Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spied in the Jerusalem LightRail

Now, what could these be for?

Definitely cameras..
comment what you think is behind this, thanks

Friday, March 30, 2012

Yummy Escape From Building Noise Downtown Jerusalem

The other day I met a dear friend for lunch in Jerusalem.  Usually we dine in her "independent senior living" dining room, but I had to be downtown Jerusalem, so we decided to go to an old favorite of hers, the Anna Ticho House, which is a branch of the Israel Museum.  She had the house salad, which has grilled salmon and was large enough for her to take home and provide a few more meals.  I ate their tuna salad, which was delicious.

It actually came with a potato, but I asked the waitress to have it removed.  She gladly complied and even told me that I could have whatever I wanted added to replace it.  So I asked for more salad.  Service and atmosphere were perfect.  And of course, the food was delicious.

We ate inside, because that area of Jerusalem is a major building site.  All sorts of new luxury apartment buildings are going up.  No doubt that in a year or so, it'll quiet down and once again be park-like, though with less sun.

It's located at 9 HaRav Kook Street, a block and world away from Zion Square.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Surprise Hospital Visit, Funny

Not long ago I was visiting someone in the hospital, and all of a sudden we were surprised by an unexpected visit.

A clown, a medical clown.

Medical clowning is becoming a very popular profession or hobby in Israel.  Lots of people, young and old, are taking courses.  In Israel it's now very common to find clowns wandering around hospitals visiting the wards, waiting rooms etc.

I'm pretty sure that they volunteer in the hospital, but I do know that some use their clowning skills, including balloon blowing/shaping, as children's party and event entertainers, which can make them money.

The performance is in Hebrew.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Another Generation on The Stage

I've been dancing forever, and I began taking dancing lessons at the age of three.  My mother always loved dancing, too.  Simply put, we're a family of dancers.  Dancing and performing are very popular in my mother's family among my cousins, their children and grandchildren.  I taught Creative Dance to my elder daughters decades ago when we lived in Jerusalem and they performed there.  And now, my granddaughters have joined the family fun.

In the audience were former students of mine who grew up in Shiloh.  Their daughters were performing, too.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Can't Eat The Food Quickly Enough

Our freezer is still too full, considering that I want to switch to Pesach in a week.

These were taken a few days ago.  It is a bit emptier now, and you should know that the top shelf of the freezer already has Kosher for Passover chicken I already bought in Rami Levi. 

Shabbat will have a strange menu, since we'll be eating things from the freezer.  A lot of the food can be "sold" for Pesach, a Halachik (Jewish Law) process so that everything doesn't have to be tossed.  If we were wealthier, we'd donate more leftover chametz or non-KP kitniyot to charities.  Our financial situation isn't as good as it was when we were both working full-time.  There are so many things I haven't bought for months, but we still haven't finished them, like rice and dried peas.

We also have too much bread, challah and rolls in the freezer.  At least my husband can eat sandwiches everyday.  And yesterday I ate out with a friend and took  home the delicious rolls they served.  He got one of them today sliced into sandwiches.

I also have a giant package of the freezable "popsicles in a bag," the Israeli ones without food coloring.  I had bought them last summer for the grandkids who hardly visited.  I'll have to give them to neighbors.

That's it for now.  Back to work

Monday, March 26, 2012

Just Like in The Movies!

Last week I had one of those "just like in the movies" experiences.  A good friend (actually family, too) volunteered to take me to a bus stop after the IFL Football gameThe game had barely ended, and I knew that if I didn't leave immediately, even before kissing my favorite player, I'd miss the bus and have to take the later one.  I had already had a long day.

So we rushed out of Kraft Stadium just as the bus was leaving the bus station.  I had to hope that it would move slowly, and we had to take a fast route to the bus stops on the way to Shiloh.

I showed him that we could take Sarei Yisrael Street to try to get ahead of the bus and hopefully catch it on Sderot Eshkol (Boulevard) between Shmuel HaNavi and Ammunition Hill.  On Bar Ilan Street we passed a #170, which generally is fuller and a minute behind the #148.  There were a few buses ahead of it and we strained to see their numbers.

We were in the left lane and the buses were in the right.  We passed a #142 (if I'm not mistaken) and then the son (with younger eyes than ours) said:

"I see the #148 just ahead."

We were approaching the Bar Ilan Junction as we became neck 'n neck with my bus.  Would we get to the stop early enough to cut it off and would it stop or not?

We pulled into the stop just a fraction of a second before the bus and in front of it.  I jumped out of the car and signalled the bus driver.  He stopped and let me in.

"Just like in the movies," I said.

He smiled and took my fare. Thank G-d!  G-d is great for sure!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Lots to Read!

I've been reading a lot of late, especially considering that it's getting to be Passover much too quickly.  First there's a real book one of my daughters lent me.  It's an amazing book.
The Glass Castle is a 2005 memoir by Jeannette Walls. The book is an autobiographical memoir that recounts Walls' and her siblings' unconventional, poverty-stricken upbringing at the hands of their deeply dysfunctional parents.

And second is that the jblog world is hopping.  Yesterday I posted the Kosher Cooking Carnival and today ima 2 seven posted Havel Havelim.  There are some really great posts there.  I think we're all doing a perfectly fine job running HH from facebook, B"H.  That's where you 'll find all the information about upcoming editions and how to participate.  I also have the info on my blogs.  Look up and you'll see the tab for the special page.

Of course, please read, comment and share ima 2 seven's Havel Havelim!

Miracle, Rosh Chodesh Nisan Kosher Cooking Carnival

Here we are between Purim and Passover, the Rosh Chodesh Nissan Kosher Cooking Carnival.  It's hard to believe that Passover is less than two weeks away, and here I am busy on the computer and not cleaning for Passover.  Before getting distracted by Pesach and the links that I've found and that have been sent, I'd like to get the business over with.

It seems that we'll be running the jblog carnivals a new way or two.  So far, I'm finding that our facebook page is very helpful.  Join it if you haven't yet done so. Jennifer in MamaLand will be hosting next month's edition, Rosh Chodesh Iyyar. The Kosher Cooking Carnival is a floating blog/internet site carnival, hosted by different blogs and food sites each month, according to the Jewish Calendar.  All posts and articles must be kosher, about kosher food, recipes, Jewish Law, reviews of kosher restaurants, cookbooks and more.  If you 'd like to host one, please contact me, either on facebook or email, shilohmuse at gmail dot com.

Please share the links of this KCC to all, and of course visit the bloggers included.  Thanks for all of your help and support.
And now, considering I just don't have any time to waste, let's get on with the show...

First let's have some practical Passover pointers from Ester, a very experienced housewife.
She does a better job cleaning than I do.
Here's Bonnie Giller's Tips, Tricks and Recipes.

Mrs. S's apple cake looks absolutely delicious!
I rarely bake challah, so I was surprised to find myself making a batch after Purim, so close to Pesach.  At least I've been getting compliments on them, even after being frozen.
Jennifer had a food adventure; read Chacun à MON goût.  You must also try her kichel, bow-ties!
Apparently, there's talk in France of restricting or forbidding shechita,  kosher animal slaughter as immoral, though they don't have any problem with hunting.
Emily's No Soy Vegan Quiche looks good.
The country mouse's Purim baskets are gorgeous. Save that idea!

Halacha, Jewish Law
For those who want information about quinoa and Passover, the Rebbetzin's Husband wrote a very important post.

Passover Recipes
Emily's sugar-free cookies seem amazing.  One recipe in the post is for Passover, and the other isn't.

And now for some entertainment, Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi's Passover Shiur!  Sorry, but it's not a recording.  Sign up on her site for her shiurim.  They are great fun!

I hope you enjoyed this Chodesh Nissan edition of the Kosher Cooking Carnival.  Please share this link and all of those included.  If you'd like to host an edition or send in your links for  next month's please contact me.  Thanks to all who have participated.  Safe and enjoyable cleaning and Passover preparations...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Tonight's Plan Is...

No, it's not to clean for Pesach.  I almost never clean on a Saturday night after Shabbat.  It just destroys the Shabbat peace for me.

I wasn't raised in a Torah observant home.  I wasn't raised with Shabbat.  In the years before I became religious, I didn't even "know" that there existed a Shabbat and I was missing it.

That included the years I was in NCSY, but I wasn't yet an Orthodox Jew.  The Shabbatot I enjoyed at NCSY Shabbatonim, "conclaves" and conventions were more carnival-like with spiritual lectures and lots of spirited dancing.  They were very intense; nothing like what Shabbat really is in real life.

Now after decades of Sabbath observance, Shabbat is a totally different experience.  Real Shabbat isn't a party.  It's still a break from real life, no work, phone, computer, shopping etc.  Those early Shabbat experiences were more like getting a new motor going, putting in Torah fuel into my life and changing my life completely.

It's sort of like when someone is being taught how to ride a bicycle and someone pushes and runs along until the new rider picks up enough speed to ride independently. 

How did I get onto that topic?

My plans for tonight are to:
  • Do the Chodesh Nisan Kosher Cooking Carnival
  • Go to a miraculous Sheva Brachot (post wedding celebration.)  The groom has just finished treatment for a difficult disease and he got married.
Next month it'll be hosted by  .  Details to follow.  You can join our facebook page.

Have a great week!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Tough Call, Priorities

Sometimes it's really hard to decide what to do and where to go.

Last night we had a wedding to go to.  It's a family I'm close to.  I was at their wedding and their married kids so far.  I made a great effort to find a ride to the wedding.  The day before, the chattan, groom gave me a ride up the hill and I told him that I'm looking forward to being at the wedding.

But, yes, of course there's a "but."  Things are also busy in other ways with my own kids.  One of the Jerusalem ones needed some help, so I rushed there after working all day.  And my youngest was scheduled to play in a very crucial "win or die" football game.  I had mentioned to him that we had this wedding.  I guess he hadn't really heard me, because when I called to wish him luck he was surprised that I wasn't going to be there.

Well, after mulling it over, even though I had arranged a ride from Jerusalem and had all the clothes I needed to change into, including shoes, for the wedding, I went to the game.

I'm glad that I went to the game, even though we lost.  Or should I say that I'm extra glad I was there when we lost.  Of course I'm sad that we lost, but it was an amazing game.  The crowd was totally with the losing team.  When the winners were prancing around the field in joy the losing team and fans were cheering each other.  We thanked them for their great season and "heart," and they thanked us for being for them and cheering them on rain and shine.

I'd say that's a victory, for sure.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Passover-Spring Cleaning? Dirty Word?

Now should Passover cleaning and spring cleaning be considered synonyms?

That's a question many of us ask every year.

There are homes in which people (and pets) take food all over the house, including in bed, and I'm not referring to walking around with apples and bananas.  The furthest I get from the kitchen/diningroom with food is drinking my coffee by the computer in the morning.  And considering that I've been on a low carbohydrate regime for years already, I don't eat the forbidden chametz at all.  So practically speaking, I do not have to do a super-cleaning, search and destroy the chametz all over the house.  The only items to be removed are the toothpaste.

Now, to be honest, my big problem is that I'm an awful housekeeper and my house is a mess, cluttered, dusty etc.  Yes, that's not chametz, it's just not pretty, attractive or inviting.  So if we're going to have overnight guests for the Holidays, we'll have to do some cleaning so they'll feel comfortable.

There have been years when my house was totally turned upside down and cleaned thoroughly.  That's when I had a large staff of  offspring who took the initiative and cleaned like the neighbors do.  I didn't make major demands on them.  The big rule was:

Once you're Bar/Bat Mitzvah and responsible to G-d, you are responsible for your own room!

Now, we're an old couple with limited time, money and energy.  And neither of us could ever win a "home beautiful" award.  So, I must make my cleaning priorities to suit reality.  I'll be concentrating on cleaning the kitchen.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Rosh Chodesh Nissan, Some Inspiration

There's nothing like praying at Tel Shiloh on Rosh Chodesh for inspiration!

The Rosh Chodesh Nissan Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh

Friday, March 23, 2012 8:30am

Shiur Torah, Short Tour & Torah Lesson

Please come and invite family, friends and neighbors

תפילת נשים ראש חודש ניסן בתל שילה

יום ו' 23-3 8:30

יהיו סיור ודבר תורה קצרים

נא לבוא, לפרסם ולהזמין חברות, משפחה ושכנות

You're welcome to join our facebook page. Tel Shiloh is open to visitors daily. Tours can be arranged through the office. Email or phone 02-994-4019.

Strange Series of Pictures to Caption

On one of my neighborhood walks, I shot these pictures of "wheels."  How would you caption them either individually or as a group?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Nobody's Perfect

Some of you may have noticed that I hadn't posted anything for over a day.  I generally pride myself on the fact that I'm almost never late and I always wake up on time.  Today was  a big surprise for me.

I had trouble falling asleep last night.  I had "worked night" two nights in a row and had to work morning today.  That's not easy, but I wasn't worried and set my alarm earlier than usual.  To my great surprise I noticed that it was pretty light when I woke up to silence, and my husband wasn't in bed.  I checked the time and almost fainted.  It was almost two and a half hours later than my alarm had been set for and well over an hour after my usual wake up time.

I had less than an hour to get myself ready, including making food, two meals and getting a ride or be late by taking the bus.

I went into gear and  got started.  I even perked coffee to bring to work in a Thermos.  And I made a quick tuna salad rather than a cooked vegetable for lunch.

I was out the door, fully packed, dressed etc in less than an hour.

I started to panic when waiting for a bus/ride, since there was nothing in my direction and it would soon be late.  Then a neighbor pulled up and said

"Sha'ar Binyamin."
Perfect!  I was on my way.  I arrived at the sign in exactly at 9am.

G-d is good!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Nothing Stops Havel Havelim

I guess it's time for the Havel Havelim hosts to change the introduction.  Havel Havelim is now coordinated on facebook by a few of us, especially Esser Agaroth, who just won't let it die.  Jack has joined Soccer Dad as former coordinators.  My thanks to both for their dedication and hard work. 

One of those who has hosted it more than once since the new reality took hold is Susan of To Kiss A Mezuzah, and she's also this week's hostess.  Please check it out, read, visit and share.

To become more involved, please join our facebook pageEric is putting together a site where information about all of the jblog carnivals can be found.

Next week's Havel Havelim will be hosted by Rachel and please send your links to her.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Not Shrinking Quickly Enough Inventory

As the Passover Holiday gets closer, our home food inventory should be shrinking, but it isn't going quickly enough.  How much can two elderly dieters eat?  As I've done in the past, I've been photographing my freezer, with the door open of course.  There's no way we can finish everything, but some of the chametz can be sold for the holiday.

The freezer had really begun to look like it was emptying out, but...

... then I baked challot.  OK, so we have enough challot, rolls and bread to take us until the house is supposed to be totally kosher for Passover.

And I also have a lot of other foods to prepare and eat in the next two weeks, so we shouldn't have to buy so much.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I Did It!

Yesterday I posted about how I lost sleep debating in my mind about whether or not to use the flour I had overbought and bake challot.  I just couldn't sleep and even got up about an hour earlier than planned and finished my "computer routine" much earlier than planned, so it did seem like G-d had given me the time to bake, so I baked.  Now I have to find someone to eat the challot.  Most are in the freezer now.  I guess we won't have to buy any challah until after Passover.

Here are the pictures:

Friday, March 16, 2012

Should I or Shouldn't I?

I couldn't sleep a full night's sleep.  I found myself awake and pondering all sorts of annoying questions before 5am, when my alarm was set for after 6.

Among the things tossing around in my head is the question of whether or not I should bake challah today.  In recent years, I've only baked a few times.  I have flour in the house and freezer, enough to bake more challah than I really need until Passover.  I even have a store-bought challah, a large one, in the freezer.  There are only a couple of Shabbatot before Pesach.  Flour isn't among the items one usually sells as chametz, and besides that a kilo of the flour is whole wheat that must be stored in the freezer.

Is this really such a major dilemma worth losing sleep over?

I also think I agreed to a not so good work schedule for next week.  I probably won't have time to see the grandkids.  One of the reasons next week is complicated is that I want to see a visiting relative before she goes back to the states.  I was supposed to see her this week, after she landed, but jetlag interfered and she slept through our planned get-together.

Yes, too many things, including how to prepare and pay for Passover.  It's a very complicated and expensive holiday.

Dry Bones
Yes, the pre-Pesach preparation is very stressful.  I'm a terrible housekeeper. Too bad I didn't make myself a very lucrative career, one that would have made me rich enough to hire people to clean my home. 

Enough kvetching already.  Time to use that extra hour plus for something much more useful and important.

On with my day...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

About That Strange Hamashbir Letzarchan Door...

A few months ago, I blogged about the new Jerusalem Hamashbir Letzarchan department store.  There's something I find rather sad/funny.

I had asked readers to give their reaction, guess what I found so ironic in this picture.  For some reason, nobody else saw what I did.

The official front door is on the corner of Yoel Solomon Street and Zion Square.  Here on Jaffa Street the door is locked.  It may be the official "emergency exit."  Nowadays, when the threat and fear of Arab terrorism make it necessary for many businesses and buildings to have guards, there generally is only one entrance in use.

Since the original picture I took didn't clearly show that the door is locked, I got up closer the other day to take another picture. 

Actually, I was surprised to see that the "bicycle chain" wasn't over both handles, at least during opening hours.  I'll have to check it out again, if I'm ever there when the store is closed for the night.

The sign says "Entrance Around the Corner."

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Now I Understand...

Sadly, I must say, I now understand the recent actions of one of my favorite young jbloggers, who recently took the drastic step of deleting the contents of her popular blog.

A post, Orthodox Blogger Bullies," on a new to me blog, Chicago Carless revealed the sordid truth of why she had felt it necessary to delete the posts that told her honest, sometimes painfully honest personal and spiritual odyssey, from an ordinary American Christian girl to an Orthodox Jew. 

Especially since I had met her last year in Jerusalem, when they was still married, I consider her more than just an intenet acquaintance and fellow jblogger.

Once someone converts to Torah Judaism, he/she is a Jew.  And then, like all Jews, the personal spiritual journey will continue until the day we die.  None of us are angels.  We're all capable of being stubborn, making mistakes, even sinning, and also doing fantastically wonderful things, for people and G-d.  We Jews must remember that the only one we must answer to is G-d, HaKodesh Baruch Hu.

There are so many mitzvot, commandments in so many varied categories.  The "bookkeeping" is G-d's secret.

We're supposed to be doing teshuva, repentance all the time, constantly trying to improve ourselves.  And it's between us and G-d.  I hope that whoever it was (or they were) who made her decide to suppress her inner thoughts and life from public view will learn that the most important mitzvah  to keep mehadrin is Derech Eretz.

Purim Left-Overs

No, this isn't a food post.  It's a picture post.  I'm always photographing, and sometimes I use the pictures, even more than once, and other times they're not seen/posted/used.

During the week or so before Purim, early Adar, one of the Rami Levi cashiers would show up to work dressed for Purim. I took a couple of photos of him with the intention of using them on Purim, but I didn't get around to it.

Well, it's still Adar, the month of Purim, so here are the pictures:

You can consider this post as part of Pesach cleaning.  It's sure a lot more fun than scrubbing out the chametz.  I guess I ought to do at least one small cleaning job before babysitting the grandkids....

JPIX With Flair

Ilana-Davita's JPIX is perfectly done.  She even has a picture from every post included.

Be sure to take a look and visit the posts and share the links. There's lots of talent in the jblog world.

For more information about JPIX and to submit your posts, click here.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sport, a Two Way Street

One of the great things about the Israeli (American) football games we go to is the reaction of the players after the game is over.  The Jerusalem Big Blue Lions always thank their fans.

"4 P" Havel Havelim

We're in post-Purim, pre-Passover mode, making this week's Havel Havelim the "4 P" one.  It's hosted very ably by Ya'aqov at Esser Agaroth.  Visit, read the posts and share, thanks.

Havel Havelim is the Jewish bloggers' floating internet magazine, which includes blog posts from jbloggers wherever jbloggers can be found.  It's the responsibility for the jblogger to send in his/her link.  Information about  who's hosting the next one can be found on our facebook page, and I also try to keep up with the latest jblog carnival news on my blogs.  Check the page tabs for the right one.  To Kiss a Mezuza is next week's hostess; click here and send her a message with your post link.

There are two other jblog carnivals.  The Kosher Cooking Carnival is monthly, and I'm hosting the one for Nissan in just over a week.  Send your posts to me, please.  And join our facebook page, too.  I'm also the address for those who would like to host one.  It's fun and can improve your blog statistics.  The jblog carnivals I've hosted are among my most viewed posts ever.

JPIX is a picture post carnival on Jewish or Israeli topics.  It's coordinated by Leora and also has a facebook page.  To submit a link, click here.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

More Than Just a Game

I must brag if you don't mind.
My son's IFL real American football team in Israel, the Jerusalem Lions just completed a perfect wining season.

There's a certain ambiance at these Kraft Stadium games you'll find no place else in the world.  Young mothers bring their kids who cheer:

"Yay, Abba (daddy)!"

And even family dogs join the excitement.

At last week's game, which was a make-up after the stadium had been totally flooded, there weren't too many people in the stands, but it was still pretty lively.

And for me, an extra bonus was seeing my jblogging friend Ruti Mizrachi.  Even though she was there to cheer on the opposing team, we're really on the same side, because we know what's most important in this world.  We both pray for the good health of all the players.  And we consider sportsmanship to the the Derech Eretz lesson of playing.  A "dirty" win is worse than a loss.  And sport is a fun way of keeping fit and healthy.

Have a safe, healthy and wonderful week!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Purim Pictures, Just a Few...

I didn't take a lot of pictures this Purim.  That does happen sometimes.  But of those I took, there are some nice ones.  The costumes I saw were pretty standard.  And I wore a wig as usual. Here are some Shiloh Purim sights for your viewing pleasure.

The most creative and the only theme-based Mishloach Manot we got this year.

Two days of Purim immediately followed by Shabbat is a three day holiday/food fest. I've over-eaten past anything I've done the past few years. G-d willing, I've gotten the "urges" out of my system.