Sunday, May 31, 2015

Combined Havel Havelim (Post-Shavuot) and Kosher Cooking Carnival, Sivan

This is cross-posted on Shiloh Musings

Shavua Tov, everyone, have a wonderful week!! It seems like it's getting harder and harder to find hosts for the blog carnivals Havel Havelim and Kosher Cooking Carnival. So, yet again, I'm hosting a double, a combined one. Also, I don't get the reactions I used to get. Is it worth continuing?

Nowadays, a lot of blogging is not on personal/private blogs like mine. Many news media sites have what they call "blogs,' and it's not all that difficult to get "blogging rights." I blog on "mainstream media" with the same posts I write here. These blog carnivals were popular when we bloggers had to do our own publicity, but now the bloggers are either very popular and professional with ads or they are on other larger sites. How many of us still maintain blogs like mine? Soccer Dad, who had founded Havel Havelim hasn't blogged for years, and so many of the blogs from the heyday of blog carnivals just don't exist anymore. And if they do, there is no longer the feeling of great camaraderie that there once was. I'd really appreciate some feedback and shares.

The internet sites that were once so helpful in being the conduit between the bloggers and hosts have all closed shop, so now we use facebook pages to coordinate hosting and announce the carnivals. Havel Havelim is here/click, and the Kosher Cooking carnival here/click.

I'm going to give a mix of posts for the two Jewish blog carnivals, some were sent to me, others not. If you did send me a link and it isn't included, just email me with the link, and I'll add it. Next week's Havel Havelim is hosted by Tzivia submit to before Shabbat with a one-line description of your post. And the next Kosher Cooking Carnival, Tammuz, will be mine on me-ander, unless a volunteer steps up to take it. Please send me your links, with a short blurb to by  June 15. Remember that KCC is not just a kosher recipe carnival. It includes all aspects of kosher food, including also halachik (Jewish Law,) customs and reviews of cookbooks and restaurants, kosher of course.

On with the show, and please don't forget that...

You don't have to be a blogger to read, comment and share blog carnivals!!

More than Heat in Jerusalem from RJS

Impure Prophecies, Ben-Tzion Spitz

Amazing Jewish Calendar vs "Goyish" Calendar Coincidences
Itzchak, RAV KOOK ON YERUSHALAYIM-In Honor of Jerusalem Day
Why I Don't Vote Likud: Bibi's Support of Palestinian State
Yocheved I'm Where I Need to Be, I Just Didn't Know it
My Easy "One Pot" Salmon and Veggies
Tzivia, The other half of Israel: do religious Jews hate Arabs? Visiting a synagogue for the very first time? 5 things you MUST know. and Jews and Jobs: MAMALAND REVIEW of Can I Wear My Kippah on Job Interviews?: Career Guidance for Sabbath Observant Jewish Professionals, by Lavie and Rachel Margolin

Birding in Eilat, Part 1 – incredible!
I tried out the New Dairy Restaurant on the Corner of Emek Refaim and Rachel Imanu
An important reason to Study Arabic Here in Israel
Chaviva A Plus-Size Confession from an Israeli Fatty
A Mother in Israel Yo, Frank...did you hear about the rockets fired at Israel yesterday? Friday Morning in Israel

For those who love dairy, from Tzivia We be (Gulab) Jamun… an out-of-the-ordinary dairy dessert for Shavuos / Shavuot
Pragmatic Attic cookbook review The Silver Platter
Sussman's b'Aretz My Imperfect Cup Runneth Over
Not quite what we had been expecting "Land for Peace" Debate Between Rabbi Riskin and Caroline Glick
Doug Two new beers on the Israeli market (for now)
Esser Agaroth The Plight of the Israeli Arabs of Yaffo
Reesa A Post-Shavuot Thought

Ester Another Memory From the Six Day War** In Honor of Shavuot
Lost Kitchen Beautiful Burden
Caught History for 52 Frames
Yeranen Yaakov Interesting Recent Links - Beha'alotcha 5775 - Day 1
Jewish Israel JewishIsrael Expands its Guidelines to Interfaith Relations with the Christian World

And that's it for this week. I'd really appreciate hearing from you, and of course read, comment and share this blog carnival and the posts included, as many as you can. Enjoy!!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Pain is a Signal

After a few days of progressively worse pain in my mouth, I finally called the dentist's office on Thursday and got an emergency appointment for Friday noon. The usual OTC (over the counter) painkillers were not very effective, and my constant cleaning and rinsing with salt water hadn't cleared it.

A few months earlier after eating popcorn I must have had a hard kernel/whatever stuck someplace, and that technique worked within a couple of days. My good dental hygiene had kept me safe for many years. I thought that I had the same sort of problem.

I was wrong.

When I finally made it to the dentist he said that I needed a root canal under a recently placed "cap." He said that it does happen in a certain percentage of the cases. He even pulled out puss. If I had known that could have been the problem I would have called at the first ache and not a few days later. Now I know.

As soon as he finished, he went to the receptionist's desk, and as he wrote a prescription for antibiotics he called a nearby pharmacy to check when it was closing. I had just enough time to run there before starting my way home. He drew me a map and said his clinic will call me for follow up next week. I had to run. Friday in Israel is a rushing day. Stores including pharmacies close early, before Shabbat. With the help of G-d I made it just before closing and got my antibiotics. Then I caught a bus out of Har Nof, Jerusalem, and then another to the String Bridge stop and then a 143 to Sha'ar Binyamin and then a ride to the Shiloh Junction and then another ride straight to my door.

On the way home, I took the first of the antibiotics. And thank G-d I'm feeling progressively better. And now I know what type of pain needs a quick call to the dentist.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Keeping "Up to Date"

Here are the ladies dressed for Shavuot (in white)
and Jerusalem Day (in blue and white.)
I've mentioned a few times that at work in Yafiz--Clothing for the Entire Family, Sha'ar Binyamin, I've unofficially taken over as "window-dresser." Since we don't have windows, I dress the manikins instead.

Recent changes in administration have been very supportive of my "hobby," and a couple of weeks ago, one of the "big bosses," remember that we are part of a chain,  met with all of us at a big staff meeting and said how unimpressed he is when passing stores that haven't bothered keeping their signs and decorations up-to-date. Last week, when walking from Jerusalem's "Center" to the Menachem Begin Heritage Center to hear the "debate" between Caroline Glick and Rabbi Riskin, I walked through the very high class Mamilla Mall, and davka there, I saw an out of date sign:

The sign, decorated with leaves reminiscent of a North American autumn, says "Winter Menu," Tafrit Choref." The weather was over 30 degrees Centigrade, close to 100 Fahrenheit. 

Please remember that we are already in early summer here in Israel.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

New Dairy Restaurant on the Corner of Emek Refaim and Rachel Imanu

Yesterday I had to find a place to eat with a visitor. Recently there has been quite a turnover and closings of restaurants on Jerusalem's Emek Refaim area. The once very popular dining corner of Emek Refaim and Rachel Imenu has seen many changes of late, and lots of storefronts are empty of signs other than "For Rent."

But since it's not far from Matan, where I had studied in the morning, that's where we met. I spied a new dairy restaurant Ness Cafe, which is Hebrew for "instant coffee." Emek Refaim St. 42, Jerusalem, Israel, Tel. 02-5661303.

I ordered their Nicoise Salad aka tuna.

Instead of canned tuna, it was a tuna steak on top, which the better restaurants are now offering. There were too many potatoes for my taste, though I should have asked for them to leave them out. Instead I left them over. It was tasty but not spectacular.

And contrary to pretty much every single other similar restaurant, neither my dining companion nor I was offered any bread or a roll. I was glad not to have the temptation, but if I had been given a roll, I would have made up a sandwich for dinner at work.

The food was good, though not spectacular. We had neither coffee nor dessert. But the biggest surprise was that it wasn't air-conditioned, although it was a very hot day. They relied on open windows. And I must admit that we were comfortable where we sat. It also didn't seem like they invested much in fixing the place up. Maybe they will if they make enough money to stay there.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Easy "One Pot" Salmon and Veggies

This is all it is, just salmon and vegetables to be baked:

Along with the salmon steaks there are potatoes, and onions and pumpkin and squash and whatever else you want. To keep the delicate salmon from overcooking I covered it:

Add a bit of oil, and then bake until vegetables are soft.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Amazing Jewish Calendar vs "Goyish" Calendar Coincidences

As I've mentioned many times, the Jewish Calendar is like no other. It combines the seasonal accuracy of the solar calendar with the repetitive lunar cycles, following the moon.

In Biblical Times there were "watchers" who announced the first sightings of the "new moon." That news quickly spread in the Land of Israel, so people knew when holidays would fall. That's why both Succot and Passover begin on the fifteenth of the month. And periodically an extra month would be added in the winter, when it was clear that spring was still far off.

Jewish Holidays must occur in the right seasons, because our Jewish religion is Land-based. It's further proof that we are connected to the Land of Israel, because those seasonal aspects of Judaism only work here. In contrast the Muslim Calendar is nomadic. Holidays move around the seasons; they aren't rooted in any land. It's a strictly lunar calendar.

For the past two thousand years, we have been following a "fixed" calendar that, due to advanced calculations done by some brilliant mathematical Jewish thinkers, we are no longer dependent on the "moon watchers" to spot the "new moon" and announce the next month.

Jewish and non-Jewish calendar dates coincide in the most amazing ways.

This year my Jewish Birthday ended up on my sister's secular birth-date, and my secular one on my granddaughter's Bat Mitzvah, actual 12th Birthday. To add to the unlikelihood of that, all of our ages are easily divisible by 6.

Mazal Tov and a Long, Healthy and Productive Life to All!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Caught History for 52 Frames

This week's 52 Frames challenge was Architecture. I caught two of Israel's most iconic buildings.

Yes, that's the Shrine of the Book (Israel Museum) in the foreground and the Knesset in the background. The Shrine of the Book houses in  Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Knesset is Israel's parliament.

I took a slew of photos at the Museum for this project, because it has some of the most gorgeous and most photogenic buildings. Here are a few of those I didn't submit.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Involved With Lots of English Shavuot Learning in Shiloh

yes, the title is almost a tongue-twister...

This Shavuot, not only did we host our usual afternoon Shavuot Shiur, (class,) given in English by our neighbor Rabbi Dov Berkovits, but my husband and I both gave shiurim the night before. A neighbor in Shiloh just a few years felt the need for some English Shavuot Night classes, especially for women, and while encouraging her to do it I volunteered to teach.

The evening opened with a talk by my husband for both men and women, which was well attended. Then everyone treated themselves to the delicious cheesecakes and fruit salads my neighbor served. When the men left, sadly some of the women left with their husbands, I then gave two short original (totally my own ideas) shiurim to the women who stayed. After that I used the Matan Al Haperek study guides on Megillat Ruth. It would be nice if I could get a few neighbors to also sign up, so that I could do the weekly learning in Shiloh as well as with the friends I have been studying with. That way I could get more out of the studies, and things would stick better in my head. And in all honesty, I find the Al Haperek program wonderful. I am finally beginning to get a grasp of Tanach, Bible. My plan is to G-d willing sign up for the second round of studies in just over a year. It's a six year program, and we are finishing the fifth year soon.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Wonderful Day in the Israel Museum

The other day I went to the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. It's a favorite place of mine. There are some new exhibits opened of late. Actually I had been there the week before, but since l didn't have much time, my friends and I had only seen one of the new exhibits.

This time I made a point of going through their "Fiftieth Birthday" exhibit. On display were all sorts of things you'd find in Israel fifty years ago. I had been told that I'd find a Hazorea bookshelf just like the one we have in our house. And yes, I did.

I bought ours forty-four years ago for our Bayit V'Gan apartment. They were still selling the same model in 1977, because we bought another section when we returned from shlichut in London. Ours are still in use, though in worse shape than the one in the museum collection.

There was some massive youth event the day I was there. My guess is that children who participate in art programs in various community centers from all over the country came for a fun day of activities. That's why you'll see so many children in the photos.

I'd rather let the photos speak for themselves. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

2 Pet Peeves From Your Friendly Saleslady

As you must know by now, I've been working as an ordinary saleswoman in Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin, a medium-sized "clothing for the entire family store" for well over four years.

In the past I worked in stores, even in New York before I got married. But this is the first job like this since cellphones became the norm for all to carry around.

And that is "pet peeve" number one:

Please don't walk into a store shouting or even talking loudly on the phone.
It happens too often that people are in  the middle of a conversation that has nothing to do with what to buy in the store. I know that, because I can hear every word. More often than not, the telephone-talker drowns out the actual customers and staff. We can't work because of the noise. The atmosphere in the store becomes very unpleasant and is dominated by rudeness. And no doubt many of you will mention that it is also a problem when the sales staff is too busy with their own phone-calls to pay attention to customers. I agree. Now that it's the norm for people to have their cellphones with them 24/7, we all have to learn when to keep them quiet.

Please ask; don't just search through the shelves and stock.
When we, the salespeople are serious when we ask if we can help. And even if nobody offered assistance, please don't be shy, ask. We can save you time. We can help you find what you want or save you from uselessly searching. Frequently, people waste time and energy looking for what doesn't exist.
"I want this style shirt in a men's medium."
"Sorry, this is a children's model, and it only goes to size 16."
That conversation frequently is heard after the frustrated customer has made a total mess of the shirts on the shelf. And if you are in one of those stores that has awful staff, then you can take the initiative and ask for help. Hint: many labels have the "size range" printed, which is one of the ways that we salespeople know what sizes can be found.

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Soooon.... G-d Willing

Yes, the local Shiloh Swimming Pool is due to open in a couple of weeks. Can't wait!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Great Serving Idea!

A few weeks ago, I visited a friend who was hosting a small gathering in her house. As usual her home was arranged beautifully with lots of tempting food. But what grabbed my eye was this very unique way of presenting apples.

There really wasn't enough room on the table by the time all the food was served for a "proper" fruit bow.  Putting the apples in the large heavy glass vase was totally brilliant!!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Great "Golden Age" Activities Here in Shiloh

Bringing my father on aliyah to Israel
Some of you may remember that we had my father living with us here in Shiloh for almost a year five plus years ago. The plan had been to also get my mother to Israel and set them up with suitable help in a place near a good senior citizens center or in one of those residential places suitable for a combination of "independent and assisted living." But in the end my mother wanted to be near my sister, though was sorry that she was so far from most of her grandchildren and all of the great-grandchildren.

During that year my father was with us, I hosted a weekly "movie night," (actually late afternoon,) for English speakers. Most of the participants were between my age and his. It was very popular.

A couple of years after he left, a new "middle-aged plus" couple moved to Shiloh, and she was looking for a project, so our "social/activity" coordinator suggested that she develop a program for Shiloh's elderly, a growing population. There's quite a challenge considering that few of the elderly are fully comfortable in Hebrew, so there must be translation into English and Russian. And now there's a couple from France that moved in with their daughter. They try to translate into French for each other.

One of the weekly activities is an ulpan to help improve their Hebrew. And another is an exercise class by a professional yoga/aerobics teacher. They also bring in lecturers, show films and have lots of other programs. They meet twice a week. I'm sometimes asked to help with translating to and from English. I do it when I can.

Not all the participants are elderly, and not all the participants are immigrants. Too bad we didn't have these activities when my father was living with us. He would have loved to go, and it's an easy walk from our house.

And to be honest, I did get quite a workout at the exercise class. Maybe I should go more often!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

What's Hidden in Your Simple Tomato Paste?

We generally by the same brand of concentrated tomato paste (the 28% variety) all the time. When I first discovered it, it just had tomatoes and nothing else. But every once in a while there an unpleasant surprise.

I've been checking various brands, and they all have lots of added junk. This new one has 8% garbage (sugars and who knows what else) in it. And the warning that it "May contain celery, mustard, sesame, eggs, soy and sulphite." really ruins my appetite.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Delicious New Coffee

This morning I made the first brew of the last of my stash of "Eight O'Clock" coffees, which I had bought in New York over two months ago. It's Colombian Peaks.

As you can see, I used the French Press and added milk. I also added sugar. According to the icon on the package it's a "medium flavor," which was the same as my previous  Caramel Macchiato, but this is real coffee taste. The Caramel Macchiato tasted strongly flavored. After a couple of weeks or less the novelty of the special flavor had long worn off, and I'm glad that Colombian Peaks has none of that artificial taste.

In some ways its flavor is similar to percolated Elite Turkish coffee which I never get tired of. The aroma is a great wake-up call.

I'll also have to try it in my little cup filter and percolator to give a full report.

Have a great day. Coffee is really the best way to start one!!