Sunday, July 31, 2005

2 more days

just 2 more days, and I'm on my way
on wings of eagles
hitching a ride
with olim chadashim
as the holy shechina
gathers us all
in a warm embrace
in our one and only
Holy Land

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Shabbat Shalom

another shabbat
in chul
away from home

far away

G-d willing
this week
to return

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

one more week

One more week here.

I feel so removed from home. There's nothing on the news. No tension that Israel's endangered. I've been arguing with people I'd rather not have bad impressions of. People just have no idea, no idea at all. It's very unpleasant.

Last night we watched the tape of my interview on TV. The show that Helen Freedman and Charlie B.? do on public tv. They are from AFSI, Americans for a Safe Israel. My mother, sister and her kids watched it with me. They were in shock that kids the age of her son are jailed. He seems so much younger than the kids in Shiloh who are fighting for the future of our country.

Two minutes left on the timer, must save this.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Disengaged

Honestly, I feel a bissel disengaged. I'm presently blogging in Westchester and spent Shabbat here. My sister-in-law and her family and the neighbors I met are all committed jews, strongly tied to Israel, but... I was at their local shul on Shabbat, and even though the Parsha, Torah Portion of the Week was Pinchas, I felt that we were far, too far, from the realitiy of what's going on in Israel.

If you'll excuse the expression. That whole big suburban shul experience was disengaged from the dangers Israel, the Jewish People and the free world are facing today. It's very much like the parsha, what must have been going on in the wilderness, when Moshe was herding the Jewish People the Bnai Yisrael from Egypt to the Promised Land. In the midst of it all, there was major obsenisty with Midian women, thousands (24,000 Jews) were dying from a plague, and until Pinchas did what he did...

Most of the Jews were disengaged from reality.

This is not a call for murder. This is a wake up call! Come on, open your eyes, do something, change the world.

Engage!

There's lots that all of us can do, so please do it. Don't give up.

It's the 17th of Tammuz! Let's make this coming 9th of Av be a celebration, geula shleimah, the full Redemption!!

Saturday Night

To Stuff or Not to Stuff?

Yes,that' the question. Tomorrow, at dawn, 4:30am NY time, starts the fast of the 17th of Tammuz. It's the main opening of the three week mourning period, and it's a fast day, not one when you do things quickly. It's a fast day, like you don't eat and you don't drink. All Jews over the age of accepting mitzvot; that means 13 for a boy and 12 for a girl. We're not to eat until it's dark. This year that's after 9pm in New York. The reason is that the Holy temples were destroyed during the three week period of time that ends with the 9th of Av, three weeks later. Yes, it's really much more complex. But this year there's an added element. The government is planning on bannishing Jews from their homes, destroy synagogues, dig dead Jews from their graves, during this same season of destruction. G-d forbid it should really happen. Our fasting has to take all the present problems into account. We need G-d to save us, but the truth is, that it's really up to us.

Friday, July 22, 2005

checking in

Thirteen minutes left
That's what it's like to work on the library computer.
Work fast. Think manic.

My sister and I drove over while her kids were oversleeping as 10 and 14 year old do.

I moved to GN as a 13 year old and never knew the public libraries here. I don't remember even entering one. Now, it's my second visit, just to write.

The crocheted hat is making progress, great for the LIRR and other bored times.

Shabbat Shalom

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

no yahoo, yes yahoo, boo hoo

Please let people know that I'm not fully on line in touch, not because I don't want, it's just that each computher I touch has different problems.

Sort of crazy.

Yesterday I plugged in the imac, my friend lent me and it only gave me shilohmuse at aol dot com Don't try to click this it's a weirdo. No blog and no yahoo. Then this morning I got shilohmuse at yahoo dot com over 80 letters, but no blog and not enough time to answer all the letters. Now I'm in the library, and I have blog but no yahoo.

It's coo coo, like nuts, and I have a 60 minute timer, with 22 to go, and I can't check my mail, so please let people know that I'm not being anti social, just deprived and depraved. No surprise, for thiose who know me.

My friend took a bunch of pictures of me speaking at the rally on Broadway yesterday. I hope my husband puts them up someplace.

It's so strange writing with a timer. I prefere a cup of coffee. Sorry that I'm not doing spell check.

So love to all. Where should I go? I should be with the tens of thousands trying to get into Gush Katif.

Why hasn't the world woken to the tragedy, to the totalitarion dictatorship and gotten him banished?

Spiegelman

Myth debunked.

Aunt Boche just informed me, during Sunday visit, that we have always had the name Spiegelman. That means if looking for long-lost relatives, we can say:
Spiegelman from Poland and find relatives, well, sort of.

And what's a Spiegelman, characteristics, well,
first, Aunt Boche told me, that a few years ago, when Cousin Howard was working for Joanne Woodward, Aunt Boche passed real close to Paul Newman, took a good look and almost went into shock! He has Spiegelman-blue eyes, just the color her father had! And many of our Spiegelman relatives are into art, very talented, if I may say. Another Spiegelman characteristic is that we're not spectators, we're doers. Our men don't watch baseball, football or any other sports. We do or die, even the females. Unless our genes are defiled. And Aunt Ruda of another generation once told me that the family had businesses, even in Poland, poor Tevya we weren't.

So maybe we can find some more relatives.

musing from golus

Sunday, July 17, 2005

sorry

I'm sorry, but it's beyond my control. I see that this template, as much as I love it isn't very friendly, erh, visible, readable etc on mac's. Maybe when I return home, if I'm really bored and feeling like biting off more than I can chew and whatever cliches say it better, so maybe, bli neder, no promised, I'll look for another template.

Soggy NEW YORK

Yes, it's raining in New York. Summer rain that I'm not prepared for. Israeli summers are dry, yes very dry. This seems to be more like a tropical storm, since it's still hot from what my friends say. They're off to visit their son in camp. The rain is putting a damper on their enthusiasm for the long drive and the outdoor venue.

And they left me here with the eMac and stunning view of Manhattan. I'll make my way to a family visit a bit later. Due to jetlag I didn't sleep very late, only up since before 4am, and I went to bed after 1. My doze on the couch was more like a real nap, so I couldn't fall asleep after awaking. The apartment I stayed in has an even more spectacular view.

Manhattan will never seem the same...

strange

I'm now using my friend's emac, big computer, rather than their old lap top. Strange but I don't see all my usual graphics and html and stuff. I oly see the abc and picture ikons.

I wrote about Shabbat on musings.

I'm in Manhattan and have the most magnificent views here.

Stay in touch.

Friday, July 15, 2005

They still speak to me in Spanish

Doesn't look like any grahics here. I'm on a lt mac, my friend's iBook, and I'm learning my way around, so plese don't complain about spellilng, graphics etc.

I'm in that big foreign country, and I'm Rip Van Winkle.

I had to b uy my LIRR ticket from a machine. Luckily someone behind me was really new to it and in a rush, so we did it together with people helping. You'd think you wer ein ISrel, not GN. And then after I paid a $20 bill, out came a bunch of unrecognizable coins. Somebedy told me they were dollars, but they weren't the same, differnt colors.

The train was pretty much the same, just talked more, more announcemtns.

Penn station was different. I bought some stockings, why didn't I stock up in Israel? Then the clerk said something I didn't catch it. Then he told me that he had first used Spanish.

OK, so I still look Puerto Rican.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I'm off

going on a jet plane
G-d willing good visit
will post when possible
I'm praying for all

King David wrote that the evil one will be stabbed by his own sword...

travel prep

Last night, before going to sleep, I showed my husband how to use the washing machine. It's a real easy, simple, cheap one. I bought it when my youngest went into the army, and the most important thing I needed was the possibility of doing a cold water pre-wash, extra long cycle. I figured that with two boys in the army, I needed a machine that could handle those army uniforms, get out the mud and in the case of my little one, machine oil from those tanks. Their dirt was so different that I couldn't wash their uniforms together, or the muddy one would smell like machine oil, and and oily one would get mud.

My previous machine was bought around the time my youngest was born, and then I was looking for a machine tough enough to wash diapers for two. I didn't skimp and bought an expensive one that lasted a good, clean, 18 years.

Now they're both out and in the states. One is guarding a Jewish camp, and the other is getting to know Manhattan as he delivers travel documents.

I can't wait to see them.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

ETAI

Today I went to ETAI, the National convention of Israeli English Teachers, and I gave a session. Actually it was more brain storming. There's a new testing system, and it's confusing.

Great to see old friends.

It's like....

There really are skills that one never really loses. Some say riding a bicycle is one; though I've been terrified to try. Roller skating for sure is one.

And now, add to the list..... crocheting, ok, once I realized that navy blue is too dark for my eyes; I couldn't see where to stick the hook. But once I took out the rose colored yarn, wonderful.

After over twenty years without touching a crochet hook, I decided that I was tired of needlepoint, and there wasn't any room left on the walls. Then I still needed something to keep my hands busy with. A couple of friends had been suggesting that I crochet "hats," young ladies' hats, like large "kippot." It's a popular style here. My daughter wears them.

So I consulted with the lawyer, my daughter, to hear what she thinks. And I guess that she didn't want lots more needlepoints either. So she figured that I could crochet, and we can always find someone to wear the hats.

Well, I went shopping for yarn, a hook and professional advice. I bought the navy and rose and a hook in a store in Jerusalem. Then I saw that my local store had the yarn much cheaper so I bought more, lighter colors.

And....last night I began while watching "Homocide," after folding the laundry. Now I have something easy to carry for my trip.

I hope security doesn't confiscate the hook. The great thing about the crocheting, is that unlike the needlepoint, I don't need scissors all the time.

It's just over an inch in diameter. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Indescribable

My husband kept calling me away from the computer:
"You have to see this!"

He was right. The most peculiar kitchy and ironic production imaginable. It was the grand opening of the Maccabiya, Israeli sports extravaganza, otherwise known as the Jewish Olympics.

A little history, ancient history, the people who first "invented' the Olympics were the same who tried to destroy Judaism and the Jewish People. You know, the ones Judah the Macabee fought. Right the Chanukah story, the Holy Temple and the search for special olive oil. Familiar, right? Well, for the first bit of irony, and I'm far from the first to mention is the ironic name for sports here--Macabee, Macabiya. They're the ones who in ancient times hated everything Greek, and what's more Greek than sports?

Macabee Tel Aviv European Basketball champs and all that we're used to. But back to that Grand Opening Ceremony. What do you think? Guess, come on, don't be shy. Well, they decided that the Olympic Torch was the "Ner Tamid," the "Eternal Light" in the Holy Temple.

I kid you not. They had dancers/gymnasts dressed in "priestly garments" including one who was supposed to be a High Priest with all the tools like in the Bible, lighting it and they all danced around. I couldn't watch much.

And if that wasn't enough. I agree that it was more than enough, but not for our intrepid production planners. Next they had the dancers dressed in wedding clothes, like Chassidim, with hats and the whole business. They had chupot, wedding canapies, and the stadium was filled with the chassideshe nigunim.

A few seconds were enough for me.

faster, higher, stronger

kitsh like never seen before
RECORD-BREAKING

champions at something, at least

must pack

As regulars know, I'll be traveling. So I must pack of course. Last night I asked my husband to bring down the suitcase. He brought down an old one, because it has 4 wheels. It's old and heavy, filled with 30 plus year old toys. So I insisted that he bring down the "newer" one. But it only has 3 wheels, he insisted. I tried pushing the 4-wheeled one. Pushed, because there's no strap, and though it may have 4 wheels, they're petrified, like ancient, dead. The 3-wheeled one moves, but it's gigantic. So, maybe I should go to Jerusalem and buy a new one?

I'll pack my new orange wardrobe in my hand-luggage.

Things are getting annoyingly complicated.

Best of again...

Here's another great "blog magazine;" this time BOMS #85.

There's no need to spend money on paper magazines; these internet ones are so much better.

Take a gander.

Hevel Hevaliml #28

The one and only Soccer Dad treats us to an unbeatable Hevel Hevalim.

For those who've never read one, they are like magazines; the articles are blog posts.

Take a gander!

can't sleep

Yes, it's not my usual hour to be writing and it's not my usual hour to be up. I must have done too much today and can't unwind.

I was up early as usual to blog etc. Then I went to the pool. then to Jerusalem, errends, etc and lunch, because I needed to eat, then I met my "staffmates" for a guided hike in Jerusalem about the late Rabbi Arye Levin, then we all ate out together, fancy hotel dinner. Then I went back with neighbors, but their car was a couple of miles from the hotel.

Maybe I should try sleeping again. My legs are getting all bitten up.

Can't keep my eyes open.

Saturday, July 9, 2005

Carnival of the Recipes #47

Take a gander at all the recipes, including one of ours. I used the left-overs as a sauce when cooking turkey drumsticks.

Ratta tat tat a tat
yummy yum yum!

Friday, July 8, 2005

To shop or not to shop?

Since making aliyah to Israel 35 years ago, my trips back to the "old country," were spent shopping. Honestly, I must have spent more time in stores than seeing badly missed relatives. It didn't matter who was paying me or if the bill was considered a gift by generous loved ones. I shopped. And I shopped.

Olim, immigrants of my time knew that nothing could beat the old products and styles and quality. I don't know when, but at some point things began to change. Now my relatives come here to shop, whether it's for high style boutique clothes or underwear. We've found stores that are better than the American ones. And even if you can get thicker, softer towels for less money in the states, my closets are full; I don't need any more.

In the 1970's and possibly the '80's, too, olim brought so much stuff--to save money--that they had to spend a fortune in closets to store it all!

Even fifteen years ago, looking for a special outfit in a fancy New York dress shop to be a gift from family, I saw styles that looked just like my neighbors were wearing the previous winter.

During my last visit my mother and I did abridged shopping excursions, and after calculating prices of the few things that looked interesting, it became clear that my shopping days are over.

I hope that the new Nefesh B'Nefesh olim aren't bringing too many of the things that can be bought here.

PS That is except for one thing, I haven't found here... gloves for exercising in the water. If anyone knows where to get them, please let me know.

Thanks

Rosh Chodesh Tammuz

Tammuz has a double Rosh Chodesh, beginning of the Jewish (lunar) month. It's a sort of women's holiday. Yesterday, I just took it easy, lazy. Needed a rest. Late afternoon I wrote a musing that seems to be getting "good press."

I also played with "picture posting." Take a gander at the latest pictures.

Now to doven and go to the pool. Staying home is a great vacation.

Thursday, July 7, 2005

picture blog

I've been playing with pictures. Take a look.

Self-esteem

Modern child and educational psychology keeps stressing the importance of strengthening a child's self-esteem. Sometimes there are debates about what raises or lowers it.

One of those issues is hetero vs homogeneous classes.

There are those who say that putting the weaker students, whether MLD (mild learning disabled with normal/high IQ's) or those whose abilities are limited, in smaller classes geared to helping them will cause them to feel stigmatized.

I strongly disagree. There is nothing that lowers self-esteem like failure, and nothing that raises it like success.

For this reason, I feel that if a student is put in a framework in which he succeeds, he'll feel good about himself. Frequently it's the parent who feels stigmatized and wants his kid with the others, oblivious to his child's feelings of failure and worthlessness. It's so frustrating to see his classmates learning so effortlessly, and the teacher can't keep helping, and the other kids don't respect them. And how can one curriculum and one test accurately enrich and assess all sorts of kids?

I sent my own sons to a high school that specialized in teaching boys like them, with high and average IQ's but problems with reading, math and sitting. They did really well, as did their friends. It was much better than failing and being singled out. Also the school was geared to having them tested with accommodations.

Remember, not everyone can wear the same size and shape shoes. Schooling must also fit properly.

great little movie

This is a great little movie about Israel. Take a look and let her know what you think.

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

upscale shuk

Things are changing in Jerusalem. The once, rather "primitive," ok, quaint, open market, Machaneh Yehuda, is evolving.

Over the past few years the Jerusalem municipality has been putting a lot of money into it, with a new "roof," street drains, etc. The natural economic principles have also played a major role. When we first made aliyah 35 years ago, food was weighed in old scales with labeled weights (at best instead of stones, for which you had to trust the peddlers) and now you can only find the electric digital ones.

Years ago you put your produce into a tin tray, wide bowl, for weighing, and then it was dumped into your shopping bag. There were no plastic bags. I remember my husband complaining about it and being told that the plastic made the produce sweat and rot. Now even melons which really should never be packed in plastic are bagged unless the rare consumer refuses.

Disposable products in Israel didn't exist. No one would waste money on something that could be used only once. Now the shuk, itself, has stores specializing in such items.

But the biggest change is in the stores themselves, cleaner, fancier and just stores! There's a high quality coffee shop. Who would have imagined? And there are fantastic cheese stores selling gourmet cheeses. Of course pastry shops and the most exotic fruits and vegetables and kitchen supplies are plentiful.

Now, there's a gorgeous, high class boutique selling designer clothes, right in the middle of the shuk, on Rechov Egoz, Walnut Street. I bought myself a special jacket and then brought a visiting cousin from the states who got herself some really special outfits.

So, now you see that the shuk isn't only for carrots and apples and onions.

Tuesday, July 5, 2005

another super-simple recipe

Last Friday I was wracking my brains to think of something to bring to my daughter's for Shabbat. For whatever reason I kept thinking of carrots, maybe a carrot cake, but none of us needed the extra calories. Also, a can of pineapple chunks was "burning a hole" in the closet.

Then, I got my inspiration!!!

A carrot salad. I had never made one before and was still traumatized by the spoiled tasting one served at the Chemdat evening at the Hyatt. I was hankering for a good one.

I checked a couple of cookbooks to make sure I wasn't crazy and then made my own version of the "easiest ever carrot salad."

I put a half a dozen medium carrots in the foodprocessor on shred. It filled my small foodprocessor, so if you live in large carrot country, 3 or four will suffice. Then I poured, pushed, prodded the strings into a mixing bowl and added a can of light syrup pineapple chunks and mixed. Then I packed it all into jars to take to my daughter's.

It was a hit, tasted great with chicken, turkey, fish, everything we ate! You can make it a bit more interesting with raisins and maybe chopped nuts and other dried fruit.

Let me know how it comes out.

Monday, July 4, 2005

A Yartzeit

Yartzeit is the Yiddish, also commonly used in Hebrew, English and most languages spoken by Jews, for the anniversary of a death.

So today was the fifth of my neighbor's mother. She invited the local women to hear a shiur, Torah class, given by another neighbor, a female. Yes, ladies can also give Torah classes. And afterwards we discussed the issue of women saying kaddish. Contrary to "popular knowledge," women can, that is are permitted according to Jewish Law, say kaddish, just like men.

One of the women there had said kaddish for a parent, and another looked into the issue for a dead child. The women are all very religious learned women. They are not feminists looking for ways that women can be more like men.

It's not easy for women to get to a minyan to say kaddish during the week, because a lot ot the daily minyanim are in places that don't have and Ezrat Nashim, women's section. For women to find a place to doven midday is very hard. I once went into a hat store near town to ask if I could doven there.

Not easy to be a Jew.

Best of #84

BOMS, as it's known, is ready for your reading pleasure. It provides a wide variety of articles and post of all types, including one of ours.

Take a gander...

busy, busy, busy

Yes, I'm busy, and I'm on vacation from teaching. How would I survive if I was working? I wouldn't.

Yesterday was my parents' last full day in Israel, before returning to the states. This morning they're taking a cab to the airport. Yesterday my mother finished packing except for what they needed for sleeping and traveling. Will I do as well at 80? Will I be alive at 80?

I left them with two of my daughters who treated me as an irresponsible teen for my transportation ways of "tremping" home. So, like a good girl, I called as soon as I got into my next door neighbor's car, so they shouldn't worry and shouldn't worry my parents unnecessarily. I'm a good girl.

Today I'm off to babysit for "future lawyer," the youngest little girl in the Hebrew University Law department as her mother interviews students for the special "clinic" program she runs in Israel Movement for Quality in Government. Whatever Porat ends up being, she has been charming all the staff smiling and chatting away in whatever language tiny infants of her age speak. Of course I'm bragging, what else are "bubbies" supposed to do?

After that we may see a visiting relative and then I'll rush back home for a memorial "shiur" (Torah lesson) my neighbor is having in memory of her mother.

This year I'll take a pass on the American Independence Consulate "event." Being the token YESHA guest doesn't do much for me.

I can't believe that I'll be going to the states in a week and a half. There's still a possibility of getting me to speak about what's going on here. I'll be in the NY/NJ area, unless transportation further afield is covered. Contact me at shilohmuse at yahoo dot com

Next week, before leaving, I'll be giving a session at the ETAI English Teachers convention.

Dishes are waiting my attention, or in other words, I had better wash the dishes and do lots of other things here in the house.

Lots to do before leaving to babysit at the university.

Hevel Hevalim #27

No doubt that the latest Hevel Hevalim is one of the all time bests. Wonderful reading.

Take a gander.

Sunday, July 3, 2005

It can happen to anyone

The actress, Brooke Shields, has been known for her beauty ever since she was a tiny child. Recently she has revealed something very different, her bout with post partum depression. It's a dangerous condition that sometimes causes death--suicide and murder.

adding a link

I'm adding the link about Avi Bieber, who refused to attack fellow Jews, and now he is jailed. Here's the link; it includes an email address to send Avi messages.

Saturday, July 2, 2005

lovely Shabbat

absolutely
lovely Shabbat
sandwiched between
elderly parents
and busy daughter
herself
sandwiched between
me and
her two little girls

watching the
interplay
between
first and fourth
generations

G-d willing
next year
again
then again
and again
more and more
and more and.....

Friday, July 1, 2005

going away

going away
for Shabbat
to be a sandwich

between
parents and
daughter and and granddaughters

can't complain
Baruch Hashem