Thursday, May 31, 2012

Avoiding Those Dangers on the Road

There are those who claim their refusal to visit my neck of the woods, Shiloh is what they claim is rational... Arab terrorists. 

But the truth is, statistics show that the biggest danger on the roads is from car accidents.  Nobody and no vehicle are immune.

Some accidents are caused by dangerous driving, car malfunction and more. 

One of the most common causes nowadays is lack of attention to the road.  We all multi-task.  There are advantages to it at times, but at other times it can be deadly.  I'm always a passenger, which is how I can take these photos from a moving car.

Recently a very good short movie was produced showing the dangers of using your cell/smart phone while driving.  How can one concentrate on the road and other vehicles when he or she is searching for a number or letter on the phone?  Mistakes, lack of concentration that lasts less than a second can be fatal or cause serious injury.

The phone call or message can wait until after driving, or it may be too late  G-d forbid.

PS One of the stars is my good friend Sharon Katz of Voices Magazine.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Behind the Scenes, Movie-Making Time

Shiloh Hakeduma, Ancient Shiloh, aka Tel Shiloh is having a new movie made to show students and tourists what life probably was like thousands of years ago when Jewish pilgrims came to Shiloh to pray in the Mishkan Tabernacle.

Last week when my friends and I met at Tel Shiloh for our monthly Rosh Chodesh (beginning of the Jewish Month) Women's Prayers we saw the sets.

I applied to be an extra when the call went out a couple of weeks before then, but I wasn't accepted.  It wasn't anything "personal." The production company had decided to bring their own professional extras.  And then I ended up too busy those days to go down and watch the shooting.

So, I'll have to be patient and wait until the film is actually shown.

Next Rosh Chodesh, Tammuz, we'll meet again:

The Rosh Chodesh Tammuz Women's Prayers at

Shiloh HaKeduma, Ancient Shiloh,

Tel Shiloh

Thursday, June 21, 2012 8:30am

Shiur Torah, Short Tour & Torah Lesson

Please come and invite family, friends and neighbors

תפילת נשים ראש חודש תמוז שילה הקדומה, בתל שילה

יום ה' 21-6 8:30

יהיו סיור ודבר תורה קצרים

נא לבוא, לפרסם ולהזמין חברות, משפחה ושכנות

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

HH #361 @ 10 Agaroth

The latest Havel Havelim, a floating internet magazine of Jewish and Israeli based blog posts, is hosted by Ya'aqov this week on his Esser Agaroth.  There is a nice variety of articles for your reading pleasure.  Please visit, read, comment and share.

Next week it will be hosted by Northern Lights who also blogs  Frugal and Kosher.  To send in a link email  or try the HH submission form.  For information about hsoting an edition of Havel Havelim join our facebook group/page.

There are two other jblog carnivals, Kosher Cooking Carnival and JPIX.  Get involved with the community.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Mother Talk, Israeli Style

During a recent visit to New York I tried to have a "mother of soldier" chat with a mother of an American solider, but we discovered that being a mother of an Israeli soldier is nothing like that of having a child in the American armed forces.

When Israeli mothers of soldiers get together one of the big topics is how to get all the laundry done before the soldier-kids have to rush back to base. For some of us, more than one child serves at the same time. Washing machines are frequently small and slow and my sons' uniforms couldn't be washed together, because one was filled with dirt and the other with machine oil. 

My trick was to make sure we had a large supply, enough to fill two backpacks, of uniforms, socks, underwear etc.  Instead of rushing to the laundry room as soon as the soldiers came home, they would just put their dirty stuff in the hamper and then fill their bags with clean clothes.  I then had all week to do their army laundry.

I was looked at  with total incomprehension. American soldiers don't take their uniforms home for mommy to launder.  And the distances between home and the base or frontline could mean that a home visit may only be once a year, not a couple of times a month or more.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Israel, A Wonderful Country, Wonderful People, The Sabra

I admit that there are many times I complain about Israel and even about Israelis.  Doesn't everybody?  That doesn't mean that I don't think I live in the greatest place in the world.  I have the most wonderful neighbors.  Really!  When you add up the pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages, the help and the annoying things, it's clear that there is no place better to live than Israel.  And I must say that Shiloh, at least for us, is the best of the best.

Ruthie Blum's latest Israel Hayom article touches on some of these points.  She wrote about the terrible tragedy that recently happened to the Attias family:

Rafi and Yehudit Attias, a couple in their early forties, were driving home late at night from a Torah dedication ceremony in honor of Rafi’s father. With them in their minivan were their seven children: Avia, 17; Neria and Elyashiv, 16-year-old twins; Shira, 11; Ta'ir, 9; Rachel, 7; and Noa, 5. At some point, Rafi realized his brakes weren’t working, and he called the police, then handed his wife the telephone while he tried to maneuver the car. Yehudit gave the dispatcher their location. The next thing the dispatcher heard was screaming.
By the time the police arrived on the scene, it was too late. The minivan had gone over a highway divider, crossed over four lanes of oncoming traffic, crashed through an iron fence, flipped over, rolled down a hill, and burst into flames.
Miraculously, 7-year-old Rachel managed to crawl out of the car before it caught on fire. She was the only member of the entire family to survive the crash — and with minor physical injuries, to boot. Her emotional scarring is another story entirely.
The child was rushed to Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, where she was attended to lovingly by the medical and social work staff, as well as surrounded by members of her extended family — themselves barely having had a chance to absorb what had befallen them.
I hadn't written about it, probably because it hit too close to home. Over twenty years ago, neighbors of ours were traveling home from shopping in Jerusalem. A family of eight, both parents and six children squeezed into a sedan, five-seater. In those days the law didn't require everyone to be belted into a seat. A bus hit the car and the father and three out of six children were killed. We came across them after the survivors had gotten first aid before the ambulances had arrived. We (and the other people in the car we were in) stayed with them until they were taken to the hospital. And over a decade before that in New York my father's cousin and his wife were taking their daughter to start university. The car flipped over, and the eighteen year old flew out and broke her arm. Her parents were killed on impact and left their two teenagers orphaned.

Car accidents are big dangers, more than terrorism and war and plane crashes etc.  You don't have to be in the car to be a victim.  One of my children was seriously injured when a car knocked him off of his bicycle.  The reason we have been  hosting a shiur Torah Class every Shavuot for over twenty years has been to thank G-d for his recovery.

During the weeks my son was in the hospital getting medical care, my neighbors were fantastic.  And during an earlier time when a different child was hospitalized for a number of weeks, we also got the most amazing help from neighbors.

Not long ago a young man in the community was diagnosed with cancer.  He is now, Baruch Hashem, in remission; G-d willing, he is cured.  He  got married a couple of months ago, post-treatment, and he thanked all the neighbors who visited and always asked how he was doing.  The hospital staff was amazed at his "large family" and couldn't believe that they were mostly neighbors.

Ruthie Blum usually writes just hard-hitting political op-eds, but this article she stressed how the Israeli public rallied around the young orphan, the sole survivor of that devastating accident.  It's the news the world likes to ignore.

Israels are called sabras, the fruit of the prickly cactus.  The sabra is a sweet fruit protected by sharp thorns.  Yes, that's your typical classic Israeli.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Dairy on Shavuot?

When I was first becoming religious and then for next thirty years or so, I understood the Shavuot holiday to be the "dairy" one, no compromising on it.  The main course was cheesecake and whatever fish and cheeses served in the earlier part of the meal would only be playing second fiddle to the cheesecake.  Then our daughter married a Tunisian Jew, and we discovered that dairy wasn't on the menu for Shavuot.

In recent years, I've read more and more articles and had more and more discussions with people about meat being required for Shavuot to make it festive.  That seemed strange to me, because I had spent twenty-five years as a vegetarian and had no problems celebrating at non-meat meals.  I really celebrated on Shavuot, because it was the only Jewish Holiday during which I enjoyed the meals and ended up feeling satisfied.  Another thing is that more and more people I know serve fish/dairy on Shabbat.  Fish is more expensive than chicken in Israel, so shouldn't that make it a festive menu?

This year Shavuot starts Saturday night, immediately after Shabbat and all its food.  I'll be serving a geffilte fish meal.  And then Shavuot morning we'll add cheeses to the gefilte fish menu.  No cheesecake, since my husband and I are on a maintenance diet after losing weight in recent years.

And what do you eat for the Holiday?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Where Have I Been?

I've been pretty busy, and I wasn't home for over a day. I slept in Jerusalem Tuesday night.  It was a good opportunity to see my Jerusalem daughter and saved me from getting up at 4am on Wednesday morning.

G-d willing, when I have time I'll post about the Moskowitz Zionism Prize ceremony I attended Tuesday night.  It's a great dose of inspiration for all.

Now I'm totally off schedule and have much too much to do this morning.  I spent an awfully long time writing my post about Naomi, Ruth and Chana on Shiloh Musings.  You may want to read it:
  • out of curiosity
  • and to be used as a Dvar Torah or idea for Shavuot
I must get things done in the house.  I don't have "a wife" to do all the stuff that must be done here.  Last night I managed to make my really easy, simple Gefilte Fish.  To make it special for Shavuot, slightly different from my Passover version, I grated in (ok I really cheated by using the shredder knife of the food processor) a carrot.  The fish is now "speckled" with orange and should taste even better.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Spring Into The Kosher Cooking Carnival at Ilana-Davita's

KCC Logo.jpg Ilana-Davita has served up delicious Kosher Cooking Carnival with a great variety of posts from all over the world.  It's worth a visit, and please share around the blog carnival and the individual posts. 

You're invited to participate in future editions of this monthly Jewish Blog Carnival which comes out every Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of the Jewish Month.  For more information, please join our facebook page.  You can send in posts about all aspects of kosher cooking, from Jewish Law to recipes and also reviews of kosher restaurants and cookbooks.  Each month a different blogger hosts the carnival, a floating internet magazine.  If you're interested in hosting one, please contact me.

Next month's hostess is Cooking Outside the Box.  Email your links to her at

Rejected by Google Search

In recent weeks I've noticed my blogs' (Shiloh Musings and me-ander) statistics re: visits plummeting and couldn't understand why.  Are my blog posts so boring and badly written?

I mentioned it on facebook, in between invited fb friends to drink coffee with me and other minor news.  I discovered that I'm not the only blogger to suddenly have a fraction of the visits (on the blogs) I used to see.  Of course, an advantage is that there are fewer spam comments, but there are fewer people who are discovering my best and easiest recipes, "caption this" pictures, my opinion about peace in the middle east  or Barack Hussein Obama.

A more professional blogger than yours truly commented about pandas and "penguin penalties."  No comprendo.  I don't understand any of this. 

Then I took a better look at my statistics and saw that google was no longer my chief "referrer,"  especially on Shiloh Musings.  Actually, google took me out their "phonebook," or whatever you want to call it for both blogs.  You can't find me via google at all, and the other search engines were also unseen on the lists.  The blogging expert also said that one of the criteria to be considered kosher  by google is posts longer than 300 words.  That sure throws my "caption this" and many other posts on this blog into the garbage. 

I'm not a wordy blogger or even wordy writer.  I like to be concise and simple.  Google doesn't like that any more. 

Clever titles don't help either from what I now understand.  Actually, all I understand is that I've been doing everything wrong. 

What could be so awful about my blogs?  My articles are originals, not stolen or copied from other sources.  I write about a very broad range of topics, politics, history, health, recipes, religion and more.  They are illustrated with both my original photos and suitable pictures from the internet.

How does one get back into google's good graces aka its search list?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Learn and Lunch

Last week I suddenly found myself with spare time which I wanted to fill, so I contacted my chevruta, Bible-study buddy about meeting to catch up on some difficult chapters in Yeshayahu, Isaiah, which we're studying in the Matan course, Al HaPerek.

Al HaPerek is an innovative. guided Bible study course offered by Matan.
Matan’s Al Haperek: The Worldwide Online Weekly Tanach Learning Program
Learn two chapters a week and in five years finish one entire cycle of Nach! Join us this year and learn Melachim and Yeshayahu.
Once a week, Al Haperek participants receive an emailed sheet containing the weekly material which guides in depth, creative and enlightening learning of two chapters a week of Nach.
At the completion of each book, a yom iyun is held in Matan with lectures given by some of the finest educators in Israel.
Additionally, a short weekly shiur is sent with the sheets to enrich the learning and create a more personal connection between those who work on the program and those who participate in it.
Al Haperek's framework is appropriate for individual learners, for joint-learning with children or a spouse, by all ages and on all levels.
For various reasons, my study partner and I had gotten a few weeks behind, and the material is very difficult.  We meet once a week at Matan, and we needed at least another session.  We're also having more trouble following the prophetic warnings and comforts of Yeshayahu than we had when we studied the earlier books, Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings, which are narratives, stories about mostly familiar Biblical characters.  I started to have trouble keeping up in the second part of Kings, because my Bible study background is very weak.  And the kings mentioned were all strangers  to me.  Their names got all mixed up in my head.  It became even harder to remember who was who than to fit names to my students faces.  (That was one of the reasons I felt the time had come to leave teaching.  When I had taught small remedial groups, it was much easier for me, and I'm a better remedial teacher than regular classroom teacher.)

My friend and I met at the Pisgat Ze'ev Mall branch of the popular dairy restaurant chain Cafe` Cafe`.  We sat inside, as far from the action of the mall as we could, and it was nice and quiet, especially being that it was early afternoon, before the heavy afternoon-evening crowds. 

We ordered their halumi salad and shared it, including the delicious rolls.  It was a perfect meal and we had no problems studying a few chapters there. 

Israeli restaurants generally give very large portions, and I've shared meals with friends before.  With the bread, I find half a meal comfortably filling, but when I don't eat the bread, I need the entire salad to feel satisfied. 

Recently I've been terribly disappointed with the service in branches of Cafe` Cafe`, most probably because they've cut down on staff to save money.  I even refused to tip after my latest visit to the branch in the mall next to Center 1.  The service was totally abominable.  They even abandoned our charge cards, and I had to rescue them off of the main counter.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bat Aliyah's Debut Heval Havelim

There's a first time for lots of things, and when I think back to my first attempt at hosting a Havel Havelim, I remember confusion and terror.  In those days I didn't know much, and blogger didn't have all these simple icons and options to easily jazz up the page.  I didn't know how to embed links and just copied links complete in the post. Yes, it was awful.  I made lots of mistakes.  Soccer Dad and other bloggers tried to help me long distance via emails, but I barely understood the terminology they used.  Wow!  Thank G-d I have learned a lot since then.

I must say that Bat Aliyah's debut Heval Havelim is very impressive!  She really did a great job. Take a look share and visit the posts, and comment, too.

Next week's HH will be on Esser Agaroth. You're welcome to join our facebook page.

Scheduling Impossiblities

For the past couple of weeks I've been trying to schedule a meeting between me and two other people.  Every time we set a date, somebody cancels it. The first time was my fault, and since then it has only gotten worse.

My week has very few set "events."  Work is very flexible in that I never promised any set shifts and they never promised me anything either.  Sometimes I get more and sometimes less or none.  I wanted a part-time job that wouldn't prevent me from attending weddings and other joyous occasions.  And they like the fact that I can usually work when others can't.

I also study once a week, and that isn't flexible.  I try to see the grandkids once a week, too.  There is some flexibility there.

And I have other "projects" and "commitments."  Some are flexible and others aren't. 

What's annoying is that the people I'm supposed to meet up with  -and I really want it to be f2f- also have flexibility in their schedules.  They don't know each other, and I think they should and I want to be there to facilitate the meeting so we can combine forces.

G-d willing it will work out somehow, sometime....

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Birthday Week

I function following two calendars, the Jewish one and the goyish international one.  They only coincide about once every nineteen years, and even then sometimes not perfectly. 

Actually the Sate of Israel also uses both calendars.  Our holidays here are the Jewish ones, except that some restaurants and hotels make a big deal out of January first and the night before for parties and all.  Any excuse to make an "event."  Remember that the Jewish New Year is Rosh Hashannah, a very serious time, frequently spent in synagogue being shaken to the soul by the sound of the shofar. It's a time of reflection, repentance (teshuva) that lasts a week and a half, until Yom Kippur.  The goyish international New Year is obviously much more fun for Israelis who have only recently, the past couple of decades, discovered the fun sic of drinking.  There's non of that on Yom Kippur and the kiddush on Rosh Hashannah doesn't compare.

How did I get onto this?  Back to the topic...

In Israel, using both calendars can be rather problematic. The school year begins on September 1, but when Rosh Hashannah will be "too early" school starts early, so the kids can learn something before all those Jewish Holiday and school vacations begin.

When you celebrate birthdays on both calendars, they float around.  There are years when my international  birthday coincides with one of my daughter's Jewish birthday, even though my birthday is about a week later on both calendars.  This year, there's about a week's difference between the Jewish and international  date.  I was surprised by my fellow workers when they made me (and another worker) a party on Thursday the day before my Jewish birthday. 

It was a nice way to start "birthday week."

One is never too old to celebrate birthdays!

Friday, May 18, 2012

I Must Have Done The Right Thing, Thank G-d

The other day at work I suddenly noticed that one of my earrings was missing.  I wear three.  Fourteen years ago my daughters decided to give me a "third hole" for my birthday present.  I like that asymmetrical look and sometime even wear three different earrings.

Back to the earring.  It wasn't just any earring.  It had been my maternal grandmother's; an aunt gave it to me after I had my ears pierced, midway through high school.  To this day I don't know she chose me as recipient.  I have lots of female cousins, and I'm not the oldest even.  I was given two pairs of earrings and they are very precious to me.  I barely remember my grandmother, since she died before my third birthday.

I had a strong feeling that it had fallen off at work and told the other staff members, even pasting a note to the cash register.

Actually, I wasn't upset.  I kept saying "kappora," and told people that I have no doubt that my grandmother is taking care of me and my family, which is more important than her earring.  It was a strange feeling, because I was sad at the thought of not having it.  I have been wearing that earring for almost half a century.  Yes, I'm old.

The following day when I got on the bus to go home from Jerusalem, I saw a cellphone on the seat.  I decided to give it to the driver.  He would bring it to the Egged "Lost and Found," which in Hebrew is called "Returning Lost Items."  There's a mitzvah, Torah law to make every effort to return a lost item.  The concept of "finders keepers, losers weepers" is not Jewish and even forbidden.

Yesterday when  I entered the store, I was greeted with:

"We have your earring."

Apparently a customer saw it on the floor and brought it to the desk.  It was all wrapped up and waiting for me.  I had kept that "third hole" empty for work, even though I have lots of earrings to wear.  It was waiting, apparently, for that one, my grandmother's. 

Baruch Hashem, Thank G-d
Shabbat Shalom uMevorach
May You Have a Peaceful and Blessed Shabbat

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Those TSA Public Pat Downs, Kissenger and I

Last summer, although I boarded at least four flights, only one TSA crew decided that I seemed suspicious enough to warrant a pat down.  I accepted the public option, because I wanted to keep my eyes on my possessions which were being opened and examined publicly at the same time.  Also, I figured that there's less of a chance of inappropriate inspections when in full view.

It seemed pretty strange to me that, although I was dressed in the same skirt for all of my flying, only one airport considered it as dangerous to public safety.

Since the TSA began their inspections, random or whatever, we've all been reading about their strange arbitrary decisions, like inspecting toddlers, diapers and the elderly.  The latest news is that former Secretary of State the 89 year old Henry Kissenger was forced out of his wheelchair to be "patted down."  He had to take off his jacket and stand up.  What happens to those who can't stand up?  Many people take advantage of the free wheelchair/handicapped airport service, because it's too complicated, physically difficult and stressful to walk the long distances with their carry-ons in enormous modern airports.  But there are travelers who are "full-time" wheelchair passengers and can't stand up and remove bulky outer clothes.  How do they manage this?

And another annoyance is the fact that water and other liquids bought in the stores after security inspection can't be taken on the plane.  I had to drink over a liter of water or spill it out before boarding.  And the water was very expensive, as are all products n the airport.  I dread my next trip.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Meal in a Pot, Baked

I don't usually cook up the vegetables with the chicken, because I really don't like them over-cooked and greasy from the meat fats.  That's why I didn't cut the squash and carrots.  The larger they are the longer they take to cook.  I also put them on top.  There's a lemon you can't see inside the chicken, and potatoes are underneath.

This was cooked last Thursday morning, since I had to go to work on Friday, to be served as a "one pot" Friday night Shabbat meal.  Then we were unexpectedly invited out for Friday night, so the chicken and veggies were eaten during this week.  We (I) had an easy Shabbat, since we had also been invited out for Shabbat lunch.

I can't tell you how long exactly I cooked the chicken-vegetable dish, since every oven is different and it depends on how large your chicken and what type of pot you're using.  You can make a similar dish with pre-cut chicken in a pan with vegetables spread out.  And yes, it's flavored with onion, paprika, black pepper and garlic.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

For a "Segula" Special Prayer

How does one translate "segula" without sounding a bit strange?  Last week I baked challot as a "segula" for someone who really wants to get married and have kids.

We ended up being invited out for both main meals on Shabbat, so I brought challot with me and requested that everyone eat from them.  (And there are still some in the freezer.)

Years ago, when I first attempted challah baking and until just a couple of years ago, I considered it a very stressful act.  My first time baking challah was the very first time I had ever seen yeast dough, so I really didn't know what I was doing.  It made me feel very insecure.  There were times I baked challah very frequently, but that feeling of "I really don't know what I'm doing" dominated the experience. 

I also discovered an "allergy" to fresh yeast, which used to be the only type in Israel.  My fingernails would get infected, so I kneaded the dough wearing cotton gloves.  Oh, yes, I always have made my challah by hand, sans machinery.  Discovering dehydrated yeast made the kneading much safer and healthier.

Then a few years ago, after my neighbor totally renovated her kitchen she had a special challah-baking ceremony as a chanukat habayit, celebration.  A different neighbor came in and showed us how to make challah with a special ingredient, prayers.  Ever since then, my challah baking has become a special spiritual experience.

PS you can find my challah recipe here.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Not Fair, Is It, Ladies?

Statistics all over the world show that men make more money than women even when doing similar work.  And now matter how carefully a couple try to "share" chores at home, women do more.  This cartoon is spreading like wildfire on facebook with hundreds of shares.

A very long time ago when my kids were kids, I remember one of my daughters complaining that the guys in her crowd got offers for jobs around the neighborhood that paid much better than the babysitting she did.  Boys would get lots of money to clear a garden or storage room, and the girls couldn't get that type of work. 

How many male executives could manage without their female secretaries, office managers?

I've read that when meetings are run by women, they are quicker and waste less time.  There's a good reason for that.  Women don't have wives at home, so we need to get home quickly.

In our school, the first males who took jobs were always offered the opportunity to be the principal, too, just because they were men.  They failed in that capacity.  Our most successful principals have all been women, but they had to work harder to just get the opportunity to try.

Sorry for the rant, but that cartoon and the reactions of some friends on facebook really got me going.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

HH #359 At To Kiss A Mezzuah

Susan did her usual professional job as Havel Havelim hostess with the mostess this week hosting #359. It's so hard for me to believe that next week is the three hundred and sixtieth edition of Havel Havelim. I remember when it was barely in double-digits. 

Our recent method of organizing via our facebook page seems to be helping, since HH is growing.  Of course it will only get better if we each make an effort to promote it; share the links, host etc.

To submit a post, click here on the site that Eric constructed. 

Susan, thanks so much and Shavua Tov.  Have a wonderful week everyone.

Looking Forward to Late Summer

In recent years, although we do nothing to deserve it, our little vineyard give us lots of delicious grapes. 

So we've been watching the leaves grow and the tiny fruit begin to emerge on the vines.

It's all so beautifully green.  We just have to be patient.

Shavua Tov
Have a Wonderful Week

Saturday, May 12, 2012

What's Your Fvavorite "I shouldn't eat it" Treat?

In Israel we call this "ice cafe`," and it's a favorite of many including me.  I'm not quite sure what's it's called in other countries.  Unfortunately it's filled with yummy, addicting calories, though there are "lite" versions.

It's like a liquidy coffee ice cream.  I had this one at the Sharonim Mall's Cafe` Cafe`.

Nu, what's your favorite?

Friday, May 11, 2012

"Just Take Care of Yourself"

Ricksmom of Beneath the Wings has been busy.  Ricki's in the hospital.  G-d willing she'll recover from her pneumonia, as she did last year, but it's still a very stressful time for the family.  Her latest post describes what she's going through and how she tries to cope, physically and emotionally.

I've been there, done that, when my sons were each hospitalized for long periods of time when they were very little.  My youngest was two weeks old, meaning that I was just two weeks post-childbirth.  In those days, and when my elder son was hospitalized after an accident, food wasn't available most of the day and all of the night for those of us who needed to eat.  It made life more complicated.

It's so important to take care of yourself when you're caring for a hospitalized loved one.  You must drink, eat and rest.  And whenever possible, accept help.  If you fall apart, physically, emotionally or both, you won't do anyone any good.  An aunt of mine had a total emotional/physical breakdown when her husband had been hospitalized.  That was decades ago, and she never fully recovered; davka, her husband did and had to take care of her and outlived her.

I'm sure we've all heard of too many stories of couples in which the healthy one, the caregiver suddenly dies leaving the sick/handicapped of the two on his/her own. 

Take care of yourself!

רפואה שלימה לרינה בת רות
לעילו נשמתה חנה רחל בת אברהם

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Shopping Trip to A Giant Mall

My cousin lives in Neve Ne'eman, Hod Hasharon, so I've been watching the Kanyon Sharonim grow from its earliest construction until it was finally completed, but I had never gone there to shop.

Two weeks ago, after a family Yom Ha'Atzma'ut feast, we took the grandkids there to play in its fancy playground on the way home.  They had a great time.  I had been hearing fantastic things about the 1/2 Chinam, "Half Free" discount supermarket there, which supposedly has the lowest prices and the greatest set up in Israel. 

People have told me that it's larger than the giant stores in America.  For quicker shopping, they have divided the green-grocer section from the rest of the store.  It's two stores with different colored bags.

As you must know, I work in Yafiz, Clothing for the Entire Family, in Sha'ar Binyamin, which is part of the Rami Levi chain of discount supermarkets, so I'm in our Rami Levi store a few times a week.  Those two chains are competitors.  I haven't been to other branches of Rami Levi, but I highly doubt if any can be as fancy as this store is.  And I've seen other 1/2 Chinam, "Half Free" branches in Jerusalem from the outside, and they aren't fancy either.  It's obvious that the chain has invested a lot of money to get the moneyed crowd to shop in this branch.

I don't think the prices were less than my Rami Levi, at least among the products I normally buy. They did have a larger variety of food.  Rami Levi refuses to sell fruits and vegetables that cost "too much."  He sells chicken for less money.  I didn't buy much, but I did shop.  It was convenient, as my friend drove me door-to-door.

Distance wise, that mall is closer to Shiloh than going to the Malcha Mall in Jerusalem, and it has some of the same stores, though not all.  Sha'ar Binyamin is much close to Shiloh than the Sharonim Mall, which is just over a kilometer (about a mile) from the Yarkon Junction.  There's a sign in Ariel that Rami Levi is building a branch there.  If it will be near the Ariel University, then it will be much closer to us than Sha'ar Binyamin, but if it's at the other end of Ariel, then it'll be almost the same distance and more difficult to get to without a car.

PS though we were there in the morning, when Israeli malls are generally pretty empty, it was clear that contrary to what the כְּמִתְאֹנְנִים kimit'oninim agitators faux social justice protesters keep claiming, there's plenty of money in Israel and most people are doing very well.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Note That Chain, Caption This!

I have my theories about this picture.  What are yours?

A story was going through my mind the minute I saw it.  Maybe because it's just accross from this...

Do you have any ideas for a caption or story?  If so, please write in the comments, thanks.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Please Remind Me!!!

Tomorrow I must close all of the windows.  It will be national stink day starting this Wednesday night.  Wednesday will be the 33rd day of the Omer, Lag B'Omer.  That's the countdown from the second night of Passover until the Eve of Shavuot, a grand total of forty-nine days.

In Israel, Lag B'Omer is celebrated with bonfires/campfires, smelly, stinking fires all over the place, especially in more rural neighborhoods like mine.  Kids have been gathering wood for weeks already.  Some of the wood they collect really shouldn't be burnt. Kids take old furniture, covered in formica, and burn that, too.

The unpleasant and unhealthy odors waft through every crevice. That's why I must remember to close every single window, because it takes ages for the stink to leave.

I trained my kids to go straight into the bathroom after those fires, strip. shower and shampoo with lots of sweet-smelling soap.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Great HH From Beneath the Wings and Part 2 of Aish's "Listen to Grandpa"

Please start with a refuah shleimah (complete healing/recovery) prayer for Rivka bas Rus, daughter of this week's Havel Havelim host and star of the blog Beneath the Wings.

Rickismom has found time in her busy life to host another edition of Havel Havelim, and it's better than ever.  Please check it out and share, thanks.  Next week it will be hosted by Susan, To Kiss a Mezuzah.  You can send her your links by clicking her name on our facebook page and sending her a message.  Our facebook page is also the address for getting more involved in HH and scheduling to host an edition of Havel Havelim.

A few days ago I recommended watching part 1 of a video on by Jewlarious starring Eliot Gould, Listen to Grandpa.  They have just released part 2, and here it is:

Sunday, May 06, 2012

And Caption This, Too!

Sorry, but her face is hidden.  I can only show pictures of the grandkids when they are unrecognizable.

Nu, so how would you caption this one?  Please add your caption in the comments, thanks.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Thrilling Improv

Life is a constant surprise, isn't it?  We can't control things.  I must have blogged this before that when I studied Creative Dance Choreography the teacher told us that if we fall when performing we must rise gracefully as if it was all choreographed. 

My life has been full of surprises.  That's fine.  I don't like being bored.

A number of years ago, when I was being interviewed for a job (which I didn't get) the boss told me that he was put off by the long list of jobs and professions I had already had.  I told him that they made me more valuable by teaching me much and giving me lots of varied experience.  Obviously, he didn't agree.

I don't think I was ever really "prepared" for the jobs I took.  Most times a new opportunity or challenge or job offer just somehow came my way, and I grabbed/embraced it.  Each job has had its great moments.  I learned from all of them.  We all must learn to accept the unexpected.  Most people rise to the challenge when they must.

Many of us in Israel were very impressed and moved by the athlete Moran Samuel, who after winning the Gold Medal ended up taking the microphone and singing Hatikvah, Israel's National Anthem, after discovering that there wasn't a recording of it.

Friday, May 04, 2012

If The Divorce is So Great, Why The Whispering?

One of the great bonuses in traveling by public transportation and tremping aka hitchhiking is those surprise meetings with old friends.  Not long ago I discovered an old friend after getting on a bus.  I sat down next to her and we began catching up.  We started off exchanging news about our children and grandchildren.  Then I noticed her eyes carefully sweeping the bus, and she signalled me to listen to her whisper.  Now in all honesty, I don't hear very well.  I have no doubt that if I live as long as my parents still are, I'll be like my father in the need for a hearing aid, so whispers aren't my favourite means of communication...

I thought that she was going to mention something about someone else in the bus the way she nervously kept glancing around, but then I understand what she was saying:

"We got divorced.  I'm so happy to be divorced, and my kids have told me that they support me."

Of course, I told her that I trust she made the right decision.  In the past I helped a friend through divorce and think that in many cases it's the best thing one can do. But I couldn't understand why her need for secrecy if she's so happy about it.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Elliot Gould on Aish, Makes Me Wonder...

For some reason there's only part one of this great little story starring Elliot Gould on and Jewlarious.  I'd love to see the rest of it.

I have all sorts of relatives, children and grandchildren of cousins, who are Jewish according to Jewish Law but raised as Christians.   I've always wondered what would happen if suddenly one of them would knock on my door...

It would be even more complicated if those who aren't Jewish would do the same...  Yes, we have many of those, too.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Caption This...

There are lots of possible captions in my head, plus stories to elaborate on them.  Maybe I should try writing fiction...  But one thing for sure, it sure is always a good idea to go around armed with my trusty, bli eyin haraa, camera. 
  • Nu, how would you caption this?
  • What could the story be?

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Fun in The Playground

Modern playgrounds are getting very creative.  We have our exercise for adults one here in Shiloh.  It's no longer necessary to sign up for a gym when I can just go across the street.

Those who design these exercise toys haven't ignored the kiddies.  I was amazed at the variety of equipment in the children's playground at the new mall in between Tzomet Yarkon and Hod Hasharon.  They provide all sorts of healthy fun for the kids.