Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Take This Personally, Have a Great Year!

The new Jewish Year, 5772, starts tonight.  Maybe this year, I'll learn to remember what year it is.  Ever since I began celebrating Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of the Jewish Month at Tel Shiloh praying with other women, I've always known what Jewish Month we're in.  And sometimes I've even known the date, or close to it.  Since the months are lunar, you can get a good idea by looking at the moon.  If you see a totally full moon, then it must be the 15th of the month.  A half moon is either the 7th or the 21st, and a sliver is either the beginning or the end.

Now, if bli neder (please don't take this as an oath) I try to remember to write the Jewish year, I guess that this is a good one to start with, 5772.  That's because it has two 7's in the middle, surrounded by 5 + 2 = 7.  OK, let's see if I can begin to learn it.  The harder version is the real one, in Hebrew  תשע"ב. But now that I've written about it, maybe it'll somehow stick in my mind.

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a year of blessings.  G-d should bless you with the ability to be truly rich.  And what's a rich man according to Chazal, our sages?  A rich man is שמח בחלקו same'ach b'chelko, happy with his portion.  We must learn to see the blessings, the humor and the goodness in all, including our greatest challenges, especially the things we can't change, have no control over.

שנה טובה
Shannah Tovah
A Good Year
גמר חתימה טובה
G'mar Chatimah Tovah
Idiomatically: May you be inscribed (in the Book of Life) for Good

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Jewish Blog World, As The Year Ends

First of all, neither facebook, nor twitter, nor sms-ing have killed the blogs.  Some people now (are you one of them?) read and write posts on tiny, hand-held devices that are also telephones and cameras, unlike yours truly who's sitting here at the moment on a large comfy office chair, typing on a keyboard, which is wired to a big black box which also controls a fat screen and a scanner/printer.

And we jbloggers (Jewish bloggers) are still a hearty and varied community.  We get together weekly in the floating blog carnival Havel Havelim, monthly (according to the Jewish Calendar) at the Kosher Cooking Carnival and a few times a year at JPIX.

Please visit and share them (embedded are the links to the latest editions of all three,) and of course check out the various links.  And why not take the plunge and host one or two or more?  It's really not that hard.  I've done them all. 
  • For HH contact Jack
  • For KCC contact me
  • For JPIX contact Leora
All jbloggers are welcome to be included in the jblog carnivals by submitting your own links:
Wishing you all a wonderful, healthy, safe and full of smachot, joyous events year!

Shannah Tovah
Gmar Chatimah Tovah

Monday, September 26, 2011

Ongoing Succah Saga

Hadassa made a close-ish guess about the picture here.

We have a wooden succah frame, and it has been falling apart year after year.  I shouldn't complain, since most of the wood was originally put up twenty-five years ago.  But the past few years it has been dangerous to try to hang the succah walls.  Hinges have fallen off with the rotting wood.  Posts fell off, too.

For the past couple of years we've spoken to someone about repairs, but we never closed the deal.  This year was supposed to be the year, but the price is out of our league.

Finally one of our sons and our son-in-law decided to do it together, and pretty soon, G-d willing, I'll be able to show you the new succah frame.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

KCC, Out of The Box!

The pre-Holiday Kosher Cooking Carnival is Out of the Box!  Take a look, visit the links and share far and wide.  There's a wide variety of posts from veteran and new bloggers and participants.  You're bound to find some great ideas for the holidays and everyday cooking.

Next month's KCC will be at  This American Bite.  To submit a link click here.  And if you'd like to host an edition, please contact me.

Private Lives, Can You Keep A Secret?

It used to be that if you saw someone walking around talking animatedly to her/himself, you'd think the person daft.  Now, if you look carefully, most have something sticking out of the ear or hanging on it connected to wires, like an escaped  marionette.  Yes, they're revealing all of their side of the conversation.  We can use our imaginations to guess or create what is being said on the other side.

It used to be that when talking on the phone, you'd pull the cord as long as it would go and lock yourself in the toilet or a closet so nobody could hear what you were saying.  Now, even at a wedding or other group event, more than half the people sitting at the table are talking or texting into their private cellphones ignoring everyone around.

Sorry, but I'm not blaming facebook for our lack of privacy.

Nobody is forcing you to sign up with facebook.  Even if you feel that you're forced to sign up with facebook you can use it for just minimal stuff.  You don't have to post pictures.  You can delete tags whenever someone tags you.  You can refuse to friend people and just allow messages to go to your email account.  You can cancel groups and pages people sign you up on.  It doesn't matter how many times facebook tells me I must give them my cell phone number for "security," I don't see how givng them something so private makes things more secure.  I also refuse to recruit friends by giving facebook my email information.

I'm not hiding who I am nor where I am.  I'm a very active blogger and joined facebook to promote my blogs.  For me, facebook is a cross between blogging and email.  It's not my homepage either.

Like most people in the modern world, I'm easy to trace.  Most land phones are listed in the phonebook, and most phonebooks are available on the internet.  That's life today.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Rain Already?

It's starting to the time of the year when I check the weather reports. It rained last night.  Now, I'm wondering what's expected the rest of the week.  Forecast is that it should warm up a bit the next couple of days.  Considering the drought we've had the past few years, bli neder, I'm not going to complain about rain.

What's "bli neder?"  It means that I'm not promising; it's not an oath.  I'll just do my best.

We really have to be careful about our words.  Words have so much power. 
I'll never forget that when we went to the states for a visit when the oldest was four.  Her birthday is in July, and she had a party in gan nursery school before left.  The relatives in New York wanted to make her a party, but I told them that she understood that she'd be five at her next birthday.  That's what she had been focusing on. 
"Next year I'll be five."
For little kids, time is vague.  A month can be a year.  So I didn't want to confuse her.  She didn't have a "party," but the kids (then there were just two) got lots of presents every time people came to see them.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Oops! Watch Where You Sit!

I almost got caught at the Jerusalem Bus Station.

No, I wasn't doing anything illegal or dangerous.

All I did was to gratefully sit down after walking all the way from the Israel Museum.  And that was after walking to there from Palmach Street, which was after walking from the Mamilla Mall to Pardess in Talpiyot.

Then my bus came, and I stood up, or at least I tried to.  I was caught!

Some of the metal benches at the bus station are breaking, leaving sharp metal edges.  Miraculously, my skirt wasn't ripped.  I would have sued.  It's new and irreplaceable.  I bought it a few months ago at the Designer Outlet Store in Talpiyot for a fantastically low price, because I bought two other things from the same rack.  It's a fantastic store.  You never know what you'll find.  The prices are great!

Beware of benches with sharp teeth!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jerusalem, Hidden Paths Plus

The other day I decided to visit the Israel Museum after taking some classes at Pardess.  I couldn't find a ride to the Museum, but one of my friends offered to drive me part way and then gave me instructions how to walk via all sorts of paths, lanes and even a couple of streets.

Not too long ago, I would have written down all of her instructions, but I decided to stretch my memory (working in Yafiz, a large clothing store has been exercising memory skills) and try to memorize the basic direction.  I repeated what she said a couple of times and began walking.  Jerusalem still has all of these paths connecting streets from the days when almost nobody had a car.  I had been dropped off on Palmach Street, an area I don't know at all, but I found the route easy to follow and walk. 

There's an adorable neighborhood garden on the way:

Later on, after crossing Herzog, I found myself in Emek HaMatzlevah,  Valley of the Cross for the very first time.  There I called my daughter for further instructions.  It's a good thing, since the sign saying "Museums this way" wasn't the way she recommended. 

I followed the road to the bus station and then turned left after the monastary.  I was amazed at how quickly I arrived.  The newly expanded and improved Israel Museum is great.

I saw some of the new exhibitions, such as Ancient Glass.  Considering how fragile glass is, it's ironic that the pieces, some appear complete and undamaged, are thousands of years old. 

I also watched the Clock Movie.  My daughter took me in to see it after I entered the museum and then I returned to see more.  It's addictive.  It's a twenty-four hour movie that's made up of short snips of lots of movies.  Each little scene concerns time and shows clocks and watches, and the scenes connect.  For instance if someone is rushing out a door, the next scene will have someone rushing in.  It's totally amazing.  Part of the fun is recognizing movies and scenes.  Just to warn you, although the vast majority of what I saw is totally child-appropriate, there was one pornographic scene that lasted almost a minute.

After my museum visit I walked to the Central Bus Station.  On my way I was surprised to see that the new government office complex is the site for prewedding photos.

Yes, a great day and lots of exercise.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Does Anyone Know The Details?

Maybe I'm just too old-fashioned  I expect a certain level of competence, professionalism.  This morning when I was skimming the homepage of Arutz 7 I saw an article about a new separate sex beach at the Dead Sea.  It looked interesting, a nice place to vacation, so I read the article.  I was in shock.  There was absolutely no clue to anyone how to get to this beach, not even the beach's name.  The Dead Sea is a big place.  There's no main entrance booth or phone number to call if you have a question.  If the article had been submitted as a composition to me as an English Teacher, the grade would be very low.

I sent off this comment, but I'm sure I'll never get a reply:
Does this beach have a name? Can it be reached by bus? How much does it cost to enter? Is there a kiosk, restaurant etc? What facilities are available at what price?
I guess there's no general editor.

Well, does anyone know anything about the beach?  I'm just curious.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I'm Not A Nudge, I Hope

Just a quick reminder that the Tishrei (late September) Kosher Cooking Carnival is coming real soon at Cooking Outside the Box.  And I've lined up a new kosher food blogger for Cheshvan, the end of October, This American Bite.  Please send in your links, hot off the griddle, as soon as posted via blog carnival.

And if you'd like to host one, please let me know, thanks.

PS Has anyone been having trouble with facebook?  The other day I had trouble with the google/gmail/blogger empire.

After a Week, Growing!

Last week, I blogged about the squash (does anyone know what kind exactly?) my husband and I replanted from a too small planter to the good earth.  Just over a week later, Baruch Hashem, it's growing nicely as you can see.

For some people, this wouldn't be very news worthy, but for us it's major.  There are very few successes in our garden, certainly nothing like this.  OK, flowers don't mean that we'll really have something to harvest, but we can hope, pray and continue to water the vegetable plant.

What vegetable exactly?  Good question.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hard to Believe, Havel Havelim has Reached #330!

Thanks to Susan B of Kissing a Mezuzah for this well-presented Havel Havelim.  I used to host them in the days of Soccer Dad, when they were in the double digits.  That was a very long time ago.  You can do the math, considering that there are about fifty a year.  I'm really grateful to bloggers like Susan who host it so frequently.

So, I hope this makes you curious enough to take a look, share it around and visit the various blogs included.

Have a great week!

What was all the panic about?

This morning I kept getting all these warnings from Microsoft SmartScreen® Filter that there was some evil in and it wouldn't approve my signing into blogger or gmail or google. First I had been on the pc in the den, so I tried the too heavy to schlepp around laptop on the diningroom table, and I got the same message.

I wasted time and did some other "morning things," and then I finally tried again, and as you can see, business as usual.  Was it just my house?

I'm curious.  Could there be a cyber-war between google and microsft?  I don't want to be shot in the crossfire.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Graffiti in Shiloh

There certainly is a lot of art talent in Shiloh, so I shouldn't have been surprised that one or more of our local artists could no longer resist the meters and meters of "blank canvases" in the neighborhood.  This is only the beginning, no doubt.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Getting Ready for Rosh Hashannah?

  • Have you planned your menu?
  • Do you have enough nice (new) clothes for the three day weekend?
  • (where required) Have you bought tickets so you have a seat in shul?
  • Have you invited guests yet?
  • Have you started shopping, cooking etc?
Is this all you have to worry about before the High Holidays?

Christian Non-Jewish America has this maybe once or twice a year, Thanksgiving plus any of their own holidays.  For a year like this one the food planning is almost like six Thanksgiving meals in three days. That's because Rosh HaShannah will be on Thursday and Friday immediately followed by Shabbat.  So a Torah observant Jew can easily get bogged down in all these preparations.

I hate all the obsessive planning, cooking, shopping etc.  I'm usually very late in trying to invite people, so we end up with too many solitary meals; though there have been years when we're invited out for many.

Our Shiloh synagogue doesn't "sell seat tickets."  As members, we have our assigned seats for the entire year.  That's where I sit every Shabbat, or almost every one.  Since mine is in the front row, I move back when there's a special event like a Bar Mitzvah.  That way the celebrating family can see what's happening down there.

Except for the first night (some people also do it on the second night) of Rosh Hashannah, when you have all of the ritual Yehi Ratzon... May it be...,* the meals I make aren't very different from a regular Shabbat.  I also serve two fish meals, since there's a limit to the amount of meat/poultry one should eat in the span of three days.  And, as you can see from the illustrations here, I make a "fruit head" so we can have a healthy and colorful year.

Sometimes I wonder if we haven't lost focus on what Rosh Hashannah really is.  It's the spiritual new year, Yom Zikaron, the Day of Memory when we are supposed to begin our accounting of our deeds.  G-d is the "CPA."  The real preparation for Rosh HaShannah is supposed to be Teshuva, Repentance.  In addition to the Machzor Prayerbook course by Reuven Grodner I'm taking this month in Pardess, I'm studying his  Rav Soloveitchik on Repentance.  G-d willing, I'll be blogging more about that, whether on this blog or Shiloh Musings, I'm not sure.

*The number and creativity of these "puns" grows from year to year.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi Will Be at Tel Shiloh

September 22, 2011
Big T'fillat Chana Event
Starting at 2pm
For more information

Visiting a Few Friendly Blogs

I haven't done one of these visiting posts for quite a while.  Enjoy, visit, share etc...

Beneath the Wings is suffering electricity problems.  She's wise enough to know that there are worse things in this world.

Sarah, who is the very talented graphic artist who designed both of my blog "header," (forgot the term or am I correct?), posted some lovely pictures from a recent trip to Seattle .

Chavi, the kvetching editor lets us into her life for a day.

Two for the price of one.  Miriyummy chats with Mrs. S.

And saving the best news for last, Hadassa is back at her pink keyboard better than ever, Baruch Hashem!!!

PS, how about some captions, please?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Caption This! don't be shy

It's a good thing I always have my camera handy...

You can even make up a story or short dialogue if that suits.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Let's Start Dancing and Singing For Rosh Hashannah!

Hat tip: Miryam B

I'm starting to get anxious about the three day Rosh Hashannah holiday.  OK, it's really two days of holiday immediately followed by Shabbat.  Don't panic.  I've done it before, actually many times.  I just ought to get into planning and cooking mode, not that I have guests yet.  Yes, I guess I ought to invite some.

But in the meantime...

I always feel better singing and dancing.

Free Faux "Curves" Threw Me A Curve Ball

We have these great exercise machines in the park just acrosss the street, yes, even closer than the pool.

There are a whole bunch of them, state of art, rain-proof etc.  The area is even fenced in to make it more private.  So, I figured a few serious minutes on them in the morning would be a fine way to try to keep my body close to the shape it achieved by exercising in the pool.  As you can see, there are also shade trees, and did I say that they are free for use? 

It was too sunny to go walking by the time I got out of the house, but there was shade, good thing.  The park was empty, just perfect.  Or so I thought.

First problem was that almost all of the seats were wet and I hadn't brought a rag along.  I did my best to dry off a few, sat down and then I heard...

Can you see that small tractor coming through?  Just as I started to work out, it started to work.  It was there to make a new path, since a family will be building in the area of the existing one. There went my privacy.  I also didn't like the idea of breathing in the freshly turned earth.

I worked out another couple of minutes and walked home.  Do "good intentions" burn calories and strengthen muscles?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Effy versus The Little Red Hen

OK, the title's a "plot spoiler."  Effy's no "Little Red Hen."

I've received a number of children's books to review; I took Effy Does the Job by Bruriah Kugel, to the grandchildren today.

First I read it to the almost four year old.  I don't know how much he understood, since his English is very limited.  Actually the Effy series was originally written in Hebrew, so I told my daughter to try to take them out from the library.  Once the children know the plot in Hebrew, it'll be much easier to understand them in English.  The almost one year old loved the pictures, which are really gorgeous.

I must admit that I didn't read the book in advance.  I just grabbed it, because it was on top of the pile.  As I began to read, I immediately saw the similarity with my favorite "Little Red Hen."   I've read "The Little Red Hen" so many times, even blogged it a couple of times.  First Effy's mother, then Effy starts cleaning the neighborhood and nobody is willing to help.

I took for granted that it would have the same sort of ending.  I was totally wrong.  While the Little Red Hen told the other barnyard animals to "get lost" when they expected to share her bread, Effy ends up partying with his friends who promise to help him next time the neighborhood needs cleaning.

Effy (actually the author) has a point.  If Effy had gone off in a huff, he'd have lost all his friends and end up all alone.  No doubt, that was the fate of the Little Red Hen.  Teaching our children to get along with others and how to acquire friends with kindness and forgiveness is very important.

The Little Red Hen will never look the same to me after reading Effy Does the Job.  Yes, I do recommend the book.  I must admit that the lesson is good for me to learn, too.

Chaviva's 9/11 Havel Havelim

This week's Havel Havelim is very professionally and promptly posted by Chaviva.  It's obvious that she worked on it during the week, since being on the American east coast it must have had  been soon after midnight her time when it saw the light of day.  I discovered it by chance, not expecting it so early in the morning Israel time.

If you have "Sundays," this gives you plenty of time to read all the posts and share it/them (both the HH and the posts) all over the internet.  Yes, there's plenty to read, no matter what your interest, opinions and agendas.

Chaviva, thank you!

Transplant, Horticultural Success?

It's no secret here in Shiloh that our "garden" is the worst in the yishuv, community.  That's right.  Granted that we have a lovely vineyard, which even gives us sweet grapes in the right season, but besides that, OK and an olive tree even more temperamental than most, our garden is disgusting.
Periodically I "drop" seeds and fruit in all sorts of places hoping for miracles.  Well, a miracle did happen and some sort of squash took root in a planter.  It shared its soil with a "spider plant," that has a story of its own, not yet blogged about.

The container, large for most purposes, didn't suffice for the large vegetable.

That meant that we, the two worst gardeners imaginable, had to risk transplanting it to the real holy earth.  So, on Friday, a short time before Shabbat we took the plunge.  My husband dug a hole in a very shady place, right next to the front door/stoop and under the drain pipe.  Then very gently he loosened all the soil from the pot, and we carried it down to its new home.

We watered it as thoroughly as we could and prayed that G-d would have mercy on the innocent plant, especially since we couldn't care for it on Shabbat. 

On Shabbat we could see that the leaves fattened up and more flowers were blooming.  Here is a picture from this morning.

PS No, I don't know what it is.  It could be some sort of dla'at, pumpkin type of squash, large or mini.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

In the Pink's Hadassa, Refuah Shleimah

Hadassa Henya bat Rivka will be having surgery on her neck on Monday.  Please add her to your refuah shleimah, complete healing prayers.  Thanks

Here's Hadassa at HaGov this summer with Benji, me and Risa.  That is probably Hannah hidden behind Hadassa.  I think she had been sitting there.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Jerusalem's Old Train Tracks

It has been decades since this was used by a train.  There used to be a slow, winding train from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv and Haifa.  I only took it once or twice, since by the time I first made it to Israel it was already 1969, and there was a new road for cars and buses which didn't have to skirt the winding "green line" which separated Israel from the land Jordan had invaded during Israel's War for Independence.

The tracks make a nice place to walk and take short cuts in the middle of Jerusalem, near the Emek Refaim-Baka-Katamon neighborhoods.  Part of it has been fixed up, so you can even bike on it.

The section going up to Matan is still undeveloped, full of weeds and rocks.  I didn't walk it last year, but I had a few years ago.  I should do it again.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

And what book are you reading?

I can sometimes go for ages in between books or read a few all at once very quickly.  The computer has stolen my pleasant reading time.  I must fight this terrible yetzer hara, evil inclination and read more books.

Since I get books to review, I have some good ones, and periodically I borrow "disposable" books from a neighbor.  He has a giant collection and I prefer those I can lose or pass on and not worry about returning.

I don't think I'll be reviewing the book that I didn't like.  I wrote to the publicist and explained why I can't recommend it. 

There's another one from the publicist I'm reading right now, always sneaking minutes to read it, even though I was afraid to start it.  It's a "cancer book," by a woman who died.  She reminds me in many ways of Coffee and Chemo RivkA, who also passed away from cancer.  They both exude a special strength.  I wonder if they had been in touch.  It's Soul to Soul by Deborah Masel.

And I also started reading a nice "suspense" book.  It was perfect when I had to wait someplace for a few hours.  It's Final Target by Iris Johansen.

And I also read the Tanach, Bible, since I'm studying in Matan's Al HaPerek course and we get questions on two more chapters every week.

That's it.  I have tons more to do here since I'm home.

One More Day...

The season is almost over.  Three months speed by.  Even though the weather has been cooling, and it even rained recently, it's hard to believe that the pool will close, empty out after tomorrow.

"The pool" is actually two pools, a children's wading pool and a swimming pool.  OK, it's far from olympic size and depth, but hundreds, probably thousands already, of children and adults from Shiloh and its suburbs have learned to swim here and enjoy what it has to offer.

There's a kiyosk that sells nosherei and other things.  There's also a building/caravan with toilets, showers and dressing rooms.  Swimming hours are separated by sex.  And there are also adult hours when either men or women, dpending on the day, can swim or exercise undisturbed by young children.

Since it's closing after tomorrow, I guess that means that it'll reopen in about nine months.  Let's start the new countdown looking forward rather than feeling sorry for what we won't have.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Friendly Voices From the Family "Vineyard"

Last Friday I suddenly realized that I'd been hearing voices from our tiny vineyard.  Last year I invited a neighbor to make wine from the grape harvest, which had been larger than I could eat, B"H.  He made a delicious, fresh, tangy white wine which I love.  This year we didn't have as many grapes, and he told my husband that he was going to make a red wine.

So I didn't mind that a different neighbor and his kids were harvesting the grapes.

It was pretty obvious that within a few days the birds and ants would win the war, and there wouldn't be anything left to eat.  You can also see that the leaves are just starting to wilt. 

On Shabbat, the neighbors brought us some of the grape juice made from our grapes, and we gave them a bottle of last year's wine.  Thank G-d for everything!!!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Bake "Em Standing Up

I usually cut and layer the vegetables I bake, but that gets boring.  I hate being bored.  So, last Friday I decided to set the veggies up a bit differently for baking.

This is what we ate, post-baking, on Friday night.  It tasted great.  All I did was dribble a bit of oil on it and then bake until they were soft.  Yes, it's that easy to cook/bake vegetables.  It's as easy as slicing a cake or opening up a box of cookies.

Matisyahu, "Got No Water," A Good One

Here's a Matisyahu song with Jerusalem pictures. Enjoy!

Thanks Bobby

Monday, September 05, 2011

911, The Number Will Never Be The Same

I photographed this sign  in a catering hall recently.  It says that the hall holds 911 guests.  I presume it means that they calculated according to a larger number that includes staff, waiters etc, for insurance reasons. 

A couple of years ago, we were treated to a Shabbat in Tel Aviv, in a fancy hotel.  At first our host told us he was sorry, but the hotel had been fully booked.  Then we got a call that one room had emptied, and it was for us. What was the number? You guessed it, 911.

Don't Miss This Bargain!

As usual, Ya'aqov's Havel Havelim is worth a lot more than esser agaroth.  It's definitely worth the visit as are the varied posts included.  Share it, too, of course. 

And check out NachlaOr, the musicians collective of Jerusalem's of creative and dynamic neighborhood of Nahla'oth, at Nachladorms, Jerusalem's newest Kosher Hostel and Dormitory.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

I Need a Good Dance

I came back from work feeling rather "blahh."  Actually, considering that the rides home were great, and I didn't wait all that long for the first, hardly at all for the second and not at all for the third who insisted on taking me to my door.  I told him that he did the mitzvah fully, mehadrin.  Thank G-d, I really should be grateful, and I am, but it was just one of those nights...

So when Fred sent me this great dance and comedy routine by Bob Hope and  James Cagney, I just had to share it. Dancing is my best sport. I love to dance.

Here's Fred's commentary:
These guys must have done something right, James lived to be 87, and Bob, whom
I listened to on the radio, before TV, made it to 100, died on my dad's birthday.
Googled their bios for more info.

Enjoy the attached....

James Cagney and Bob Hope at a Friar's Club Meeting back when actors were real performers.

Bob Hope was 52 and James Cagney was 56. For the young folks, here is something you probably have never seen before and, unfortunately, you may never see again.
For us older folks, this is the best of the best, and we had it for many years!
This is a side of these two entertainers you hardly ever saw but it shows you their enormous talent.
Bob Hope, the best of the comedians, and Jimmy Cagney...mostly cast as the bad guy, gangster in the movies.

Budget Flying, Some Humor

Taking a plane trip used to be a real treat.  No matter how short the trip, there would be some sort of meal.  The meal and the right to take a "no charge" suitcase or two were things we used to take for granted.  Now even if you're traveling from Arizona to New York, you have to pack food, especially if you have dietary restrictions, like kashrut or low carbohydrates--I have both.  The airlines give out pretzels, peanuts and water, unless you're flying in one of the luxury classes.

And at least my last visit was in the summer, when clothes are thin and lightweight, so I could fit a few changes into a small bag. Otherwise I'd have to pay extra to bring a proper suitcase.

OK, it's not quite as bad as the Carol Burnett skit Yoni posted on facebook:

If I visit my parents in the winter, maybe I'll go there without a suitcase and do some shopping in AZ, or I'll fly there "directly" from Israel and go to NY afterwards, so I'll only have to pay for the suitcase in one direction.  And at least we sit separately from those who get better service.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

The Shopping "Experience," Neither Catalogues Nor Internet For Me

We've been having some unbelievable sales at Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin where I work.  Jews and Arabs, side by side, search for bargains.  I speak in Hebrew, English and pantomime.  Customers leave with big smiles and bulging bags.

Shopping at sales is fun.
Selling at great prices is fun.

Sometimes I get email notices about bargains and sales from very reliable stores, the same ones I enjoy going to for bargains when I'm in the states.  I just can't buy that way, via the internet.  I have to see the clothes; I have to feel the clothes.

I like talking to the sales people, thanking them.  As a salesperson, I enjoy friendly customers.  And  I do try to be helpful.

Am I just "old-fashioned?"  Are internet sales the way of the future?

Friday, September 02, 2011

"You're Doing a Mitzvah; The Car Should Start"

Last night, after working over eight hours of a six hour shift at Yafiz, (night shift is longer than morning shift, especially during busy seasons), I began getting worried about how I'd get home.  The young man who had been driving a group of us north of Sha'ar Binyamin had decided to take his life elsewhere, and I wish him luck, health and success.  But that leaves me without a reliable ride home when I have night or Friday shift.

My boss and another worker made me a sign saying "Shiloh/Ofra," to catch the eye of Rami Levi customers going in that direction.  But when I stood at the place where all the cars exiting go by all I saw were Arabs, and I don't like to advertise where I live.  After a couple of minutes, I saw a young Jewish couple, so I quickly "flashed" my sign at them.

"I don't know if it'll help, but we're going to Eli."
"That would be wonderful if you'd just drop me off at the Shiloh Junction."
They quickly loaded their car, and then it didn't start:
"You're Doing a Mitzvah; The Car Should Start"
Then the car got the hint, started and they drove me to Shiloh.  They increased the mitzvah by not leaving me on the main road, thank G-d.  So, I got home safe and sound.

Shabbat Shalom u'Mevorach
Have a Peaceful and Blessed Shabbat

Thursday, September 01, 2011


Last night as I trudged home, all the way up the hill after being dropped off from work, I noticed that the street was wet.  Could there have had been a leak from something?    As I continued walking I notice that the whole road was wet, and it seemed that water was dripping from the trees.

I had just come from Shaar Binyamin, about twenty minutes south of Shiloh.  It had been summer there, yes, very hot and even muggy in the "outer part" of the store where I work most of the time.

Then I saw some neighbors walking:

"Did it really rain here?"
"Yes.  Why are you asking?"
"There was no sign of rain in Shaar Binyamin.  It's a different climate, more like the Bikaah, Jordan Valley."
"I had been shopping in Ariel, and was in shock when I walked out of the store and discovered that it was pouring."
May this rain be a good sign and a blessing for all of us, whether we deserve it or not!