Offbeat Israel: Homer Simpson in Jerusalem

As the Forward reported, Grover from Sesame Street have just made an Israel visit. Now another animated celebrity is en-route to the Holy Land – and it’s none other than Homer Simpson, together with his darling family.

They come to Israel with a church trip in an episode due to air in March. Their tour guide is voiced by none other than Sacha Baron Cohen of “Borat” and “Brüno” fame. Homer develops Jerusalem Syndrome and starts believing that he is the messiah. See news reports here, here and here.

Jewish holidays mean day trip season in Israel, and there are always lots of great exhibitions. This year, however, there’s one that you can visit wherever you are. The Israel Antiquities Authority is running an exhibition featuring archaeological artifacts connected the holidays. It’s online here.

The finds featured include ancient depictions of grape vines, figs, wheat, barley, olives, palm trees, and pomegranates that adorn pottery vessels, stone and bone artifacts. There are mosaics, pottery vessels and glass vessels depicting a menorah, the Holy Ark, a shofar, and a lulav, as well as coins from the times of the Great Revolt (66-73 C.E.) and the Bar Kokhba Revolt (132–136 C.E.) The artifacts are dated from the Second Temple-era (516 B.C.E.–70 C.E.) until Talmudic times (40–500 C.E.)

A Ben Gurion University scientist is a step closer to his research goal of developing a vaccine for Alzheimer’s disease. Alon Monsonego has demonstrated that it is possible to test and measure specific immune responses in mice carrying human genes and to anticipate the immune response in Alzheimer’s patients. Amyloid beta-peptide accumulates in the brain of Alzheimer’s disease patients where it appears to promote neuronal damage. Monsonego has determined that introducing A-beta into the brain triggers a natural immune response that can be detected in humans.

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Offbeat Israel: Homer Simpson in Jerusalem

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