Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Our Purim Tree and a Song

Purim tree
We used to try to root the willow branches used during the Succot holiday, and if any took root we'd plant them. A nice strong one was planted by the front door, since it needs water, and it's an easy location to water. Yes, we I watered it regularly, and though it didn't seem to have died, it never quite thrived.

One Purim, we suddenly noticed something very peculiar. The willow was blooming, but willows don't bloom. They're either green or dead-looking. Apparently, some almonds had been "dumped" there, and one took root and is now a tree entangled in the dwarfed willow!

And the song, click: Heichal HaNegina: SAVED BY A PURIM SONG.

Chag Purim Sameach!
Have a wonderful Purim!

Mouth-watering market scenes

Watch out! You can gain weight looking at these pictures taken in Jerusalem's Machaneh Yehuda Market!

Have a little halva!
King of Halva, The cheapest in Israel, the tastiest in the world!
halva in the market

SSSstrawberries delicious!
NS7 per kilo
That's less than $2- a kilo, so about 75 cents a pound, or even less!
strawberries in the market

Back to baklava!
NS34 per kilo, hand-made
baklava in the market

old blogger not working?

This is the message when I try to get into "old blogger" for Shiloh Musings,  The "new blogger" is ok.  I've tried to upgrade the blog to the new one, but it was rejected for some strange reason.

HTTP Status 503 - Servlet NewFrontend is currently unavailable

Apache Tomcat/4.1.24

Sucker-punch spam with award-winning protection.
Try the free Yahoo! Mail Beta.

Are things back to normal? Normal?

I couldn't get into blogger before, and now I did.

What's normal?

This week I've been going to Jerusalem almost every day. On a normal week, only once.

I ran into an old student the other day.
"Things must be so much fun in the yeshiva now. It's Adar! It as so much fun to have that release from the pressure."

"It's not like your time now. It's dull. Now there's no pressure during the year, so nothing to take a break from."

The Purim Holiday is in the middle of the Jewish Month of Adar, and it's tradtional to get into the purim spirit from the beginning of the month.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

an "insulting compliment"

It happened yesterday when I was walking in the rain from the yeshiva high school where I teach to the bus stop where I can get rides to Ofra and home. It's a good few minutes' walk, so when a young woman offered me a ride, I readily thanked her and got in the car. She said:

"I remember when I was pregnant how even a short lift was helpful."

Now, did she think I'm pregnant? Am I that fat?
That's an insult!

But if she thought I'm pregnant, then she thinks I'm young enough to be pregnant.
Ahhhhhhhh... be thought of as that young... is a compliment!

Too Easy Chocolate Icing

When I say easy, I mean easy!

If you have a microwave, then zap it, otherwise use a pot that gives a slow even heat.

For a small cake, use:
  • 100 grams of baking chocolate
  • 50 grams of no salt margarine
  • 3 Tablespoons of liquid, any or any combination of water, vanilla, other extracts, strong coffee or how about whiskey for a kick?
  • 4 Tablespoons of sugar

Yes! That's it.

Heat until the chocolate and margarine are melted enough, so you can mix everything up. Then let it cool and thicken before you spread it on the cake, or it won't stick. The cake should also be cool first.

Options: Use the icing for "chocolate anything" balls or loaves. You can add "rice crispies," raw oats, broken cookies--anything!

Carnival Treats

Yes, this picture is from the Macheneh Yehuda Open Market in Jerusalem. It's hard not to overdose on sugar, just by walking there this time of the year.
For more variety, take a gander at the latest Carnival of Recipes. You're bound to find something good to try.
And pictures, just a reminder to get me your jpix picture links by shilohmuse at yahoo dot com Submissions by Sat 10th of March 12pm, Carnival opening on the Monday 12th March.
And the next Kosher cooking Carnival will be hosted, G-d willing, by the Baleboosteh! Please send in your links and any you see, which would be good for the carnival, either via blog carnival or shilohmuse at yahoo dot com.
Now, off to the dentist, ugh!

Tagged! Gevalt!

The good news, at least, is that it's an easy "tag." All I have to do is tag two blogs I like.

Jacob dah Jew tagged me. I discovered it last night when I came back from "teaching" no students, since nobody showed, part of the pre-Purim madness. And babysitting Porat, who missed her sister who had gone to lecture Law with their Imma. And then I went to yet another staff meeting. So when I saw all those "comments" on my inmail box by jdj, I thought, "Wow! He must like what I've written!" But then I saw that they all said:
"You've been tagged!!"
So I have no real choice, now that I've slept a bit, and I'm tagging, please forgive me!
Marallyn and tnspr569!

ps Have pity, please; I'm going to the dentist today.
pps There are lots of other blogs I like, but these are bloggers I've met. tnspr569 just spent a Shabbat here, and I remember once meeting Marallyn years ago, though I don't think she remembers me at all.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Public Transportation -- Egged

jerusalem walk 042

If I didn't travel by public transportation, how would I be able to see images like these?

Yesterday's trip to Jerusalem started out well, since I didn't wait long until the bus arrived. It was smooth sailing until we were just across from the bus station. Suddenly I noticed that we'd been sitting for a long time. Apparently there were too many buses trying to get in and unload passengers, so the driver opened all of the doors and let us out.

jerusalem walk 037
Buses, buses every where were all waiting to get into the building. The actual bus station, built rather recently, is great. There's one very minor problem, the surronding neighborhood and access roads. The strange thing is that when I arrived it was after 11am, not near rush hour. Something must be going on, since later in the afternoon, when I left, it also took us a long time.

jerusalem walk 038
Baruch Hashem it was a pretty successful day, nice to have a day off from work. I got just about everything on my shopping list.
Jerusalem bus station
Jerusalem bus station

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Great Treats for JBloggers!

Bagel Blogger has presented us all with the greatest of great Second JPix Carnival of Pictures! There are lots of talented photographers out there, and I can't believe that I volunteered to host the next one! Mine certainly won't be as impressive. How can anybody do as well as the famous Bagel Blogger?

The story is that I said I could do it if I had a guest-host for KCC. So, he solved that problem and told me that the Baleboosteh was going to take on the Sweet 16 Kosher Cooking Carnival.

So please get your links to us, either via blog carnival or shilohmuse at yahoo dot com

There's more!
Havel Havelim, this time at Life of Rubin, and he gives lots of interesting jblog links. So there are lots of healthy and inspiring treats in Jblogland!

Dumbed down tests for "real children"

Honestly, I feel much better now. I thought it was only Israeli educators dumbing down texts, tests and requirements, but according to The New York Times, the same educational "illness" is gripping the states.

If you follow the "Bell Curve," the level adjusts to the test results, so you always get the same percentage of "excellent."

In my small corner of the educators' universe I've seen some unpleasant reduction in the level of English my students know when they enter high school. My students are generally in the lowest English group. I've been teaching English as a Foreign Language for just under ten years. I used to use a book called Going Places, ECB, in the 9th grade. It's an interesting book which takes the students to all parts of Israel. It's totally factual, but it doesn't have the remedial techniques my students need. So after a couple of years I started teaching them from Rescue 2, UPP, which is humorous and more "modern." Some of my classes did very well with it and remembered the stories even in the 12th grade.

Last year, my 9th grade class couldn't handle it at all, and the year was a disaster. Actually, they couldn't handle studying and paying attention either. Since I still like the book, and we barely got through half of it, I decided that we'd use it this year, in the 10th grade. Thank G-d, it's going well, but that still means that this year's 10th grade is on the level the 9th grade was a few years ago.

I didn't want to make the same mistake again, so I ordered a simpler book for this year's 9th grade, Chance, UPP. When I had first seen the book a couple of years ago, I insisted that it was too simple for my kids. Now, the 9th grade is doing well with it.

And what about Going Places? I photocopied some of the stories for my 11th and 12th grade projects. They can handle it, yes, they're on a reading comprehension level like my 9th grade was eight years ago.

"all the non-conformists have green bookbags"

While popping in to comment on some blogs on Shiloh Musings's sidebar, I got sucked into a different blog world. Soccer Dad linked and quoted from Irina's Ignoble Experiment's Blogosphere's gone PC?, who had ranted over a topic on Suburban Turmoil called "Talkin' Bout My Generation." All I can say is that they take themselves very seriously. They think they've invented the wheel.

Every generation thinks they've done it better than the previous one, and most people, by nature must conform to whichever group in society they feel is best for them. That's life. That's human nature.

In the 1960's, when I was a teen and became a "person," there were all sorts of crowds in my Great Neck, Long Island, New York's suburban high school. There were the popular kids who were both top students and athletes, Jon Avnet was one of its stars. There was also a "hoody" crowd, which had very few Jews; most of the kids in that group had gone to the local Catholic elementary school, "Saint Al's" and weren't accepted into their high school. Then there were the "non-conformists," and the rest of us who didn't quite fit into the important categories. I'd say that Andy Kaufman was in a group of his own. I was in my own tiny group of those of us who were getting more involved with Judaism.

Which group was the most "uniform?" The non-conformists, of course!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

FLOWERS! late winter-early spring? visiting time!

I'll just let these flowers speak for themselves!
and then I'll visit a bissel

First to Bagel Blogger, who announces that the 3rd "Jewish and Israel Blog Awards" are starting. Well, if you want to nominate me for something, then vote for me... I'd appreciate it. Thanks.
Emah S. is also having trouble with with blogger pictures. Some times it drives me nuts, and sometimes it's great. Gevalt! Hopefully, by the time you take a look it'll be ok there.
Sarah's having a great time in Hollywood. Look at those pictures!
swfm tries challah again. Please send the recipe for KCC!
Marallyn is reading up a storm!
Amy W. shows us the dangers in Alaska!
A Bisele Babka comments on my post about Hebrew.
Jacob da Jew is looking for ideas to do in New York.
nuch a chosid may stop blogging, but he can't decide. It's like an addiction, no, nu?
The Elders ask a very good question.
and that's it for now
Shavua Tov

Yes, we had visitors!

Yes, we did, and I even took them to a Hebrew-language shiur by Rachel Ehrlich, who is in charge of Development and Tourism of Tel Shiloh. The famous blogger tnspr569 understood it well. He wants to know Hebrew and makes an effort. I hope he blogs about the issue. He and his friend both admitted that Hebrew is not a required subjects in the yeshivot.
Now I can also tell you what I cooked.
Well, I needed to empty the freezer and still do. There were two things I don't normally use. Turkey necks and chicken schnitzel.
I used the turkey necks in the chulent with potatoes, beans and barley, plus spices. Very easy to make and no exact ingredients. Remember to use a lot of water. The ingredients shouldn't go more than 2/3 or max 3/4 the pot. Then add as much water as you can. Before Shabbat there may be a need to add more, so check early enough so you have time for it to boil.
Besides the chicken schnitzels, actually just expensive chicken breasts, I had lasagna noodles, so I made chicken lasagna! I bet you have never heard of it. Well, until I made invented it, I hadn't either.
  • line the pan with a layer of the noodles
  • a layer of sliced vegetables; I used eggplant
  • layer the chicken
  • then sliced onions
  • pour lots of diluted tomato sauce on it, but leave some over
  • and top it with another layer of noodles
  • pour the rest of the sauce and some water

You're better off with more liquid than less, so if in doubt, don't be stingy. Cover with foil and then bake until ready. What's ready? When the noodles are soft and the food seems cooked inside.

I'm glad the boys had volunteered to eat our food.

ps They started off Friday afternoon with lunch, Matzah Brei! We have to finish the matzah before Purim!

Friday, February 23, 2007

blogger is nuts again, what's this: ERROR --Must be at most 200 characters ?

I'd really like to know what causes that error message.

I deleted some of the "labels" and the post was published. Does anyone know what all this means? What restrictions do we have on labels?

It was reposted via yahoo, but then after deleting labels, I saw that it was up, so I'm not editing this post.

I'd really appreciate knowing more about beta.

I can't tell you what I've cooked for Shabbat...

... and yes, I have been cooking.

The reason is that we're having guests, jblogger guests. That's right! tnspr569 will, G-d willing, be here for Shabbat, with a friend. How he gave himself a name like that.... maybe I should ask him. We only know each other from jblogging. He saw my post about the stuffed freezer and volunteered to help empty it. So I did cook with a few things that have to go before Pesach. Let's see if he can guess which tasty dishes!

There are all sorts of special "activities" here this Shabbat. I hope his Hebrew is up to par for participating. It's outrageous that graduates of Jewish Education aren't totally fluent in Hebrew. After three years of high school Spanish, I could converse fairly fluently, and I'm not good at languages. Israeli students, who get much less English than the American kids' Hebrew studies, are able to converse more easily in English. I teach the lowest level in my high school, and I've tested the higher level in others.

I'm totally convinced that it is intentional. American Jewish parents, even the religious ones, do not want their children to be fluent and comfortable in Hebrew! The more fluent and comfortable one is, the more one feels at home in Israel. That is something that American Jewish parents don't want. They want their kids to feel like tourists, condescending tourists.

For the past few decades, more and more American Jewish high school graduates have been coming for a year in Israel, but they don't spend it with Israelis. They don't have to function in Hebrew. They live in English-speaking ghettos. The programs used to be in Har Nof, Jerusalem, and now many are in the Ramat Beit Shemesh area. Conversational Hebrew and Religious Textual Studies in Hebrew are not required elements in their curriculum.

Reports from the states say that even Orthodox Rabbinic students are studying from translated texts. It's predigested, second-hand knowledge.

I didn't plan on ranting about the state of American Jewry and their Hebrew knowledge, but just like chulent, you throw in the ingredients, and it comes out how it wants to come out.

I hope that I'm pleasantly surprised by tnspr569 .

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Not like when I was a kid!

I never planned on being a working mother, but it somehow happened. I ened up working part time, usually very close to home, so it didn't really affect my family. My married daughter is a working mother, and it's not easy.

"Supermom" isn't all that simple. In the states mothers are getting organized in a society never known for its tolerance of kids.

Israel has some advantages for working mothers.
  • maternity leave--12 weeks at about 90% pay, if you've worked a certain amount of months previously
  • health insurance, even for part-time workers

around the neighborhood

Here are a few late winter scenes in my Shiloh neighborhood.



shiloh 093

guard dog 049

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Get those jpix posts in! and enter the "Where's this" Contest!

Yes, this guy is dancing a jig!

Bagel Blogger is about to produce the second JPix carnival!
Where's he dancing? Not Bagel Blogger, the guy in the pictures of course!

I was there! Where were you?

Yes, I did go to the Book Fair, and it was the biggest it had been for years. Not quite as big as at its largest, but it was great. I'll tell you about the book I'm in and the cookbook I got there. See the pictures of me holding up a book and the same book on a shelf? I wrote Chapter 18 in that book. It's called HIDE and SEEK, and the publisher is Urim Publications. It's about the married women's requirement to cover their hair according to Jewish Law. There are a series of essays by women of varied practices and opinions from all over the world, and there are also a couple of explanations of the actual Halacha, Jewish Law.

When I was at their exhibit, I ended up getting a new cookbook they put out, TALK OF THE TABLE KOSHER COOKBOOK. It's a collection of recipes put together by the Parents' Association of the Aseh Chayil School, Efrat, Israel. On my way home, on the unbearably crowded bus, I pulled it out of my bag and read it, cover to cover.

Obviously, I haven't tried any recipes yet, but I can tell you that the vast majority seem nice and simple. That's what I like. There aren't tons of ingredients you have to buy and then throw away. My own personal thing is that I don't cook with soup powder, and some of the contributors do. There are lots of recipes without it. Some recipes, like the Split Pea Soup have only a couple of ingredients and the most easy to follow directions. What's really impressive is that they include recipes from some of Jerusalem's best restaurants, and those recipes are among the simplest. I can't wait to try the recipes!

Pictures from the International Book Fair

Not only were there books inside of Binyanei Ha'Uma, people were reading books, outside, too!

reading outside the book fair

And Here's the Fair!!
some book exhibits
more book exhibits
bargains, too
lecture in Russian at the fair
Kol Yisrael Radio at the fair

Doing it all? Not me!

My yahoo inbox has a couple of dozen letters, which I just haven't gotten to read or take care of. That's besides the clutter in my house. But here I am, it's 5:30am, and I'm sipping my morning coffee while blogging.

Still no comments about this afternoon's plan to go to the book fair. If you're there today and see a middle-aged, hatted lady schlepping a large "pocketbook" on wheels, that's me...

Considering all, I guess that this is the perfect time for some "visiting..."

Nuch Epes Ah Chosid asks "Is Blog-sphere Ruled by Heretics?" I was shocked to read the post, since I see such wonderful stuff in jblogs.

If you haven't yet heard about the rediculous lawsuit against orthomom, read this and give her your support. It shows that there are people who think we bloggers have great power--I wish!

Soccer Dad shows some great snow scenes, which point out how pathetic our snow falls are in comparison.

Dry Bones is brilliant, as always!

Read Hillary, Rudy and the blogosphere and you from the Beak.

Ezzie wonders who has connections with him and Serach, pre-blogging. Concerning Serach... wow, she's from a well-known clan.

Yitz put up a new post!

Joe Settler asks a very important question.

Refuah Shleimah to Sarah's mother.

Here's a new jblog for me:
Read Save the Donuts by the Jew & the Carrot.

From Mystical Paths, about the Sanhedrin.

Finally, I'll "'spain you Marallyn," the world never stopped hating Jews!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

f2f at the fair and ...

First, and this part I'll cross-post on Shiloh Musings--
I'll be, G-d willing, at the International Book Fair tomorrow, that's Wednesday. I'll probably arrive after 1pm or so. I blogged about a f2f for jbloggers, but for some strange reason, I didn't get even a comment. I guess I'll be there for a few hours, unless it's a total waste. I'll go after the pool and after meeting a visiting friend for an early lunch.

I hope the Electric Company strike doesn't foul things up.

spring flowers
Yes, it's spring. You can tell by those flowers, which are suddenly beginning to bloom all over. Of course, it can always snow on Purim, which has happened every few years. Purim weather is very strange, sort or tricky, rather like the holiday itself. G-d calls the shots.

Two of the classes I teach are on their annual 3 day school trips, so I only taught two hours today instead of the usual six. The school changed the schedule, so the classes would be consecutive, rather than with a long break between, so I was able to get home for the weekly T'hilim Psalms reading we do. We share out the entire 150 chapters and dedicate it to the Refuah Shleimah, complete healing, also "match-making" and llui N'shmatom of the dead. After we finished I just had to photograph the sun as it went down over Ancient Shiloh.
sunset after psalms

And back to the "countdown" before Pesach. This is how my freezer looked when I came home from work today.
freezer, just over a month before Pesach
We're making progress, but there's still plenty in there.

must be flexible

Schedule changes at work.
I like the Israeli system where teachers work part-time.
Two classes I teach are on 3 day school trips, starting today.

I took a bunch of "spring pictures" on the way to the grocers. G-d willing will post later.

Monday, February 19, 2007

ט"ו "TU" XV The 15th Kosher Cooking Carnival

Get Ready for Purim, and
Use up all that Chametz Before Pesach!
The 15th Kosher Cooking Carnival is here to help you!

The Kosher Cooking Carnival comes out monthly and guest-hosts are welcome. Here's the list of the previous KCC's:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14! You can check out what's new and old on Blog Carnival, and you can also add the automatically updated KCC "widget" and/or listing to your own blog.

Since it's now Adar, the month of Purim, it seems only right to start with a post about "
hot wine" on laz a fare. And here are some Assorted Baltimore Kosher Tidbits. Both of those were submitted by Soccer Dad, thanks!

No exaggeration, this is the most
controversial "cooking" post I've ever done. Maybe the problem is with the picture?

For those traveling to New Zealand, they'll find
this guide handy. Thanks again to SD and Not Quite Perfect, who's perfectly fine as far as I can see.

Try Harry and Ziva's
Strawberry Ice Cream, illustrated with the most irresistible and delicious pictures!!

Here's a
Kashrut alert from Elisheva, a former KCC host. Try her Shabbos Salmon; it looks great! And here's the link to an interesting free online book about keeping kosher in a non-kosher world.

Rimon Restaurant is a Jerusalem landmark. Part of its success is how it has changed with the times.

This sounds delicious;
Presence: Lunch at Cocoaccino's.

Try this yummy
chocolate cake from Gillian.

After decades of cooking, I've finally learned how to make
perfect rice! It's actually easier than I had thought.

Many people complain that it's hard to find a good kosher restaurant in the Tel Aviv area, but in actuality there are many, and there is a
special offer going on right now!

A good friend of ours,
Catriel, is more known for his Beit HaMikdash expertise, but he's also an inventive cook:

One of the favourites in our house is "Catriel's Kugelburger".

Ingredients: One kilo of ground turkey meat
One large onion, or two medium (Don't skimp! Onions add taste!)
About one third of a cauliflower.
Two potatoes,
Three carrots,
Four eggs
Matza meal

I begin by boiling water and defrosting the ground turkey meat. In the meantime, I chop up the onion into very small pieces. (That's right. I use my mother's old resharpened chopper and her old chopping bowl. A food processor is simply not as good). Then I chop up the cauliflower into tiny pieces and put the pieces into a container with boiling water to soak for ten minutes. I grate the potatoes and carrots and chop the up meat. Then I mix the meat, the chopped onions, the chopped cauliflower (after draining the water), the grated potatoes, carrots and add four eggs, matza meal and salt to taste. That done, I mix everything again. Then I put the mixture in a baking pan. Don't forget to use Niyar Afiyah!)

Then I rub oil into the top so the Kugelburger will develop a golden brown crisp crust. Roughly 3 and a quarter hours and a 180 degree oven will finish the job. It's an excellent Erev Shabbat meal and great for company. Try to coordinate your labours so the Kugelburger is completely finished a few minutes before Hadlakat Neirot. Serve with vegetables and apple sauce.

Enjoy! It's very good and I highly recommend it.

Not all Jewish Holiday eating is unhealthy. Read what Reb Chaim HaQoton says about
TU B'Shvat.

Mordechai packs one
great lunch! Read all about it!

Soup is good all year long; try
A Bisele Babka's Butternut Squash Soup.

Trust Bookworm to find a way to make a chicken soup
everyone will like, those who like it clear, those who like some of the cooked food and those who like it all.

Here's a way to add extra flavor without salt.

If you're looking for a great dairy dessert try
Baleboosteh's Mouth-watering Mousse.

But if
beef is your desire, try Elisson's recipe.

The Kosher Blog tells of a
pizza like no other.

Marallyn tells us how to make

Here's a
bissel on coffee from Modern Uberdox.

Yes, that's it for this month. If I left anyone out, please write to me and I'll include you in next month's edition. If you'd like to host the KCC, please let me know. And of course, send your kosher food links and any you find to shilohmuse at yahoo dot com or via
blog carnival, since this carnival is based primarily on submitted contributions, not searches. And please don't forget to remind your readers to visit and try out the recipes.
Pass and publicize the link!

Everyone's cooking

There's some really nice stuff on Carnival of the Recipes.

Plenty of people no longer buy cookbooks, since all you have to do is google in the ingredients or basic food, and presto, you have a choice of recipes. It's easier than taking a stack of books off the shelf, going through the indexes (spelling?), making lists and sticking pieces of paper and comparing...

Now I'm off to my exercise class, and when I return, G-d willing KCC...........

last last call

Bli eyin haraa, I'm almost finished with the 15th KCC, so if you have something to send to me, please do it while I'm out of the house for a bit. Details in previous posts.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

I think it's great!

Yid with a Lid did a great Havel Havelim, but it's not the Havel Havelim he had hoped to do.

Now, YwL, I must tell you something. Listen to me, please.
Many years ago, when I was studying modern dance, yes, one of my former lives of sorts, when I was studying choreography, we were told a performance trick, which I've tried to adopt to all occasions. If you fall, rise gracefully, as if it was part of the choreography.

Honestly, if you hadn't kvetched in your introduction, I would have considered that your very legitimate theme.

Refuah Shleimah to your wife.

Through rain, hail, thunder and lightening!

I guess going to work sometimes is like going through hell and high water.
When I opened the door today to leave for work, the rain and hail were pouring from the sky with such force, I almost forgot that the rain was a blessing from G-d.

Thank G-d and Canon Cameras, since you can actually see the rain falling in these pictures. There are times when 7.1 pixels aren't too many.

I must admit that I didn't walk out in that rain. I changed into my boots and packed extra shoes, and by then, even though it was a few minutes past my usual time to leave, I left, braving not only the rain and hail, but the accompanying thunder and lightening. Yes, I unplugged the computer including the phone line.

The storm, politely, took a break, long enough for me to walk down the hill. I waited for a ride and managed to get one of the bullet-proof school vans going to Ofra. From there I caught a ride to the T Junction to Beit El and from there a ride to Beit El, where I walked the rest of the way. The rain and hail were so strong at times, it seemed like a snow storm was about to start.

Then it stopped, and it was pretty dry once I finished work close to 6:30pm.

Now for another wet experience; the dishes await, and they're sure dirty!

Last Call for KCC #15!

That's Porat, celebrating her upcoming Second Birthday!

And the other celebration we have this week, along with Rosh Chodesh Adar, is the 15th, Kosher Cooking Carnival.

You have a day to get your posts in to be part of the fun! Either send to shilohmuse at gmail dot com or to blog carnival.

Shavua Tov! Chodesh Tov!


I didn't read the newspaper this past Shabbat. Not for any change in principle, just a pragmatic reason. There was a foul-up in deliveries, and there weren't any Jerusalem Posts in our local grocery shop. I only read the paper once a week and supplement on the internet. We asked our married daughter to try to get us one in Ofra, but after grabbing a Post and rushing to the check-out, our son-in-law suddenly noticed that it was the French edition.

Will I survive? Of course!

ps There are lots of Hebrew-language newspapers here in the house, but I don't read them.
pps Luckily I discovered a book to read, so in the rare time I had for reading, I wasn't bored. This week, I probably would have had trouble finishing the paper. The next generation kept us very busy, Baruch Hashem!

Shavua Tov and Chodesh Tov

Saturday, February 17, 2007

I finally did it right!

Once my kids began tasting the "better things in life" they announced that I didn't know how to make rice.

My married daughter is now a member of a family that eats rice as often as we eat noodles, which I can eat morning, noon and night, if it weren't so fattening. She frequently ends up cooking a batch before Shabbat, so her family won't suffer.

This week, since we had to make a quick birthday party of 2 year old Porat, and she said she'd be late, I decided to risk it and make a batch of rice all by myself the way I've seen her do it.

this is what I did:
  • I put enough water in the electric kettle
  • I started checking the rice, but I measured what I was using
  • I put some oil to heat in a good pot
  • when I finished checking the rice I put it into the oil, added some salt, pepper and paprika
  • then the boiling water--double the amount I had used as rice
  • closed the pot
  • kept cooking for 20 minutes
  • then turned off the flame
  • and the next day my daughter gave her approval.

So it's Saturday night

Saturday night's not "Saturday night" as it was when I was a kid.
It's called motzei Shabbat and means that the Sabbath has gone out. I end up blogging and washing dishes. Nothing very exciting. I could be going to see Shuli Rand of Ushpizin fame, who will be performing in Eli, but I'm not.
I hope to do my "social thing" tomorrow night when there's a women's Rosh Chodesh party here. I could have signed up for a "light dairy dinner" and some sort of comedy in Beit El as a staff party, but I really don't feel like wasting time after work until it starts and then being dependent on a ride home after finding a ride home.
Periodically they have those "surveys" at work about how we feel and one of the questions is always about how much we socialize with the staff. Sorry, but I don't, even though I got the job through friends, and we still work together. I spend so many hours at work, at least it feels that way, I just don't feel like making an effort to socialize with them. We're a rather varied group, considering ages, background etc.
Last week I spent hours at that parents meeting, and almost none of the parents showed up to talk to me. Three out of twenty-one. (I teach tiny groups in each grade.) There were others, but their darling sons convinced them not to come in. And for those three I waited around over three hours.
The week before we had that staff meeting, a total waste. I waited four hours between finishing work and the meeting, which didn't accomplish anything but took another three hours plus to accomplish that nothing.
Sorry for all this ranting.
I should have had blogged about our quickie second birthday party for Porat. And I have to work on the Kosher Cooking Carnival! Get your posts in and any others you see which fit the bill, please, and if you want to guest-host please let me know. Either send to shilohmuse at gmail dot com or to blog carnival.

Friday, February 16, 2007

-- hitting the fans?

I'm having trouble decided whether this post belongs on this blog or Shiloh Musings. Is it a women's issue, sexual abuse, or Israeli politics?

One of the top female Labour Party politicians, Colette Avital, has not only denied a rumour that she was/is a having an affair with Teflon-coated-Shimon Peres, but she has now publicly accused "someone powerful--no name" of having made unwanted and uninvited sexual advances.

This is at the same time that Israeli President Katzav's Impeachment hearings are beginning for the same sort of crime, and to make matters even more complicated, both Peres and Avital are opposing candidates, in a large field, to replace him as President.
What I find very disturbing is that The Jerusalem Post article about it was hard to find, hat tip to "protexia," and I didn't see any reference to it on the other Israeli news sites. Maybe if I had been online last night I would have found more. I presume that Peres's Teflon is protecting him, since the accusations against Katzav and Ramon got much more play, even though the accusers were anonymous and unknown to the Israeli public.
Ladies, the lesson is that the media will believe the guys they like and, your accusation will be ignored, but if the media is searching for dirt, they'll help you with revenge.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

before I go

Before I get going to work...
Parents meeting tonight--I hope the kids' parents show up. the problem is that I teach the weakest groups in each grade, and those are the parents who frequently don't show. It's genetic and cultural, hard for the parents to get organized, like it's hard for their kids. Or they don't want to hear that their kids aren't doing well or face the fact that their kids are in the weakest group. Yes, I'm bringing crocheting. Must keep busy.
Just saw "Forrest Gump" on video which someone gave us. Glad I did; now I know that it's not suitable for my students.
Good thing I set up 2 clothes dryers in the living room, instead of hanging the wash outside. It never would have dried.
Computer has slowed down. Must get the repairman to clean out the ... whatever.

the old-fashioned way

In pre-microwave times, the thawing of frozen food was done by soaking it in hot water.

Last night after wasting tons of time trying to thaw my vegetable soup in the microwave, I gave up and put the container in a pot of hot water. And in no time, I was able to spoon some out and heat it in a pot with added rice noodles.

I don't like using the microwave on raw meat, since it changes the consistency. In the winter, the meat doesn't thaw overnight, so Thursday mornings, inevitably, there are scenes like this one in the kitchen.

The only thing that thaws well in the microwave is bread, pita, or rolls for immediate consumption.


Yes, it's easy to see the resemblance between father and daughter.

I wonder how many sperm donors want to meet their biological children like Jeffrey Harrison did.

As important and understandable the condition of anonymity is, I think that in the end, it's really best to know one's genetic roots, even when the motivation at the time of conception was purely financial.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Harold Harris, Z"L

I didn't grow up knowing Harold Harris, Z"L. My parents became good friends with him and his wife Marcy after I was out of the house and out of the country. One of the things that they had in common were children and grandchildren in Israel.
During our early years in Shiloh, Harold was an enthusiastic visitor. Those were the days when his two talented sons, Ruby and Rafael lived in Jerusalem. Whenever Harold and Marcy came to Israel to see their sons and grandchildren, they'd rent a car and come here to Shiloh. As happens many times, you never really get a chance to say goodbye. I always expected to see them here at another simcha, joyous occasion, but it never happened. Ruby sent me this obituary and picture. I'm posting them to take my leave of a special man and to send my most sincere condolences to his beloved family.

Harold H. Harris, early pioneer of modern life in Boro Park, Brooklyn, developer of "No Fault Insurance", and father of Chicago Klezmer and Blues musician Ruby Harris, dies at 89.

Harold H. Harris, early pioneer of modern life in Boro Park, Brooklyn, developer of "No Fault Insurance", and father of Chicago Klezmer and Blues musician Ruby Harris, died on January 19 in Del Ray Beach, Florida. He was 89 and had been living in Boynton Beach for the past 12 years.

Mr. Harris was born at home in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on June 16, 1917, and at a young age, moved with his family to Boro Park. "He described a much different Boro Park than the one that exists today" said Ruby Harris, his son. "There were no cars, just horse-and-buggies, if you can imagine that. He remembered the ice man's name, Tony, who would bring large blocks of ice up to the ice box. Also, this is before radio and records, when people basically entertained themselves, or they went to see Vaudeville shows. His father Dan, who worked for more than half a century at the New York Times in Manhattan in the linotype and production departments, took him to see the first film talky, "The Jazz Singer" starring Al Jolson."

After skipping 2 grades in elementary school, Mr. Harris enrolled at the practically brand new Brooklyn College, from which he graduated in 1939. He then went on to the exclusive Cooper Union in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, where, after his 2 years of studying engineering were interrupted by WW2, he joined the U.S. Navy. He worked in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and then traveled extensively in the war, specializing in ship building and radio engineering and operation.

The post War years brought him to settling back in New York, and choosing the insurance business over manufacturing and sales in the new medium of television. Working in the Wall Street section of Manhattan, he became a pioneer of several insurance products, such as "No fault insurance", and others in a fast developing field. Between his childhood in Brooklyn and the typical summers in the Catskills, the Harris's were friends, school-mates, neighbors and even relatives to many who would become celebrities, such as Buddy Hackett, Allen King, Mel Brooks, Jan Pierce, Arnold Stang, Marlon Brando, Dizzy Gilespie and Morey Amsterdam. "Although there were tough times, especially for my mother" continues his son, "the post-war years were good to my parents. They took full advantage of the ability to experience the great big bands, great Broadway shows, great operas, and so many events, from sports to politics, in New York at a time that we only dream of nowadays."

Marrying Marcy Amsterdam, also from Williamsburg, in 1952, the family moved to Forest Hills, and later, in 1960, to Great Neck, N.Y., the first suburb next to New York City on Long Island's north shore. The Harrises and their 4 children were a fine example of the Kennedy-Camelot era-turned-Beatles/Ed Sullivan-turned Viet Nam protest-turned Woodstock baby boom generation, so catalogued by now on TV, books and films of those pre-computer, pre-disco, and pre-oil embargo times.

When Mr. Harris retired and sold his business around 1982, a new opportunity arose, to be an senior executive consultant at Gwyder Co., an insurance company whose major client was Conde Nast publications, publishers of Vogue Magazine, among others. After several years there, and with the kids moving out on their own, the time came to trade the New York climate for Florida, like much of the old Brooklyn crowd did. Until his mid 80s he could be seen on the Tennis court or at his other hobbies such as the typical Florida fare of swimming, card playing, fishing and a strong involvement in Jewish activities.

Mr. Harris is survived by his wife Marcy, and his children, Lisa, of Summertown, Tennessee, Ruby, of Chicago, Raphael, of Miami and Vicky, of Great Neck, New York, and many grandchildren. Funeral services were held in Del Ray Beach, Florida. Contributions to Torah Scholars in needy circumstances can be made to The Ark, 6450 N. California Ave., Chicago, IL 60645, Attention: The Spiritual Enrichment program in memory of Harold Harris O.B.M.

Don't pick lemons.
See all the new 2007 cars at Yahoo! Autos.