rather than the traditional blue and white Jewish flag with the Magen David.
Second, the organizing committee met with criticism from some quarters for trying to imitate the Adloyada celebrations in Tel Aviv.
Third, the Haifa rabbinate, already deeply troubled about the desecration of Shavuot, asked that the festival no longer use the "Bikkurim" appellation because that term should only be used in reference to the first fruits brought to the Beit HaMikdash – and because, in any case, Shavuot should not be associated with a vulgar secular celebration.
The organizers apparently afforded the rabbis at least some modicum of respect and, much to their credit, they scheduled the 1933 celebration for after Shavuot. That year, the event opened with a play by renowned poet Avraham Shlonsky which depicted the journey to Jerusalem and the biblical first fruits ceremony at the Beit HaMikdash.
After a parade to the Technion, where the marchers were regaled with poetry and song, the now-famous Hadar HaCarmel market was inaugurated with the actual first fruits of the year. Sailing races were held on Shabbat, and the festival ended with a fireworks display.
The Haifa Bikkurim celebration arguably attained its acme the following year when the event was attended by Jews from across Eretz Yisrael and by dignitaries from both the Zionist movement and the British Mandate, including Sir Alfred Mond and Ussishkin. The JNF, which took an important role in planning the event, documented the 1934 celebration in a film.
No Chag Habikkurim celebration was held in Haifa in 1935 because Shavuot fell on Shabbat, which engendered a bitter battle between the city's Orthodox and secular communities. My research did not uncover any reason why, as in 1933, the celebration could not simply have taken place after Shavuot.
There was no festival held in 1936 because of the infamous Arab riots, and only sporadic celebrations were held in 1937 and 1938. Typical of such small and local celebrations was one held at the Evan Yehuda National Children's House in Tel Aviv in 1938. Exhibited here is a ticket issued for the Mifaal HaBikkurim for that event.
By 1939 and the start of World War II, the Bikkurim celebrations ceased. After the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, however, the JNF commenced hosting Bikkurim ceremonies at its central headquarters in Jerusalem. In addition, the kibbutzim – on whose success Israel was strongly dependent as its economy was still primarily agrarian – reinstituted Shavuot harvest celebrations with parades, pageants, carnivals, exhibits, artistic and musical performances, and floral decorations, and they continue to be held to this day.
Exhibited here is an original photograph of dancers of the Ain Hashofet settlement performing on a stage placed out in the open during Shavuot 1949. Set in the natural surroundings of the Hills of Ephraim, the festival was attended by thousands of visitors from surrounding settlements and from the villages of the Jezreel Valley and Harei Ephraim.
In a lovely contemporary tradition, farmers across Israel take turns bringing fruits and vegetables to Jerusalem, which they deliver to Israel's president, an annual highlight for the farming community. Exhibited here is a 2014 photograph of President Shimon Peres receiving bikkurim at the presidential residence.