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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Life in the Key of Dutch

Het Echte Nederlands

Click on the link to see the second part of the trip . . .


On Friday we went around Amsterdam, seeing the sights of FDJ's town.

Oh yah

Outside the Rijk's Museum . . .

On the walls
. . .

The Night Watch.

By the statues of Rembrandt's The Night Watch we tried to take a group shot, ideally with each of us interacting and acting out the various positions of the statues . . . unfortunately, everyone else there was trying to do the same -so we opted for a few quick pictures.

Photo Credit:

I love street musicians -they always make for great photo subjects


The next day we went to the famed Spanish-Portuguese Synagogue (I have pictures of it from when I was there on a week day, a few years back), where I was lucky enough to receive an aliah -I was somewhat thrown-off by the ba'al koreh's pronunciation -a stressed Ayin (Pa'aroh (pharaoh) became parngoh) and a week Gimel that sounded like a Ches.

After the Aliah I was given a Mi Shabeirach, but for some reason couldn't follow a word that the gabai was saying . . . until I realized that he was speaking in Ladino.


What could be more Dutch then bicycles (In fact there are more bikes then people in Holland), so on Sunday we rented bikes, and went for a trip . . . for close 70 kilometers.

A word about Dutch bikes -the retreating Germans took all of the good bikes during the end of the Second World War- for some reason the Dutch have been using the same rusted old bikes ever since.

Our first stop was Ouderkerk, home of the old Portuguese cemetery . . .

The grave stones were very interesting many of them dated back to the Seventeenth century, and were covered with imagery not normally found on Jewish grave stones (something apparently borrowed from the Catholics of Spain).

The mother of Spinoza

R' Menashe ben Yisroel

The black cat perched unmoving on the headstone in an old cemtery was spooky, to say the least

Leaving Holland (which is in fact a Dutch province) . . . we entered Utrecht

Kikes on a Dike -On the Narrow bike path (Photo Credit: FDJ)

A monument for the Jewish families (and non-Jewish soldiers) of this small Dutch town who were killed in the war

A Castle

The long strait path

Looking for directions

Another Windmill

After one last romp around the town (with aching muscles from the trip that day), I put an end to the summer . . . returning the next morning to the Height of Crowns.

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Leora said...

Chaviva was right; it was Jacob von Ruisdael. Rembrandt painted a lot of Jews from the period when that cemetery painting was done. But I got you all to look for the paintings! Many Jews lived in Holland after the expulsion from Spain.

Thanks for the photos to go with the painting.

A Simple Jew said...

Amazing pictures. I sure wish I were there to see it for myself!

Nemo said...

And now it's ok to listen to goyishe music when you travel as well??

Mottel said...

Nemo, you have an odd habit of posting your comments to the wrong post -in this case the video was in the last post.
But honestly, cut the shtick, no one is advocating the listening to of Goyishe Music in any place . . . there's a big difference between singing the national anthem and such and listening to non-jewish music.

chaviva said...

The photo of the pigeons sort of taking off or being rustled is just oustanding. I can't stop looking at it ... it is quite magnificent how it was taken. And the cat through the trees? Beautiful. The cemetery photos are eerily beautiful, and the unique imagery is pretty interesting. I don't think you'll find that on many Jewish headstones/graves.

Thank you for the photos again. I don't know what we'll all do when you stop going so many amazing places :)

Itzhak Schier said...


Ahh, fields full of Dutch grass...................

Nemo said...

See, Schier knows what it's all about!

This wasn't the wrong post ... I was referring to a picture of you gang in front of a flat screen, some sort of cd players and two guy of you with headphones on.

Mottel said...

We were posing -if I recall the music wasn't even playing.

Irina Tsukerman said...

Gorgeous pictures! I especially loved the pigeons, the old woman, and the ones with the black cat!

Mottel said...

Thanks -I'm waiting to see your pictures from France.