Monday, February 19, 2024

Endives, Recipes Raw and Cooked

I recently blogged that I had volunteered packing mushrooms and cauliflower for sale at Chavat Tekoa, the Tekoa Farm. As a thank you gift, we had been given a bag of endives. Now, to be completely honest, I hadn't a clue as to what endives are or how to serve/prepare them.

From the photo you can't see the size, so I must tell you they're relatively small, about the size of a skinny hand. While working with them, it occurred to me that they're similar to Chinese cabbage, which I haven't seen for decades. There's even a similar texture and taste.

Back to business...
I googled endives and found a variety of recipes, cooked and raw, plus some warnings. I even asked friends, who also warned... that they're bitter. Honestly, I didn't find them bitter at all. 

I used the recipes I saw as "inspiration." I almost never follow recipes exactly. 

sliced onion
cut the endives lengthwise
apple sliced
olive oil and dehydrated dill

Bake 150c until it "looks cooked."
Our guests all enjoyed eating the endives, so I consider it a success. The reason for the apple was that I thought it would be nice contrast to the sharp/bitter endives.

You can use the same ingredients raw with less onion, or just add it to a salad. Actually, that's what I did. It was delicious.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

The War Effort Volunteering in Agriculture

Yes, that's me. I asked one of 
my fellow volunteers to 
photograph me
I finally had an east logistics opportunity to volunteer for the war effort. Our regional council, like an American county, Mateh Binyamin arranged for senior citizens, new and veteran immigrants to Israel to volunteer in the "packing house" of Tekoa, best known for its top quality mushrooms. 

Actually Chavat Tekoa was established by my neighbors' sons, who still own it.

I packaged mushrooms, then cauliflower so that they could be sold. It was important for me to do a really good job. It looks like it'll be a weekly event, but I won't be able to go. Wednesday is the day I study in Matan. Last week was the semester break, so I was really lucky to have such an opportunity.

Thursday, February 01, 2024

Rosh Chodesh Adar I Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh

Ladies, join us rain or shine at Tel Shiloh to pray together on Rosh Chodesh Adar Alef. If you'd like to visit the Tel, Ancient Shiloh, Shiloh Hakeduma, after the prayers, there's plenty to do. 

For more information contact 02-578-9111 or

נשים מוזמנות להתפלל אתנו בראש חודש אדר א בשילה הקדומה לא חשוב מה המזג אוויר. אם אתן רוצות לבקר בתל שילה אחרי התפילה, יש הרבה  מה לעשות שם.לפרטים  02-578-9111  או


Monday, January 22, 2024

Shiloh is Quiet, But War Stress Still Strong

For over three months Israel has been fighting for its very survival against Hamas, such a cruel terrorist army/people that makes the Nazis look almost kind

We haven't heard any sirens. In Shiloh, we don't have to run into shelters; actually we don't have any. Newer homes were build with shelters, and some people who enlarged their older homes now have shelters, too. But in my neighborhood, there are few; certainly none that we can reach within a minute or so.

I stick to my routine of taking a nice morning walk, weather permitting, of course.

And I photograph what I see, afterwards making a collage on the phone's photo-editing app.

I try to keep myself sane. Staying home listening to the news isn't healthy. I'm trying to study even more Tanach/Bible than before. In addition I've been crocheting and going to a mosaics class.

Many neighbors of all ages are serving in the army and local security, family, too. Prayers for all. Just trying to stay sane and healthy. How are you coping?

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Beer Tasting- Israeli Craft Beer, Great Selection

A couple of weeks ago, Beer Maven Doug Greener invited me to a beer tasting. Joining us were two much younger tasters, so each bottle of beer had to be split between the four of us. And in case you're wondering, yes, the Beer בירה mosaics was made by yours truly.

All photos by me, Batya Medad
I'll start with Alexander's "DON'T" which we didn't drink at the tasting. I was given a bottle to taste at home. It's a nice tasting IPA. The name "DON'T" is in honor of the American president's statement, but I'm not going to start with politics... 

I must admit that my favorite beer is a good IPA. "DON'T" wasn't the best IPA I've sampled, but it still had a nice fruity plus hops flavor. I enjoyed it much more than the beers from the big commercial breweries that are sold in our local store.

IPA's must be very popular with Israel's craft beer brewers, because White Rabbit gave us two very refreshing ones. 

Feed Your Head is a light and fruity IPA. Day Dream is a New England IPA, less bitter but sweeter.

You can see the lovely golden color. Both are highly recommended.

We got a lager, named Bock from Alexander. It's a gorgeous dark orange color with a fruity aroma. As I sipped it, I realized that it doesn't taste like a beer and may be a good beer for those who don't like beer. After hearing my opinion on it, Doug called in someone who doesn't like beer. She took a couple of sips and agreed with me. 

Bock is like a tart fruit soda for adults, with the kick of some alcohol. If you like to taste the hops in your beer this isn't for you. 

Hatch brewed a beer it calls הגינה של רוחל'ה HaGinah Shel Ruchala, Ruchala's Garden which has a surprisingly natural mango aroma. Even the color is more like mango juice than beer. It tasted like a spiked sour citrus fruit juice. 

Previously I didn't like fruity beers, because they all seemed to taste artificial, like children's medicine. I'm still traumatized by the fruit flavored beers at the Jerusalem Beer Festival 2019. The more recent attempts to flavor beer with fruit is much more natural tasting. I'd prefer them to a sweet wine.

And then we had what could be called a "dessert beer." Hatch brewed an amazing Chocolate-Maple beer. It's almost a liquor, and I insisted that it would be great with a strong vanilla or coconut ice cream. 

This beer may also appeal to those who insist that they don't like beer.

In all honesty, the selection was the best ever. I don't remember a tasting when I enjoyed all the beers. OK, some didn't quite taste like beer, but they are all very drinkable. None tasted "funny." Try to buy them. 

Israeli craft beers are getting better and better. That's for sure.

Monday, January 01, 2024

Patriotic Necklace "Our Hearts are With IDF Soldiers--Am Yisrael Chai"

About a week ago I heard a news report that the discount supermarket businessman, Rami Levi, was being attacked by the "Get the Hostages Out NOW" crowd, because he was selling diskettim, tags to be worn like a necklace, that say "Our Hearts are With IDF Soldiers--Am Yisrael Chai" for NS5-. The antigovernment "Get the Hostages Out NOW" are selling theirs for NS30. It's a fundraising gimmick for them, while Rami Levi insists that he's only covering expenses. Once I found out that a friend would be in a branch of Rami Levi, I gave her ns20 and asked her to buy me four!!

I'm mostly home in Shiloh with people who see the politics as I do. My friends, my neighbors mostly understand the connections between the various anti-Bibi, antigovernment, anti-judicial reform crowd and the "Get the Hostages Out NOW" leadership and backers.

Today, when in Jerusalem, I saw other friends who just don't get it. One put up a sign demanding that the government free the hostages NOW! I told her that it bothers me, since the demand goes against the needs of the country to defeat our cruel, perverse enemies. Then she shocked me even more by insisting that putting of the sign unites everyone. I was incredulous, reminding her that it separates us. 

"Follow the Money" I begged of her. I hope she thinks more about it.

After that upsetting conversation, I ran into someone who isn't a close friend. We began to talk. She loves my new necklace. We talked a little politics and discovered that we see today's issues about war, hostages etc. identically. Since I was still upset by my earlier discussions, I told her how better I now felt to know that she sees things as I do.

Yes, even jewelry can be political. Everything is political. Israel's at war.

Friday, December 22, 2023

Wedding Music for IDF Soldiers

Many soldiers were at the wedding, plus those who couldn't be there.
And many of us guests have soldiers on the front. 
Am Yisrael Chai!
עם ישראל חי

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Rosh Chodesh Shvat Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh


It's time to make plans to join us for Rosh Chodesh Shvat Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh

We had an amazing experience on Rosh Chodesh Tevet. As you should know, it's the middle of the winter, so rain is expected and needed. Rosh Chodesh morning it was raining and raining very heavily. I contacted people who work at Shiloh Hakeduma to ask if we could pray in a building if the rain continues when we're scheduled to pray. Thank Gd, I was told that we'd be able to use a building.

Gd had other plans. The rain lessened and then stopped just as the women arrived. In all honesty, considering the distance to our usual spot, where it's believed that the Mishkan, Tabernacle had stood, I thought that it would be a good idea to pray closer to the entrance, near the building. But the other women went off and didn't hear my shouts.

The sun was shining... That does happen on a rainy day.

We got to our usual place and began to sing/pray Hallel together, and by the time we finished the rain had resumed. We huddled under the protected areas together and finished Musaf, then listened to a Bat Mitzvah girl sing "Tefilat Chanah." By the time she finished, the rain had stopped, so we were able to walk back to the visitor center of Ancient Shiloh.

There are lots of activities at Shiloh Hakeduma, holograph, movie, museum, tours and more. Contact 02-578-9111 or via email: It can also be accessed by public transportation.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Nice Healthy Lunch, Vegetables with Eggs


A half of a gorgeous orange squash had been staring at me for days from the top shelf of the refrigerator door. I felt inspiration. Did it really want to be the "nest" for an egg? 

I decided to give it a try. 

I cut up onion, squash and tomato and put it in a deep frying pan. Then on top I put two "rings" of the squash, added some oil, covered and cooked it until soft.

Finally, I put an egg in the hole, covered and cooked some more.

The rest is history.

Give it a try making it your own, different vegetables, some cheese on top.

Tell be how yours came out, your variations etc.


Thursday, November 23, 2023

First Time Baking Simple Rye Bread

Yesterday I planned on buying plain whole wheat pittot to use for sandwiches when I travel very early in the morning to Jerusalem for classes in Matan. I've discovered that I function better (meaning stay more alert and awake) if I eat a "good breakfast" before classes. 

Although not my usual menu, I've discovered that a sandwich on whole grain bread seems to do the trick best. That's why I wanted to buy some sort of whole-wheat bread/pitta. They would take up less room in my fridge's limited freezer than rolls. I found a bag, but then for some inexplicable reason, I read the ingredients. Hmmm, there were all sorts of additives, and I lost my appetite for them. 

So the intrepid baker, yours truly, went to the flour section and searched for whole-wheat flour. I couldn't find any. All they had were the 70% and 80% whole-wheat, but there was 100% rye flour. So, I decided to give it a try. 

Just two problems. 

1-Although I've been baking challah for decades, I've never baked simple bread.

2- I've never used rye flour, which I understand reacts differently from wheat.

I began googling, and most recipes had too many ingredients and seemed too complicated. Then I found Easy recipe for 100% rye bread from Virtuous Bread. Nothing could be easier. It doesn't need a mixer, and it includes only four ingredients including a pinch of salt. Following is what I used.

300gram flour, 250gram water (from the faucet,) tablespoon of brown sugar, pinch plus of coarse salt, Tablespoon of dehydrated yeast.

The only equipment you need:

a large bowl, two big mixing spoons, measuring cups and a "loaf" pan for baking


In the large bow mix yeast in the water. Leave it a few minutes, until the yeast liquifies.

Add the flour and salt to the water, mix. I had to add more water. You'll get a sticky gob, but don't worry. You don't have to knead the dough.  Keep mixing with the spoons.

When the mush is mixed, pour (using the two spoons) it into the loaf pan. Instead of greasing the pan I used baking paper. 

Then let it sit at least two hours, covered loosely by a plastic bag. Don't bake until it fills the pan and seems to have a least doubled.

Bake at 200C for about 40 minutes. I think that next time I'll lower it to about 170 once it looks crusty and then keep baking an baking.

When it's ready, have it cool on a rack. After I made my sandwiches I sliced the remaining. 

I made my 

Here's the rye bread, recipe note on top

This must be the world's easiest bread recipe. I mixed it with a spoon. I didn't have to knead it, just poured the gop into the pan and let it sit, covered, for a few hours. Then I baked it in a hot oven. 

avocado and tomato in between slices of the rye bread

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Winning Slogan ביחד ננצח Together We Win

I must admit that when I first saw pictures like these, I thought they were fakes, had been photoshopped. But the eggs were in the tray of 30 I bought last week. Not all the eggs have the message ביחד ננצח Together We Win Yachad Ninatze'ach, just a few of them. Law requires that "expiration date" and size be stamped on the egg.

ביחד ננצח Together We Win

ביחד ננצח Together We Win

These paper towels also have the message, plus a flag. Patriotism, thank Gd, is very popular here. 

I dressed in blue and white today, also.

עם ישראל חי



Thursday, November 09, 2023

It's a Very Good Time to Pray Together, Rosh Chodesh Kislev

Rosh Chodesh Kislev is just a few days away.

Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan was a two day Rosh Chodesh, the first on the 30th of Tishrei and the second on the first of Marcheshvan, so because of the ongoing war, a defensive war against Gazan Hamas terror, we women prayed together at Tel Shiloh, Ancient Shiloh, Shiloh Hakeduma on both days. A record number of women came to pray together. 

This year's Rosh Chodesh Kislev 5784 is just one day, Tuesday November 14, 2023 at 8:30am. 

תפילת נשים בשילה הקדומה ראש חודש כסלו תשפ"ד יום ג' 14\11\2023

Full activities at Shiloh Hakeduma, Ancient Shiloh may not be on because of the war, but we can still pray togther. 

Shiloh is the Biblical location for Women's Prayers, which is why I started inviting women to join me on Rosh Chodesh many years ago.

Gd willing may we speedily celebrate a true victory over our vicious enemies!

Monday, November 06, 2023

Book Review: Innocent Spouse, Spookily Prophetic Re:Today's Gaza War vs Israel and Unabashed Anti-Israel Campaign

Over a month ago, we heard from Leonard Getz, a member of our "Betar circle of friends," who said that he and his wife would be in Shiloh to see the archeological site and hoped to see us, too.  A neighbor and I took them around to give the "grand tour" of Shiloh, including picking grapes from my mini-vinyard. Before they left, Len mentioned that he had just written and published a book. I was immediately interested and told him that I review books, so he offered me Innocent Spouse book to review, I had no idea then that Innocent Spouse  would have such timely relevance. 

I began reading Innocent Spouse just before Hamas attacked Israel in such a shockingly brutal and perverse way.  Unlike my memories from the 1967 Six Days war of Jewish unity praying for Israel, and silence from others, this there are now virulent massive anti-Israel propaganda and demonstrations all over the world, including the United States, on the streets, universities and media.

Innocent Spouse is a murder mystery. Sandra Wolf, an ambitious young journalist is suddenly incommunicado the same time that a series of controversial articles of hers are published in a rival newspaper to the one she works for. Liz, her friend/student/protégé is determined to find her, especially since the police refuse to get involved. Liz's father is an IRS agent who audits businesses trying to discover what they're hiding. Liz, her father and her boyfriend end up discovering not only that Sandra was murdered, but also that a neighborhood Islamic group is not quite what appears on the surface plus its connection to the newspaper Sandra had worked for. 

Innocent Spouse alludes to the growing power Moslem Americans, which is more obvious now than ever before. I decided that I had to ask Getz a few questions.
1-Did you write Innocent Spouse to reveal a reason for the massive anti-Israel demonstrations in the states?   I began working on this novel in 2015. It took me 7 years to write it, so the answer to this question is no.

2-Are you surprised by the grassroots American sympathy for the Hamas terrorists, which seems stronger than for their Israeli victims?   Most, if not all of the vocal support in America for Hamas is from leftists and, not surprisingly, Islamists. I am surprised by its intensity, exemplified by tearing down posters of hostages including children.

3-How did you come up with the idea of exposing radical Islam's insidious influence on American life?  You write about what you know. Having worked for the IRS for 40 years I know about taxes and the workings of the IRS; after retirement I worked part time for the Middle East Form focusing on Islamists in Philadelphia. I’ve been writing about media bias for many years as well. I put all this knowledge in a pot and stirred until ready.

4-Had you foreseen that the book would be so timely?  Two recent events in Philadelphia were so uncannily similar to my novel that several readers commented that they thought about my book when they took place point, some even calling it prophetic. One, a 17 year old who had been radicalized over the internet had purchased bomb making materials etc. and was arrested by the FBI. Two, a young journalist was found murdered in his home. But as far as events in Israel now, that I did not foresee. I don’t think anyone has.
I must congratulate Leonard Getz on his retirement profession as mystery writer. Innocent Spouse is a fascinating book, which was a finalist for the Silver Falchion Award for Best Mystery in 2022. And it was also a finalist in the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award for Best Mystery. I look forward to reading his next one. Innocent Spouse is available in both paperback and kindle.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Conservatarian Press (November 10, 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 339 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1957586206
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1957586205

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Israel was Attacked, But Life is Going On, BH


Almost two weeks ago Hamas attacked Israel. The Gazan Arab terrorists invaded, attacked, killed, mutilated, captured, decapitated, kidnapped, raped, tortured, burned innocent Israeli civilians, male, female, young old. These civilians were the vast majority of those targeted by the Arabs.

Simultaneously they sent deadly rockets to southern and coastal and central cities including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Here in Shiloh, it has been silent, not even a warning siren, bli eyin haraa, but the echoes of these cruel attacks reverberates here very loudly. 

Many of us have family and friends who are victims, and certainly many from Shiloh have been called up to the reserves, to serve in all sorts of capacities, all over the country.

I remember reading that during Israel's War of Independence, the cafes in Tel Aviv were full of food and customers while Jerusalem didn't have water and food. Now, here I am in Holy Shiloh free to take my morning walks and enjoy the quiet. 

I consider myself a "former" news junky, but now I don't listen much. My phone is usually playing Bible Tanach classes mostly from Matan, Torah in Motion and Israel Center OU

It's surreal, but my heart is with our soldiers, injured and mourning.

That's life here...

PS I'll be posting more political posts on Shiloh Musings. Just give me a few hours to get started.

Monday, October 02, 2023

Off to Join the Circus, A Book Review

Off to Join the Circus, a novel by Debora Kalb is a wonderfully enjoyable book about a Jewish family from New Jersey. 

The book is broken up into many short chapters, each one voicing the viewpoint of one character, though not written in first person. Considering that I frequently get lost early on trying to remember the various characters when reading a book, I found this format very helpful. 

The book begins with the unexpected reappearance of Adele Pinsky who had run away as a teenager sixty-four 64 years earlier. No one is more shocked and excited by her return than her younger brother Howard, who is celebrating his seventy-fifth 74th birthday when she suddenly calls him up and announces that she's coming for a visit. 

Adele keeps many of her secrets to the end, and she's the only main character who doesn't have a chapter, nary a one. 

Family dynamics among the Pinsky family undergoes understandable changes as they get to know Adele. She also gets to know them and tries to find her place after a two generation absence. Howard even has grandchildren older than he had been when his big sister Adele had suddenly left.

Either the elder Pinskys weren't sure of the where/why Adele had left or they hid the truth from young Howard by saying that she was off to "join the circus," apparently their euphemism for risky adventure.

It didn't take many pages before I was totally caught up with the members of the Pinsky family, their various trials, tribulations and wonderful closeness. They're definitely a family that cares about each other making the sixty-four year absence especially painful.

I could barely put the book down and then was so terribly disappointed when I realized that I had read the very last page... I wanted to read more about the Pinskys. 

Deborah Kalb wrote a fantastic book. Yes, Off to Join the Circus is highly recommended.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Loyola College/Apprentice House (July 18, 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 316 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1627204490
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1627204491

Friday, September 15, 2023

Have a Wonderful Healthy New Year שנה טובה


Here's this year's FRUIT HEAD, my special Rosh Hashanah custom, since my days as a vegetarian. 

Shanah Tovah 5784

שנה טובה תשפ"ד

Monday, September 11, 2023

Summer- Sure Have Been Enjoying The Pool


The local Shiloh Swimming Pool is just a few minutes' walk from my house. This week is the the last of the season. Most of us would love another week, but this has already been the longest season ever. 

Not only do we have "separate swimming" only, but the day begins and ends with 18+ adults only. That makes it a super pleasure. Our pool is very social, at least during Women's hours. No, we don't laze around on lounge chairs. We chat as we exercise in the water. Of course there are some serious swimmers, who are busy swimming laps, but many of us exercise with our heads above water most of the time. I'm going to miss the socializing as well as the water exercise.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Body and Soul: The Torah Path to Health, Fitness, and a Holy Life


Body and Soul: The Torah Path to Health, Fitness, and a Holy Life by Rabbi Alexander Seinfeld (Author), Dr. Daniel Grove MD (Author) is a good practical book about getting healthier despite being part of a culture and society that promotes overeating. 

Yes, I said it. Traditional Jewish life, nowadays isn't very healthy, and to be honest secular life isn't any better. One big difference is that eating plays a major part in Jewish Life, and most people would be embarrassed to serve a meal that looks "frugal," which can be a negative way of describing a healthy meal or kiddush.

Body and Soul conveniently includes an extensive section with the calorie count of favorite Jewish foods including things like gefilte fish and kreplach.

Personally, I've spent my entire life trying to keep my weight down, and usually failing, though I don't eat the sort of menu Seinfeld and Grove consider typical. I hate to think of what I would look like and my health if I ate that typical high sugar and fat menu.

Early in Body and Soul we read of the dangers of sugars, yes, there are many different kinds, and the many seemingly "healthy" foods rich in it. Rabbi Seinfeld and Dr. Grove also explain how to calculate the amount of calories each individual needs to maintain present weight and a realistic amount to reduce to lose weight safely. 

Because food and ritual eating is such an intrinsic part of Judaism, Body and Soul definitely has a market. Rabbi Seinfeld and Dr. Grove have written a very Jewish diet guide including typical, for many frum people, Shabbat/Chag menus, including what one noshes on at a kiddush. If you pencil in the calorie counts (from the guide at the end of the book) next to what you normally eat and then add it up, the chances are that you'd be horrified.

My most successful weight loss periods were when I kept a food chart, writing down what and how much I ate, plus the calorie counts. If you use a smart phone, that may be the best tool. There's probably an app which will make it easier. Rabbi Seinfeld and Dr. Grove also say that you really must know and keep track of what you eat. One of their tips is not to take second portions. For many people that makes a big difference in total calorie intake. And your total calorie intake is what's most important.

I would just like to add one of my suggestions. Simplify what you serve; make life easier and healthier. Don't give too many choices, because most people will try everything and eat more than they should. Serve just one carbohydrate. There's no reason to have both potato kugel and roasted potatoes. If you follow the custom of two and three kugel Shabbat, make spinach kugel, carrot kugel, along with either a noodle or potato kugel. There's no need to have three types of fleishik. One's enough, especially if you've started the meal with the first course of fish. Make lots of fresh salad and a choice of simple vegetables, no sugar/jam/honey added.  

Body and Soul: The Torah Path to Health, Fitness, and a Holy Life is a very readable book and can really help people by opening their eyes and making them aware of what's in the food they eat. I recommend it as a very good start in improving one's and one's family's life and health.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Jewish Spiritual Literacy Press (June 1, 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 510 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1680259156
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1680259155

Monday, August 14, 2023

Theater in The Rough, Shakespeare in Jerusalem

Last night night I joined many at the performance by Theater in The Rough of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. It was fantastic despite the heat. Actually they started it at 6pm, a half hour later than usual, for the comfort of the actors and audience. 

The location is the Blumfield Park, which is "under" King David Street, closer to the Yemin Moshe end. The scenes are in a few nearby parts of the park, each a short walk from each other. Most people bring folding chairs, stools or blankets for sitting, though you can rent a very comfortable folding chair for only NS30, which I did. There are still more opportunities to see the play: 
Julius Caesar: in motion – August 8-24, 2023
There is no required ticket price, though NS40 is recommended, and they're grateful for any donation, more or less.

Here are a few photos I took at last night's performance. Public transportation and parking are nearby.

לפרטים נוספים – For more information 052-559-4257