Friday, April 14, 2006

Flower Cells

Dr. Rina Kamenetsky a researcher at Israel's Volcani Institute, discovered that the Nurit flower bulb cells look under a microscope as a Star of David. The Nurit is a 'resurrection plant' – it can live without water until water comes.  It has a unique mechanism for resisting drought and heat. The cell walls of the roots serve as a shield: when the first rain comes, they block the water to prevent the cells from bursting, but they protect the cells from dehydrating by absorbing some water. The most common wild type Nurit has a red flower with a black center. In summer, its roots are exposed to the heat of the desert. The cultivated Nurit has a variety of colors.


Memorial Monument to the Jewish Soldiers in the Shape of a Star of David

Partizans magen david
Created by Bernie Fink; Sculptor; born 1942, Johannesburg, South Africa; made aliya in l962; lives in Kibbutz Yizrael.
Today I visited with my son in Yad Vashem, Israel's national memorial to the heroes of the Holocaust. It is close (only 5 minuted drive from our home) yet distant, since it's a tragic place, full of awfulmemories. I wanted to check up the name of my missing uncle, who was three years old when he disappeared in WW2, but Yad Vashem was so crowded with visitors who came to Jerusalem for Passover that we barely found a parking place. So we went around the main museum building and saw the Memorial to the Jewish Soldiers. At the entrance to the square in front of the monument, on a stone, we read the following engraved words:

one and a half million jews fought against Nazi Germany in WW2 in the allied armies on all fronts in the ranks of the partizans in the ghettoes and in the underground movements in Occupied Europe, Hundreds of thousands of them fell in battle. This monument dedicated to these fighters was inaugurated on the 40 anniversary of the allied victory 8.5.85

Batya Brutin wrote about the meaning of the Memorial:

The six blocks of granite represent the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis, the Star of David symbolizes the Jewish People, and the sword, the fight against the Nazis. The symbol of a Star of David and a sword is usually associated with the IDF by using this combination, the artist makes a connection between the Jewish soldiers in the Allied forces, and modern-day Israeli soldiers.