Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Artist's Choice Ends 2014 on 52Frames

I found this last challenge/theme of the year, "Artist's Choice," to be the most difficult. My 52Frames photos aren't among the popular ones, so I felt the pressure even more than usual to finish the year with something really gorgeous.

My photos are handicapped by the fact that neither my camera, the inexpensive Canon IXUS 145 and phone, the simple Samsung Galaxy 2 are very good. People are always advising me to take "sharper" photos, which is impossible. I try to make up for it by interesting subjects or composition. Since last week I was invited to two weddings, I had hoped that at least I'd find/take a great picture at one of the weddings. That's what I did. I submitted a mildly cropped photo of the chuppah, wedding canopy and ceremony at one of the weddings.

The setting was absolutely gorgeous, so "all" I had to do was to get the full reflection in my screen, no view-finder on this camera. I did my best.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A (Soldier's) Mother's Havel Havelim

The latest Havel Havelim can be found on the very popular blog, A Soldier's Mother.

It is full of lots of interesting posts, including from blogs I've never read before. So I definitely recommend reading it and clicking/reading and also commenting on the posts.

We organize Havel Havelim, the most veteran and wide-ranging international Jewish blog carnival, which appears weekly on our facebook page. That's where you can find out who's hosting and even volunteer yourself for the fun blogging adventure. It's a good way to introduce your own blog to others. Next week's host is Tzivia of Adventures in AliyahLand. You can submit your favorite blog posts to with a one-line description of why you enjoyed it, the subject matter, etc.

Happy reading and happy blogging and happy sharing!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Trip to Netanya via Ariel

Here are some photos from a mitzvah, not for pleasure trip to Netanya via Ariel. A neighbor was sitting shiva, that's the week of mourning, at his parents' apartment in Netanya. I went with a couple of neighbors.

One of the things I've learned is how G-d controls everything, all the timing, etc. Earlier than morning, I had been at the demonstration at the regional offices in Psagot, against our buses being banished from the Jerusalem Central Bus Station. When a neighbor overheard that I had a ride, she asked if she could join us. I arranged it. Then a few days or so later, after I had sent an email to the Shiloh group that I needed a ride to a wedding, she called saying she was "paying me back." And I went to that wedding with her and her husband.

Even though the ride to Netanya is only just over an hour, the climate is different. And in the winter, the sky is amazing.

Too bad I didn't got there for pleasure... another time, G-d willing.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Two Meals for the Price of One!

I've written before about the ns10 salad I've bought from the Cafe Ne'eman on the corner of King George and Yaffo Streets in Jerusalem. Not long ago I needed to buy both a lunch and dinner, since I was going to work. So I bought their larger salad which comes with a roll for ns25 (or was it ns24?)

For lunch I ate most of the salad. When I got to work, I put the left-overs in the staff fridge. What remained was more than enough to fill the roll.

It made me a very satisfying dinner, and healthy, too.

PS The service was very accommodating. I requested olive oil, since the dressing they provide isn't my "cup of tea." And they gave me two little containers of olive oil.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Hoping to "Step Up" My Photography in the Future

That is I'd like to improve my photography. I've sold photos and sometimes do take some nice ones, but compared to the work in 52Frames, the facebook photography group I'm in, I'm in the basement. But I'm not quitting. The theme/challenge of the last week in 2014 was Stairs, and here's my picture:

I realize that I must get out of the old "film is expensive" mindset and take many more shots of the same scene. This one should have been better; it could have been better.

Here are a few I took but rejected for "Stairs." Did I err?

Friday, December 26, 2014

Why Outside?

Over the decades here in Israel I've spied men dovening with their Tallit, Tefillin  in all sorts of places, from stores, to buses, guard-posts etc.

Quite often they're on their way to work or in places where there is no convenient synagogue. That's why I was surprised the other day when I noted this man.

He was near the Jerusalem Municipality, Safra Square. It was just after 7am, and there are many synagogues within a three to five minute walk from there, including one in the municipal offices.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Two Weddings in One Week!

I honestly can't remember the last time I've been to two weddings in just one week. Both were Shiloh weddings, children of neighbors. It was so nice to be with my wonderful neighbors as we all celebrated together.

First wedding

Of course, each wedding was very different, considering the parents and the young couples.

But they were both totally joyful!

מזל טוב!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Eighth Day of Chanukah, Thank G-d for The Rain

It's hard to believe that this is the last day of Chanukah until next year.

Yesterday, I took a little walk around the neighborhood. To be honest, even though I was fully armed with my camera and phone, which in today's world is also a camera, I didn't take any pictures until I finished the circuit and was finally home. It's not that my garden is nicer than any other. The truth is that my garden is one of the ugliest and most neglected in all of Shiloh. But there was a time when I planted trees, roses and flowers.

They definitely need pruning and care, but this year is Shmitta, when neglectful, lazy gardeners have a good excuse not to do anything at all in the garden. But still, G-d sends us rain, and there's nothing more beautiful than the winter green that shows in a well-rain-watered garden, even mine.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Seventh 7th Night of Chanukah, A Joyful Wedding!

I moved my Chanukiyah over a bit, in order to take better photos. While my husband was off in Jerusalem at the Begin Prize Ceremony, I quickly lit my Chanukiyah and then went off with neighbors to a wedding.

Despite the rain, we could see the bright lights of Israeli industry. By turning off the auto-flash on my Canon IXUS 145, I got surprisingly good photos. 

It rained and drizzled the entire way, and I wondered what we'd do if the chuppah (marriage ceremony) was to be outside. I could see it set up beautifully, and the rain stopped after we got there.

It was gorgeous, and apparently G-d did want an outdoor chuppah.  Only the fish were wet while we enjoyed the festive event.

After it was over, and we were in the hall, there was an amazingly heavy downpour.

According to Jewish Tradition, rain at a wedding is a sign of a bracha, blessing, and may this couple be blessed and fruitful.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Sixth 6th Night of Chanukah, Oodles of Chanukiyot!

We were at my married daughter's home last night, the entire Israeli Medad clan, after lighting the Chanukiyot at home.

We arrived just as they were lighting their outside the front-door Chanukiyah, which was done very quickly because of the cold. Before I could whip out a camera they were already inside. And inside there was an enormous display of Chanukiyot, since making them is a very traditional Arts & Crafts project in Israel, and my daughter has been saving the grandkids' works of art.

Chag Urim Sameach
May you have an enlightened Chanukah!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Rosh Chodesh Tevet on Chanukah at Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh


Women's Prayers at Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh Rosh Chodesh Tevet
Monday December 22, 2014
30th of Kislev, 5775, 8:30am
Tour of Tel Shiloh
Dvar Torah, Short Torah Lesson
Please come and invite family, friends and neighbors
תפילת נשים ראש חודש טבת בשילה הקדומה, תל שילה
יום ב' 22-12 ל' כסלו תשע"ה 8:30
יהיה דבר תורה קצר וסיור בתל
כדאי לבוא ולהזמין חברות, משפחה ושכנות

You're welcome to join our facebook page.

Mark your calendar, and join us. For more information, please contact me at with "Rosh Chodesh at Tel Shiloh" as subject, thanks.

Please consider this a personal invitation.

Rosh Chodesh is considered by Chazal, our sages, as the "women's holiday," so it's the time to try to do something special. And there's a special connection between Shiloh and women in the Bible. It was in Shiloh where Chana prayed for a son, and the mode of her prayer, silent with lips moving, is the basis in halacha, Jewish Law today. G-d granted her request, and that son, Shmuel Hanavi, Samuel the Prophet was the Jewish Leader who ended the terrible anarchic time of the Judges by uniting the Jewish People and anointing the first two kings, Saul and David.

There will also be activities at Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh, for the entire family this week, Sunday-Tuesday. For more information email or call 02-5789111/22.

You can visit the holy site anytime. Guided tours can be arranged through the Shiloh HaKeduma, Ancient Shiloh office. Email or phone 02-994-4019. 

Have a wonderful and blessed month. May the rain be a blessing for all, G-d willing.

חג אורים שמח
Chag Urim Sameach
Have an Enlightened Chanukah Holiday 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Chanukah 5775 Havel Havelim news...

You can find the latest Havel Havelim on my Shiloh Musings blog. Please read, comment and share the posts and the blog carnival thanks.

Enjoy your Chanukah!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Day Three of Chanukah - Football! And The Shuk/Shuq

I'm going to let the pictures tell my story. I had started posting this on my phone but something went wrong on the phone, and I couldn't post the pictures and text I had planned.

Last night I lit my Chanukiyah aka Chanuka Menorah at home, and then I went to Jerusalem.

Why did I travel to Jerusalem? It was to see the Jerusalem "Big Blue" Lions American Football team play Haifa.  We, yes, that's "Big Blue" won! Here are some photos from the game including the half-time score.

Then, after the game, instead of tremping aka hitchhiking home, I slept at a friend who lives near Kraft Stadium. In the morning I did some shopping. It was amazing how full the shuk/shuq/market was so early in the morning on a Friday.

And I even saw those "ballet skirts" blow up.

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Urim Sameach!Have a Peaceful Shabbat and an Enlightened Chanukah!