The Desert Speaks

Join Jay and Meridel on their synagogue’s annual English Bible Study tour. This year they and 18 others decided to visit the amazing Negev desert for three days and two overnights. The Negev is the only desert in the world that is decreasing in size as the Israeli farmers are busy making “the desert bloom.” To quote Jay, “We especially enjoyed the spring time flora and fauna starting in the Ramon Crater, then at Kibbutz Ketura. There we learned about this unique community that celebrate their Jewish traditions as a great big family of 250 people! There local leaders taught about hearing the “still small Voice” and valuing the desert. We also visited Eilat where we learned the history of Israel’s southern most city surrounded by 3 Arab nations, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. It was a very inspiring trip indeed.”

This is a Happy Story…

One day a nine year old boy went to work with his dad…
Eventually this led to the short movie (below) about how he used cardboard boxes and cello tape to build an elaborate arcade in his dad’s used auto parts store.There were not many customers (actually only one) as most of his father’s business was being done over the internet.
That one customer, however, was Nirvan Mullick and he was amazed by the imagination and hard work this youngster put into his “arcade” and decided it would make a great short film. As a finale to the film he organized a “flash mob” to give the young entrepreneur a surprise.
As nice as it is~That is not the end of the story! Mr. Mullick has also set up a Blog complete with a PayPal widget to raise money for Caine’s Scholarship Fund. I believe it has now passed $100,000! This is one young boy who has a great start in life. All I can say, is for all who think there are no chances in this world, this young lad is a true inspiration and example of what imagination, determination and hard work can do. Good things do happen in our world!
Here is the Film…Sit Back and Smile!

Elvis is Still The King~Yes, In Israel !

You don’t have to be on the tour of the Holy Land sponsored by Elvis Presley Enterprises to visit the Elvis Diner. You can follow the link to YNet to read about the upcoming tour, however, if you are already here or planning a trip, simply take the the Neve Ilan exit off the highway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and there, situated between the Arab village of Abu Ghosh, and the Christian moshav of Yad Hashmona,  is a very unique place, where fans of the King of Rock ‘n Roll gather.
That place is The Elvis Inn. You can’t miss it because in front of it stands a five meter tall golden statue of the King, that was erected in 1997. ** This is in addition to the 1989 statue that, at the time, was the worlds tallest at four meters.
Recently David and Daniel paid a visit to this unique cafe. In addition to the video below, they sampled a good old fashioned Elvis Burger. As a point of interest, David and Daniel’s brother Joshua, helped make the feet of Elvis!
David sat down with Amir, son of the owner, Yuri Yoeli to learn more about the beginnings of the Elvis Inn.  Together with his brother Amnon, Yuri purchased what was then a truck stop called the Mountain Inn (Pundak Haharim) in 1974. Uri Yoeli had always been an Elvis Presley fan. However, when he married, he found his wife was not quite as fond of the King as he was. There were two Elvis portraits in his house and his wife declared she would not have them and they must go. Uri took his pictures to his cafe and mounted them by the cash register.
As the story goes, when Uri was in Tel Aviv one day he overheard two cab drivers planning to meet up at “Elvis”. Curious he asked for the location and was surprised to find it was his own cafe they were talking about! From that point on, the cafe became known as the Elvis Inn and the transformation back to the days of rock-n-roll began in earnest.
When you enter the restaurant it is like being transported to the 50’s.  Four life-sized Elvis statues are scattered around the premises in various poses, sitting at a table, strumming a guitar, and, in general watching over the place. The juke box plays non-stop Elvis tunes and as one gazes about you see approximately 1,728 pictures mounted on every available surface~more than half of the photos are gifts from fans and friends around the world.

The food is a mixture of Israeli and American with something for everyone. Everything in the place is Elvis. From the menus to the souvenirs that you can buy on the way out. Packets of sugar boast the profile of the Great One–and it is very hard to deface them by opening them!
Even the coffee mugs have a picture of…you guessed it! To this day if you order a hot drink you keep the mug. We all have ours!
The Elvis Inn is a pilgrimage site for many people. Some of those include the American 6th fleet, Michael Jackson, Sylvester Stallone, Joe Cocker, Sting and a host of Elvis impersonators. 
On the anniversary of his birthday (08 January 1935) or his yahrzeit (16 August 1977) Elvis lovers and impersonators from across Israel and abroad, make a pilgrimage to the Elvis Inn to celebrate.
The Inn receives more than 5,000 letters and queries a year from around the world and there are traditions and legends galore! One such tradition tells of the massive fire of 03 July 1995. The flames raged through the Jerusalem corridor, but passed right over the Elvis Inn~many fans considered this a miracle.
It has become a tradition for newlyweds to come to the Inn to be photographed next to the King,  Rumour even has it that Elvis was a “Shabbos Goy” for his Jewish neighbours when he was young man and his ties to Israel remained strong.

Next time you are in the area, drop in for a burger and a bit of nostalgia!
For your pleasure, here is the video from the visit to the Elvis Inn and the story as told by Amir Yoeli, about this amazing landmark…Enjoy!

Was This the Best NASCAR Prayer Ever?

At the end of July 2011, Pastor Joe Nelms, of Family Baptist Church in Lebanon, Tennessee, gave a most unusual prayer at the opening of the the NASCAR Federated Auto Parts 300 race.
There was definitely a reaction from the crowd and he got a big cheer at the end. Pastor Joe said he was trying to inject some life into the prayer, get peoples attention. that he surely did! He now says that he has received some inquiries at his church, so it would seem that he did spark some interest from his audience. 
Naturally there were some detractors, but the majority of people viewed it positively. As one news writer said, “Clearly, Nelms is single-handedly putting the fun back in fundamentalism”. Faith is in a battle for survival, and this Pastor is right up there on the front lines. 
The clip was carried, by Reuters, ABC, and the Huffington Post, among others. In fact, Huffington did some research and posted two other videos of his unconventional prayers. that would indicate he is trying to reach people. 

Of course it has also made the rounds in the blog world and sure enough, someone put music to it. Here is the original clip first, but do listen to the “songified” one that follows~the tune  is kind of catchy…

Here is the Original Prayer

And Here is the Musical Version