Monday, February 28, 2005

Peter Pan, is it really me?

I was bored, so I took advice from Willow Green and took a quiz, which said that I am Peter Pan.

Which Disney Character is your Alter Ego?
created with Can you believe this?

Peter Pan


Sleeping Beauty






Donald Duck




The Beast


Snow White


Cruella De Ville




Which Disney Character is your Alter Ego?
created with

Kohelet, Ecclesiastes, from last week

Just the usual reminder to have a text handy.

We're in Kohelet Chapter 6, verse 8, discussing the difference between a "ksil" and a "chacham," a foolish one and a wiseman,

The chacham uses his talents and intelligences, while the ksil wastes them.

No one really knows about other people's burdens; it's not good to be jealous, go after othe rpeople's lives--the ksil imagines that it would be better. But he's wrong.

9- go with what you see, don't imagine, don't presume what's in another person's heart. You may be very wrong, like "Peace Imagined," what Nissan calls "peace now." It's all an illusion. The arabs never promised us any peace for all the "concessions." They just want us dead and gone.

We must base our lives on reality, not spend money as if we'll be winning the lottery.
"mehalach nafesh", is "menukatak mehamitziut," removed/disconnected from reality.
If our soul could see where we're going, it would be "hevel," norishkeit, useless.
We're not supposed to know our exact reward, punishment, future. We can't control the future and shouldn't try.
The two other main religions concentrate on rewards-Islam and punishment-Christianity. They try to keep their people in line with threats and promises.
Judaism is different. We are not supposed to knwo how the accounting is done.

10-Don't interfere with G-d's responisibilities.. From the time of Adam Harishon, the first man, nothing is newly created. It was all here, though maybe not found or put together. The only thing "new" is Torah learning.

11-Preventing bad things may keep us from the suffering we need to do proper tshuva, repentence. If we don't let a child fall, he won't learn how to get up. He'll be weaker and less capable.
12- How do we know what's really better?
One shouldn't run after nothingness, illusions, It's hevel, vanities. We have no idea what will be.

so true

For those of us who didn't watch.....

For those of us who didn't watch the "Oscars" last night, apparently there was a ”change in direction” . I guess things will never be the same.

At the end of the article, there's a rating vote. And the biggest surprise was that most people didn't have a fun read. Well, especially since I never see those shows, or almost any, I thought it was a gret article. Maybe you will, too.

Now I had really better get my Kohelet, Ecclesiastes report done. Now, tell me, isn't this the perfect example of norishkeit, hevel? But, honestly, it's a lot more fun than terrorism and incitement, so please, let me take my mind off of things.

Winners and Losers

Winners and losers. Is life like war? Some win and others lose? In my neck of the woods, Israeli freedom of thought is the big ”loser” .

In Hollywood, the Academy Awards have made blacks and tough broads the big ”winners” .

It's hard for me to comprehend when enthusiastic dictators-in-the-making, like Tzippi Livneh refer to dangerous people, she means me, my friends and neighbors, even ”16 year old boys” ; they got his age wrong in the article.

Yesterday was one of those days, when my troubles seemed so minor as listened first to my neighbor about how her 16 year old was beaten by the police, and then I ran into ”Noam Federman's” mother in town.

When I was growing up, American Jews were always in the forefront of the Civil Rights struggle. Where are they today when we, loyal Jews in Israel, are being persecuted? Don't we have civil rights, too? Or are they waiting for us to be destroyed, and then they'll open their wallets for big memorials, like they did for the victims of the Nazi Holocaust?

Sunday, February 27, 2005


Not only can you hear voices, but it's possible to read ”Voices” , even on the internet. There's a very special article in this month's issue.

Oscars and Razzies

It's the big night for prizes, ok, here the sun is shining behind the mist. But I understand that The Academy Award machers are working hard to bring excitement and tension and more TV viewers for the big production. I have the perfect idea if they really want to jazz it up . If they want real live fireworks, they can just move it all to Gush Katif. The Arab terrorists put on nightly shows that are totally unbeatable! What did you say, that's not quite the fireworks they're dreaming of. What are they, a bunch of wimps? Believe me, such a change in venue would certainly up their free press coverage and make them unique. Until now, the biggest theatrical production was "Noah, Ride the Wave" by the intrepid women of Gush Etzion, led by Sharon Katz of "Voices."

The latest Razzies awards were just announced. I would add a couple of categories.

The first would be for "Security-Minded Prime Minister Chosen in Democratic Elections Who Turns into Mr. Hyde," and the winner, supported by all the murdered, injured and bereaved from Arab terror is----(no surprise, since there's no other nominee) the former war hero---Arik (Yamit-destroyer) Sharon.

And the second is for "The Defense Minister Who Persecutes Patriots and Innocent Citizens While "Understanding" and protecting Terrorists," and in this very unique category, there's only----Shaul Moufas!

Now, who says that Israel is so hated that it can't win any show biz awards? As they say in show biz, "break a leg" and if you need help, the police will be at your service!

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Terror Attack in Tel Aviv

Terror Attack in Tel Aviv

It's not pleasant to be right. We've been saying that the government's policies will only bring death and destruction. And the Arabs want Tel Aviv. The "Peace Imagined" as Nissan called it are disengaged from reality.

Shavua Tov, yoter tov

Baruch Dayan Haemet
Refuah Shleimah

Friday, February 25, 2005


gas, the cooking kind
In Israel it's either "central" which I know nothing about, or in cannisters, called "baloans." Two (more if people are using it for large heating systems) are attached to the house/stove from the outside. One is open and the other full and waiting. When you need the new one, you close the empty, open the new and call the distribution company. Then, within 10 days, they're supposed to deliver. Our company, Amisragas comes from Ariel on Wednesdays. This time, three Wednesdays passed and no gas. First they said that the guy was new and couldn't do the entire route, then he couldn't find the house, then he claimed that he found it but no check, when there was one. I was promised that he'd come today. I got a call from him when I was at the grocers, and the guy tried to get out of coming, claiming that he had too much to do, and if I insisted then he'd come on Shabbat. I got angry.

Then a short while later I got another call that he was nearby and gave him directions. Then he came and was real obnoxious throwing the empty bag all over the place. So I called the Ariel office and complained. I told the nice woman there, that if this new guy wasn't fired, I'd look into changing companies, since I don't want him hanging around my house. Then I apologized for taking it out on her.

And now, I had better get back in the kitchen!

Shabbat Shalom

Friday already

week's almost over
last few hours
and too much to do
must get off the seat
away from the screen and keyboard
into the kitchen
correct tests
do some shopping
clean up
cheer up

almost Shabbat

and waiting for OB2
who can appear, G-d willing
any time now
b'sha'ah tovah

Thursday, February 24, 2005

and guts

"To repeat what others have said requires education; to challenge it requires brains."- Mary Pettibone Poole

part 2 T'hilim Psalms

I think that I was writing about how Saul was after David in a very paranoic way. (chapter 35) We need to understand what David was going through, by referring to Shmuel Alef, (1st Samuel) Saul was projecting his own murderous insecurities on David, sort of like the present government training the soldiers (and possibly mercenaries) to injure Jews, and to be immune to their pain, while tearing them out of their homes, and ripping babies out of their mother's arms. And so the same people take for granted that we're (G-d forbid, and it's a figment to their imaginations) going to assasinate government officials. They think that we're like they are, but we're not. Remember Shmuel alef 26, 21, when David told Avishai, that even if would be so easy to kill Saul, when they enetred his tent, when he was sleeping, all he should do is take his sword. Someone can be 99% tzaddik, but the one percent that isn't can be so crucial and powerful that it can destroy him. Occassionally Saul did have a moment or two of sanity. In T'hilim 23, David writes that he's about to be caught. 35, 5 can't avoid the punishment, frequently related, as a result of, the 'crime" sin. G-d will sometimes "harden the heart" of the evil, so that they can't repent, since they have already gone too far that repenting must become more difficult. G-d wants them to start getting their punishment in this world. They shouldn't be able to avoid punishment. 6 Shaul crossed the red line. The road to repentence becomes 'dark and slippery." 7 David explains/complains that "without cause" he was persecuted. All he tried to do was to help the people. The darkness appears when G-d is ignored. Some people think they can sneek around and avoid it. Just because they do, they think "everyone has their price." 8 suddenly the bad person will be caught in the trap he planned for others. Considering the entire political situation the paralels are spooky. I wrote it up in Shiloh Musings . I've gotten a lot of support for what I wrote, though it looks like Arutz 7 is taking a pass on it, also on the previous one. I'm glad that I have the blogs, because people are linking the musing, so more will read it. I'm just a simple person, not all that educated, and I write from my guts.

King David suffered lots more than us, and he had already been annointed king. Next Kohelet. but not right now


There's a real international blogging community, and not everyone's respectful of us. Willow Green reported that IMAO reported that people are actually insulting bloggers . Of all the nerve! As a good blogger I have to answer a few questions.

1. Who the hell do you think you are?

I don't think, I know who I am.
2. So, other than blogging, what's your job? Do you work at some fast food joint, dumbass?

I'm a high school English teacher, wife, mother and grandmother and don't use such language.
3. Do you have like any experience in journalism, idiot?

Actually, yes. A university degree in it and a lightweight free lance career.
4. Do you even read newspapers?

Yes, I was raised reading the NY TIMES.
5. Do you watch any other news than FOX News propaganda, you ignorant fool?

No FOX, nor CNN.
6. I bet you're some moron talk radio listener too, huh?

7. So, do you get a fax from the GOP each day for what to say, you @#$% Republican parrot?

No fax
8. Why do you and your blogger friends want to silence and fire everyone who disagrees with you, fascist?

Are you projecting?
9. Are you completely ignorant of other countries, or do you actually own a passport?

I've lived in three countries and have two passports.
10. Have you even been to another country, you dumb hick?

Read previous reply.
11. If you're so keen on the war, why haven't you signed up, chickenhawk?

War, what war? Why should I know what's going on in your small narrow neighborhood?
12. Do you have any idea of the horrors of war? Have you ever reached into a pile of goo that was your best friend's face?

I was run over by a terrorist.
13. Have you ever reached into any pile of goo?

As a mother of five...
14. Once again, who the hell do you think you are?!

I know who I am. Who are you?

bigger "problems"

I must thank Judi on the ETNI list for reminding us that things could be worse .

A belated Chag Purim Katan Sameach!--4 weeks till Purim!

different colors

When I was a kid, we had an album sung by Danny Kaye, which had a song, "Kisses," "...kisses have all kinds of colors, some pink, some brown, some summer-time green..." if I remember correctly. Yesterday when I ran out the the Ofra Junction "hitching post," to wait for a ride home, I was astounded by the colors of the sunset out there. It was much lighter than the Shiloh variety. Much lighter than any I could remember. Maybe it was the season, because our sunrises have been changing, too. Though the sunsets in Beit El, as seen through the bullet-proofed glass windows in the English room, are strongly hued.

The most glorious sunrise here was early winter. I wish my camera recorded the dates on the pictures, so it would be easier to keep records.

Anyone else notice locational and seasonal differences?

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

T'hilim, Psalms, Kohelet, Ecclesiastes 22-2

Just to start, before I collapse. Remember to have a text handy.

chapter 35
David complains that he doesn't know what to do. Saul's persecuting him for nothing.
4- when someone behaves the way Saul did, it's no surprise that bad things happened to him in the end. (Comfort for us, considering the politics) No connection between G-d and Saul. Saul didn't listen to G-d and just didn't comprehend.
1st Samuel 18, 9 Saul's paranoia made him think that David was his enemy. In chapter 13, t'hilim, Saul didn't wait the full 7 days for Samuel to return, no faith, didn't follow instructions. Afterwards Shmuel told him that he had fouled up. and would be replaced. Then in Chapter 15, 26-8 Shmuel told him that he'd be replaced by someone better, but Saul had no idea who.

Sorry, but I'm too tired

2nd hand, gmachim

It's always good to give things away. Someone may really love what you've been hoarding, waiting for the day you'll need it.

My house is still overfull, but everyonce in a while I fill a bag, or two or three or four or more.... tra la la.... And either I send it to our local "miyad, liyad," "from hand to hand,' our local 2nd had store. Every once in a while I see something familiar on someone else, and it's a good feeling. Since I discovered that there's also a store in Ofra with a much higher turn-over, I bring things there, too. There's a also a 2nd hand store in Eli.

Actually, many communities have them. I have a friend who claims that it makes lots more sense for ther to bring what the family doesn't need to the 2nd hand shop and get "new" things from there when in need.

In Hebrew they're known as "gmachim."


Willow Green wrote a cute anecdote about the color white . It reminds me of one of my favorite childhood books, A House for All Seasons, which we took out of the library so many times. It was about a family that was choosing a color to paint their house. Each member recommended a different color, which looked great with a different season. Then they put all the colors on a spinning wheel/toy, spun them and the quickly revolving colors looked white. So they decided that white was for all seasons.

I have a bunch of tests, three batches, to correct, so I'll be back later, G-d willing.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

let me just finish last week's Ecclesisastes, Kohelet

The "tipashe," the "oni," are critics, complainers, happy to be the "misken," poor unfortunate.
Second Shmuel 9, 11 David was very generous to the surviving member of Saul's family, Jonathan's son, Mephiboshet, who was crippled because the nursemaid (Shmuel bet 4, 4) wasn't careful and he fell. David offered him to "eat at his table."
Later, during Avshalom's rebellion, David fled, and people went to support David. When David asked where Mephiboshet was, he was told that he was in Jerusalem waiting to be crowned king.
Second Samuel 16, 3 Then later when David returned and asked him, he got all sorts
of strange excuses.
Kohelet 6, 7-8 Our job is to go with G-d, rich or poor. Careful that you don't lose your soul.

Ok, that's it for last week's, but I guess you'll have to wait for this week's.

an old star

Well, ok, not so old, but most people younger than I probably have no idea who Sandra Dee was, except for a song in "Grease," sung as only Stockard Channing could. Yes, I wrote "was." She died . If I hadn't checked My Yahoo, I wouldn't have known.

finally, last week's Kohelet, ecclesiastes

l'ilu'i Rabbi Efrayim Wolf, on his first yartzeit

just some notes
  • keep texts handy to check
  • for mail jewish readers, I go the info/source where it's permitted to taste something kosher that tastes like traife. Nissan said that it's from: Chulin 29, page 2; I'll write the info to mj when I have a chance.

We're in Kohelet chapter 6, and I have only 10 minutes

3- Some people are worse off than the stillborn, those conceived and never lived outside the womb.

It's like the story of the man who has a dream of treasure a distance away at the foot the bridge. He runs there, starts digging and meets a man who tells him that the treasrue is in a different town in the house of _, and it's the man's own, so he runs back home and finds that the treasure was there all the time. Jews trying out other religions should look for the treasure in our own.

4, 5, 6 We must learn to enjoy and treasure what we have. Even a stillborn has eternal life in the next world. He never sinned. WE must try to do what we're supposed to do, or we fail.

7- What's quality of life? Enjoying what G-d gives us. We must enjoy every minute. Everything we do should be for our needs. When we earn more than we need, we must do something good with it, or it's lost. Your nefesh soul won't feel satisfied. No matter how many mitzvot you do, there's room for more.

I had better get moving.

busy highs and lows

Yesterday was one of those busy days of all emotions and exhaustions.
First I was up at 4am to get a very stressful musing out. I had fallen asleep with words, phrases and thoughts chasing around in my mind, and even after writing it, it was still obsessing me.

Then in the afternoon I took the bus to Jerusalem, bought a wedding gift, walked to my husband's office to hand it to him, so he could take it to the wedding. Then I went to the hotel where my sister-in-law and family are staying to say hello for an hour. Then she and her daughter walked me to the Israel Center for the Azkara, memorial gathering in memory of my dear, special rabbi, Rabbi Efrayim (Freddy) Wolf , who passed away a year ago. I'll write more about him in a day or so. As soon as that was over, I grabbed a cab and went to Binyanei Ha'uma, for a wedding. A neighbor's son, friend of my trekking one.

Now, G-d willing, bli neder, before I go to boker limud I'll write out the final notes from last week's Kohelet, Ecclesiastes.

Monday, February 21, 2005

rattling in the brain

I've had this story
rattling in my brain

could hardly fall asleep
but computer was taken

so here
before dawin
I warm up my fingers

letting the muse
take over

Sunday, February 20, 2005


There's a blog party going on, and we're all invited. Biur Chametz is hosting Hevel Hevelim this week. Take a gander!

something new and misc.

Ok, not really new, just new for me to do as a teacher to my present classes. I put on music, instrumentals when the kids had a test. I did it for both the 9th grade and the 12th, and bli neder G-d willing I'll do it Tuesday for the 10th grade.

Just in case he's checking, met some friends for breakfast, but that's all I'll say, besides the fact that it was a good visit, old friends, and the hotel waiters threw us out of the dining room.

and, yes, I still have to update my Kohelet notes....

and no, I don't want to talk politics right now

waste and Baile Rochel update

I just spent a rediculous amount of time "blogging." My "resurrection" of Baile Rochel needs a bit more editing. I'd like to sell it. I wonder if I should blog it first as a marketing ploy or just contact someone who may pay.

Any ideas. The opening sounds like "stand-up."

ps Baile Rochel was my original "voice" something like Erma Bombeck in YESHA and was published for a few years, twenty years ago in "Counterpoint," until its demise and then one or two were in an Israeli natural living magazine that didn't last more than a couple of issues. Since then Baile Rochel has been hibernating in my brain. Recently I've felt the need to let her wake up.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

"Gates" in Manhattan

There's one of those "art" exihibits in Manhattan. It's outdoors, in Central Park. Bright orange fabric, flopping "gates." Do you know what it reminds me of?

Gush Katif is demonstrating against withdrawal/destruction "disengagement" in Central Park!

Shavua Tov, a good week

Nothing's new. We spent Shabbat in Ofra, since my daughter's in the middle of her 9th, and just in case...
Quiet, though.
We ended up eating at neighbors of theirs, who are friends of mine. The wife's one of my "pool friends." We see each other weekly at the pool in Neve Yaakov, and she also taught Nedavya when he was in jr high. One of their married daughters was there with her husband and son the same age as Hallelie. We had a wonderful time with them.
Shabbat morning, I got to shul early, and whom should I see there but a former neighbor, who now lives in Jerusalem. She has married kids in Ofra and she told me that the eldest son of one of them would be saying "An'im Zmirot" at the end of the dovening for the first time.
I found a seat that didn't seem taken, and I was amazed that more and more friends of mine, who live in Ofra, came to that area to sit. It was nice to see so many old friends. We were invited for Seudat Shlishit at another family. Everyone is looking forward to our visiting more.
Then when I heard the little boy, my friend's grandson, I told her that I would have guessed, because he sounds like his father did as a little boy.
And now we're home.

Friday, February 18, 2005


Can't believe I've been up for ages and accomplishing nothing. I added a new link to both blogs.
reply via comments-
what is it?

The annoying thing is that something got added to the code and I spent the longest time getting it fixed.

Wash #1 almost finished.
I have to remember to do my nails, besides all the other pre-Shabbat stuff.
Last night blogspot was being difficult, and I was sure that the T'hilim notes weren't saved. This morning I discovered that they appeared twice and also as a draft, so I've been doing "repair" work.
The problems of the rich.

Must take advantage of the warm, dry weather. Still a little cooking to do, and I won't make it to Jerusalem for the flylady fest, meeting.

I saw enough of the book fair earlier in the week. Since I'm not into buying books any more, browsing is less interesting.

I also must get my Kohelet notes on.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

T'hilim, Psalms, Kohelet, Ecclesiastes 15-2

In times as difficult as these, what could be better than to go over my notes from this week's lesson? Personally, I believe that we're in the times of King Saul, when he was pursuing David. Instead of defending the Jewish People and ridding the country of its enemies, the Philistines, King Saul tried to kill David, who had been appointed his successor by Shmuel Hanavi, Samuel the Prophet. As David's son Shlomo, Solomon, wrote: "Ain chadash tachat hashemesh," There's nothing new under the sun.

May learning from David and Shlomo give us the strength and wisdom to survive these difficult times and bring the Moshiach ben David.

We're at the end of chapter 34, lines 22 & 23
I knew that this would be relevent.

In order to dispose of evil, we just need to be patient, because in the evil that the evil do will be the root of their fall. They'll climb and climb and climb and climb, getting fatter and fatter and fatter, until the ladder won't be able to hold them anymore--CRASH!! G-d willing. Read the lines in T'hilim chapter 7, 16-8.

It's up to us to see the good in whatever happens.
If something bad happens, it's the result of what he did, though of course we don't know the exact formula.
"or metoch choshech," light in the darkness."
see the light in spite of the dark
Or the story of the family crowded in the small home, the wise man told them to add the chickens and the cow, and the goat and the horse, one after another, until suddenly he told them to remove all the animal, and they were relieved, suddenly, their house was so big.
Every new situation enables a person to get more zchuyot, better credit rating with G-d.

Now for something I've been saying for a long time: EVIL ISN'T FROM G-D, IT'S FROM PEOPLE, and the evil someone does will eventually destroy him. The world was not created complete; it's our job to fix it.

22- ...and the haters of the righteous will be condemned
Some people work very hard to destroy their own conscience. Doesn't that remind you of the politicians?
....I missed some of it due to a phone call.....

Then they were back in Bereishit, Genesis, talking about Lot, how he didn't want to leave Sdom, where he was considered such a tzadik, because next to Avraham, he was nothng, and he'd have to do a lot more. He had to be made to understand that if he didn't leave Sdom, he'd be punished with all the evil people. This was his only chance.

23- G-d will forgive those who start sincere tshuva, repentence.

Then we discussed a few general things about T'hilim, that it's the only book in the Bible that the chapter divisions (though not the order) were by the author. I guess we can think of T'hilim as a very early blog, of the personal diary kind. It's amazing to think that all the "posts," or diary entries, which must have had been writen in all sorts of places, difficult conditions, that 150 survived. And we read and study them to this day, right now.

Chapter 35
1- David calls to G-d for help, since he insists that he doesn't have the right equipment, weapons, to battle.
Shmuel alef (1st Samuel), David calls for his follower, especially his nephew Avishai, and explains that even though they can have complete access to the sleeping Saul, they aren't going to kill him, just leave a sign that will make it very clear, that they were in the room.
2- ONly after one has made every single type of attempt to to punish someone via the laws of olam hazeh, can one ask G-d to do it. It was ok for Sarah vs Avraham and Tamar vs Yehuda, not not David vs Saul.
Saul had offered to David to marry his daughter; David qrrived at the wedding and discorvered that she was marrying someone else., and then again.
3- david told Avishai not to worry, G-d wil punish Saul. What type of weapon vs such an enemy?

Next time, Kohelet


missed the dawn
though up long before

it's getting earlier
and earlier

summer's approaching
and spring hasn't yet appeared

air's drying
planning three laundries

bulbs flowering
first batch, already past their peak of beauty

retarded shkadiya, almond tree
sprouting leaves, while others have long flowered

but the dawn was earlier
and I missed it

busy cooking

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

America is a religious country.

If you want to see examples, then take a look at Carrie Devorah's photo essay.

It happens to me, too

I have to admit, that even though I'm the type who's "never late" and "never misses the bus," today I really goofed. I got involved choosing disks for pictures from the digital and didn't keep track of time at all. So when I finished I realized that it was late. I went up to see if the bus was late, too, but it wasn't or I just didn't notice anyone familiar. So I left the bus station and had to wait for a bus to French Hill, and wait, and finally got there. But I must admit, that I was very calm about it. I kept insisting that there must be a reason, and "it'll be ok." I saw an old friend on the bus, which was nice.

And then I waited a bit at French Hill. At least it's an hour when I don't feel like I'm the only one over 40. (and I'm older than that!) After a short time a car came, familiar driver, from Shvut who has given me rides before,and we always talk. There were some people ahead of me, but when he noticed me he told me to get in the front. Of course some young woman started complaining that she was first. I told her that he owns the car. Sometimes one wins and sometimes one loses at these things, and I've had both. A very pleasant ride home. Thank G-d.

Well I survived missing a bus-due-to-my-own-stupidity, and it wasn't all that painful, and it wasn't tragic, and I had a lovely trip home, even spoke to a neighbor who was also waiting. We never meet.

This should make me nicer when other people foul up.


I'm sure I'm not the only one who has always thought that we brush our teeth to save money. Dental care is horrendously expensive all over the world. Even in the mid-seventies when we were in England, where dental care was covered by National Health, that only included very basic care. We found, miraculously, a dentist who was excellent. He even put in my "strap bridge," a fancy false tooth, attached to a "real one" a few teeth away. That wasn't covered by National Health. I had to pay plenty for it.

But to get back to my topic. Those of us who brush, floss and "poke" with sticks (like StimUDents,) do it for our teeth, gums and pocketbooks, ok, and mirrors, too. But there's another reason we should.

Just a little note about kids with toothbrushes. Please don't let kids play with them, meaning run around with them. It can be, G-d forbid dangerous. I heard of a toddler falling and being so severly injured, he died. Teeth-brushing should be a ritual/habit done in the bathroom by the sink for just a minute or two, not a game.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Where do they get their energy?

I teach in a yeshiva high school, yes teenage boys, and today, some of them were energetic to say the least. A bunch of the seniors, not my students, decided to serenade me and danced around me. I was laughing so hard tears came out. Especially their: "Batya, we love you, and you're so beautiful." All they love is that I"m not their teacher.

And then my 10th grade class, my angels, were in a mood. I even had to yell at them and could hardly get anything done. When I finally finished, I saw the Principle and Rosh Yeshiva and told them. And they smiled, that's the way boys are supposed to be, full of energy. Ok, I didn't tell them about the dancing and singing.

But honestly, I'm glad that I teach boys and not girls.

Close call and lots of calls

Yesterday, soon after I got to the book fair, I got a call from my husband that he had heard from my brother that he had gotten a message from my mother that my father had been taken to the hospital and apparently had had a very mild heart attack. He's no youngster, G-d willing, will be 85 next August, and his elder brother is still alive, was 86 on Jan. 1.

My brother hadn't, at that point, been able to get more information. My mother's cell phone, as per regulations, was off, and the hospital wasn't saying anything. My brother had emailed my kids (and us, but since the computer is here in Shiloh and I wasn't, didn't see it), and my eldest daughter began calling the states and all her siblings and me trying to get info. This went on for a few hours. My sister, who lives in Virginia, stayed home from work, waiting for information, and I went home and joined the phoning.

Finally, thank G-d, my sister got through to him, and he groggily told her that they put in some shunts, or something to clear one blockage, and the other cleared itself. He was very lucid considering. That's considering that six years ago he had an aneurysm that he miraculously survived. He can no longer remember what he had read, can't concentrate well enough to do taxes (worked decades as a CPA) and no longer has his speed and energy, but otherwise pretty impressive. My mother at the time was off with my brother eating something, (G-d willing will celebrate her 80th in May).

Lots more calls and emails (thanks Rose) and we finally all made contact. Amazingling, the doctors may send him home as early as today.

Refuah Shleimah,
Alexander Ziskind ben Ginnaleh

Monday, February 14, 2005

just the right month, or two

This year we have two months of Adar, two months for jokes. And in Shiloh we always have two days of Purim that's four times reading the Megilla, but the Megilat Esther we hear/read is not the same as this
one. In ours we read of Achashverush, Mordechai, Haman and Esther, not Bob Dylan and Billy Joel. Esther was afraid to rock the boat, until she had no choice. This article is about different rocks . And it's good to know, if you're careful of what you feast on that there's a kosher guide. That's all from the megilla

And remember to tell them, that you read it here!

Any good jokes?

aliens again

Aliens again have taken over. Sidebar sunk and drowning. Can't find it, buried in an orange flood.


Last night's post was swallowed, makes me nervous.

We had a small town meeting of sorts. Neighbors have been organizing monthly meetings in their home; usually they're shiurim, Torah classes. For months they've been promising us a meeting with the "mazkir," the town "administrator." Since he's not a Shiloh resident, most of us don't know him. He's like the CEO, if this was a business, and since he's really a businessman, who considers the job like a paid hobby, which he explained when he introduced himself, that's how he looks at it.

I was surprised in many ways. First, his English is totally fluent and good. He spent 3 years in England as a kid. And second, he seems lots more impressive professionally than I had imagined. I guess as a pr opportunity for him, it was a success. My previous meeting with him, early on, was not as pleasant.

The evening was attended by the usual Shiloh mix of Anglos from New Zealand, New York, Hong Kong, Holland and other places. I love my neighbors.

Sunday, February 13, 2005


I just wrote a report of my interesting evening, sent it to be "published" and it got swallowed up. It doesn't even appear as a draft.

I was robbed!

International Jerusalem Book Fair

I'm sure that I'm not the only one who looks forward to the book fair, even on the years that they opened days before Pesach. This year's publicity's the pits, and I searched for exact hours, even writing to their site.

Here's the reply: (sic)


sunday 18:00-21:00
Monday-Thursday 11:00-21:00
Friday - 10:00-13:00


Hila Nir

Maybe we'll f2f

Orthodox or?

This Friday's "Jerusalem Post" had an article that really clarified things for me. It's a nice comprehensive piece on how the various "branches of Judaism" are cooperating. That is except for Orthodoxy, with few individuals as exceptions. If I were to tell students to summarize it, or if I were to show them how to summarize this, I'd come up with:
There are actually two main branches of Judaism, those who are connected to Torah, even with tight elastic, like what's used in fitness classes; sometimes they're closer and sometimes further away, but they're always attached. And the second, the Jews who circle around Judaism, sometimes closer, and sometimes further away.
So, basically, whether one is Reconstructionist, Reform, Traditional, Liberal or Conservative, no matter which label or non-label chosen, they're really all the same, because their basic commitment is the same to the Torah. And the "other" is the Torah committed/attached/connected, whether Orthodox, Modern Orthodox, Chariedi, Chassidic and all variations of the same.

Should I or shouldn't I? To hang or not to?

teasing sun
was shining just minutes ago
but now
sky's all white
and laundry spinning

should I or shouldn't I
hang the wash outside?

or just drape it
by the heater
side by side
with last night's batch

adding more excuses
to keep the heater high
all day

or should I be daring
and traipse
bathrobe clad
on the merpeset, balcony
and display
the wet laundry
to all who pass

offer it to the sungod
who ficklely
doubles as clothes dryer

oy, such dilemmas

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Arthur Miller passed away

One of the twentieth century's greatest writers passesd away, Arthur Miller . His earlier plays include great classics, like "All My Sons," taught for decades in Israel as English LITERATURE.

For those of my generation, we remember him as "one of Marilyn's," Marilyn Monroe, that is. That's before it became common knowledge that she was a good friend of the Kennedy brothers, like in JFK and his little brother Bobby. Miller also wrote a play about her, "After the Fall." And after that, he lost his touch, the further he got from his roots, the suffering of his youth.

He was born in 1915, so lived about 90 years, survived by a daughter and grandchildren.

Kohelet, Ecclesiastes, end of Chapter 5

again, reminder that it's good to have the text in front of you and this story will be referred to.

Kohelet Chapter 5, 18
matat, matanah, gift, gift of G-d
lismo'ach b'amalo = same'ach b'chelko being happy in all one does, all one's work, actions etc
There's a responsibility in high positions, noblesse oblige, however it's spelled.
You can't be important without work. Many possessions, much responsibities. Just the upkeep on the possessions, not easy. Read the story linked to on top, ok at least the last part. Running after land and possessions can kill us. And then all we need is a grave.
back to 17
My "Artscroll" translation commentary on this is good. It helps explain that according to the Midrash, all the eating and drinking refer to Torah and good deeds. According to Nissan, we shouldn't waste our energies on materialsim, must invest in teh spiritual, too. If yoo much on the material, we end up with nothing, like the man in the story. If someone uses his possessions for the negative the mattot become mettot, death.
Enjoy the mitzvot you can do in the time you have.
19 We must remember that we have only a limited amount of time to live.
Who pays attention to what we do? G-d.

Chapter 6 is really the same thoughts, continuation as 5, but the Christians who divided the chapters for printing had their reasons.
6, 1 What's the evil? Shlomo saw it "under the sun." I have to see what when sun, shemesh and heavens, shamayim are used. Tehre must be a pattern.
2- Actually it's in our power to enjoy what we have, or not. That's free will. To waste or to do something beneficial. Once we have something, it's our responsibility how we use it. we must divide what we have with others.
Elimelech, Naomi's husband, was a very wealthy man in Beit Lechem, during a time of poverty. Instead of sharing his wealth, he took his wife and two sons to Moav. There he and his sons died, and their money was gone. Eventually Naomi returned to their city, with Ruth, poverty stricken, destitute. Punishment for fleeing.
1- ra'ah there's an evil in this world.
2- the evil doesn't even want children, because then he'll have to share his wealth with them. If you don't use your wealth for mitzvot, the riches turn to waste and suffereing.
3- evil better not have kids or like those without children, or children who want payment and don't do things without getting something in return.

told us a story about two families

That's it for this week

no show snow show

so far
at least
no show snow show

overly self-confident weathermen/ladies

threatened us
with predictions
of snow, lots of snow
to justify massive
on plows

to replace the
last supply
hardly used

as early as Friday
were debating closure on Sunday
and Monday

neighbors traveled
before Shabbat
in order not to miss
major family event

could have stayed home

no show snow show
maybe tonight?

Friday, February 11, 2005

Kohelet story

I know that I haven't told you what I learned this week in Kohelet, but here's a story that has a Kohelet lesson. It's HOW MUCH LAND DOES A MAN NEED? by Tolstoy

the protestant work ethic

Some of us Israeli "anglos" still live by the protestant work ethic. But you don't have to work when you're sick ! It's one of the most difficult things to get used to. Years ago, when I was first working here, teaching "creative dance" after school once a week, Neve Etzion, Bayit V'Gan, when my two eldest daughters were in the first and third grades. Yes, the school no longer exists, but back to the story.
It was this time of the year, just before Purim, and my mother was on her way for a visit... suddenly I had the flu, the real thing, not a cold. I was sick. But how could I miss a lesson? My mother landed the day before my teaching day, and I just sent her off, sans Hebrew, with a prepared cassette of music, some instructions and a daughter per class to translate. And, of course, my mother accepted it as normal.

Talking, or writing, about it a generation later, it sounds so rediculous, though then, it was so obvious to me that I had to be like the US Mail.

I don't think that a male would do it, certainly not a non-anglo Israeli. WE're allowed to be sick, rest up.

Shabbat Shalom

Thursday, February 10, 2005

true love

Yes, true love has won for Prince Charles, who will finally marry the woman, Camilla Parker Bowles, he has always loved and was probably meant to marry in the first place. His pr staff say that his two sons are: " delighted ."

part 2 8-2 T'hilim, Kohelet

Back to the Garden of Eden....
when Adam made the first "fence" around a law.
G-d had told him not to eat of the fruit, but he told Chava (Eve) not to touch the tree.

We must know the difference between what's written in the Torah and what the rabbis decreed.

34, 16-7 G-d's "body parts" have different meanings. When panim face is mentioned, it means that G-d is angry. Read through until 20, pretty clear. Sort of, though lots of pronouns, so you have to read carefully.
20- The tzadikim, righteous suffer. When a person tries his best, then G-d raises the standards.. Like in education, when classes are divided by levels, the higher levels get more demanding and more work.
According to how much a person fears G-d, he will do better. The Tzaddik thanks G-d for the reminders. We have no idea of how much ko'ach strength we have until we're tested. And just because we may fail one test, doesn't mean we've completely lost. We may not know what a tzaddik is. There are many levels.

18, skipped until now, read again, try to figure out who the "they" are. Whom did G-d save? The evil or the tzaddikim? or, they started as evil then repented and called out to G-d and then became the tzaddikim Like Yehuda, and remember that David and the Moshiach are from Yehuda. The new tzaddik.
Shivron lev the fragility of the newly repented, always asking G-d to keep them strong. Someone who never sins, has never sinned, can be over-confident, naive and find themselves in trouble, but the chozer b'tshuva is more aware and wary.

G-d has to train us to pray, by giving us problems so we'll look to G-d. Reminds me of what I've been saying for a long time about all the yeshuvim established in memory of victims of Arab Terror. Maybe if we had established the yeshuvim earlier, the person wouldn't have died.

Someone who's too self confident doesn't pay attention to others and misses signals. and considers himself superior.

That's as far as we got in T'hilim, later for Kohelet.

T'hilim, Psalms, Kohelet, Ecclesiastes 8-2

Again, I'll start with the reminder that it'll be easier to follow with a text. And sorry that it has taken me so long to get started this week.

T'hilim 34 background review--David writes that G-d didn't create anything as a waste/for no reason, including lunacy
bottom line--all of creation is to serve people. The positive, man can benefit, enjoy everything in the world, even the forbidden--there's a kosher version. This is very different from other religions. (I have to email Nissan for the exact source, because people had asked.) And there are things that are forbidden, but they appear kosher. Like in Gan Eden, Garden of Eden, all of the trees looked like trees, permitted, but the eitz hadaat, Tree of Knowledge was forbidden.

sorry, but I'm taking a dinner break

This will be ORANGE for a reason.

The reason is that it's about Orange cellphones, not orange, Orange. It's the name of a popular Israeli cellphone company.

Last night something very peculiar happened on the way to the wedding in Kibbutz Tirat Tzvi. Some of you may know already, but for me it was a shock.

We took the Shvut Rachel/Achiya road to Kvish Alon, the Alon Road that's in the Jordan Valley. Yes, if you're not too aware of Israeli geography, Shiloh is just a mile or so west of the Jordan Valley, as the crow flies. After riding just a few minutes, we began getting strange messages on our Orange phones, informing us that we were in Jordan, or at least its cell phone air space. As we rode further north, new messages appeared. Would you believe Syria? I kid you not.

We all know that Israel is a very small country with many different climates, just minutes apart, but for my cellphone to claim that I had entered two other countries in an hour.

That's just too much, even for me.

back in all its glory

blogspot's graphics seem to be back, as colorful as ever.

Can't understand.

Was at a fun wedding last night at Kibbutz Tirat Tzvi, where a local Shiloh boy married a kibbutz girl. The music was so irresistable, I couldn't control myself, and now I'm exhausted and must quickly get ready for my exercise class, though I sure warmed, stretched and got the pulse going last night.

also must cook, and haven't even started telling you what I learned at boker limud, and I have to teach today, too.

Chodesh Tov!

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

bare but

me-ander may be bare of color, but my musings are traveling to warmer climates in Israpost which finally corrected the spelling of my name.

I finished 99, and if any of you are familiar with them, I'm trying to figure out how to do something special as the hundredth. Any favorites?


blogspot's black
and white again

and earlier
couldn't access
Arutz 7
needed to send

under such
no way
can write about
kohelet and t'hilim


I'm very curious if others have been
suffering such

chodesh tov

Two months of Adar this year. Just one Purim, except here in Shiloh where we celebrate two every year.

And we have a two day Rosh Chodesh, known as the "women's holiday," I must find a way of celebrating.

But before I forget, I have to search through all the video cassettes for any that may have the Law & Order episode dd#3 requested. I'm glad the vcr doesn't function, so I can just pile them in a bag and not waste hours viewing them. We used to record all the Law & Order, The Agency and CSI episodes, because I'd fall asleep watching them at night. Since the mal-function (caused by.... forget it) I don't watch at all. No great loss. More time on the computer an other things.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


I was sure that I was going to be stuck in Jerusalem today. I even took toothbrush, paste, change of underwear, etc. This morning during the "boker limud" when Nissan was teaching us T'hilim (psalms) and Kohelet (ecclesiastes) I was distracted by the snow I saw falling outside. He sits by a large window. Then the snow stopped, but when I was walking home it started again, large heavy flakes. Usually morning and midday snow means business.

I had to go to Jerusalem. It was the anti-Dovrat rally for the Jerusalem area. Most of the staff where I teach was taking off to attend. I was thinking of trying to ask neighbors who teach if anyone was going, but then I didn't bother. The rally was in Binyanei Ha'uma, just accross from the bus station. I took a bus that got me there early, so I went to the mall in Malcha and bought a jacket I should have gotten the last time I was there. Not expensive. Hagara is 70% off, so the velvet jacket was barely ns105.

I got to the rally early. We got cupons for free hot drinks, one each. So I enjoyed my French Vanilla. Then I sat on the "window sill" and did needlepoint until they let us into the auditorium, where I continued with the needlepoint. And a took a couple of pictures. David and Toba passed and told me that they heard that there was a hasa'ah (special bus) to Shiloh at 5, pretty early since it started only an hour late, 4:30. But after a few minutes, I had heard enough and was glad to leave. It wasn't comforting to know that our union "will negotiate." Same day that Sharon is summitting with the Arabs. For what?

Hate to think I'm a cynic. I should have reported what I learned this morning. OK, sorry, not right now.

Chodesh Tov

singing in the rain--a different octave

Yesterday I babysat all day for Hallelie, since she had a cough. It was raining most of the day, but when the sun came out, I took her out for a walk and fresh, clean air. She was glad to get out, and when it began to drizzle really began to enjoy herself, in contrast to her reactions to the first rains of the season. She ran up and down the street singing some song about rain,drips and drops. When the rain fell more heavily, she just sang more and more. And of course, she kept running away, further from her house each time I told her that we'd have to go home.

Finally she had to be carried screaming in protest back home. She ran to her father and fell asleep in his arms, angry with her mean savta. Thank G-d she woke up her cheerful self and didn't mind that he wasn't home. She had lunch and did "arts and crafts" until my daughter made it home from work.

Singing in the rain. It's still raining, even though the weatherpixie says otherwise.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Am I the only one?

I've been noticing some strange things on my blog recently and asked some fellow bloggers. One mentioned "aliens," and this is my reply:

Those aliens also visit me-ander, though, bli eyen haraa, so far they've left shilohmusings alone. They play yo yo with the sidebar and color parts like a pumpkin, hiding the sidebar etc. Also when I'm on firefox rather than explorer, my posts don't show until hours later. They must be shy, though they feel braver on explorer. And sometimes, when it seems like posts were swallowed up when being published, later I find them hiding, disguised as drafts.

Have they visited you? Or have you observed peculiar behavior?

Super Bowl, Super Star in red, white and blue!

Our post-army trekking son is now in New Jersey and told us that he'd be taking part in the great American tradition of Super Bowl watching on a cousin's giant screen.

I wish that I had been with him to see the entertainment, ever-young, Liverpool born, Paul McCartney was the star. The world must have really shrunk, considering that it was considered a patriotic American show.

My kids are all older than I was when The Beatles made their first American visit. Then they were so foreign, and now...

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Baruch Dayan HaEmet

Adir Zik passed away today, on one of the last days of the month of Shvat, while tears poured from the heavens. When he was in this world, ha'olam hazeh, he gave us strength. And now we have him as our defender from ha'olam haba.

May his family be comforted....

feet finally thawing

feet finally thawing
from standing
in the freezing rain
waiting for a ride, bus
Cinderella's pumpkin
even without the footmen
I wouldn't complain

finally home
after a day
that feels so much longer
than it really was

but frozen toes
and wet socks
and rain that sneaks
throught layers
of boots
sworn by the salesman
they all swear so convincingly
but the rain
in my neighborhood
must be
stronger, hardier, sneakier
than rain
anywhere else

so finally
feet thawing
not yet warming
after the cold rain

could have been
much wetter
if weren't for
some kind souls
driving pumpkins

recovered and a thought

This is the color for celebrations, and I hope that blogspot has recovered from whatever was blackening my blog this morning.

It's no secret that I'm against a/the referendum. My mind is constantly coming up with reasons
why . That's besides this and this and this . And I've written even more on it. This makes me rather unpopular in certain circles.

I had better check my lunch, better not be burning.