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Menashe Kadishman was one of Israel’s most renowned and beloved artists, whose fascination with sheep was emblematic of his artistic legacy* Kadishman’s enthrallment with sheep (sparked by a three year period when he served as a shepherd on a kibbutz in the early 1950s) was closely associated with the sacrificial lamb as the epitome of victimhood (far more than the proverbial ‘scapegoat’), an image the artist once described as a metaphor of Jewish history – past and present.

            While most eulogies following Kadishman’s death at age 82 focused on the artist’s insatiable hunger to portray sheep, his son-in-law (artist Eran Shakine) noted that Menashe Kadishman also had an insatiable appetite for gefilte fish…which Kadishman - a sabra born in Tel Aviv in 1932 - ate garnished with …humous(Yediot, Yisrael HaYom)

* Kadishman’s blue-painted sheep milling around a pen at the 1978 Venice Biennale was one of the first art installations to champion ‘living art.’



Be careful what you wish for.

            Actor Henry David was supposed to play a supporting role in the Gesher Reparatory Theatre’s performance of Othello, but apparently someone uttered the traditional blessing “break a leg” prematurely during the general rehearsal instead of opening night…

            Henry David promptly did so, forcing the actor - cast in the role of the dashing military officer Cassio - to sit out the first performances, confined to a leg cast for two weeks.  (Israel HaYom)



Professor Avi Rivkind is fine-tuning emergency medicine in a unique way: The Trauma Unit at Hadassah Ein Karem in Jerusalem* is the first hospital in the world to apply Whatsapp video feeds to connect first responders with hospital staff waiting to receive trauma patients.

            Live photos streamed from the scene by smartphone to a computer monitor in the Trauma Unit allow doctors at Hadassah to cut time evaluating the status of the patient and begin treatment. Rivkind and his staff now know “the nature of the injury, the depth of the injury and the type of injury,” before the patient arrives in the ER – saving precious minutes that can spell the difference between life and death. (Yediot)

* Yup, the same Professor Rivkind featured as the ‘life-saver’ in the March 2015 tidbit ‘Emergency Stop.”



Are Israelis addicted to humous and falafel?

            Strangely enough, it was the Narcotics Unit of Israeli Customs that caught five individuals trying to smuggle-in 310 metric tons of chickpeas disguised as food for animal in order to dodge customs tariffs. (Israel HaYom)



Aren’t grave robbers supposed to be people who seek to make a small fortune by stealing ancient artefacts* or valuables buried with the dead?

            Not only.

            Three Jerusalemites were apprehended after disguising themselves as grave diggers from the municipal burial society or Hever Kadisha. The trio simply created ‘extra’ burial plots on the fringe of Jerusalem’s main cemetery  do-it-yourself…then sold and ‘filled’ the plots’* while filling their pockets with the proceeds.

            What’s truly amazing isn’t the caper itself; it’s the fact that it took the real burial society ten years (!) to discover the unauthorized plots – a grave oversight for sure. (Yediot, Israel HaYom)  

* such as the Palestinian antiquity thieves who last year tried to sell a dozen stone sarcophagi…with parts of the skeletons still inside, previously reported by Chelm-on-the-Med.  

** Apparently to Jews from abroad since burial plots, funeral costs, and headstones are covered under Israel’s basket of welfare services



The upper crust British real estate firm Savills PLC (founded in 1855) ranked Tel-Aviv third out of twelve cities as ‘the best place to work in high-tech’ based on five criteria – the business environment, the technological environment, quality of living, the reservoir of talent and…the price of real estate?! 

            While Houston took first place followed by San Francisco, Tel-Aviv outranked New York, Stockholm, London, Singapore, Dublin, Berlin, Hong Kong, Seoul, and Mumbai. (Yediot)   



Children cutting loose and running after their moms yelling “Ima Ima!” as cap ‘n gowned graduates mount the stage to receive their diplomas at university commencement ceremonies is a familiar sight in Israel, but a photo of Hebrew University professor of organizational behavior Sydney Engelberg minding one of his grad student’s restless baby (without missing a line in his lecture) – went viral on the Internet.   

            It turns out such gestures – allowing mothers to bring their infants to class…even offering a helping hand when a baby begins to fret or needs to be burped (allowing the mother to continue to take notes, participate in a class exercise, or deliver a report to the class) is hardly a rarity in Israeli university and college classrooms. 

            The Israeli Student Union asked other students to post on its website additional photos of such accommodating professors.   

            The phenomenon reflects the informal laid-back character of interpersonal relations and ‘permeable’ borders between personal life and work life in Israeli society and an indulgent child- and family-friendly milieu, not just the ‘advanced age’ of Israeli students, most of whom spend two to four years doing national service after high school often followed by a year or more vegging out in Asia or South America before facing the rigors of getting a degree. (Walla News)



We’ve all heard of crashing parties and even crashing weddings, but three as yet unidentified young men in their twenties, crashed the private pool in an upscale apartment building in Eilat. One of the residents labelled the incident “a catastrophe”…probably because the threesome were not only caught on surveillance cameras splashing about in the water, but also demonstratively peeing into the pool while jeering straight at the security camera…though the offenders stopped short of pissing off the diving board.*  (Yediot)

Who isn’t familiar with the joke about the lifeguard who blows his whistle at a kid at the pool yelling, ''Hey kid! Don't pee in the pool!'' The boy replied, ''But everybody does it!'' ''Not from the diving board!'' retorts the lifeguard.

Photo credit: Apples and Oranges, Wikipedia. Professor Sydney Engelberg,  Israeli Student Union website