Friday, August 31, 2007
Just one thing left to cook, besides boiling the water.
I started marking papers for work, the worksheets I made up and sent email, when I was sick last week. I have too many students; they didn't get a substitute for the teacher on maternity leave.
But Baruch Hashem, Shabbat is approaching. How do people survive without it?
Does that sound strange?
A friend called in a panic. She may have "surprise guests" for the Holiday, and she doesn't know how she'll fit them into her home and have all the linens and towels properly laundered before and after.
If we're looking for an "SDT," short Dvar Torah, or Torah lesson, I guess we can see it as symbolic of Judaism, which integrates the Kodesh and Chol, Holy and "Profane," (ordinary daily grind.)
Judaism is more than an internal religion of the heart, mind and feelings. It also demands actions, including eating. There's a ritual to our meals, with blessings before and after.
Shabbat Shalom and Shannah Tovah
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Now we have two fans, one ceiling and one on a pole. I also have shades on all the windows to keep the sun out, and it's hot, terribly hot. We're debating investing in one of those air conditioner/heaters. It seems like "everybody" is getting them, if they haven't gotten them already.
In the shade it's fine. Doesn't the dog look happy?
Outdoors there's a breeze in some places.
Kids don't seem to care. I didn't either when I was young. I remember riding my bicycle around in weather that was in the high 90's both temperature (Fahrenheit) and humidity.
Traveling was miraculous, Baruch Hashem, thank G-d. I kept my cool when I realized that I had missed the bus, which came "on time," instead of late; I was less than a minute's run when I saw it leaving the bus stop. Good thing I didn't panic. I caught a ride a few minutes later. It dropped me off at the "t junction" to Beit El, where I had to wait for a ride or bus to Beit El. A large vehicle with a "foreign press" sign was sitting there. As I walked by, I noticed them taking my picture. What will the caption be?
"Middle-aged woman with bag on wheels hitchhikes to Beit El."
A few minutes later, a van stopped and offered me a ride to Beit El. The driver was nice and took me all the way to the yeshiva where I teach. That saved me walking in the hot sun.
After my last lesson, I changed "uniforms" and got dressed and made up to go to a wedding.
Yes, it was a beautiful wedding.
The music and dancing were great!
I had my camera strapped to my waist and danced with it on. Periodically, I'd stop and take pictures.
That's the way to celebrate.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
L'havdil, it's like the young non-Jews in Poland studying the history of its Jewish community in university. It's considered a major ethnic group by sociologists and anthropologists there.
The experts in the deli article concentrated on the traif (non kosher) Jewish delis and claimed that kosher ones are rare, except in the more religious neighborhoods. They're wrong.
I came across many kosher delis when in New York, especially mid-town Manhattan. Broadway has a few; I don't have time to get exact names, since I'm in a rush to leave for work. But off-hand, there's Ben's on 37th or 38th. There's the Mendy's chain on 34th and in Grand Central.
There's no need to compromise. You can eat kosher deli, and they do keep up with the times. Many also serve sushi!
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
When I went to Beit El for a staff meeting last week, I saw that the entrance/exit of the yishuv was being fixed up.
Actually, yesterday I was here:
That's the Kupat Cholim Leumit, Leumit Sick Fund clinic in Shaar Binyamin, the "commercial center" just north of Jerusalem, the southern part of our local council. Since Friday, I was suffering from back pain and barely slept at all Sunday night.
One thing I've learned the hard way is that if I'm not at 100% strength, I can't control my students. The first day of class is crucial, especially a long full teaching day. Trying to show the kids "who's boss" when tired and in pain would be setting myself up for failure. That type of failure could influence the entire school year. And even worse, pushing myself when obviously sick with something could make me much sicker.
Besides the teaching, traveling to work is extremely difficult and stressful. There's no direct public transportation, so I end up hitchhiking, or tremping as we call it in Hebrew. Just thinking about it all was getting me nervous. I couldn't take the stress, and I couldn't hide the pain.
I checked with our local clinic, but the doctor would only be in during afternoon hours. Our local nurse suggested that I make an appointment in the Shaar Binyamin Clinic and even offered to take me, since she was taking her kids to the dentist there. Luckily there was an opening at just the right time.
Baruch Hashem, thank G-d, nothing serious is wrong, just a combination of a pulled muscle and stress. He told me to take two days off and relax, not to push myself, and I shouldn't wear all my pouches, pocketbooks on my waist. That means that I must use my "wagons," since the pouches are to protect my neck and shoulders.
If I don't feel better, then I have to come back for more comprehensive tests. Taking off from work is very traumatic for me. I've always dragged myself there no matter how awful I felt.
While waiting for my neighbor, I went into the giant Rami Levi Discount Supermarket and got a couple of things.
I planned, typed and emailed lessons for yesterday and today. G-d willing I'll go to work tomorrow.
I have to learn how not to push too hard. Last night, when it cooled down outside I took a walk. At first I felt better, then I realized that I was "dragging." A neighbor saw me:
"Why are you out? You're limping!"
It's hard to know when to stop.
Last night, woke up every hour or so, but after taking more Rescue and trying out different beds, and advantage of an "empty nest," I fell back to sleep for a bit. Today I rested by the pool, something I never do.
But, Baruch Hashem, I am feeling better.
It's not far from where they're constructing Jerusalem's "light rail." Actually it's probably the spot that has been in the news for waste, incompetent planning etc. No surprise that the people in charge haven't the vaguest idea of how to construct a railway and didn't do all of the feasibility studies to see which equipment and techniques are most suitable to the area.
The shopping area we went to is nice, but it's the street level of the "55 plus independent living complex," which is trying to keep itself secular and Hebrew speaking. There are all sorts of stories about their turning away English-speaking religious Jews.
We had a nice lunch in "Englishcake," a branch of the bakery/coffee shop.
Then we wandered around and looked at the stores.
I couldn't resist photographing this gift shop.
By the Numbers
Excessive noise is not just annoying. New research supports earlier studies and shows just how harmful it really is.
210 Thousands of Europeans killed annually by noise-related cardiovascular stress
4 Hours of daily exposure to workplace noise sufficient to raise heart rates
60 Decibel level, as loud as a dishwasher, that can trigger stress-induced heart problems
2 Months' retardation in a child's reading skills caused by each five-decibel increase in nearby aircraft noise
Monday, August 27, 2007
According to the Jewish Calendar, we're now in the month of Elul, when we're supposed to clean our souls before inspection by the One G-d. We don't use bleach. We clean away our sins by repenting, "Tshuva," it's called in Hebrew. Next month is Tishrei, the month of the Holidays, Rosh Hashannah, Yom Kippur, Sukot and Simchat Torah.
Our souls are supposed to be clean and pure when we pray the special prayers. It's a custom to dress in white to symbolize the clean slate.
Unlike bleach, which weakens the fabric, "Tshuva" strengthens the soul. When we admit our sins to G-d and attempt to avoid them in the future we become stronger.
Have a Good Year
Gmar Chatima Tovah
May G-d Give You the Good Sign for Life
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Actually, the cost of the phones he used to experiment on is much less than the price of an American sleepaway camp.
And since I'm talking jblog carnivals, please remember to send me links to any posts you write or see about kosher food for the Kosher Cooking Carnival. Either mail them to shilohmuse at gmail dot com or via blog carnival.
And last but not least, since we're talking jblog carnivals, don't forget the jpix carnival. Send your picture posts here.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
I'm just not ready to return to work this week. Really, no exaggerations. On Thursday I went in for a short, waste of time, staff meeting.
I've been feeling sick since yesterday. Could it be the stress?
On one hand, I'm ready in that I emailed the opening of the year tests. Of course they're based on the material they were supposed to learn over the summer. The chances that they actually studied the material is pretty much nil. But I'll have to give them the tests, mark them and record the grades.
Hmmmm... that reminds me of something important. I don't have a grade book. The book publisher which had been sending them out didn't this year. And even though I'll be there to teach, What a fool am I..., officially my union is on strike. Usually they send us a big, thick, diary/grade book.
There is so much else to do before I start. I'm also in "negotiations" about my schedule.
I must find a way to enjoy tomorrow, the last day....
Friday, August 24, 2007
It's 7am, and the pool opens at 7:30. The weather is also unbearably hot, so maybe I ought to get off the computer and get myself ready for a "swim."
Yesterday I went to Beit El for a waste of a staff meeting, not the best way to start the school year. The new schedule is horrendous, and I'm fighting with them about consolidating my hours into 3 days. I waste too much time traveling, waiting around for rides, etc. Also they have me teaching both Mondays and Wednesdays, which would make it almost impossible to get to the pool in Neve Yaakov. I need to know which other Jerusalem pools have women's' hours in the morning, Sunday or Thursday. I can't handle crowds. My weekly schedule will have to change drastically. Not good. Too much stress is bad for my health.
This Newsweek article has some good points.
For some reason, I suffered less from jetlag this year than usual. I think that my late night arrival after an indescribably looong day, traveling west to New York, was good. I went to bed at a normal-late time and was so exhausted that I slept. After returning back east to Israel, it also took me less time to get on track. Or am I just getting to a stage in life when I need so much sleep that I just collapse into a deep sleep more easily?
Here are a few things that help me:
- being physically active during the day
- getting up early in the morning, no matter when I went to sleep
- no caffeine from afternoon onwards, best just in the morning
- the same music every night, which will go off automatically
- not panicking if I can't sleep; just get up and either sleep on the couch or have some oatmeal (w/o sugar,) do something boring for awhile and then try again
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Why do I have "work" on my mind? I have a short staff meeting today. Of course, it's at the very worst, I stand corrected--could be much worse, time of the day. I don't know when I'll be able to cook for Shabbat, since I also have to babysit. If I'm lucky, I'll get a ride home when it's over, cook and then go to babysit.
I also need to pay a shiva, condolence call. If I don't get a ride, I'll just phone.
We're getting to the two weeks until the pool closes stage of the summer, and my work schedule this year will make it very difficult to travel to the pool in Jerusalem.
ps Blogger is acting up. I still can't figure out why I have to do word verification twice to post on my own blog. The save when posting doesn't work any more, and when I posted earlier to Shiloh Musings, the posts didn't show.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
You're all invited to sample everything on the menu.
She did a totally magnificent job. Thank you!
Next month, the September issue will be here at me-ander, and Ted from Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen has volunteered to host the October one. I'm really impressed by all of the fantastic kosher food blogs in the great world of the internet. When I started the Kosher Cooking Carnival, it wasn't easy. Look at how it has grown, like yeast dough in a hot kitchen!
Thanks to all of you, really! This carnival is made up primarily of posts submitted by bloggers. Either mail them to shilohmuse at gmail dot com or via blog carnival.
There's more to it than just recipes:
- halachik issues
- restaurant and book reviews
- ANYTHING KOSHER!
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
"The 3:30 never came. I've been waiting."
Second time lucky today, since I almost missed the bus to Jerusalem a good few hours earlier. I was cutting it pretty close, and then before I was really ready to go, I got an important phone call.
We never know exactly when a bus will arrive in Shiloh, since we're in the middle of the Ariel-Jerusalem 148 bus line. Also, it does happen that buses don't arrive at all. There aren't enough bullet-proof buses in good working order, and all of the bus lines in Judea and Samaria have problems. We residents are suffering from unreliable bus service. That's a reason many people "tremp," hitchhike. Most people would really prefer to travel by bus, but when the bus doesn't show, or there's no public transportation between two places, like my situation between my home in Shiloh and my job in Beit El...When I was still a minute's plus run, and I can no longer run, from the stop, I saw the bus pulling up. Miraculously, many people got in, so he was still at the stop when I got there.
But that's not all. Not only bad things go in "three's." When we got back to Shiloh, I was ready to collapse when I looked up the hill, in the direction I had to walk to get to my house. Then my phone rang. My neighbor asked me if I could say some T'hillim, Psalms, as part of the group in her house.
"Should I come to your house? I just got off the bus."
"Great! Your house is closer than mine. Just please have some cold water waiting for me."
So I walked to hers, and after T'hillim, she drove me home.
Baruch Hashem! Thank G-d!
As I hope you know, my blogs aren't to just "toot my own horn." They're an opportunity to give people all over the world the chance to read what the mainstream press isn't prepared to publish.
Shiloh Musings is more political than this blog. Because of the wide range of my interests, I run the blogs separately. You're invited to visit.
Most of the grapes we have growing aren't tasty, even in the best of years. This year I was pleasantly surprised to discover these dark grapes. OK, some are infested or bird-eaten, but the rest are the grapes of my dreams, especially since they're totally organic. I'm allergic to sulphur and sulphur is on the list of "permitted" chemicals for grapes, according to Israeli organic certification. I get terrible itches from lots of fruit, especially dried.
That leaves me restricted to my unadulterated, untreated garden.
The apples aren't the tastiest in the world, but they're totally free of pesticides. This tree has been here for years, but it's not very impressive. I don't think the soil is deep enough, and it doesn't get enough water. There was a time when the tree seemed to be dead, but I gave it CPR, and it looks better than ever. A couple of buckets of water never does any harm.
This is your chance to produce a prize-winning short video, just one to two minutes, about something uniquely Israeli about living in Israel.
Nefesh B'Nefesh wants your "movie!"
First prize will be $3,000 and 2nd prize will be $1,000, (USD.)
That sure buys a lot of felafel!
Video submissions must be received at the Nefesh B'Nefesh office at Beit Ofer, 5 Nachum Hefzadi Street, Jerusalem, 95484, Israel in DVD or mini-DVD tape format by no later than 5:00pm, Monday 08 October, 2007.
For more information, click Uniquely Israeli!
Monday, August 20, 2007
What if I had been dreaming of a TV journalism career? Is it possible?
There is someone doing it, and doing it big, but he once was a mainstream "celebrity." Tom Green has a TV studio set up in his living room and broadcasts almost every night... via the internet.
What's cleaner than carrying a hardboiled egg in its shell?
What's healthier than a chocolate bar?
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Thanks Soccer Dad!
And don't forget that Juggling Frogs will be hosting the next Kosher Cooking Carnival. Last call for your kosher cooking posts; send here, please. Then I'll host the September issue, and Teddy from Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen has volunteered to host October's.
So whenever you post something about kosher cooking, remember to send the links in to us. Thanks!
A couple of years ago, one was put up at the gas station at the junction to Psagot and Kochav Yaakov. It's also near Tel Zion and Migron. This was considered a great innovation, and improvement in the quality of life for people who rarely left Mateh Benyamin, the Benjamin Regional Council, just north of Jerusalem.
It wasn't that long ago when there wasn't even a bank, nor "caspaomat," money machine in all of Pisgat Zeev and Neve Yaakov, the two large northern Jerusalem neighborhoods, closest to us and with a population of an Israeli city.
A few weeks ago, I hear rumors of the arrival of a "caspaomat," money machine in our local grocery store. Last Thursday night, I did the weekly Thursday night shopping, camera in hand, so you could see the latest modern convenience to make it to Shiloh!!
Get your cash HERE!
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Shalom Zocher, in honor of the birth of a first grandchild
A Bar Mitzvah in our shul, plus kiddush
A kiddush in the yeshiva, in honor of the
birth of a daughter to one of the students
In the Chassidishe shul, a kiddush in honor
of the birth of a daughter to one of the members
Sheva Brachot after the wedding of a daughter of a neighbor.
Baruch Hashem, Ken Yirbu,
Thank G-d, May there be many more
Friday, August 17, 2007
I was waiting at what's known as the "city's exit," just past the Central Bus Station. As usual I was early, so as I sat waiting, I just had to take some pictures.
That peculiar bridge, under construction.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Yes, that's from the theme song of The Nanny.
That's how I felt last night.
We were at this exquisite wedding on the coast, and I had never seen the invitation. Everyone, OK, just about everyone was in white, and I wore red, bright red.
Because the family wanted the wedding on Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of the Jewish Month, the ceremony had to start before the sun went down, which meant that I was sure glad to have my camera with me!
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Here's his first post.
Just because it's bottled, doesn't mean it's better than your tap water. Did you know that some of the bottled water is tap water? Of course some tap water is better than others.
But even worse; some of the most attractive bottles are really filled with "purified water." There are two basic problems there:
- What's the source? Was it "waste" water?
- What was taken out in the process of purification?
Read the labels! I noticed that most of the New York restaurants sell purified water. The free tap water is better.
A few years ago we spent a lot of money on a water purification filter system, since a good friend was selling it. It was a waste. We should have just hired him for something we really needed, and he would have made more money than he got from them.
Remember that purified water is the opposite of mineral water! The body needs minerals.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Besides the previous posts listing the kosher restaurants in New York where I ate during my visit, there was another.
Grand Central Station has something that Penn Station hasn't. It's a kosher "eating place," more than grabbing some Hagan Daz, which I did of course.
In the "Food Concourse," I think that's the name, you'll find a "Mendy's." Well, actually two of them, side by side. There's a branch of their deli, selling meat sandwiches and other things. Next to it is a dairy place with cheese sandwiches, salads and coffee. I had their coffee when I was with my sister-in-law.
Then we took the Madison Avenue Bus uptown to the Jewish Museum. The main exhibit was Louise Nevelson: Constructing a Legend.
Things have changed in Machane Yehuda.
Not only do they sell fish for cooking, but there's plenty of things for your pets.
Besides fresh vegetable, there are other types of plants.
There are clothes for all tastes and all budgets.
If you want some exotic lights, you'll find that, too.
Next time, I'll have to photograph the restaurant; there's plenty more than felafel!