Grapevine: Third-age art

Moovers and shakers in Israeli society.

Jerusalem Marathon runners run past the Jerusalem's Old City walls, March 15th, 2019 (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Jerusalem Marathon runners run past the Jerusalem's Old City walls, March 15th, 2019
 MOST OF us have hidden or abandoned talents which we have not yet discovered, or which remain unexplored and unexploited. Speak to people in retirement homes, where, simply for the sake of socializing, they began attending occupational therapy or art classes, and they will say that they discovered a natural aptitude for painting or sculpture or both. Of course, there are also artists of the third age who have been drawing, painting and sculpting all their lives. Judging by the number of announcements of art exhibitions, the number of older artists is growing, partially because there’s no retirement age for visual art, and partially because people take it up in a serious fashion when they have resigned from jobs which were once their careers.
The works of two senior artists, Riki Metz and Gladys Young, are currently on view at AACI in Talpiot, and will remain there till November 28. Under the title of “Botanical Beauty,” each of the artists focuses in her own way on how nature influences our lives. Metz has an enviable gift for flower photography, while Young concentrates on plant sculpture and, for instance, uses all the parts of a palm tree to create eye-catching whimsical images which allude to connections between nature and other life forms. Young, who is about to turn 89, has been invited to exhibit her works for one month at the Jerusalem Theater.
Also invited to exhibit at the Jerusalem Theater is well-known Jerusalem real estate agent Lily Lewitt, who for the past 30 years has been selling luxury apartments in Jerusalem. While always interested in art, Lewitt discovered her talents in that direction relatively recently, when painting with her grandchildren. As a result, both she and Young will be featured in the gallery section of the Jerusalem Theater from mid-January.
 BEST KNOWN in Israel as the Sausage King, former restaurateur Marcel Hess is also a veteran first responder to emergency calls on behalf of sick and injured people. He has been a first responder since the age of 18, firstly in his native Switzerland and later in Israel, where he is seldom seen without his Saint Bernard dog.
During a recent visit to Basel, Hess also acted as an emissary for United Hatzalah founder and president Eli Beer and the organization’s CEO, when he delivered a first responder’s kit for use in Switzerland. He presented the kit to Bruno Trost, chief commander of the first responders in the Canton of Basel. Before making aliyah more than 20 years ago, Hess was Basel’s chief home-front paramedic.
The presentation was made at the Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois, where Theodor Herzl stayed during meetings of the World Zionist Congress, and where he was famously photographed leaning over the balcony. There is a dispute as to whether the iconic photograph was taken in 1897, 1901, 1903 or 1904. The hotel, which dates back to 1681, has hosted numerous dignitaries.
In Tel Aviv this week, Swiss Ambassador Jean-Daniel Ruch celebrated 70 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and Switzerland with a Basel Night at the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center.
 THE ANCIENT Olympic Games were launched in 776 BCE, though there is evidence that suggests that the games may have initially taken place as much two or three centuries earlier. Be that as it may, events recorded in the Bible predate 776 BCE. As the Marathon Israel website notes, it says in I Samuel 4:12, “Then a man of Benjamin ran from the battle line the same day, and came to Shiloh with his clothes torn....” This is one of the earliest recorded runs in human history, and certainly predates the marathon in Greek mythology. At the conclusion of the war between the Israelites and the Philistines, the “man of Benjamin” runs from the battlefield at Eben Ezer [which today is called Rosh Ha’ayin] to Shiloh, the city of the Tabernacle.
Many centuries later, Marathon Israel continues, Yosef Yekutieli, who founded the modern Maccabiah Games, decided to measure the length of the course from Rosh Ha’ayin to Shiloh, in the Benjamin region. He was amazed to discover that the length of the biblical route was the same as that of the modern marathon – 42 kilometers.
The fifth Biblical Marathon will be held on October 18, during the intermediate days of Sukkot, along the biblical route. Binyamin Regional Council head Israel Ganz said that he is both proud and excited to have the race focus on his region.