# 90 – Negev by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
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# 90 – Negev

Helping others to understand Israel - and Israelis to understand others...
  • Joined Sep 2016
  • Published Books 409
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December 24, 2007

I really am sorry to be sending you yet another letter. What can I do? This is a country of experiences…

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On Christmas Eve, I was looking for the star to guide me to Bethlehem. It so happens, however, that we were a few miles south of there – in a kibbutz just north of the Negev desert. It’s called Dorot, and if you look at the map, it’s 2 km. from Sderot, the town that’s been suffering all the Kassam rockets. We have friends there.

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I am still marvelling at the sight we witnessed that evening. As we left the main road, we wondered at the fantastic orange sun that was setting to the right of us. Our friend, Avi, was proudly saying how we could never have such sunsets in Tel Aviv. In the midst of countering that, I realised that the sun’s glow was missing, and in fact, the dusk was on the the other side of the road.

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This was the moon. And what a moon! I should/could have taken a photo, but somehow felt that there was no way I could transfer the beauty to the camera. So you just have to believe that we had never seen the moon so orange and so large.

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But we did see some wonderful sights on our trip…..

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Here’s Avi giving Aviva a little present. We shall share this fortune with several people. Great pumpkin soup coming….

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# 90 – Negev by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com

Nature is special at this time of year. Papaya trees almost ready and the crops are growing – except where cowgirls stand. Remember, this is close to the Negev desert; this area is really brown most of the year. Wait till early February: some areas will be covered by poppies.

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Go to www.zaithamidbar.co.il, which means ‘olive of the desert’. A young couple made plans for 3 years, then, 5 year ago, with some govt. subsidy (the country still has a policy of following Ben-Gurion’s wishes of settling the beautiful and non-political Negev) they set up home in the middle of nowhere. They lay the lines, installed the water supply, set up the wigwams and had 3 kids. Now they get people from all walks of life, coming for a stay. It’s terrific, down to the specially-built bath/showers behind reed walls.

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Look at some of the desert trees…

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# 90 – Negev by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com

And then we reached Wadi Zin, near the home of David and Paula Ben-Gurion. No wonder they chose this part of the World. There is water all year along this river bed, which is more like a gorge. (Anyone been to Zion Nat’l Park in Utah?). Here, you walk along the side of the water, which today was quiet, with perfect Winter sunshine. Try turning these pictures updside down……

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# 90 – Negev by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
# 90 – Negev by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
# 90 – Negev by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com

The below picture shows the graves of David & Paula Ben-Gurion, and the wonderful view they chose for themselves. You have to believe in life after, in order to feel that they’re happy where they are.

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# 90 – Negev by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com

Afterwards, we stopped for a coffee at another natural lake near the northern edge of the Negev, which has been named Golda Park, after Golda Meir. We had the advantage of visiting when it was quite empty. (Christmas is working time over here, and not a great ‘travelling tourist’ time. If they’re here, they’re in Nazareth, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Caparneum, following in the steps of Jesus).

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# 90 – Negev by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com

We visited a Moshav, where someone keeps ostriches.

One of the local dogs does not like the competition.

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# 90 – Negev by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com

Then we were in Ashkelon – today a thriving coastal city of perhaps 120,000, located just north of Gaza, which means only 35 km. south of Tel Aviv. It’s history goes back 10,000 years, with detailed descriptions in the Bible and in Egyptian and Roman writings.

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The park there is one of the national treasures, with bits of history strewn across the area, even onto the beach and into the sea. Again, we were among the only visitors this day. But come the weekend, the picnics, barbecues and parties litter the grounds (literally).

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And the nature continues to sparkle. Just look closely at the tree Aviva is leaning against. The roots are actually off-picture to the left. The rest of the branches are all new growths.

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# 90 – Negev by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com

The beaches of Ashkelon have recently been developed, with wave-breakers in the sea, and gorgeous promenades from north to south.

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# 90 – Negev by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com

Even in town, there are clear signs that Nature is not to be disturbed. The city has forbidden this bank from harming this lovely tree in any way.

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# 90 – Negev by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com

And so, a final drink at the end of our 3-day visit to an area not so far south of here. (Where IS far in this tiny country, which nowhere exceeds 80 km. in width?).

While sitting at the almost-deserted marina, we did here the booms of 3 more Kassams falling in the Sderot area. And we did see/hear the Israeli planes and helicopters searching for the idiot minority who force us to make the lives of the majority uncomfortable.

I hope some of them could enjoy the sunset as we did….

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# 90 – Negev by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com

…and a Happy New Year to you all.

Stephen

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