Thursday, April 30, 2015

New Coffee!

When I was in New York in March, I stocked up on American coffee. I prepare it with a French Press and now sometimes with my new "cup filter," which I saw and used at my friend's and bought for myself in Zabar's. The amazing thing about that is that I bought the sample from the shelf, because there weren't any more in stock. And now almost two months later I can't find that simple cup filter on their site. I may have bought the very last one!  Did you know that alte cockes (old folks) like myself get a discount in Zabar's? I don't remember how much, but every penny counts.

I did my "big" (a couple of bags) coffee shopping one evening in the Food Emporium on Second Avenue around 50th Street. They had a special, but only at the cash register did I discover that it was only for their "members," which I'm not. So I only got three instead of four. I just finished one of them, French Roast, and today I opened Caramel Macchiato.

I drink it, as is my custom, with milk and sugar. It has a fun flavor. Probably if I had cream, I wouldn't need the sugar. That's something that many people don't realize when they buy low-fat or "lite" manufactured foods, like mayonnaise or yogurts. Reducing the fat demands that the food get added sweeteners and flavorings. So, it may also be better for weight-watchers to eat the more natural higher fat foods. When it comes to dairy, there are important vitamins and minerals in the milk fats, and if you think you're eating more healthily by cutting out cholesterol, you may be reducing it too much. In those cases, the body overproduces it.

And another thing about coffee is that the caffeine isn't considered all that dangerous either, as long as you don't drink it all day long. A certain amount is healthy for most people.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Macro Magic Sans Special Lens

I'm in a photo group, as you know, 52 Frames and this is the second time I've had the theme/challenge of "macro." That's taking a clear photo of something very small. There are lots of members of the group who have fancy cameras and with lots of switchable lenses, but I'm not one of them. My camera is small and simple, Canon IXUS 145.

Generally I get comments like, "not sharp enough" by those who take the time to say something about my photos. So, with a camera like that, macro is a nightmare, but I'm no quitter. I took a bunch of pictures of tiny things hoping that with extreme cropping and the help of G-d I'd get a good enough photo to fake it.

Here it is-


original size

So, now the comment was that it's too small, the photo that is. I should have expanded it.

The really funny part of the story is that when  took the photo I hadn't noticed the fly. It was only when I cropped it that I discovered it. And I think that the fly just makes the photo something special.  What do you think?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Jewish Israeli Holiday Special!

This is a book I won't give away!

I generally give away the books I get to review once I'm finished reading and reviewing them, but my new, beautiful Koren Mahzor for Yom Ha'atzmaut & Yom Yerushalyim is staying with me!
The Koren Yom Ha’Atzmaut Mahzor is the first-ever English-Hebrew prayer book for Israel’s national holidays. It includes complete services for Israel’s Independence Day and Jerusalem Day according to the practices established by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. The mahzor features a moving introduction by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, translation by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, commentary by Rabbi Moshe Taragin and Rabbi Binyamin Lau, and a unique collection of essays by other leading scholars in the world of Religious Zionism. Optional prayers such as Hallel and Al-HaNissim are shaded and include extensive notes that explain the halakhic debates surrounding their recitation. 
Not only is this new Koren sensation complete and easy to read, but it's full of fascinating essays including one by my favorite Tanach (Bible) teacher, Dr. Yael Ziegler.

Hallel on Israeli
Independence Day,
Shiloh Mishkan (Tabernacle)
Synagogue, 5775, 2015
In Shiloh we doven the complete Holiday service including the Hallel with a blessing, according the psak, rabbinic decision of the Shiloh Chief Rabbi Elchanan Bin-Nun, whose brother Rav Yoel also has an essay included in the Machzor.

Besides the prayers for Israeli Independence Day and Jerusalem Day, there is also a section for Memorial Day. Yes, this is the complete package and perfect gift for yourself and others.

Even if you don't need this very first bilingual Mahzor for Yom Ha'atzmaut & Yom Yerushalyim for the English when you are praying you will enjoy the essay section. It is a very valuable addition to one's home library. And certainly congregations of English speakers, here in Israel or abroad, that hold Prayers on Israeli Memorial Day, Independence Day and Jerusalem Day should have this Machzor available.

I received it after Independence Day but look forward to praying from it on Jerusalem Day, G-d willing.

AuthorJonathan Sacks
SizeStandard 5.3x8.5

Monday, April 27, 2015

Delicious Watery Watermelon!

We may not have true summer weather yet, but we do have watermelon. I've already bought two this year. One was for a party, and the other was for dessert on Shabbat, since we had invited friends over. Of course there is plenty left over, so I eat it, lots of it.

Schlepping home a watermelon isn't easy when you don't have a car, but I have managed to find them rides.

Many health experts say that watermelon is healthy and good even for dieters. That's good enough for me.

What's your favorite summer fruit?

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Am I Becoming My Grandmother?

When I was a little girl and actually until I was already married and a mother, I always saw my grandmother as a quiet woman who just observed us from the sidelines. As you must know, I'm not the "sidelines" kind of person. My grandmother, the only grandparent I had from the age of three and a half, wasn't the type to take us places and bring us treats. She lived with my aunt and family and was a more hands-on caregiver for my cousins, but I only saw her sitting quietly and watching.

Just once, when I was old enough to drive on my own and not yet married, did I visit her when no one else was around. Then we had a very surprisingly interesting talk about politics. Apparently she was extremely knowledgeable with strong opinions. That was the only real conversation I ever had according to my, generally good about my childhood, memory. My grandmother was a daily reader of the "Forward" when it was a daily Yiddish paper, and when it stopped being published, she watched the news on television. That's what she was doing that afternoon when I visited her.

My grandmother, my daughters (great-grandchildren #'s 1, 2, 4) my husband and I, summer 1977 visiting New York.

My parents, in-laws, aunts and uncles on her side were very active and involved as they could be with my kids until they passed away or were incapable. When we'd be together, I was shunted aside to give them opportunities, especially since we've always lived in Israel, and they lived in New York. Fair, right? I figured that I'd do the same when my turn came.

But the truth is that I find myself sitting and watching, probably with a similar expression as the one my grandmother wore.

On Yom Ha'atzma'ut, Israeli Independence Day, I was sitting next to my cousin who also lives in Israel. While we were watching our children, children-in-law and grandchildren busily interacting, I whispered to her:
"Are we getting like Grandma, sitting on the sidelines watching?"
I get so much pleasure seeing the younger generations being friends, not just cousins. I really feel blessed and totally contrary to what I had expected of myself, this means more to me than my being very involved with the kids of both generations. Not only do I feel blessed that the branches of the family enjoy each other's company, but it's a tribute to my Grandmother and Grandfather who didn't live long enough to know us at all. May this continue for generations to come, G-d willing.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Post Independence Day, Omer #22, Combined HH and KCC

This was cross-posted on Shiloh Musings.

Yes, this is a combined Havel Havelim and Kosher Cooking Carnival. They are the two Jewish blog carnivals I run. KCC, the monthly blog carnival about all aspects of Kosher food, is really "my baby," since I started it host most of them. It does have a facebook page, which helps, and sometimes it's on other blogs, like Tzivia's. If you'd like to host an addition you can sign up on fb or email me. Also email your links to me ( with KCC as subject or to the upcoming host. The Kosher Cooking Carnival comes out around Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of the Jewish Month, so this is the Iyyar edition.

Havel Havelim is the very long running weekly international Jewish blog carnival started by Soccer Dad who no longer blogs. We now coordinate on facebook. Next week's will be hosted by Tzivia of Adventures in AliyahLand; please submit your links before Shabbat (your time) to with a one-line description of your post and HH as subject.

When I host the blog carnivals, I include posts sent to me plus those I've chosen mostly from blogs I know about and my own blogs, too. Since this past week we celebrated Israel's Memorial and Independence Days, there will be posts about them and also what's happening in Israel and other Jewish issues, plus more personal blogs. And the kosher food posts will be more than just recipes.

Please read, comment and share the posts included. I'm sure that you'll find something of interest. Also, please share this blog carnival, which is a floating Jewish Internet Magazine!
Remember, you don't have to be a blogger to enjoy, read, comment and share Havel Havelim and the Kosher Cooking Carnival!!
Now, on with the show:

I'm starting with the April Jewish Book Carnival, which includes links to reviews of Jewish books on various blogs all over the world.
From Rabbi Ben-Zion Spitz a couple of posts, Weapon of Mass Education, My Lodestar, My Rosh Yeshiva, in memory of Rav Aharon Lichtenstein ZaTZ"L.
From Lady Light on Tikkun Olam, Some Recent Israeli Accomplishments in her 67 Years: Independence Day 2015.
Enjoying The Bible, About the Omer.
Here's a Real Jerusalem Streets post with great Israeli Independence Day photos and from Memorial Day.
Varda Epstein, over at Israellycool has unearthed a treasure: The Mystery of the Jews, a short film which packs the entire, unbelievable, amazing history of the Jewish people, beginning with Abraham the Patriarch into 21 minutes. And here's another from Varda. This one from 2006, when a rather more hirsute, and definitely prescient Binyamin Netanyahu made a guest appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher.
Ruti blogged about the wonderful Yom Ha'atzma'ut in Neve Daniel.
We must thank G-d that my dear friend Miriam is alive. Read her blog, her story.
In my neck of the woods, the kids celebrate Israeli Independence by standing along the road waving flags.
I've come up with a low carbohydrate version of "Savta Brei," faux "potato" pancakes aka latkes, and the recipe can also be used to make a very healthy low carb kugel.
Thankfully, G-d has sent me some great miraculous rides, aka tremps or hitchhikes.
Aviva put out a notice about  Sexual abuse awareneness events in RBS and Jerusalem, April 26 and 27.
Tzivia writes about a book she is working on about Tisha B'Av for kids.
Paula asks What's Wrong with American Jewry....
The Lost Kitchen, Poached Salmon.
Here in Israel, names of towns are after people. And in my neck of the woods, I can say that I knew some of them. Israeli Soldiers and Terror Victims Memorial Day- People Not Places
From my vantage point working with Arabs.
From The Sussmans, First the Tears. Dreams Really Do Come True in Israel
Elder of Ziyon Israel ranked 11th happiest country in the world; Falk justifies Hamas terror
May I Have That Recipe 26 Amazing Vegetarian Passover Recipes You’ll Want To Make All Year Round
Avi's Kosher Kitchen Garlic Stuffed Lamb Shanks in Mint Wine Reduction

Please join our Jewish blogging community, and remember that you don't have to be a blogger to read, comment, share and enjoy the blog posts featured here!

Friday, April 24, 2015

G-d Sent Me The Best Rides

Yesterday, as is our custom for Israeli Independence Day we were at my cousin's in Hod Hasharon. That actually isn't all that far from Shiloh; by car it shouldn't take more than forty 40 minutes.  That's similar or less than it takes to get to most of Jerusalem. There's only one problem. We don't have a car. That makes these family get-togethers rather complicated.

My daughter and family actually pass by Shiloh on the way, but they only have room for one more in their car. I offer that to my husband, because if one of us had to tremp, hitchhike it must be me. To make things easier in recent years, I've put in requests to the local email list, and it has gotten us some great rides. I firmly believe that even when we've gotten rides "by chance," it wasn't random. G-d made sure that we went in both directions safely and quickly. I firmly believe that my email to Shiloh is a very important ingredient in the miracles of my traveling. In Judaism there's the principle of "hishtadlut," making an effort. If you make the right efforts, then G-d may contribute His "matching funds" and give us what we are requesting. For me it was safe and efficient traveling to family and then back home.

Photo taken at Tzomet (Junction) Yarkon while waiting for a ride (towards) home.

Here's how it went yesterday:

  • Before I even left my neighborhood, the neighbors from across the street stopped and offered me a lift which took me two-thirds the way. As we were traveling I called my cousin who sent her son to meet me and take me to their house.
  • Going home I waited at least five minutes at Tzomet Yarkon to go to Ariel or Shiloh. 
  • Then I was offered a ride to Ariel, although I wasn't quite sure where to get off, since I doubted he'd be going to the university, where our buses and rides are.
  • It was suggested that I get off and wait at the bus stop just outside of Ariel, near the hotel, which I did. 
  • Immediately a woman pulled up and asked me if I needed the university. 
  • At the university stop, I was just pulling up my hood, since it was cold, when a neighbor stopped. 
  • He took me straight to my door.
Thank G-d!!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The State of Israel, Celebrating 67 Years, 5775, 2015

Chag Atzma'ut Sameach!!
Have a Wonderful Israeli Independence Day!!

This was cross-posted on Shiloh Musings

Thank G-d, the doomsday predictions which have followed the State of Israel even before David Ben-Gurion made the official Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948, have been proven wrong. The State of Israel may not be perfect, as if there is a country someplace that really is, but it's alive, vibrant, successful, financially stable, the source of innovative technology, medicine and more. Here we are celebrating sixty-seven 67 years of independence, having survived wars and threats, we are one of the most open and democratic countries in the world. We certainly have a lot to be thankful for.

I have been living in Israel since 1970, when my husband and I, newlyweds at the time, docked at Haifa Port on the Queen Anna Maria-Greek Lines, along with about four hundred 400 other olim chadashim, new immigrants. I have seen an enormous amount of changes here in Israel. In 1970, Israelis lived under very difficult conditions compared to the United States, and today Israel is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. Considering that we rather frequently are forced to fight wars for our very existance, survival and security, it's amazing--yes, definitely a sign that G-d is helping us-- that we not only exist, but we have thrived and outpaced most countries in the world.

Following are photos from Independence Day, Yom Ha'atzma'ut Prayers and Celebrations in Shiloh, where we have lived since 1981.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Waving Flags on The Roads

יזבור Yizkur REMEMBER
On the stage of the Yom Zikaron Memorial Ceremony in Shiloh

Today is Israel's Memorial Day for Soldiers and Victims of Arab Terror. I really like the fact that Memorial Day and Independence days are connected, one after the other. I think it's a lesson for us to remember.

Of course one can't have children only talking of the dead, those killed in the Holocaust, which was last week's memorial day, and then today and last night's programs about those killed by our enemies. So it has become a custom for some of the older school children in my area to stand on the road and wave Israeli flags.

I took these photos yesterday at Givat Assaf, the junction to Beit El.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

My Husband as "Model"

Now, for the second time I asked (ok, begged) my husband to model for my latest 52 Frames photo. The theme/challenge was "Through the Eyes of a Child," and I had taken a few very awful unsuccessful shots at work of a doll and sparkling shoes. I had also tried placing my phone on the ground to photograph some plants, but that was even worse.

There were less than 24 hours to go, and I had one last idea, but I couldn't do it alone. So, I asked, and he agreed. I got a children's book for him to use as a prop and told him where to sit and what to pretend to do.

Then I lowered myself to the floor and took a few pictures. Unfortunately, the duress was too obvious in his expression, so I asked him to smile, which he did. But then I laughed, so the picture came out blurry. I tried again, and he said he had done enough. No more!  That was it. I didn't even see the need to crop it. Here's the photo:

What do you think?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Wonderful Debut Havel Havelim on the Judean Rose

Varda, who blogs the Judean Rose is the host of this week's Havel Havelim. This may be her first try, but she has done a very  professional job. I sincerely recommend checking it out and visiting the various posts she included.  Thank you Varda!!

I'll be hosting HH on Shiloh Musings next week. You can send me your posts/links at with a one line blurb which describes the post, thanks. We organize the weekly International Jewish blog carnival on our facebook page.

And G-d willing, soon I'll be hosting the next Kosher Cooking Carnival here, so stay tuned, and you can still send in your links. For more information check out our facebook page.

Chodesh Tov
Have a great day!!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Remembering to Count the Omer

According to Jewish Law, it's an mitzvah to Count the Omer, the 49 days from Passover until Shavuot. This is easier said than done for many. For the first decades, yes, decades, after I became religious I never ever succeeded. And then with the help of a cell phone reminder I began to count, but every week I had a problem.

The hardest counting time/day for me is Friday night, Shabbat, when my phone isn't around to remind me. So this year I've hung a sign just across from where I like to sit and read on Friday night when I finish making the salad and setting the table, when my husband is in shul. That is my quiet time alone to transition from the busy week to Shabbat mode.

The sign has helped me so far.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

And What Did I Do Instead of Blogging?

It was more than just the lack of blogging, when I didn't have internet in the house for my computer. Though I could receive and send emails on my phone and check facebook, the tiny phone screen and faux keyboard made typing a nightmare, especially for me who does "touch-typing."

Suddenly I wasn't spending time in the den. There's nothing to do in the den without internet. So I read some fun books and watched more television. What books? I read books from the Rizzoli & Isles series by Tess Gerritsen. I definitely recommend them.

Not blogging and not having internet wasn't as bad as I had thought it would be.

The world survived without reading my opinions on everything. And there are things I could have done on the computer that don't need internet, but I just did not feel like doing any of it. I guess I needed a break.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Catching UP, Most Recent 52 Frames and Havel Havelim

Since I've missed my blogging for at least a week, there are some standard weekly posts I usually offer. One is news about Havel Havelim and the other is my 52 Frames photo of the week.

The recent Havel Havelim, post-Passover was hosted by Tzivia, and as usual she did a great job. Haveil Havalim, Parshat Shemini, the Fed-Up-To-Here with Matzah Edition. Next week it will be hosted by newbie, Varda. You can send her your links before Shabbat, please. To get more involved with Havel Havelim, the longest running weekly Jewish blog carnival please join our facebook page.

I also plan on posting a Kosher Cooking Carnival around Rosh Chodesh Iyyar, which is this coming Sunday and Monday, so please send me links about kosher food, cooking etc from the past month, For more information about the Kosher Cooking Carnival, the longest running blog carnival about kosher food, check out our facebook page.

This past week's 52 Frames theme was "Nature," and here's my photo.

It's not what I had planned because of the lack of internet. I shot and sent it with my phone.

Just trying to catch up. Stay healthy everyone and refuah shleimah to those in need.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Yes, B"H, I am Back!!!

I did not plan this past week's hiatus from blogging, not at all. And I'm very proud that I didn't have a "breakdown" over it, since I've been so OCD about daily blogging on both blogs, here and Shiloh Musings.

There's a very mundane reason for it. About a week ago when I turned on my computer there was no internet. On that fully little tower with the flashing light, with G-d's help green not red, the INT was dark, yes, just dark, neither green nor red. So when I checked the wall and plugs, I found that there was a broken box with tiny wires sticking out. And there were books on the floor, meaning that some of my husband's books had taken a nosedive and crashed into the box. There was no way for us to fix it. We called Bezeq, and the service guy said that all we had to do was to buy a new microfilter. My husband got one, but we couldn't plug it in.

Again we called Bezeq, especially when I checked the phone in the den, which was dead. It was during Passover, so the local Bezeq repair guy was on vacation. And even though I do know him and his wife, I wouldn't dare call and disturb them. This wasn't a health issue. It was only internet. We still had our phones, and my husband works part-time in an office with internet.

For me this was a "test," obviously. I was curious to see if anyone would miss me. Obviously the answer is in the negative.

Today, finally, the repairman came and replaced the plug and explained a few things about it to me. He also commented that this computer is very ancient, implying that it needs to be replaced, but I told him that as long as it works it stays.

Yes, the lights are all on, and I'm back in business, blogging business as you can see, B"H.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Passover, Pesach at Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh

Yesterday I walked down to (and then up from) Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh. There were plenty of visitors from all over the country, even though fewer than earlier in the week, because probably of a terror attack not far away.

Here are some photos. If you're a facebook friend, you can find more in my fb album.

Shiloh Hakeduma is open all year long, except for Shabbat and Jewish Holiday. Email or call 02-9948011.