Sunday, July 29, 2007
Food, of course, was delicious. We took a long walk this afternoon.
I can't believe the visit is almost over.
Foul up with the cell phone. T-Mobile has been having problems and I can't put the extra money in the phone. The phone is bad enough that it doesn't receive in or around my parents' house, a few blocks radius.l Now I can't add more money, and the money will only be good for a month, but the 30 minutes left aren't enough. I hope it will work now. It didn't work Thursday and Friday.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
It's true that in the first years after my aliya to Israel Tisha B'Av brought many radio and newspaper discussions as to whether now that we have returned to Jerusalem we really need to continue mourning.
How naïve! But those were heady days when more than a few Israelis, both 'religious' and not yet 'religious', thought we had solved all our problems. How could we imagine that our soldiers would be busy throwing Jews out of their homes on Tisha B'Av in 5765 (2005)?
Last year on Tisha B'Av I found myself standing at the funeral of Mark Levin a young immigrant soldier from Philadelphia. I didn't know him personally but the story was familiar. A child grows up in a warm Jewish community dedicated to instilling its children with a strong Jewish identity. He has a bar-mitzva, goes to Camp Rama, learns Hebrew and finds himself midway through high school taking religion and Zionism more and more seriously. He takes it so seriously that he forgoes college for a study program in Israel after which he joins the army.
This year my community here in Rehovot screened a film called "A Hero in Heaven". The film was made by an American and traced the man's life and development of his commitment to Judaism and Zionism. It is a story told by the people who knew him, parents, sisters, congregational Rabbi, teachers and army friends and commanders.
Our community is made up mostly of recent and not so recent immigrants mostly from English speaking countries with a smattering of native Israelis. The movie was forty minutes long and I cried from beginning to end. Every one of us did.
May we all see God's redeeming mercy on his people rebuild the temple in our days. Amen
Monday, July 23, 2007
Yes, they have all sorts of material stuff, but there are things they don't have. Those things can't be bought. They're of another age and world. Most kids have no idea of what they're missing.
When I was growing up, in the middle of the previous century, in upwardly mobile, lower middle class, struggling for some, Bell Park Gardens, we had something money can't buy. It's better than a fancy laptop or a large flat tv screen.
Even when I was a very little girl, not yet in school, I could play outside with my friends and walk to a friend's house without an escort. Before my age was double-digits, I could take a public bus. When I was much too young for a drivers licence, I could ride my bike miles. My friend Louise, who lived in "Old Bayside," when I lived in Great Neck, met at a halfway point. The bicycle path along the highway to the Throgs Neck Bridge. We rode our bikes to "the end." Then we bought ice cream and sat outside eating it. Then we got back on our bikes and rode home.
In my day we didn't need a grownup with us every minute outside. We played in the big lot, at that time undeveloped, across from PS 46. We had the freedom to be independent and creative. TV was black and white. In our minds, we saw color. Life wasn't dull, not at all.
I tried to give my kids that sort of life. It's getting harder and harder. Funny, I had to go very far to do it, to Israel, to a yishuv, to Shiloh.
With all my traveling and being away from computers I'm not posting as much, nor looking at blogs.
I hope you miss me; I miss you!
Today was a family reunion brunch at a cousin's daughter's and then dinner at my husband's aunt and uncle's and now I'm at their daughter's, my husband's cousin in NJ.
It's nice to see so much family.
ps Why do I have to do word verification to post on my own blogs? And why do they keep rejecting my attempts to duplicate the gibberish?
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Some people rationalize that when medication has the illness "under control," it's the same as "cured." That's a very dangerous mistake. There is no "cure," but it's possible to live perfectly ordinary lives when under proper care. There's a genetic factor which must be taken into consideration, too.
And what kind of relationship can be based on a lie?
Soon I'll be back at my parents' house, and tomorrow a family get-together at a cousin's daughter's place.
I've noticed that all the supermarkets seem to have organic milk, besides the regular and lactaid. I wonder what's not in the organic milk. I was told that organic grapes still have sulphur and I'm trying to avoid sulphur since I'm allergic to it. I wish I could get non-homogenized milk, since the homogenization process isn't good. The milk fat sticks to the blood vessels "better," which is worse for our health.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
I wish I had stock in LIRR, since I've spent so much on tickets during the few days, so far, I'm in NY.
As I wrote previously, we had a great dinner at Estihanna on West 79th Street.
I also had coffee, twice and some nosh at Jerusalem 2 on Broadway and 37th. Today I had bagel and cream cheese at some kosher pizza/dairy place on west 38th, west of Ben's. In Great Neck we had a family dinner with my parents, sister and niece at Shish Kabob, our regular place. Since it's the 9 days, I had a fish, and what a fish there. It was great.
Now I'm at my sister-in-law's for Shabbat in Young Israel of Scarsdale. She cooks better than at all the restaurants!
Now that I've deleted 400 letters from my yahoo account and posted on both blogs and asked blogger to de-spam my teaching blog...
I guess it's time to be a good guest.
ps since when do I have to do word verification in order to post on my own blog?
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
I'm in the Great Neck Public Library right now, 46 minutes to go and I'm a Cinderella, back to being sans internet.
I also still don't have a cellphone number, since the one I was using, sorrry, supposed to use isn't activated.
My sister an niece are with me; they'll be back to AZ tomorrow.
I've hear rumours that Bush wants to destroy Israel, though he doesn't quite say it, I haven't heard news since I left my house.
The flight was crowded, an old El Al plane. Two toilets were taped shut, out of order. Crew and service OK, food, too. I had so much trouble getting into my seat, had to plop "rear first."
Took a 4pm flight out, long day, but actually, first time ever no jet lag!!! I went to bed after midnight, which was mid-morn Israel time. I had napped a bit on the plane, then walked miles in JFK. I took one of those "sleep hormones," mela-something both nights and slept a normal amount for me.
Yesterday, I went to the city in the afternoon with my niece and met up with 2 of my kids and my sister for dinner. We walked from Penn Station to the upper west side via 5th avenue and central park. The American Doll store/hospital has fine public toilets, 5th and high 50's before the disney store. I estimate 3 miles of walking at least, then we took the subway down and walked from the LIRR station to my parents via Hagen Daz, mint chip and mocha coffee for me.
Dinner was at something called ESTIHANNAH, a kosher sushi place on 79th near Amsterdam, delicious food. I had braised tuna, and everyone else had sushi. We also had eggrolls and some noodles in peanut sauce. I recommend the place!
That's it for now!
Monday, July 16, 2007
I don't know when I'll be on again.
I changed my yahoo account, so that any mail yahoo thinks "junk/spam" will automatically be deleted, including my own. So I can't rescue them. That means that some legitimate mail will disappear, and I won't see it. So if I don't reply, even after a week, your mail may have had been mislabeled by yahoo.
About the Kosher Cooking Carnival, A Mother in Israel should be posting today, before she travels. Next month's host is Juggling Frogs. Send your links via blog carnival.
One of the neighbors, who does fund-raising, decided to make a clubhouse for the girls of the yishuv. The sturdier of the two buildings, a prefabricated structure of metal and ? is to be renovated, and apparently they are planning a nice garden, yard.
I have some nice memories of that old kitchen. When we got the building, it was already old. Previously it was a home. One summer, during the short vacation, I was given a budget to hire some talented olim chadashim, new immigrants from the former USSR, to fix it up. Besides basic repairs, we covered the surfaces with contac paper. It really was nice.
Now it's gone; memories remain. And soon there will be something very nice in the neighborhood.
Luckily, my grandchildren are being raised differently. Their house has a nice garden, and they love caring for it, especially watering.
One of the flowers growing now always reminds me of my childhood. When I get a whiff of the scent, I'm transported back to Jones Beach, where they grew and competed with the smell of the sea.
That's how I'd joke with the guy who owns/runs the company.
Recently, a call/request was sent out here in Shiloh, a "Hachnasat Kallah" fundraising drive. That's when people are requested to contribute to a wedding and setting up a young couple for married life.
Suddenly, a "brainstorm!" Since the money I get for letting my blogs host these ads isn't really "earned," not like the salary I get for trying to teach my students English, I ought to use it for "Tzedaka," charity. I called the mother of the bride and told her that I have a couple of small checks for her and explained the source.
She's very grateful and sent this note:
I reiterate my heartfelt appreciation for the "envelope" you passed along to us. I'm trying not to become frantic (financially and otherwise) over making a wedding for my daughter. As you can imagine, every bit helps!
So, thank you again to our benevolent friends.
Remember when you click the ads, and hopefully support the advertisers, you're really giving "Tzedaka," since the clicks are used to calculate how much money I can give the bride a groom to help set up their "Bayit ne'eman b'Yisrael," their G-d fearing home in Israel.
May you be awarded with more mitzvot, good deeds.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
packing done, pretty much
just lots of laundry to fold and sort
though it's after my bedtime
and tomorrow will be long
sorry I haven't been blog visiting
I'll post on occasion, and asked a couple of guests
just don't forget met if it gets too quiet here
Shavua Tov and Chodesh Tov
and May G-d willing
Tisha B'Av, the 9th of Av be a joyous holiday
B'mhaira B'yamainu-- Speedily in Our Days
Before leaving Israel --24 hours to take-off-- it's important to remember.
Who ever said that there aren't any tall trees in Israel? This one is in Shiloh, not far from my house!
There's a park of fig trees near the entrance of Ofra.
And here's a pear tree in Ofra.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
So I won't be posting so much. Just keep checking in if you can. Now I have to clean up from Shabbat. My daughter and family were here. Tomorrow's laundry and packing day and then I hope to go to Kever Rachel.
Yes, I'll post more before I leave, G-d willing.
Friday, July 13, 2007
UP CLOSE AND EDIBLE
A weekly look at the nutritional value, or lack thereof, of some of our favorite foods.
Pomegranates Sweet Potatoes Apples BBQ Tuna Ginger Eggs Apple Cider Vinegar Blueberries Soybeans Olive Oil Licorice Peanut Butter Green Tea Garlic Yogurt Chocolate Walnuts Avocados
Shabbat Shalom U'Mevorach!
Thursday, July 12, 2007
They were hosting a "Birthday Party" for their aunt and uncle, and my daughter, their mother, warned me that she hadn't bought anything.
So, before leaving the house, I pulled a homemade, wholewheat cake out of the freezer, took an open date spread--bought for a previous birthday--out of the fridge and grabbed the two containers of "sprinkles," the silver and the colored.
Then I went to the party. I kept hoping the cake would thaw in time. And before the party began, I took out the goodies, spread the date stuff on the cake and gave each granddaughter some sprinkles to sprinkle.
It was fine, and nobody complained that I didn't bring candles!
My husband only eats dinner at home, and the "nest is empty." Now that I've stopped being vegetarian, I also need food for dinner, so I cook a lot on Thursday.
Planning the quantity for cooking this week is harder. I'm cooking less, but we have my daughter plus family coming and a guest for one of the meals, so I do need "food." Add to the planning complications, the fact that I'm returning from New York on a Friday morning, so cooking for that Shabbat won't be easy. Yes, there are things in the freezer, and I'll freeze what's left-over from this Shabbat.
We just have the fridge freezer, and it should be enough.
Cooked poultry and beef freeze well and are good if they're reheated in a new sauce or vegetables.
I wish conquering jet lag was so easy.
I'll keep you updated.
I can't believe that I'm going to NY in less than a week. So much is happening right now.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
I'm not going to day 2 of ETAI.
There's too much, gevalt--like a year's worth, of things to do here before next week's trip to New York.
One of the things is to find my new suitcase. Last seen, my husband unpacked from his trip last fall.
The house is a mess, to put it mildly.
Have to get the house ready for Shabbat, since married daughter plus coming for Shabbat.
Lots of laundry etc.
Oy, well, at least no traveling planned for today.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
This summer's vacation is very busy.
Today, after the pool of course, I went to Jerusalem for the ETAI, English Teacher's convention. This year I decided that one day is enough for me, especially since I have a lot to do before going to NY next week.
Afterwards I went downtown for some errands and saw this adorable little girl picking flowers, so I took her picture.
Then I went to the bus station and couldn't resist photographing "late Mincha."
Now for supper, though very late.
First things first, click here, and you can see my son as soldier. It's real, in a war, not a kid playing.
Second, the latest Carnival of Family Life.
And yes, being the mother of soldiers is part of my family life.
Have a nice day!
Monday, July 09, 2007
This time, instead of a couple of young women at the desk, there was an older woman, older than me probably. From what I was able to get from the conversations going around, she's possibly of the "owners."
I told her, nicely, about my problem with the new set up.
"No problem; I'll bring you a chair."
"But with a chair, I won't be able to reach it."
"Don't worry. I'll bring a high stool."
And she did! Thank you Photo Nissim!
I had an hour to wait until the pictures were printed. Downtown Jerusalem is a great place if you have an hour. That's where I saw these Japanese dancers!
I wonder if I have to smoke like him to be considered a "real photographer."
Nothing like Jerusalem!
A complete healing, G-d willing
But what I'd really like to see would be if those "mainstream media jblogs," like this one or this one, hosting it. That would give us the sort of exposure we would-be journalists really deserve, no? nu?
In the meantime, enjoy #124! Don't forget to comment/compliment him afterwards and tell him that:
You were sent by the muse!
Sunday, July 08, 2007
My first experience, as a mother, with the illness was a toughie. We were on shlichut, doing youth work for the Jewish Agency, in England. It was Erev Pesach, the morning before the Passover Seder, and...
yes, you guessed it. Chicken Pox on our older daughter. I was in the 9th month with our third and I really was looking forward to being a guest for both nights.
Surprise, I had to do it all at home, just us, the young family. My husband did a quick shopping, and we survived.
Then... about 3 weeks later, or whenever the last possible time... you guessed it again? Whatever the last possible day the second daughter, then just a month over 3, could have the chicken pox, she did. But it wasn't that simple. Is it ever?
When #1 got sick, I became super-anxious that #2 would get sick with it after I gave birth. Apparently I was hysterical enough for my blood pressure to rise. Everyone was healthy when I went for a check-up, 10th month already. They told me I needed to be hospitalized for the blood pressure. "Come in tomorrow morning."
Yes, guessed it didn't you? That morning my #2 was spotted. Now her #2 is spotted, but she has a few months to go, G-d willing.
I wasn't around to take care of her then. So today, I took care of my granddaughter.
Seems like Porat has the chicken pox.
I'll have to keep the young lady well-entertained and clean. She's a two year old dynamo!
Saturday, July 07, 2007
There's a problem. I can't use all those fancy things. I bought the wire/connector to plug it into the computer, but it didn't come with the needed program. At the store they didn't have the program, so I exchanged the wire for a "blue tooth" program and plug. But my computer said that the disk/program may be bad for the computer, so I canceled uploading it.
I can't take the pictures off the camera and I can't use the memory thing.
Why didn't I just get a cheap simple phone?
Friday, July 06, 2007
Thursday, July 05, 2007
In addition, I was able to call my kids in the states
Actually, I no longer enjoy fireworks, ever since an Israeli we met in France, summer of 1976, when we took British Betar for a "summer camp" there said that it reminded him tanks exploding. He was working in the place doing maintenance while studying mime in the Marcel Marceau school. I think his name was Eli Levi. About 25 years later my baby did his IDF Army service in the tank corps. He should live and be well; so I can do without fireworks.
But back to the 4th of July...
Here in Israel, Tzvi Fishman, a former Shiloh neighbor blogged about his 4th of July feelings. The comments are a riot. All you have to do is same something "almost negative" about the US, and people go ballistic. I wish they cared so much about Jews, Judaism and Israel.
My husband went to the Independence Day Reception at the US Consulate in Jerusalem. I didn't go. I don't go when it's during the Three Weeks. I'm not considered anything more than "the wife," so I can't say I'm doing anything crucial in the diplomatic or "hasbara" fields.
It was just another summers day.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
According to Jewish Law, a married, even no longer married due to divorce or widowhood, woman is supposed to cover her hair when in public. What constitutes "public?" Some say "all places including home," and others say "only when leaving home." I'm not going to give the halachik citations. I'm not a rabbi just a woman who has been married 37 years.
I wrote about my general approach and personal history in HIDE and SEEK: Jewish Women and Hair Covering.
When I got married there weren't many options and the hair-covering culture was pretty marginal. Today, at least in the more traditional Jewish communities, it has never been easier.
For those who wear wigs, which I don't, they are more comfortable and natural than ever before.
Some women attempted to cover "all their hair," while others had a hat perched on a "proper" haircut. I had long hair, tied and pinned up to be hidden. It was no problem to cut it myself, since nobody could see how uneven it was.
The standard, non-wig, hair-covering in 1970 was a "tichel," a square of fabric folding "almost" in half on the diagonal with a piece of foam sewn in to give it "body." These were supplemented with all sorts of "little hats" when we were lucky enough to find them.
As time went on berets, worn like shower caps with all hair underneath, and lots of large scarves wound around like exotic turbans became fashionable. And they're still popular. A few years ago, as men's kippot became larger and more creative, women with very short hair began adopting them , too.
When I ran out of wall-space for my needlepoints, and I needed something I could do on a plane sans scissors, I began to crochet hats. Since then, I've cut my hair and have created a wardrobe of hand-made hats. They are the most comfortable of all the kinds of hair-coverings I've ever worn. The problem is that they don't provide sun protection.
For sun protection, I've tried wearing various shades and hats on the hats, and then I take them off when indoors. Recently, a neighbor asked me what I do, since her dermatologist demanded that she take precautions. I told her and then saw her in town and showed her my new enormous cotton hat. We were less than a minute from the store where I bought it.
"Really? I wouldn't dare walk around with something like that!"
OK, her decision.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
It's too dry to fast.
I'm glad I got a "swim" in last night, since there's no swimming today, pool's closed.
OK, just over an hour to go.
My neighbor picked me and another neighbor up to take us to the weekly T'hilim, Psalm-reading.
It was good to see a couple of friends and hear that a local girl got engaged.
Now to the kitchen to make the post-fast meal.
Monday, July 02, 2007
Yesterday, after a busy day in Jerusalem, of which I blogged only a fraction of my adventures, I realized that I had just missed the 5:30 bus and was not going to wait for the 6:30.
Something in me said:
And I rushed to the #6 bus stop and caught a bus to the "trempiada"/bus stop to get home. It was crowded, and I made my way as far to the back of the double-bus as I could. Suddenly a young woman offered me her seat. I thankfully took it. Yes, I look old enough to get seats, and I'm happy about it, since standing is not good for me.
The minute I got off the bus I saw a neighbor's car, but it was full. As I approached a young man got out, and I was told to get in. The neighbors had explained that travellers to Shiloh got priority, not those getting off earlier.
They took me straight home, right to my door.
Baruch Hashem, Thank G-d
Sunday, July 01, 2007
I don't believe in being shy about complaints. Things certainly won't improve if I keep my opinions to myself.
Today, after lunch with Marallyn, I went to Photo Nissim to print a bunch of pictures, part of the post-60 birthday (not mine) and the preparations for my trip to New York. The last time I was there I bought a very money-saving card for printing pictures. Of course it's an investment, but the price per picture is about half the regular charge. I had no complaints about their service. I'd sit in the corner and work on their computer. No problem.
When I went in today, I noticed a new piece of furniture, shoulder high, with a computer screen on top, which sort of closed off the computer. I was very surprised when they showed me that I was supposed to work from that screen standing up! I complained. I just can't stand still like that. I always come with a couple of disks and lots of pictures to check out.
Anyone a couple of inches, a few centimeters shorter than me, wouldn't be able to do it at all.
The young girls working there didn't quite know how to react when I told them that they must report to their bosses, that:
"It's cruel and bad business. As soon as my discount card is finished, I'll find another place to print my pictures. And I'll be publicizing it, too."So I'm looking for a photo place where I can sit when I'm going through the cd's, where there are good prices, too, of course. In Jerusalem, please.
Then for hundreds of years it "rested" in Shiloh, where I live. "Rested" doesn't mean idle. It means wasn't schlepped. Temple-like sacrifices took place there, and the Kohanim and Leviim reigned. That's my connection, since neither my husband nor I come from Priestly stock.
So, if you want to know more about the Holy Temple work of the Kohen and Levi, you ought to check out the Cohen-Levi Conference, which will be taking place in Jerusalem, from Rosh Chodesh Av, July 15-19, 2007.
It won't cost you anything. The program is amazing.
No "forked tongue" here, when I tell you that it's really easy to make. Yes that's the truth!
A couple of months ago, my husband bought a frozen tongue at our local grocer. Then he printed off a few recipes from the internet to nudge me on. I read them plus the recipes in my old cookbooks and bravely let the tongue thaw.
At that point, I didn't know if we'd be having Shabbat guests, and since the tongue wasn't all that big, I also thawed ground chicken, so I could cook "meatballs with the tongue."
- The tongue went into the pot, plus water, peppercorns, garlic, onion, bay leaves and mustard seeds. I think that I also added some coarse salt, which is the only salt I use at all. Table salt generally has all sorts of additives, which I can taste.
- After over an hour of cooking, and the instructions suggested two, the water was almost gone, so I added some red wine, which had been relegated to the fridge for cooking.
- When the two hours were up I turned it off and left the house. The food had to cool before the next step.
- This is the hardest thing: Take off the tongue's skin. I'm proud to say that I succeeded, with the help of a sharp knife here and there and didn't lose any skin of my own.
- Slice the tongue to make it easier to serve.
- At that point, after a long day I was exhausted and left it all in the fridge, so I could sleep.
- The next morning I added some crushed tomatoes, heated it up and made the "meatballs,"
- which I dropped into the recooking tongue.
- This resulted in a very tasty dish, lots easier to make than I ever would have expected.
So, as you can see, it's really easy to make tongue. Enjoy!