Saturday, December 15, 2018

Singalong, Yair Rosenblum

One of the more recent Saturday night, Motza"Sh, meaning after Shabbat, activities here in Shiloh has been singalongs.

Way back when in the early decades in Israel, singalongs were very popular social/cultural activities. There would be slides, a slide projector and a big screen or cleared off wall, so the participants could read the words. Music would frequently be provided by someone playing an accordian. When there wasn't anyone to provide live music, there would be a tape recorder. Now everything's online and via the computer. Last year when I attended a singalong, the volume was turned down and a young neighbor ended up playing absolutely everything on the piano.

This time one of our "social coordinators" combined a television program about Yair Rosenblum with some "slides" of the lyrics.

I'm not an expert when it comes to who wrote Israeli songs. I know almost nothing, except about Naomi Shemer.  In a sense they were contemporaries, since they wrote some of their most famous songs during the same time period.
Yair Rosenblum:
Rosenblum was born in Tel Aviv.[5] He was musical director of the Israel Defense Forces chorus in the 1960s and 1970s.[6] He directed Israel's annual music festivals.[5][6]He conducted and composed songs for the Israel Defense Forces army and navy ensembles.
Some songs I knew, others were familiar, and some I had never heard before. It was an enjoyable evening. I'd really like a singalong of Israeli songs we used to dance to. Then I'd feel young...

Thursday, December 13, 2018

New/Old Hobby or Baile Rochel Returns to Crocheting

"Baile Rochel" is my alter ego, or maybe she's the real me. Click "Baile Rochel" to read more of her writing.

Yesterday, when I was walking around the Talpiyot shopping aka industrial area, I found myself walking into a crafts store. I usually just walk around the Hadar Mall and then trek to Matan for a 12 noon class. But yesterday, I had been dropped off on a different street.

I love to window shop, always have, but suddenly I was attracted to yarn. It got a hold on me and pulled me in.

Before I realized what I was doing, I had picked out two packages of yarn and a crochet hook and announced to the salesman that I was going to crochet a scarf.

Of course, I've never crocheted a scarf before. I haven't a clue how to do it. The only thing I've ever crocheted has been hats and kippot (skullcaps.) There's a big difference between crocheting something round and crocheting something long which is supposed to have the same width all its length. Crocheting round things is very simple; it suits the technique.

Please don't tell me to follow a pattern, because I don't know how to do that either. I've always crocheted by "instinct" or common sense or just plain guesswork. And sometimes I've made a mess out of things.

There are two reasons I was pulled into this little/insane challenge. One is that I have a new jacket, the same dark blue as the yarn, and it needs a scarf. Two is I've been wanting to do something to help keep me awake and alert while at classes/lectures. Years ago, I did needlepoint pictures, but then I ran out of wall space. After that I kept myself happily busy crocheting hats. But after a few years I stopped wearing them. I prefer covering my hair with scarfs.

Of course, since I'm Baile Rochel, I didn't do any research, no google searches to try to find out any tricks to crocheting a scarf. I didn't ask anyone either. As the lecture began, I took the yarn and hook and tried to remember how to start. In all honesty, I was surprised at how long it took me to figure out what to do. And the start isn't exactly the same as for crocheting something round. But it's like what people say about riding a bike,You never really forget. Only crocheting is much safer. I wouldn't dare try to ride a bike after all these years/decades. If I goof up the crocheting, I can always undo the stitches or throw the mess out.

I crocheted a few rows and stayed awake during the lecture. That's good. There's no chance the scarf will be perfect, but I don't really care. As I tell my friends during my mosaics class, when they ask me what I'm making:
"It's the journey that's important."
What harm would it do to wear a crooked misshapen scarf, especially if the act of crocheting had helped me stay awake during expensive classes?

PS If you have some tips to help me crochet a scarf that doesn't look totally ridiculous, please write them in the comments, thanks.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Don't Be Shy, Report

This isn't about the "Me, too" movement, but in a way it's connected. There are many things that should be reported. Not all are dramatic and sexual.

I'm sure that in the rest of the modern world, like in Israel, the various public transportation companies have phone numbers and internet sites through which you can report various irregularities. My husband and I have gotten free tickets to be used to and from Jerusalem when reporting that scheduled buses haven't arrived.

Today I reported something else. Not for the first time did a bus driver take off before I could get near a seat. But today I reported it. I was very annoyed and sat myself down on the steps. I managed to twist around and place my Rav-Kav (prepaid bus pass) on the "sensor" to pay, which could have been dangerous for me. But I had been holding it and wanted to put it safely away.

I'm sure this driver has done it to me before. Another time a driver told me to sit in a proper seat, and I told him that I don't walk in moving buses. That's extra true when the bus is making turns, as it did seconds after I boarded.

Luckily I wasn't dressed in anything fancy. Denim skirts are pretty hardy.  I even took a picture.

As you can see, I was sitting on the steps of the bus.

It was about a seven minutes' drive until the next stop. When the bus stopped, I quickly got up and found a seat. And when I got home, I reported it to Egged Tavura.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Very Off, Off, Off, Off-Broadway West Side Story

Last night a couple of friends and I went to the final performance of Beit Hillel's West Side Story, which was a super treat. We and the rest of the standing-room-only audience loved every minute of it.

Sorry, that we can't tell you to see the show, because it was only a limited run. But now we'll be on the alert for future productions. The performance level, sets etcetera were are on a very high level, and I was extremely happy that they had live music. Unfortunately live music is much too rare nowadays.

West Side Story is one of my all time favorite musicals. Yes, of course, I know all the lyrics by heart, and I'm proud to say that I controlled myself only mouthing them instead of singing out loud and annoying everyone around me.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Eight 8 Nights of Chanukah

Chanukah 5779, 2018 Night #1

Chanukah 5779, 2018 Night #2

Chanukah 5779, 2018 Night #3
Chanukah 5779, 2018 Night #4

Chanukah 5779, 2018 Night #5

Chanukah 5779, 2018 Night #6

Chanukah 5779, 2018 Night #7

Chanukah 5779, 2018 Night #8

Sunday, December 09, 2018

New Mug From My Granddaughter

At our big family Chanukah Party last week, I brought presents for absolutely everyone. I've continued with the custom I began when I was working in Yafiz clothing store, buying pajamas for all of the children. I managed to find them all in one big shopping session in the Pisgat Zeev Mall a few weeks before Chanukah. Sales had already begun, and there were all sizes. I had to get adult sizes for the oldest ones, who are all taller than I am. And in one of the big children's chain stores, Kiwi, I found cute sweatsuits for the younger ones. So far, reports are that they all fit.

For the grownups, I went to my favorite store, FOX Home, and I wasn't disappointed. They had a wonderful selection of mugs at discounted prices. To make life easier for myself, I got all the kids identical mugs and something else useful for my husband.

I was surprised at the party by a personal gift for me. One of my younger granddaughters bought everyone presents with her own money. This mug has praises written all over:
"My Grandma is THE BEST"
"My Grandma is Young at Heart"
"Beloved Dear Grandma"
"Grandma #1"
"Perfect Grandma"
and more wonderful words๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’Ÿ

Yes, she's a very special granddaughter!

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Easy, Inexpensive Frugal "House Redecorating"

Not all of us can afford major redecorating projects. Last summer I spent a lot redoing our kitchen. My general principle is not to replace what isn't broken. I try to be very frugal, since we really don't have a lot of money to spend.

That's why I haven't changed our windows, bathrooms, etc. We've had the same Venetian blinds for years, even though I can't get them clean. They still work and look pretty good.

The most frequently changed items are the shower/bathtub curtain and the bathtub mat. Here's the new set (actually they weren't sold together), which I picked up at our local food store. They really didn't cost much. Our bathroom tiles are yellow, and the tub's white. I wove the rug in our senior citizens crafts club.

I like the cheerful colors. What do you think?

Friday, December 07, 2018

Simple and Delicious Baked/Roasted Chicken

Usually I buy whole fresh chickens in Rami Levi (discount supermarket) every few weeks and put them in the freezer. I really find that they taste better than frozen ones sold locally. But when I went there to stock up on Monday morning, the whole chicken had a "last day to sell" for the same day I was there. I don't buy on "last day," since there's too much a chance that they just aren't fresh enough. The worker behind the counter refused to give me fresher ones from the back, so I checked out the chicken parts and discovered that the "bottoms," which are most popular in my family, were discounted, so that's what I bought. An additional advantage was that I didn't have to cut up the whole chicken into parts. I just separated/cut the leg/drumstick of the really large ones.

Now for my Simple and Delicious Baked/Roasted Chicken recipe:
lemon slices, ground pepper, sweet paprika, garlic and cuzbara (Coriander, also known as cilantro or Chinese parsley)
Chicken, best cut into serving-size pieces, though you can use the same seasonings on a whole chicken or one cut "butterfly" or spatchcocking aka in half.

Bake uncovered in the oven about 220 degrees Centigrade (220°C × 9/5) + 32 = 428°F) with turbo fan going until it begins to look cooked, then lower to about 190 for another 10-15 minutes. It takes longer if you don't have a turbo oven. Remember that every oven is different, and different sorts of baking pans also affect temperature and cooking time.

Yes, it's that simple, and I don't add salt or any oils. Since I prepare my chicken in advance, I store the cooked chicken in containers in the refrigerator and include all of the natural juices/fats in the pan along with the chicken. I heat the chicken with the natural juices/fats, which have a lot of the flavor and richness.


PS you can certainly vary the seasonings and add fresh ones, like onion, too.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Bibi Could Be an Actor, or is He? Bibi's New Chanukah video

Former American President Ronald Reagan said that he didn't understand why people thought that his acting career was a strange one for a politician, especially for an American president. He said that he couldn't see how an non-actor could do the job.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Meet Me at Tel Shiloh, Rosh Chodesh Tevet Women's Prayers

It's already day two of Chanukah. That means we must make plans for Rosh Chodesh.

The first day of Tevet will be this coming Sunday! Gd willing we'll have an inspiring Tfilat Nashim, Women's Rosh Chodesh Prayer session at Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh, the location of Chana's Prayer for a son to lead the Jewish People out of the anarchy of the Judges, Shoftim.

Gd willing we will have our Women's Rosh Chodesh Prayers at Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh, site of the Mishkan, Holy Tabernacle on the 1st of Tevet 5779, 9-12-2018, 8:30am.

ื›ื•ืœืŸ ืžื•ื–ืžื ื•ืช, ืชืคื™ืœืช ื ืฉื™ื, ืจืืฉ ื—ื•ื“ืฉ ื˜ื‘ืช, ื' ื˜ื‘ืช, ื™ื•ื ื' ,9/12/2019 , 8:30, ื‘ืฉื™ืœื” ื”ืงื“ื•ืžื”, ืชืœ ืฉื™ืœื”

We sing Hallel out loud, but the rest of the prayers are said silently. There will be a tour of the Tel and Divrei Torah, Gd willing, in both Hebrew and English. If you'd like more information, please contact me with "Rosh Chodesh Prayers" as subject.

Shiloh Hakeduma is a recognized Biblical archaeological site and is open for tours and activities daily, except for Shabbat and the Jewish Holidays when traveling is forbidden. For more information contact, 02-5789111.

Chanukah is the Jewish Holiday which celebrates turning darkness into light.

Monday, December 03, 2018

Six13 - Bohemian Chanukah (a Queen adaptation)

Here's a new Chanukah video


Published on Nov 27, 2018

Is this just fantasy? No, it's our Chanukah tribute to one of the greatest and most epic songs of all time. Ready, Freddie? Kindle the lights, remember the Maccabees, and rock on. CHAG SAMEACH! Booking and more information about Six13:

Sunday, December 02, 2018

So, Sue Me

I never remember from which side to light my chanukiyah, Chanukah Menorah.

Is it that awful a mistake?

Once the oil stops burning, I'll turn it around. At least the rest of Chanukah I'll get it right. OK?

Saturday, December 01, 2018

"BIGA" Meal in The Grand Kenyon, Beersheva, Waste of Food

I wrote here and on Shiloh Musings about my trip to Beersheva last week. Besides a bit of touring around we had a late lunch in the BIGA dairy restaurant in the Grand Kenyon Mall.

The menu had a great variety of salads and other dishes. They also had a choice of luncheon specials, "business lunch," which offered a first course, main course and a drink, for either ns49, ns59 and ns69. I went for the ns59 and took beet and kolrabi salad as first course with a nicoise aka tuna salad as my main course. I took the selzer as my drink. The coffee here was ordered by my friend.

beet and kolrabi salad
The truth is that I really should have shared the meal. The portions were so large, even I couldn't finish it. And both salads were delicious, really. Or I should have ordered a smaller meal and not the business lunch.

I had so much left over of the nicoise salad that I asked them to pack it up to take home. That's very common for me. It was going to be my dinner.

nicoise aka tuna salad
You may have noticed that I wrote "It was going to be my dinner."  If you're good at English grammar, you may have realized that by using that verb form, I'm telling you that it wasn't my dinner in the end. That's right.

A few hours later, when I got back home and opened the bag to serve it to myself, I discovered a big disgusting mess. No, I didn't take a picture of it. Unlike every other restaurant from which I've ever gotten leftovers to take home, instead of putting the food in a closed plastic container, BIGA used a cardboard box. The cardboard may be fine for bread and cake, or even pizza, but the liquid and oil in the tuna salad turned the cardboard to mush. It was no better than papier-mรขchรฉ made out of wet, soppy newspapers. So, I had to throw it all out. Kapora, it certainly wasn't worth endangering my health trying to eat any of it. At least what I had eaten in BIGA was tasty, and I had food at home to heat up for dinner.

Now, I've learned that it's worth checking the container of leftover restaurant food. Make sure that pack it safely.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Real Life, Never Dull

Rather than duplicate what I wrote on Shiloh Musings, or rewriting it in another way, I suggest that you just read "Learning to be Late and Accepting Blessings."

Shabbat Shalom uMevorach
Have a Wonderful and Blessed Shabbat

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Pro-Pockets and Fanny Pack

A lot of people recognize me by my silhouette. On weekdays I almost always have a "pouch" or  "Fanny Pack" on. Few women's clothes come designed with pockets, and the pockets are rarely large enough to safely store one's smartphone.

Even when I'm home I buckle up my small Fanny Pack, so I can have my phone cum pedometer on me. And when out of the house, my keys are in a pocket or the pouch. The other day when visiting a  Jerusalem public toilet, I spotted these on a counter.

I hope that the owner rushed back quickly for them. There was no guard or person who could be considered responsible at the building for me to hand them over.

A few years ago, I spotted an expensive ring on the edge of the sink outside of "restroom" at a "food court." I took it to the closest food place and asked the worker where there was a nearby security office. He told me to ask a young religious (Jewish) woman eating at a nearby table if the ring was hers. He guessed correctly. Orthodox Jews ritually wash their hands before eating bread. For this "washing" one must take off rings. Many rings get lost when the owner leaves them by the sink instead of putting in a pocket or mouth.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

A Visit f2f to Beersheva

photo by Yocheved Golani,
Over the past few years, I've blogged about a group of friends I have who communicate on Facebook, secret group, and get together f2f periodically in all sorts of locations. This time we decided to visit Beersheva, since quite a few of our members live there or nearby.

At this Beersheva f2f, besides a couple of locals, we came from Netivot, Netanya, Maale Adumim and Shiloh. Yes, that shows you how spread out we are over the country. I traveled from Jerusalem by bus with my friend from Maale Adumim after spending the previous night in Jerusalem to enjoy some of my progeny.

photo by Yocheved Golani,

BTW, about the public toilets in the Beersheva Central Bus Station, the "pay a shekel" entrance didn't work well, and many, including yours truly, squeezed through with a friend, not to cheat, but because it only opened every two sh'kallim. 

The 470 express, which had a bare minimum of stops, was a great way to travel from Jerusalem to Beersheva and back. As a "senior" it only cost me a total of ns20 for a day's trip including buses in Beersheva.

We met in the older part of Beersheva in the Allenby Park, near the old "mosque," municipality building and British Commonwealth ANZAC Cemetery. One of our friends gave us a fascinating overview of the history of Beersheva and the two old buildings we faced. Then we entered the nearby British ANZAC Cemetery and placed stones on the one Jewish grave there.

Then we squeezed into a car and drove to the "Grand Kenyon" Shopping Mall and had a very pleasant late lunch together. A few of us then shared a cab to the bus and train stations, which are conveniently side by side. Following are a few photos taken in Beersheva.

photo by Yocheved Golani,

Thankful that there has been rain so far this winter, but we were also very happy that it was dry during our visit to Beersheva. Except for the fact that some of us looked like crazy old bag-ladies, schlepping our coats, pocketbooks and additional bags, it really was perfect weather for a walking tour.

On the bus back to Jerusalem, my friend and I succeeded in charging our phones via the overhead outlets. It's one of those modern conveniences one needs nowadays. We are so dependent on electrical communication devices. The outlets didn't work on the bus going to Beersheva, so we were very relieved to discover that these did work. She had an extra long cord, but mine was just minimally the right length. It wasn't all that comfortable to use it and keep my phone safe. If I find myself traveling a lot on such buses, I'll have to buy a longer cord.

Photos included here were taken by me, except for those identified as by

Sunday, November 25, 2018

#morningcoffeehaiku Continues

In recent months, I no longer blog daily, though I still blog very frequently. For quite a few years I was blogging daily on both of my blogs, except for Jewish Holidays that lasted more than a day. I can say that, because on the "regular" calendar, there'd be a new post each day, even though nothing was blogged on "Jewish day" which doesn't overlap. Jewish days start at nightfall and end at dusk. Even when I wasn't near a computer, I'd preblog, having the publication timed for the next day, sometimes even more. I did that both on this blog and Shiloh Musings.

I don't remember when or why I started my #morningcoffeehaiku routine, but besides Shabbat, Jewish holidays and fast days I update it on facebook daily. I can easily do it from my phone, too, so I don't need a computer. Besides the simple 5-7-5 haiku, I post a picture of my coffee and sometimes the morning sky.

Following are a few recent ones.

super full day planned
tomorrow busier too
winter sunshine cheers

thankful for the rain
cleanses, hydrates, gives us life
need for coffee, too

grey winter morning
coffee, hot, strong and cheery
many plans today

In Jerusalem
After night living it up

perfect sunrise view
blends perfectly with coffee
wonderful day all

warm winter morning
must decide how to fill day
shop for Chanuka?

bright winter morning
planning wash, mosaics, plus
enjoying Gd's gifts

sky prettier from south
What happened to the sunrise?
coffee's still perfect

only in Israel 
hot war, theatre and coffee
may Gd protect us

sunshine broke through clouds
heralding amazing day
coffee cup-by-cup

very early morn
traveling to do errands
no sign of the sun

Coffee company
Nice Jerusalem morning
Family visit

mysterious sky
won't tell us if it will rain
coffee's always good

strong coffee needed
woke up feeling very tired
not rested at all

Coffee so welcome
Energizes completely
Blessings, good health, all

freezing cold morning
hot coffee and golden sunrise
winter has begun

Friday, November 23, 2018

New Glasses, Been Too Long

I finally got new glasses, and I shouldn't have taken so long about it, since my old ones were very crooked. Not only did they make me look like some nutty, eccentric old lady, but since they're multi-focal and turn into sunglasses, neurologically bad for me.

As has been my custom for probably close to ten years, I went to Michlelet Hadassa, the Hadassa College. It's located in the center of Jerusalem, a few minutes' walk from Zion Square.

You've all heard the saying "time is money," and that's a reason I go there for prescription glasses rather than to a private store.

The vision exam is very time consuming in Michlelet Hadassa, the Hadassa College, because you're examined by both a student and a teacher. Sometimes that necessitates repeating the whole process. In their optician shop, where you choose your frames, you also deal with a student and a professional. It's like bringing along your entire family. Everyone has an opinion and advice. I helped a woman by reminding her to notice some decoration on the side of the frames. Most people only pay attention to the front view. I ended up hating the decoration on the side of my old glasses; I felt it looked cheap. But I hadn't noticed it when I chose them. The woman was very grateful and didn't take those frames.

To be honest, I wasn't crazy about the selection available, though I loved the prices. At NS150 for my new frames, barely $40 or even less, I found frames that were fine, though not my dream ones. Lenses also cost less than in the stores. Quality is good, as is service.

About the service...
For the very first time since getting prescription glasses, a good twenty plus years, I didn't have a "wow, now I can see so much better" reaction when putting the new ones on. It was the opposite, especially for reading.

I immediately complained/reported it. The staff was very attentive and understanding. They didn't say that I'd adjust. They took back the glasses and told me to make an appointment with a "professor." At the reception desk, they told me to return later in the evening, which I did. The senior teacher re-examined me and found a couple of problems with the prescription.

A week later, I got a call that the new glasses were ready. They are better, but I was still unsure. The woman, not a student, in the optician shop told me that because my old glasses were crooked, I should give myself a few more days, up to two weeks, to try them out.

They seem OK. I wore them all day yesterday without any problems. Now my old computer reading glasses don't seem so great. They had been perfect before I got my new glasses. I may just go to a neighborhood optician to get new lenses in those frames, since it's just a matter of getting relatively simple lenses. I'll see what she charges, of course. Getting old isn't cheap.