Friday, August 31, 2012

Chana's Prayer, T'fillat Chana, At Tel Shiloh

Everyone's invited.
Tours, prayers, Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi and music by Aaron & Efrat Razel
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
The program is in Hebrew

Nu? Where? What?

What's this story?

There's always a story, isn't there?  I must let you know that I took the picture here in Shiloh when I was walking around the neighborhood last night.  I've lived in Shiloh for over thirty years, and I've never ever seen such a sight here.

Are we being invaded by upper middle class American suburbanites?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Raining on the Edon Pinchot Parade

I finally looked/listened to the America's Got Talent Edon Pinchot,  who's this season's gimmick.  I wasn't impressed, not one iota.

Of course it's easier to join the crowd and say he's amazing, but he isn't.  His voice is ordinary, at least in this song.  There's no range.  And it's not an appropriate song for a religious kid, nor is all of the talk of girlfriends etc.

I kept thinking of Susan Boyle who had wowed the world a couple of years ago with her totally amazing voice and very plain appearance.  After a rough start she has been making a career for herself.  She's a middle-aged woman.

Edon Pinchot is just a kid.  From the looks of him, his voice may change drastically in the future.  I don't think that the big stage is the place for him.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Caption, Anyone? Guess the Spot!

I have been at this location only once. 

Does anyone know where it is?

Let's see what captions you come up with or information as to the location...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Blogging About The Kids

Some of you must think me an awful photographer.  When I post pictures of my kids and grandkids, you can't see their faces clearly.

Actually, unless you know them and know they are mine, you'd have an awfully hard, hopefully impossible, time recognizing them.

I must confess.  I do that on purpose.

My family does not want to be recognized as mine.  I don't take offense at it.  They grew up with reporters, tv crews etc in the house.  For some strange reason our living in Shiloh was considered newsworthy, and journalists and diplomats etc have been going out of their way, all the way to Shiloh to ask us why we're here, will we attack the police and other deep earth-shaking questions.

I'm sure you believe me that I do take great pictures of the kids and grandkids in which you can see their smiles and the color of their eyes.  But I reserve those pictures for the family and close friends.

Monday, August 27, 2012

What We Ate on Our Hike in Nachal Shiloh

Last Friday the Israeli branch of the immediate family hiked in nearby Nachal Shiloh.  This hiking (and bicycle) path as close as you can get to Shiloh being just across the main road from us.  There's a parking lot where you can leave your car.  We didn't have much time, since it was a Friday, and we had to start very late morning, more like noon, because the almost five year old had had a "meet the Kindergarten teacher" event in Ofra.

One of the advantages to living in Shiloh is that it's in the heart of Bible Land, full of history and agriculture.  So the kids had no problem finding a place with an easy trail, picnic tables and swings.

Just a minute's stroll from the parking lot we discovered the perfect place for all the food and cooking equipment etc.  There were fresh figs for the taking, as long as there was someone who could hang on to a tree and pick them.

Kids of all ages (under a certain weight) enjoyed the swings which were hanging on the trees. 

And you can see the welcome shade, considering that we only got started at high noon.  Back to the food....

The kids were in charge; I didn't have to bring anything.

We did not nosh on the grapes, commercial grapes growing all over.  There are serious vineyards here in the traditional Biblical grape-growing country of the Shomron, Benjamin and Efrayim.  Quite a few local boutique wines have won prizes.  Our sons told stories of how they spent their teenage summers planting some of those very grapes.

The main course was "Bedouin pittot." As you can see, lots of hands pitched in for the kneading.

It took some practice, but the cooking went well. I don't think that real Bedouin add tomato sauce and olives...

Lots of salads were brought, too. It was a feast!  I have a great family!!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

End of Summer, Back to School

Israeli kids are returning to school, and the teachers are returning to work a week earlier than usual.  Today's the big day.  It's still August, not the traditional September 1.

For years there has been talk of shortening summer vacation aka חופש הגדול Chofesh HaGadol, The Long/Big Vacation and giving a bit more time off in the winter or just increasing school days or using the extra time to round off holiday weekends etc.

One of the reasons that this year is very good for an early return to school is that 5773 Rosh Hashannah "falls early" in September, and there won't be enough school days before the Jewish Holiday season begins.

The Jewish Calendar and the solar Christian ones aren't the same.  The twelve month lunar calendar has fewer days than the solar one which is based on the four seasons coming the right time and the same months every year.  The Jewish Calendar is adjusted every few years according to a very accurate formula.  This  year's Rosh Hashannah isn't the earliest it can be.  Next year, 5774 will have an even earlier one, but then there will be an additional winter month between Shvat and Adar called Adar Alef (the first.)  Purim and all plain Adar birthdays and yartzeits will be in Adar Bet.  We use a nineteen year cycle to keep our Holidays in line with the right seasons.

The Muslims keep a twelve month lunar calendar, and their holidays travel around the solar cycle calendar.  This was a tough year for Muslims in this part of the world, because their month long Ramadan fast was in the heat of the summer. 

At work, Yafiz-Clothing for the Entire Family, Sha'ar Binyamin, we had a busy time selling to Arabs celebrating their Eid-al-Fitr end of Ramadan holiday and to Jews buying clothes for the upcoming school year.  Both groups took advantage of our end of season sales. 

Now that the Muslims are back to work and the Jews are back to school, we'll be selling Holiday clothes to wear Rosh Hashannah, Yom Kippur and Succot.  After that there will be winter clothes.  And then there are sales and...

I'm glad to be at this end of the pre-school year hustle and bustle.  I don't have to buy school books, clothes, prepare lessons etc.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Something New, The Shiloh Bike Path

When I was at Tel Shiloh last week for Women's Rosh Chodesh Prayers, I saw this little sign.  Yes, that's the sign of a designated bicycle path.  And yes, it is a bit rocky.  That's why I didn't take it all that seriously. 

When I was young we rode our bicycles on the road, even busy ones, but we didn't go riding on unpaved surfaces.  Even if the bike was sturdy enough, isn't it harder and more dangerous?

On Friday we had a family hike/picnic Israeli style at Nachal Shiloh, a fantastic spot just on the other side of the main road, across from Tel Shiloh, just south of Givat Harel.

We were rather surprised to see lots of cyclists.

And there are special bike path logos, too.
Every time we thought the riders were gone, another group showed up.

I had no idea that there was such a popular and delightful tourist spot right near home.

Friday, August 24, 2012

What's The Coffee Connection?

I took this picture in New York this summer.  I really didn't notice those cups on the wall and couldn't see the connection.  Why do they have that sign there saying "coffee?"

As I write this, I'm drinking my morning coffee, and I'm not dressed like that.  I'm not even dressed for my "day job."  How do you dress when drinking coffee?

For me coffee is part of my early morning routine.  I don't take "coffee breaks" at work, which is probably what this scene is supposed to represent.  And I don't dress like that either for work...

At this moment I'm sitting in the den, dressed in a terrycloth robe, barefoot and bleary-eyed trying to wake up.  That's my usual coffee-drinking outfit.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Israel Museum, Sans Kites

My husband was the lucky one to have taken the grandkids to the Israel Museum the other day for the museum's annual kite day.  I suggested it, remembering the fun I had had on one of the first days they did it when our kids were young and then how great it had been to have taken the older kids a few years ago. 

It's not that I haven't been to the Israel Museum much; I was there just last week, and here are some pictures.  I was told that it's now permitted to photo without flash.

As you can see, there's always something to view at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

NY Desserts, Kosher

As many of you know, I'm pretty careful about what I eat, and yummy desserts aren't on my usual menu.  But once (rarely more) a year, when I travel to the states I sometimes treat myself.  Hagen Daz mint is generally a "meal substitute" when no other kosher food is available.

This apple strudel with vanilla ice cream was eaten at U Cafe` and shared with a cousin.  Neither of us needed the extra calories and sugar, but it was a such a sweet evening being together...  Our grandparents would certainly have had approved.

Towards the end of my visit, I met a friend davka for dessert at "My Most Favorite," which is her most favorite place.  I had their carrot cake with cream cheese icing.  I'll eat carrots in almost any form, so consider it a vegetable and cheese dish.

My friend had her fruit for the day in their strawberry shortcake.

Aren't we a couple of health food fanatics?

And for those who don't need or want to justify their choice of dessert by claiming it to be a fruit or vegetable, here are some others I photographed:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Walking The Bridge

One of the modern "to do's" in Jerusalem, especially for walkers, is to "walk the bridge," the String Bridge that is. 

You can combine it with a ride on the lightrail between Kiryat Moshe and the Central Bus Station, in either direction.  The day I took these pictures I needed to get from Kiryat Moshe to the bus station, so I just walked it via the bridge, saving me all sorts of annoying, time-wasting and not always that safe traffic lights.

As you can see, not only pedestrians enjoy the bridge.

This bike rider had the same idea. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Twice in a Day, Plus HH News

I'll start with the latest Havel Havelim which is at An Aspiring Mekubal, who has been extremely generous with his time in hosting the longest running blog carnival, a weekly round-up of blog posts on Jewish and Israeli themes, the one and only Havel Havelim...  More news about HH.  I'll be hosting next week's to give him a break.  Havel Havelim is coordinated on our facebook page. Send me your posts via fb message or email.

Now, what did I do twice yesterday?  It's something I consider myself lucky enough if I do it once, and many people don't get to do at all.



guess, nu?

I went to the pool, yes, twice, and no, not the same pool.

First I went to my local pool, pretty early, just after 7:30 and not for long.  It was Rosh Chodesh, and I had to get ready to go to Tel Shiloh for Women's Rosh Chodesh Prayers.  I figured that 15-20 minutes in the water were certainly better than none.  And I was right.  When am I not right?

Later on, after an inspiring time at Tel Shiloh, led by Miryam Blum, I put on a "different hat."  I took the bus to Ofra as Savta, Grannie.  I took my granddaughters to their local pool.  The older ones generally go by themselves after finishing their "swimming course."  But for the almost two year old to go, she needs full time assistance.  There's no wading pool in Ofra.  It's one pool going from shallow to deep, ok, deeper.  After holding the little one a bit, we put her in a "floating ring" of sorts and she considered herself swimming like her sisters.

When she had enough, she told me, and we sat on the lawn in the sun until I decided that we had been out enough, and I took her back to my daughter. 

Experts say that just walking in the water is good exercise, so I'll consider that second time in the pool as good, not just fun, too.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Elul Kosher Cooking Carnival

Here I am back hosting the Kosher Cooking Carnival, the Jewish food blog carnival which includes all aspects of kosher food.  That means a lot more than just recipes.  We welcome posts about Jewish food traditions, halachot-Jewish laws pertaining to food, reviews of kosher cookbooks and restaurants and recipes, too, of course.  I began it quite a few years when a recipe carnival rejected my post because their theme was ham.  And since then, we've been going strong.

This blog carnival, a floating from blog to blog/site internet magazine is monthly, posted on Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of the Jewish month by various volunteer blogs.  We coordinate it via email and our facebook page/group.  You can send your post/link via blog carnival or fb message to whomever is the host for the upcoming month.  If you have questions or would like to host one, just contact me.

Here are the posts I received via blog carnival, after weeding out the spam.  I'll follow them with some of mine and others.

anything kosher!

Chaviva Karon presents Italian Wedding Soup posted at Challah Maidel, saying, "Your audience may enjoy this recipe"
Yosef presents Giveaway: Taste the world with JWines posted at This American Bite.
Katie Sorene presents 3 Asian-Inspired Kosher Recipes posted at The Flying Fugu, saying, "Asian cooking can be kosher! Chinese chicken soup, teriyaki salmon and mango sticky rice - a delicious menu for your next kosher Asian dinner party."


Jay3fer presents Easy last-minute (pareve) Shabbos brittle! posted at Adventures in Mama-Land, saying, "The perfect treat to bring to the table after a Shabbos meal OR to pack up for mishloach manot, party treats, etc. You could pay a small fortune in the store - or, for the price of some almonds and sugar - have it at home in minutes!"
Mrs. S. presents Cinnamon Buns posted at Our Shiputzim: A Work In Progress, saying, "Thanks for all your hard work!"

economical use of left-overs

Hindy Garfinkel presents Corned Beef Hash Egg Rolls posted at Confident Cook, Hesitant Baker.

Every day meals

Ohra Wellness presents Summer Quinoa posted at Ohra Wellness, saying, "Its a one-bowl meal!" I must tell you that I ate this, and it's really delicious.
Hindy Garfinkel presents Meatless Monday: Socca with Mushroom and Tofu Saute posted at Confident Cook, Hesitant Baker.
Yosef presents Protein Rich, Personal Pita Pizzas posted at This American Bite.
Leora Wenger presents Chicken, Ginger and Cabbage - Cook with Coconut Oil posted at Here in HP, saying, "Leftover chicken, anyone?"
Hindy Garfinkel presents Vegetable and Rice Patties posted at Confident Cook, Hesitant Baker.


Batya (that's me) presents Feasting on Tisha (the 9th of) B'Av posted at me-ander.

Jewish Shabbat and Holiday food

Jay3fer presents Whole Lotta Challah Going Down! posted at Adventures in BreadLand, saying, "Dealing with a large batch of challah dough... fun!"
Ester a.k.a. Northern Lights presents Whole Wheat Challah posted at Frugal and Kosher, saying, "Thank you!"

During my past couple of visits to New York I've eaten at U Cafe` quite a few times, and every meal was a real treat.  I guess one of the best things I can say is that you don't have to be kosher to be a fan of theirs.  My non-kosher eating partners all were enthusiastic about the food.

New York is no longer the center of our family life in America.  My parents and sister now live in the Phoenix, AZ area.  It's possible to eat kosher well, even when everything is traif.  I keep a pot, cutting board and knife there so I can make my own food.  A friend took me out for one meal in a kosher pizza place; though we didn't eat pizza.

When I posted a query about the reliability of the kashrut of a certain hechshar I received very mixed replies.  I found myself corresponding with someone who actually knows the rabbi in question, and he said that the hechshar is reliable.  A cousin in Philadelphia who organized my family reunion day there discovered how complicated it can be.  One of the restaurants she planned on taking me to which had been recommended by kosher food eaters is vegan but open on Shabbat.  I told her that I'd prefer only a shomer shabbat one.  That is also what the OU recommends.

Don't worry, we found enough kosher restaurants in Philly.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of kosher cooking carnival-kcc using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index pageLeora is hosting the Tishrei edition.  I'll set up blog carnival to forward your links to her or facebook message her via our fb page.
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