Dear Little Bear

My name is Tiberius and I am a young Jewish boy. I am from Nazareth, a small town in Palestine. I would like to tell you all about my way of life including: the climate, common animals, common foods, typical homes, common occupations, social classes and religious practices.

Palestine stretches about 145 miles from North to South and 90 miles from East to West. It is a lot smaller than were you live in Canada. I live in Nazareth which is less than 10 miles away from the Sea of Galilee. I go there bright and early every morning to help my dad fish. Palestine experiences hot days and cold night. It almost never rains but when it does it usually comes in a very violent storm. Palestine has a lot of different areas like deserts, forests, lake shores and hillsides. I remember when I was younger I got lost walking over the the hillside while walking towards the Sea of Galilee with my father. I was really scared but my my dad found me and brought me home.

There is an abundance of wildlife in Palestine. Some of the wild animals include: boars, foxes, bears, lions, leopards and hyenas. Some of the domestic animals are sheep, oxen, donkeys and cows. Donkeys are a very useful animal because we use it to travel all around Palestine. My father and I ride a donkey every day to and fr4om the Sea of Galilee. What kind of animals live in Canada?

Being Jewish, there are many traditions that we follow during meals. For example sharing a meal is sacred to us and we can only eat meat on special occasions or during celebrations. The most common meal we eat consists of bread and fish. We always have a lot of fish, being fisherman so we usually have dinner with a couple of neighbours who are less fortunate. One of the more common drinks is wine, we keep it in large jars and drink it at most meals. Do you have any special traditions in your native tribe?

The average Jewish home in Palestine is a one-room hut, although there are some bigger huts for the wealthier families. The huts are made out of clay and the roof is made out of reeds and grass. Our family uses the roof to store extra fishing equipment that doesn't fit inside the hut. Most homes have one door and are divided into two with animals on one side and the family on the other. There isn't much furniture except small chests, small lamps and a bushel basket. We sleep on mats and use stone or wood as our pillows. Individual homes don't have their own ovens so the village oven gets pretty crowded during meals, but I think it brings our community closer together.

Like I said earlier me dad and I are fisherman. It is a very common and respected job. Some other common jobs are farmers and shepherds. There are also a number of trades like tent making and carpentry. Only men do these kinds of jobs while the women stay home and take care of the house and do all the cooking. Women also marry very young around 12 or 13. My sister actually got married about a month ago to a shepherd named Jericho and she was only 12.

As in every community there are different kinds of social classes. In Palestine there is an upper class, lower class and social outcasts. Most people are a part of of the lower class like my family but there are a few people who are part of the upper class. The social outcasts are lepers. The sick, the extremely poor and woman. Just yesterday I was approached by a leper who wanted money, but my dad always told me to be careful of them so I just ignored him. Are there different kinds of classes in your native tribe Little Bear?

Since am Jewish we are expected to live a life of prayer which is why I recite The Shema every morning and night. We also celebrate the Sabbath which is a day of rest and prayer. We celebrate this every Friday evening through the daylight hours of Saturday. We don't do any work on the Sabbath, not even cooking. We also celebrate Pentecost which is a celebration of Moses receiving the law form God on Mount Sinai. Our most important and celebrated feast is the Passover, it celebrates the liberation of the Israelites from Egypt.

So that's pretty much my life, I told you about our animals, foods, climate, houses, occupation, social classes and our religious practices. I look forward to hearing a response from you and i am very interested in your life and how you live.

Look forward to hearing from you soon,

Tiberius

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