Showing posts with label Israel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Israel. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Such Goodness חסד "Chessed" From Others, Only in Israel Tremping Stories

Do stories like these happen anyplace else?

I consider it "only in Israel," because where else is hitchhiking so prevalent? Tremping is what we call hitchhiking here in Israel. It's most prevalent in rural and semi-rural/suburban-type areas such as Judea, Samaria, the Golan and Jordan Valley. That's because of two factors:

  • Public transportation isn't sufficient in terms of frequency and time efficiency. Sometimes it can take half a day to get from point a to point b by bus, while a direct ride is only fifteen minutes. And some communities aren't serviced at all by public transportation.
  • Not everyone has a private car, and if a family does, it can't service everyone in the family.
There used to be signs at the
Jerusalem "city line." 
The culture of giving and accepting rides from friends, neighbors and even total strangers is part of Israeli culture where I live in Shiloh. We have never had a car. My husband mostly takes buses to and from his part-time job in Jerusalem. He is also the type that doesn't mind waiting. I work part-time in Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin, and study once a week in Jerusalem. I wouldn't survive without the tremps I get from friends, neighbors and strangers which supplement the buses, which I do take, too.

In theory I could use just buses to commute to work, but especially since I sometimes finish late at night,  my schedule doesn't match the bus schedule and I find waiting for buses less efficient than waiting for rides I combine those forms of transportation.

The חסד chessed, goodness of others is amazing. Not long ago, during the recent Jewish Holiday season,  I did a big shopping in the Rami Levy Discount Supermarket before signing in for my night shift, with the hope that I'd find a neighbor to take my stuff home to be picked up later by my husband. A neighbor took the bags and left them by my door since she had to leave home again before my husband expected to be home. I was very relieved, because Yafiz, where I work didn't have the space for those bags, and it's much easier to tremp home sans shopping bags, especially after 9:30pm. 

After finishing that long pre-Holiday shift I waited by the Rami Levy exit for a ride/tremp and suddenly I saw that same neighbor. She had come to look for me, since she didn't have my phone number. She had finished with her evening plans and was passing by, so she stopped into Sha'ar Binyamin to look for me. Such a wonderful neighbor. 

And the other night, again after a long late night shift, I caught a ride with someone I didn't know at Ofra, which is halfway home. He dropped my off at the Shiloh Junction. I put on my reflector-vest and suddenly noticed that he had u-turned. He decided not to leave me on the corner. He took me all the way home.

People are wonderful and G-d is Great!

I have a lot to be thankful for!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Searching Out The Owner

The American (and Israeli) media was impressed by the fact that Rabbi Noach Muroff returned the close to one hundred thousand dollars he found in a desk bought via Craig's List.
The desk, purchased for $150 dollars, turned out to be hiding $98,000 stuffed in a ShopRite plastic bag, that had fallen behind the file cabinet.
And Muroff gave it all back.
Muroff bought the desk last September, right before Rosh Hashanah. When it wouldn’t fit through the door, he and his wife had to disassemble it. That’s when they spotted a shopping bag full of a cash inheritance that the previous owner assumed had been lost somewhere in her home.

Read more: http://blogs.forward.com/forward-thinking/194400/honest-rabbi-returned-k-and-inspired-us/#ixzz2vuZzA7v9
I thought of it last night at work when a man came in to retrieve a bag of clothes he had inadvertently left in a shopping cart in the Rami Levy, Sha'ar Binyamin parking lot. In our case, when the supermarket worker who had found the bag gave it to kupah rashit, managers office at the entrance/exit of the supermarket, they gave it to the Yafiz check-out counter.  There the receipt was traced and apparently the customer had paid with a credit card which afforded sufficient identification to locate and contact him.  That's one of the reasons it pays to write your name clearly and sign in your phone number when signing the receipt to the store. Not everyone does it. We always make an effort to return such lost bags, which may not happen daily, but each story has a better chance for a happy ending if you do.

The Israeli practice when it comes to a "found" items follows the Jewish Law to return lost item to its owner. A couple of times I've even taken the bag home, so that it would be easier for the owner to pick it up directly from me rather than having to return to Sha'ar Binyamin.  We've all done that.

Over twenty years ago, when I was working in a Jerusalem store, my pocketbook, including wallet, identification etc were stolen at work.  A couple of months later I got a postcard from the "Lost and Found," aka in Israel "Returning Lost Items" department of the Tel Aviv Bus Station that something of mine had been found. I traveled to Tel Aviv and discovered that my pocketbook, identification and change/coins were all there. The thief  had "only" taken the bills.

Yes, Israel is a Jewish Country with Jewish values, B"H.

Admittedly there is still a need for improvement, but we're all supposed to constantly do teshuva, repent and attempt to improve ourselves.

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Purim Sameach!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Such a Pretty Store

I've been shopping for gifts to bring to the states all over.  Some I've bought from neighbors, but I don't want to give an details about those until they are given out.  I have to make sure there's some suspense.

For one of the hosts I ended up going to my favorite gift shop, an old one in Jerusalem, Gans  gans@gans.co.il.  It's a treasure trove of gorgeous things.






The store in downtown Jerusalem, 8 Rivlin Street, 10 AM-7 PM Sunday through Thursday, 10 AM-2 PM on Fridays.  Customers who buy in the store can join their "Customer fan club."  The staff is wonderful, friendly and very helpful.  Please tell them that I sent you.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Touring Close to Home

During Succot we went touring.  It felt in some ways like a different world, because we were in Tel Aviv.  But the truth is that by car, Tel Aviv is just over an hour away from Shiloh or even closer if there's no traffic.  In some ways it feels very different, but it isn't all that different.  And no surprise that we met neighbors who live about ten doors away and doven at the same shul at one of the sites.  We went to two places, the first was the "old Jaffa train station."  The set-up is similar to what was done in Jerusalem; the Tel Aviv site was fixed up first.

One Family had a very moving exhibit about victims of Arab terror and their families.  Yes, it was awfully depressing.




The overall atmosphere at the train station was fun and carnival.



 

Fun for all ages, including free 10 minute massages to promote "alternative medicine in Kupat Cholim Clalit.


Our next stop was the Tel Aviv Boardwalk.  And the sea was mesmerizing.





One of these "creative Judaism," or Judaism for the not fully-observant groups had a big succah and lots of scheduled activities.




There definitely was a carnival atmosphere.



And an indoor shuk, market.





I must admit that it's certainly convenient living in a small country. There's so much to see and short distances to travel here in Israel.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Granny, "Savta," Day at the Israel Museum

When my kids were little we went to the Israel Museum an awful lot. For two years, before we moved to Shiloh, the two older girls were students there and learned all sorts of arts and crafts.  After we moved to Shiloh I kept up family membership for a number of years so that we could visit unlimited times when they had vacation from school.  So, of course it's the place to take the grandkids when on vacation.  Yesterday was the day.










As you can see, we weren't the only ones with that idea.  And when the kids were at the "illusion" craft activity you could hear "Savta," granny, more than "imma," mommy.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Baked Onion Omelet and the Story Of Course

The other day in the middle of cooking I realized that the time had come to change gas canisters.  In Israel most of us  have individual arrangements with gas companies.  The gas company hooks up each home to a pair (or more if water and heating are done by gas) of canisters aka "balloons."  You're supposed to keep only one open at a time and then close it when it's empty, open the waiting full one and quickly call the gas company to order a new one. 

Of course there are periodic foul-ups, usually planned by "Murphy's Law," just when there's about to be a holiday and the gas can't be ordered.  It has happened to me that either we forgot to order or somehow both were open and then empty out simultaneously.  When that happens I have to get immediate help from neighbors.

Well this time when I went to change balloons, yes, the canisters, I noticed that the "full" one seemed a bit on the light or empty side.  I also smelled gas and discovered that the nob attaching it wasn't fully closed.  I closed it and then called the gas company to order more gas and complain.  I was told that I'd have to wait as few days, and he'd send an inspector to check that all the connections were good.

But in the meantime I was afraid that I'd run out of gas, so any cooking that could be done in the oven was done in the oven, including my morning eggs.


I placed a sheet of parchment paper for baking on our handleless frying pan.  As you can see above, I put the cut onion and eggs on it and dripped a bit of oil to mimic "frying."

I placed the frying pan in the oven on high with the fan going to speed things up.  It almost looks "fried."  Doesn't it?  And of course I added the usual seasonings.

My Baked Onion Omelet really tasted good!


PS the gas canister did arrive on the day promised, and so far the "almost empty canister" is still cooking...

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Sky Blue from Blue Skies

It doesn't rain in the summer here in Israel.  It's something we have to get used to.  The skies are beautiful, but the ground gets terribly dry.
 
Not a cloud in the sky.
And sometimes it's awfully dusty, which decreases the efficiency of the solar panels which we use to heat our water.  By the end of the summer, the water only gets hot if we've cleaned the solar panels and in recent years I don't have anyone around to do it for me..

But the sky is so beautiful...

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The New Eli - Shiloh Bicycle Path

When I was a teenager and younger I loved to ride my bicycle.  It's one of those things I haven't done for decades, but it's also one of the few things still popular, at least in this part of the world, Israel.  One of my sons finds cycling to be the most efficient and quickest commute to work.  The bonus is that it keeps him fit, and he has to be fit for his job.

Way back when, in the "old country," my friend Louise Rosenstein and I met up a couple of times in-between Bayside and Great Neck on Northern Blvd at the bicycle path near the Throgs Neck Bridge.  We'd cycle to the "end of Queens," then go into a store, buy a big container of ice cream, get some plastic spoons and then finish off the ice cream, sharing it until the very last drop.

Israeli cities, including Jerusalem, have bicycle paths which you can see on the sides of roads.  And even here in the Shiloh area there's a new bicycle path to tour Emek (the Valley of) Shiloh, Tel Shiloh to Eli.

When I was at Tel Shiloh on Rosh Chodesh we spotted a number of cyclists riding by.


Here's a video of it; hat tip: my husband.


חנוכת שבילי האופניים בשילה הקדומה from Ronen Siman Tov on Vimeo.
אירוע חניכת סינגל במרחב מעיינות שילה- עלי, אירוע מאורגן למופת על ידי תיירות אזור בנימין, בהובלה של חברת בוץ ובעבודת בנייה של חובב, מאות רוכבים התקבצו ובאו להפנינג של רכיבה בנופים מרהיבים. הסינגל זורם ומהנה ביותר! וההשקעה בבנייתו ניכרת. שיר הנושא הוא "דרור ויקרא" בביצועו של שלמה בר מהברירה הטבעית.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Crazy Week, Every Day a Different Season

This week dawned very wintery.


Even though it's the week after Yom Ha'Atzma'ut, I had to turn the heaters back on, and you can see from this picture, that there was lots of humidity at dawn.  I hadn't turned on the heaters for a few weeks.  My house is well insulated and retains the temperature pretty well, so the warm spring weather we had around Passover kept us very comfortable, as long as the windows stayed closed.

But then the cold and rain won out, and I was back in winter clothes and heavy waterproof shoes on Sunday and Monday.  Tuesday, when my friends came on a pilgrimage to Shiloh, it was suddenly spring.  We didn't need extra sweaters and coats, especially in the afternoon down the hill at Shiloh HaKeduma, Tel Shiloh.

And then yesterday when in Jerusalem, which is a drop colder than Shiloh, I had to strip off the lightweight jacket which had been perfect only the day before.

I hope that those last couple of rains cleaned off the koltei shemesh, solar water heaters from the dust of the spring dust and sandstorms.  I should be turning off the timer of the electric water boiler/heater soon, as soon as the night air warms up a bit more.  The living room heater is already off again.

Well, today is Thursday, and I have a lot to do.  Is winter over?  One thing I've learned after well over forty years in Israel is that this sort of weather is a typical spring.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What do My Roses Have in Common With My Nail Polish?

Take a good look and think about it.

In the meantime.... Don't you agree that I do have the most gorgeous roses, thank G-d.  Honestly, He is a better gardener than I am.


Just to show you the potential grapes growing...



Does anyone know what these roses have in common with my nail polish?  I'll give you a few days to guess. OK?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Take The Train! First Time for Me on The Israeli Railways

I don't know how long Israel has had the train I took to the airport a few short weeks ago.  Decades and decades ago, there was a totally different train system.  I took it maybe a couple of times. For sure once my husband and I took it from Jerusalem to as far north as it went, and we went to Nahariya.  But I'm a total stranger to this new rail system.  At least I had been...

When I had been trying to figure out how I'd get to the airport, my husband discovered that one of the families he had tried to invite himself for a Shabbat meal could help in a different way.  The wife was going to the airport the same night, but would be detouring first.  So, instead of getting a ride directly to the airport, they dropped me off at the train Rosh Ha'ayin train station.


I was in phone contact with a daughter of mine who sort of coached me through the challenge of traveling on the train, especially since I had to change trains mid trip.  And of course I asked everyone sitting near me, by just saying outloud:
"Where do I transfer to the airport?"

People are so helpful in Israel.  And they even gave me the correct directions!


Now, I can't say that "I've never been on the trains here."

PS I wouldn't recommend it without help if you have a suitcase and not enough hands and strength to carry everything you need at the same time, but since I only had "carry-ons," I managed fine, B"H.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Only in Israel!


Daylight Savings Time starts tonight. They've been giving instructions on TV. Now, listen carefully:


"At 2am, get up, and turn your clock one hour forward. It will then be 3am."


Got that. To do it right, we have to get up at 2am. Or do they think we'll be up at 2am any way? Why would I be up at 2am?


  • to party?

  • to clean?

  • to feed a baby?

  • to turn my clock ahead an hour?

Not me!


Is it one of those things, that if you miss it: Al tachmitzu! Then you "can't join the party." Does it mean that if we don't change our clocks "on time," at 2am, we'll be deprived of Daylight Savings Time? Or will there be a government fine, like the penalty for paying off your mortgage early?


So, sshhhhhhhh, don't tell the government inspectors. I'm not going to wake up specially at 2am. My plan is to move my watch and alarm clock ahead before I go to sleep. Sshhhh, I hope you can keep a secret!