Sunday, May 30, 2010

America has the Golden Retriever, the French have Poodles & We have the Canaan Dog

Shalom Yeladim:
It’s me Zvuvi – the national fly of Israel. Today I want you to meet the national dog of Israel – the Canaan dog - a beautiful, proud guard dog. Canaan dog has been around for a VERY LONG time. So long that archaeologists have found the remains of dogs in two ancient caves. It makes sense that these dogs are called Canaan because that’s the original name of the Land of Israel. A few weeks ago while I was flying around, I heard some people talk about a newspaper article written on the Canaan dog. Actually, it was written about the lady who set up the first guard dog unit for Israel’s army. Her name was Dr. Rudolphina Menzel. She moved here ten years before our War of Independence and came up with the idea of using the Canaan dog to protect the areas where the Jews lived. The Haganah – which was the Jewish army back then – heard about her and asked her to help them build an army unit using these dogs. Thanks to her, to this day the Israel Defense Force has a special, elite unit for training dogs.

You want to know what’s so good about the Canaan dog? Aside from being beautiful, it has a strong survival instinct. It reacts quickly to danger and barks right away when it sees or senses a stranger. It’s very smart and learns quickly. It is also good with children it knows. You know what that means? The Canaan dog is the perfect family guard dog. Today, the Shaar Hagay Kennels outside of Jerusalem continues Dr. Menzel’s work of breeding Canaan dogs. You can virtually visit them right now. Tell them Zvuvi sent you. And guess what? You don’t have to go to Israel to get a Canaan dog. There’s a Canaan Dog Club of America.

I’ve got to go. NOW! A Canaan dog is furiously wagging its tail at me. All I did was buzz by to check if it could see me. O.K., O.K., so I jumped on its nose a few times. That doesn’t mean it has to bark so loudly.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

We Just Celebrated Jerusalem Day

Shalom Yeladim:
I just had a “wail” of a time in Jerusalem, celebrating Jerusalem Day. Jerusalem is our capital city. It’s been our capital for a VERY long time – ever since King David ruled over the Kingdom of Israel. That’s why Jerusalem is also called the City of David. In fact, you won’t believe this, but legend has it that Jerusalem has 70 names!!! I guess that’s because it’s the most important city for the Jewish people. Hey, don’t we say “Next Year in Jerusalem” every Passover? That proves how important this city is for us. So when it became divided in 1948 – during our War of Independence – we were determined to make it whole again. Which is exactly what we did in 1967. We fought our famous 6-Day War, recaptured the part of Jerusalem that was taken away from us, and turned it into a united capital city. Ever since then we celebrate Yom Yerushalayim – Jerusalem Day. In my book – Zvuvi’s Israel –Jerusalem is the first city that I visit. I have a special treat for you. I am going to take you on my book tour of Jerusalem right now.
Have a good, and make sure you read all three pages…Zvuvi

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Rain on Lag B’Omer!!!!

Shalom Yeladim:
The weather is getting weird – for you and for us. I heard that America had a snowstorm in the northeast in late April. Now Israel is getting rain on Lag B’Omer! Remember in my Purim blog I asked the rain not to go away? Looks like someone was listening. But hey, on Lag B’Omer? That’s raining on my bonfire! And that’s raining on the parade of all the Israeli kids – mainly boys – who have been using shopping carts to collect huge wood planks for the past two months. I’m not kidding. You see the picture of the shopping carts with the wood in them? That’s what kids all over Israel have been pushing and wheeling to their favorite secret storage spots where they hide the wood. Lag B’Omer is their holiday. There are medurot – bonfires – all over Israel. Even pre-schools and kindergartens invite parents to a group medura. If you’re flying to Israel and landing on Log B’Omer night, it can be pretty scary to look down from on high. The country looks like it’s in flames. But don’t worry, the El Al pilots usually warn passengers ahead of time. The problem with Lag B’Omer is that the air pollution level really jumps for a few hours, and all the smoke is not good for kids with asthma. So I guess the rain is a blessing in disguise because the pollution won’t be that bad this year.
My favorite bonfire site is on the beach. Since Israel is a Mediterranean country, we have a long coastline for setting up bonfires. Listening to the combination of the burning, crackling wood and the crashing of the waves really lights my fire. And no. I am not a fire fly. But I am all fired up about roasting some marshmallows.
Be’tay’ahvon…Hearty appetite...Zvuvi
Pssst…I almost forgot to tell you. There’s no school on Lag B’omer day. If there would be, I’d fire off a complaint!