Thursday, November 30, 2006

A couple of things

First of all, is it true that YU is really thinking of closing down Stern College? It's neither Rosh Chodesh Adar nor April 1st.

Now for something lots more pleasant. I finally, and easily!, got the pictures up which weren't cooperating last night. This time I did them one by one and am feeling better, B"H.

Here are the graffiti walls. The pictures look too good to be just spontaneous, but being a total no-talent in that department means I admire most people's painting, since mine is worse.
Facing those paintings are the bullet holes from the Israeli War of Independence and Jordanian shooting until Israel's victory in 1967. The large, impressive Jerusalem Municipality complex is just behind this building. Actually, I think that it also uses the building.

Here's the very popular Village Green Restaurant. It has the only salad bar I trust. Most make me nauseous and worse. The woman in green at the cash register is the owner, or at least has always run it. When I used to work for "The Bagel House," "Beit Habeigel," we used to meet in some hitech frims in Har Chotzvim as she delivered and I sold, but that's another story.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Today in Jerusalem

I had something to do in Jerusalem worth dragging myself up and out for. Someday I'll tell you about it.

I got in via a ride, getting off at what was once the border between Israeli Jerusalem and Jordanian Jerusalem. All that was cleared away during the Six Days War, 1967, when Jordan attacked Israel and lost. You can still see the bullet holes in some of the buildings.

The municipality set up "graffiti" boards near the old city, but I don't know if one needs a permit to paint on them.

After a bit of "wandering around," trying to get my bearings and strength after being sick yesterday, I decided that it was lunchtime. OK, it was lunchtime and I realized that maybe I was weak from hunger, too. So I went into the "Village Green," which is probably Jerusalem's best vegetarian, health-style restaurant. Usually I don't eat soup out, since most places use too much salt and powdered soup, but I felt that I really needed soup today. I ordered a large bowl of split-pea soup. I must admit that it's almost as good as mine! I didn't have one of their fantastic rolls, since I wasn't that hungry and thought that the soup would suffice.

Then I "pre-shopped" for some wedding gifts. Actually I should have bought them, since I owe so many, but I don't like making major decisions when I'm not feeling well. Then I thought I'd buy them afterwards, but it just didn't work out.

I've been trying to get the pictures up on photobucket. These free deals are worth what I've paid I guess! I give up.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Strangest thing and good timing

Today started a sort of ordinary Tuesday. I did lots of laundry, dishes etc. Though as I woke up, an hour earlier than necessary, I went into a panic looking for my camera. I suddenly pictured it disappearing during the security check at the bus station as I ran in Sunday night rushing to catch the bus, which I missed by a minute. Then I ran out of the station and took a bus to the "trempiada." I ended up getting home the same time as the bus.

Maybe it somehow ended up with the guard. I didn't use it on Monday and didn't take it to babysit. I was pre-hysterical and checked all over. Finally I found it on the bottom of the bag I take to my exercise class.

Rotten way to start the day.

At twelve I began getting ready to go to work, repacking my bags for 6 lessons, a full "day." Then I felt myself shiver and shiver some more. The sun was shining, so the house wasn't cold. Suddenly I realized that I may be getting sick.
I knew that there was no way I could get through my longest workday in such a condition. The principal wasn't happy when I took off last Thursday for the Bar Mitzvah, but I know that it wasn't very smart of show up weak, shivering and sick.

At least this time, once he heard that I was "shivering" he told me to stay home. Then I called the teacher who gives me a ride, to cancel. And I called the clinic to tell them that I'll need a "sick note."

Then I put my favorite movie, Seabiscuit, in the dvd, took out a book and covered myself with a blanket on the couch. I sipped some tea, read and listened more than watched, since I've seen it so many times. I love the background info as much as the actual movie.

I finally pulled myself off the couch, since I had to call the ride I had arranged to the pool for tomorrow. I just hope I'll be well enough for my afternoon plans.

It's time to return to the couch.

Is somebody missing?

Reading this Avraham Fried interview about his slick new music video, I couldn't help but notice that he didn't mention another famous singer, who has made it big in mainstream (general, not Jewish) music. The other singer is also Lebovitch, though from a different type of background and writes and sings very different sorts of songs.

Yes, of course, I'm talking about Matisyahu, who has amazed not only the music world but has, even more so, amazed all those Jews who think that Judaism is a turn-off.

I took the picture over a year ago at an anti-Disengagment demonstration in New York.

The missing soul

George Martin got it right when he said in a Newsweek interview:

How has technology affected the way music is produced?
We couldn't have done a project like this 40 years ago. I used to work with bits of tape, a razor blade—flying by the seat of my pants. Nowadays, you can take music like a bit of dough and squeeze it into different shapes. The manipulation of sound in digital form is fascinating. It makes things easier because you can press a switch and get the sound effects you want. But technology takes away human elements and it doesn't help the creation of new music. Laying down a bass line and adding bits on top is not the same. I've done it myself but I don't think it's the way to go. In the old days, you had to be disciplined—each track was the band performing as a unit, like on a radio show. It gave you much more heart and soul.
Today's music is missing something, with all the technical capabilities, it's missing the human soul. When I hear those electric drums I get a headache; they make me anxious and angry. I don't want to dance; I want to turn it off. I prefer the imperfections and emotions of a live drummer. Part of it is that I'm just very kinestetic; my entire body reacts to things in a hyper way.

I'd like to hear that new version of the Beatles, which is the main topic of this interview.

Nobody will know it's a left-over

Many of us can blame left-over phobia for some of our extra weight! Honestly, sometimes it's better to dump it all in the garbage or feed the local dogs and cats rather than eat it yourself or get your spouse or kids to do it.

The latest Carnival of Recipes starts with a recipe for left-overs. It's totally and utterly not kosher, but it doesn't mean that you can't make kosher left-over recipes. And if you eat food just because you don't want to throw it away, that's bad. How about some of your favorite ways of using left-overs for the next Kosher Cooking Carnival!

That's besides the usual traditions, menus, restaurants, cookbooks, halachik discussions etc.

My "secret ingredient" to make "nobody will know it's a left-over" is "batzek alim," a "puff pastry" dough sold in every Israeli supermarket and large grocery shop in the frozen food section. It's "salty," so don't use it for sweet things. It's the traditional dough for bourekas. It can also be used like a "pie crust" or rolled in all sorts of ways. Left-overs make great fillings! I don't even bother with a rolling pin; I just stretch out pieces to the size and shape I need. It takes me less time to do and less clean up. They won't stick if you bake them on "baking paper."

And about KCC, please send me your posts about Kosher food, remember, anything kosher!

If you're interested in hosting a future edition, please let me know. The Kosher Cooking Carnival comes out monthly and is more than just a collection of recipes. It includes everything about kosher food, traditions, pictures, halachik issues, cookbook and restaurant reviews (kosher obviously,) advice and... recipes of course. Whenever you post something on topic or see a post that fits the menu, please send it to me. 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...…

Monday, November 27, 2006

You don't need surgery!

I was going to turn off the computer, but then I checked this article about surgery for herniated disks.

Apparently, surgery is unnecessary, since with time one will recover. And of course it takes a while to recover from surgery!
Patients who had surgery often reported immediate relief. But by three to six months, patients in both groups reported marked improvement.

After two years, about 70 percent of the patients in the two groups said they had a “major improvement” in their symptoms. No one who waited had serious consequences, and no one who had surgery had a disastrous result.

Many surgeons had long feared that waiting would cause severe harm, but those fears were proved unfounded.

About 40 percent of those assigned to surgery decided not to have it, often because their conditions improved while they awaited the operations. A third of patients assigned to wait decided to have operations, often because their pain was so bad that they could not endure it any longer.

So there's no need for surgery if you can deal with the pain.

Great job, smooth and a sign in the neighborhood

Smooth Stone has done a great job on the latest Havel Havelim! Take a gander!

About that sign, which I think Smooth would like, it's up at the building site across from my house. It's the building company which promises "reliability, quality and Jewish labor." There's a major security problem when Arabs build, since for months, years at a time the Arabs are in the Jewish communities becoming more and more familiar...

It's a security problem besides the ideology that Jews should be building the Land. Quite a few building and renovations companies hire Jews, even for the most "menial" tasks. When one sees it all as a mitzah, a commandment from G-d, to build our land, then nothing is really menial.

Back to rushing around!

Busy, busy and busier

Yesterday after laundry and dishes, I traveled to Tel Aviv. On the way I picked up some things for my mother in Jerusalem. Going via Jerusalem isn't the easiest way, but I had no choice, since I had to get the stuff before dd#3 goes to NJ.

Actually, I haven't finished with all of the laundry, just 3 loads including hanging to dry, taking in and folding-sorting and folding-sorting clean stuff from the past week-plus, which I haven't had time to do. I did that to the CSI Miami, which my husband recorded for me Saturday night when I was at the NCSY Reunion. To be precise, I was afraid I'd miss the bus, so I still haven't seen the last 8 minutes of it. Of course, unlike last week, when I had to run (which is bad for my heel) to catch the bus, this time I waited the 8 minutes plus!

Since I had to be in downtown Jerusalem, I decided to take a "sherut" to Tel Aviv. A "sherut" is a taxi-like service; actually the word "sherut" means "service." They supplement the buses, and there's a company which leaves from the center of town, which saved me the time of going to the bus station and all that involves. My daughter also reminded me that they drive like maniacs, so the trip takes less time. I hadn't been on one for decades. When we were first in Israel, 36 years ago, we took them, since they were closer to the Old City where we were living. Then they were crowded station-wagon type cars, in which 7 passengers crowded rather intimately together; the front seat was a prize. Now they're well-fitted vans, 10 passengers plus driver. The back row is less pleasant, but there are seat belts so we won't go flying.

I was surprised that there were quite a few Arabs in the cab, including the driver. It saves them security checks. My daughter told me that there is usually a high proportion of foreign workers who also like to stay away from the authorities.

Once I got to Tel Aviv, I took the #5 "sherut" which follows the bus of the same number. Then I went out to eat with my daughter. We went to the new "meat" Lilith restaurant. There used to be a dairy one of that name. It's run by a rehabilitation group that takes kids "at risk" and teaches them to be gourmet cooks, waiters, waitresses etc. We had a nice meal and then shared sorbet for dessert.

Then we took a cab to the train station so I could catch a bus to Jerusalem. I was tempted to try going home via Ariel, which I will do some time. Of course there was too much traffic leaving Tel Aviv, and I got to the Jerusalem bus station just after 8. I was trying to take the 8pm bus, which still goes up. I ran to check and found out that it had just left. So considering that I was not going to wait a full hour for the next one, I just ran back out and took the bus to French Hill to catch a "ride." Lots of people were waiting.

When a car finally showed up and said Shiloh, I pushed my way in. The driver said that he had to pick up his daughter and didn't know where she was. He didn't have a phone (hard to believe in this day and age) so I gave him mine. And after tons of calls back and forth, I explained where he had to go and I got a ride all the way home.

Now, I have to get ready for my exercise class, then straighten up and gather things my daughter left when they were staying here, since her bathrooms were being redone. And then I have to go to work and then babysit and...

Yes, busy!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Yenta Search

OK, maybe not your typical "yenta."

The Lakewood venter sent me a link to this new search engine. She's just the right one for those who would rather ogle than google. But yenta she is!

I have tons to do at home, dishes, laundry etc and also "errands" around the country.

Shavua tov!
Have a wonderful week!

bloggers f2f, contest winner, new one and...

THE WINNER of the "What season is it? Contest"
Yes, it's Ezzie, who got the closest and best thought out guess!
The pictures were taken soon before posting, in November, after the first rains. Summers in Israel are very dry, so we need rain for the ground to become green. It was a very sunny day, and the sky was as blue as a summer's day.

Here are two bloggers!

What do you know about them?
Name, rank, serial number?
What do they have in common?

And where are they? How do you know?

Send your guess in as comments!

And last but not least! Don't think I've forgotten! It's time to send me your links for the 13th Kosher Cooking Carnival! Remember that 13 is Kosher for Jews!

If you're interesting in hosting a future edition, please let me know. The Kosher Cooking Carnival comes out monthly and is more than just a collection of recipes. It includes everything about kosher food, traditions, pictures, halachik issues, cookbook and restaurant reviews (kosher obviously,) advice and... recipes of course. Whenever you post something on topic or see a post that fits the menu, please send it to me. 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…

Shavua Tov! Have a wonderful week!

Friday, November 24, 2006


Yesterday was another frustrating and aggravating day in terms of traveling, but ...

We got up very early to go to the Kotel (Western Wall). Since the bus changes, the early bus no longer goes up to our house, and we had to run down the hill to catch the bus well before 6am. Just a little extra stress. The good thing was that it made great time. We got off in Ramat Eshkol, walked to the #6 bus to the Jerusalem Municipality complex (where I visited the wc, luckily already open at 7am), and then we walked to the Kotel via the Jaffa Gate.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

At the Kotel we met up with our nephew and family for his Jerusalem Bar Mitzvah, which was really special. Then after the generous brunch at their hotel and visiting with them more, I realized that I had time to go home for a couple of hours before leaving for a wedding. I played hookey from work!

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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

And since "there's no place like home," I decided to take the 1:30 bus which is the only daytime bus going all the way up to my house according to the new schedule. I took it just the week before and got home just after 2:30. Perfect. I went to the bus station, just like I had done then and saw the same announcements at our gate and expected our bus to be announced after the 1:20 left, and then... it wasn't announced. At 1:40 to somewhere else was posted!! So I quickly checked the large announcement board and discovered that the next bus was only at 2:15. Very strange. So I ran to the Information Desk and discovered that there had been a bus at 12:45...? Gevalt!

That was too late for me, so I ran out of the building and caught the bus to the "trempiada" and waited for a ride home. I didn't have to wait long to get to the main road/junction to Shiloh and then soon after a ride to my neighborhood and then a short walk home. Believe it or not, I ended up arriving home just after 2:30!
But that's not the end of my story...
I had a wedding to go to, right? After "relaxing" at home (wasting time) I got ready to go to the wedding, went across the street to the neighbor who was driving, and perfectly on-schedule we started on the way to Beit Shemesh via Jerusalem.
I know that all the real estate people who market Beit Shemesh claim that it's only 15 minutes from Jerusalem, but I've always found it much further. Honestly, Shiloh is closer to Jerusalem! Well, we picked up my husband on the way and everything was fine until we turned off the main Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Highway and thought we were just a few minutes to Beit Shemesh. Suddenly traffic stopped and periodically crawled. Almost an hour and a half later we finally saw the wedding hall! That was just after passing the scene of some smashed/crashed cars at the entrance to Beit Shemesh, which apparently caused numerous drivers to stop traffic to take a good look.
Obviously we weren't the only ones who were late; the wedding was delayed of course.
So, to all those who think that my traveling problems would be solved by getting a car...
But it was a beautiful wedding with a gorgeous bride and great music, and I danced. I wore my black Easy Spirit #3 sports shoes, not elegant, but at least I can dance in them, and that's more important than looking like a lady.
Shabbat Shalom

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

More than a generation later, and a walk...

This afternoon I walked to Mount Herzl from the Central Bus Station. Thirty three years ago I also walked to Mount Herzl, though, then I walked from our apartment in Bayit V'Gan. I didn't go to see any impressive tourist attractions nor national monuments. I went to the Military Cemetery where the soldiers are buried.

The Yom Kippur War in 1973 turned our group of friends from innocent, naive idealists to "real Israelis." Our friends were killed by enemy fire; they were soldiers, proud Israeli soldiers. Chuck and Eli, Betarim from New York, are both buried in the same cemetery. They're not in the same section, and maybe it's just me, but the walk from Eli's grave to Chuck's somehow seems longer than it once was.

It's more than just the physical distance. At Eli's grave among his friends stand his widow, mother, daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren. Around Chuck's grave, there are just friends. Eli's daughters are a decade other than we were when he was killed, and some of the grandchildren are older than his children were.

This annual get-together is something we "look forward to." Work schedules are changed when necessary; time is taken off. Thirty-three years! Afterwards most of us continue the meeting at a friend's Jerusalem apartment. We've all been through so much together, both joyous and sad, for a lot longer than the thirty-three years.

Yes, I walked today. It's nice to walk, and I'm thankful to G-d that I can walk.
Walking is possession.

When I walk I see things that otherwise I wouldn't notice.

There is a lot of construction going on in Jerusalem.
It was the official "opening" of the "light rail system" which is already, OK, which for years has been inconveniencing Jerusalemites and visitors. It's not a "for use" opening. Just more ground is being opened up.

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Some friends were afraid that the roads would be blocked, but they weren't. Some sidewalks have been destroyed.
One of the best things about my walk was discovering ...

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this! Yes, isn't it something unreal?!
I highly recommend walking!
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

School Buses

I can't say that I have pleasant associations to "school buses." They added stress to my life, once we moved to Great Neck. In the five years I was dependent on them to get to school, I don't think I ever missed one. Actually, I'm certain that I never did, since the logistics of getting to school would have been impossible. In Great Neck they were staggered over the early morning. The first round took the high school kids, the next took the junior high and the last round took the younger kids. Since I'm the oldest of three, and all three of us were in different age brackets, I had no back-up plans. I also found the mornings most pleasant when I could be out of the house before everyone else was awake.

I don't think our rides were much fun. In high school I have a memory of kids smoking and getting a burn in a dress I had sewn.

Years later as a parent, once we moved to Shiloh, I suddenly had to make sure one of my kids caught a bus, or van as the case was in the early years. Until my youngest was in the seventh grade, there was always one who needed the school bus. My kids must have had the best record, almost never, ever missing it.

Now I take a school bus once a week from work to Ofra, where I babysit for my granddaughters. The kids are noisy and wild, and one of the drivers is always stopping the bus and confiscating bus passes. I don't know how they manage to concentrate on their driving; some of the route can be dangerous. Other routes go through very high (for Israel) mountains. In recent years seatbelts have been installed, and the kids are supposed to buckle up, but few do.

What caused me to write about school buses?

A terrible accident happened to a school bus in Alabama, and students were killed.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Here's the picture!

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A Milestone, misc. and carnivals

The milestone is this picture, Hallelie's first real image. Until this morning she had been scribbling and "writing," but she didn't draw any "figures." I told my daughter, that in my professional (mother of 5 and now grandmother of 2) opinion, at Hallelie's advanced age of three and a half, she should be drawing pictures of people. "...but don't worry" I said, some kids need to be "guided" into it. I remember doing that with a couple of my own kids.

So this morning as they were having breakfast in my house (due to their bathroom being renovated), my daughter joined Hallelie at the little plastic table and showed her how to draw a person. Hallelie followed the instructions perfectly and then very quickly made a second picture. Her first she gave short hair, unlike the example which was supposed to be one of her aunts, and she told her mother that it was "abba," daddy in Hebrew.

Sometimes even the brightest of kids need just a little help.

Last night, I could neither blog nor comment, due to trouble with blogger. That's after losing internet time because of problems with our "phone service."

And now for a few carnivals!

Let's start with the Thanksgiving Carnival of Family Life, full of a large variety of posts.

Next we have the 94th Havel Havelim! It's amazing how many Jewish and Israeli blogs there are.

And lastly is a "round up," not a carnival, but it's really special. It's westbankmama's Only in Israel - The Roundup.

As you can see, there's plenty to read, so enjoy!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Responsibility--2 very different tales

Today's New York Times has an interesting piece about public servants and public transportation. Considering what we've been going through in my neck of the woods recently, I got a kick out of reading that the complaints my neighbors and I have been complaining about are echoed in the "big apple."

Officials would decide things very differently if they lived like ordinary people.

It's really a matter of taking full responsibility for one's decisions and actions. They don't have to live with their decisions, since they aren't dependent on the same public services.

And that all reminds me that yesterday one of the students got very angry with me. I refused to let him SMS, use the text messaging on his cell phone. Since I couldn't physically grab it out of his hands, I called the principal, and he ran out of the class before the principal arrived. Later on, he told me that I had ruined things for him. He took no responsibility for the fact that he was going against policy.

I have such little time to teach my students. If their minds are on the phone messages, and they're busy with all that during the lesson, they're not going to learn what they need. I hope that this kid eventually learns that it's his actions that mess things up for him. He has to take responsibly for himself.

A couple of reasons to smile!

First of all to get you in a really good mood, you must watch this one!
Thanks Barbara! It reminds us not to waste our energies on the unnecessary.

And now for a short, but true, story.
Yesterday I was waiting and waiting for a ride to get me to work, or at least to get me close to or on my way to work. As I've written, there's no longer a bus I can count on, since they changed the schedule. I was first but not first, since those needing a longer route are given priority. To get to Beit El, I get off on the way to Jerusalem, so if someone needs to go to Jerusalem, and there's a ride to Jerusalem, I'm pushed back further in the line, and that's what happened yesterday.

My neighbor picked up lots of people going to Jerusalem who were waiting less time than I was. I kept waiting; that's life, as they say.

Suddenly I saw that the car returned with one less passenger. They came back for me!

What a nice way to start the week.

Please pray for a Refuah Shleimah, a full and speedy recovery, to Tinok shel Dvora Leah and to Kopel Yohanatan ben Musha.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

King Solomon--In what order did he write his books?

On Shabbat, I heard a wonderful shiur by the visiting Esther Gross, of Psagot, which really got me thinking.

She spoke about Kohelet, Ecclesiastes, since it was written by King Solomon, and last week's Haftara, Parshat Chaye Sarah, was about how his mother, Batsheva, assured his ascendancy to the throne.

Three of King Solomon's writings are included in the full Tanach, Bible. Two of them, Kohelet-Ecclesiastes and Shir Hashirim-Song of Songs, are very controversial and the third, Mishle, Proverbs, doesn't have the usual narrative we see in the other Biblical Books. Actually, none of his books tell clear stories. They can't be matched up to Biblical stories the way King David's, his father, T'hilim, Psalms, do.

Kohelet and Shir Hashirim are terribly controversial. Kohelet, because it begins almost doubting the existence of G-d:
א דִּבְרֵי קֹהֶלֶת בֶּן-דָּוִד, מֶלֶךְ בִּירוּשָׁלִָם. 1 The words of Koheleth, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
ב הֲבֵל הֲבָלִים אָמַר קֹהֶלֶת, הֲבֵל הֲבָלִים הַכֹּל הָבֶל. 2 Vanity of vanities, saith Koheleth; vanity of vanities, all is vanity.
ג מַה-יִּתְרוֹן, לָאָדָם: בְּכָל-עֲמָלוֹ--שֶׁיַּעֲמֹל, תַּחַת הַשָּׁמֶשׁ. 3 What profit hath man of all his labour wherein he laboureth under the sun?
ד דּוֹר הֹלֵךְ וְדוֹר בָּא, וְהָאָרֶץ לְעוֹלָם עֹמָדֶת. 4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; and the earth abideth for ever.

Shir Hashirim, when read literally, is very erotic. Many people are made uncomfortable by it, and it's difficult to get good translations, which aren't censored.

And Mishlei is more of a "personal" Pirkei Avot, Ethics of the Fathers. it's a collection of "words of wisdom," addressed to his "son."

I asked which book was written first. It's not like "reading" the computer's hard disk, which can tell you when and how long the computer was on and exactly how long it took for something to be written. The answer is "just guess-work."

So here's my guess:
I think that the first of the three books King Solomon wrote was Kohelet. I don't think he could have written the others before undergoing the emotional, philosophical and spiritual odyssey of Kohelet, which ends with:

ז וְיָשֹׁב הֶעָפָר עַל-הָאָרֶץ, כְּשֶׁהָיָה; וְהָרוּחַ תָּשׁוּב, אֶל-הָאֱלֹהִים אֲשֶׁר נְתָנָהּ. 7 And the dust returneth to the earth as it was, and the spirit returneth unto God who gave it.
ח הֲבֵל הֲבָלִים אָמַר הַקּוֹהֶלֶת, הַכֹּל הָבֶל. 8 Vanity of vanities, saith Koheleth; all is vanity.
ט וְיֹתֵר, שֶׁהָיָה קֹהֶלֶת חָכָם: עוֹד, לִמַּד-דַּעַת אֶת-הָעָם, וְאִזֵּן וְחִקֵּר, תִּקֵּן מְשָׁלִים הַרְבֵּה. 9 And besides that Koheleth was wise, he also taught the people knowledge; yea, he pondered, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.
י בִּקֵּשׁ קֹהֶלֶת, לִמְצֹא דִּבְרֵי-חֵפֶץ; וְכָתוּב יֹשֶׁר, דִּבְרֵי אֱמֶת. 10 Koheleth sought to find out words of delight, and that which was written uprightly, even words of truth.
יא דִּבְרֵי חֲכָמִים כַּדָּרְבֹנוֹת, וּכְמַשְׂמְרוֹת נְטוּעִים בַּעֲלֵי אֲסֻפּוֹת; נִתְּנוּ, מֵרֹעֶה אֶחָד. 11 The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails well fastened are those that are composed in collections; they are given from one shepherd.
יב וְיֹתֵר מֵהֵמָּה, בְּנִי הִזָּהֵר: עֲשׂוֹת סְפָרִים הַרְבֵּה אֵין קֵץ, וְלַהַג הַרְבֵּה יְגִעַת בָּשָׂר. 12 And furthermore, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
יג סוֹף דָּבָר, הַכֹּל נִשְׁמָע: אֶת-הָאֱלֹהִים יְרָא וְאֶת-מִצְו‍ֹתָיו שְׁמוֹר, כִּי-זֶה כָּל-הָאָדָם. 13 The end of the matter, all having been heard: fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole man.
יד כִּי, אֶת-כָּל-מַעֲשֶׂה, הָאֱלֹהִים יָבִא בְמִשְׁפָּט, עַל כָּל-נֶעְלָם: אִם-טוֹב, וְאִם-רָע. {ש} 14 For God shall bring every work into the judgment concerning every hidden thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil. {P}

I don't think a book like Shir Hashirim could have the spiritual depth it has if it had been written by a young man. Actually, I think it was the third of the series. It think that Mishlei was the continuation of Kohelet. If you read Kohelet carefully, you see that it's an advice book, and I highlighted the word, "beni," "my son" in the third to last verse in the book.

The structure of Mishlei is a series of instructions to "beni," "my son."
ח שְׁמַע בְּנִי, מוּסַר אָבִיךָ; וְאַל-תִּטֹּשׁ, תּוֹרַת אִמֶּךָ. 8 Hear, my son, the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the teaching of thy mother;

King Solomon wrote Shir Hashirim as an old man. He credited his parents, introducing himself as "son of" in the other books, but not here.
א שִׁיר הַשִּׁירִים, אֲשֶׁר לִשְׁלֹמֹה. 1 The song of songs, which is Solomon's.

I think that the difference is significant. I also see him, the former sinner, in this description.

ו אַל-תִּרְאוּנִי שֶׁאֲנִי שְׁחַרְחֹרֶת, שֶׁשְּׁזָפַתְנִי הַשָּׁמֶשׁ; בְּנֵי אִמִּי נִחֲרוּ-בִי, שָׂמֻנִי נֹטֵרָה אֶת-הַכְּרָמִים--כַּרְמִי שֶׁלִּי, לֹא נָטָרְתִּי. 6 Look not upon me, that I am swarthy, that the sun hath tanned me; my mother's sons were incensed against me, they made me keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept.'

As a "chozer b'tshuva," one who repents, he still felt "blackened" by his former life-style. This line also reminds me of how his father was sent away from the family home to be a shepherd. It was only Shmuel (Samuel the Prophet) Hanavi's insistence that there must be another son in the family, that rescued David from oblivion.

There are also echoes of his parents' relationship. They had been kept apart, but Nathan the Prophet knew that Shlomo was supposed to be the next king. For that reason he got Batsheva to visit the aged and ailing King David. Suddenly David perked up when the love of his life entered the room, and he functioned as king once more.

That's the love between G-d and the Jewish People, eternal.

Shavua Tov
Have a wonderful week, and
Refuah Shleimah, a full and speedy recovery to all in need

The Way To Bethlehem

Well, while the Muse is out walking with her Shilo friends I (Isramom - Rehovot) will use her invitation to 'guest blog' in her space to share an amazing experience with you.
Some wonderful women in Rehovot organized a bus trip to see the performance of Ruth and Naomi In The Fields Of Bethlehem in Gush Etzion. I convinced my Machatenester* and one of my daughters to come along. I knew from Muse as well as from personal experience seeing Noah! that this was going to be special and I wanted to share it. Well, we were not disappointed. They have done it again! So, RUN, don't walk too see this beautiful sensitive uplifting musical. You can still get tickets for Hanuaka!

*The mother of my daughter-in-law (there is no English word to describe this beautiful Jewish relationship with the other grandmother of your grandchildren).

"breakfast of champions"

This may not be the American classic, from the 1950's, but it's my favorite now. I use the diet bran flakes, some puffed wheat, a shredded apple (food processor or just cut with a knife) and 3% bio yogurt. In Israel there's no problem finding a good plain 3% yogurt. I think it's much healthier than the 1/2% or 0%, which I found in the states to the exclusion of "fattier."

There's nothing wrong with eating 3% natural dairy fat, unprocessed. What I do avoid is yellow cheese and the egg and cholesterol substitutes and margarine. The processes fats (and modern yellow cheese) is filled with them.

Our bodies produce cholesterol, so if we don't eat enough, the body will just over-produce, and that's the worst type. The milk protein is also an allergen to many, especially when it comes without the natural milk fat.

Now I'm off to meet friends for a walk.

Internetless, Again!

Please don't tell me that it's not a word,"internetless" that is, because unfortunately it's a situation we've have to deal with. Simple linguistics gives its meaning as "without internet."

1- those who are not hooked up to "the web"

2- those who, even though hooked up and paying, are not being connected to the internet by their servers

Yes, we've been internetless. Last week we didn't have service for almost a full day.

And then last night, after Shabbat, I went to the den, like I do every week, turned on the computer and the internet, and... yes, you guessed it! Nothing, or more accurately, error readings. Something about the "remote host," and other spooky and familiar messages.

Deja vu. So I did the usual and called netvision, to make sure they knew and try to get some info. Of course, the very polite young man who answered tried to make me go through the whole routine of checking my computer, as if I was at fault. Why do they think I'm stupid, my accent? I'm the maven in this house.

After proving to him that the problem was with Bezek, I told him that I refuse to call them, since last time the call was a waste of a couple of hours and ruined the icon I used to use to "dial up." So he finally agreed to check. A few minutes later he got back to me and said, that yes, the problem was with Bezek and I should just keep trying every half hour.

Then the phone started ringing as all sorts of neighbors called to find out if I had internet, since they didn't. I sent them to call netvision, too, since they also used them. I figured that the more calls, the more action to solve the problem.

So, I was pretty wary about trying the computer this morning, since last time, it wasn't fixed so early and so quickly.

We pay good money for our adsl, whatever it's called, and being internetless means that we ought to hit them where it hurts.

Shavua tov

Have a wonderful week

Friday, November 17, 2006

Yes, A Contest!

results of the first contest at the end of this post
Summer? Winter? Spring? Fall?
The sky is blue, yes.
In which season were these pictures shot?
What's your proof?
answer by commenting

Here are the results of the previous contest:

Neither Ezzie nor Isramom got it exactly right, close but. In my title I gave away the city, so it shouldn't have been all that hard. It was taken from Rechov Shimoni looking over Sderot Herzog. Maybe if I had been holding the camera more steadily... I'll take you out to coffee, not dinner, ok? Ezzie, let's see you come here to Israel for your prize!

It's healthy to laugh

So, for today's medicine...

The antidote! How to cure the plague of telemarketing!

Please, no offense intended to those who make their living in telemarketing.

hat tip to "Lakewood Venter"

Shabbat Shalom

medicine bottle

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Food, Glorious Food!!

cropped wine succot 2010

It's time to celebrate!!

That's right!
Renegade Kosher Cooking has posted the 12th Kosher Cooking Carnival!!!

He did a really great job, a professional job, just as expected.

If you're interesting in hosting a future edition, please let me know. The Kosher Cooking Carnival comes out monthly and is more than just a collection of recipes. It includes everything about kosher food, traditions, pictures, halachik issues, cookbook and restaurant reviews (kosher obviously,) advice and... recipes of course. Whenever you post something on topic or see a post that fits the menu, please send it to me. 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…

Thanks and Shabbat Shalom

Which is the true indicator?

I make my decisions about whether or not to do laundry according to the color of the sky. That's because I hang my wash out whenever possible. A couple of minutes ago, I went out to my merpeset, terrace, and took these three pictures. Yes, they were all taken within seconds of each other. The clouds were from the southeast, and the clearer sky was a western shot. Generally if there are dark clouds coming in from the west, it means rain. Though this year, it hasn't been 100% accurate.

Strangely, the dark picture was taken at the same time, due east. I guess the "automatic" setting on my Canon 620 made it look dark, since the sky was light and blue.

Well, I've decided to risk it, and I put a load of wash in the machine. It'll take at least an hour and a half to finish. These European models are slow, even the cold washes.

Right now I'm waiting for photobucket to load the pictures. Bagel blogger said that it takes a long time, since I really ought to lower the pixels when saving. It sounds rather complicated to me. As you see they're up, but for the first time when using the service, they didn't post immediately to the blog. I had to do it a couple of times.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Long time, no blog--SABOTAGE!

I don't know if this hit the newspapers, but the phone cable which provides our internet lines was sabotaged yesterday afternoon.

Yesterday I got back early from work, since the 11th and 12th grades were both on school trips. Early means before 5pm. As is my routine, I quickly turned on the computer to see what's new. It went on fine, but a second later, suddenly there was no internet access. I kept getting "error" reports.

I called up my service provider, netvision, and after doing all the checks and adjustments he requested, I was told that the problem was with Bezek, Israel's phone company, so he gave me a number to call. I called.

I called Bezek and for the longest time listened to their recording about their super-fantastic service that could solve all my problems, and the recordings went on and on and on and on. Periodically I pressed whatever buttons they said and they continued to praise themselves, once or twice a notice came on warning that there was an extraordinary amount of people waiting to avail themselves on their super-fantastic service, so maybe it would be a good idea to call again in an hour, but I had other plans for an hour from then.

Eventually, someone got on and told me that I had pressed the wrong number and she'd try to connect me to the right one, which she actually did. And I waited some more. I took the cordless phone and ate half my dinner while waiting. I had it on speaker, in order to free both hands. I was hungry!

Finally someone got on and after my proving that it was Bezek where the problem originated, he told me that I was the problem and I had to uninstall and reinstall the program... which I did, and then... it still didn't work.

Then... he suddenly announced that apparently there was a problem in my area, and I should try again in a few hours, and if there's trouble I should check with netvision again.

So... I finished supper and went to my meeting and got back and tried to get online, and... it still didn't work. So I started all the calls again and was told that there still was a problem in the area. So I went to sleep.

Bright and early in the morning before the sun was shining or even trying to peek through the rain clouds, I was up. OK, I was up extra early, since Wednesday is pool day. Did you guess it? Still no internet, so I called netvision and Bezek again. At Bezek I complained that it had already been 12 hours and the Bezek guy said that it was only since 7 yesterday, so I told him that I was apparently the first to call, since I'd been trying to get it fixed since just after 5pm. And it was already after 5am.

My complaint was the first, which doesn't give me a month's free service or any other prize.

When I asked how much longer, I was told that cable was stolen and it wouldn't fixed until about 10am. But I was going to the pool.

So I did some computer work which didn't need internet. I went over two disks with pictures to choose what to have printed. Then I went to the pool with a friend. We had a ride to Jerusalem and then took a cab. Another woman waiting for the bus to the pool joined us in the cab. When we got out we were surprised to find a bunch of the "regulars" standing in the parking lot. The pool is closed today for repairs!

I kid you not. It was just one of those days, but we took it well, refusing to get upset. Nobody died; nobody's sick or injured. So our plans were changed.

And now I'm home and blogging, and I have 148 messages (including spam) waiting for me on yahoo and another 80 or so on netvision, (including spam.) But as long as I'm healthy....

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I'm glad I don't have a ticket!

The new airline regulations about carry-ons are getting me nervous. I last flew the day the new regulations were announced. Yes, I landed in Israel from New York on August 10. Since then, not only nail and needlepoint scissors are forbidden on flights, but mouthwash, moisturizers, water from home and other necessities are now restricted. For a while the duty free shops were selling less liquor and perfume, but I think the restrictions have been adjusted to preserve free enterprise.

Not long before the August 10th changes, the size and weight of permitted carryons also shrank. Now, if they seem too large, they're measured in a special box. If your bag doesn't fit, you'll have to replace it or send it in the hold.

That makes me nervous, since I always fill my carryon with my most important clothes, underwear and "valuables," just in case the suitcase doesn't meet me at my destination. And now, since carryons are very limited, and more necessities are flying unaccompanied by their owners, "More Baggage Goes Astray." Yes, Murphy rules the skies.

G-d willing, things will "lighten up" by my next trip, whenever. Or I'll have to "lighten up," since I'd have to lose a lot of weight in order to fit into my hostesses' clothes.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Family and Thanksgiving

The next Carnival of Family Life is supposed to have posts about Thanksgiving.

Well, except for last year, we haven't celebrated Thanksgiving for 36 years. When I was growing up there were two events on Thanksgiving weekend.

One was my cousin's birthday. She's 6 months older than me; we're the oldest of the cousins and now we're the only two here in Israel, and we're the only grandparents. I remember delicious super-sweet birthday cakes from the bakery. I don't remember ever having those at home. My aunt would call out:
"Who wants to eat the flower?"

It was sugary, creamy and delicious, and I was the only customer.

Every Thanksgiving we went to Aunt Pauline's apartment, one of my mothers older sisters. (There were 6 girls and 3 boys in a his-hers-and theirs.) It was very crowded, and I can't tell you that I remember much about the food, except that we even ate in the bedroom, since we couldn't all fit in the livingroom.

Wall-to-wall family! Of course nowadays the term best describes the walls of my house. Honestly, what's the point of hiding family photos in closed albums?

PS photo update
I signed up with both flickr and photobucket (click on sidebar), free versions. I've learned how to do simple stuff on both, but just now I was going to use flickr to post this picture, and it refused, claiming that I had used my monthly allocation. Does photobucket have the same rule? Will I have to keep signing up under different names or just go back to the slow unreliable blogger for photos?

Plenty to do

I have plenty to do. A couple of weeks ago, trekker planted a strawberry patch for me. The original strawberry plants were bought quite a number of years ago and thrived in a sunny spot on the other side of the house. We actually ate the strawberries grown there. They took a few years to really "take," but it was worth it.

As the spot got more crowded we gave "runners" to others and even planted a couple in a small pot which we put near the front door. One summer, when I was in the states, they dried out and died. Now the plants by the front door have multiplied, so trekker picked an easier to care for spot and planted seven. I have to take care of them. This may actually be the wrong season to plant them, but we still have the plants by the door.

While we're waiting for the delicious fruit which only grows in the summer, there's plenty of time for carnivals, blog carnivals of course. So let's start with Carnival of the Mundane, since gardening is rather mundane, wouldn't you say?

Then for something a little more profound, there's the "transplanted" BOMS. Yes, just like my new strawberry patch. I hope that they both thrive!

And "acharon, acharon chaviv, saving the best for last, is the 93rd Havel Havelim.

So, as you can see, there's plenty to do.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Winter really is here!

until nov 12 124
Seasons in Israel are nothing like the seasons in New York. In New York, we knew it was winter, because we wore corduroy and wool, darker colors, too. In Israel, we know it's winter, because of the rain, but it takes more than a couple of drops of rain to really make it winter.

When I see these flowers come up, I know it's winter here. It's something I only learned living in Shiloh, where we're much more attuned to nature than we were in Jerusalem. Besides actual rain in winter only, we knew about the "shkaydiya," almond tree, since we lived by a big old one.

Every year during the month of Shvat (just before spring), all the nursery schools used to come by, so the "ganenet" would show the children the pink blossoms. They would sing "Hashkaydiya porachat," the almond tree is blossoming. During that last winter we were there, when we already knew that we were moving, building began in the lot where the tree was. The tree was ripped out. Adults stood and cried. It was a neighborhood landmark, and there's a Jewish Law forbidding the destruction of fruit trees, I was told.

The first time we came to Shiloh was on TU B'Shvat, the "New Year of the Trees." It's the Shiloh anniversary of the return to our holy city. I went with friends and my daughters to see the yishuv. We planted trees. I don't know how many survived, since water was very limited then. It was trucked in and couldn't be spared.

A few weeks later, we came as an entire family for a Shabbat and decided that Shiloh was the place for us! At that time all of the housing was in the area of the ancient Tel, and we expected to live there, too.

Then around Passover we got a call that there would be a new neighborhood, and we should come to see it.

We were part of a group and taken up a hill. There wasn't even a road; I don't know how the van made it safely. We got out, and all we saw were wild flowers, gorgeous flowers of all colors. It was obvious that nobody had been there for hundreds, probably thousands of years, since the delicate flowers don't come up when the land is cultivated or people walk on it.

Ariel Sharon had chosen our hill for us. He had visited Shiloh and asked why everyone was living and planning on building in such a small place when there was a magnificent hill just above. He was Minister of Housing and promised some concrete prefabricated homes for the new neighborhood. We've been here, now in a custom-built home of our own design, since that first year, 1981.

This plant is the hardiest of the wild flowers native to the region. It blooms after the first few rains.

cropped 123

Memories--the "BT movement"

Hat tip to my husband re: Baalei Teshuva Resources on the Web on Beyond BT.

Here's the comment I put on the post:
NCSY was probably the first organization with youth "kiruv" (before the term was used) as a goal. Rabbis Stolper, Wasserman and Ginsburg were the pioneers nationally. "BT" wasn't a term yet; we "became religious." That was in the mid-60's. In NY the YU seminars worked in parallel, and some of us went to both types of events. I was an NCSY officer in 1966-7 and made aliyah in 1970. So
that's my perspective. When discussing youth, the period of time is so
short, that everyone will have a different perspective.
Of course, like everything else, NCSY evolved and Chabad strengthened and "graduates" of Ohr Sameach, Diaspora Yeshiva, Neve Yerushalayim and Aish left Israel for the states influencing further.

For some of you it's probably very ancient history. I was also a student in the early months of Neve Yerushalayim after I quit ulpan. We were living in the "Old City." It wasn't called "HaRova HaYehudi" in 1970. It was "easier" for me to get all the way to Bayit VeGan than to Beit HaAm, where the ulpan was. I used to walk to the Jaffa Gate and then straight up to Beit HaAm. There wasn't any bus I could take. It was winter (think rain) and I was pregnant.

Going to Bayit VeGan, where Neve Yerushalayim was then on Rechov Uziel, was a bit easier, since I only had to walk all the way to Sha'ar Shechem. Yes, I could walk there freely and alone. Then I took the #12 bus to the last stop. I think it was still the last stop, near the big park. Then I walked down the park. Less than a year later we were living next to the park, but that's another story.

We were also involved with the Diaspora Yeshiva. It wasn't too far from us, and Rabbi Goldstein had been my husband's 9th grade teacher. Rabbi Goldstein asked if we could house the female students in the Betar house for a bit.

Then when we were in Bayit VeGan we ended up on the list of Shabbat hosts for Neve, since I never said no.

Yes, ancient history.

What really happened to Yitzchak?

I don't usually read DovBear, but I came across this title, The Rape(?) of Yitzchak, and I couldn't resist a peek.

Before reading it, I wondered if it had to do with the "sacrifice," since I find that "title" annoyingly inaccurate, since Issak wasn't sacrificed. On Shabbat at our שיעור נשים, which has now been going on for 25 years (each week a different speaker in a different home), Rabbi Amnon Chedri brought up an interpretation that the entire incident of the angel-guests visiting Avraham and informing him that a son would be born to very elderly Sarah and him, at the beginning of Parshat Vayera was really a "dream" in Avraham's mind, a "nivu'ah," prophesy--message from G-d. That made me wonder if the "Akeidat Yitzchak," "Sacrifice" of Issac could have the same status.

Back to DovBear...
His post is about מצחק, "mitzchek," whatever Yishmael was doing with/to Yitzchak. It could have had been something perverse/sexual, which is why Sarah was so adamant to have Yishmael banished and not just punished.

And while we're discussing Hebrew-English, I'll mention the word I find poorly translated:

Genesis Chapter 3
א וְהַנָּחָשׁ, הָיָה עָרוּם, מִכֹּל חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה, אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים; וַיֹּאמֶר, אֶל-הָאִשָּׁה, אַף כִּי-אָמַר אֱלֹהִים, לֹא תֹאכְלוּ מִכֹּל עֵץ הַגָּן.
Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman: 'Yea, hath God said: Ye shall not eat of any tree of the garden?'

I think that עָרוּם "erum" should be translated as "seductive."

Now isn't it amazing how for thousands of years, we Jews have been going over the same Bible and always finding something new and interesting?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

This Barbie is neither Bimbo nor JAP

I bet you've never seen a Barbie like this one! Isramom sent me the link. Apparently there's someone who actually produces the special costumes and props. For more information check this.

What a night! I just saw the Today, I Am a Clown on the The Simpsons.

Today, I Am a Clown (#FABF01 / SI-1501)
7 Dec 2003
When Krusty admits that he never had a Bar Mitzvah, he turns to his father for help. Later, when Krusty realizes his shooting schedule has him working on the Sabbath he proposes to hire a guest host. Not wanting to hire anyone that will upstage him or threaten his career, Krusty hires Homer. At his first show Homer and his guests Lenny, Moe and Carl win over the audience by talking about everyday subjects like donuts. Meanwhile, Krusty holds his Bar Mitzvah at the Isotope Stadium and invites Mr. T to read from the Torah.
Jackie Mason reprises his role as Rabbi Krustofski, and Mr. T guest stars as himself.

Two things like that back to back, oy, what a world!

Shavua tov! Have a wonderful week!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Yes, Shlomo Carlebach, zatzal

Yes, this is the season to especially remember Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach.

I first "met" him in the mid 1960's, when Joel Paul, then youth director of the Great Neck Synagogue invited him out to perform. The show was ok, but the best was the after the show-show when we (a small group) went to someone's house and he sang and talked, and talked and sang and of course we sang along. It was very special.

Yitz, of Heichal Hanegina, has a good memorial post. Actually, that's why I decided to write something.

One of the great things about him was that he didn't claim to be perfect, nor did he demand perfection. That's how he attracted so many people to Torah-Judaism.

The truly amazing thing is how his spirit was so accepted in Olam Hazeh only after his body left. It's rare. Usually people have more power when their neshama is in their body, since the body gives a material strength, which normal people need to achieve their aims. With Reb Shlomo, it was the opposite. His message has grown stronger since his body is gone. His neshama is eternal.

One-"pot" (frying pan) meal

Quick, easy, efficient cooking means using a minimum of pots and pans. The classic "one-pot" meal is a stew with meat or poultry and various vegetables all stewed or roasted together. I don't make it much, since I don't like my vegetables overcooked and fatty. The closest thing I do to that is my "left-over special" when I cook up an already cooked piece of chicken with freshly sliced squash and onion.

One favorite in my house, especially loved by the trekker, is made in a frying pan, generally a nice big one, and you must have a cover for it.

  • cut up some onion
  • squash
  • and potato
  • garlic, too
  • and other vegetables, if you want
  • put it all in the frying pan
  • with some oil
  • cover and cook until it's ready
  • stirring occasionally
  • then top with
  • an egg, or two per serving
  • and optional cheese
  • cover again for a couple of minutes
  • turn off the heat
  • and let it finish cooking
  • serve with salad (optional--though I eat salad with everything) and
  • freshly ground pepper, if you have
  • and salt if you insist

The perfect food for any meal, breakfast, lunch or dinner!

ps I never use Teflon pans. I love the crispness of the food cooked in a good stainless steel frying pans, and I don't think all that Teflon is healthy.