Saturday, October 24, 2009

Israelis Dig Sandals

Hey, Shalom:
I’m on my way to Lod, a small city near Ben-Gurion Airport. In Biblical times it was called Lydda. Now it’s in the news because of the beautiful mosaic floor that Israeli archaeologists have discovered and the sandal footprint next to it. I put a picture of the dig above so you can see the mosaic. Isn’t it beautiful? And check out the sandal footprint on top of it. That’s why I want to buzz by Lod. It’s still hot in Israel and we’re still wearing sandals. I want to see if our sandals look anything like the print on the mosaic.

Israelis love wearing sandals. It’s been part of our fashion for thousands of years. Hey, didn’t Moses wear sandals? And what do you think the Children of Israel had on their feet when they entered Canaan? Sandals, of course!

Wait…wait. I’ve got a great idea. How about if I give you a simple Hebrew lesson. Guess what the word for sandals is in Hebrew. Come on…give a guess.... O.K. I’ll tell you – sandalim, and one sandal is called a sandahl.
Since the sandal footprint was found in an archaeological dig, I want you to learn the word for archaeology. It’s archaeologia.
And the word for mosaic? You can say psifas or mosaica. Do you believe it??? Looks like learning Hebrew is not that hard after all. By the way, did you know that the word “alphabet” comes from the first two letters in Hebrew: aleph and bet?

I hope you enjoyed your Hebrew lesson. Now I want to ask you another question: Do you know what a mosaic is? If you don’t, let me explain. It’s a picture or design made out of small pieces of colored tiles, stones or glass. The one found in Lod is the largest mosaic in all of Israel.
Want to try to make a mosaic of your own? I found this simple project.

Teh’henu - that’s “Enjoy” in Hebrew. See you in two weeks…Zvuvi

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I’m Going To Kibbutz Kfar Blum So I Can Learn How To Save Rain Water

Hi, Mah Nishma – that’s Hebrew for “What’s up?”
It’s me, Zvuvi, and I’ll tell you what’s going on with me. In fact, I’m going to take you with me. I’m on my way up north, to Kibbutz Kfar Blum. I took a picture of it, so you can see what it looks like. I go to Kfar Blum a lot because it’s a real cool place. I bounce up and down on people’s shoulders when they go kayaking and rafting there. Sometimes I trail along on nature hikes, and when I want to really close my eyes and relax, I go to the music festival held there every year. But all of that is not why I am going up there now. Here’s the thing: At the end of the Sukkoth holiday, Jews around the world start saying the prayer for rain in Israel. That’s very important for us since it only rains in Israel from October to April. The past three years have been very hard for us in Israel because it hardly rained at all. We had a drought, so we’re really praying for lots of rain this year – and we’re learning how to make the most of the little rain that falls. That’s why I’m flying to Kfar Blum. I’m going to its elementary school to see the new rainwater collection system they just installed on the roofs of all the classrooms. Since Kfar Blum is a kibbutz, the students call the system a “water tank farm.” It can hold 1,500 gallons of water dripping from a 2800 sq. ft. roof. They’ve also placed a sediment tank next to the water tanks to collect the dirt from the water. The students are going to monitor the water gauge on each tank and tell the principal how much water they are saving.

I bet you want to know what they plan on doing with the water. They’re going to recycle it by using it in the school’s bathrooms.

What are you doing to save water in your home and school? Write to me and let me know. Maybe I can share your ideas with kids over here.

Hey – a few raindrops are beginning to fall.
Gotta run…I mean fly.