Sunday, November 1, 2009

My First Blog

So many friends have asked me, "When are you going to make a blog," that I finally bit the bullet. Having started a blog, I now feel that I have joined the 21st century. Here I am World, at last.

I decided to call my blog, "Judean Rose," because I live in Judea, and because my first name, Varda, means "rose" in Hebrew. Actually, it means "red rose." Sometimes the name is translated as the English flower known as a "pink," which makes sense, since the root of the word in another incarnation: Varod, means the color pink.

I was named after my paternal maternal great grandmother Rose Paul. Her Yiddish name was Raizel, which translates as, you guessed it, "rose."

In the modern world, Yiddish names are not as popular as they once were. Ashkenazi Jews have a custom of naming children after deceased relatives, and some take some leeway here. If they don't like the name as it stands, they may fiddle with it and come up with something a bit different; more to their taste. A lot of people will substitute the name "Shoshana" for the Yiddish name Raizel, but I actually have no idea why this should be so, since the meaning of the name Shoshana is "lily!"

Varda is much closer in meaning to the original Yiddish. Still, Varda has become a bit old fashioned and many would choose the more modern Vered, or perhaps, Vardit. I even had a teacher who had the name Vardina. I think her parents must have invented that name as a combination of Varda and Dina.

At any rate, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, to paraphrase Shakespeare's famous verse, which should more properly read:
"that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;"

At any rate, that takes care of the "rose" part of this blog. As to the Judea, well, many people call my neck of the woods, "The West Bank." But that's not a very accurate label. The term refers to the west bank of Jordan. Even the most left of left-wingers would no longer call the area in which I live, Jordan. Perhaps "disputed territories," or, "over the green line," would suit the purposes of liberals, but for me, this is just politics.

Hear me loud and clear: I am not a Zionist, but just a Jew who wants to live in the Biblical Land of Israel, A/K/A, the Holy Land, or Eretz HaKodesh, or Eretz Yisrael. Whether or not the land on which I live will ever be legally considered a part of the State of Israel doesn't change what I call this area. I call it Judea, because that's what it was called in the bible.

At any rate, I love this land with all my heart. It's my favorite part of Israel, with the exception of Jerusalem. I love the terrain, the weather, the flora and fauna. I love the clean air, and the people who live here. I could wax poetic for days about the landscape, and now that I have a blog, I may just do that at a later date. For now, it's enough to say that we have the best weather in Israel: dry with cool nights--not humid and sticky like the coastal plains. Even in midsummer, we mostly have a lovely breeze at night to refresh us from the hot daytime sun.


  1. Lovely! Welcome to the blogosphere!

  2. I wrote about shoshana / vered / rose here:

    I hope you find it interesting!


  3. Thanks, Toby and David!

    David, I found your article fascinating. Do you have any idea how often this thread comes up on the Jewishgen General Discussion Group? Now I have a link to cite, the next time the subject rears its head. This is the best and most definitive article I've read on this subject!