Recycling and Deifying Donkey Dung in Israel

The Christmas season in Europe is often silly season for the world’s media outlets, when they outdo each other to find the strangest, weirdest and oddball news story to give people an extra sparkle to their celebrations.

Strange shaped vegetables, or bagels that bleed are the sort of stories that crop up. Despite the crisis in the South of Israel, the BBC managed to find its own silly and strange story in the Holy Land, close to the Galil. Dung, from horses, donkeys and cattle, has for many centuries and across many countries and cultures, been used both as a fuel for heat and as a fertiliser for agriculture.

This is one of the most basic, and successful, forms of recycling that there is. Reusing animal waste, which is generally made up of green plant matter, is extremely green. So green that many herders collect it as an essential item, and might look at you strangely if you commented on it!

Menachem Goldberg, who runs a visitors centre at Kedem, has come up with the extra-ordinary idea of preserving pieces of donkey dung within a plastic cube, that is inscribed with holy writings from the Talmud. Mr Goldberg says that the idea came to him from the Talmudic phrase: (and I quote) “Let the Messiah come…may I be worthy to sit in the shadow of his donkey’s dung”. Make of this what you will!

Comments welcome, and any visitors to Kedem, please confirm this craziness for us.

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5 thoughts on “Recycling and Deifying Donkey Dung in Israel”

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  4. Emeq ben Yosef says:

    Just incredulous! Is it not enough that we refuse to bring down the asherim? Now we must have another? I suppose there is also a ritual associated with this “cubiform”. And yet, we “claim” to await the Moshiach.

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