Thursday, August 31, 2006

Having fun at "Savta's" (Grannie's)

This summer my daughter and hers spent a couple of days at my house on "vacation." They all had been over for Shabbat and stayed a couple of extra days.

On day one, she and her husband went to work, and my sons and I babysat. Then she and the girls had a "fun day in Shiloh."

They visited the neighbor's goats. And they also sent shopping. Early in the morning they were at the pool, but there aren't any pictures from that.

Just so you see how lovely it is here, bli eyin haraa (keep away the evil eye)!

Short little stays like this with grandparents and uncles are among the things my children never had growing up. Visits were infrequent, long and intense, since we never lived nearby. My parents and in-laws were in New York, and we live in Israel. Even the two years we were in London, weren't much of an improvement.

My sister lives in Arizona, so my parents have had a rough time trying to get to know their grandchildren. It's not like when I was a kid and most of the family was in New York or nearby. The relatives in Florida were total strangers. Now my family has spread much further. At least with email and lower phone charges, contact is easier. I certainly don't miss those aerogrammes we used to use as inexpensive airmail stationery.

Seeing the girls growing up is a gift, thank G-d.

Hit the road!

This was written a couple of months ago for VOICES, but when the war broke out, Sharon requested that I quickly write something about that, which I did. Now I have to psyche myself up for the coming school year and my extremely difficult work conditions. This year's schedule is impossible, and, at present, I'm very impatiently waiting to hear that they've remedied it.

When people ask me how I travel to work, or when it's one of those "no bus now" times of the day, I answer: "Siyata D'Shmaya kaful," with a double dose of G-d's help. One dose, like everyone else, protecting me on the roads from traffic accidents and terrorists, and the second dose because sometimes I need G-d's help just to get on the road.

The truth is that not only kids "tremp," or hitchhike, grandmothers like me do, too.

We've never had a car, and at this stage of life, we're certainly not going to. I was the only driver when we got married and moved to Israel in 1970, and when I saw how people drove then, I thanked G-d for public transportation.

Recently there has been lots of tsk-tsking about the youth's "irresponsible, risk-taking behavior," since a teenage boy from Itamar was kidnapped and as I write this, we don't know his fate. (He was murdered by the Arab terrorists almost immediately after his kidnapping.) And a few weeks ago some Arabs tried to kidnap a couple of teenage girls near Rechallim. According to "the rules of the road," the girls' behavior was impeccable, even enviable. They fought and got away. Baruch Hashem!! That's the spot where my friend, Rachella Druk, HaYa"D, was murdered, and I have no doubt that her neshama joined G-d in helping those girls escape.

True, we can't take for granted that G-d, Rachella or anyone else in This World or the Next will rescue everyone in danger on the roads. The responsibility in This World rests in the Israeli Government, which is supposed to empower the military to destroy terrorism and the police to stop rapists.

One thing for sure, we shouldn't blame the girls, as many did, for the attack. "Tremping, or hitchhiking, is a necessary part of life here in the Shomron. First for the practical reason that there isn't enough public transportation, and we are not yet at a population figure that makes it financially viable. Israel, like modern countries all over the world is becoming more and more dependent on private cars.

Many people who travel in private cars in Yehuda and Shomron consider their vehicles to be opportunities for chesed, a "mercy gift" to others. They enjoy the opportunity to help, without getting anything in return. This is not a simple mitzvah, and there's much controversy involved.

Honestly, some people are quite ambivalent about it. They complain of rude ungrateful passengers, making chutzpa-dik demands, damaging equipment and even stealing. The complaints range from talking loudly and incessantly on cell phones, demanding changes in routes, inadvertently detaching baby's car seats and burgling. For that reason, some car-owners are very selective in whom they welcome into their car, if they take riders at all. Others make it very clear about where passengers can sit and what behavior is tolerated.

Those of us who "tremp" must always remember that the vehicle owner is "king" and has the right to decide who gets in and who not. Sometimes it works to our advantage and sometimes not, but it's fair.

Some of us have no choice; we must "tremp." For example, I have no other way to get to and from work. I live in Shiloh and work in Beit El. There is no direct public transportation between the two communities. Even though our buses to Jerusalem pass the Beit El Junction, location of Givat Asaf, they don't let me off there. It is against Egged's regulations.

If I were traveling by car, door-to-door, it would be just over twenty minutes, but if I wanted to go by bus to work, without tremping, I would have to leave home by 10:15am to begin teaching at 1:45pm, yes three and one half hours!!! As it is, I leave at 12:15 to take the bus, which may not even leave Shiloh until 1pm, to Ofra. At Ofra I have to hitchhike. If I'm lucky, I'll get a ride to Beit El, if not then I get off at Givat Asaf, where I wait for a ride to Beit El. Yes, I have to give myself an hour and a half. It's not easy.

So when you hear about hitchhiking, please think of me, a hard-working middle-aged grandmother and not a bunch of ill-disciplined kids.

Survivor Rights

Those very hardy souls who survived the Nazi Concentration Camps are still suffering.

History Claims Her Artwork, but She Wants It Back
Dina Babbitt, a Holocaust survivor, saved her and her mother's lives by painting these pictures. Today the question is "Who owns them?"

I also have a problem with the wording of the New York Times' headline. Is it "history" claiming Mrs. Babbitt's painting or is the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum in Poland? For "history's" sake, reproductions can be used just as effectively, if not more so. The originals are "precious" and even the museum admits that they're too delicate for long-term display. So wouldn't it be more practical for them to make copies which would survive and let the elderly artist have her paintings back?

Reproductions can last forever, but Mrs. Babbitt and her paintings don't have much longer. Reuniting them would be the humanitarian thing to do. Unfortunately the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum is perpetuating the cruelty of the Nazis.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

For the first time....

... in 36 years----
I had a "real" haircut! Well, it was sort of, "ki'eelu," as we say in Hebrew.

I cover my hair, as you can see in the profile picture and others. And I've been married for 36 years, so it doesn't pay for me to invest in my hair. It's neither an accessory nor decoration.

The day I got married, in June, 1970, I had my hair trimmed in a local beauty parlor, and since then, until this summer, I just trimmed it myself. It never mattered if the cut was uneven.

But this summer, not only was the heat getting to me, but I couldn't stand the metal barrette holding it together under the hats and scarves. So I decided to have it cut. The only problem was that the neighbor who was doing it professionally closed down her "shop." So a friend volunteered, and then I trimmed it until I was satisfied.

It grew out quickly, cutely peeking out, but I don't want "cute hair." So I took my neighbor's recommendation at today----

I went to a "sort of" beauty parlor. I went to a hair-dressing school, where for NS35- I had a supervised haircut by a student. For the big $8- it cost, it's fine. Maybe it's not exactly what I wanted, but who cares? Not me. As long as I can shove it under my hat.

Now off to the pool. Only three swimming days left, including tonight.

This is just the sign for me!

Thank you
Bagel Blogger!

If you're not yet familiar with the blog, take a gander, the graphics are just unreal. All I know how to do is chose colors and fonts from the blogger choices and take pictures, of course. This morning I decided that the time had come to "visit" my friends from the sidebar and almost fainted when I saw the road sign. At first I thought it was a strange coincidence that there's a place called me-ander, but then I realized... I'm at Bagel Blogger, so this is the most spectacular blurb one could ever imagine.

I'm so "untechnical" at all these things, I don't crop or change colors etc on my digital pictures. What you see is what I shot. Looking at my photos from decades past, I see that I've always had a good intuition for composition. OK, maybe a bit conservative, though the smokey, blurred one here is odd enough to be special.

Must get "out" today, been in Shiloh all week and getting stir crazy. How much laundry can I do without going nuts? The dirt will wait as will the mess in my room. Next week I start work and am not looking forward to it. I can't do the schedule they gave me. Bad for the kids and bad for me. How much time can I waste waiting for rides? It's not just teenagers standing on roads hitchhiking. Old ladies, like me, do, too. I'll be blogging more about that later, especially if they don't make the necessary changes.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

just one bite

It's so hard to eat "just a little" the "good things." Not long ago a dieter told me of his "downfall." He had bought a package of ice cream, reduced fat, but still, more than a small portion was well above his permitted treat. Since it was a large box, it was a good deal financially, and he figured it would last him the summer, if only a couple a times a week, he'd take just a small portion.

Hah! You know what they say about good intentions!

So we decided that if we want just a little bit of ice cream, we should just buy ourselves one portion, even if it's not dietetic. One limited portion is better than a whole tempting package eyeing us everytime when we open that door. Honestly! How much self-control do you think we have?

Apparently, some smart food manufacturers realized that there's a market for 100 calorie snacks! And it's a growing market. "Family-sized" packages are fattening, and extra-economical means spending more on larger clothes.

Buy smaller packages and eat less. That's the new diet trick!

getting back to "normal"

toys are still all over the floor,
  • I shrank the table from maximum with two leaves in, to its minimal circle
  • and I finally washed all the dishes, including the parve pots I had stored in the laundry room sink
  • and I did more washes that I can count or remember
  • and folded and sorted all the dry laundry
  • ok, except for what's still on the line
  • which I'll take in,
  • and I have one more batch in the machine
  • which I have to hang out

and then I'll go to "t'hilim," the psalms reading I do with friends every Tuesday afternoon--when I'm home of course

and the toys will still be waiting

and I'll have to pack up the pictures the girls made for "grenma an' grenpa" for my sons to take to NY when they go next week

yes, there's always so much to do

thank G-d

and I still haven't "done my nails" nor had my hair cut, oy, so nice to have all these little things to keep me busy

though vacation's soon over...

What are you cooking?

You are cooking, aren't you? You must be getting ready for the next Kosher Cooking Carnival! The September edition, which will be the 10th, will be hosted by elf, but she's changing the venue (from what I previously announced) to Apikorus Online. Don't worry. It's still kosher!

Don't get so busy blogging that you burn your food, one of my problems. Please send your kosher food links to me shilohmuse at yahoo dot com, or via Conservative Cat’s handy form or the blog carnival one, and at the same time you may discover other “carnivals” to visit and enter.

Remember that you can send:
  • pictures of food
  • restaurant and cookbook reviews
  • food traditions
  • humorous stories about food
  • and even recipes!

Just as long as they're kosher!

B'Te'avon! Hearty Appetite!

Monday, August 28, 2006



Hi. It's the night of the 28 th o f August after the "Tolja so War"

Last night, friendly ol' Nasralla announced to the world, "Garsh! We didn't

expect such a reaction from the Israelis. If we had known Ulmert would get so

angry, we never would have captured those boys!"

I tried to understand the subtext in Nasrallah's words, and i finally realized:

He wants to prop up Ulmert! As long as Ulmert and Co are in charge, he's got it made! Tonight, Ulmert made his address to the nation, and - Oh my God! I was right! He leaned heavily on Nasrallahs words!

At any rate, here are URL's of my recent articles about the war.

It 's much easier for you to click and link to them than for me to edit them in the blog!

And now, for those of you who are waiting for the winners for the 'name that war ' competition, here they are:

In fact, if you want to see all the other 7 pieces I wrote during pauses in the shelling, all you have to do is lookie here:

Blog Block? Not Me!

I don't know about you, but I always find something to blog about, even when I don't want to.

I had been planning on blogging about what a mess the house is after running a 4 day "Kaytanat Savta," "Summer Camp at Grannie's," but then my husband, who actually had sent me this cartoon earlier in the day, asked me a question.

Now, since we're both "losing brain cells," we're usually lucky that they're not the same ones. Unfortunately, this time, I couldn't help him. I even wasted a half hour googling. I do have an idea, which may bring me the answer, but in the meantime, I'll just open the question to all of you.

Who can tell us the name of the cowboy movie, probably from the 1970's which was about some cowboy brothers and played by actor brothers? Any other details will be gratefully received!


ps So you see how I never run out of topics to blog.

Yummily, Educating BOMS

Now for this week's carnival update.

I haven't been sending to as many as I once did. Maybe I'll resume the carnival-searching at when I'm less busy. Isn't it strange, how busy one gets while on vacation? Or is it only me?

Newbie bloggers ask me how to increase "visitors," and one of the best is to enter carnivals, but I must add, not just any carnival. Without a doubt, the most frequently searched (via google, yahoo, etc) for posts are recipes. It's like investing in one of those conservative stocks; you may not quadruple your money in 3 months, but decades down the line, you'll still get paid, and they more than keep up with inflation. The Carnival of Recipes always has great recipes and as a blog carnival, there's a strong reliable readership. Of course, if you have a strictly political blog, it may take quite a stretch of the imagination to find an excuse to write about food...

Another carnival which can bring lots of hits is the Carnival of Education. I'm always amazed to discover how much teachers from all over the world have in common. Any recent post dealing with education may be submitted.

For posts that have passed the tests of time, ok at least 60 days, there's BOMS, the Best of Me Symphony. There is a certain conceit to it, but it has an amazing variety of posts. It's nice to be in such good company.

Back to the advice, it's not enough to just send in your posts, you have to read the entire carnival and try commenting to the other bloggers. Many of them submitted posts for the same reason you did. It's also important to post a "blurb," like this, about the carnivals you're in.

Enjoy and good luck!


Ahhhhhhhhhhh, the South Pacific....

Bali Ha'i
Most people live on a lonely island,
Lost in the middle of a foggy sea.
Most people long for another island,
One where they know they will like to be.

Bali Ha'i may call you,
Any night, any day,
In your heart, you'll hear it call you:
"Come away...Come away."

Bali Ha'i will whisper
In the wind of the sea:
"Here am I, your special island!
Come to me, come to me!"

Your own special hopes,
Your own special dreams,
Bloom on the hillside
And shine in the streams.
If you try, you'll find me
Where the sky meets the sea.
"Here am I your special island
Come to me, Come to me."

Bali Ha'i,
Bali Ha'i,
Bali Ha'i!

Someday you'll see me floatin' in the sunshine,
My head stickin' out from a loaf nighin' cloud,
You'll hear me call you,
Singin' through the sunshine,
Sweet and clear as can be:
"Come to me, here am I, come to me."
If you try, you'll find me
Where the sky meets the sea.
"Here am I your special island
Come to me, Come to me."

Bali Ha'i,
Bali Ha'i,
Bali Ha'i!

How do you picture it? I always pictured it as Hawaii, but there really is a Bali Ha'i. I've never been further west than Phoenix, AZ, so the Pacific Ocean isn't very real to me. Just reading the words, "Bali Ha'i," on my computer screen brings the haunting song to my ears and the visions of the movie to my eyes.

The "danger" in the movie was falling in love with someone "unsuitable" and staying there forever. Apparently Hawaii has other dangers, fatal ones, like drowning. And according to the article, it happens to natives, too.

One really must be cautious and carefully taught how to behave when near any body of water. It doesn't pay to be a cockeyed optimist, when over-confidence may lead to death.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Yes, busy

I presume you've noticed that I finished a Havel Havelim today. Since I was also busy babysitting for my granddaughters, and my time was very limited, I decided to keep strictly to the cut off. Otherwise, I'd still be searching for posts, since I didn't do my usual visiting to those linked in my sidebar.

Except for Wednesday, when I spent a lot of time on jblogcentral and jblogsphere list, most posts were sent to me. The listings make it so much easier to search for new posts. The two carnival services are also wonderful. In addition, I use them to send my own posts around to carnivals.

There's an amazing amount of talented writers blogging. The conventional news media have noticed it, and many newspapers have their "blogs." But most of us are totally independent, and honestly, that's the way I like it.

...but if I could make a living writing...

84 and Still Going Strong!

Yes, this is the 84th edition of Havel Havelim, instituted by the one and only Soccer Dad, to give an internet forum, "carnival," for Jewish and Israeli blogs.

Psalm 84
For the Leader; upon the Gittith. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.
How lovely are Thy tabernacles, O HaShem of hosts!
My soul yearneth, yea, even pineth for the courts of HaShem; my heart and my flesh sing for joy unto the living G-d.
Yea, the sparrow hath found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young; Thine altars, O HaShem of hosts, my King, and my G-d--.
Happy are they that dwell in Thy house, they are ever praising Thee. Selah
Happy is the man whose strength is in Thee; in whose heart are the highways.
Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; yea, the early rain clotheth it with blessings.
They go from strength to strength, every one of them appeareth before G-d in Zion.
O HaShem G-d of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O G-d of Jacob. Selah
Behold, O G-d our shield, and look upon the face of Thine anointed.
For a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand; I had rather stand at the threshold of the house of my G-d, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For HaShem G-d is a sun and a shield; HaShem giveth grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.
O HaShem of hosts, happy is the man that trusteth in Thee.

To me, King David, the composer of Psalms, was the first blogger. His was a mostly personal blog; writing his feelings helped him strengthen his faith in G-d.

Havel Havelim is hosted by a different blogger each week and coordinated by
Soccer Dad. The term “Havel Havelim” 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 finally realized that it was nothing but norishkeit, “havel” or in English “vanities.”

I'm including all of the posts submitted, even if a blogger sends in a few. I don't like the idea of "selecting" the "only best." We love all our children the same; don't we? And if you expect this missive to be organized, sorry, it's almost as big a mess as my house. So just grit your teeth and enjoy yourself. Feel free to comment; all criticism will be deleted; so don't bother trying. Praise only will be accepted. The school year starts soon, and I must put myself in a good mood; you wouldn't want the kiddees to suffer. We don't need teenage boys on a rampage, ok?

If any of you have been left out, please accept my apologies and send your links in as comments. I'm sure some of my favorite bloggers are somehow missing. That means, that you're kindly requested to read the comments, too.

First prize for first post submitted goes to Irina who submitted a moving post, not even her own,
illustrating the question: Who's a Jew?

I see the continued Aliyah artza, to live in Israel and join the army as the ultimate sign of faith. Pictured
here are Nefesh B'Nefesh immigrants from the August 9, 2006 flight.

SimplyJews explains hypocrisy. And Mere Rhetoric tells of the destabilizing by Iran. From Meryl Yourish is A must-read on Hezbullah training and tactics.
Here are some pictures of the
ghetto wall surrounding northern Jerusalem. Someone even spray-painted the word "ghetto." And here are some pictures of a demonstration and talk about "who's guilty."
The Olah Chadasha from French Hill tries to make sense of Dichter's talk of
giving Syria the Golan. And she also tells us who the biggest losers are when it comes to the UN peace-keeping force.
Moshe Burt manages to combine Parshat Shavua with the proposed
Minister of Justice. Tzedek, Tzedek!
Sarah did a supper, oops! super job on the
9th Kosher Cooking Carnival!
Just perfect for Chodesh Elul, Beyond Tshuva tells us to
Honor All Your Failures.

Simply Jews talks about
Bibi's great answers. I was impressed, too.

Life in Israel ponders the "just like in America"
spiel in a different category.

Arlene Peck reacts to the emergency
airline security; just you try to take away her mascara!

A Simple Jew is really a
red-bearded Perry Mason!

Cosmic X gives us the low-down (real low) about the newspaper,
Ha'aretz. And Olah Chadasha from French Hill adds more about it and Israel's left.

Shemita Rediscovered gives us
East vs West-WWIII Chas Vechalila- Radical Islam vs. Materialist Western Culture.

Don Radlauer brings up an important point in
ClichéWatch: “Israel’s lost deterrence”.

"Ricky Ricardo," not Lucy's—though sure looks like him—goes over the
halachot of tzedaka refused. I've had things like that happen.

MR Reacts to Bloggers' Conference Call With Israeli Ambassador Uri Lubrani

Rabbi Lazer Brody discusses
emunah, faith and more.

Trent Telenko
explains how Israel is now perceived.
Haganah writes about
JoeSettler tells us about
Cowardly Generals, other true stories and a book he read. The third is from the new blog he shares with Jameel.
From Reb Chaim HaQoton,
Freedom and Torah Supremacy.
Nasrallah you never knew and learn Scapegoating as a business at Simply Jews.
Sultan Knish tells us
How America and Israel Failed Against Shiite Terrorism .
According to Life In Israel,
The sh*t is hitting the fan.

Doven for a
Refuah Shleimah for Ruvein ben Tova Chaya the grandson of Emes Ve-Emunah.

Look at that
butterfly at Sarah's.

And read what my husband
quoted. Here he points out Olmert's chutzpah!

Westbankmama asks
Are We Being Ants or Grasshoppers? What do you think?

A Mother in Israel writes about
eccentric children; and that's not a bad trait to have. If we were all the same, wouldn't it be boring?

What's it like for Jews in Harlem? Ask
Akiva Micah.

Ask Shifra about
splogs, scary stuff.

Real scary! The Bagel Blogger blogs about
the Iranian threat.

Baleboosteh writes about her daughter, Jade's,
adjustment to their becoming Jewish. Shalom and good luck.

Look at the
first day of school at Jewess with Horns.

Boker Tov, Boulder writes about the
fence and our "partners."

Shanah pokes her head
out of the bomb shelter.

Jerusalem Cop gives us:
WHY I’M PROUD TO BE A JEW - by Bruce from New York.

Read about
Jews and baseball on Jewschool.

From Kallah Magazine,
muse on the mikvah.

Allisonks sends a very clear message to
those powerful men with uncontrollable urges.

If you still think that Bush supports Israel, read IRIS Blog,
Bush: $230 Million for Hezbollah, $0 for Israel!

Not a nice story from Irina.

Daled Amos writes about
the Democratic Party and Israel.

Should the blogmeister be a

Jerusalem Joe sent me
A Secular Jew, A Religous Jew, A Believing Jew - So Near, and Yet So Far . What do you think?

Life in Israel mulls over
Israeli politics.

For those who know Russian, from Irina:
An Israeli soldier, wounded in Lebanon, confronts Olmert, etc.

From Ra'anana Ramblings, we have a story about
helping sick Arab children.

Yitz, from Heichal Hanegina, tells us about
The Skulener Rebbe: Enduring Decrees with Love and Song.

A Military Assessment of the Lebanon Conflict from Winds of Change.

Infidel Bloggers wonders about
who is really in charge of American policy.

Benjamin of Kesher Talk, talks about
Peace Now, while Van, at the same address, talks about Tom Cruise.

LGF, which gets more hits in a minute, than all my blogs together get in a day, writes that
CAIR will Host an Anti-Israel Event in DC.

The Eye of an Eagle from Bat Eyin reveals the state of his

Here are a couple of posts from Daled Amos; the first is
Rabbi Avi Weiss's trip to Israel, (the one from Riverdale.) The second discusses Israel's Right of Return.

A Simple Jew writes about

From Israel and the Sin of Expulsion:
Israeli Delegation to French Minister on Expulsion: “We are Israelis. Those being expelled are Jews.”

Soccer Dad joined
me in discussing the next Israeli general trying to become a political leader, Moshe Ya'alon.

History News Network compares Israel's demonstrating against Olmert now with
the Arab countries' embracing Nassar after he led them to defeat in 1967.

House of Joy and kids have a
great time at the Pisgat Zeev Mall. Maybe I should take my granddaughters there!

Read the movie review from the
Counterterrorism blog.

Israellycool actually has something
good to say about the media. And here's something worth reading from Newsweek, of all places.

Jameel remember the
Hebron Massacre of 1929.

Random Thoughts updates us about the
restaurant named after Hitler.

This Dry Bones about the
UN will soon be a classic; he says more in those 4 little boxes, than most writers say in a book.

Mottel shows us great pictures from
the beginning and the end of camp. And here are more pictures from him in night games.

Beyond Tshuva and
Elul, of course, and here he gives a more physical example of what it's all about.

last Jews are discussed on Crossing the Rubicorn2.

My husband wrote about
Amnesty International. And Daled Amos wrote about Human Rights Watch. Maybe the question is "who's human?" And Ted Belman wrote: HRW is guilty of “war crimes”, not Israel .

On Jewish Current Issues, read about
Mark Steyn.

Carl tells us about
Emanuel Moreno, an Israeli hero.

On Back Spin, read about
Christians refusing Hisbollah aid.

Westbankmama tells us about an untypical
Israeli family reunion story.

From the Maryland conservatarian, read about
Democracy Activism - Mid East style.

The sundries shack will tell us
what people in Arab countries think 5 years after 9-11.

Boker tov, Boulder wants to
solve a mystery...
Ya'akov Menken asks:
What are we Jews, anyway? Also on Cross- Currents, Rabbi Adlerstein wrote about European Antisemitism, and kindness from the Poles of all people. And then Rabbi Rosenblum asked if the Democratic party is being infected with European Antisemitism. In addition, there are two posts questioning whether Kehillat Orech Eliezer is, in fact, an Orthodox congregation appointing a woman as its spiritual head: one by Rabbi Menken and the other by Rabbi Shafran. And Eytan Kobre wrote about a pair of Jewish baseball stars.
On Esser Agaroth, Ya'aqov gives us
a story about the Jewish Legion and a recipe!

I have three posts from Joe Settler:
Cowardly Generals, True stories from war and a book review.

On Blog Free! I have the
link for media fraud.

Jameel has
A Passionate Yearning for Eretz Yisrael and discovered "strange and dangerous lights" on his way to an anniversary dinner with his wife. He also posts about "the circle of life."

Last summer, many of us were amazed at the parallels between Disengagement and Katrina, and now
a year later...

May this be dedicated to the memory of
My Cousin Mickey, Z"L, who passed away last week. He was physically handicapped with Cerebral Palsy, but he had "no complaints" and thanked G-d every morning when he woke up. Everyone who knew him misses him terribly.

This will be posted on both
me-ander and Shiloh Musings. Me-ander should be easier to read, since Akiva fixed the template. Thanks again.

Send your links for the next edition of Havel Havelim via Conservative Cat’s
handy form or the blog carnival one, and at the same time you may discover other “carnivals” to visit and enter. You can also use those forms to send kosher recipes and other kosher food posts to the Kosher Cooking Carnival. Blog carnival also has a great listing of recent carnivals for your sidebar. You can either get one for a specific carnival, like HH or KCC, or a general one.

Thanks to
Soccer Dad for his hard work keeping this going, and if you want to host, please let him know at dhgerstman at hotmail dot com.

This appears in the
UberCarnival.Please put up a blurb on your site alerting readers to Havel Havelim.

It's Cinderella Time!

It's Saturday night, midnight in Baltimore, the home of Soccer Dad, the founder of Havel Havelim. So "the polls are closed." I just checked my yahoo and gmail. Nothing new in the past few minutes.

Now, I'll take a break, doven, eat, go to the pool, watch my granddaughters, and then get back to polish up the next...Havel Havelim!

Stay tuned...

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Progress report

I've been doing a lot of work on Havel Havelim. It's quite a challenge. I've lost track of how many I've already hosted. This next one should G-d willing be finished within 24 hours, if not sooner.

There's good news and bad news, at least as a host.

First for the good news-- more links are sent to me than in the past. Many are from bloggers whom I don't even know. I don't need to do as much "searching" as in the past. The quantities are overwhelming, and there are a few sources that list Jewish and Israeli blogs "hot off the press."

Now the bad news-- it's really lots more work to organize Havel Havelim, due to the quantity of posts. But for the readers, it's still good news, since there really are some great ones! Believe me! I've read them all.

So keep checking in, from tomorrow morning Israel time.

That means you still have time to get those last posts in, because it's bedtime here in Shiloh.

Shavua Tov

Friday, August 25, 2006

The big difference

The American media is full of "one year after Katrina" articles. In many ways they remind me of the few and far between "one year after Disengagement" articles here in Israel.

There are standard human reactions to losing one's home, stability etc and it doesn't matter if it's due to "natural disaster" or the perverse cruelty of politicians. So the "ordinary person" is suffering in both places. The parallels are unsurprising.

The big difference is that for all practical purposes, the American government was totally taken by surprise, so they couldn't prepare alternative housing etc, while the Israeli Government totally planned the forced evacuation of Gush Katif and Northern Shomron. They did it with eerie efficiency, reminiscent of Nazi planning. That was to remove people, to get them out of their homes.

Then everything fell apart once the buses left. There was no place to bring the refugees to. It was just like Katrina, when people just fled the flood and didn't know where they were going. In the states that was expected, since there wasn't any time to prepare temporary housing. But in Israel, Sharon and Olmert knew perfectly well that there would be a certain number of people, including the elderly and infants, and they would need permanent housing and schools, etc.

Even though officially the Gush Katif residents weren't cooperating, behind the scenes there were negotiations. Most communities begged to be preserved in new locations, but the government refused.

And for the rest of the world, one year is a long time, and the fickle public is more concerned with the Lebanese, as if their suffering is worse than that of the Israelis who were bombed by the Hezbollah from Lebanese homes. But that's another story...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

August thoughts...

The pool season is almost over. Temperatures are higher than ever, and the "early crowd" savors every minute of our "vacations at home."

On TV, they're trying to convince us that the patriotic place now to vacation is "up north." The "poor tourist businesses" are suffering, so we ought to go and give them money. The fact that the Disengagement victims are still floundering and mostly unemployed. Things are even worse for the farmers. Let's see how quickly the northerners are compensated...

We, in Shiloh, live in the shadow of Disengagement. It's like a monster shuffling around us. Sometimes closer, sometimes further away. "Whatever they call it," will it happen to us? G-d forbid. When we travel to Jerusalem or any exiting from the Shomron, we see walls, fences and inspection booths, like, l'havdil, passport control. Our fellow Israelis reject us, as they did our compatriots in Gush Katif and Northern Shomron. There's no unity.

I'm not looking to vacation in the north. I never "go on vacations." I visited the states to see family, neither to shop nor "to tour" or have a good time.

Where else but in Shiloh would I find an "isolated" swimming pool with "separate hours" and pleasant staff? It's less than a five minute walk from my home. Most hotel pools are in full view of the hotel rooms and guests, so what kind of "separate hours" can they have when men can easily watch us, when we're not supposed to be seen?

At home I eat what I want, when I want, and I don't have to pay extra.

Will there be a change in the politics here in Israel? Maybe, but I doubt if it will be soon. I remember that in 1973, after the Yom Kippur War, the same politicians who endangered the country were re-elected. It took another three and a half years to change the party in power.

G-d willing, the present "mess" will stop Olmert's plans to exile us.

I have just a few more mornings in my oasis, to relax with my friends and thoughts. G-d willing, we will no longer be threatened by politicians trying to make history by destroying their own country. Let my biggest problem be: "Did I remember my sun screen?" or "Where are the ear plugs?"

Chodesh Tov and Shabbat Shalom

Winning with Wine

There's nothing like wine for cooking. I have two things cooking right now, both with wine, cheap sweet red wine. You can also use any wine you have left-over.

The first is a big piece of veal (in netting.) It's in a heavy pot with garlic, peppercorns, chunks of onion and carrot, some pepper and paprika and of course that red wine. It can stew a couple of hours and always tastes great! Peel off the netting when cool, slice and then reheat for serving.

Project #2 are a bunch of turkey drumsticks, placed nice and neat in a large Pyrex baking dish. I added garlic, chunks of onion and apple, some paprika and cumin and of course more of the red wine. I covered it with foil, and it's baking in the oven.

Give it a try!

And tell us all about it. Remember that Elf, at Kosher Blog is hosting the 10th Kosher Cooking Carnival, so please start sending your posts in, so you don't miss it!

We have to eat!

First for a yummy bit of news, according to the Swiss, the Israeli ice cream pop, Nok Out, is the best, and they're going to import it.

And something else,
Yesterday a friend and I went out to lunch. We thought we'd try the "lobby coffee shop" in the Shalom Hotel, Jerusalem, which was convenient for us. When we walked in, we saw some men smoking near the counter, so we asked to sit in the "no smoking" area. We were sent to the couches in the lobby. The glass tables there were totally filthy, and the sweet waitress apologized and worked hard to clean the one near us. We saw some Arab families, whom she explained were actually Druse, there to escape the war. Previously the hotel had housed Gush Katif refugees. I remember it as a new fancy hotel when we lived in Bayit V'Gan, and family stayed there to be near us.
We ordered from the limited menu and waited. and we waited and waited. My friend got agitated and complained a few times. We were offered a "good deal" for our inconvenience. And then the waitress sheepishly came over to report that my friend's order couldn't be filled, so she should order something else.
She did, and may salad had taken so long to prepare, we could have gone shopping and done it at her apartment.
Eventually the unremarkable meal arrived. We ate and left.
Don't bother going there.

Chodesh Tov

Your Dinner Is Served...

The ninth Kosher Cooking Carnival is on now!

Check out all the tasty links.

~ Sarah

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

too tired to...

...type, think
you name it!

I had a long day in Jerusalem, all sorts of errands and lunch with a good friend and more errands. Then I met the Shiloh bus to Kever Rachel, Rachel's Tomb.

I took lots of pictures there, and G-d willilng, next week I'll post them. This week I'm very busy with Havel Havelim, which is under construction, just like Jerusalem. Wherever you look, cranes and tractors, and those boards they put up to keep people out of construction sites.

Tail end of summer vacation

pictures are from those I took at the Richie Havens Concert, Steppingstone Park, Great Neck, NY

Yes, I know that
  • for some of you, it isn't summer! Australia is the location of the "third highest visitors" to this blog.
  • in some parts of the states, like Arizona, school resumed in early August, which is why I only got to see my sister and her two kids for about 12 hours, when in NY.

But for me, it's the tail end of summer vacation. I'm a teacher.

We were given an extra week's vacation, because of the war here. Funny, I don't even know the name of the war, but that's not the topic right now. I was supposed to go back to work next Sunday, since the Jewish month of Ellul begins tomorrow. When Ellul begins in August, studies usually begin early, since Rosh Hashannah is exactly one month later, the first two days of Tishrei, and in the religious schools it's important to prepare for the High Holidays.

In Northern Israel many homes and schools were seriously damaged or destroyed, and it will take them more than the "extra week" to prepare.

The dormitories in the Mateh Binyamin Yeshiva High School, Beit El, where I teach, were used by families fleeing the Hizbollah bombs in the north. Decisions had to be made concerning when to resume studies while the war was still going on. Also, some of the staff has been in the army fighting the war.

So, in the meantime, since I may have a heavier schedule next year, I've been busy lunching with friends and seeing some of my kids. I also committed to host the next Havel Havelim, so please send me your links! while ~Sarah~ is doing the Kosher Cooking Carnival. As you probably know, it's not summer for her. Today I also hope to get to Kever Rachel with my neighbors as we do every month. (I join when I can.)

I should be planning lessons and cleaning the house...

...but that can wait for next week. What else is an extra week for?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Cousin Mickey, Z"L

Baruch Dayan Ha'Emet
Michael DeBovis, 1940-2006

My Cousin Mickey was my oldest cousin. I didn't really know him until a few years ago. He died today.

Mickey was born with CP, Cerebral Palsy. He was my Aunt Betty's first child. In 1940 babies with CP were rarely taken home from the hospital, but my aunt didn't give up on him, nor give him up. The care in those days for CP sufferers wasn't very good, so he didn't accomplish what a similarly affected person could do today. Mickey never complained. Mickey loved life and people.

When he was a kid they didn't have arrangements for handicapped kids to go to school, so our Aunt Sadie (Finkelstein) taught him how to read and write, and his father taught him math. At one point, when he was already middle-aged, he learned accounting.

The pictures posted are from this summer when my Cousin Kenny drove me and my parents to see him. Mickey spent the last decades of his life in the Cheshire Home, Florham Park, NJ. It's a home for handicapped adults. Mickey loved it there, and everybody, staff and other residents loved him, too. He teased and flirted with the staff, and everyone kept telling me that he was the most popular resident. When Mickey reached a certain age (I'm not sure exactly how old) the State of New Jersey announced that he had to be transferred to a geriatric facility. He refused to go and managed to have a special law written and passed that would allow him to stay in the Cheshire Home.

Mickey and I exchanged emails. That's how we developed such a close relationship. I visited him my last few trips to the states. He had a great sense of humor. He told me that when the "home" had trips to a local mall he would go and find a nice lady to wheel his chair, which wasn't electric. He'd never say that he had CP, he'd say he was injured in the "war," because it was "sexier."

Mickey loved baseball and was a Yankee's fan.

Mickey was very spiritual and said and wrote many times that "thanks G-d every morning for being alive."

Yehi zichro baruch

more Nefesh B'Nefesh Pictures, JFK

In the airport, there's plenty of water and soft drinks, and of course a delicious cake from El Al.

Among the luggage, the family cat, all packed and ready to go to his new home. "Meow" is the same in any language, so no ulpan needed!

Happy to be on their way home to Israel.

Proud family, Avi and Yoav are joining the army.

The moving passage makes the walk to the plane faster.

Last glance of New York from the airplane!

Monday, August 21, 2006

stupid me

I had no idea that the pool hours had changed, and it wasn't open until 9. I got there at 8:30, as it was closing. So I'm still shvitzing. Now I can't take a shower, since the plumber may be working. Yes, it is nighttime, but still. Yes, it's still hot, very hot and unusually humid in a climate which usually is dry.

Tomorrow to the pool! G-d willing!

Quick, wet note

Wet from sweat that is.
Just sitting here typing, or really I was doing less, waiting for a picture to "come up" on a post on Shiloh Musings.
I'm dripping, yuck.
So it's a good thing that it's Ladies' night at the pool. By the time I drag myself away from this chair and then change into my swimsuit, the kiddies should be gone from the pool, and I'll have a bissel swim.
then I'll be back in the pool tomorrow.

So if you're posting, please send me something for Havel Havelim. Details here!



after the game

Thank G-d, I won't need to borrow my Cousin Mickey's* wheelchair after last night's basketball game.

I followed bil's** instructions and soaked my foot in ice water, instead of my former routine of a nice hot shower and shampoo. The hot water had made the injured heel worse each time. Of course I hadn't played for at least a month and a half and also wore my new shoes, Easy Spirit #3 activity level. (The prices were better in the store in the NJ mall.)

* Yes, that's him in the picture with family music maven and my mother. Does anyone recognize the location?

** One of the world's most gifted chiropractors and married to my husband's sister!

Neither "Havel" nor "Mundane" is BOMS

In a sense, one can translate "havel" as "mundane," which is a useful way of connecting the two carnivals, Havel Havelim and Carnival of the Mundane. And some people looking for something new move to a new country, like those people on line for the August 9th Nefesh B'Nefesh flight, but others read this latest BOMS, in a totally new and exciting format!

Another thing they all have in common is some great posts, so take a gander at all three, and for another type of inspiration, there's NBN. You should be inspired to write some great posts, too, and if they fit the bill, send them to me for the next, the 84th Havel Havelim! Please try to get them to me by Friday night. Send to shilohmuse at yahoo dot com, with "HH" as subject. And if you see any that you think should be included, please do me a favor and send them, too.

And good luck to all the Olim Chadashim, new immigrants to Israel.

This is cross-posted to Shiloh Musings