Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Delicious, Munchies, Ariel

For the longest time, I'd been hearing from friends that the best restaurant in nearby Ariel is Munchies. Some of them even say that it's their all time favorite. Finally, this week, I got to eat there when some friends took me out for my birthday, and I must agree.

When we entered Munchies, there was loud music, a bad start. But when I mentioned the problem to the staff who had greeted us, he immediately turned it down, no arguments at all. 

The generous beef hamburgers come with a choice of side dishes. I chose the salad which was really delicious. The waiter brought a variety of dressings and sauces for the hamburger and salad, but I didn't try them. I just asked for olive oil for the salad.

Apparently, they've reduced the menu, since the war, fewer available employees. I found plenty of food to choose from. They have a nice variety of hamburgers and other main courses, plus side dishes and a children's meal.


They offer a featured beer, Shikma 砖拽诪讛. Since this was my "birthday celebration" how could I refuse to try it? It was a pleasant beer, amber ale, not very strong, but tasty.

As you can see, it's a really lovely salad. I appreciate the dressing was on the side.


Munchies is on Rechov Hamelachah 2, in the old industrial zone not far from the Rami Levi Mall/Shopping Center. Phone 03-9368000. Yes, it's kosher.

Service was wonderful, polite and helpful. They don't have an English version of the menu, one of the things that bothers some of my friends. But the waiter was willing to translate and explain when needed.

Yes, I've joined the Munchies Fan Club!

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Living Without a Car, How Do We Travel?

How do I manage to travel, even though we don't have a car, and public transportation can be rather complicated?



Sometimes it can be very easy, but days like yesterday can be rather complicated. I had to get to my cousin in Hod Hasharon, which in theory shouldn't be all that complicated --our 461 to Ariel and then there are usually many buses from there to the Yarkon Junction.

But the Transportation Ministry has decided that people don't travel on Israeli Independence Day by bus. Most of the buses to Ariel had been canceled, so I took the first one, which came to Shiloh about 10am. For a few stops I was the only passenger on the bus! Then some more came on.

As we arrived in Ariel, I checked on the bus app (efo bus) for buses to Yarkon Junction. They all said "day+" meaning tomorrow. That wasn't very helpful. I didn't want to tremp-- hitchhike.

Suddenly it indicated that an 86 to Petach Tikva would be at Ariel Mall stop in about six minutes. I was a few minutes from there, but if the driver was planning on letting us off at the official last stop, I'd miss the bus.

At times chutzpah is necessary, so I asked the driver to let me off a few hundred meters early, and he agreed, so I easily caught the connecting bus. The next bus was about an hour or more later. Neighbors would be passing by about a half an hour afterwards, so they could have picked me up. I only found out that they'd be traveling in the direction I needed after I had left on the 461.

At Tzomet Yarkon I was picked up by my cousin. The return trip was a bit more complicated... If you want to hear, please let me know.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

WHITE RABBIT's Day Dream's a Dream

All photos, photographed by me

WHITE RABBIT invited the Beer Maven, Doug Greener. and the tasting crew -including yours truly, plus Jerusalem Post staff to its Tel Aviv brewery last week. We got onboard the train in Jerusalem and in no time we were in Tel Aviv. 

To be honest, I can't remember the last time I had been in Tel Aviv and hadn't a clue as to where in Tel Aviv we'd be. I trusted Doug to find the way to the brewery. And I certainly had never taken the train to Tel Aviv, though a friend and I once took it for free to Ben Gurion Airport when it was in "the running-in period." 

After leaving the train station, we needed a couple of stops on a bus, and there we were in their spic and span white and polished brewery. Just know that it wasn't in the neighborhood of fancy geometric modernistic skyscrapers. 

We were treated to some fresh salads and a variety of their beers. 

In addition we received a tour of the brewery with lots of explanations and stories from those in charge.




As you can see in the photos, White Rabbit's equipment looks very impressive. To preserve the quality of their beer they only sell to shops and pubs that promise to keep the beer cooled, rather than just cooling before serving. 

It was explained to us that their beer is a natural drink without chemicals to keep it stable and fresh-tasting. I prefer beer over wine, since wine has sulfites which aren't good for me.

The three beers we tasted were all versions of IPA, including a NEIPA, and by the time we left I couldn't really distinguish any differences. The only thing I knew for sure was that all the White Rabbit beers we tasted were delicious, Day Dream 5%, Ten Feet Tall 7% and Feed Your Head which is the NEIPA 7%.

Since we were given gift packs of their beers to take home, I decided to drink them on their own to get a better feel for the flavor. On Shabbat I drank Day Dream, which has a nice strong fruity aroma. The taste was flavorful, perfect for a summer morning, and the low-ish alcohol content was good, too.

You can order White Rabbit online, not just in bottles. There are various "dispensers." If you want to contact them  Telephone 03-6242783, or email Info@white-rabbit.co.il.




Tuesday, April 02, 2024

Book Review: Gilgul I: Re-dedication

Gilgul I: Re-dedication by Emily Singer is a fascinating and compelling fictional retelling of the Chanuka story written for children. With the great success of the Harry Potter series, many Jewish authors have taken themes from our history and expanded them  with magic and mysticism especially for youth.

Considering that Israel is now at war for its survival, and Jews in the Diaspora are dealing with a rise in antisemitism that had been unthinkable even a year ago, this really is the time to give your children a book of Jewish heroism and hope, like Gilgul I

In this interview with Singer, you can read of how she felt the need for the book, even in simpler times.

David, just fifteen 15, and his sister Leya are the heroes of this behind the scenes biblical adventure. Their father defies the Greeks by secretly teaching Torah, while producing exquisite wooden furniture with the help of his children. 

Like many biblical heroines, Leya is brave and practical, even more so than the males. Her prowess with the bow and arrow are, davka, superior to David's who prefers playing Skyros, similar to rugby but much more dangerous. His extraordinary talent has been noticed by a royal Greek player making David's life much more complicated. 

Yes, I recommend Gilgul I, which can be ordered from Amazon.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Hakodesh Press (November 13, 2018)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 208 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 6202455276
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-6202455275

Monday, March 18, 2024

That Oppenheimer Movie

Oppenheimer did really well in the recent Oscars aka Academy Awards, but IMHO they didn't deserve all those awards.


The other night I saw that Oppenheimer movie. Actually we didn't go to the cinema; we saw it in a neighbor's home where she has a nice big screen. 

I'm glad that I hadn't paid to see it. It was rather torturous to be perfectly honest. One neighbor walked out in the middle saying that he know the plot/history. I stayed hoping it would get better, even though trying to run a marathon would probably have been more pleasant.

Just because it won lots of prizes doesn't mean it's good. I'm a cynic, realist, pragmatist, and I don't follow the crowds. Some movies which had won barely any awards have have held up and today over half a century later, like Some Like It Hot, and are now treasured, praised and viewed more than ever. Compare it to Roman Holiday and The Sting, also great award winners. They're favorites with many, though over a half a century old. If I'm even in enforced bedrest, please keep me cheerful and fascinated by watching movies like those. I doubt if people will will willing to watch the three hours of Oppenheimer in sixty 60 years, or even in ten, unless they're already unconscious.

Good cinema, like good literature must show character development, challenges and changes. Granted Oppenheimer did face challenges, but Cillian Murphey's expression, tone and expression never changed. Maybe it's because his facial skin had been stretched too tightly...

I was surprised to discover that Emily Blunt was the actress who played Kitty Oppenheimer, because, at least to me, she was unrecognizable and looked miserable. Kitty was a very poorly written character, which makes little sense. Do you consider that good acting for an attractive actress who did such a great job as in The Devil Wears Prada?

The only aspect of the movie that impressed me was the visual at times, so I would have nominated them for the Academy Award for  "Special Affects." Not only didn't they win it, but they weren't even nominated for that category.

If you're thinking of seeing Oppenheimer, think again. It's not worth three hours of your life. For me the test of what's a great movie is answering "yes" to the question: 
"Would you like to see this movie another few times for enjoyment?"

Thursday, March 07, 2024

Hearing Aids Report #6 Two Years Later-- A Few Tips and HUMOR 馃槄馃槉

You may find it helpful to read my previous articles about life with hearing aids, updates #1,  #2#3#4, #5, plus mask-tying advice for avoiding COVID and loss of expensive hearing aids.

pre-bedtime routine
glasses and hearing aids
It's hard to believe that over two years have passed since I first got my hearing aids. My audiologist had sent me out that day with them in my ears claiming that there's no gradual getting used to them, but to be honest it did take me quite a few months. During those first few months I returned to the clinic for quick visits, help, different size domes etc. Also, I'd go days without wearing them and find them uncomfortable by the end of the day.

I can't say exactly when things changed and wearing them daily until bedtime became routine. Of course, I wasn't under a lot of pressure to rush it, because I do hear, though not perfectly. Generally I don't put them in until I'm leaving home, or if I need the Bluetooth in order to listen to things when I'm not alone.

One of the The best thing about wearing hearing aids is no longer interrupting people with "What?" or "I couldn't hear that."

A few weeks ago I made an appointment at the clinic where I had bought my hearing aids to see if there had been any changes in my hearing. The audiologist who helped me then had be promoted to head a different branch, so I had someone else. She tested my hearing and adjusted the hearing aids to their new requirements. No complaints.

Our healthcare provider gave lots of choice in places to get the hearing aids but first required an exam by an ENT and a proper hearing test. Every three and a half years we, here in Israel, can buy a subsidized pair.

*****

Following are a couple of funny things concerning my life with hearing aids. My hearing may be faulty, but not my sense of humor. What do you think?

Has this happened to anyone else?馃檭 Tell me in the comments.

1-I sat down by the computer in the den after being in the kitchen and suddenly realized I didn't have my phone, though I could hear it through the Bluetooth. 

So I went back to the kitchen and looked all over. I couldn't find it. 

My husband decided to be helpful and "dialed" me, but of course that didn't help, since the ring is via Bluetooth. I heard the ring through my hearing aids.

So I took out my hearing aids and opened the battery case to turn off the Bluetooth. 

Suddenly sounds came out of a cabinet. Yes, I had placed my phone in a kitchen cabinet. I took it out,  turned my hearing aids back on and returned them to my ears.馃槈

2-One morning my phone refused to make any sounds. I tried everything, turned it off. Restart didn't help. I psyched myself up to prepare for a trip to someone for repairs. 

Before leaving, I took my hearing aids to insert in my ears and... discovered that I hadn't turned them off before going to sleep. There wasn't anything wrong with my telephone's sound. The sound had been going into the hearing aids which had been in their box. The only thing I hadn't tried was to turn off the Bluetooth. 馃槒

Monday, March 04, 2024

Women's Rosh Chodesh Adar 2 Prayers at Tel Shiloh

Ladies, join us at Tel Shiloh, Shiloh Hakeduma on the 1st of Adar Bet, Monday March 11 at 8:30am.



Besides our Women's Prayers, there are many other things to do at the beautiful well developed archeological site at Tel Shiloh. This is the actual, proven, location where the Biblical Chana prayed for a son and the Mishkan, Tabernacle stood welcoming Jews for prayers for close to four hundred 400 years. 

For more information 02-578-9111, visit@telshilo.org.il and a-shiloh.co.il








Tuesday, February 27, 2024

A Couple of Sips From a Recent Beer Tasting


A few weeks ago, I decided to buy myself a couple of bottles of Israeli craft beer, but it had to be really good beer. My favorite brewery is Shapiro, but if I'm buying it has to be one of my favorites of theirs, their IPA or Jack's Winter Ale. I walked down Rechov Agrippas, Jerusalem, which has some liquor stores with beer. The first one had some Shapiro, but not those particular ones, and the same at the second shop. But in the second the salesman asked me what I was looking for, so I told him. 

First he tried to interest me in Shapiro's newest beer, pineapple and mango flavored. Ever since I tasted the awful artificial fruit flavored beers at the 2019 Jerusalem Beer Festival, I suffer a sort of PTS when people mention fruit flavored beer. As an amateur beer taster, I can't refuse when offered some, which I told the salesman, but there's no way I'd buy a bottle of an unknown beer.

One thing thing I didn't tell him was that I was scheduled to attend a beer tasting the following evening and suspected that this new Shapiro beer would be on the tasting menu. I had guessed correctly! And I must say that Shapiro has done a fantastic job with natural fruit flavored beer. 

Farm to Bottle Pineapple Mango's a rich golden color with pleasant fruity aroma, hints of the mango and pineapple. Nothing artificial. We agreed that it's more a summer than a winter drink. I'd add it to the list of beers for those who don't like beer. Personally I'd prefer drinking it to white wines. So if you have a chance to buy some, go for it.

As you can see from the display of bottles behind us tasters, we sampled quite a few beers that evening. We ended with Barrel Aged Saison from Shevet, another good Israeli craft brewery. 

This aged saison beer was another hit. Lovely golden hue, rich aroma, fruity, honey, plus some spice. Due to the fact that it's bottled in a wine-sized bottle, it should be served socially, like wine. I'd also prefer this Shevet beer to white wine. 

Israeli wines and even a local whiskey win international awards, and I'm pretty sure that our craft beers will be bringing home trophies, too.


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. 

Ingredients:
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 visit@telshilo.org.il.

谞砖讬诐 诪讜讝诪谞讜转 诇讛转驻诇诇 讗转谞讜 讘专讗砖 讞讜讚砖 讗讚专 讗 讘砖讬诇讛 讛拽讚讜诪讛 诇讗 讞砖讜讘 诪讛 讛诪讝讙 讗讜讜讬专. 讗诐 讗转谉 专讜爪讜转 诇讘拽专 讘转诇 砖讬诇讛 讗讞专讬 讛转驻讬诇讛, 讬砖 讛专讘讛  诪讛 诇注砖讜转 砖诐. 

visit@telshilo.org.il.诇驻专讟讬诐  02-578-9111  讗讜


 

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 讘讬专讛 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 讛讙讬谞讛 砖诇 专讜讞诇'讛 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.