The National Bird Of Israel Featured On New Gold And Silver

UnCategorized Hoopla over the Hoopoe When America chose its national bird, Benjamin Franklin promoted the turkey, saying: The turkey is a bird of courage and would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British guards who would presume to invade his farmland with a red coat on. But he lost, and the bald eagle was chosen. While the United States chose its national bird in the early days after independence, Israel waited until its 60th anniversary. Because Israel is situated at an intercontinental junction on the migration route from Europe and Western Asia to Africa, an estimated 500 million birds pass through every spring and autumn, with an amazing 530 species on record. Migration routes are carefully monitored, and aircraft are forbidden to fly in these paths. In a nationwide vote last year, coordinated by the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, more than 150,000 Israelis cast ballots to choose one of its native birds as the ornithological symbol of the country. The public’s vote counted for 75 percent of the decision, while a panel of Israeli poets, politicians and academics got 25 percent of the vote. The winner was the hoopoe (duchifatt in Hebrew), which is also the national bird of Italy. It received 35 percent of the popular vote, while the warbler (pashosh) came second with 10.3%, and the goldfinch (chochit) took third place with 9.8%. They hoopoe is distinguished by its colorful complexion, its long, swooping beak and slicked back tuft of hair; it is monogamous and takes good care of its young. While the American bald eagle has been featured on many U.S. coins, the Israeli hoopoe will probably have to be satisfied with its starring role on the silver and gold coins commemorating the 61st anniversary of the State of Israel. Birds are no strangers to the coins of the Holy Land. In fact one of the very first coins issued by ancient Judaea, sometime before 333 B.C.E., featured a falcon. The Israel legal tender coins were designed by Igal Gabay, and sculpted by Tidhar Dagan. The obverse of each features a large hoopoe on the left, and the two runner-ups on the right the warbler and the finch. The reverses feature the denomination and one of the species the goldfinch on the 1 New Sheqel, the hoopoe on the 2 New Sheqalim, and the warbler on the 10 New Sheqalim. Specifications are: 1 New Sheqel (Prooflike, 30mm., 14.4 gm., .925 fine silver, maximum mintage 1,800), 2 New Sheqalim (Proof, 38.7mm., 28.8 gm., .925 fine silver, maximum mintage 2,800), and 10 New Sheqalim (Proof, 30mm., 16.96 gm., .917 fine gold, maximum mintage 650). Further information can be obtained from the Israel Coins & Medals Corp., PO Box 98853, Nesher 20300, Israel or on their web site. The Hoopoe in Folklore According to Jewish folklore, once a month Solomon rode upon a white eagle to the secret pleasure palace he had built for himself in the wilderness of Palmyra. One day as he rode upon the wings of the giant bird, the sun beat down upon him so intensely that he thought he would die. Suddenly a flock of hoopoes flew by, and seeing the kings distress, they gathered themselves together, wingtip to wingtip, so that they formed a sheltering canopy over the king. In gratitude for their kindness, Solomon summoned the King of the Hoopoes and said to him, "Ask me whatever you wish and I shall grant it to you." He requested golden crowns to wear upon our heads." Soon all of the hoopoes sported golden crowns. Then one day a hunter saw a hoopoe with its golden crown. He killed it and sold the golden crown. When word of this began to spread, people abandoned their shops and fields and began hunting hoopoes for the golden crowns. The hoopoes became fewer and fewer in number until only a handful remained. Then the King of the Hoopoes came to King Solomon pleading Please help us before we are all dead!" Solomon replied, "No longer shall gold crowns adorn your heads, but instead you shall wear a simple crest of feathers." From then on hunters no longer pursued the hoopoes, and they increased in number. Even the Quran tells how The hoopoe said (to King Solomon): I have just learned things that are unknown to you, and I come to you from Sheba with accurate information. I found there a woman (the Queen of Sheba) ruling over them; and she has been given of all good things, and hers is a magnificent throne. There are many tales and superstitions associated with the hoopoe; which are enumerated in The Hoopoe, A Study in European Folklore, a dissertation submitted by John Gotthold Kunstmann in 1938 to the University of Chicagos Faculty of the Division of the Humanities in Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures. This is available on the Internet. About the Author: 相关的主题文章: