Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Yes, Blue and White is All Over The Place

The flags were taken out of storage yesterday.

And it didn't take long for the maintenance staff to hang them all over Rami Levy and Yafiz at Sha'ar Binyamin. 

I must also hang flags at home.

My family never use to hang American flags when I was growing up. I don't know why. My parents also didn't publicize their politics. That type of discretion isn't characteristic of me. Everyone knows what I think and feel. I blog it daily.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Some People are Always Remembering the Holocaust

I must admit that the Twentieth Century Holocaust isn't always on my mind. It isn't something I grew up knowing about at all. My grandparents on both sides made it to New York even before World War I, and my father's grandparents also managed to leave Poland and Belarus and lived in New York knowing their grandchildren.

This sets me apart from many of my generation of American Jews and Israelis for sure. My neighbor tells a wonderful story about her father and how he returned to Germany as an American soldier.  Read it.

I'm haunted more by the fact that the world stood by and ignored the plight, the murder of Jews.

And yesterday I loved the irony of seeing the flame of the memorial candle on the black-draped table in Rami Levy for all to see, Jews, Arabs, Christians, all who passed by.

Monday, April 28, 2014

The 'tween Pesach and Holocaust Memorial Day Havel Havelim

Last week it was Passover, and today is Holocaust Memorial Day. Next week it'll be the Israeli Memorial Day for Soldiers and Victims of Arab Terrorism immediately followed by Yom Ha'atzma'ut, Israeli Independence Day.  So I expect to get you to send me lots of great blog posts for Havel Hevalim. This week's edition of Havel Havelim is hosted by Esser Agaroth and it's full of fascinating blog posts. So please read, comment and share, thanks.

We coordinate HH on our facebook page. Please send me (shilohmuse at gmail dot com) your links until this coming Friday before Shabbat. The following week will be hosted by Adventures In AliyahLand.

Holocaust Memorial Day is when Israeli and Jewish leaders make all sorts of wonderful speeches that make them all sound like strong Right wing leaders, yes, to the Right of Jabotinsky and Uri Tzvi Greenberg. No doubt there are professional speechwriters who make a killing during this season, like those who can live a full year off of their etrog sales. I know that I sound like a terrible cynic, but I'm telling the truth.
“Very few world leaders understood the enormity of the threat to humanity posed by Nazism….. The bitter and tragic truth is this: it is not that they did not see it. They did not want to see it. And why did they choose not to see the truth? Because they did not want to face the consequences of that truth.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu explained that world leaders in the 1930s adopted of a policy that was based on “one axiom – avoid another confrontation at any cost.”
He quoted the Biblical phrase from the Book of Psalms, “They have eyes, but cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear.”
Netanyahu then turned his attention to Iran, which has called for destroying Israel and is recognized by the virtually the entire western world as retrying to develop a nuclear weapon.
“Today, just like then, there are those who dismiss Iran’s extreme rhetoric as one that serves domestic purposes,” he said. “Today, just like then, there are those who view Iran’s nuclear ambitions as the result of the natural will of a proud nation – a will that should be accepted.
“And just like then, those who make such claims are deluding themselves. They are making an historic mistake.”
This speech isn't policy it's just a well-crafted speech. The words are true, but Bibi isn't going to act on them.

The phrase, term "havel havelim" comes from Kohelet, Ecclesiastes and means "vanities" or in Yiddish "norishkeit." That's what I think of all these speeches. They are just words. I find more truth coming out of blogs by ordinary people. That's a reason I keep blogging and am one of the coordinators of Havel Havelim.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Shabbat in Efrat

For us to be away for a Shabbat or Chag, Holiday twice in a month is unheard of. We rarely go away that much in a year. But maybe this is the beginning of a trend...

We spent the Passover Seder in Jerusalem, and less than two weeks later we were in Efrat for Shabbat. We have relatives there who were disappointed that they hadn't been informed that we had needed a place for the Seder. Also I had almost gone there for the Shabbat when my husband was in England for Limmud at the tail end of the blizzard. And since they were making a siyyum (festive end of learning a specific book/topic,) in memory, l'ilu'i nishmato,  "elevating the soul" of my late mother-in-law's cousin, father of the hostess, it was a fitting occasion for us to share with them.

Efrat is south of Jerusalem, and Shiloh is north of Jerusalem, so we had to travel quite a bit to get there. First stage of the trip was a bus from Shiloh. Our local regional council provides a free bus on Fridays to Jerusalem, which we took. We had been offered a ride to Efrat from Jerusalem by a friend who wanted us to meet her near Binyanei Ha'uma, which is near the central bus station.  Our free bus took us to Ramat Eshkol, and since the Jerusalem buses have drastically changed (there's no longer the #8 at that stop) we and another couple found it easiest to share a cab the the "cbs" especially since they were in a rush to catch a different bus.

There wasn't any traffic, and we got to Efrat quickly, so our friend took us on a quick tour of Efrat entering from the northern end.  Here are some photos I took.

security wall blocks gorgeous view

My return home was a bit more complicated, though quick enough. We took a ride to Jerusalem with our friend. Then we took a bus on which my husband continued to the bus station, but since I hate waiting and there was over an hour until our bus I went home differently. To sum it up, I took 1 ride, 4 buses, 3 tremps and then I walked at least a half a kilometer up the hill to our home.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Cakes I Took for Shabbat

We were invited to relatives in Efrat for Shabbat. I asked what to bring, and I was told to bring cakes for the siyyum (the festive completing of a portion of Torah learning) in memory l'ilu'i nishmato, of my mother-in-law's cousin, the father of our hostess.  So, on Thursday morning I rushed down to the local grocery to get some baking supplies.

I saw these blue and white sprinkles, and decided that they would be the prefect addition to one of the cakes. This Shabbat was shabbat mevorchim Rosh Chodes Iyyar, and the 5th day of Iyyar is Yom Ha'atzma'ut, when the color scheme is blue and white.

I made that cake with white flour and white sugar, so the blue and white of the sprinkles would be obvious. I was horrified to see that those pretty sprinkles made the cake batter green, as you can see here.

Luckily, I saved some and then coated, generously sprinkled them on top, hoping that they would end up hiding the green.

I guess it did work, because the final product does not have that green, which davka matches my nail-polish.

Click here for my simple, easy basic cake recipe.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Detouring in Jerusalem can be so much Fun

Recently I've been taking my Wednesday walk after studying in Matan, because I have a ride which gets me there on time instead of tremping very early and finding myself with time to spare. There's always construction, repairs etc going on in Jerusalem.

I had crossed the street towards the King David at Yemin Moshe, when I came across a barrier.

Yes, that meant that I had to go through the little park. It added a few minites to my walk, not as much for the distance, but because I kept stopping to take pictures.

There were a bunch of chareidi-looking girls all dressed in modest "swimming robes" playing in the fountain.

An additional benefit was that I walked up and down hills, making it for a fitness walk than the sidewalk would have been.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Getting Ready for Israeli Independence Day, Yom Ha'atzma'ut!

Yesterday when I was walking from Emek Refa'im Street to the Jerusalem Municipality to catch the train, I spotted this friendly young man selling Israeli Flags, "just five shekels." 

That's a sign that Israeli Independence Day, Yom Ha'atzma'ut is very soon. He would have been more effective if he had dressed the part in Blue and White.

Actually I had done it in Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin, just the day before.

I'm the unofficial "window dresser." we don't have real windows to dress, but we do have a few manikins who/that got the "Blue and White treatment" to prepare for the upcoming holiday! Israeli Independence Day, Yom Ha'atzma'ut is in just under two weeks, Tuesday, May 6, 2014.

Next week we'll be celebrating Rosh Chodesh Iyyar.

Next month is Iyar, and we have special plans for a brunch after the prayers at the Tel Shiloh, You'll have to reserve for the brunch (email shilohmuse at gmail dot com subject Rosh Chodesh Iyar) so we know for how many to prepare, but the prayers don't need reservations.

Women's Prayers at Tel ShilohRosh Chodesh Iyar
Thursday, May 1, 2014
1st of Iyar 5774, 8:30am
Tour of Tel Shiloh & Dvar Torah, Short Torah Lesson
Please come and invite family, friends and neighbors

תפילת נשיםראש חודש אייר בתל שילה
יום ה' 1-5 א' אייר תשע"ד 8:30
יהיה דבר תורה קצר וסיור בתל
 כדאי לבוא ולהזמין חברות, משפחה ושכנות
Mark your calendar, and join us. 
You're welcome to join our facebook group.
This isn't a "women's minyan," although we do sing the Hallel prayer out-loud together.

Tel Shiloh is open to visitors daily. Tours can be arranged through the Shiloh HaKeduma, Ancient Shiloh office. Email  or phone 02-994-4019.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Our Table has Left Us

When I found out that a neighbor's table collapsed on the first day of Passover, I offered our old one, actually my parents' old dinette table. It has been living in our "machsan," storeroom under the house. It was bought by my parents when I was a baby to use in their first "real apartment," the small first apartment in Bell Park Gardens, not far from the flag pole.

It had blonde wood, but my parents had it coated with Formica when they realized that three kids would age the table too quickly.

That was our table for a good part of my childhood, actually most of it. It followed us from apartment to apartment in BPG. It became the kitchen table in the house in Great Neck. That was until they "did" the kitchen with a built in table.

Then the table was sent to us in Israel. It became our dining-room table in Jerusalem and in Shiloh, until I bought a nice round teak one in the Danish Interiors "seconds" store.  Yes, the new table still rocks a bit, but the table is nice. OK, nobody sees the wood under two tablecloths.  Hmmm I guess it wasn't necessary to get such a nice table.

Today my neighbors and I pulled it out from under other "stored away" stuff.

I'm sure the table wants to be used. No doubt it will enjoy its new home.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Back to The French Press for My Morning Coffee

I must say that the Starbucks Medium Blend packs more wallop when perked, but nothing beats the simplicity of my French Press to start the day. Also, sometimes the second cup tastes stronger. The sugar is now in a glass jar, and the counter is no longer covered.

We have lots of leftover matza. I didn't need to buy the second 1 1/2 kilo package. No tragedy; I can always make my husband matzah brei over the year.

On with my day... Have a great one!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Back to "Normal" After Passover

If only we could just press a button that would unwind all the closet switching and magically get the Passover stuff back in "storage" and the chametz back where they belong...

May G-d give us strength and good health to finish this task in humor and success.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Passover Cooking

I've been wracking my brain to remember what I'd been planning on blogging. I just thought of one topic about how nice my neighbors are, but that can be blogged about anytime. Since this Pesach is almost over, I'll stick with a more timely topic, Pesach or Passover Cooking.

Here are series of photos I took when cooking for Shabbat Chol Hamoed when we had the kids over, and I needed lots of food. Click under pictures for the recipes.

Historic moment, quinoa on Passover.  Checking 3 times

My husband and nephew making charoset

Savta Brei, half-cooked

Savta Brei ready to eat

eating baked geffilte fish
same ingredients, just baked instead of boiled


vegetable kugels out of the oven

vegetables for kugels

40 year old blender, only used on Pesach