Saturday, June 30, 2012

Israel Museum, Always A Treat

Last week I was at the Israel Museum, one of Jerusalem's most popular spots for Israelis and visitors. 

I really enjoyed the new exhibit about Chassidic Life.  It was very well done with pictures, clothes and more.  I went there with a friend. We decided to celebrate the end of the year at Matan with a trip to the museum.  It's one of my favorite places.  When we were still living in Jerusalem, our two eldest daughters studied art there.  I used to know every nook and cranny, every exhibit and almost every picture.  Granted it was a very small museum in the late 1970's, but it was always a nice one.

It used to be very hard to visit the museum when there was "extreme" weather, too hot or too cold and rainy.  That's because the security check was very far, very, very from the actual building entrance.  You had to just keep on walking and walking.  Now there's an underground passage with special vehicles, like you'd find in large airports.  They have drivers who take the museum visitors who need the ride from one end to the other.

It's very helpful, since museums are hard on the legs.  For those who walk it, there's plenty to see.

And if you want to walk the distance outside, they've covered it, too.

That's all part of the changes at the museum, but some things have stayed the same sort of.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Behind The Scenes...

Some of my facebook friends have been wondering why I posted these clown pictures in the summer.  Generally clowns are part of Purim celebrations late winter early spring.  I've also taken clown pictures in the hospital, because it's very common to see "medical clowns" in all sorts of Israeli hospital wards

Things clowns seem rather out of place especially because it's pretty obvious the photos were shot in Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin, where I work.

The story behind the pictures is that for whatever reason the Rami Levy administration had decided to entertain the kids the other day and hired these clowns.  I didn't get to see the show, since somebody had to mind the shop, and that somebody was me.  But I did get to take pictures of them as they went off to put on a show, because they used our  "fitting-rooms" as "dressing-rooms."

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Not that long ago here in Israel, end of the season sale mean a 15% reduction for a short period of time at the very, very end of the season, and then the clothes were stored away for next year.  Styles didn't change much from year to year, so it didn't really matter.

Now Israelis expect sales and they get them.

We've already begun our summer sales, and school hasn't even let out for the big vacation, חופש הגדול chofesh hagadol. 

Children and their parents are happily scooping up all these playsuits, pajamas, nightgowns, t-shirts and shorts with Hello Kitty, Superman, Barbie, דרדסים Dardassim, Smurfs etc only three items for ns100.  No doubt that by the time we're ready to display winter clothes for sale the prices will be even lower, but the choices reduced, too.

I was informed that there are more sales going on now.  I'll find out when I get to work.
And yes, the men's and women's clothes are also sale-priced.  You should see the young men buying bagfulls of gorgeous shirts at half-price...

PS In case you've forgotten, I work at Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin branch.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

If I Ever Reach The Point When I Can't Dance...

G-d forbid I should find myself unable to dance.  I've always loved dancing.  It's a passion with me, and I get a kick out of seeing my youngest grandchild with the same sort of reaction to music.  But as I get older and know that certian repetive movements endanger my knees, I've begun to look longingly at drums.

I can even imagine myself putting energy into the drums, simple ones like these, which require a similar kinesthetic nature...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Snapping Pictures

Nowadays many people no longer have cameras.  Their phones are their cameras.  And there are ipads which are computers, electric books and cameras, too. 

I take my pictures with a real, ok digital, camera.  Even I gave up on film years ago, but I still look through the view-finder on occasion.  It depends on what I'm snapping.  I shoot pictures the old fashioned way.  I even chose my camera because it felt like a real one

My camera is with me six days of the week.  Only on Shabbat is it left home untouched.  With all the pictures I take, I can't remember the last time I printed some.  I send my pictures far and wide via the computer, the internet.  

Family shots are sent off by email and a few can be found on facebook.  And many other pictures are posted on my blogs.  I'm not the only blogger who posts pictures. 

Quite a few years ago, in the days I frequently hosted Havel Havelim, I commented that with all of the fantastic photo-based posts, there should be a Jewish blog carnival specifically geared to them.  And  Mr. Bagel, who is no longer actively blogging began JPIX.  Now Leora runs it.  It appears a few times a year, and here's the latest JPIX.  Please visit and share, thanks.

Monday, June 25, 2012

HH #365, One For Every Day of The Year!

Esser Agaroth has presented/hosted another excellent edition of Havel Havelim, the Jewish blog carnival, a floating internet magazine on Jewish and Israeli topics.  This week's edition also included some posts about last week's President's Conference. 

Ya'aqov was disappointed that no hard questions was asked of Peres at our special jblogger session with him.

I wasn't given a chance to ask a question, and I have no doubt that if I had, he would have squirmed away just like Peter Beinart did, as described by A Soldier's Mother.  There were others of us, such as Rafi  who didn't leave our critical minds at the coatcheck.  There were many of us there, and it was nice that the management treated us as serious journalists.

Michael Tzdok Elkohen, An Aspiring Mekubal, will be hosting next week! You can send him a Facebook personal message, or submit through our on-line submission site. Don't forget to join our Facebook Group, now accepting commenters and fans, in addition to bloggers. This is where you want to be, if you want to be considered for a hosting position!  You may submit your blog posts via the Haveil Havalim On-line Submission Site!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Optimistic Survival Stories for Superman Sam

Phyllis, the Ima Bima, mother of Superman Sam, has requested optimistic survival stories, preferably about kids surviving  childhood leukemia.

I'm sure that everyone here can find some true story to give the family a boost.  And of course keep those prayers coming:

רפואה שלימה
Refuah Shleimah
A complete Recovery
Shmuel Asher ben haRav Pesah Esther

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Dying Breed?

unknown kids I snapped
Every once in a while I see an article proclaiming that in a few generations there won't be any more redheads.  That bothers me.  Although none of my kids are redheads, and so far at least, none of the grandkids, we've always had redheads in my family.  Actually we've had them on both sides.  Today I think that my nephew is the only one.

My grandfather had red hair and blue eyes.  My father, sister and uncle (my mother's brother) all had brown eyes with red hair.  I think that my nephew's eyes are grey.

There are redheads I know without any redheaded children, and there are families with redheaded kids who inherited their striking color from grandparents or even more distant generations.

That redhead personality is a different story...

Friday, June 22, 2012

Flaunting It!

I guess after selling in Yafiz and having to approach a very surprising variety of potential customers for a year and a half, I've gotten more used to being "pushy."  So, in a very different guise, Press at the 2012 President's Conference, I used my color-coded press card to get into sessions that had been declared "full."

That's how I was able to get to a good spot during Israeli President Shimon Peres's special for bloggers "Meet President Peres," even though it had already begun by the time I got there.  Actually I needed it to get into almost every session I attended.  There weren't enough sessions for the participants.  The were all overcrowded.

Pick me out in the picture if you can.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Debut KCC on Frugal and Kosher

Frugal and Kosher has posted an excellent Kosher Cooking Carnival edition.  It's her first attempt, but she cooked it up like a pro.  Visit and share KCC and the various posts included.

Kosher Cooking Carnival is a blog carnival, floating internet magazine, that includes all sorts of blog posts about kosher food, recipes, customs, Jewish Law, restaurant and cookbook reviews.  I started it a number of years ago when a recipe carnival rejected my post, because the edition's theme was ham.  I decided that the Jewish internet world needed its own blog carnival based on food, kosher of course, and the rest is history.  Each month on Rosh Chodesh (the beginning of the Jewish Month) KCC is posted by a different host blog.

If you'd like to host one, please let me know.  You're welcome to join our facebook group where we have the latest KCC news.  I also keep jblog news up on my blogs.  Click the tab under the banner.

Next month's KCC will be hosted by Cooking Outside the Box. Please submit your posts using the blog carnival submission form or email your links directly to

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Flying Bicycles?

If these are for tying/locking bicycles...

...what are these for?

I've always had a strange mind, and when I just went through my facebook albums, I could see the unexpected similarities in the two pictures.

Our minds play all sorts of tricks on us.

Yesterday two raised in Israel neighbors  were joking around about Hebrew and how even people like themselves misread words and signs.  Hebrew isn't written with vowels in most cases, so it's so easy to misread a word.  I had thought that only people like myself, not raised speaking and reading Hebrew, can have those linguistic mishaps.  It's a comfort to know I was wrong about it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

MAZALTOV! Frum Satire's Heshy is a Married Man

Heshy Fried of the amazingly popular blog, Frum Satire is married.  Mazal tov to him and his wife.  I wish them all the best, good health and a happy, wonderful, satisfied life together.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Secret...

Do you now what's happening here?

No, it's not a "secret."  It's "The Secret."

"The secret" refers to what must be done if you want your solar panels to really heat the water.  They must be kept clean or the sun won't be efficiently and freely absorbed to heat the water  or make/generate electricity.

I'm no expert in the real technicalities in it, but I do know that when we have sandstorms after the last rain, we won't get as much hot water all summer as the years when the last rain is a clean one after the sandstorms.

When our elder son lived with us, it was no "challenge" for him to climb up on the roof and wipe the dust and grime off of our solar panels.  That time is long over.  He does do plenty of chores when paying one of his rare visits, but I haven't asked him to clean the solar panels.  Maybe that's because I'm so phobic about heights and he likes to frighten me by jumping off into thick bushes.  One of his old jobs was that of a plumber's assistant.  The plumber had dreams of getting him fully trained and qualified and making a business together, but my son wasn't interested.  At least the skills he learned comes in handy at times.  And yes plumbers must climb on roofs, on anything where there are pipes and water.

For those with kids, who aren't phobic about heights, looking for summer jobs here in Israel this summer, cleaning solar panels would be a good way of making money.

ps I took this picture at Sha'ar Binyamin Shopping Center/Industrial Park.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Israeli Book Week is More Than Just Books

Years ago, remember that we're in Israel for over forty years, Book Week in Israel was a time when every town and city set up sales points, tables and tables and tables for book publishers to display and see volume after volume of books to the book-hungry public.

There never was a country or people so enamored or addicted to books like Israelis.  Remember that Jews are known as the "people of the Book," so in the modern State of Israel books are a very popular item.

But even here, things have changed a bit and the book fairs now are more like carnivals with all sorts of entertainment for the kiddies of all ages, even the pre-readers.

That includes food, if you consider these sugary confections aka "cotton candy" to be "food."  In Ofra, where I spent the afternoon with the grandkids, they even had real food grilled meat and sandwiches for sale.  But my grandchildren insisted on the sugary stuff, something I never would have bought my own kids.

There were also clowns and magicians who entertained in the shade, thank G-d. 

And there was also entertainment for those who "danced" to a different drummer.

Considering that nowadays not all read their books from paper, it should be no surprise that the Jerusalem Municipality had a different sort of fair the very same week.  I saw all sorts of handicrafts being set up for sale at Safra Square.

Israeli Book Week is party time.  We celebrate books!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Bima Ima's Son and All The Family Need Your Prayers

The Bima Ima, a jblogger I know from Havel Havelim (and because of that facebook) has very recently posted bad news on her blog. 

Her six year old son, Sam, was just diagnosed with  acute myeloid leukemia.

Phyllis has started a blog Superman Sam on which she'll add updates and write about the new life they have found themselves having to live.

In the Jewish blogging community, Phyllis has always been there to help out, host Havel Havelim.  Now Phyllis and her family need our prayers:

רפואה שלימה
Refuah Shleimah
Complete Healing
Shmuel Asher ben haRav Pesah Esther

And good health and humor to all members of the family.  They have a tough ride ahead.  May G-d give them good health and a special Refuah Shleimah  to Sam.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The POOL!!!

Yesterday, I had one of those "private pool" experiences for the beginning of my time there.  Apparently, I had missed the "rush" the "crowd" of four women.  Later on a few more came in to swim and chat.

Yes, that's why I had no trouble photographing these very modest pictures.

I didn't have to infringe on the privacy, tzniyut  modesty of anybody, because I had it to myself.  Yes, of course there was a lifeguard, a female, of course.

This is the very last year the Shiloh Pool בריכת שילה Breichat Shiloh will look like this.  There are plans to rebuild the pool, including an "enclosure" to make it an all year pool.  I'm going to have to find the money to commit to a founding membership.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

That Delicious "Taste Memory"

We all have different sorts of memories, smell, sound, visual, taste and probably more.

A friend who had lived in Israel during the 1970's still drools at the thought of a certain bakery.

Yes, it's that Hungarian conditory Rechov Strauss (Street) in Jerusalem.  Yes, that's the legendary bakery, pastry shop in which you can have some tea or coffee with your cake.  Trying to keep up with the times, there's a small sign announcing that they also serve "ice coffee," which is like a "frozen malted."  I don't know what it's called in other countries.

I haven't eaten there for decades, but I have memories of eating apple strudel and nut cake/pie.  The last time I was there, my mother and I ordered and then walked out, because someone was smoking.  We then wandered around downtown Jerusalem until we found a nice pastry/coffee shop that enforced the "no smoking" and had their cake displays refrigerated.

Very few stores and restaurants have survived so long.  Most bakeries are now branches of large chains.  Even if they bake on the premises, it's done with frozen pre-prepared "goodies."  If you want something really good, you should go to the old bakeries like this one.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"Age Before Beauty," Why Hide Your Age?

The other day I was waiting for a ride at the Shiloh Junction.  We all pretty much got there the same time, having picked up the same ride to there from Ofra.  Then a car came by with one place.  One of the young men started getting in, then he suddenly didn't.  He gestured that I should get in.

"Age before beauty" went through my mind.  Since I doubted that he knows enough English to understand it, I didn't say it out loud.  Everyone else waiting there was young, younger than my youngest child.  If I had been their peer, it would have had taken longer for me to find a ride home.

At times there are advantages to looking old.  I get rides in buses, too.  I don't even have to groan and stare at people.  They just get up.

I could never understand why some people go to great efforts, including surgery to look much younger.  If, at an age like mine, you look well under your age, people may demand/expect too much from you physically.  And I wouldn't get seats in buses etc.

Some may think that it's easy for me to say so, because I don't look older than my age.  I inherited good genes from my parents.  Their youthfulness was always legendary.  At my age they couldn't get senior discounts  without showing proof that they were old enough.  Nobody has ever demanded that from me.

Every age has its disadvantages and advantages.  We can't fight it, but we can enjoy it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Two Buses, Four Rides, Yes, Straight to The Door

As many of you know, we don't have a car.  We travel by bus and whatever aka tremping, hitchhiking.  Sometimes it all goes easily, and sometimes it's a bit more complicated.  There is bus service between Shiloh and Jerusalem and Shiloh and Ariel, which has more bus lines to the "Tel Aviv area."

The other day I attended a shiur class at Matan in Jerusalem.  It ended a bit after one bus home and much too early for the next one.  I hate waiting.  So I had to figure out how to get home in between the buses.

I don't like sounding/seeming like a parasite, so I didn't ask/announce that I needed a ride after the shiur was over.  It was a bit annoying watching all the cars pass me; I recognized the drivers from the participants.  But that's the price of being carless.

I lost/wasted a lot of concentration during the class trying to figure out which bus and route I should take back to somehow get home.

I decided to walk to a bus stop that would give me two different options, #4 and #18.  My luck was that I missed a bus.  It passed me on the way.  Then I waited and waited and waited; neither bus showed.  Finally the #4 showed up.  I sat near the driver so I could ask which stop would be the same as for #25 which could take me to a bus stop where cars also offer rides.

That made two buses, since the #25 came pretty quickly to make up for my previous wait.  After a while a car stopped offering to take us to Adam.  Going there wouldn't help, so I asked if they'd drop me off at the machsom, Jerusalem border.  After waiting a short while there, I got a ride to Ofra, then to the Shiloh Junction and finally from there from a neighbor who passes my house on the way to his.

To put it simply, I got a ride straight home, and I even saved ns12.  Thank G-d!

Caption This

  • Who knows the spot?
  • What would you call it?
  • And how would you caption it?

Please send your reactions to the comments, thanks.

Monday, June 11, 2012

New Views From Jerusalem's Old City

When we lived in Jerusalem's Old City, over forty years ago, it didn't look like this at all.

We were there pretty soon after Israel liberated it during the 1967 Six Days War.  As I've blogged a number of times on Shiloh Musings, Israel didn't actually have a working plan to liberate Judea, Samaria or even the Old City.  There were always rumblings and mumblings about how they dreamt of praying at the Kotel, which was referred to as the "Wailing Wall,"

So, if there weren't any plans to liberate the land that Jordan was occupying, then the Israeli Government certainly didn't have any plans on how they were going to deal with the Jewish homes and Arab squatters who had been there illegally for almost twenty years.  OK, probably longer considering that many of the Jewish population had been forced out before independence.

Today there are many Jews living in the Old City and many, many more study, pray and visit.  I always take tons of pictures when I'm there.  It's like visiting a dear relative who was once poor and neglected and now has improved his/her life.

One of the signs of Jewish sovereignty in the Old City is the mezzuzah on Jaffa Gate.

The Jewish Quarter is decorated with Israeli and Jerusalem flags.  Before the pre-state violence against Jews in the walled city of Jerusalem, aka the Old City, Jews lived in all of the neighborhoods.

Look carefully at the patterns of the bricks and you can see that the second floor is newer than the first.

During the year, 1970-71, we had lived there, it was a very different place.  Whenever I pass our old home, which is almost unrecognizable, I'm amazed.  There was no Jewish community at the time.  Maybe if it had been different, meaning more like today, we would have applied to buy an apartment there instead of buying one in Bayit V'Gan, which we later sold to build our house in Shiloh.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Concentrating on Saving Tomato Paste

OK, I admit that I gave this a peculiar title.  There won't be enough words in the post for google search to push/promote/offer it for those looking.  It's about wasting tomato paste 22% or tomato concentrate 28%.

I don't cook with the ingredient very often and frequently find what's left in a glass jar in the fridge going moldy.  Years ago I heard that you can freeze tomato paste, so the last time I opened a can I decided to freeze the leftover portion.

Yes, as you can see, I re-portioned the leftover in small plastic bags.  This should work, G-d willing. 

PS I don't buy ready-made tomato sauce.  I cook up the tomato paste/concentrate with oil, onion, garlic and water.  It's really very simple and easy to make.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Re: Marriage

It's sometimes very hard to choose what to write on my blogs or on which blog to blog a topic.  That's the dilemma I had tonight.  I had an idea for blogging in my head and couldn't figure out which blog would make a better host for the article.

I chose Shiloh Musings, so please click and read the article about brides and weddings and not knowing what they're getting into etc.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Wear What You Want!

One of the things I love about living in Israel is that there are fewer "rules" about what to wear. 

Some of you may think I'm nuts, because I do live in a world in which women (at least most) carefully adhere to the Jewish religious laws of  tzniyut,  modesty.  But dressing within those laws are liberating and can be very creative.  It's not a strict uniform, at least in dati leumi, national religious circles. 

We don't have all the white tie vs black tie rules, for one.  There's even more freedom in the shoes we wear to even the most formal events, like weddings.  That's why I took these pictures at a wedding the other day.  Even though I spied a couple of young women in heels that would wow even in New York, most of us wore comfort over fashion, even with the fanciest of clothes.  And even though it was a very religious "separate seating" wedding, not all of the women wore stockings gasp!

Mazal Tov!  Enjoy in good health!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Aging Communities, The Yishuvim Aren't All Young Families

The media (and official YESHA spokespeople) like to show all those gorgeous young families living in hilltops and more established towns and communities in Judea and Samaria.  Adorable children are more photogenic than my peers and the even more elderly.

One thing most don't realize is that senior citizen ותיקים vatikkim activities are being established all over.  More and more of us have reached retirement age, and also not all of us are as fit and able as we once were.  As you can see in the picture on the right, small vehicles like the one behind the bicycle are becoming more and more common.

I took pictures of these in Ofra, parked near the bus stop.  Quite a few of those pioneers who established Ofra now need these carts for local transportation.  You can also see them by the stores, library and clinic.

Some people even have medical reasons to the extent that they can use special Shabbat carts which have "engines" specially suited to comply with rabbinic rulings.  They can be used on Shabbat but only by people who fit special criteria.  On Shabbat you'll see them lined up, parked orderly by the synagogue.  This is a wonderful innovation, because those with physical limitations can continue living at home much longer and stay social.  That way they enjoy life and that is very good medicine.