Sunday, February 18, 2018

Jerusalem, Looking for Our Old Home

Last week the "Senior Citizen" program in Ulpanat Ofra I go to on Thursdays had a trip to Jerusalem. Gd willing I'll write more about it on a different day. For me, the highlight was seeing the model of Jerusalem which is used by the committee that approves new building projects and changes on existing buildings. We all circled around the model trying to identify neighborhoods and buildings. Some members of the group were excited to find their old homes. I searched for our old apartment in Bayit Vigan and then was told that the neighborhood wasn't included in the model. I found other places I know well and where some of my children live, but it was disappointing. Actually a very large amount of Jerusalem isn't part of the model. Jerusalem is so much bigger. They would need a number of models and large halls to accommodate today's Jerusalem, even so miniaturized. It really would be a fantastic project to construct.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Where Have The Wild Flowers Gone?

Tel Shiloh used to be covered with gorgeous colorful wild flowers this time of year.
But a few years ago the administrator decided it was too wasteful to have to send gardeners to clean the paths from winter weeds. They used weed-killer which couldn't distinguish between weeds and legally protected wildflowers. So now it is so rare to see anything other than the almond trees blooming.

Friday, February 16, 2018

"You Need Coffee" Review Colombian

 Ever since it has opened, I've wanted to get ground coffee from "You Need Coffee." I love the name. It now has two stores both on Jaffa Road, Jerusalem, one near the Municipality and the other across from the shuq. This week I finally bought myself some ground coffee from there, three different ones.

I really must make it clear that I only buy the least expensive coffees available. NS10 for 100 grams of coffee is high enough a price, as far as I'm concerned. I try to always buy the strongest smelling of the least expensive.

Yesterday morning I opened the Colombian coffee. First of all, it was properly ground for the French Press. No powder. But although the beans seemed to have a nice aroma in the shop, it didn't fill my kitchen with even a faint scent. Maybe that's why it's one of the least expensive they sell. In terms of flavor and aroma, nothing here seems to be on the level of the packaged American ground coffee. What can I say, other than that I love the American packaged coffee. Its flavor beats pretty much everything I've bought in Israel.

Unlike every other place I've bought freshly ground coffee here in Israel, at the least the packaging in You Need Coffee is excellent. The other coffees I bought are safely stored.  I'm looking forward to trying them, too.

The staff was friendly and really seems to care about the coffee and customers. Gd willing, I'll be back.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Jewish Books, Jewish Literature, a Carnival

This is my first turn at hosting the Jewish Book Carnival, which appears monthly. It's a collection of links to posts about Jewish books and Jewish Literature. In some cases the posts are book reviews of Jewish books, while others are about Jewish literature or authors.

A number of bloggers sent me links. Please visit, comment and share, thanks.

Over on My Machberet, Erika Dreifus routinely curates pre-Shabbat Jewish-lit links. Here's one recent post, which includes a link to Erika's own article on the AJL Fiction Award for Tablet magazine.

Heidi Rabinowitz interviews Antonio Iturbe, author of THE LIBRARIAN OF AUSCHWITZ. This book won the 2018 Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Teen Readers Category. Antonio Iturbe on the 2018 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour

New English Review has Jewish Memories and Visions: A Review of Two Books.

Deborah Kalb interviews a wide variety of authors on her blog, deborahkalbbooks.blogspot.comHere's a recent interview with Dara Horn about her new novel, ETERNAL LIFE.

SYLVIA ROUSS wrote Lessons I’ve Learned from 25 Years in Children’s Publishing.

Barbara Bietz blogs about Almost A Minyan by Lori Kline, including interviewing the author.

On Sasson Magazine, the new site for alt-frum writers and authors, Rivka Levy shares 10 tips on how authors can continue to enjoy writing even when they aren't earning a lot of money, or getting a lot of kudos for their work.

I reviewed the fictionalized history of Rabbi Akiva by Yochi Brandes, The Orchard.

I highly recommend that anyone who is interested in Jewish Literature or reviews Jewish books should get involved in this blog carnival.

The purposes of the Jewish Book Carnival are:

  • To build community among bloggers who feature Jewish books on their blogs 

  • To promote Jewish reading, and fields supporting this reading such as publishing and library services

  • For more information, email Those willing to host a Jewish Book Carnival can contact the above email address.

    Next month's Jewish Book Carnival will be hosted by The Whole Megillah. Please send in your link and blurb to, with "Jewish Book Carnival" as the subject, by March 10, 2018, thanks.

    Wednesday, February 14, 2018

    Goat Yogurt Givat Olam

    Yes I am finally eating the second new for me goat yogurt I had bought in Zamora. Givat Olam is amazing sweet and smooth tasting yogurt. I only buy plain yogurt.

    It is organic and from the Shomron.

    Baile Rochel on Children's Health

    A couple of decades ago, a health food magazine was published in Israel. It accepted a few of my humorous Baile Rochel style articles for publication. Here is one of them:

    What do you think?

    Tuesday, February 13, 2018

    Fat, Fat Go Away

    I guess that my diet saga will never truly end. I have very slowly gotten off about five kilo, 11 pounds after they had been vanished in a rather successful diet a few years ago. But I know well that they can return in an instant. Because it has happened.

    Walking has helped. I've raised my weekly step count. That is until the flu stopped me. But at least I didn't gain weight with the flu. I still haven't returned to my pre-flu walking.

    I caught the pedometer stop count davka at such a crazy number.
    The hardest thing is to get a nicer looking body. I lost a bit of weight, but I am still very overweight and growing older. OK good news that I'm still alive. Thank Gd

    Monday, February 12, 2018

    Nearby "Farm"

    Yesterday I was walking around my neighborhood, and I was surprised to see these "barnyard animals" literally a few meters from my house in Shiloh.

    Who would have thought?

    On occasion I had heard a young dog barking, but I had never seen the dog before. The neighbors use the goat milk for food and organic free range eggs, too.

    Sunday, February 11, 2018

    My Fighter Pilot Story- Memories

    Since Shabbat, I guess, because I first saw news of it after we did havdala, the news here has been full of the fantastic flying skills of an Israeli fighter pilot.WATCH: POLICE SECURE REMAINS OF ISRAELI JET THAT WAS SHOT DOWN

    This brings me back to one of the most surprising experiences I've ever survived. It happened during the 1991 Gulf War, when as a reaction to US President Bush The Elder's threats to Iraq, Iraq bombed/attacked Israel. To this day, I can't figure out how we became the target instead of the United States of America. 
    The initial conflict to expel Iraqi troops from Kuwait began with an aerial and naval bombardment on 17 January 1991, continuing for five weeks. This was followed by a ground assault on 24 February. This was a decisive victory for the coalition forces, who liberated Kuwait and advanced into Iraqi territory. The coalition ceased its advance and declared a ceasefire 100 hours after the ground campaign started. Aerial and ground combat was confined to Iraq, Kuwait, and areas on Saudi Arabia's border. Iraq launched Scud missiles against coalition military targets in Saudi Arabia and against Israel.
    Those of us who were living in Israel at the time were frequently woken in the middle of the night by sirens to alert us of possibly approaching enemy missiles. And we then would have to run into a shelter or whatever room in the house had been prepared as a "safe room."

    The military experts insisted that there was a chance that chemical weapons would be launched at us and gave very complicated instructions on how to properly seal the room. I must admit that I didn't follow it exactly. We, davka, chose our bedroom because it has an ensuite bathroom. I wasn't frightened enough to equip the room with the recommended buckets. When a siren went off, the kids would just pile into our room, and we'd all sleep, somehow, together.

    It didn't take long to discover that Shiloh wasn't a target. Suddenly Shiloh filled with friends and family of neighbors looking for a safe place to stay. Tel Aviv and its suburbs sustained damage, and miraculously there was nobody in Israel killed by a direct hit, if my memory is correct. But when one of those missiles hit a base with American soldiers, about two dozen of them were killed. That's how dangerous those missile potentially were.

    My husband and I had been invited by Herut, Great Britain to be the honorary guests and speakers at their big weekend convention in Bournemouth, scheduled long before, about three weeks into the war. Since it was quiet in Shiloh, we didn't change our plans. Our oldest daughter scheduled vacation from her National Service in Kiryat Shemoneh to stay home while we were away, and we went off on an all expenses covered vacation to England for a few days.

    During that war, only El Al was flying in and out of Israel. Ben Gurion Airport was smaller than it is today, and since there was virtually no incoming tourism to Israel and so few flights, things were pretty quiet. It really was a treat for us to get away, even though we didn't think that we were escaping a war.

    The flight began on schedule with the usual instructions and buckling in. Then the plane began to move and then ascend into the sky. Suddenly it took a very sharp turn. Never before or after that did I experience such an ascent. Apparently the pilot noticed a missile coming at us and took avoidance action saving us all, Baruch Hashem, thank The Good Lord.

    At that time, pretty much all El Al pilots were trained in the Israeli Air Force as fighter pilots.

    Saturday, February 10, 2018

    Bye, Bye Books

    It may have been years since I have looked at any of the books here, mostly cookbooks and natural health books.

    In my new kitchen, Gd willing, these shelves will be recycled and doored to hold percolator, French press, mugs and other thins I use daily.

    If anyone wants some books, now is the time to come and take or arrange delivery.

    Friday, February 9, 2018

    New Trees

    We received notification that there were trees for the taking, so I sent my husband to take a couple. The announcement said that there were evergreens and fruit trees. I didn't specify what to take. When I saw which he got, two evergreens, then I decided where they should go. And then he planted them, as you can see in the pictures. 

    I just have to water them. It's a good thing that I bought a second long hose. So now one is set up at one tree and the other at the second one. The tree I planted a few days ago had died immediately, but our tree maivin, who also makes wine out of our grapes, said it wouldn't survive.

    Gd willing, updates to follow.

    Thursday, February 8, 2018

    Beer Tasting

    The beer maivin invited me for another beer-tasting. More details to follow in a later post.

    Wednesday, February 7, 2018

    Saying Goodbye to...

    ... my favorite coat.

    It's so rare to find a coat that not only is a good neutral color, but neither too heavy nor too light, plus having a perfect selection of pockets, mostly zippered. I bought the coat in New York, the Fall when I had gone there to take my father to live with us in Israel.

    I had arrived in New York without a winter coat, since I had already gotten rid of my old one. And during that very hectic visit I managed to use some time I was given to literally run between a couple of stores on the "Miracle Mile," Northern Boulevard to find the best deal on a coat. I don't remember the exact price, but considering that I got about nine seasons of use from it... Yes, it was a great coat.

    This year I noticed that the fabric was spontaneously ripping. Everytime I wore it, there were more unpleasant surprises. So, I decided that this would be its last season. Instead of laundering it so it would be clean to wear again, I'd throw it out. But the other day I finally admitted to myself that I looked really awful wearing a coat that was all ripped. There was no reason, and I do have another winter coat, which had been waiting patiently in my closet.

    So, before I could have second thoughts I photographed it for this blog and then took it out and hung it on the garbage. Maybe somebody would want it, and I really didn't have the heart to just throw it in the bin. It had served me well.

    Tuesday, February 6, 2018

    Shiloh's Resident Chiropractor

    Here in Shiloh we're pretty lucky to have a local chiropractor, Dr. Azriel Gordon, who has been working in the field for over thirty years. Many of my neighbors have been cared for by him. Dr. Gordon insists that he's not a medical doctor and calls what he does "tune ups." According to him, the body can heal itself, or function better, when properly cared for. He doesn't call the people he helps patients, either.

    My brother-in-law, in New York, has been a chiropractor for about forty years, and from what I've seen, each chiropractor develops different methods. Dr. Gordon confirmed this.

    Last night's gathering was to see the new clinic Dr. Gordon has opened, Optimal Wellness and Laws of Life Chiropractic Center of Shiloh. He explained his rationale of his practice and more. A few people told of how Dr. Gordon helped them. Click here and here for more information. Call 054-4849094 to make an appointment or ask more questions.

    Monday, February 5, 2018

    New Mosaic Series

    This still needs the filler, but here you can see my first of this new series.

    שבוע טוב

    It is for the Havdala ceremony after Shabbat.

    Sunday, February 4, 2018

    New Goat Yogurt, Report

    Last week, after I paid a shiva call to the family of the amazing and irreplaceable Toby Willig, ZaTza"L, I walked by the Zamora Health Food store and decided to see if they had any plain goat yogurt.

    The two brands I normally get aren't available right now, for a couple of months, since this is the season that the female goats are giving birth and feeding their babies. I had written about my using shamenet, sour cream as a substitute.

    The Zamora Health Food store isn't one of my usual haunts, but I figured it would be a good idea to check it out. I'm glad I did. It's a small supermarket of every sort of organic food, even a section with frozen poultry. And, yes, I found some plain yogurt. I bought two liter bottles, two different brands. Gd willing, they should suffice for the next couple of weeks.

    I must say that the גלילי Galili Goat Yogurt has a very different taste from the two brands I usually get. It's much sharper. The experts would probably say that it has more of a "goat" taste. Although I absolutely hated goat milk in my coffee, when I tried it, I like the tartness of the yogurt with sweet fruit.

    I'm glad to have discovered Zamora, because there's a branch not far from Matan and my Jerusalem kids. When I finish the Galili yogurt, I'll open the other bottle/brand and let you know how that one is, Gd willing.

    Friday, February 2, 2018

    Guess Which I Drew

    We did chalk or pastel drawing yesterday. I am not good at this sort of thing.
    Some pictures were joint efforts and others individual.
    Can you guess which are mine...

    Thursday, February 1, 2018

    Why Doesn't The Sun Look Orange?

    Yesterday morning, the sunrise was stupendous and the sun a very bright orange. I took a whole bunch of pictures at all sorts of "settings," and none of the photos show a bright orange sun!  I use my phone, the Samsung J7.

    I hope you believe that the sun was orange and not white...

    Wednesday, January 31, 2018

    Substitute for Goat Yogurt

    For the past few weeks, I've found it impossible to find the good quality goat yogurt I like for my breakfast. I eat it with fruit and fresh ginger. I checked all over and asked why there weren't any on the refrigerator shelves. Apparently it is the season for those "mama goats" to have babies, and the babies get the milk for the first couple of months. I can understand that, but what was I supposed to eat?

    I wanted a reliable natural yogurt, just milk and "starter." I looked through the dairy section in our local store and surprised myself. The most natural sort-of yogurt was sour cream. I bought a lowered fat one of 15% fat and have been using just a bit each morning with my fruit and ginger. It's amazingly sweet and satisfying. So, until I find good goat yogurt, I'm OK.

    The irony is that I had never in my life been a sour cream eater. But now, I can see how addictive it can be. It really is delicious and sweet. But I don't need those fat calories, sigh...

    Tuesday, January 30, 2018

    Salute to Israel Parade, NY, 1970

    We've been pulling out old albums of late, and found these irreplaceable photos.

    They are from the Salute to Israel Parade. Marching are members of the NCSY Dance Group which had performed in Felt Forum, Madison Square Garden that year. I was group leader. It was the first time the Israeli Folk Dance Festival had performed there.

    Previously it had been in Carnegie Hall, which has, or had, an ambience all its own. But festival director, Fred Berk had been itching for a more genuine folk dance festival feeling. He hated the stage and curtains in the illustrious concert hall. When I took his Leadership and Choreography course in 1967-68, he always stressed that true folk dance required dancing onto the performance area and dancing off of it. NO CURTAINS raised and lowered.

    At the 1970 festival we all sat around the performance area, getting up to dance on and off when it was our group's turn. Then at the very end of the show, all of the groups and dancers danced together in separate circles.

    A couple of months later, at the parade, my dancers and I donned our costumes and danced up Fifth Avenue. We had sewn the skirts the year before for the 1969 festival, but then we added white trim on the bottom plus the "belts" in 1970. And we wore our own white blouses. For the festivals, we danced barefoot, but of course that wouldn't work on the NYC streets.

    In 1970, NCSY was given a spot near the beginning of the parade, and Betar was towards the end. So, after dancing the entire way to the end, I quickly, literally ran back down Fifth Avenue to join Betar and march again. Being just a spectator was not for me.

    Who else was at that parade?