Saturday, April 30, 2011

Yummy Late Lunch at HaGov!

On Wednesday, after studying in Matan, I met a friend for lunch.  We wanted to eat at HaGov, the kosher sports bar & grill, since it's now open for the lunch crowd from 2pm every day, Sunday-Thursday.  Since we had time before its opening, we went to the "Designer Outlet" in Talpiyot first.  I got some great bargains there.  I'm glad that I'm now a size that makes it possible to easily find clothes that fit.

Then we drove downtown to HaGov.  We took a table overlooking Yoel Solomon Street and ordered.  I had the Chicken Salad.  They gave it to me, according to my request, just with salad and not with the chips and fried onions.  I make that sort of request in all sorts of restaurants in Israel and abroad.  I don't eat the carbohydrates, and I do like a lot of salad.  It came with slices of toast and a few spreads, as you can see.  I didn't touch the toast, but I added the spreads to my salad.  I also had my first chametz after Passover, beer.  Everything was delicious!


My friend had vegetable soup and edamame, green soy beans.  She also enjoyed her meal.





It's a good thing that HaGov has expanded its hours.  Many people I know had wanted to eat there but don't usually go out at night.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Wedding Pictures, From London to Shiloh

As I cooked for Shabbat, I was entertained by the grand pagent of Prince William and commoner Kate Middleton's wedding.  It sure was more comfortable than those people who had camped out for days.  And I even took pictures:





Shabbat Shalom

Real "Reality TV," or Lillie Langtry's Revenge


No, I wasn't invited either.  As I understand, that puts me in good company.

Prince William is  luckier than his royal predecessors.  He has been allowed to marry a commoner, Catherine Kate Middleton.  If that had been the case for close to the throne royals over a hundred years ago, maybe Lillie Langtry would have had a chance to be queen.

I'm no expert in royal history, nor will I be glued to the TV screen during their wedding.  I'll probably see the highlights online after Shabbat aka Saturday night.  My knowledge of Lillie Langtry is from the fantastic TV series I saw decades ago.

For me this is just another Friday to cook and clean and so some laundry.

I hope the young couple, Will and Kate get that "happily ever after" that his parents missed.  The media and royal reality TV fans may even find it boring....

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Am I Wasting Water?

Almost half a year ago, I started a "campaign" to save a sickly, barren apple tree in my "garden."  Since then, besides the rain, G-d provides, I give it the waiting for hot water otherwise wasted when I shower.  Yes, I shower with a bucket to catch water.  This is how the tree looked about four plus months ago.  Actually as winter progressed it looked even worse.  The few leaves you'll see here fell off.


I keep checking up on it, besides the watering.  Here we are in late Nissan, spring in Israel, after quite a bit of late winter rains.  There are now new leaves.  I wonder if I'll get any fruit. 



Do you think feeding it coffee grinds (with a drop of sugar) will help?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Coffee Lovers, Here We Go Again

Anyone who's a friend of mine on facebook knows what coffee I've be drinking...

I haven't been adding too many fb friends recently, so unless you tell me exactly who you are and why you want to be my friend, I'll probably ignore the request.  Sorry

Well, back to the topic, coffee.  I love coffee.  I do, really.  And I know that most things, including coffee, are fine in moderation, so I rarely have coffee after my morning cup cups, two very, very large mugs.

I've been on a quest of sorts to get the perfect coffeemaker, and I think that I'm going back to the old-fashioned kind.  Not as old-fashioned as I've been brewing of late.  I've been boiling my coffee with some sugar in a pot.  Then it sits a few minutes before I pour it into the mug and add water.  I'd like something a bit more advanced, a nice stainless steel percolator.  Now I'll just have to find one on my upcoming (I don't even have tickets yet) trip to the states.

The Great Debate! People Do Argue in Sha'ar Binyamin

No, not politics.  If you don't know Hebrew you won't get this.


And the people pictured are just there for illustrative purposes.  They weren't arguing.

Yesterday at work, one of the Rami Levi people who was taking her break by this display of children's shorts on sale said:
"Your sign is wrong.  It's written:
מכנסיים קצרות michnesaiyim kitzarot short (feminine plural adjective) pants
It should say:
מכנסיים קצרים michnesaiyim kitzarrim short (masculine plural adjective) pants"
Well, you'd think with my awful sounding Hebrew I'd immediately concede that she must be right, but one thing I've learned over the years is that we who've had to learn Hebrew quite often are far superior in grammar.  The level of spoken and written Hebrew has really deteriorated in the forty-plus years I've had to function in the language.

I had no idea who had written the sign, but memories of a relevant lesson still remained rather accessible in my mind.  One of the reasons many of us anglos take so long to feel fluent in Hebrew is that we're perfectionists in our grammar and terrified of making stupid mistakes.  Unlike English, Hebrew adjectives (and verbs) are supposed to match the gender of the nouns they modify/describe/activate.  Frequently my speech slows down while I mentally review all the relevant grammar lessons before finishing a sentence.  Native Hebrew speakers take that as a lack of knowledge, sometimes insulting me by using totally awful English in the mistaken belief that my Hebrew is too weak to converse in.  The truth is that in some ways my Hebrew is better than theirs.

I defended the grammar in the sign by repeating a lesson I vaguely remembered that all the special "two" endings, -ים -ai'yim like shnayayim 2 years, שנתיים na'alayim, shoes נעליים are feminine.  The woman gave me a strange look, as if a "monkey" had given a university lecture.

So, nu, any experts out there?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Who's Rich? The One Satisfied With What He Has

It's very easy to complain, see the bad side of things.  The shiur, lesson/class my friend Chaya gave yesterday, the last day of Passover, was on that theme.  We read the Baal Shem Tov story about the poor couple who could taste soup and fish in their plain beans, as if it was the Biblical Mahn that the Jewish People ate when wandering in the desert for forty years.

THE HOLY SABBATH BEANS

And then there was the time that the Baal Shem Tov called his closest disciples, "Friends, I'm going to show you something that you've never seen before. Just be sure to stay close to me next Sabbath."

The disciples were so excited that they could hardly wait for the next Sabbath to arrive.

Shabbos finally came and they stayed close to the Baal Shem Tov during the prayers, as instructed. When the prayers were coming to a close, they noticed that the Baal Shem Tov was staring at the furthermost corner of the Synagogue. Intrigued, they looked over, but didn't see anything unusual. Just a very poor, simple looking Jewish man praying. But, upon closer inspection, they realized he was praying with great intensity and joy.

The prayers ended and the Baal Shem Tov motioned his disciples to follow him as he left the synagogue. They went outside into the cool night air and began walking down a nondescript dirt road, their path illuminated by the moonlight. After a few minutes they stopped at a house. It was not so much a house as it was a hovel. They realized that this must be the home of the poor Jew they had seen at the Synagogue.

The Baal Shem Tov motioned his disciples to come closer. They stood in silence at the front door, and heard the following conversation that took place between the poor Jew and his wife.

"Good Shabbos, my dear wife," he greeted her joyfully, his face breaking into a wide smile.

"And a good Shabbos to you, my scholarly husband," she replied with a soft laugh.

Soon they could hear the husband singing Shalom Aleichem (Peace to you), and Ashet Chayil to his wife. When he was finished singing, he turned to his wife and asked her to bring in wine for Kiddush. But the couple was so poor that there was no money for wine. So instead, she placed two small Challos on the Sabbath table and said, "My dear, we don't have wine so please make Kiddush over the Challah."

"Okay then, we'll make Kiddush over the Challah. I'm sure it will taste as delicious as the most special, fragrant wine.

After Kiddush in Jewish households on Friday night, it is customary for there to be four courses served. So the husband proceeded to ask his wife to begin the meal. "My dear, please serve the fish course."

His wife stood up and crossed to the other side of their one room house, and returned bearing a platter of cooked beans. She placed a spoonful of beans on each of their plates and said, "May it be G-d's Will that these beans taste like a delicious fish."

As they ate the beans, their faces shone with delight.

After singing a few Shabbos melodies, the husband said, "Thank G-d we have everything we need to celebrate the holy Sabbath. So let's have the soup course."

They both took another spoonful of beans. "Umm, what a wonderful Sabbath soup," they remarked to each other.

Then they had a third spoonful of beans for the meat dish and a fourth spoonful as dessert.

"Come, sweet wife, let us dance to celebrate the Holy Shabbos." So they got up, danced around their Shabbos table and laughed and laughed."

"Now, it is quite obvious that the fish wasn't fish. And the meat wasn't meat. They were eating beans. Were these people crazy, deluded? Had lack of food driven away their common sense?

It would have been easy to doubt what happened if you hadn't witnessed the aforementioned scene. But the disciples of the Baal Shem Tov were there. And, as they stood outside the little house that was illuminated with Shabbos candlelight, they began to feel a warm glow well up within themselves. An inescapable joy that made them want to sing and dance, and praise G-d.

The Baal Shem Tov whispered, "You are each experiencing Shabbos joy like the joy this holy couple have been feeling. You should know that it is not the simple food that they tasted, but the Shabbos itself."

And so it was.

Freely adapted by Tzvi Meir Cohn (Howard M. Cohn, Patent Attrorney) from a Story translated in STORIES OF THE BAAL SHEM TOV by Y.Y. Klapholtz.
as posted on shabbosmeal.blogspot.com
It's too easy to complain about all we have to do, but thank G-d we have so many riches.  Here's a poem, a f2f/fb friend linked to on my page:

Thank God For Dirty Dishes
Author Unknown

Thank God for dirty dishes;
They have a tale to tell.
While others may go hungry,
We're eating very well
With home, health, and happiness,
I shouldn't want to fuss;
By the stack of evidence,
God's been very good to us.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Lots Of Guests, But Not For A Meal

Our diningroom table was full today (last day of Passover,) and I had to keep adding chairs.   All I served were cut fruit and nuts, water, too. 

An unexpectedly large turnout for a rather impromptu shiur, Torah Class.

On Shabbat I had hosted our weekly class.  It was given by a guest, Rabbi Reuven Grodner, who along with his wife were davka staying with neighbors.  For the past few years he gives the class Shabbat Chol HaMoed Pesach at my house.  When it was over, his wife Chaya offered to give a shiur on the last day of the holiday.  My friends and I loved the idea.  I publicized it on our community email list and asked our shul to announce it. 

I was very nervous that nobody would show up.  Well, I didn't need to worry.  We had three times as many women as on Shabbat, and some even came from another neighborhood.  I guess lots of women felt the need to do more than cook and eat.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Chronic Sleep Deprivation, I'm Guilty, Too

Years ago, when I was doing my teachers license in David Yellin Teachers College, Jerusalem, I made a presentation to the class about the high percentage of kids suffering ADD/HD, all sorts of attention/concentration difficulties.  As a primary, born-with, biological, neurological problem, according to the experts it's only 3-5%, but as all of us in my course filled with working teachers missing a license knew, the proportion of kids in our classrooms was more like one to two thirds, 33-66%.  So, there had to be other reasons besides what G-d gave the kids.

By chance I found an article that described the ramifications of insufficient sleep, and they were identical to those of ADD/HD in terms of attention, memory, impulsivity, logic etc problems.  When I was a kid, there was nothing to do late at night.  Stores were closed, TV was off and there weren't DVD's nor VCR's in existence.  So we all, including adults, got to bed much earlier.

Nowadays, actually the past few dozen years (or decades,) you'll see parents schlepping their kids to the supermarket or mall 10pm or later.  TV shows are broadcast round the clock, and you can choose whatever, whenever you want to watch on the small screen or the computer.

The whole world, children and adults, are sleep deprived!

I found an article in the International Herald Tribune that told me that my six hours of sleep (on a good night) aren't enough.
Not surprisingly, those who had eight hours of sleep hardly had any attention lapses and no cognitive declines over the 14 days of the study. What was interesting was that those in the four- and six-hour groups had P.V.T. results that declined steadily with almost each passing day. Though the four-hour subjects performed far worse, the six-hour group also consistently fell off-task. By the sixth day, 25 percent of the six-hour group was falling asleep at the computer. And at the end of the study, they were lapsing fives times as much as they did the first day.

The six-hour subjects fared no better — steadily declining over the two weeks — on a test of working memory in which they had to remember numbers and symbols and substitute one for the other. The same was true for an addition-subtraction task that measures speed and accuracy. All told, by the end of two weeks, the six-hour sleepers were as impaired as those who, in another Dinges study, had been sleep-deprived for 24 hours straight — the cognitive equivalent of being legally drunk.
Now, how am I going to add two more hours of sleep to my day?  My husband does it with napping, but I'm not a napper.  It's very rare for me to sleep during the day.  I guess that I'll just have to force myself to go to bed earlier whenever possible and get up later, like today, when I really don't need that extra morning time awake.

And if you've been told that your kids are in need of medication for attention/concentration disabililities, try two hours more of sleep first.  You may have to work with your entire community to make sure they're not missing out on activities, but it's worth it!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Even Simple Cell Phones Can Be Too Smart For Their Own or Owner's Good

As I type this, I keep glancing at my cell phone.  Shouldn't or should I..?  "What's the dilemma?" you may be asking yourself.

The problem is that my phone is "too smart."  It's on when it's off.  Duhh?  The alarm rings alarmingly, the way I like it on a weekday, even when I've turned it off and the screen is blank.  Not only is it real spooky, but it disturbed my sleep in the too early morning after the Passover Seder. 

I like getting up at 5am on a week day.  I turn off the alarm and get myself decent enough to spend some "quality time" on the computer, drink lots of water and very yummy coffee.  After a while, I then shower, get dressed, pray and then eat breakfast.

On Shabbat I don't have that routine (and it's forbidden not only to be on the computer but to turn off the phone alarm's loud noise,) so I set up my phone alarm to ring six mornings a week.  Now I have a very risky decision to make.  Do I cancel Monday's alarm or not?  Now, if I do, and I probably will, I'll need reminders to turn it back on.  OK, do you get the hint? Please comment here or email me after Passover to remind me to reset the alarm to go off on Monday's too.  Thanks!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Cooking in Another's Kitchen

There are people who can just enter another person's kitchen and get to work, feel, or at least give the impression of being perfectly comfortable.  I'm not one of them.  I'm very kinesthetic by nature and can be easily disoriented when not by my own set-up and possessions.  I also feel uncomfortable using someone else's equipment.

A few years ago I managed to overcome it when we made the Passover seder at our son's apartment in Jerusalem.  I had cooked almost everything at home.  He added a couple of things and I had to finish off the soup there.  I had made the soup stock, chicken, at home and froze it for easy transporting.  Because of his job at the time, he could only be with us if we came to him.

This year we spent the seder at our married daughter's (the cooked food I brought was ready to heat and serve) and then we returned on Wednesday, the first day of Chol HaMoed for our traditional Passover Savat Brei, the unique version of Matzah Brei my mother-in-law used to make.


Now, I'm the savta (granny, bubbie) and I actually did the cooking in my daughter's gorgeous, large, easy to work in kitchen!  I felt very much at home there.  But I must get her a better spatula.  Hers is for teflon pans, not suitable for the frying in a good stainless steel one needs for Savta Brei.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Passing The Job To The Next Generation

I guess it wasn't all that sudden.  A half a year ago, when my married daughter and family were with us, and her husband was describing how large and wonderful their new kitchen/diningroom/livingroom/family room was to be, he offered to host us and whomever of our single kids wanted to come for the Passover Seder.  As Torah Observant Jews, we don't travel on the Holy Days, so hosting is more than just one meal, it's a twenty-five hour plus event.

Immediately, I agreed, adding that I'd do the cooking.  And that's what we did for the first day (in Israel, there's just one seder) of Passover. 

There were plans for Chol Hamoed (interim semi-holiday) Savta Brei at my house for them and my cousin, her husband and a close mutual friend.  Then my daughter called and asked if I would mind if that, too could be in her house.  I agreed, as did my cousin, so I prepared the batter at home, rinsed vegetables for salad, made the easiest applesauce imaginable and assembled the meal in my daughter's gorgeous kitchen.  The only downside was that instead of taking pictures I was busy in the kitchen.

I have a very strong feeling that we've turned a corner in our family tradition.  For forty years (almost 41) we have been "the family hosts" for many events and Jewish Holidays.  I did this when I was even younger than my youngest child.  There were no alternative family homes to go to for most Chaggim, Holidays.  We do go to my cousin's for Yom Ha'Atzma'ut, Israeli Independence Day, and for a few years we went there for Pesach Chol HaMoed.

No doubt, with time, we'll be sharing more and more of the food preparation.  The Holiday meal the day after the seder was cooked by my son and eldest daughter.

I have no "emotional need" to be the hostess.  I just want to be with family, and it's nice to see that the next generation is willing and able to take on more responsibilities.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Not The Purim Megillah

It's the Passover edition of the Gantseh Megillah; check it out.  There's wide variety of articles.  I represent the "extreme" of one end.  I'm sure you'll find something worthwhile in it.

I appreciate that they include me.

Chag Kasher v'Sameach

Favorite Passover Food?

What's your favorite Passover food, Kosher for Pesach specialty? 

It could be something you only eat on Passover, special ritual food, or something that you can eat any time of the year, but since it can be made according to the special kosher for Passover halachot, Jewish Law, you love eating it on Passover.

My favorite Passover food is Charoset.  Not just any charoset, it must be our traditional recipe.  My daughter is married to a Tunisian Jew, and they serve a very different charoset made with dates.  In Israel it's easy to buy a block of "de-pitted" dates, ready to be rolled or combined with whatever you wish.   You may also put some in a bowl, add boiling water and mix to make it the consistency of a great healthy DATE SPREAD.  Use it instead of jam in sandwiches, on crackers or matzah, or even to ice a cake.

Vegans and fruitarians (or if you're entertaining some and looking for suitable menu ideas) can (and probably do) eat some version of Charoset all year long.  Maybe they leave out the strong, sweet red wine.

My family loves Savta Brei, the very unique Matza Brei my mother-in-law and now for the past forty years I make.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Post-Seder, Catching Up on Sleep

With all the pre-Passover cleaning, cooking and working in Yafiz, I entered Pesach in the red, sleep-wise.

We had a very child-oriented seder at  my daughter's house.  The eldest grandchild took turns with some of the adults reading from the Hagaddah.  I had done most of the cooking, and there was too much food.  Some of it my daughter kept and even froze.  The rest I took home.  Son #1 did a barbeque for the lunch meal.  Of course I ate too much.

Later in the afternoon we ate geffilte fish, my recipe.  And we ate lots of vegetables.

I drank only one type of wine at the seder.  Nobody else wanted any of it.  I finished the bottle and we have more.  It's a local wine, very local.  Last summer I had offered a neighbor my grapes, totally organic for wine making.  That's what I drank at the seder.

Now, my mind is able to shut down.  I need my sleep.  Good night!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Did I Tell You What I Cooked?

For our Passover Seder and first day Passover Holiday:

I never plan menus with themes.  (I generally write down the menu as I cook.)  The only theme I manage is using what I have.  Some people may call that rather boring or complain that my "food doesn't match."  My meals have protein, salads and lots of vegetables and yes, starch (carbohydrates) for those who eat it.  That's my theme of sorts.

So, I'm not one of those searching for just the right... whatever to suit the recipe.

Some of our tomatoes had waited too long to get into the fridge, so I made a rattatui of sorts with them and the eggplant, an onion and lots of squash.  I preboil the eggplant in another pot and put the cooked eggplant in the other vegetables after draining the water.  And we only use olive oil on Passover.  This year I didn't even buy the special no kitniyot (legumes) margarine.   I sautéed it all in a good covered pot, and added some granulated garlic.  I couldn't use the oregano in the store, because it said "for kitniyot eaters only."

I baked sticks of Israeli squash with some onion and olive oil.

I also split a couple of sweet potatoes and baked them, too.  And I wrapped white potatoes in foil, and baked them, also.

I cooked up some onions, carrots, zucchini and cauliflower, sautéed then covered and cooked (cauliflower added when the other ingredients were already cooking.  Since there was too much cauliflower for the pot, I baked the rest, just poured some egg, olive oil and paprika over them.  I could have eaten the entire tray myself and hope enough is left for the family.

I made simple potted meatballs with ground turkey meat in tomato sauce.  And I cooked up lots of chicken in a giant pot, flavoring it with onions, paprika, pepper and ?

There may be something else, but I can't remember.  Not enough sleep the last few nights.

My husband is doing the soup and the ritual stuff, charoset and chrain (horseradish.)

Nu, what have you been cooking?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Logistitcs, logistics, Fitting it all in

I did a ton of cooking today for Passover, and I finished cleaning and..  and... yes, of course I'm tired. 

Luckily we have a custom here.  I don't know when it started.  My husband brings home felafel for the post-Bedikat Chametz, Searching/Checking for Chametz ceremony meal.  I hope I just made sense.   I'm tired, or did I say that already?  My hands are rough and cracked.  My shoulders hurt.  Boy, am I a kvetch!

Now I have to figure out how to put all the cooked food and not yet cooked food in the fridge.  I hope that everything has cooled sufficiently to do it.

Sorry for boring you.  If you have the time, visit To Kiss A Mezuzah.  Her father just passed away, but she still posted the latest Havel Havelim because it was ready, beforehand.

Now back to the kitchen...

Caption This X Two! Are You Clever? Prove it!

Picture #1


Picture #2


None of these were posed, just proof of how important it is to be well armed, with a camera, at all times.

Cleaning Interrupted by CSI

Our house is almost ready for Passover.  Cleaning isn't my cuppa tea.  That makes this season one which I dread.

According to Jewish Law we have to use different kitchen equipment, dishes etc for Passover, and we have to clean everything before the switch.  This has to be finished by Monday morning, but that wouldn't give me enough time to cook, so most was done before Shabbat, and most of the remaining work was done after Shabbat. 

I was just about to blog something here, when my husband called to say that CSI was on.  It was too late for me to start watching, so I told him I'd skip, as I've been recently. Then he said that this was the continuation of the CSI Las Vegas where the head guy was stabbed, so...  yes, you guessed, I left the computer and just wasted time watching.  It's a good episode, and of course left us in suspense again.

Dumb me, I should have stayed away.  I need my sleep.

So, Good Night!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Let's Make it a Great Shabbat, Shabbat HaGadol

If I was really wealthy, I'd go away for this Shabbat, Shabbat HaGadol, just before Passover, especially on a year like this one when the seder is on a Monday night.  OK, if I really had money, I'd have paid help, instead of working almost double my usual weekly hours at Yafiz, which pays me less than I'd get if I hired myself as cleaning help to someone else.  I'm not good at cleaning.  I'm not good at folding clothes.  Luckily at work I'm good great with the customers helping them choose what to buy.  I really enjoy that part of work.  That's what brings the money in, so they can forgive my sloppy folding.  It's one of the things I like about my job.  The store is large enough to need a number of staff at all times, and we can do what we do best.

Now, about Shabbat...
For years I've been saying that it's called the Great Shabbat, Shabbat HaGadol to remind us that Shabbat is more important, greater than housework, even pre-Pesach cleaning.  We mustn't lose perspective.  Too many of us do, including on occasion yours truly.

Yesterday morning, before going to work, I completed my Shabbat cooking.  Today, once I logout of all this internet stuff, and after I have my breakfast, it's time to finish cleaning the kitchen and then converting it into a Kosher for Passover haven.  I'll leave a shelf in the fridge for the chometzdik Shabbat food. And there will be plenty of disposable dishes, cups and utensils to use on Shabbat. And then after Shabbat we'll do the final sink kashering and covering up of basic surfaces.  Sunday will be seder and first day holiday cooking day, G-d willing.  Monday my husband will make the ritual foods, like charoset and grated horseradish.

Back to Shabbat, again, am I losing focus?

So, yes, with all the Pesach stuff/preparations on our minds, it is very easy to lose focus on Shabbat.  That's why this week's Shabbat is called Great Shabbat, Shabbat HaGadol.  We must make it great, even greater than most Shabbatot.  Isn't that why it's customary to listen to a special shiur, Torah lecture on Shabbat afternoon?

We must glorify this Shabbat, even if we're eating on disposable plates.  Serve something very tasty.  If you've bought more than one new outfit for the holiday, or more than one new item of clothing, then how about wearing it this Shabbat?

Shabbat is the holiest day of the week, and it's holier than most holidays. Yes, the laws of Shabbat override every Jewish Holiday except Yom Kippur.

Shabbat Shalom u'Mevorach
Have a Peaceful and very Pleasant and Blessed Shabbat!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

March in to Pesach Singing These Songs!

I had a very exhausting day, so I hope you don't mind this rousing song instead of my words.

Celebrating Passover at Tel Shiloh, Festival for the Entire Family

Just like in Biblical Times, thousands are visitors, pilgrims are expected in Shiloh during Passover.  There will be activities, workshops and tours for the entire family, all ages.  And yes, of course you can attend without children.  There's plenty to do and see.




Above are pictures from previous Tel Shiloh holiday festivals.

This year there will be two days to enjoy the Pesach Chol HaMoed activities, Wednesday and Thursday, April  20-21, 10am-6pm.  Cost NS25 for an adult and NS30 for a child.  For more information email telshilo@gmail.com or call 02-994-4019

Passover Video, Starring... NYC and Six13: P-A-S-S-O-V-E-R



Yes, here's Six13: P-A-S-S-O-V-E-R' new Passover song.

If I'm not mistaken, the music/tune has been heard on others. They're starting to get mixed up in my head. But it's short and pleasant to listen to, and the visuals aren't bad. Of course, I love the street scenes and leaping out of the fountain. Yes, that's worth watching.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Not All Charoset (That Fruit-Nut Concoction Served at the Passover Seder) Are Created Equal

When I was growing up, I knew of one recipe for charoset:
  • chopped nuts (almonds and walnuts)
  • chopped apples
  • sweet red wine
  • cinnamon
Among the basic kitchen tools I was sent off to Israel with were a large wooden bowl and a special rounded knife for chopping nuts and apples in the bowl.

I guess I was pretty lucky that my husband's family kept the same tradition.  We never imagined that there was any other recipe for charoset.

My husband is in charge of making the charoset, the nut cracking/shelling and chopping etc.  Then he puts in some cinnamon and pours in some wine and asks me to taste it.  I always pour more and more wine in until I decide there's enough.

When I was a vegetarian I considered charoset my meat/protein for the holiday.  Now I just eat it as an annual treat.  I love it.

Nu, how do you make yours?

They Must Have Had A Spy Taking Pictures in My House!

Sent by a friend who knows me very well...

I've seen messes like in this movie before, up close, yep...

This is a great one, perfect Passover cleaning video and song:

That Was Fast, Flour Gone

When I went through the freezer to get it ready for Passover, I discovered over a kilo of very expensive whole wheat flour.  It's the type that's frozen immediately after being ground and kept frozen when transported and then stored in the freezer section of our local supermarket.  This prevents any infestations of bugs, so it doesn't need sifting.  Sifting is a total and utter nightmare for those who like to bake with whole wheat flour.  The holes in the sifter are usually too small for the tiny pieces of wheat.  That causes a major "traffic jam" when sifting.  What's the purpose of buying whole wheat when you find yourself throwing out the healthy stuff?

I couldn't decide what to do with it.  I really don't bake any more, and there weren't any occasions to donate cakes.  When my neighbor called asking for something for Shabbat Mevorchim, the Sabbath before Rosh Chodesh, Kiddush, she specified that there were more than enough cakes being offered.  I guess my neighbors were emptying their freezers of flour and cake.

Last night, when I came home from work, I saw that someone had sent out an email to the community that she had white flour "first come, first serve" for anyone who wants.  That gave me the idea to post about my whole wheat flour.  About a half hour later I got a rushed call:
"Do you still have the flour?"
"Yes"
"Really? I always miss these things, calling too late."
"No, this time it's yours.  Nobody else has called."
She ran over to get it, and I gave her a bonus, some of those things you freeze for simple flavored ices.  Here in Israel we get them without food coloring.  She said that her kids would love them.  I'm glad to have gotten them out of my house.

Remember:
One person's junk is another person's treasure.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Passover Cooking, Do You Matzah Brei?

Since I've been living on a low carbohydrate diet for the past couple of years, about two and a half years already, I don't eat much matzah brei.  It's not the end of the world.  If I have to choose between matzah brei and weighing 15 kilo or 30 plus pounds more, there's no real choice.  I don't want that weight back.

My kids don't consider it Passover without my matzah brei, or more correctly, my version of their savta's matzah brei.  My late mother-in-law served a version of matzah brei which should be a great "snack" in a training camp for sumo wrestlers.

I posted the recipe and a description of how I make my own very traditional matzah brei a couple of years ago.  Here's the link.

And for those of you who hate "clicking links," I'm recopying the recipes and I'll be posting this on Real Food Holidays Blog Carnival – Passover 2011. Check it out!

Here are the recipes, slightly edited from the previous posting:
Standard matzah brei is like a "French Toast" using matzah.
  • You soak broken matzah in eggs with some milk. The milk is optional, so those lactose intolerant can eat it.
  • Then you fry the mush in a frying pan, using either Passover margarine or olive oil (or butter) until fully cooked,
  • then turn over to crisp the other side.
It comes out really thick when I make it, so I use a cover. Start on a high flame and quickly lower it. You'll see a "cooked dry texture" on top, then you'll know to turn it over. It is usually served with honey or jam, but you can use sour cream, nothing or whatever you want.

Savta Brei is different. You still need the big frying pan and oil. On Passover I use olive oil or special Passover margarine, but any margarine will do.
You have to grate (I use a blender) potatoes and onions, like for potato latkes, the fried potato pancakes served on Chanukah.
  • Use two potatoes per onion and an egg, can be doubled, tripled etc.
  • Either hand-grate, or shred in food processor or blend.
  • Add some salt, pepper and enough matzah meal, so it's not watery; it has to "stick."
The "mush" is used to "coat" the matzah before frying.

  • Heat the oil or margarine in the frying pan.
  • Break off a piece of the matzah and coat one side with the mush
  • put mush side down, and coat the other (not too thick)
  • when cooked side cooked, turn over to cook the other
  • have paper towels waiting on plate to absorb extra oil
  • when second side is cooked, place on towel
Serve with apple sauce or sour cream or plain yogurt.
Enjoy!

Help! Need Consumer Advice, Please

Someone is willing to pick up a recording listening device for me in the states.  One of those MP3's or ipods or whatevers.  I don't want the fanciest, just the simplest, best deal for recording and listening to shiurim (lectures) and music.  I'll probably need a more comfortable ear piece than comes with the device, so please give me your advice on what's the best deal.  I don't need fancy, nor a screen for viewing, since watching isn't my aim.

Please send all your advice on makes, models including earphones and NY/NJ stores via comments.

Thanks

ps Of course these should be easy to use with dials I can see without a "microscope."  My eyes aren't all that young.  I don't want the tiniest.  It would just get lost.

Sefira Memories... Free Email and/or Cellphone Sefira Reminders? Nu?

I didn't grow up as a Torah Jew.  I knew nothing of Sefirat HaOmer.  Even when I was becoming acquainted with the "period of s'fira" I don't remember ever hearing much about the counting of the 49 days from the beginning of Passover until Shavuot.  At some point I learned that you're not supposed to get a haircut or wear new clothes.  I also have some vague memory of my parents being told that we couldn't have my Bat Mitzvah on my birthday (late May,) but the reasons weren't clear at all.

And when did I find out, or realize that I'm supposed to count every night?  Good question.  So, obviously, I didn't raise my kids right in that sense.  One of my daughters once came back from babysitting all impressed, because the little kids knew to Count the Omer when they went to bed.

After a while, I did try to keep the mitzvah and count the Omer, but it took until the spring when my daughter was engaged for me to succeed for the very first time.  Our future son-in-law had us signed up on some free cellphone reminder service.  It was fantastic, except for Friday nights/Shabbat, when the phone was off, but somehow I did it!.  And since then I've gotten through to the end almost every year.

So, if you know how to sign up for email and free cell phone reminders, please let me know in the comments.

Thanks

Monday, April 11, 2011

"I Wish I Hadn't Been Right, and I'm Glad You Took My Advice."

That's what I said to a friend today.  Not long before, she had mentioned that something was bothering her.  I told her to get it checked by a doctor, though she thought that she should wait and see.  I told her that there was too much potential of something going wrong.

She had it checked out.  My diagnosis was incorrect, but she did need emergency care.  But my advice was 100% right.  I'm glad I had helped her out.

In previous years I'd blog about the progress I've made in my cleaning for Passover.  This year is harder.  G-d willing, in the end I'll be ready with all that's really necessary.

We don't eat in the bedrooms.  The spare rooms have all been cleaned.  My husband cleaned the laundry room today.  I'm going to concentrate on the kitchen stuff.  The other day I polished the silver.  And I've also washed down the outsides of the kitchen cabinets.  I cleaned the refrigerator, except the vegetable bin, and the freezer.

We'll do whatever we can and then we'll switch to Pesach dishes, G-d willing on Friday.  On Shabbat we'll eat chametz on disposables and then we'll be in Pesach gear, so I can cook on Sunday for the Seder.

Does anyone have some better ideas?

More Sightings! Jerusalem's Lightrail is Chugging Along

Some people are horrified that I seem excited by the lightrail.  The pragmatist in me tells me that I just have to deal with it, live with it, because we're going to have it for awhile.  A couple of weeks ago I met an elderly friend in Jerusalem.  Getting around the downtown area is very hard, because there is no bus service on the main street, Jaffa Road.  We're in the interim time, while it's closed for practice runs, but no passengers are allowed.  Those who can't walk more than a block or two have to avoid the entire area.

For me the route will be useful to go downtown or to Matan.  I'll be able to catch it either in Pisgat Ze'ev or French Hill.  It will take me to town or near Shaare Tzedek Hospital or Mount Herzl.  If I'm going to Matan, I'd get off at the Jerusalem Municipality and then walk to a bus.  I can't fight it, so it's not worth it.  May all those who got rich from graft be punished.

Here are some recent pictures I took, including the train on the bridge going to Pisgat Zeev.










Sunday, April 10, 2011

Super Simple, Extra Healthy, Bake and Serve Meatloaf


"What you see is what you get."

You can say that about my meatloaf.  The only thing you probably for sure can't see in the picture are the eggs I added so the mixture would mix more easily.  There's no flour, bread crumbs or matzah meal as a "binder."  As you can see I mixed the chopped "meat," in this case I used ground turkey, with:
  • onion,
  • eggs
  • tomato and
  • some dehydrated leaves, probably parsley. 
I may have sprinkled in some garlic, too.  There are no laws as to what you can add.  That's why I never give too many details in my recipes.  If I don't have tomato paste or don't want to open up a can, I just cut up a ripe tomato.  Once the meatloaf is cooked, you really can't tell the difference.  This fancy baking (bake & serve) pan is too large for the amount of meat I had, so I added some pieces of squash.  You can add any vegetable you wish, like onions and eggplant.

Enjoy and tell me about your experiments.

PS This is also 100% kosher for Passover.  The truth is that I eat Passover type food all year.  I don't eat grains, carbs, bread etc.

The IFL All-Star Game, Working Together

cross-posted on Shiloh Musings

As loyal, supportive parents of a top IFL Israel's Tackle Football League top player, we went trooping of to cheer him play at the  first-annual All-Star Game.  It was North versus South, (Jerusalem, Gush Etzion and Beersheva,) but the big question was whether opponents could "bury the hatchet" and play well together as a team.

For many players, the risks of being injured are "worth it" for the team during the regular season, but they have no loyalty to the mix of "enemies" that constitutes the "all-star team."  So the honor of being included could be a very heavy burden.



The players had to refocus, re-identify each other.  And don't forget that the players do this for fun; they don't get paid.  They all have full-time jobs, studies and more to keep them busy, so extra post-season practice isn't easy to schedule.



Everyone showed up, the players, referees and fans.


At first it was more a "defense" game, because the defense players are more in tune with their opposition, doing their best to grab the ball away, by way of tackling.  Except for dividing the field or opposing players, there's less cooperation.  It's not like the offensive players who must pass to teammates and really work very intuitively together.


Since the players' shirts were given out a short while before the game, we had trouble identifying many of the stars.  We learned the names and numbers of those mentioned as scorers and tacklers, but otherwise it was pretty-much a mystery.

That wasn't the only mystery.  Unlike a typical game in season, Itai Ashkenazi, the Jerusalem "Big Blue" Lions quarterback was constantly targeted and roughly knocked down by opposing players.  There was more dirt on his uniform as he limped off the field after this one game than all the others combined. Only afterwards did I recall that his former teammates, from the northern team he used to play for, were most probably out to get him for deserting them and joining the Lions.  To his credit, he stuck it out and took the "punishment."

And as the game went on, the players got into the rhythm of it and worked well together.  Sportsmanship was victorious.


The biggest problem for those of us up in the bleachers was that we couldn't figure out how to cheer for our teams.  It just didn't feel natural calling out "North" or "South."  Some people yelled the names of the actual player teams, but the teams weren't playing.  There were also generic calls of "offense" and "defense."  G-d willing, next year the IFL will find two sponsors to cover expenses, buy better quality shirts (one player lost his shirt as it was ripped open very early in the game) and then we'll gladly cheer the sponsor of our favorite all-star team.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

My Neighbors Actually Read This!

It has happened lots more than once when I'd start telling someone something, and they'd interrupt me saying:
"I read it on your blog."
Friday morning I got a call from a neighbor:
"I read on your blog that you're looking for a way to give clothes to a gmach*."
And this afternoon (Shabbat) when I was taking a walk in the neighborhood, another neighbor stopped me:
"I only discovered the paper recycling box when I saw the picture you posted."
They had both read the same post or picture; one as a blog and the other on facebook.  The statistics on this blog aren't that impressive number-wise, but the quality is great.  Also, I "share" the posts to facebook and there I don't know how many people see the posts.  In addition I use fb for my photos.

The neighbor who had called about the clothes took a bag full of stuff I pulled out of my closet.  G-d willing there will be people who will enjoy them.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Recycling In Shiloh, Up Another Notch


We've had these plastic "cages" for recycling plastic for quite a while in a couple of locations here in Shiloh.  This one is in my neighborhood, and it has been joined by a put your paper in bin.  So far my husband hasn't gotten in the habit of walking the extra few meters past the regular garbage "frog."  I take the plastic for recycling at least once a week.

I wish there were bins for clothes I need to get rid of...  It would make cleaning much easier.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What Makes Your Seder The Best?



We all have our tricks, traditions and customs. Some are better and some are worse. Have you changed or continued the ones you grew up with, if you grew up with them at all?

My family wasn't religious, but we did have a seder of sorts. We did it in English besides the few songs I had learned in Hebrew School which were from the pre-meal part of the evening. Once the food was served the Hagaddot disappeared, and I used to wonder why we learned those songs, since they weren't part of the seder. It wasn't until I had become religiously observant that I discovered that our family s'darrim had been abridged.

Our custom was to take turns reading the Hagaddah, yes, in English, of course. This was in New York. In recent years I've tried instituting that custom here in Israel. It prevents the droning of the Hagaddah my husband was raised with. His grandfather read droned it fluently every year. There was no discussion, just a break for the food. When everyone reads the Hagaddah in the language they understand, there's more of a chance that people will think about what is written.

When our kids were little, they were told by me to interrupt whenever they could with words of wisdom they had learned in school. They/we also did/ our best to burst into song whenever we'd hear/read words to which we know a tune. That keeps things lively and fun and is an antidote to the droning.

The seder is supposed to be interactive, not a solo performance.

We also have the custom of starting the meal with a whole boiled egg in salt water. We have a contest to see who can spear it with a spoon first.

Nu, how do you make the seder fun?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Help For a Victim of Arab Terror?

I'm trying to help someone out who is suffering all sorts of permanent effects after being seriously wounded in an Arab terror attack.  If anyone knows of organizations that provide financial or food assistance or transportation to medical help or help the victims battle the government offices for what is legally theirs, please let me know.

Thanks,

Tizku l'mitzvot
May you be rewarded with more mitzvot

Pressure, Pressure and Even More Pressure

This is the season when it's harder to find time for blogging than ever.  I've noticed fewer comments and fewer hits from other jbloggers.

I'm finding it harder to concentrate on the screen and keyboard.  It's not just that my computer reading glasses are broken.  It's because I'm working part-time at a clothing store, Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin, and this is our busiest season.  Besides all of the Jews coming in to buy new clothes for Passover and for spring, Arabs shop there, too.  Some are tourists from Jordan who ask if we accept Jordanian Dinars.  They like the selection of clothes.

Our work day is going to get longer until after Passover begins.  My Passover cleaning can only be done on days when I don't work.  I'm glad we don't take food into bedrooms etc.  Whatever isn't really chametzdik, full of the forbidden chametz won't be touched.  I'm glad that I laundered the much too dusty drapes in my bedroom last week.  I won't have time and energy for such "luxuries" now.

And if I'm tired this week, next week will be even more exhausting.  I'll have to drink low sugar grape juice at the Seder or I'll fall asleep before the middle, like soon after the first cup.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Bima Ima's Pre-Passover Kosher Cooking Carnival

The Bima Ima is a real wonder woman, considering all she gets done.  Her fourth maternity leave just ended and while going back to work just before Purim she still managed to put together not only a Havel Havelim.... here's the very latest Kosher Cooking Carnival.

So, please stop by to visit her and all the included links.  There are a great variety of topics covered, just what I had been hoping for when I envisioned the Kosher Cooking Carnival many years ago.  Blogging, more specifically, jblogging or Jewish Blogging isn't a new phenomenon.  Even with twitter and facebook joining the fray, blogs are still irreplaceable.  Many of us who also communicate via facebook, where I first saw the Bima Ima's announcement that KCC #65 has been served on her blog, have our blogs set up so the posts can be posted to fb and twitter.  The multiplicity of social media is good for all.

If you're interested in hosting a KCC, please let me know.  And you can send your posts to one via blog carnival.  My recommendation is to send them in as soon as they're posted, so you won't forget.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Passover via Google via Aish

Hat tip: Shy Guy

Here's an adorable Pesach "movie" from aish.com



It's very clever.  I hope you enjoy it!

Backwards Planning, Or Planning From Both Ends

Some people are very lucky.  They just have a great knack for planning things well and finishing early or at least on  time.  That's not me.  I remember those years when I've had to pull all-nighters to finish things, like cleaning for Passover or cooking for some big event.  When I was young, it was no big deal, but now I just can't do it.  I don't function without my usual night's sleep.  I also don't handle stress well.

During one of the professional training courses I took as an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teacher I was introduced to the concept/technique of "backwards planning."  Basically you start with your goal, all the stages needed and the time you really have.  Graph, chart it out in writing.  Add time for the "unexpected" and reasonable breaks.

Yes, everything should be reasonable and realistic or your planning is a total waste of time.

Yesterday, one of my tutoring students came to me all panicked that she just got her English Project assignment.  Actually, the truth was that she had gotten it weeks ago and lost it.  So now, instead of two months to do it, she has only a month.  I put on my "coach" cap and told her to make a checklist of all the different stages.  There wasn't a checklist in the booklet, unfortunately.  When I had taught in the classroom, I gave the kids a checklist with dates for each stage.  By breaking the complex assignment to various steps and stages according to a realistic time-table, she should be able to finish on time without any problem.

Another use of the backwards, or from both ends planning technique in the any language and literature or history classroom is when there's a sequency assignment or test question.  I instruct my students to look at each event and mark it either:
  • beginning
  • middle
  • end
That way one is dealing with fewer choices in each "stage."

Many of us Jewish housewives and other householders, male and female, are now stressed out about how we're going to be ready for the Passover holiday, which begins in just two weeks.

The same can be done for Passover cleaning.  What must be done at the very last moment?  Change the dishes.  What can be done at any point, even especially first?  Cleaning the bedrooms, unless you eat in them.  What is just cleaning and not really a chametz (forbidden on Passover) cleaning?  The windows.

If, on a year like this year when the Seder is a Monday night and you want to change the kitchen to Pesach mode a few days earlier in order to do your cooking beforehand, what can be last?  The bedrooms.

This year I'm extremely busy, and I'm a year older than I was last year, and I don't have the budget to hire help.  But we've hardly had guests in the bedrooms, so they are dirty, but they're not filled with chametz.  I moved the beds and cleaned well in the kids/guest rooms a couple of weeks ago, before Purim.  So now I don't need to do a super-thorough cleaning there.  My room needs a good cleaning, because I never clean it well, but there's no real food chametz in it.  But if I don't get to it, my house is still going to be kosher for Passover.  Bathroom cleaning is always a good idea.  My husband is assigned the den.  I'll also have to clean the laundry room.  For that I'll need some help to empty it out within reason.

There are all sorts of foods I haven't bought for months, because we have enough until Passover.  There are a few things in the freezer we must finish within the next two weeks or give to neighbors.  The freezer really has emptied out.  We have had to buy less food, a savings before Passover.

Our plan is to switch the kitchen to Passover dishes before Shabbat HaGadol, the Shabbat immediately before Passover and eat chametz food on disposables, like some people do when the Seder is a Saturday night.

This week when I cook for Shabbat, I must also cook whatever food I can for the following Shabbat, Shabbat HaGadol, and freeze it.  That Thursday/Friday, my usual pre-Shabbat cooking days will be kitchen cleaning days for Passover.  That's the general outline.

Good luck.  I hope this will help you.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Book Review: I Only Want to Get Married Once by Chana Levitan

Cross-posted on Shiloh Musings
I had debated on which blog to post this book review.  Finally, I decided that it suits the readers of both blogs.

This Shabbat I finally sat down to read another of the books I had received as review copies, I Only Want to Get Married Once by Chana Levitan, Gefen Publishing House.  I read the entire book this afternoon.  I wish they had books like that over forty years ago, before my 1970 wedding.  My generation got less and worse advice.  Just a few days ago, a peer confided why her first marriage was such a disaster.  If they had gotten the type of advice in Chana Levitan's book, either they never would have married or they could have had made a lasting and good marriage.

Nu, so what do Levitan say?

I Only Want to Get Married Once by Chana Levitan is based on ten important questions to ask yourself.  The first is:
Do you share the same basic goals and values?
Levitan explains what the terms are and how crucial they are in a relationship.  A couple must ask tough questions before they get to the pre-engagement stage. Why waste valuable years on a relationship that can never work well?  That's why even couples who had dated or even lived together happily for years find everything falling apart after the wedding and end up divorcing.  When it comes to "what values they want to teach their children" they suddenly discover that they have nothing in common.

Levitan also explains the importance of "trust," "setting boundaries," healthy versus abusive relationships and the importance of listening to that nagging suspicion and caring friends.  Unfortunately, "infatuation" sometimes gets the better of our common sense.

I Only Want to Get Married Once by Chana Levitan book is must-read, and it should be read more than once and not just when people get to marriageable age.  I'd recommend it to teens just starting to date.  Once someone is about to get married it's much harder to fix a relationship or break it off.  But if people are raised to be aware of these principles, also in just choosing friends, it will be easier for them to establish healthy relationships and improve themselves.  The material in the book should be part of whatever "Health Education" or "Marriage Preparation" in the school curriculum.  Also, parents should read it with their kids.

Returning to Levitan's first point about shared goals and values, IMHO that explains the success of the shidduch system among the very religious Jews.  Parents choose partners for their children from the same sorts of families with the same value systems and expectations.  One learns to love afterwards; in the majority of families it is successful.

I definitely recommend I Only Want to Get Married Once by Chana Levitan.  It's an excellent, clearly written book.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Think of Of The Worst Possible Things to Have Done During that "Extra" DST Hour on Friday

Among f2f friends, blog friends, email friends and facebook friends, I'd been talking/writing about that "extra" hour we'd have on Fridays before Shabbat because of daylight savings time. 

Not in a million years would I have guessed, been able to predict what I did and where I was for that hour on Friday afternoon.

Nu, have you guessed yet?  I was at a funeral.  A neighbor, a friend, younger by a few years, died in her home that morning.  I'll write more about her later.  I'm still in shock.  She had some health problems, but she wasn't sick, expecting to die.  None of us expected her to die.  She's survived by both parents, a child and a sister.

I had no idea that anything had happened.  Nobody called me.  I took a one minute break to check emails, since we hadn't gotten our weekly community newsletter, and I had been hoping that someone would send me a computer copy.  That's how I saw a notification, from the Shiloh email list.  I began rushing all of my Shabbat preparation in order to have time to go to the funeral.

The family decided to make the funeral as short as possible.  Instead of starting from the synagogue or home, we met at the cemetery.  Lots of people attended to pay respects to the dead neighbor and her family, one of Shiloh's triple-generation clans. 

One of the things that really got to me at this funeral was that it was conducted by a neighbor who is fighting cancer.  Six months or so ago he had gotten a very bad diagnosis and has undergone treatments.  So listening to him and watching him in this role as Chevra Kadisha was rather amazing.  I'm glad to see him alive and well and never expected that he'd be burying the other neighbor.  As in the past, he motioned to me to do the kri'ah, the knife cut to rip the mourner's clothes.  I've done it quite a few times for the women, but this was the first time I had more than one mourner.  At this funeral there were three generations.

HaMakom yeNachem...
May G-d Comfort...

Friday, April 1, 2011

What A Smart Phone

This morning we're on "summer time," aka daylight savings time.  Last night we, here in Israel, had to set our clocks/watches etc an hour ahead and lose an hour's sleep.

On the bus back to Shiloh from the IFL All Stars Game, in which the South (Kings, Lions, Rebels and Black Swarm) beat the North (Sabres, Underdogs, Pioneers and Hammer) 48 to 22 (if I got the score right) I set my watch ahead and wondered what to do with my cellphone.  Would I have to manually set it ahead or will it happen by magic?

It really wouldn't be such a serious issue if my phone wasn't my alarm clock. Do I want that "extra hour" before Shabbat or not?

Actually, I did/do, so I began searching through my phone's internal set-up instructions/options to discover if it's written any place in any way that I can comprehend.  It didn't take me long to get into time change and see that I (the phone) was set up for "automatic updates."  Nu?  Could that be it? I decided to leave it in the Hand of G-d.  If G-d wants me to sleep an "extra hour," it won't automatically go into "summer time," and if G-d wants me to have that "extra hour" to prepare for Shabbat, I'll be woken up by the alarm at 5am Israeli Daylight Savings Time.

When the alarm woke me, it was still very dark, not the way it was at that very time just the day before.  What a smart phone to change the hour all by itself...