U.S. Basketball star Amar’e Stoudemire is apparently on his way to Israel for a voyage of discovery after learning he has Jewish roots.
“On the flight to Israel. This is going to be a great trip,” announced the power forward, who plays in the NBA for the New York Nicks, via the micro-blogging site Twitter.
According to an Army Radio report, Stoudemire plans to spend time in Israel learning Hebrew, having recently learned he has a Jewish mother.
“The holy land. Learn about it,” he wrote, adding “ze ha’halom sheli” – Hebrew for ‘this is my dream’.
News of Stoudemire’s trip quickly had Israeli basketball fans buzzing with speculation that they might one day see him playing alongside another Jewish NBA star, Israel’s Omri Caspi, on the national team.
So far there is no indication as to whether Stoudemire is here to stay – although for the moment, Israel seems to be getting along just fine without him, beating Great Britain 86-82 in Tueday’s training game.
Complexe et métissée, Tel Aviv réussit tant bien que mal à échapper aux tensions propres au Proche-Orient. La ville blanche, capitale mondiale de l’architecture bauhaus, est un bel exemple de coexistence.
A poll published in Forbes magazine shows that Israelis feel a sense of well-being to a degree rivaled by few other peoples in the world. Only the Scandinavians, their senses perhaps distorted by seasonal extremes of daylight, have a more cheery self-perception.
The Gallup poll ranked 155 countries on their inhabitants’ sense of well-being, based on in-person and phone surveys. The in-depth poll was conducted between 2005 and 2009, and measured two types of well-being. First pollsters asked subjects to reflect on their overall satisfaction with their lives, and ranked their answers using a “life evaluation” score from 1 to 10. Then they asked questions about how each subject had felt the previous day. Those answers allowed researchers to score their “daily experiences”–things like whether they felt well-rested, respected, free of pain and intellectually engaged. Subjects who reported high scores were considered “thriving.”
The poll showed that 62 percent of Israelis believe that they’re “thriving” — tying the Jewish State with Australia, Canada, and Switzerland and well ahead of fellow human beings in the United States and the United Kingdom.
1 Denmark 82
2 Finland 75
3 Norway 69
4 Sweden 68
4 Netherlands 68
6 Costa Rica 63
6 New Zealand 63
8 Canada 62
8 Israel 62
8 Australia 62
8 Switzerland 62
12 Panama 58
12 Brazil 58
14 United States 57
14 Austria 57
16 Belgium 56
17 United Kingdom 54
More on the report in Forbes
As the temperature rises, ISRAEL21c takes you on an exclusive video tour of the top ten ways to enjoy Israel’s “hottest” city, this summer.
It’s got beaches, parks, restaurants, culture and a wild party scene, it’s no wonder Tel Aviv has been called one of the coolest cities in the world.
With summer here, ISRAEL21c takes you on a video tour of the top 10 things to do in the beachfront city when the temperature rises.
Whether you’re a tourist or a local, you can start your day at the city’s Hayarkon Park with an early morning work out, head to breakfast at Tel Aviv port, and then spend your day shopping, playing on the beach, and watching shows, before winding up at one of the city’s hip new restaurants and nightclub resorts.
It’s a whirlwind ride. Enjoy the visit.
A document written on two cuneiform tablets around the time of the patriarch Abraham, containing a law code in a style and language similar to parts of the famous Code of Hammurabi, has been discovered for the first time in an Israeli archeological dig.
The code, dating from the Middle Bronze Age in the 18th and 17th centuries BCE, was found at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s excavations this summer at Hazor National Park in the North. However, it has not yet been determined whether the document was written at Hazor – where a school for scribes was located in ancient times, or brought from elsewhere, said Prof. Wayne Horowitz of the HU Institute of Archeology.
Horowitz, who heads a team that is preparing the Hazor law code fragments for publication in book form, said this week that the discovery opened an interesting avenue for possible further investigation of a connection between biblical law and the Code of Hammurabi.
The Hazor excavations – known as the Selz Foundation Hazor Excavations in memory of Israeli archeologist and politician Prof. Yigael Yadin – are being held under the direction of Horowitz’s colleagues Prof. Amnon Ben-Tor and Dr. Sharon Zuckerman. Yadin directed previous excavations at the site in the 1950s and 1960s and found numerous documents in the palace area.
Cuneiform script is the world’s earliest known writing system and first appeared in the Sumerian civilization of southern Iraq, starting as a pictographic system of writing. It was used widely as a writing system in the ancient Near East. Documents were written with a reed stylus on clay tablets, leaving wedgeshaped impressions (the name “cuneiform” comes from the Latin word for “wedge”). Gradually, cuneiform turned into linear drawings.
The newly discovered fragments were written in Akkadian cuneiform script and refer to issues of personal injury law relating to slaves and masters. They are reminiscent of similar laws in the famous Babylonian Hammurabi Code of the 18th century BCE that were found 109 years ago in what is now Iran. The new fragments were found by chance in the palace area.
The researchers said that the laws also reflected to a certain extent a number of biblical laws such as “an eye for an eye, a tooth for tooth.” Jewish sages have regarded this verse from Leviticus, Exodus and Deuteronomy as an order not to actually remove the eye or tooth of someone who causes another person to lose one, but to require financial compensation equal to its value. So far, among the words that have been deciphered are “master,” “slave” and a word referring to bodily parts, apparently the word for “tooth.”
Horowitz said the text style was similar to that of the Hammurabi Code, which was enacted by the sixth Babylonian king, Hammurabi, and consists of 282 laws with scaled punishments, adjusting “an eye for an eye” as graded depending on social status, such as whether a slave or a free man was involved. The Hammurabi Code limited even the king’s powers, but did not constitute a Western-style constitution, scholars say.
The fragments, said Ben- Tor, now form the largest corpus of documents of cuneiform texts found in Israel. Previous documents dealt with such subjects as the dispatch of people or goods, a legal dispute involving a local woman, and a text of multiplication tables. Also found over the years were an ancient bilingual dictionary, legal and economic documents and texts for predicting the future. This demonstrates that Hazor was a center of scholarship and administration and a circle of highlevel scribes during the Middle and Late Bronze Ages, said Ben-Tor.
The archeological team, which is continuing to dig under the sponsorship of HU and the Israel Exploration Society, will soon begin uncovering a monumental building dating to the Bronze Age, where the team members expect to recover additional tablets.