Friday, May 31, 2013

Kashrut is Good Business

We've been seeing this phenomenon in Israel for decades.  Some of the most unlikely places have been getting kosher certification, like Leftist secular kibbutzim and the Ikea stores restaurants

Harrods department store.
Photo: Wikipedia.
Now the very upper-crust, British Harrods, which is owned by the Qatari royal family has its catering for wedding kosher, too.

Being kosher in Israel is relatively easy, especially in the Jerusalem area.  Sports bars & grills like HaGov are shomrei Shabbat with full certification.

If you have more examples, please add them in the comments, thanks.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

A New Look

Late last summer I popped into a favorite store of mine.  The Designer Outlet store in Talpiyot, Jerusalem frequently has some great buys. I was hoping to find something -a super bargain- for winter.  I picked up a simple faux denim dress which I figured I could wear over a simple top.  It did seem to fit ok.  Actually, it does fit; it's just a bit short, especially when I have my pouches strapped onto my waist.  So underneath I'd wear blue or grey "tights" as we called them in my day.  Now they are colored pantyhose.  But the dress was still short.

In Yafiz, where I work, I saw something that is like a cross between a slip and loose pants.  I kept looking at them, very tempted.  Finally I decided that if they are still in the sotre the next time I work, I'll try them on.  If they fit, I'll buy them.  So, I did buy them.  They sat around awhile until I felt the time and occasion warranted my wearing them.  I finally did yesterday.

PS we now have more in the store to sell and in different colors.  We even have some fancy ones.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Shuk/Shuq Shopping, Annoyances

One of the good or bad (best or worst) things about shopping in Jerusalem's open air market, Machaneh Yehuda is its prices. 

Last week I was there wandering around with my granddaughter before taking her to see the JEST performance of "The King and I."  It was Tuesday afternoon and the prices of even the best summer fruits was temptingly low. 

But logic got in the way.  I knew too well that I wouldn't be able to schlepp them safely for hours, so I didn't buy any.  Less than twenty-four 24 hours later I was back raring to shop, and the prices were much higher.  I did buy some fruit but it was hard, ok, actually-impossible to find such prices.  And I did re-trace my steps.

The lesson is that if you really want great bargains, you must choose your shopping days wisely.  The
first half of the week has prices lower than the last half, but they drop extremely low the last couple of hours before Shabbat, because nobody likes to have to store the fresh produce until Sunday.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Mazal Tov to MK Tzipi Hotovely

I remember an interview with MK Tzipi Hotovely and her mother right after she was elected to be a Knesset Member the first time.  Her mother said something like:
"It may be an honor that she was elected MK, but I prefer that she would get married."

Well, the day has finally arrived. She can now change her "family status" to "married."

Before the wedding she ascended the Temple Mount in a personal, spiritual quest.

MK TZIPI HOTOVELY visits the Temple Mount, May 26, 2013 Photo: Ezra Gabay

“Going up to the Temple Mount is important to me, as I am getting married,” Hotovely explained. “Establishing a home and a family unit is not just a private event, but has a public and national dimension of rebuilding from the ruins of Jerusalem.”

In addition, Hotovely pointed out that the Temple Mount is the holiest place for the Jewish people, and called for every Jew to have free access to the site.

All the best wishes to Hotovely and family.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

More From The Jewish Blogging World, Let's All Link Up

Here's another round-up of posts from Jewish blogs.  I don't do this sort of post on a regular schedule, just when I feel like it.  It's not a substitute for Havel Havelim, which now comes out monthly or more frequently depending on volunteers.  Yocheved posted one just a few days ago; please read and share Havel Havelim #407.  More information can be found on our facebook page.

Actually I decided to do another of my "link ups" when I ready lady-light's post,  Happiness is a Choice .  It hit the nail of good living right on the head.

And considering that I had just read the bima ima's latest post about Superman Sam, I knew that I had a jblog roundup to post.

Superman Sam pre-bone marrow transplant with friend who has recovered, bli eyin haraa.
Last week we saw visiting relatives.  One of them suffers from celiac and needs gluten-free food.  Chaviva is our local expert on that.

Rafi's Life in Israel promotes going to the Nachal Chareidi army ceremony to show support.  It's today, Sunday, May 26.

I never quite know where my posts are going to take me, even when I compose the title first, It Takes Guts to Be a Leader.

On Thursday I had to rush out of work to get to Jerusalem before the roads were closed to "protect" United States Secretary of State Kerry. I find it strange that he had no compunctions about eating from a Ramallah shwarma place but considered it dangerous to be on the road with people like myself.  Hat tip: Elder of Zyon.

Here's more of Ben-Zion's adventures as a chief rabbi.  Do his "congregants" read this?

Esser Agaroth's post about today's Golden Calf is a must-read.

Read Paula's update, how Friday saves this busy businesswoman, mother, wife, grandmother, neighborhood activist, blogger and more.

The highlight of last week was taking my eldest granddaughter to her very first real show in Jerusalem.

Considering that it's Sunday and I have a very full and busy week planned... that's it!  Please visit and share.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

First Musical for the First Granddaughter

I don't know how it happened, but apparently my grandchildren had never seen a show, a real show.  One reason is probably that our financial situation began getting really bad about the same time they, or at least the oldest, was old enough to be taken to her first show.  I don't know how old my kids were when I took them, but I do know that before we left England, where we had been on shlichut-working with Jewish youth- I took the two big ones to watch John Curry skate.  The girls were all of four and almost six at the time.

I had no idea of the size and shape of the theater.  Tickets weren't cheap, so I got seats so high up, my young daughters had to stand to see down so far.  It was a thrilling show and a very grownup event for them.

My eldest granddaughter just turned ten, and I wanted to do something special with her.  I didn't want to buy something that wouldn't last.  Experiences last a lifetime in one's memory.  I suggested to my daughter that I take her firstborn to see a show. 

JEST's "The King and I" was playing, and there was a matinee, which we went to.

She had a wonderful time, and now her younger siblings are waiting their turns to see a real show

PS Again we sat in the balcony, but the balcony in the Beit Ha'Am, Jerusalem theatre is easy to see from, especially the first row.

Friday, May 24, 2013

And Yesterday, 14,877 Steps

A couple of weeks ago, a friend came in from the states and gave me a pedometer.  It took awhile for me to get it into my routine, putting it on my skirt's waistband, but recently I've been regaling my facebook friends with the daily count most nights before I go to sleep.

Yesterday I had already logged out of facebook before checking the number, so I emailed myself, 14,877 steps.

I know that ten thousand 10,000 steps are supposed to be considered a lot, but either I didn't set my pedometer up correctly or my lifestyle is much more active than the standard one.

We don't have a car, so I find myself walking lots more than most people must walk, and that's without making a point of walking for fitness sake. Also my job requires that I be on my feet and walk around.  After almost two and a half years working in the store, Yafiz clothing in Sha'ar Binyamin, I don't find it more exhausting, rather less so.  One thing is that I'm more relaxed and less stressed.  I know what's supposed to be and how it is run and have taken on various unofficial responsibilities.

Some days I'm surprised by the number of steps, not realizing I had walked so much, but yesterday I was disappointed.  I had been certain that I had walked a lot more.  I had gotten a ride from work to Jerusalem.  I needed to see relatives in the Inbal hotel and had been left of near the Misgav Ladach Hospital. Since I saw that the bus I needed had just pulled out, and it's not a frequent bus at all, I walked.  The only real problem was that I don't know that section of Jerusalem and my previous "following my nose" attempts to get places had gotten me lost.

My husband, who knows the area sans most street names gave me the general direction.  Then I asked people and I'm pretty sure I got to the hotel before the next bus would have.  It didn't take all that long, though it was too hot for wandering in the sun.  For sure without the "adventure" I wouldn't have passed the 10,000 step benchmark. It also helped that I didn't get a ride up the hill home from the bus stop in Shiloh.

Today is Friday, and considering that I was out of the house all day yesterday until late, I have all of the Shabbat preparations to do, so I doubt if I'll do enough walking.

Shabbat Shalom

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Not The Maternity Clothes of My Generation

The New York Times has a fashion article about maternity clothes.

 J. Emilio Flores for The New York Times

Pregnancy is very "in" in Hollywood.  Those glamorous ladies sure flaunt it. 

As soon as I let my parents know that I was pregnant the first time, my mother went shopping for cute little dresses large enough to hide a few watermelons under my skirt.  And there was a skirt, too, made of a woven fabric that had a big stretch panel in front.  That skirt was worn with a giant shirt, just in case I was carrying quadruplets full term.

Clothes in those days were woven, not knit and stretch except maybe for underwear, "Danskin" tops and some sweaters.  Skirts were made with zippers and darts.  Within a couple of months pregnant women had nothing to wear, so maternity clothes were a necessity and a very big business.

Nowadays everything stretches.  Skirts rarely have zippers.  I can sell the same skirt to a preteen and her pregnant mother or aunt.  Many pregnant women just wear their regular clothes which grow with them.  The lucky ones find that the fabrics shrink back, at least to post partum size, without any tailoring adjustments.

Today's mothers are very lucky!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The New Eli - Shiloh Bicycle Path

When I was a teenager and younger I loved to ride my bicycle.  It's one of those things I haven't done for decades, but it's also one of the few things still popular, at least in this part of the world, Israel.  One of my sons finds cycling to be the most efficient and quickest commute to work.  The bonus is that it keeps him fit, and he has to be fit for his job.

Way back when, in the "old country," my friend Louise Rosenstein and I met up a couple of times in-between Bayside and Great Neck on Northern Blvd at the bicycle path near the Throgs Neck Bridge.  We'd cycle to the "end of Queens," then go into a store, buy a big container of ice cream, get some plastic spoons and then finish off the ice cream, sharing it until the very last drop.

Israeli cities, including Jerusalem, have bicycle paths which you can see on the sides of roads.  And even here in the Shiloh area there's a new bicycle path to tour Emek (the Valley of) Shiloh, Tel Shiloh to Eli.

When I was at Tel Shiloh on Rosh Chodesh we spotted a number of cyclists riding by.

Here's a video of it; hat tip: my husband.

חנוכת שבילי האופניים בשילה הקדומה from Ronen Siman Tov on Vimeo.
אירוע חניכת סינגל במרחב מעיינות שילה- עלי, אירוע מאורגן למופת על ידי תיירות אזור בנימין, בהובלה של חברת בוץ ובעבודת בנייה של חובב, מאות רוכבים התקבצו ובאו להפנינג של רכיבה בנופים מרהיבים. הסינגל זורם ומהנה ביותר! וההשקעה בבנייתו ניכרת. שיר הנושא הוא "דרור ויקרא" בביצועו של שלמה בר מהברירה הטבעית.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Having Fun With Vegetables

Some people find my recipes "difficult" because I am so unspecific about quantities etc.  But the truth is that I cook according to what ever is in the "pantry" and whomever will be expected to eat.  A favorite in my house (and my usual gift when we're eating at a neighbor) is baked vegetables. 

Here are a couple of the vegetable dishes I made for last Shabbat.

As you can see, there are potatoes, a sweet potato, half a "mini-pumpkin" which I "stuffed" with a couple of small tomatoes and a large piece of eggplant.  What you can't see is that the eggplant is sliced and has garlic stuffed in the slices.  I dribbled some oil on it and baked it.

This dish has already been baked.  The bottom layer is onion, then eggplant, squash, pumpkin and some oil.  You can't get simpler than that!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Flowers to Fit

A few months ago a friend brought me a present, gorgeous vase as a "house/hostess gift."  Handmade ceramics, low, but very heavy.  It sat empty on my livingroom window sill.  Then a few days ago I was given a humongous bunch of flowers, much to much, too thick and too heavy for my glass vases.  Suddenly I remembered the ceramic one.  I cut down the flowers, so they wouldn't be too high, out of proportion and possibly even fall out or fall over.

Just perfect!

I don't know what I would have done with them if I hadn't gotten the vase beforehand.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

An Advantage From the Vantage of the Women's Gallery

Honestly, I don't mind sitting far from the action in shul, the synagogue.  I have a great seat in the Ezrat Nashim, Women's Section of our local synagogue.  I'm not looking for honors or responsibilities that the men get.  I don't need it.  My life is full and busy enough.  The "balcony" is far enough away so that nobody has ever complained about my singing along loudly.  Nobody down there hears me.  If I ever have the need to say Kaddish, that will be between me and G-d.  Plenty of females have said it from our Ezrat Nashim.  Nobody has ever asked for a spotlight.

I'm in the front row, center.  It's a crazy story how I got that seat.  My original seat was on the far side, by the wall, in the middle row, third out of five.  I liked it.  I could lean against the wall when we had to stand for long periods of time.  I never had to give it to anyone else when there was a Bar Mitzvah.  Now, I graciously give my seat to the women of families celebrating Bar Mitzvahs and other special occasions, so they can see and kvell.  I tell them that it's no problem; it's just my way of participating in their joyous occasion. It's true.

There was one problem with my old seat.  That row was across from the door and targeted by draughts, cold, cold ones.  I just couldn't take it and complained, begging everyone to keep the door shut.  I was told that I should just wear more clothes, my coat, shawls and scarves.  I'm also terribly hyper and noticed everyone coming in.  Eventually I was offered a new seat.  A neighbor didn't like sitting in the front row.  So we switched seats.  We were both happy with the arrangement.

Now, there's something else I must tell you about my seat.  I can see what goes on in the Men's section.  I can see who is wandering around talking.  I can see who is reading all sorts of things other than their siddur and obviously not dovening.  I can see if it's one of those Parshat Shavua pages, a newspaper or a book.  I can see if the pages are being turned or if the men are sleeping/dozing or just staring into space.  I'm like some sort of spy.  I can see them, but they can't see me.

One thing for sure is that the women who come to shul on Shabbat morning are much more serious about their dovening than the men ever are.

Friday, May 17, 2013

And Now for Maxwell House in My French Press

When I was in the states a few months ago, I stayed with a friend whose kitchen hasn't been kosher for decades, so she got me a supply of pots and a French press for my morning coffee making.  Since then, I drink French Press coffee on most weekdays.  I also brought back home to Israel a few cans of American ground coffee.

When I finished up the last of that coffee, I tried making coffee in the French press with my easy to buy in Israel Elite Turkish coffee.  The flavor was fine, but the filter/plunger had trouble with the "muddy mess" that Turkish coffee grounds produces.  I went back to perking the Elite Turkish coffee.  Then a friend came to the rescue a couple of weeks ago and brought me Dunkin' Donuts coffee from the states, which is absolutely delicious when used in the French press.  And at pretty much the same time, my husband returned from a quick visit to the states with two types of coffee for me.

I finished the Dunkin' Donuts ground coffee much too quickly, so now it's time for Maxwell House.

Good to the last drop...

That is good coffee!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Being Prepared

I've found that the key to functioning is being prepared. And being prepared means making sure I'll have the food I need. So I prepare my food at home.

Here's my breakfast for my weekly study day in Matan.

It's a quick vegetable omelet, which I make the night before.  When I travel in the morning, I make my food to go before going to sleep.  That way it will cool well in the fridge, making it safer for traveling.

I also take fruit, water and sometimes coffee, too.

This method saves money and calories, and I function better when I eat the food which is good more me.  I also prepare my husband's food for work etc.  He has managed to lose and keep off a lot of weight since we started this routine.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Keep Trying Something New When Cooking

As you must know by now, unless you're new to this blog, I cook and eat a lot of vegetables.  My cooking has and still evolves, changes.  Here's a new version of my baked vegetables.

From bottom up, you have sweet potatoes, pumpkin, eggplant with garlic in the slices, an onion and in the middle there's a beet.  I was surprised to discover, from my daughter, that beets don't have to be boiled.  You can bake them.

I dribbled a bit of oil on the vegetables, a bit more generously on the eggplant and then baked them.  I love those bake and serve pans.  They make life/cooking/cleaning much easier. This is a very healthy and easy to make dish.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Cheesecake Recipe, I Made a Deal!

Tonight is the Shavuot holiday when many Jews eat dairy foods.  For some people having cheesecake and blintzes is a requirement like the matzah and four cups of wine at the Passover Seder.

just an illustration, credit
A neighbor had been tempting me about how irresistible her cheesecake is.  Honestly, I'm not into baking cheesecake.  I used to make one which I got from my blender's cookbook, but the blender-a gift from my in-laws in 1972- has long died.  Also, it's just my husband and I living at home.  We're expecting one guest for one meal; the other meal we're eating at neighbors.  So, considering that neither of us need tempting calorie-laden food in the house, the idea of baking a super delicious cheesecake is... not on the menu.

My neighbor even sent me the recipe, which requires beating egg whites. 

Cheesecake recipe:
1) 2 yolks
1/4 margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
Mix and put in oven for 10 minutes 180C - 200C
2) 500gm 5% white cheese
2 yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 sugar vanilla
+ beaten 4 egg whites
Pour #2 onto #1 and put into oven for 30 minutes 125C -150C
Finish: 2 sour creams + 1/4 cup sugar
Pour on top and another 10 minutes in oven. Leave until getting cold in oven.
When I bake a cake I do it simply, like with a bowl and a spoon.  My mixer is with the blender in kitchen gadget heaven, yes, along with the old-fashioned hand eggbeater.  I did find a whisk in the draw, which one of my sons had once bought to use before he rented his own place, but I just can't imagine straining my arm muscles just to get those egg whites all white and fluffy.

So, I made her an offer she couldn't refuse. 
"I'll give you a small disposable baking pan.  You make me a small cheesecake, and then within the next couple of weeks, I'll make you vegetable soup."

Of course she agreed, Baruch Hashem, she and her husband love my vegetable soups.

Chag Sameach, everyone.  Have a wonderful holiday, and if you try my friend's recipe, please let me know. She says it's a "TNT," always works.

Monday, May 13, 2013

About the Kotel, WOW, W4W and Common Sense

Maybe I should be posting this on Shiloh Musings, but... I'm not. 

In some ways I agree with the title of Heshy's post,  My problem with Women of the Wall is that I agree with both sides.  But on the whole I think that it's a lot of nerve for any group to try to take over a place they frequent barely an hour or two a month.  That's even before getting into issues.  IMHO that simple fact supersedes the issues entirely.

That simple fact, that this group of WOW* women, some who are very sincere in their belief that they are only trying to be good Jews, are trying to force their opinions on hundreds of thousands, if not millions of others,  is outrageous and immoral. They have turned the Kotel into a media circus.

Except for that hour or two a month, the tens of thousands or possibly hundreds of thousands of women of all different backgrounds who come to the Kotel, the remaining wall Hordus' expansion of the Temple Mount location of the Bait Hamikdash, Holy Temple, behave in a relatively calm, tolerant and spiritual way.

I go to Shiloh HaKeduma, Tel Shiloh to pray on Rosh Chodesh.  My friends and I sing Hallel out loud.  We don't feel any need to add what mainstream Torah Judaism considers men's spiritual/ritual apparel to heighten our prayers.

*I suggest reading Ronit Peskin's report, Massive Prayer Rally at the Kotel Today- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

If you're interested in joining us at Tel Shiloh, where the Mishkan, Holy Tabernacle rested for 369 years, that was before Jerusalem became Judaism's holiest city, there's more information here.

Next month, G-d willing we'll be back at Shiloh HaKeduma to pray, again, together.

Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh
Rosh Chodesh Tammuz
Sunday, June 9, 2013
1 Tammuz 5773, 8:30am
Tour of Tel & Dvar Torah, Short Torah Lesson
Please come and invite family, friends and neighbors

תפילת נשים
ראש חודש תמוז בתל שילה

יום א' 9-6 א' תמוז תשע"ג 8:30
יהיה דבר תורה קצר וסיור בתל
נא לבוא, לפרסם ולהזמין חברות, משפחה ושכנות
There's now a very well kept up tourist center in Shiloh, Shiloh HaKeduma, at Tel Shiloh.  You can arrange tours and events there by emailing or call 02-994-4019. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The "Apple of My Eye"

I inspected my apple tree on Friday, and this is all I found.

Not much of a crop, but at least one more than last year.  Hmmm... what can I do?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Kosher Cooking Carnival, Sivan 5773

Welcome to the Rosh Chodesh Sivan, 5773,  edition of the Kosher Cooking Carnival aka KCC.

The Kosher Cooking Carnival is a monthly blog carnival that can include any sort of blog post about kosher food, kosher cooking, traditions, halachot-laws and reviews of kosher cookbooks and restaurants.  It's really easy to host, especially if you work from blog carnival's instacarnival.  That's what I ended up doing.  That's why I'm included in the "third person." Instacarnival just needs editing, such as making sure there aren't an spam links.  You can add pictures from the posts that were submitted.  And I suggest adding some sort of introduction which will tell your reader to contact me or our facebook page for hosting.

I started KCC after a recipe of mine had been rejected by a recipe carnival, because their edition's theme was pork.  In response I began the Kosher Cooking Carnival. If you'd like to host an edition, then please contact me at shilohmuse at gmail dot com or sign up via our facebook page.  You can submit links via blog carnival.

Photo from Mia3Mom Rachel
Yosefa Huber presents Basic Sauerkraut - How it all began posted at Cooking Outside the Box, saying, "This is a simple tutorial to get you started making homemade fermented food. It is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to get kosher PAREVE probiotics."

Yosefa Huber presents Special Helpers in the Kitchen posted at Cooking Outside the Box, saying, "Expert tips for cooking with kids, from guest author and Israeli mother of four, including two special needs kids."


Chaviva Karon presents Lemon Mousse posted at Challah Maidel.

Yosefa Huber presents Too Easy Chocolate Chip Peach Cake posted at Cooking Outside the Box.

any time dishes

Batya presents me-ander: Fantastically Easy, One Pot Meal Baked posted at me-ander.

Batya presents me-ander: A New Salad, A Variation From "The Modern Menu" posted at me-ander.

Batya presents me-ander: And Another Coffee Post: Don't Use Turkish Coffee in Your French Press! posted at me-ander.

anything kosher!

Leora Wenger presents Recipe: How to Make Almond Milk - Sketching Out posted at Here in HP, saying, "I initially made this because I wanted a pareve creamer for Pesach. It turned out it was quite delicious!"

Every day meals

Batya presents me-ander: Homemade Sort of "TV Dinners" posted at me-ander.
Hannah presents Thai-Style Dressings at Hannah's Nook.

food "to go

Ben-Yehudah presents Mourning Mexican Food: Where's My Burrito?! posted at Esser Agaroth, saying, "Personal story"

Jewish Shabbat and Holiday food

Batya presents me-ander: Challah Baking Tips, Our Favorite Challah Shapes and Readiness Check posted at me-ander.

Liron Yankonsky presents Art in the Middle East: Israeli and Jewish Holidays Food! posted at Art in the Middle East, saying, "Israeli Jewish Holidays Food (Including illustrations by me)!"

Leora Wenger presents Crunchy Vegan Rice Salad Recipe - Sketching Out posted at Here in HP, saying, "A tasty, filling salad dish to make on a Friday and serve for Shabbat lunch"

Hadassah Sabo Milner presents Recipe: Kishke Stuffed Turkey Breast : HaDassah Sabo Milner posted at In The Pink.

Restaurant or Cookbook Reviews

Batya presents me-ander: Modern Kosher, The Modern Menu posted at me-ander.

Batya presents me-ander: A Different "Alice's Restaurant" posted at me-ander.

traditional food

Olga Rezo presents Live to Eat or Eat to Live? | Kabbalah Guest Articles posted at Metaphysical light rays meditation.

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 page.

Share |

Technorati tags: , .

Friday, May 10, 2013

Thursday, May 09, 2013

A Very Justifiable Complaint

At least the guy answering the Jerusalem Municipality hotline didn't laugh at me when I called in about 7:07am yesterday morning.  I have no doubt that my call is on his list of funniest calls ever.  Imagine how I must have sounded to him.  A lady's voice with a very heavy American accent complaining that the public toilets at Gan Hapa'amon, Liberty Bell Park weren't open, even though the sign very clearly stated that the opening time is 7am:

There is a mistake in the sign, but not in terms of the opening time.  If you know what the mistake is, please say what it is in the comments.

Just in case you're curious, the man who works there opened the door as I was talking to the hotline.  I dashed in, and when I finished, he asked me if I had called.  That hotline is very efficient.  As soon as I got off the phone, he got a call from the operator asking where he was and why the 00, WC, wasn't open on time.  I told him that I had just traveled a long distance, which was very true.  At my age, I take my public toilets very seriously.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Birthday Time!

We've had a custom to stretch out birthdays.  We celebrate from the Jewish date to the goyish date, or vice versa, whichever is first to whichever is last. Sometimes that gives a couple of days, but other years it can be a few weeks.   For instance, my Jewish Birthday was today, from last night until dusk today, the 26th of Iyyar.  But my goyish birthday is May 25.  That gives me a nice long birthday time.

I'm sure many of you also have birthdays this season.  So let's celebrate together!

And just in case you're wondering how old I am, here's a hint.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Two Funerals and a Wedding

Yes, that was yesterday.  In under twenty-four, more like fifteen hours I attendeded two funerals and a wedding.

Just after Shabbat, we got the terrible news that a neighbor's two decade fight to survive a failed liver was over.  Fourteen years ago he received a liver transplant. The doctors were amazed at how long he had survived his very precarious medical situation and numerous crises, but as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end...  G-d willing, bli neder, (don't consider this an oath) I'll blog about him in a few days when I can do his life and contributions justice.

Then in the morning, an sms from the Shiloh office informed us that the father of a different neighbor had passed away; the funeral was in Jerusalem.  Since my plan was to got to a wedding in Bnai Brak at night, I didn't even think I'd made the funeral, but the neighbor who was driving me called to say that since he studies regularly with the husband, we'd be leaving a couple of hours early for the wedding and going via the funeral.

There was another death announcement early afternoon that a different neighbor's brother had passed away.  How is it that after no such announcements for weeks, or was it months, there should be three in just a few hours?

It was rather surreal, dancing and singing and being so joyful after burying two very special people.  Tears of joys combined with tears of sorrow.  One should never compromise on the simcha, joy of a wedding.  A new family and new lives begin under the chuppah, marriage canopy.

May all live long, healthy, fulfilling and contributing lives...

And may the memories of the dead be blessed, yihi zichram baruch, יהי זכרם ברוך

Sunday, May 05, 2013

And Proof That I Was There...

Since I'm generally the photographer at all sorts of events, it's technically pretty hard for me to prove I was anyplace, since I don't show up in my own photos.  But I did find a solution to that, which I use on occasion.  I take a picture of my reflection.

I do that pretty regularly at Shiloh HaKeduma, Tel Shiloh.

And I did it last week when visiting the Israel Museum.

And when I visited Shiloh HaKeduma a couple of weeks ago with friends from all over the country, a member of the group made a point of photographing me, just to prove that I was there!

Take a look.  Thanks to Linda Fairman, who is a professional photographer.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Refuah Shleimah Prayers for the Bima Ima's Sam

The Bima Ima's latest post on Superman Sam is that the doctors are hoping the create a "bridge" to ready Sam for  a blood marrow transplant.

Refuah Shleimah for:
Shmuel Asher ben Pessa Esther

A bridge?  If that's the case, then this is the song:
כל העולם כולו
גשר צר מאוד
והעיקר, והעיקר
לא לפחד, לא לפחד כלל

“All the world is a very narrow bridge, and the most important thing is not to fear at all.” Rabbi Nachman of Breslov

Friday, May 03, 2013

Blood Pressure and Biofeedback, Contol and Panic

Considering my age, I shouldn't have delayed having my blood pressure checked.  Except for a very short time towards the end of my third (out of five) pregnancies, I've never suffered high blood pressure to my knowledge.  Of course I added the phrase "to my knowledge," because if you don't have it checked, you can't know what it is.

Being a "former dancer," though once a dancer always a dancer, I'm pretty much attune with my body.  I've recovered from injuries by using the method of doing the maximum physical activity that doesn't hurt and knowing the difference between "good hurt" and "bad hurt."  Just before I stopped teaching English in Beit El, I had felt that it was affecting my health, most probably blood pressure.

Seventeen years ago, when I was injured in an Arab terror attack, I then went to a Terem first aid clinic, and as a standard part of the exam, they checked my blood pressure.  Especially since I was very upset that the Israeli Police was claiming that the Arab terrorist had accidentally rammed into us, murdering one and injuring over twenty, there was no doubt in my mind that my blood pressure was boiling.  So as soon as the nurse began strapping the "sleeve" onto my arm I began telling my body to calm down.  It worked.  My reading was normal!  That's biofeedback. I did it without any formal training.

Nowadays, when you have your blood pressure checked, you're told to sit and relax for ten or fifteen minutes.  Yesterday I had needed to do something in the local clinic for my husband, so I decided that it was a perfect excuse to make an appointment for myself.  I purposely got there early so I could sit quietly and then have my blood pressure checked. 

The clinic has a moniter
similar to this one.
While I was waiting, the nurse spoke to me about a less pleasant routine exam, which was not suitable for relaxation.  Then she strapped the sleeve of the digital blood pressure monitor on my arm.  It was like a strong vise and it hurt.  What also wasn't good was that I watched the high numbers on the digital display.  The result was over 140 for the higher number, slightly above recommended.  At first I was upset, and then I told myself that considering the stress I've been through, my exhaustion and other excuses, it wasn't really high at all. 

The nurse told me to wait another few minutes and I did.  Now I began telling myself that the reading wasn't high at all for a woman of my age and I should be happy.   I told my body to calm down and relax.  I didn't look at the numbers, because they go up very high when the sleeve is squeezing hard.  There was no need to panic.  I was in control, and I am strong and healthy, thank G-d.

It finally stopped. I looked at the monitor:

Thank G-d!!

That doesn't mean that my body isn't capable of suffering high blood pressure.  It means that if I control my life and don't put myself under too much stress, my blood pressure will be good.  I really think that attitude is a way to keep healthy.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

And Another Coffee Post: Don't Use Turkish Coffee in Your French Press!

A few months ago, a good friend gave me a present, a French Press, and I use it to make coffee on most weekdays.  She gave it to me when I was in the states on a visit, and she also gave me two packs of Yuban ground coffee. 

The Yuban was perfect with the French Press and also in my percolator when I needed hotter and stronger coffee, especially for traveling to my study day at Matan.

As they say, "all good things come to an end," and much too soon, so did my Yuban. So I used my Elite Turkish coffee which is great for the percolator.  But the much finer texture of the Turkish coffee makes it very hard to press down on the French press's filter.  I had to perk the morning coffee again.

But now a different friend came to visit, and she, being a facebook friend, too, knows all about my love for coffee in the morning.  She brought me a Dunkin' Donuts coffee.  So this morning I was able to use the French press again, and the plunger/filter went down easily, just as it should.