This and That

Random bits of my life

Posts Tagged ‘Rosh Pina’

More Scenes from Rosh Pina

Posted by Avital Pinnick on May 2, 2011

Here are a few photos I took of Rosh Pina, apart from the cemetery. Rosh Pina was founded by 30 Romanian families in 1882, which makes it one of Israel’s oldest agricultural settlements (for more information about the history of this area, see this article in the Jerusalem Post about historical Rosh Pina and the Wikipedia entry). The oldest quarter, at the top of the hill, is being restored and looks very European. It’s a beautiful area to walk around, but be sure to wear good shoes! Many of the buildings have been turned into artists’ galleries and restaurants.

Rosh Pina

Rosh Pina

HDR photo of an abandoned house:

Abandoned House

Interesting wooden ceiling in the Eli Cohen synagogue. The synagogue is only about ten years old and is named after a well-known spy, who worked in Syria for years. My husband was looking for a quiet place to say minchah. I knelt on the bima and took this photo with a wide-angle lens.

Ceiling, Eli Cohen Synagogue, Rosh Pina

The new moon was rising over the coloured lights of a gaudy new mall in the center of Rosh Pina. The mall itself is a bit tacky but Cafe Cafe is kosher and comfortable, so it’s a good place to stop after hiking down from the old quarter.

New Moon over Mall, Rosh Pina

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Rosh Pina Cemetery

Posted by Avital Pinnick on April 21, 2011

Rosh Pina Cemetery

If you’ve ever been to Rosh Pina, you’ve probably wandered around the touristy renovated artists colony at the top of the hill. You may even have toured the bottom tiers of the old Rosh Pina cemetery. I climbed all the way to the top and I can say it’s quite a hike.

Rosh Pina was founded in 1882, and the oldest graves close to the crest of the hill date back to around the turn of the 20th century. The lower parts are still in use.

The first photo (above) shows some of the older grave markers. A few have been cleaned up, given a coat of whitewash, and had their inscriptions replaced. The ones that haven’t been restored are cracked, covered with lichen, with their inscriptions are barely legible.

The photo below gives you an idea of how steep the cemetery is, like climbing a flight of stairs. These graves date from the 1970s and 80s.

Rosh Pina Cemetery

The graves below date mainly from the 1930s and 40s.

Rosh Pina Cemetery

Rosh Pina Cemetery

In the middle of the cemetery is this little girl’s grave marker, shaped like a bed and studded with hundreds of tiles, shells, and other objects. Her name was apparently Sylvia Rose (the name is incised in the green and red medallion at the foot of the marker below) and her nickname was “Mae Mae.” There is no other information — no family name or dates. On the side beneath the head there are two unglazed panels with a poignant eulogy inscribed in English. This marker is truly a labour of love.

Rosh Pina Cemetery

Rosh Pina Cemetery

Rosh Pina Cemetery

Update. At Miriam’s request I’ve posted the text:

Mae Mae would lounge on a bench bathed in sunlight.
Her small hands, sticky with red sugar,
lovingly grasp a rainbow of candy.
Green eyes sparkle deep with concern,
with companionship for her earth.
Tufts of blond crown her forehead,
and a lilt rises in her voice.

How you were adored…
Our lives changed irrevocably when you left.
Richer for having been together,
yet shattered forever.
Your magic lives in our souls.
We would have traded places in an instant.
Are you busy? Happy?
Are there kittens and candy?
Do you watch over Sam?
And Nell and Kate?
You will forever fill our lives.
We miss you every day.
Until we hug each other again.

Rosh Pina Cemetery

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Shulik the Taxi Driver

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 31, 2010

We spent part of our vacation in Rosh Pina this month. We don’t own a car and neither of us has a driver’s license, but we manage with buses and taxis. The driver who took us from the intersection of Yesud haMaalah to Rosh Pina was a good driver and we took his card. When I got out of the car, I noticed that “Shulik’s taxi” was painted on the outside of the car, a somewhat unusual occurrence.

While we were walking up one of Rosh Pina’s main streets, I stopped to photographed this amazing garage. It was covered with farm tools, pieces of cars, and rusty bits of machinery. In fact, the yard was full of funky and whimsical mechanical sculptures. Then I noticed that “Shulik’s taxi” was parked in front.


We called him to order a taxi to the Hula nature reserve.  When he heard that we were right outside his house, he invited us inside.

His house was filled with beautifully arranged collections of old objects — bins of carved walking sticks and canes in the living room, a long shelf of Turkish coffee pots over the doorway, oil lamps in the dining room, and Russian spoons and dolls in a corner. I was impressed by not only the size and quality of the collections but the artistry with which they were arranged. Considering how much stuff he’d accumulated, his house didn’t feel cluttered.

Shulik (Abshalom) Shamai is 76 years old and a second generation Rosh Pina native. When he’s not driving a taxi, he collects things. He looks exactly like the picture on his card, even down to the buttoned shirt, shorts, and sandals! I didn’t ask him to pose in the photo. I only noticed the similarity later when I photographed his card.



Old cash register in the front yard:


Interior view of porch with a collection of ships’ bells. He rang one, which he claimed was from the Altalena.


Outside view of his porch, showing the striking mechanism of the tubular bells.


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