Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Dangers of Blogging

I thought that the only danger was time waste, and just to think of how much I've been wasting since I came home from the mall. My husband would add food as a waste, since he claims that I burn food, because I'm too distracted to go into the kitchen on time. He just doesn't understand that I love it when my chicken is crispy. And I've never failed at cleaning the pots, even if I have to leave them soaking with bleach for a few days. I have enough pots. And even just now, I so enjoy the scrumptuous odor of the chicken from teh other end of the house. Ok, just another paragraph, or two...

According to Jeremy Blachman's op-ed in the New York Times, someone could get fired for blogging about work. It happened to Nadine Haobsh, a magazine writer.

Honestly, I'd be more careful about cell phone calls in public places.

Bargains, Blogging and Carnivals

Today's a big shopping day, at least I tried. I tried looking for bargains for Hallel and Porat. I went to the mall, got a few things, but nothing to brag about. And I didn't even find anything for myself, isn't that great? But I did buy some filters for the coffee-maker. They were much cheaper than the other brand. All the instructions were in German, or at least it looked like German. I have a feeling that there was a trick. How could 40 cost that same as 20 from the other company?

I have so much on my mind that I started writing notes in the bus on the way to the mall. Gevalt.

We're in The Carnival of Education again. Just one problem, the host seems to have a problem with reading comprehension, or do I write so youthfully, she thought that I'm a young mother. There are some very interesting articles included. It's nice to know what's happening in the rest of the world.

And how will I manage?

Next week I'm back to work, back to teaching.

I've really enjoyed my vacation this year. I didn't notice that my nest was empty, not like a few years ago, when for the first time I really felt alone during the day. My babies were both in the army, no work, no schedule, other than the women's hours in the local pool.

I'd rush to classes in the Israel Center, Jerusalem, even though the level was barely challenging.

This year I could have used more time.

I write, blog, photograph, grandmother, visit friends. I could live like this forever. Good preparation for retirement.

Maybe I should take a good look at summer sales and search for bargains.

Seize the day!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Risky Business

Sorry, this isn't about the movie, of the same name, "Risky Business," which gave Tom Cruise his big chance, you know the one my classmate, no, not Andy Kaufman, Jon (Jonny) Avnet made. Yes, you'd never guess we, including Jonny's wife were all in the same graduating class from Great Neck North. But this isn't about the movie, far from it.

The risk I'm referring to is opening my blogs to anyone for comments. See how desparate I am, what an embarrassment.

Too many people have complained that they don't want to open a blogger account, but they do want to comment. I kept restricting comments to bloggers of blogspot, because spammers open accounts and then they spam the comments.

Now that I've been able to have an anti-spam option for my comments, I decided to take a risk and open them up.

Risky Business!

Helping the Refugees

I sent this idea out to a few people and just found out that there are Gush Katif, Northern Shomron refugees who are interested.

My idea is that those with laptops should go to the hotels or wherever the refugees are and help them write cv's. Many, too many, are jobless. It's not enough to just take notes and return with a cv. There's a power in watching it emerge on the screen and having a chance to control which font, style etc. Feeling in control of something will help them recover. Printing facilities are important of course, and have it sent and saved to an email account, like yahoo, is also advisable. If they don't have accounts, then help set one up.

It's important to get them out of the "helpless refugee" syndrome. People or offices can invite the refugees over, even by appointment, to get it done.

Tizku B'Mitzvot

this will also be on Shiloh Musings

a wasted meeting

A couple of neighbors called for a meeting, a post Disengagement discussion. I figured I'd go, instead of just communing with the keyboard, no offense.

A few people showed, and we waited and waited. Then we moved from the main part of the shul to the women's part, since they didn't want us ladies, all two of us, sitting in the main sanctuary. Fine, since I told them if we have to sit behind a mechitza so do they, since I came to participate.

Finally one of the organizers started to talk, and talk and then someone told him that it was 10:30pm and we ought to begin the discussion. Eventually we did. (To try to stay calm, I brought the hat I'm crocheting. It's better than a tranquilizer.) No one there reads my writing, since I don't send it to the local list. Most of my neighbors wouldn't read so much English.

It wasn't much of a discussion, at least for me. I didn't agree with the proposals at all. I couldn't see how they would solve anything or help us.

So I left and went to get the mail which wasn't far, though in the wrong direction from my house. The weather was nice. Then I began walking home. I ran into some neighbors and told them what they didn't miss, and we began to talk. They had gone up to my neighborhood, since it's good for walking there. I walked and talked with them. We had the meeting I had hoped to attend.

Isn't G-d wonderful!

Monday, August 29, 2005

BOMS #92

My recent Heval Hevalim* is nothing compared to BOMS. It has graphics from another world, and this week's edition also has a variety of Robin Williams' lines. Take a gander.

*I'm still waiting for your guesses about the photos. Don't be shy!


Yes, the illustrations are of my granddaughters!

Hallel is photographed with a classic. I remember my mother reading me Caps for Sale when I was a child, yes, a half a century ago, and I read it to my own children, who are all adults. So I was very happy when my cousin bought a copy for my granddaughter, a new edition but with the same beautiful pictures we loved all those decades ago. Actually, my sister, her two kids and I were with her in Barnes and Nobles when she picked books out for my granddaughters. There was a nice selection of classics, totally irresistible, and we wanted the girls to benefit from the same literature we remembered so fondly.

My cousin told us that she, an art teacher, had used Caps for Sale not long ago when teaching a difficult class of new immigrants who knew very little English. She taught them the story and had them each illustrate a different line. It was a very successful project, but to her amazement, one of the children drew a pile of teacups on the peddler's head.

Since I'm an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teacher, I guessed immediately. The student couldn't differentiate between a "short u" and a "short a." I come across this problem frequently. And even worse is that they have no idea what the "long vowel" is.

Much too often, kids are taught "a for apple." And if that isn't bad enough, they pronounce it "epple," and it isn't corrected. In Israel, the Education Ministry thinks that "Introduction to English" can be taught by the native-Israeli homeroom teachers who eat "epples," wear "hets" and "hep" on one foot and "hep" that the students will have a good foundation.

My specialty is teaching the weaker students, and by the time they reach me in high school they still have no idea how to differentiate their pronunciations of "hat," "hate," "hut, "hot," etc. Forget about understanding the words, since they all sound the same to them.

I began my EFL career after working in many other professions and only got my certification later. There are advantages to that. I had to figure out ways to teach rather than be dependent on what the "experts" preach.

A friend brought me in to teach in her school and gave me a few minutes of training. She stressed the importance of vowels, and I took off from there.

I had a couple of small groups of high school boys who were missing the most basic skills and dyslexic to boot.

That's how I developed my own methods. First of all, I don't use the terms "long" and "short vowels;" they are "strong" and "weak." "Weak vowels" are surrounded by consonants and can't say their names, like "big" and "cat." "Strong vowels" are helped by their friends and pronounce their name's, like "rope" and "bait." And I teach both pronunciations of the vowel at the same time, so the students are aware, from day one, that there's more than one way to say it.

For correct and accurate reading and spelling, try these techniques.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

The Latest Styles!

Straight from the New York Times, tsni'usdik, very modest fashions. Yes, they're rather "Victorian," but you can wear them to the frummest (the most religiously observant Jewish) of frum affairs, the wedding, Bar Mitzvah type, of course. To be honest, I'd do something with the hair, a nice hat, scarf or even snood would be better than those birds nests. But anyone who can afford the prices is from another world.

And I will quote:

The Season
The Victorian Monologues
What's sexy for fall? Modesty my dear.
Photographs by Jean-Baptiste Mondino

Heval Hevalim #34

Hevel Hevalim #34

“Hevel Hevalim,” ”Vanity of Vanities” is the Jewish-Israeli blogging carnival consisting of posts from blogs all over the world. It’s hosted by different bloggers each week and coordinated by
Soccer Dad. The term “Hevel Hevalim” is from Kohelet, Ecclesiastes, which was written by King Solomon, who built the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and later on got all bogged down in materialism and other “excesses” and realized that it was nothing but norishkeit, “hevel” or in English “vanities.”

Let’s start with Parshat Shavua,
Torah Portion of the Week from the one and only Velveteen Rabbi.

Extra credit to those who can guess where the two pictures are from and how they connect to this week's HH!

You all must know the saying about what’s reported in the news:
“Everything’s true, except the things you know about personally.” Many people consider blogs an alternative news source, especially since we’re generally personally connected to what we write about. Many of us are very suspicious of what’s written in the
papers. Yes, that’s from my husband’s blog, and here’s another of his posts. Strange how the government and media tolerate, or even encourage some protests and not others…


Disengagement won’t leave the national consciousness so quickly. How will we recover? Read
Mentalblog’s “pivotal renewal” and me-ander to see how Judaism requires us to discipline our grief.

Jewish Future has a wonderful logo to symbolize how many of us feel. I hope that she’ll send us the code to add to our sidebars.

Cosmic X is
still orange.

This is for all of those who miss
Moshe Saperstein‘s unique eloquence. And here’s another voice from gush Katif Diary; no matter what your politics, please read it.

And Willow Green reveals where her thoughts have been during these
difficult times. My neighbor Yoel Ben Avraham writes Letters from Shilo about winners and losers. I know that I’m politically incorrect, but this got doctor's approval. And here’s a suggestion from israpundit about where the refugees can be resettled. The Upsidedown World weeps at the memory of Zionism. Here are some good questions from the House of Joy. And some of my thoughts on how we ended up in today’s situation.

Smooth Stone reminds us of the fate of all of the
synagogues in Gush Katif, and Outside the Blogway writes of the four-legged refugees.

And is murder the result of Disengagement? Read what
SerandEz has to say. He also tells the story of a soldier. More post-Disengagement from Destination Jerusalem.

What can an Israeli do to influence politics?
Moshe Feiglin has his plan. But we have to pay attention to what the Arabs are doing; Kira Zala takes a look.

Smooth Stone reminds us to check our food labels, because you don’t know who will be
making money from the lettuce you buy. Food for thought from The Raphi, but don’t read this immediately before going to bed.

Israel Perspectives writes of
the difficulties we have blogging negative things about Israel and also proposes a wonderful slogan: Never forget--together we will rebuild!

…and Now for Aliyah

Israel Perspectives proposes a way for Israeli society to
recover from Disengagement and hopes that his criticisms won’t prevent other Jews from coming.

If you remember, the last time I hosted Hevel Hevalim, I mentioned that I’d be traveling to New York and returning home with
Nefesh B'Nefesh. I did, and it was very thrilling. Look at the pictures, and there’s more and even more on the blog. Of course there was a blogger on the plane. He’s The Balloon Twister.

And if we’re mentioning aliyah, we shouldn’t forget the “pnimi” type, meaning “internal” or just plain large families. Psycho Toddler may have fewer kids than some of his neighbors, but it’s still nice to hear how his household of
six kids functions. And of course when you see how cute they all are, you’ll wish you had such sweet hearts at home. There are other ways of increasing the population, adoption for one.

…and lots of other topics

Mystical Paths takes us to
the Temple Mount, where our Holy Temples stood, and he introduces us to a settler.

Soccer Dad memorializes the Arab
terror attack at Sbarro’s in Jerusalem four years ago. And the Dead Pool shows how little the world really cares and understands.

Biur Chametz writes about a
radio/blogger program. Smooth Stone writes about Michael Graham who was fired because of Arab pressure.

And about a controversy closer to home, wherever you live… Devarim writes about whether or not both parents should be working
outside the home.

Emet m’Tsion gives the
truth about Jerusalem’s population in recent centuries.Read the book review by Melanie Phillips about "The Oslo Syndrome:
Delusions of a People under Siege." A Very Heavy Stone
posts from America.

Many of us forget that there are Jewish soldiers in the United States military, and they have Jewish
religious needs, too.

Now, if you want to take your mind off of politics, refugees and thieves, read Moze’s
sock saga. Learn how Mirty helped her synagogue make a tough decision.; it’s hard being a Jew in public life, no matter where.

Getting into a “covered head,” Kisui Rosh, I presume that this speaks for some married women who
cover their hair, which is a mitzvah based on the visual, since a woman is supposed to “look married.” And speaking about visual images, here are some from Fred; I can’t do an “HH” without him.

For a wide variety of articles on Jewish themes, there’s always the
Weekly Megillah. And of course, for more news about Hevel Hevalim, just check in at Soccer Dad.

yes, this is cross-posted on Shiloh Musings

Friday, August 26, 2005

The chocolate's not working

The chocolate's not working. Even after filling up on junk, I have no energy, desire to get anything done for Shabbat.

We've had a depressing couple of weeks here in Israel.

Now we have to pick up the pieces and rebuild our country, and we can't let the government and media think that they defeated us. Disengagement is an interesting euphemism. They couldn't have picked a better word. They trained (brainwashed) the soldiers to disengage from the innocent people they were forcibly evicting from their homes. They were instructed how not to look them in the eye and not to listen; they disengaged--tuned out.

The Government and media are disengaged from Jewish history and disengaged from our precious land.

Wonderful people are helping the refugees. My neighbor brought a careful of goodies this morning, and we all rushed to get cakes and challot out of the ovens on time.

Of course it will take lots more than homemade baked goods and other donated necessities to ... to what? We can't heal them. They were robbed, raped, evicted and for nothing.

In response the terrorists are murdering again, the most intimate type, the stabbing.

And it doesn't help anyone that I'm ranting on the keyboard, so I had better make my way back to the kitchen.

And thank G-d there's a kiddush on Shabbat in honor of the release from jail of some of our teenage neighbors.

shabbat Shalom

No Lettuce for Me!

I have a sneaky suspicion that the uprooting, destruction of Gush Katif, especially its agriculture was for commercial reasons. Somebody wants the customers, the business that the Gush Katif farmers succeeded in.

Gush Katif established an amazingly successful export (and local) business growing and selling vegetables, especially the leafy ones like lettuce.

Some of their equipment is being sold to the terrorists, via the Americans and crooked Israelis. Other Israeli farmers who had been in direct competition are looking forward to additional profits.

I don't want to give them any of my money. If it means no more lettuce, then no more lettuce.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Bullet-proof vests

A few years ago, as the security on our nearby roads worsened, bullet-proof vests became the hot fashion item for drivers, and even passengers.

Many of us are afraid that now that the terrorists consider Disengagement their reward for terror, and our roads will again be dangerous. Will we go back to seeing bullet proof vests in unprotected (non-bullet-proof) vehicles?

There are vests and there are vests, and according to the NY Times, not all of them do the job. It's physically difficult to go around with those things; I did it a few times. So at least they should provide protection. I guess one really has to check them out, so as not to waste one's money and lose one's life.

Heval Hevalim reminder and pre-school year kvetches and song

I've been putting together the next Hevel Hevalim. So far I have some interesting stuff, at least in my opinion. I want it finished early Sunday morning Israel time, bli neder.

It's scheduled for just before school resumes here in Israel, which is the perfect time for me to volunteer. I can't believe that I'll be back in the classroom soon trying to teach Israeli male teenagers their favorite subject--English. Ok, I wish it was their favorite. It's certainly their favorite to avoid and complain about.

Honestly, I should be cooking and cleaning and doing other domestic chores. ...but man doesn't live on bread alone...

And how did we ever live without computers and internet? So if you've posted something special about Israel or Jewish issues this week, or if you saw something on the topics, please send the link and a blurb to:
shilohmuse at yahoo dot com

And now let's all sing along with me:

Keep me out of the

keep me out of
the grease

buy me some

and take-away
I don't care if I never
scrub plates

for it's root, root, root
for disposables
and vcr's and

one, two, three
lift my feet
the arm chair's for


This is not the season to photograph glorious sunrises. The sky is too misty. It heralds the first signs of winter. In Israel we only have rain in the winter. Summers are very dry, especially until the middle of the month of Av, Menachem Av. Av is a sad, tragic month. No surprise that Disengagement was in Av. It's also known as Menachem Av, since we should be comforted in Av, too. Maybe that's why the dew gets heavier, and the mists dominate the sky in early morning. It's to remind us that the dry, dead dry summer is drawing to an end.

Water is needed for life, and G-d willing it will rain this winter. The mists, which dull the sunrises I so love, are just the "coming attractions."

something to cheer you up

yes, this is also on Shiloh Musings

I've been going through my pictures from the Nefesh B'Nefesh flight, and they're slowly getting up on The Muse's Pics. Keep checking in to see more. I was on the flight that left New York on August 2 and arrived here the following morning.

I have a great variety of pictures of olim of all ages and species, yes, species, since people made aliyah with their pets, too. Oh, and there are also pictures of the machers, like former Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Lau, who is now Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv. I even took a picture of him waiting for his luggage. I took quite a few pictures of people waiting for luggage; I waited a long time for mine.

There are a maximum of five pictures in each post, some with only one. Posting pictures via blogger isn't the most efficient way. That's why I didn't give you specific posts. I'm up to #6, and G-d willing I'll be more successful today.

Feel the excitement of aliyah, certainly a good antidote for today's mood after another terrorist murder of a Jew in Jerusalem.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Beatles Remembered, Never Forgotten

When I want to feel young, I listen to the music of my youth, like the Beatles. Today's "NY Times" has a nice op-ed about them. The author gives his perspective and memories.

Of course, mine are different. I first heard of the Beatles from an English penpal. She sent me a clipping and circled a picture of John, saying that he was her favorite. A short while later, their music crossed the ocean, and later, them, too.

A friend of mine got a ticket to the Ed Sullivan show, because her father worked for the TV network.

Looking back, I must say that their early songs were just charismatic energy, and they stayed popular for one big reason, their talents as individuals and as a group. Unlike many performers and stars, their music constantly grew and evolved. There's no real resemblance between "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "Strawberry Fields" or "Eleanor Rigby." During my teens, when I used to hang around with some local bands, we considered Help! to be one of the most difficult songs to sing properly. And they all continued creating after their break-up, that's all four of them.

The picture is from here.

I didn't compose this; it is not original, but just perfect

I don't know how long this has been on the internet, but it's the perfect lesson for today

Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven't thought about it, don't have it on their schedule, didn't know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.

I got to thinking one day about all those women on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back. From then on, I've tried to be a little more flexible.

How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn't suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does the word "refrigeration" mean nothing to you?

How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched 'Jeopardy' on television?

I cannot count the times I called my sister and said, "How about going to lunch in a half hour?" She would gas up and stammer, "I can't. I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast, It looks like rain." And my personal favorite: "It's Monday."

She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.

Because Americans cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our headaches.. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect!

We'll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Steve toilet-trained.

We'll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet.

We'll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college

Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of "I'm going to," "I plan on," and "Someday, when things are settled down a bit.

"When anyone calls my 'seize the moment' friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you're ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Rollerblades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord.

My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It's just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process. The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.

Now..go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to......not something on your SHOULD DO list. If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?Make sure you read this to the end; you will understand why I sent this to you.

Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round or listened to the rain lapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight or gazed at the sun into the fading night? Do you run through each day on the fly? When you ask "How are you?" Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through your head? Ever told your child, "We'll do it tomorrow." And in your haste, not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die? Just call to say "Hi"?When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened gift....Thrown away....

Life is not a race. Take it slower. Hear the music before the song is over.

It's National Friendship Week
Show your friends how much you care.

Send this to everyone you consider a FRIEND. If it comes back to you, then you'll know you have a circle of friends.

those I have sent this to... I cherish our friendship and appreciate all you do.

"Life may not be the party we hoped for... but while we are here we might as well dance!"

Parshat Shavua, Torah Portions of the Week, Haftara--From the Prophets

A number of years ago I was part of a group of women who learned Torah every week. We had a few teachers, and one taught us the "Kuzari," a philosophical text. I remember learning that the week has six work days and then Shabbat, because if you take circles (buttons or coins of the same diameter), putting one in the center and then others surrounding it and touching, you will find that six go around the one. That's our week, six days of work to prepare and recover from Shabbat. That's our weekly cycle.

In Judaism there's also an annual cycle, called Parshat Shavua. It has two parts, the Torah--Five Books of Moses, which are divided into weekly readings, enough for even our longest leap years, and each week selections of the "Prophets," are also read. This goes on year in, year out, throughout the Jewish world.

What never ceases to amaze is how these portions parallel what goes on in today's events. Also, there is so much depth to the texts. Learned people read and study them year after year, and each year they find new lessons and messages.

Last week, we heard the Ten Commandments, and when I heard the commandment not to covet, not to want your neighbor's possessions, I couldn't help thinking of those who have been enthusiastically destroying the communities and the very profitable businesses of Gush Katif. People like the director of the Disengagement Authority, Avraham Bassi, who is directly connected with all sorts of competing businesses, could only be doing this job out of jealousy. He is personally benefiting in more ways than his very high salary by the destruction of the agricultural export industry of Gush Katif.

Just now, I went though my mail and read the commentary on this upcoming Shabbat's Haftara. It's so suited for today's tragedies. Parshat Eikev by Rabbi Dovid Siegel. What do you think?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

adopting a child

A friend just adopted a young child, a pre-schooler, from abroad. The child is very cute and seems to be picking up Hebrew easily. She told me that she had started the process many years ago, but things kept interfering. That includes a marriage gone bad and an illness, that G-d willing won't return.

Being that I have a nice number of, bli eyin hara, childrena and am still married to the same man, and I'm over ten years older than this friend, I've never been in a situation in which I felt the need to adopt. Thank G-d.

I wish my friend luck, patience and good health.


Spam is all over the internet. Recently there has been a plague here at blogger. They've invaded the comments. Luckily blogger has added one of those "copy" the letters which has to be done correctly in order to post comments. It's an "option" I opted for on all of my blogs.

Yahoo has one sometimes for sending posts. From what I noticed from my account, it's activated when I send my large mailings of recent "musings." Once I've sent over a certain number of mailings (or to a certain number of addresses) in a time period, they ask me to "copy" the gibberish.

I also report all spam to yahoo. Are there any other good safeguards?

Monday, August 22, 2005

How to survive these hard times

I hope this helps, from a letter to a friend:

L'havdil, a few years ago a local boy died from congenital heart problems. It was a shock, because everyone, including the doctors and family were sure he was well. It was a Shabbat 1st day Succot, and need I tell you more, the shiva was delayed until after Simchat Torah. the parents took the other kids around; they didn't stay home moping. And then Motzei Smchat Torah they started a week's shiva.

And during shiva, one "gets up" for Shabbat, and if there's a holiday, it's stopped.

Our halachot teach us that there's a time to mourn and a time to be cheerful, like in Kohelet. We need self discipline for Judaism. Kashrut, Taharat Mishpacha, etc

You can do it,

Havel Hevalim #33

This week's Havel Hevalilm is centered on Disengagement, but there are some articles on very different topics. Think of HH as a Jewish magazine online.

Next week I'm hosting it. So send me links from your and any Jewish and Israeli blogs.
Write a sentence summarizing the post or why you chose it.
to: shilohmuse at yahoo dot com
subject: hh

I'm not going to plan a central topic this time. Let's see what arrives. Times are tough, so let's try to find something good and unifying.

something else to read

Yes, life goes on, and sometimes we need to take a break, so take a gander at this week's BOMS, a favorite internet magazine/anthology of blog posts.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

"with just the shirt on his back"

Today, feeling ridiculously useless, in one of the refugee camp/hotels, I listened in as a reporter interviewed the official spokesperson.

"Did anyone arrive without luggage? with just the shirt on his back?"

"No, they all came with baggage."

I was pretty sure that they didn't come with much, certainly less than the "two suitcases and a carry-on" that one takes on a plane. So I checked it out with the volunteer coordinator, who confirmed that people had very little, certainly much less than one takes for a week's vacation.

Tonight, I spoke to a neighbor who is one of our coordinators, trying to help the refugees. Apparently we'll be trying to assist the ones who will be put up in the Ariel College domitories. I told her of my frustration, not really finding a niche among those helping. She said that it seems like almost everything she's trying to do is also being done by others before she can get to them. I mentioned what I heard in Jerusalem about the suitcases.

"Wait a minute," she said. "I just heard that there are refugees without anything. My friend told me that her cousin, who lived in Gush Katif was near his house, when soldiers went up to him and forced him to get on the bus. He begged them to just let him go in his house to get his wallet, cellphone, a couple of things. They refused and forced him into the bus. He left with just the shirt on his back."

chessed, charity from the heart and soul

What can I say?

The Israeli public may be pretty "foolish" (nice diplomatic word) about security and politics, but it has a heart when it sees refugees. Of course, I'm cynical as you know. After failing to prevent the destruction/disengagement from Gush Katif, the Israeli public is falling all over each other rushing to help the refugees.

The lucky refugees in Jerusalem hotels are probably the best cared for, as the Jerusalem neighborhoods have many groups of people who are used to caring for others. Reports by those who have gone to the hotels are very moving. Lots and lots of people bringing lots and lots of food, toys, clothes, etc.

Of course it's not the same all over, though groups of people are trying to drive to the "resort hotels" in non-residential places, trying to help. There are also those driving to the Nitzanit refugee camp.

The hotel deal is only free for the refugees for ten days. After that they must find someplace else to live, or they're charged from their compensation money. So they have a week left to find housing, and if I understand correctly, they are not allowed to use their money for YESHA housing. School also starts on September 1. The government doesn't like to add classes at the last minute. It's all very complicated.

The long term situation is dangerous and complicated, but in the short term, people are being warm and generous.

Let me know if you need recommendations for donations.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

well, not really

I can't really call this "Post-Disengagement Blues" since it's not finished, but people are blue. People are angry, and people are disappointed and worrying about their kids.

and I'm worrying about the future of the country.

Bli neder, (which means, if for whatever reason I can't, I'm not guilty of swearing I will) I'll go into more detail, tomorrow, G-d willing.

I"m also trying to get more info on the murder at the gate.

Almost everyone's home from Gush Katif, and a couple of kids are still in jail.

the kids, who had been in Gush Katif, were given all honors during shul today, acting as chazan, leading the services, aliyot to the Torah. It was the least we old fogies could do. We have wonderful kids here.

Shavua Tov

ps If you don't understand the religious terms I used, sorry, just ask in comments, and I'll explain.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Shabbat is soon...

This week, it's very hard to concentrate on Shabbat. In just a couple of hours my house has to be ready and all the food has to be cooked.

And other housewives are homeless. They're possessions are lost. At best, strangers packed them, and there are no guarantees that they'll be found and if found safe and unbroken. And what's the big deal? Most people don't have homes to furnish.

The Gush Katif refugees were thrown out of their homes, even though the media kept proclaiming that they they left "b'ratzon." What a lie. They didn't go willingly. They just agreed to leave without fighting with the police and army, without committing suicide. They just tried to leave with a little dignity. That's not "b'ratzon!"

At most they carried a bag or two, some documents, maybe, t'fillin and tallit for the men and candlesticks for the women and maybe some jewelry, pictures. I don't know. When they G-d forbid come for me, what would I take? Would computer mavens be willing to go from house to house and remove hard disks?

Think about it. Read arutz 7 and all sorts of blogs that are telling the story that the international media is trying to keep secret.

The Israeli Government is a fascist totalitarian dictatorship and treats its finest citizens like criminals, even worse. They don't do this to terrorists. And all the bleeding heart liberals don't see "Gush Katif settlers" as humans deserving human rights.

And I have no illusions. Democracy gives strength to the worst in society. Look at the government we have! Crooks, selfish, mean gangsters.

School begins here in less than two weeks, and there are thousands of students, hundreds of educators stranded!

For that we should strike.

Our soldiers and police failed us. They could have been Nachshon marching into the sea. For Nachshon it parted; it was up to his nose, but he kept going. They could have been Yitzchak, full of faith as his father lifted the knife, and then his father was ordered by G-d to kill the ram. But if Yitzchak had faltered, if he had complained or cried or argued, he would have died.

Unfortunately we had Korach and we had the ten spies, and I fear that G-d is angry.

This wasn't about Gush Katif, it was about all of Eretz Yisrael, not just to cities of the Bilble, like Shiloh. Now the entire country is in danger. Eilat was just attacked, the place Israelis go to when they want to pretent they're in Europe, safe.

G-d willing, for the sake of the homeless traumatized refugees, may we have a Shabbat Shalom, um'vorach, even if we don't deserve it.

checking in

My two wonderful sons, both working in America, checked in this morning. They called. It was good to hear their voices.

They'll be returning to a different Israel, post amputation.

Shabbat Shalom

Thursday, August 18, 2005

heard at the pool

My neighbor's story:

My son is very proud of me. He thinks
I'm a hero.

We tried to get into Gush Katif. If I
had known that it would be such hilly terraine and without even flashlights, I
never would have agreed. I don't know how I did it.

My husband had to leave us. He had a
very important job. But I was fine; I was with my young son and
neighbors. I was sure it would be alright.

We had one bathroom stop in five
hours. Men to one side and women to the other. We couldn't eat nor
drink, and it was just after the 9th of Av.

Then someone said that there was a call from
Moetzet YESHA to procede to a certain place. The police were waiting
there. It was really strange. Also there were always helicopters
overhead watching us.

Then the police stopped us, it wasn't really
an arrest. They just kept taking us from one place to another. I didn't
have any documents or money or my cell phone. Someone felt sorry for me
carrying so much, so he took my bag to help me.

But when we were dropped off, finally at the
bus station I didn't have any money. Luckily we found a neighbor, but it
was barely enough for the tickets. I had to take a shekel from a stranger
to buy one baguette to share with my son.

The more I think about it, I don't see the
purpose of all the wandering we did in the wilderness, just to be stopped by the
police, who seemed to know all the time where we were and who we were. It
was just a game. We were pawns in a chess match.

But my son is very proud of me. He
says; "Imma, you can do it."

tragic week

This is a very tragic week. The Israeli Government has dragged, banished, removed thousands of innocent, law-abiding citizens from their homes in Gush Katif. Some of these poor people also suffered from being refugees from Sinai and were given the opportunity to build their homes as compensation. Just shows how unreliable and immoral the Sharon Government is.

It will be remembered in history as one of the most cruel and perverse moves ever.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

behind the scenes...

Someone from neighboring Shvut Rachel murdered some Arabs this afternoon. This has everyone here in shock, even his closes friends, or especially those who knew him personally.

I volunteered in our office tonight, which is something people take turns doing when the occassion warrents it. Actually, I had been asked earlier, much earlier in the day. Since Disengagement and so many of my neighbors trying to make their way to Gush Katif and finding themselves in jail, it has been necessary for someone to be around for emergencies and phone queries.

I was just supposed to be there an hour, but kept my replacement company. It was from her that I found out who the murderer is. He is someone I've seen around. It was mentioned that there had to have been a trigger that set him off. He isn't known as a hot-head and has worked at Ortal (not only the largest factory in Shiloh, but the largest between Jerusalem and Ariel or further) for a number of years. Jews and Arabs work there together, since the owner hasn't been able to find enough Jews to work for him.

On my way back home I saw some other neighbors who gave me more information. Apparently there is a lot of tension between the Jews and Arabs in the factory. The Arabs make nasty comments in favor of terrorism and how they plan on taking over when we're (G-d forbid!) thrown out. The Arabs killed were the nastiest of them all.

I don't know what the Arabs told Asher in the car as he drove them out to the gate. I hope that he will have the opportunity to explain.

though murder is never the way unless one's life is threatened

Important update about refugees!

I just got a phone call from my neighbor. Her husband called and said that he's with some of the refugee families.

They were dumped in a hotel by the Dead Sea, where just day to day living is expensive, and there's no work.

Ordinary middle-aged moshavniks, farmers and blue collar workers, mostly in their fifties.

So far, at least the first batch, are four families from Moshav Morag. They arrived at 1am, and I'm sure you can imagine their condition.

The hotel will give them some light breakfast and supper, but the main meal will cost them. They don't have their washing machines and other appliances, so laundry and cooking are impossible.

They're looking for affordable places to live and work.

The person who is helping them is Naftali Sheinfeld.
Please call him 0544-338-191.

tizku b'mitzvot
You will be rewarded in mitzvot.

burying my head

I'm embarrassed to say, but I need a break. All day I've been on the computer and also met with neighbors to say T'hillim. And I promised to help in the yishuv office later.

And I haven't even washed the dishes, and it's so hot, but how can I complain? People are being driven out of their homes by a dictator and "good" soldiers are obeying orders like...

The world is comfortably ignoring it all in their air conditioned homes.

And I feel so useless.

I'm going to bury my head in my laundry and try to sort and put it all away. I haven't done it since before I went to the states, and that was over a month ago. And when I returned I had to quickly do the wash, because it was almost the 9 days and then it was Shabbat and no time, and since then I didn't deal with the clean laundry except to look for necessary items. And then after the 10th of Av I did a ton more laundry though my husband's grey underwear still hasn't been bleached. But there's plenty clean and white for him to wear. And maybe now, the next time I ever go and leave him alone, he'll learn to sort his clothes more carefully.

It's like that joke that used to make the rounds on the internet, about the husband who arrives home and finds his house a mess and the kitchen flooded with junk and his wife in bed, lounging and he asks her what happened.

And she replies: "Today, I didn't do the nothing I usually do."

Well, I haven't done that "nothing" for awhile. It seems so trite and petty when others are suffering, but I do have a house, at least in the meantime. Bli eyin haraa.

Because if you read what the Arabs say, without any shame or subtlety, we're all on their list. Minimum is back to 1967, then the recommendations of the UN, until we're all, G-d forbid, thrown in the sea.

And who knows if anyone actually reads all this. Sometimes I really wonder. And does anyone care?


There seems to be too much going on which is unreported, so I'll be putting things on Shiloh Musings periodically. Here's the first one #1 .

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Today I passively demonstrated, nothing formal. I wasn't part of a group, that's besides the T'hilim, Psalms, in the morning. Today I left the emotional comfort of Shiloh and Jerusalem. I went to Tel Aviv, and I wasn't part of a massive quarter million or more.

Just me!

I went to visit my daughter. I wore my orange flowered skirt, and I had an orange ribbon on my bag and and orange bracelet on my wrist. I was dressed just the way I'd be dressed in Jerusalem. That, too, is a demonstration, a very passive one.

And I wasn't the only one in Tel Aviv, adorned in orange.

But I felt fiddling, and I wasn't helping to put out the fire.

I was pretty lucky in catching the bus out of Tel Aviv, back to Jerusalem. But then my "extra half hour'' got lost in a traffic jam. and according to our progress, I'd be missing my 8pm bus. The old me, the way back when me would have gotten totally hysterical. Waiting an extra two hours plus, a tragedy? no longer

As happens on public transportation, I found myself speaking to a total stranger who was sitting next to me. "yes," I informed her, "looks like I'm missing my bus." And she also kept track to see if I'd make it.

"I can't get upset," I risked telling her. "There are people, good people losing their homes, businesses, work, everything. How can I get upset over a couple of hours?"

"Yes, it's horrible, evil what the government is doing. I voted for Sharon and I'm sorry I did. He's a dictator."

On the 480 express between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, we all agree.

And just in case you're curious. I did get there after 8, but I figured that there was nothing to lose, so I ran, really ran through security and upstairs. I wanted to see if my bus would be conveniently late. It was late yesterday, not a rare occurrence. I saw a bus; the door had just closed. I ran out; it sort of looked like 178, but it could have also have been 170 to Beit El. The driver opened the door. "Is this the 178?" "Yes." "Do you mean that you were waiting specially for me?" I asked him. "Of course," replied the bus driver.

The driver explained that there are delays, because there aren't enough bullet proof buses available. Many were sent to Gush Katif.

HaShem YiRachem

T'hilim and special prayers

My neighbors and I gathered for T'hilim, Psalms, and special prayers for Eretz Yisrael and her people, to give us all strength to continue.

Then we heard of neighbors, parents and children jailed just for protesting.

Rachem! Rachem!

last batch kotel pictures

Finally, here's the last batch of pictures.

kotel pics #2

OK, here's the second batch.

couldn't resist this

American security have, ok it's not a sense of humour. They're serious. They claim that "profiling" is rascist, but their suspicious names list is a real joke. Well, that's if they don't have your name on their list.

I know of someone whose passport was taken when re-entering the states, because they decided that the number was suspicious.

Women's Prayer at Kotel Katan

Here are some pictures from the women's prayer at kotel katan last Wednesday, just before the big t'fillah. G-d willing, I'll get more picture up tomorrow, so just keep checking.

Yes, it's the middle of the night. It can't still be jet lag!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Demonstrators in Search of Demonstration

Yes, I'm embarrassed to say that it does sound rather pathetic, this will be the other side of today's demonstrating against Disengagement.

I think that it was before Shabbat when my neighbor called to ask me to put a notice on the internet about a demonstration that would be Monday next to the Prime Minister's Residence. It seemed like just the right demonstration for me to attend, and of course I publicized it.

Actually I planned my day around it, first went to drop some film off and then went off well equipped with water and food and lots of orange ribbons. There were just a few people there, and most were happy to get some more ribbons. We were wondering where the others were.

We knew that there was another demonstration that had gotten much more publicity. That one involved driving slowly around the Government Office Complex near the Keneset, basically to annoy and call attention to themselves.

There are a couple of reasons that it didn't appeal to me. First is that we're sans car, yup carless. And second is that I don't like to demonstrate in the area of the offices, because nobody really notices or cares. Why pick a hidden place that doesn't have pedestrians? And when there's a demonstration there, traffic is restricted.

But ours was getting smaller and more depressing. So one of the other demonstrators and I went off in a taxi to check out the "competition." We got the driver to drive around the government office complex. We saw people who were dressed like demonstrators, in characteristic orange, sort of wandering. Probably wondering, too, what were they doing, and maybe there was a real demonstration just around the corner.

Our taxi driver seemed to understand our conversation in English and agreed that something must be wrong with Moetzet YESHA, the YESHA Council. He said that considering how horrendous and ridiculous and dangerous Disengagement is and how few people really support it, the council must be pretty "dumb" to have failed to have it cancelled. There's nothing in the world like taxi drivers!

What a shame, if they had come to our corner, it would have looked pretty impressive. Phone calls were made, and a few people did show. Most of us were from my "region," Mateh Binyamin or the Jordan Valley and a few from Jerusalem.

I did my best to stay in the shade of a tree, and luckily I wore a very large hat. It's one I generally don't wear off the yishuv, but today an even bigger one would have been good. I was slathered with sun screen sold for the beach.

After four hours I wished everyone luck and went to get the pictures. Bli neder, they'll be here some time tomorrow, G-d willing. Just keep checking.

I was thinking of going to the pool, but then I remembered that I'm not a member, and it costs, so I'll wait to swim in the morning. And then T'hilim and other plans and lots of laundry.

The "three weeks" are over, but our nation's in trouble. It's embarrassing to be involved in mundane affairs and worries at such a time. There are families being ripped from their homes, and their lives and possessions destroyed. Bodies and bones will be dug from their graves, G-d forbid. Families will mourn again, wounds reopened. This is all by those who think that it's "immoral" to "transfer" Arabs. They have no feelings for Jews. Judenrat and kapos are still at large. We have a long way to go, unfortunately.

BOMs Away! The Latest!

The latest Best of... is posted. Take a gander.