[Editor’s note: Originally published February 11, 2011 on Eye of the Treiger from the first Birthright trip I staffed (right before I went to Nepal). I’m in the process of streamlining my blogs and since this is the one about ‘Not Nepal’, it lives here now.]
Raz, our Israeli tour guide, daylights as an organic date farmer, so I couldn’t resist sharing with him a paper I once wrote about his chosen crop. As he read, he mentioned how disappointed he was that I had used Arabic to describe the different stages of date ripening (kimri, khalal, rutab and tamar, if you must know). Ancient Judea, he told me, was once the center of date cultivation, and the terms I attributed to Arabic actually originate in Hebrew.
This evening, Raz mentioned a plan to teach the group one or two Hebrew words each day. I look forward to the list of originally Hebrew words he comes up with. I have a feeling it will start with achla sababa.
We hope to visit Raz’s farm later in the trip. The last time I was on a date farm (above), I was three.
[Update, 3/12/12: We made it!]