Thursday, October 4, 2012

12-10-05 Dispatch from Haifa: Bliss on the beach in the city of Mar Elias

Haifa, on Mount Carmel, is unique in its willingness and ability to conduct Convivencia in face of surrounding violence. Mount Carmel is most closely associated with the Prophet Elijah.  On Mount Carmel, he defied the corrupt rulers – King Ahab, Queen Jezeble, and the Priests of Baal. Naboth's Vineyard, is the case that documented the essence of the corruption. Naboth was subjected to a mock trial was staged, Naboth convicted for blasphemy and executed, in order to take his land.  Today, banks and judges are conducting mock trials to take People's possessions. It is a Naboth's Vineyard on a grade scale.

Dado Beach/Hof HaKarmel - one of the nicest beaches in Israel, 2 minute walk from the subarban terminal, perfect for families, parts suitable for free spirits. A beach a bit further south, Atlit, is good for surfers, and great for wind surfers, kiteboarders... all on the backdrop of the ruins of a Cruders' castle.  Bliss on the beach...

Haifa, October 4 – I spent the day on the 'Dado Beach', or 'Hof HaCarmel', 2 minute walk from suburban terminal bus station.  Lying on the beach I read the 'Most Wanted Man' by John Le Carre' for a couple of hours.  It is an excellent introduction of the "War on Terror", managed by the United States, as it is seen on the streets of Hamburg, Germany, in the post 9/11 years.  Le Carre' always manages to provide a vivid account of the nastier sides of government, while spinning a page-turner, which looks like it was written to promote the movie.
Sitting in a restaurant on the beach, I drank fresh squeezed lemonade (250 ml carafe for NIS 12).  Then read some more.  Later I had an 'Israeli Salad' for lunch, it was large and tasty, but showed some Russian influence (low on onion, no garlic, some carrot slivers added to the basic tomatoes, cucumber, red peppers).  While eating, a shriveled over 70 man, with his skin baked by the sun, and flowing white curls, was raving and flailing to the café music, dressed  in a fashionable Speedo brief and matching Speedo beach soft shoes.
After some more reading, and dipping my legs in the water (people were swimming, but I was a wimp), I went to another restaurant for a lemon-nana sorbet.  Lemon-nana juice and lemon-nana sorbet are definitive Israeli additions to the classic Mediterranean cuisine.
The restaurant owner is Maronite-Arab, and the teen-ager that works the ice-cream bar during the holiday vacation was Israeli-Russian.  He got the job through his high school teacher, who knows the owner.
I told the owner that the bliss of the Haifa beach was due to the blessings of Mar Elias – the Prophet Elijah.  He was flattered, since it turned out that his name was Elias, and his daughters call him Mar Elias (from the Aramaic).
Then a Jewish customer arrived, about 70, dressed in flip-flops, swimming brief, t-shirt and a kippah. He too agreed that Haifa is a beneficiary of the blessings of Elijah.

a.  b. c. 
On Mount Carmel, the Prophet Elijah defied the corrupt theocracy of King Ahab (ruled for 38 years over the northern Kingdom of Israel, ~800 bce), Queen Jezebel, and the Priests of Baal.  The case provided as reflecting the essence of the corruption, was Naboth's Vineyard. It involved conducting a mock trial for Naboth, finding him guity of belsphemy, and executing him, in order to take his land. a. Statue of Elijah and the prists of Baal near the Carmelite Monatery Muhrakah, on Mount Carmel; b. Marc Chagall, “Elijah on Mt. Carmel”, 1931-1939; c.  Valley of Jezreel from Mt. Carmel where Elijah fought the Priests of Baal.

The revelation on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18) was associated with defiance of the rulers – King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. The essence of the corruption of the rule of Ahab and Jezebel and the Priests of Baal is given in the case of the Naboth's Vineyard.

Wikipedia (not usually my favorite source) describe it as follows:
Naboth was the owner of a plot on the eastern slope of the hill of Jezreel.  The vineyard seems to have been all he possessed and lay close to the palace of Ahab, who wished to acquire to "have it for a garden of herbs". Naboth, however, had inherited his land from his father, and, according to Jewish law, could not alienate it. Accordingly, he refused to sell it to the king.
Ahab became deeply dejected, at not being able to procure the vineyard. Returning to his palace, he collapsed with depression, lying on his bed, his face to the wall, and refused to eat. His wife, Jezebel, after learning the reason for his depression, promised that she would obtain the vineyard for him. To do so, she plotted to kill Naboth by mock trial [for blasphemy – jz], and then told Ahab to take possession of the vineyard as the legal heir.
The current 'Foreclosure Crisis' is by numerous experts opinions in fact a legal/banking fraud pandemic, based on the conduct of mock trials to take the People's homes and properties. The pandemic is Naboth Vineyard redux on a grand scale.

1903 (Riga) - 1994 (Jerusalem) towering Israeli scholar, advocated separation of State and Synagogue: Failure to separate State and Synagogue corrupts both the State and the Synagogue.  Similarly, immediately following the 1967 war, he was vocal in calling for immediate, unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank, held by the Kingdom of Jordan prior to the war.  The reason: Subjegation of the Palestinian People by the Israeli People, would cause thorough corruption of the State of Israel.

In the 1970's Jezebel and the Priests of Baal were back in the headlines in Israel. A towering figure in modern Israeli history, the Jewish orthodox, Zionist scholar, Prof Yeshayahu Leibovich, graduate of the Universities of Berlin and Basel, one of the main editors of the Hebrew Encyclopedia in numerous fields, who was not into mincing words, referred to the Israeli government, then headed by Golda Meir and the Chief Rabbis of the State of Israel as Jezebel and her Priests of Baal.

More on Haifa: