Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Not quite what I planned for this morning

So far, I haven't really kept to my schedule, or plans.
Tuesday is my "free morning" before my long workday. So, it's for dishes and laundry, blogging etc. From Wed. on I'm too busy, so I wanted to get myself settled with a photo host.
As I was drinking my coffee and checking my email, my husband asked to use the computer for a sec before going to his university studies.
So I sat down by the other computer, which doesn't have internet, and started playing spider solitaire, which competes with free cell when I waste time. An hour later, while still sipping my coffee, in the middle of a game with two "suits" which looked like the very first I could win, the phone rang.
"Do you want to take a walk?"
It was my chief walking partner, and we haven't been on our walking regime for half a year.
"Sure, when?"
Of course I didn't tell her what I was doing...
"In 15 minutes. We'll go with--"
Well, that was a tough one. How could I finish the game, shower, get dressed, doven, eat and all in 15 minutes? Impossible.
"OK, how about 20 minutes?"
Of course I was ready in 15 and had to wait for them, but I didn't do most of the stuff on my list. Actually 3 1/2 hours later I still have to shower and dress for work.
It was a nice walk and we found another walking neighbor on the way.
I came back, ate and finished the spider game, yes, winning my very first on that level.
And I signed up with flickr, but wasted so much time figuring it out. I see that I have to blog differently if I'm going to use pictures. Maybe I should also sign with photobucket and then see which is easier.
And even more important, I should turn off the computer, since I do have a lot to do and not much time.
But at least I took a walk!

Monday, October 30, 2006


It's funny how far removed I feel from Halloween, but all of a sudden this year a bunch of blog carnivals are using it as the theme, since it's this week on October 31, and I see all this Halloween symbols.

For me the "holiday" only really existed until I was 13, or actually 12.

In Bell Park Gardens, Bayside, NY, in the 1950's, all the kids dressed up in costumes, took large shopping bags from our mothers and went door to door. It was was an innocent time and place. The only danger was from eating too much candy. Being a relatively compact, small garden apartment community, we were able to get to dozens or even hundreds of homes during the evening. Sometimes we'd have to run home and empty our bags before finishing our route.

After we moved it was different. I guess my brother and sister went out "trick or treating," but I don't think that I did.

What should I wish to those whose kids are still going from house to house? "Stay safe!" That should cover all options.

Moms for Modesty

I've just discovered Moms for Modesty, and I must say that I agree!

Moms for Modesty Mission Statement

As a Mom for Modesty I believe in common-sense modesty for girls and young women.

  • I believe in refraining from sexualizing our girls and young women.
  • I believe that it is unwise and unfair to taunt boys and young men by permitting my daughter(s) to dress in an immodest manner.
  • I believe that true beauty comes from within and I strive to teach my daughter(s) this truth.
  • I will loyally shop at retailers that provide girls' and young womens clothing that is modest, affordable and stylish.

First cat and more...

Good morning.

First of all, I'm very proud of myself. Not long ago I decided to stop being so compulsive about my blogging. I don't have to blog on both main blogs at least twice a day; right? So yesterday, I just didn't end up posting here. Everything's fine, thank G-d. It's like my teaching myself to leave food on the plate. There's no reason to eat everything. It's always healthier to eat less, unless one is anorexic, but that's a different type of compulsive obsessive disorder.

Last night I didn't go to play basketball, since my shoulder still isn't 100% ok. I really messed it up a few weeks ago when I played after I had pulled a muscle. When I went after a ball, I literally felt my arm "fly out of my body" and then "pulled it in." I guess it was a dislocation of sorts. That week at work I could barely write on the white/blackboard with my hand only going waist high. By the time I saw the doctor it was on the mend, so he didn't send me to a specialist. Yesterday at work I was able to write all over the board, which didn't cheer my students up, since they had to copy everything.

All along I've been going to my exercise class, but when something hurts, I just do an alternative exercise which doesn't. Sometimes I figure something out and sometimes Channinat Hashem gives me pointers. I used to teach classes but not as well as she does.

and about the cats...
For the first time I have a post in Carnival of the Cats. Looks like nice company there. We used to be cat owners. The boys were raised with cats, the nicest pets, at least in my opinion.

And for some other carnival news. We're also featured in Carnival of the Recipes and of course in Havel Havelim.

So that should give you lots of extra things to read, enjoy.

Friday, October 27, 2006


The other day my husband came home from the market and announced that he had bought something new! He gets our fruits and vegetables in Jerusalem's "open" market called Machaneh Yehuda.
He's very adventurous when it comes to vegetables.
He took out some peculiar-looking things from a bag. They got me nervous, since they reminded me of some real rip-offs he once bought, which had looked like "baked mud," but the guy in the store called them "truffles." Well, maybe they were about five hundred years ago, but they weren't when they entered my house. So I was nervous.
He told me that they were "red potatoes."
Yesterday I decided to cook them. I figured that they would be nice baked with sweet potato. So I washed them and cut them, and...

...discovered that they weren't red. They were purple, like tincture of violet, which we used to have for first aid. The color even leaked onto my hands, like beets, but dark purple.
Don't worry! I'm not afraid of vegetables! I finished cutting everything, put it in the dish and baked it. Very simple.
They're pretty, but I don't think the flavor is worth the extra money. And I wasn't told the price.

The Mikvah at EK

EK posted a really great essay about "sisterhood" and the mikvah. Here's your explanation of what I'm talking about.
It really is a club, certainly better than the sisterhood that my mother was active in which made the egg salad for kiddush.

We, the club members, all have funny stories... and moving stories.

Things were still pretty repressed in the days when I was a Kallah (bride.) I guess it didn't help that I wasn't raised in the world I now live. I went with a friend who was as uncomfortable about it as I was. Nobody else knew I was a bride.

In Israel, many of the mikvaot give gifts to the bride on her first visit and are willing to let the new bride come when it's otherwise closed. Years ago when we lived in Bayit V'Gan and we were still using the old mikvah at the beginning of the street, a woman served us all cake and schnapps in honor of the bride she had brought.

What I've learned from hitching rides

We're carless. To travel we depend on public transportation and "tremping," the Hebrew for hitching rides, but it's better described as the goodness of others and Gifts from G-d.

People who always drive themselves think that they're in charge of the world. One of the recent scandals in Israel concerns prominent lawyer Avigdor 'Dori' Klagsbald, who with "other" things on his mind, didn't notice that the cars in front of him had stopped, and he rammed into them killing a young mother and her child.

The TV news has been filled with the story, since his sentencing was this week, and I heard the killer/driver complain that he couldn't understand why a mistake of "seconds" should "ruin his life." His lawyer said:
"This is a very harsh ruling, and we will file an appeal. He received a special punishment because he is a lawyer," said Scheinman. "In my opinion, his negligence was only temporary. He never denied responsibility, and for months he's been slandered by the media without reacting, which he believes was the proper response."

This isn't about a small "mistake." Two innocent people were killed, and all he cares about is himself. Remember, death is permanent!

back to hitching...
I've learned to accept that I can't really plan my traveling. The better I get at it, the more I enjoy it. I feel the "Hand of G-d" all the time. Sometimes I'm very pleasantly surprised.
This past Tuesday night I went to a wedding in Jerusalem after work. There were no rides to Shiloh, so I planned on getting one to the bus stop in French Hill where good souls pick up hitchhikers. Actually I didn't even know how I was going to get there, but I was confident that I'd easily find a ride from the wedding. That's what happened. I ended up getting home more quickly than I ever could have expected.

And back to that lawyer who killed the two people. His punishment isn't harsh enough.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Most Disappointing Ice Cream!

Last summer, when I was visiting my parents in New York, my sister-in-law came over one evening, and we decided to go out and "treat" ourselves. She told me that in her Westchester community, they're jealous of all the great kosher nosh places in Great Neck.

She told me about some fancy ice cream place where you could mix your own flavors. and suggested that we try Cold Stone. My usual ice cream treat is Häagen-Dazs mint, mint anything. But we're adventurous grandmothers and figured
What could be wrong with ice cream?

And then we began eating the stuff. Well, we tried to eat it. No, we didn't finish it. No "Clean Plate Club" for us! Though we probably, OK certainly, ate more than we should have. It wasn't worth it. The ice cream didn't taste good at all.

Next time, we'll stick with the tried and true. Now why did I start this? I'm starting to crave my mint Häagen-Dazs.

Last night...

Last night...

Last night I got a phone call from Bnai Akiva:

"Has -- called you?"
"Oh, well, would you mind having guests for
"To eat or sleep?"
"Eat Shabbat lunch... and sleep over."
We used to do this sort of thing all the time, but then I was given a veto that lasted many years. But now the house is so empty, I decided to take the plunge. But it means that I have to get a room ready for strangers.

Last night I decided to take a walk. I had been out for a bit earlier, to an "azkara," memorial ceremony. I hadn't had much exercise, partially because I had woken up in severe pain from too much wedding dancing. But the evening called to me. No sun, and I was curious about what my camera would find.

It was too misty and dark to take pictures. Also, since the moon was new, the sky was dark. Then I saw a very regal figure perched on the garbage dumpster. I set the camera for "night" and tried shooting, but being my impatient self, I kept moving the camera before the shutter clicked.

As a stalked the cat, a neighbor came by with a dog. The cat and dog must be "friends," since they ignored each other. We talked "digital," as he gave me all sorts of pointers, while I kept trying to get and keep the cat in focus.

OK, I confess. I cropped these two.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Refuah Shleimah

Yuri Shtern, MK from Yisrael Beitenu, is very ill.

He is requesting our prayers for a Refuah Shleimah, a full and speedy recovery.

Yuri Refael ben Esther

In Parshat Noach, Avraham Avinu Comes on Stage

L'ilui Nishmato shel Avraham ben Avraham
For the ascendancy of the Soul of Abraham son of AbrahamThis is the sky in transition from summer to winter. In Israel the summer is dry, no rain and in the mountain range of Shiloh, Jerusalem, Hebron and Shechem, where our forefathers wandered, our priests taught, our prophets preached and our kings ruled, there is hardly any humidity for a few months.

In ancient times one had to plan well, since there was no fresh water for drinking or irrigation until after the first rains. If one didn't plan well, there would be neither food nor water during the summer months and nothing to hold one over until the winter harvests.

ה וַיַּרְא יְהוָה, כִּי רַבָּה רָעַת הָאָדָם בָּאָרֶץ, וְכָל-יֵצֶר מַחְשְׁבֹת לִבּוֹ, רַק רַע כָּל-הַיּוֹם.
5 And the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
ו וַיִּנָּחֶם יְהוָה, כִּי-עָשָׂה אֶת-הָאָדָם בָּאָרֶץ; וַיִּתְעַצֵּב, אֶל-לִבּוֹ.
6 And it repented the LORD that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart.
ז וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה, אֶמְחֶה אֶת-הָאָדָם אֲשֶׁר-בָּרָאתִי מֵעַל פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה, מֵאָדָם עַד-בְּהֵמָה, עַד-רֶמֶשׂ וְעַד-עוֹף הַשָּׁמָיִם: כִּי נִחַמְתִּי, כִּי עֲשִׂיתִם.
7 And the LORD said: 'I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and creeping thing, and fowl of the air; for it repenteth Me that I have made them.'
ח וְנֹחַ, מָצָא חֵן בְּעֵינֵי יְהוָה. {פ}
8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. {P}

How did Noach manage to remain unaffected while his surroundings were so corrupt? What was his trick? Was it in his name? נח "noach" means relaxed, and חן "chen," grace has the same letters as Noach, just reversed. Look at the 8th verse again. G-d was refreshed, relaxed, relieved when he encountered Noach.

Noach had a confidence, and that confidence made it possible for him to ignore what was happening around him. He was too "laid back" to argue and fight with the people or tell G-d that it wasn't right to destroy all of the other humans. Noach had a aura of goodness, like an oasis in the desert.

This stayed with him until he left the ark. That's when he fell. He wasn't a leader. His strength was in ignoring the corruption and depravity. Once he was top man he planted his vineyard, made his wine and got drunk. He reminds me of the politicians who excel at being leaders of the opposition, like Menachem Begin, who drunk with power think they can play G-d, be diplomatic and "make peace."

כז וְאֵלֶּה, תּוֹלְדֹת תֶּרַח--תֶּרַח הוֹלִיד אֶת-אַבְרָם, אֶת-נָחוֹר וְאֶת-הָרָן; וְהָרָן, הוֹלִיד אֶת-לוֹט.
27 Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begot Lot.

When Avraham (Abraham) was born, it was not, yet apparent that he was something special; he even had a different name, Abram. Unlike Noach, he grew and developed and thrived on the challenges.
לא וַיִּקַּח תֶּרַח אֶת-אַבְרָם בְּנוֹ, וְאֶת-לוֹט בֶּן-הָרָן בֶּן-בְּנוֹ, וְאֵת שָׂרַי כַּלָּתוֹ, אֵשֶׁת אַבְרָם בְּנוֹ; וַיֵּצְאוּ אִתָּם מֵאוּר כַּשְׂדִּים, לָלֶכֶת אַרְצָה כְּנַעַן, וַיָּבֹאוּ עַד-חָרָן, וַיֵּשְׁבוּ שָׁם.
31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his son's son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.

Avraham wasn't a loner. He was part of a powerful clan. Contrary to the popular Medrash, Legend, his father was a very positive role model for him. His father was on his way to Canaan when he died.

This week's parsha ends with Terach's death. Next week we will read how Avraham heard G-d's instructions to get himself moving and obeyed...
א וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל-אַבְרָם, לֶךְ-לְךָ מֵאַרְצְךָ וּמִמּוֹלַדְתְּךָ וּמִבֵּית אָבִיךָ, אֶל-הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר אַרְאֶךָּ.
1 Now the LORD said unto Abram: 'Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto the land that I will show thee.

Who's gonna win?

photo credit
Now it's becoming a very close race between
flickr and Photobucket to see which will be my photo host. I'm waiting for reports from those who can see well in the distance; maybe there's someone else, closing in real fast!
Get your votes in! Please!

And can someone please explain to me how these things work. Do I download my digital pictures from the camera into the photo host and then from there send them off and blog them? Which can give me the best security? I don't want all of my pictures freely available. Or do I keep downloading to the computer or burn into a cd and then from that into the "PH" if there's something I want to blog?

Yes, I know that I ask very stupid basic questions.

Fun, Games and Dancing, too!

I had some plans for this morning, to take care of things at the local clinic, but I was at a wedding last night and saw lots of old friends, and thought I was a teenager again. I found myself dancing more than I've been able to since I injured my heel last summer. Honestly, I didn't expect to be able to dance at all and wore my "spirit level 3" "orthopedic" shoes. I tried to hide them under a long skirt. Well, between the music and the company... So when I woke up, I discovered that there was no way I'd make it down to the clinic. The good news is that I can drink my coffee!

Great News!!
The Regegade Kosher Cook has officially announced that he's hosting #12 of the Kosher Cooking Carnival! Welcome to the KCC Family! Submission deadline is November 15, so please get your links to us, remember, anything kosher. And if you see any suitable posts, please send us the link. shilohmuse at yahoo dot com or via blog carnival, thanks, again. And if you'd like to host an edition of KCC, please let me know. It's fun and healthy, or at least as healthy as you cook it!

Back to the wedding, or...
How I got back from the wedding
Long-time readers know that I've been working on myself to stop "freaking out," getting anxious about how/when I'll get places. Last night's wedding worked out far better than I could have imagined.

Tuesday is my long teaching day. Six lessons (with those teenage boys,) no real break, finishing at 7:15 pm. Mission impossible, considering that I have the remedial crowd. Mother-of the-Bride told me to ask my fellow English staff for a ride, and after changing my clothes in the quick break between the last two lessons, I went with them to the wedding. We arrived just as the ceremony ended. I stowed my jacket and wheeled-bag at my table and went off to say "mazal tov" to my old friend.

Then, as I explained in paragraph #1, danced and ate etc. I was more than pleasantly surprised to see that I had been seated at a table with some very dear friends from different stages in my life, which made the wedding an added joy. But I had no idea how I was getting home. It seemed pretty clear that I could get a ride to the "trempiada," bus stop/hitching post, but I'd be too late for our last public bus. I decided not to even think about it. What was the point? It would only ruin my evening.

So, at around 11pm I found myself being dropped off at the bus stop. It wasn't very crowded. About a minute later a regional council school bus stopped. Lots of people got in, and I asked where it was going. To my great surprise, it was doing a "keep them out of strange cars" route, and it would be stopping at the Shiloh Gate, a couple of miles from home, but close enough. When I got out, I saw a van, and I was invited in. It was straight to my neighborhood, taking a young woman home from work.

Baruch Hashem, Thank the Good Lord

Now, I just have to be a good girl and stay off of my foot so it heals again.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Livin' it up!

For bloggers, carnivals are our entertainment and networking medium! According to Blog Carnival, there are 579 and new ones are created everyday. To be more accurate, "truth behind the headlines," some of those listed are no longer active, since they catered to a niche or not, which generated too little interest.

My blogs are regularly featured in a few. Here are this week's:
Carnival of Recipes
Carnival of Family Life

Keep checking Soccer Dad for the latest Havel Havelim. He has been busy living it up with his baby, and I haven't seen the latest edition yet. As a mother of five and a granny, I agree that babies are more fun!

I have great news concerning the Kosher Cooking Carnival. The renegadekosher cook will be hosting #12! It will appear late November, details will be posted later. But don't wait. Start sending your kosher food posts now!

Photo host?

This is a simple question; at least I hope so.
After struggling with the blogger-caused delays, unreliability and frustration everytime I try to post my photos and the discovery that it can't handle all sorts of images, I'm now investigating "free photo hosts," or whatever they are.

I'd appreciate your input, any of you who use them or stopped using them or changed hosts, etc. I'm interested in one that can handle multiple blogs and doesn't give instructions in incomprehensible codes and terms.

Please explain things in the simplest language. And how can it affect my use of my digital camera?

I once tried one, but didn't do what I wanted. I spent hours with it and gave up.

So, when you're explaining, please remember that I'm from the previous century.

Thanks--awaiting your comments!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Truth, Justice and the American Way....

Last night, in the process of trying to get home, I had a major decision to make. I had been waiting "too long" for a ride from the Shiloh Junction. I had gotten that far rather easily, but there I was so close to home, and... nothing.

Finally, a vehicle came buy. It was an "open-back" truck. There was room for me in the back seat. I hoisted in my bag-on-wheels, lifted my skirt a bit, lifted my leg, lifted my skirt some more, then tried the leg again, and then... I realized that either my skirt would have to go up too far or rip, or something else in my knee would rip, or it would all get ripped. So, I reached into the truck, pulled out my bag, declined the ride and continued waiting.

Sometimes decisions are that easy and personal. I wasted a minute of time of others, but I saved myself from possible harm. And a few minutes later a much better, more comfortable ride came by which took me straight to my door.

Sometimes decisions are much more difficult and they affect more people. Read about this young scientist, and brave whistle-blower, Walter DeNino, who discovered outright falsifications in the research reports of his boss, who was a famous scientist. Walter DeNino's a real hero, and I hope his courage and honor and intelligence take him far.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Oh, my, things have changed here!

What happened to the "old Israel?"
Where did the informal Israeli with the sloppy haircut, khaki shorts, "kova tembel" and flat sandals with the simple straps disappear to?

Years ago, Israeli styles were... best left undescribed.
Clothes were rather uniform.

"Dressing up," for both men and women, meant wearing a white shirt.

There were no "end of the year sales."
At a certain date, the season's clothes were put in storage, and then a few months later they were brought back out. If there was a change, it was only the price-- gone up, of course!

Everything was practical and made to last. An entire family could put its possessions in closets smaller than what you see in children's bedrooms today.

In the windows of popular clothing stores, you'd see sleeveless dresses, with matching sleeves pinned to the sides, for women who wore sleeves. It was no big deal to get them sewn on.

When my children were little, their grandmothers and other American relatives bought them all of their clothes. They wore Carter's and Healthex, just like the little kids on Long Island. The orders for new clothes were carefully written on the aerogrammes I sent every week. There was nothing to buy here for kids that could compare. How did regular Israeli mothers manage without "babygrows" which easily snapped open, or overalls which did the same?

When my daughter was pregnant with her first, my mother called and asked what to bring. I said: "Nothing, we have everything here, and they're beautiful and reasonably priced."

Now, I'm the grandmother, and I buy lots of clothes for my grandchildren. The other grandmother does, too. Things have sure changed here.

What? Food after all the Holidays?

Kosher Cooking Carnival #11
Food from Heaven!

Do blondes have more fun?
Be a head, like this?, not a tail!
Sure is healthier!

Yes! Even after three weeks of Holiday feasting, we're still cooking and eating, gevalt!
This is the eleventh edition of the Kosher Cooking Carnival, a monthly treat of kosher blog posts from all over the world. KCC is much more than a list of recipes. Any post that relates in any way to kosher eating fits the bill. We have a very varied menu. Here's the listing of the previous KCC's: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10.
And now…

How could anyone resist Baleboosteh's kosher pizza!? I'm sure it's tastier than any take-away! And it's beautifully illustrated including three satisfied customers.

Try the Velveteen Rabbi's Spicy blueberry-etrog jam, the perfect post-Succot treat.

Here are some interesting recipes, all using wine, from the OU's weekly newsletter.

This soup with sweet potatoes from care2 seems just perfect for winter.

Sarah sent the most delicious variety of Succa snacks; too bad I can't eat my computer screen.

I'm an old-fashioned girl, especially when it comes to popcorn!

Watch the kosher food ad.

From aish.com, we have Sukkot Menu -- Asian Style, looks great.

Here are two yummy recipes from Sadie, aka ezerkenegdo, Browned Onion Lukshen Kugel and Sweet Apricot Chicken Tzimmis.

"Recipes at random" offer a great variety of parve and dairy recipes, such as Mujadarra - Middle Eastern lentils and rice.

Here are a couple of really quick and easy recipes using a variety of pasta and left-overs.

I wish I had seen this article from the OU about Starbucks before my recent visits to the states. At least now I have a better idea of what is kosher there.

Here are some special foods for Rosh Hashannah. And here's some of the menu of our Simchat Torah Kiddush.

Read: Orthonomics' Sanity Saver.

We've been lucky to have a succah almost every year we've been married, not like Critically Kosher.

Here's a kosher update from The Kosher Blog.

Westbankmama is returning to Jewish soul food.

If you want an easy "one pot meal," try Vegetables & Meatballs.

Here's an interesting Daf Notes Discussion: Why Apples?

Here are a story and a couple of recipes from ynet.

Read this "classic" kosher food story from the Aliyah Blog.

Ezzie has a real job, and now he has been trying out the various kosher restaurants in mid-town Manhattan, and here's how he rates them. I'm sure that we'll be getting more updates from him, special for KCC.

On Jewschool, Everybody's writing about food.

And this is the most popular party food in Shiloh.

Soccer Dad has a kosher restaurant story, but it's not really about the food.

Does anyone remember that great kosher restaurant near Carnegie Hall? Funny things happened there.
The Pragmatician loves the Food Court in the mall but dreams of something very different.

Chodesh Tov!

That's all for this month. Please be sure to announce the carnival in your blogs; that way everyone gets more visitors. If you're interested in hosting an edition of KCC, please let me know.

You can also routinely send me all of your food links, whenever you post something that could be in the Kosher Cooking Carnival. And if you see something that fits the bill on another blog, please send me that link, too. Either send to shilohmuse at gmail dot com or to blog carnival, and at the same time you may discover other carnivals to visit and enter...

Friday, October 20, 2006

My once favorite kosher restaurant

Not quite a meme but whoever wants to follow the theme started by Soccer Dad...
Please send your links to me for the Kosher Cooking Carnival.

...Way back when, in early 1967, I was doing my best to keep kosher when out of my parents' home, since I had no control over their kitchen. It was complicated.

Among my NCSY, pro-Israel and Jewish activities, I was a dancer in Leah Wiener's NCSY Israeli Folk Dance Group, and we appeared in the Israel Folk Dance Festival, directed by Fred Berk. Later on, I inherited the position from her and led it in 1969 and 1970.

So, what does that have to do with kosher restaurants?
Simple, the day of the performances was long, and we had to eat. We performed in Carnegie Hall, not bad for my "portfolio," and there was a kosher restaurant around the corner, "I. and M." The initials stood for "Izzy and Moshe," if I'm not mistaken. It was small, served meat, had a few tables and a counter.

The following summer I worked in Manhattan and took an evening ulpan a couple of nights a week. So I ate at "I & M," food was good, not too expensive, the staff was friendly, and I became one of the "regulars." That fall I began studying in Stern College, and when I wanted a treat, I went there for dinner. Sometimes I'd arrive close to closing, and they would just serve me whatever they had left. The third guy working there was the "waiter." When he went on vacation the owners decided that I should go out with his nephew (who subbed for him,) which I did, and later on even with his nephew's friend. Nothing came of it. I continued popping in for a meal as the year went on.

Towards the end of the school year, my husband to be, (but of course we didn't know it at the time) asked me out. We were going to see a movie and needed to eat dinner first. He wasn't familiar with the kosher restaurant scene, since he lived in a kosher home. I suggested that we go to "I & M." We did, hd a nice meal, but then the waiter.... served us separate checks!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The most popular pick!

Maybe my neighborhood is different from yours, but the most popular food at community gatherings is a tray/plate/cup/bowl of freshly cut vegetables! There was a time when it wasn't on the menu, but then a friend decided to bring "something else," instead of baking a cake or cookies, and she didn't want to bring anything ready-made.

We frequently have "events" in which lots of people share in the preparation of "nosherei," food. The standard "order" used to be: "bake a cake," but now things have changed.

Colorful and delicious selections of cucumbers, peppers, carrots, tomatoes, canned asparagus, baby canned corn and other healthy goodies are the target. And we don't even provide lots of dips. There usually are bowls of chumus and t'china, the mid-eastern standards made from chickpeas and sesame, but most people just take the crisp juicy vegetables straight to their mouths.

Try it!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Lingo

I really must apologize for sending posts like Rounding up, Simchat Torah plus to the Carnival of the Vanities, when it's filled with what I had forgotten is to most incomprehensible words and terms, aka--the Lingo!

Honestly, I was certain that it would make it sufficiently clear to have links of explanation for all of the words most other people wouldn't be familiar with. It never occurred to me that the host wouldn't be curious enough to click the links. Last week was a Jewish Holiday, and it's pretty obvious that the holiday would be a central topic to my blogging.

Granted I live in a world where all these terms are well-known, though I wasn't raised with the knowledge, something I've mentioned.

Living in a religious community in Israel I guess we speak in a "dialect," of sorts. But that refers to other words which have meaning for us in Shiloh but other meanings in other places. When I wrote about Simchat Torah, I didn't use those terms. I just live a very full Jewish life and forget that most of the world isn't Jewish and most of them and a good portion of Jews in this world really don't care at all about Judaism, its history, holidays etc.

That's one of the reasons I started the Kosher Cooking Carnival. I had been thinking of doing it for awhile, but believe me, I really didn't want the responsibility and commitment. Life's busy enough. But then the recipe carnival I sometimes submit posts to rejected a post of mine. The reason was that the week's theme was pork, and they insisted that all recipes must be for pork. Now, pork is explicitly forbidden by Jewish Law, and Islam, too. They didn't even offer to do a "postscript" of non-pork recipes.
"No is no!"

So, I figured that it was a message, and so I posted The Very First Kosher Cooking Carnival. And next week, G-d willing I'll post the eleventh, so send me your kosher food links ASAP. If you're interested in hosting one, please let me know.

Taking advantage

Son #1 is home for a bit, between visits abroad and sharing an apartment in Jerusalem with friends. He sometimes fixes things and deals with the plants in home and garden, not near the realms of my husband, who's an apartment dweller by nature and training. Even the twenty-five years we've lived in private homes haven't dented his habits much.

But my sons are different. They've only known country-like private homes, and they've earned spending money doing gardening for others. So on lucky days, they help me out. As they were growing up, I found them "mentors," so they also learned how to repair and build, G-d willing someday, they'll be great husbands and fathers and they won't have to hire others for all sorts of things. They "wow" relatives with skills they didn't inherit.

Many of their friends are married and fathers, already. My husband and I married young, but our kids haven't. Now, one is and we have two gorgeous, bli eyin haraa, granddaughters.

There are things we have no control over.

So, while our sons don't have their own homes to care for, it's nice to take advantage of their skills and willingness.

Now, I'm getting ready to go off to the Neve Yaakov pool for some fun and fitness. I must keep old-age infirmity far away....

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Your favorite kosher restaurant?

Some how I can't think of any of my favorite kosher restaurants; I've eaten in so many really good ones. But I do remember a bad meal, "Bloom's" on Golders Green Road, London. We lived there, right down the road for two years. I'm a big salad eater, and I wanted a salad with my meal. They looked at me like I was asking for shrimp. The best they could come up with was a pickle. Gevalt!

  • Do you have a favorite kosher restaurant?
  • Do you dream of your ideal kosher restaurant?
  • Or what was your worst experience in a kosher restaurant?

Blog on it and send me the link, please? Or if you've ever blogged on the topic, I'd love some posts about unforgettable kosher restaurants for next week's Kosher Cooking Carnival! Actually the carnival is filling up, but... you're still invited to contribute. There can never be too many posts in KCC!

Please send me your links (and any you've found) for the Kosher Cooking Carnival! Either send to shilohmuse at gmail dot com or via blog carnival ...thanks

Good night, and I had better stop talking about food!

Too good to be true and misc.

It's happening too frequently that those really great articles people send me end up being false. It's not like I search to verify. They're so great that I want to post them, but I don't post without a legitimate link, and when I google a line or two from the article, the link I find says:

Claim: Violinist Itzhak Perlman once finished a concert on an instrument with only three strings after one string broke.
Status: False.
Yes, that's what just happened a few minutes ago. A friend forwarded me the moving and inspiring story. It was just the sort of story I felt like posting, but it was lacking a link. I copied the first line and googled it.

Maybe the true lesson should be:
If it seems too good to be true, it probably isn't true at all.

now, something else
carnival update
BOMS has a new host and a whole new look! Take a gander.
And here's the very latest The Carnival of Family Life, which is becoming a very successful carnival.

It seems like lots of bloggers are rethinking their blogging commitments and arrangements. For many of us, it has been like a fantasy journalism career. We write what we think and feel, and we can publish it, and people read it. When we're lucky either we have lots of people visiting our blog, or it gets around. Now the question is whether or not it's really worth the efforts. Personally, I feel healthier writing about the political stuff than holding it in. I like to write, and I don't like to hustle. But I'm trying to reduce the time spent blogging. One of the ways is combining all sorts of topics into one post, like this one.

I have a very busy day, more laundry to hang, lessons to prepare, students to teach--they had better show up today and a house to clean and shopping to do, and...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Rounding up, Simchat Torah plus

First of all, being a carnival host, I know how much work goes into them. OK, consider this also another hint about getting me your posts for the Kosher Cooking Carnival! Take a gander at Carnival of Education and Carnival of the Recipes. Both are really interesting.

And now for Simchat Torah this year in Ramat Shmuel, Shiloh...

Simchat Torah is one of those Jewish Holidays I don't remember much from my pre-religious days. It's not the total blank of Shavuot, but it's even weaker than Succot. I remember that we decorated a succah, never seeing it again, certainly didn't eat in it.

Remember that even though I went to after school Hebrew School at Oakland Jewish Center (Bayside, NY) for five fun years, we had vacation from it during the Jewish Holidays, but we went to public school. I do remember one year going to shul at night on what must have been Simchat Torah. There was dancing around with those flags (picture credit) and we ate sweet, red candied apples. Oh, were they good. I don't think I'd ever eaten one before and certainly not after.

Back to this year...
A week or more before the holiday, my husband came home from shul and announced that he had been asked to be Chatan Bereishit. Eighteen years had passed since the last time, and now we had very "set" traditions in the neighborhood shul. The Chatan Bereishit and Chatan Torah jointly host a kiddush during the Simchat Torah prayers. So I asked him who is partner would be--didn't know. That went on for a few days, and I was getting nervous. He kept calling members of the "committee," but nobody knew.

Finally a neighbor called, said: "Mazal Tov," and we started to plan. Since we're carless, they're not and one of the committee members is the best at finding good bargains in kiddush food, I said that I'd "pay my share" and help set up, especially since I didn't know what shape I'd be after Thursday's Od Avihu Chai March from Shiloh to Jerusalem. That was fine with them.

Then a couple of days later, I heard that there would be a Brit Millah in the neighborhood on Simchat Torah, and the family wanted to make a joint kiddush with us. And that's what we did.

We set everything up near the "other shul," closer to where the young mother lives. There was tons of food, lots more than needed, except that there wasn't enough kugel. There was enough herring and lots of left-over cakes and bourekas. We also had lots of freshly cut salad, carrots, cucumber and peppers. People came from all over the yishuv.

Actually, it was in the same spot where my elder son was run over 16 years ago, when he was just nine. He suffered a dislocated hip and lots of cuts and other bruises. Baruch Hashem, he recovered. The wife of the Chatan Torah, who shared the simcha (joyous occasion) with us, was the neighbor who took on the difficult task of knocking on my door and telling me about his injuries and to get ready to go with him in the ambulance. So even though it wasn't my first choice as a location, it was the right place for us to celebrate.

Have a wonderful year, good health to one and all.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

What a morning!

First, I must start with the unbeatable bagelblogger, who blurbed the best ever imaginable blurb about HH. I'm sure he had no idea of how prophetic he'd prove.

There was not supposed to be a storm on national post-Succot I was a good girl and didn't launder on chol hamoed laundry day!

Can you imagine!?! I rushed out of bed to hang two batches of towels and hubby's undies when I smelled something funny in the air, and the computer started switching on and off, and before I knew it, the sky had blackened and that first smelly rain began to pour out of the sky!

I must admit that I'm very glad that I wasn't on the road when it happened. There are always seriious accidents when the dusty roads become slick and slidey, wet with that water. Arutz 7 already reported fatal accident in the area which seems most dangerous. The second year we were in Shiloh, our eldest got a bad knock in the head due to a rain-caused multi-car collision on the way to school.

Remember, we did pray for rain yesterday, and if G-d made it rain so quickly, we must be thankful.

Shavua Tov

Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Havel Havelim! The Succot Edition!

The Succot Edition!
and it's mine!

Yes, this is the 89th Havel Havelim, "kineina haraa." HH was instituted by the one and only Soccer Dad, to give an internet forum, "carnival," for Jewish and Israeli blogs.

Havel Havelim is hosted by a different blogger each week and coordinated by
Soccer Dad. I highly recommend trying your hand at hosting it. Contact Soccer Dad, and choose a week. It'll be a couple of months until I'm available to do it again when on vacation from my "day job" as a teacher. That's when I usually volunteer, though if there are other teachers looking for a chance to spend some their vacations hosting hh, please do; be my guest.

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.” This being the Succot edition is just perfectly fitting, since the succah is the opposite of the overly luxurious life that King Solomon considered such "havel," vanities. It's more like the Tabernacle, our Mishkan, which was transported as we wandered through the wildnerness on our way to the Promised Land. Then it sat in Shiloh for 369 years.
Today's Shiloh Mishkan Synagogue is designed to resemble the original mishkan.

We've been celebrating Succot, one of the Jewish Holidays when all of the Jewish people ascended to Jerusalem to pray there. Here's a gorgeous night scene of Jerusalem by
Israel At Level Ground.

Kashrut scandals are being revealed all over. Orthomom tells about chicken in the
Five Towns.

Don Radlauer tells us a story about
life in Israel which won't make it into the Nefesh B'Nefesh pr stuff, but my mother would tell you that it can happen in New York, too.

In Beyond Tshuva, read how Menachem Lipkin
learned to learn. Also on BT, Michael Frankel gives us Yom Kippur Takeaway - Forgiving Others When We’re Slighted. And a guest on BT tells us that Happy Days are Here Again!

Mottel writes a Letter of Thought about
dog treats.

Just before Yom Kippur, NY's Funniest Rabbi gets very serious about
forgiveness. And then afterwards, reflects further, wondering how many "holy schleppers" there really are hidden in unexpected places.

Big news from Bagel Blogger!

Simply Jews writes about the changes Britain has made for

Life in Israel is learning some
unpleasant truths about Israeli life and the ruling party.

Reb Chaim HaQoton gives us a blogger's shiur about
Yom Kippur and Succos.

starts Succot at Sarah's, after she gives us shades of white.

A Simple Jew offers us a
guest posting about Rosh Hashanah in Uman.

Rafi G. gives us the
low down about the lulav and etrog business.

And for something more cheerful, the ladies of Gush Etzion offer
Ruth and Naomi!

Simply Jews tells
a story.

Daf Yomi - Sukkah 31 - An Old Woman Raving and Avrohom's 318 Servants from Daf Notes.

"Only from" America,
How American Jews Should Vote.

Emes Ve-Emunah offers an
interesting observation about how Chassidic women dress, and he also gives more background about the owner of the "kosher" butcher shop, which scandalously sold traif.

DAG tells us
a tale about two shuls.

Read about the "war of the generals" on
Israel and the Sin of Expulsion.

Am Echad discusses the relationship between
Israel and the Diaspora.

The Velveteen Rabbi reflects on this year's
this year's Yom Kippur.

And read this about
collecting s'chach. I'm sure there are easier ways.

The Balashon—Hebrew Language Detective is here to explain the word:

Take a look at
Sarah's gorgeous succah! And then, like magic, look at this one, too and this.

Now, Yehuda gives us a
drama for Sukkot; it's a great bit of entertainment for the kids at home or in Jewish schools. So make sure you save it for next year, since Sukkot is already over.

Ezer K'negdo reminds us
to keep our priorities right.

My dear epal, Moze, blogged about something that's bothering me, too.
We want to crochet/knit on chol hamoed. WE NEED TO...

Dry Bones got it just right, in his
Succot cartoon.

Emah S shares
some memories.

Ifyouwillit tells us
new plans.

socialworker/frustrated mom tells us about her
Succot so far...

Daled Amos writes about
Moslems and the Koran and their actual comprehension of it.

Here's some news from
the muse's pics.

Israpundit asks:
Will Israel Wake up One Morning to a Nuclear-Armed Iran?

And Smooth Stone asks:
Has King David's spa been uncovered?

Cosmic X tells us where we can get the most
accurate news reports.

Yaak gives us a graph from a survey about
Israelis' belief in the moshiach.


Ezzie writes a
suspenseful pre-Shabbat/Succot story.

Here are some
joyful pictures from House of Joy.

Yitz writes about
Rav Shlomo Freifeld, Maker of Souls.

Jameel complains about the
service in Israel, which has its problems, but…

Westbankmama compares
Succot weather here with the states.

Simchat Torah 5767: The Annual Full-Circle… from Moshe Burt.

The Balloontwister
reflects on the recent past.

Boker Tov, Boulder
tells it like it is about Gaza.

Elder of Ziyon shows us a
"Queer Rite of Jews" Amazing how others see us!

On the Fringe relates
the Saga of the Vanishing Succah!

Yael K. battles
fleas in Tel Aviv.

Reb Nati, of Mystical Paths, tells
wonderful stories and starts to introduce us to a special woman, whom I know, actually. And from the same blog, we have Akiva and 68 years. Can you guess?

Read what Gil Student
Can't Stand About Sukkos.

JoeSettler writes about
Uzi Landau's plan to bring Israelis out to see Judea and Samaria. Actually that's what happened Oslo time, and we all know that Oslo pretty much faded away, until it was resurrected by Sharon/Olmert.
Sustainable Apple Pie found in Tel Aviv, a
Pop-open sukkah. Oh Israel.!
The Thought Mill reports:
31% Of Canadians Blame Israel For 9/11
Learn about
Better children through torah from Soccer Dad.

Do you agree that
Succot symbolizes that we're princes, secondary to G-d the King?

A Simple Jews tells of a
book I'd like to see.

There's some shocking news from the Jewish Blogmeister,
Diapora Yeshiva's Avraham Rosenblum is an insurance agent! At least Ruby Harris is still fiddling for a living, though he fudges his childhood; he and my sister were not in the same class in Queens, NY.

There's a
great cartoon posted by the olah chadasha in French Hill.

There are
two things here, a 90 historical review of imperialism and some news about Natan Sharansky.

Baile Rochel
entertains! Read all about it!!

And it we're talking entertainment, Renegade Kosher has the
Bob Dylan doing Hava Nagila video. Good news for all. Renegade Kosher has volunteered to host a Kosher Cooking Carnival, probably the November one. Stay tuned… And don't forget to get me your kosher food posts ASAP! Now that this HH is out KCC is next, B'E"H!

The Sin of Expulsion reminds us of
Bibi's sins, against the Jewish People, not the other ones.

Israel At Level Ground: Watch This Space: Israel and the future of video (Podcast)

Miriam wonders
who else is Jewish.

Willow Green tells some
everyday kind of stories about her kids growing up on a yishuv.

Daled Amos writes about the
plans to build a synagogue on the Temple Mount. And he also helped me out with this announcement:
Daled Amos has worked together with Bagel Blogger who made an online banner out of a poster dedicated to keeping our thoughts of the 3 kidnapped Israeli soldiers alive. The banner can be viewed on both blogs. If you are interested in putting the banner on your blog, the HTML code is: http://static.flickr.com/91/266570794_22a6b2ee5a_o.gifThe original poster was made by Amcha, whose web site (http://www.amchacjc.org/) is not currently accessible. –thanks!

This year's Od Avihu Chai March from Shiloh to Jerusalem didn't quite end
the way I had expected it to end... Though it really was wonderful. Here are some more pictures and behind the scenes...

The Zionistyoungster writes about the
anti-defamation league.

Tikun Olam reports about the
opposition to the latest UJC campaign.

Sultan Knish tells about the
peculiar new movie, supposedly based on the Purim story.

Here are a few posts from my husband:
ancient mosaic found in Shiloh
Another Shiloh Antiquity - a Magen David
Jewish charities giving to Arabs

Am Echad writes about
- - עם אחד: הרבה קולות: On Dissent & Criticism of Israel.

"It's time to go" is ready to give up
two day yonitffs. When we made Aliyah I thought I'd never had to deal with a three-day marathon yomtov-Shabbat, when we were immediately hit by the only one that can happen in Israel, when Rosh Hashannah and Shabbat are one big—thank G-d for Tzom Gedalia—package!

A "must read" is the
Gantseh Megillah, which is full of great articles. OK, it's not a blog, but it's Jewish, interesting, and some of the articles launch great posts…

A Simple Jew: Guest Posting From Chabakuk Elisha - Derech Baal Shem Tov, so enjoy!

Israel Matzav: EU Parliament seeks closer ties with Syria
Russia posts Muslim Chechen troops as 'peacekeepers' in South Lebanon and IDF preparing response to 'hypothetical' Syrian attack and What Teheran and Los Angeles have in common - it's more than Iranian Jews and Journalist faces sedition trial in Bangladesh for planning to visit Israel and Condi Rice does a James Baker imitation, more on that Rice's remarks to the American Task Force on 'Palestine': The more I read the sicker I get.

Here's a very good question from Carl
Is the Golan different than Judea and Samaria? And another important question U.S. weapons to be transferred to terrorists?

A different question many are asking
Will Lieberman Save Olmert? And here is a question of a different sort: Does the NYT write inaccurately about Israel due to the "man bites dog" syndrome?

I'm sorry, but I requested an earlier than usual deadline, since it's almost two weeks since the last edition of Havel Havelim, and next week I must prepare the 11th
Kosher Cooking Carnival. A woman's work is never done! Your post Holiday posts will go to the 90th Havel Havelim—WOW! And if any of them are about kosher food—recipes, pictures, traditions, halachik issues, etc, please send them to me shilohmuse at yahoo dot com or via blog carnival ...thanks. Send your Havel Havelim posts here. If you're interested in hosting one—it's great fun, please contact Soccer Dad, and if you want to host a Kosher Cooking Carnival, I'm the address for that.

PS My source for new blogs and interesting posts, besides all of those submitted, were
JBlog Central—vote for me! and jblogsphere.net. Shavua Tov and have a wonderful year!!