Monday, April 30, 2018

Walking in Jerusalem, "Live Feed"

Recently, I find myself doing the new "live feed" via Facebook. Facebook friends get a little box/notice, and if they want, they can click and follow it. Sometimes I do it when sitting on the bus, front seat, and I have some FB friends who really enjoy joining me. When I photograph the trip, I add all sorts of decorations to make it more interesting.

Yesterday I set it up to photograph my walk, which you should be able to see by clicking  Walking in Jerusalem.

I don't know if people realized that I was photographing as I walked. But some friends did join me, virtually that is. Here are a couple of stills from the walk.

Did any of you see this?

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Prom Memories

A Facebook friend asked if anyone had attended a prom, and I found myself answering. This is what I said:
I was at a few, nothing very enjoyable. Maybe because I wasn't asked by anyone I cared to be with. It's a very awkward time for those who aren't really dating anyone. Lots of pressure to make parents happy and not look like the kid is a reject. All of my invitations were to make the guy feel accepted. Twice I went with school paper's editor, whose mutual friend fixed us up, because he had to show to mine, jr and his sr. A couple of years before jrs from a nearby school needed dates to show and didn't have gfs, so my friend and I got "drafted." My hs stopped them 3 years after I graduated, because the kids thought it stupid and old-fashioned.

  • Were there proms in your day and school? 
  • Did you go? 
  • What memories, pro or con, pleasant or nightmarish do you have?

Here's my high school yearbook photo:

Great Neck North 1967

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Kitchen Plan "Tweaked"

Yesterday, before Shabbat, I had a couple of shiputznikim, best translated as "jack of all trade" repair guys over to see the kitchen before giving estimates for the job. I trust you read yesterday's post about my kitchen plans, if not, then click here, thanks.

Quite a number of people, including professionals had seen the plan, and everyone said it was good. But then one of the shiputznikim yesterday took a look at it, walked around the kitchen and said:
"You should make a change. Move the sink to the corner, and then you'll have much more storage space. Corner storage is never very useful."
Wow! I knew immediately that he was right.

My original plan did have a corner sink, but not there. I even blogged about some young kitchen salesgirl trying to tell me that she knew more than me and corner sinks weren't good. Read Kitchen Update #1. That was actually written almost a year ago.

What do you think?

Now we're waiting for estimates to choose the professionals to do the job Gd willing.

Friday, April 27, 2018

"New Kitchen" Update

Well, we're back to square 2 or is it 3...

I have a plan and chose two out of the three basic kitchen materials, but I don't have the professionals yet to do the job.

This is a sketch of our 3.3m X 3m kitchen with what we need/want. This isn't the professional work plan of course. It was designed by my son-in-law and I. A few kitchen professionals who saw it found nothing to change. My aim is a totally functional kitchen, nothing fancy. It should be easy for us to use as we get older, Gd willing.

Here are the Formica for cabinets and the synthetic "marble" for counter tops I chose. They are simple and classic but not too plain. Remember that our "living space" is an "L," so that you see the kitchen from the dining area. We still have to choose wall tiles.

About a month and a half ago, we were just about signed up with someone who could do it all, including a new door and windows. You could say that the pen was on the contract, but at the very last second one of the family experts told us to clarify a few things. And then the deal fell apart.

In the workshop of the carpenter I visited yesterday.
And then it was Passover and all that involves, so basically I took over a month off from "the kitchen." I spoke to another couple of local workers, a carpenter and what's called a shipputznik, someone who does all the plumbing, building etc. They are supposed to come to give estimates. And now my son-in-law and I got back to work on it, too.

Yesterday, we went to his kitchen carpenter and got a recommendation for another shipputznik, who are supposed to also look at the existing kitchen, the plan and send estimates.

I decided to stick with the materials/colors I had chosen previously, which all the good carpenters work with. This isn't to be a kitchen to "wow;" it's supposed to be a great, comfortable and easy to use one. I do think that a certain features I'm planning will "wow," because they will create the sort of multi-purpose usefulness that is necessary in a small space. I davka don't want a professional kitchen planner, because they have their styles/agendas. My kitchen has to suit me, and I know what I need. Remember that we've been in the house for over thirty years, and many of its best features were my design. I had to be reminded of that by my eldest... And my son-in-law is also very talented in designing and the measuring aspect, so we seem to make a good team.

Bli eyin haraa, not to tempt the "evil eye," I hope, Gd willing, that I'll be able to finally sign contracts and get a new functional kitchen.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Yes, We Israelis Get a Bissel Wacky Over Rain

I guess pretty much anyone with lots of Israeli friends on social media, Facebook, Instagram etc thought that some narcotic was raining down here in Israel. I'm not the only one who stood in the rain so my phone could "live feed" and show the world the black clouds, rain hail and thunder.

In Israel we barely get 5-6 months of rain per year, and we've been suffering from drought for years already. Rain starts around October, and in a "good year" we don't see sunshine for days on end. The last rain is usually early April, right before Passover. Some people swear that it always rains as soon as they wash their windows. Every few years it rains after Passover, and sometimes there are even storms. I remember one year when buckets of rain seemed to be violently poured on us from the sky.

Quite often those late rains are more like mud dripping. That's a pretty good description, because the rain sometimes ends those awful sandstorms. I learned the hard way that when the sky looks awfully yellow, it's not a good time to hang out the laundry, unless you are willing to wash it all over again. The weather is nothing like that in New York. How were we to know?

Yesterday's forecasts has said it would rain  around 10am in Jerusalem, so I didn't take my usual walk. Eventually I took a short walk, carrying my umbrella as backup. When I got home to Shiloh after three, it was still dry. But then I began to see rain posts on Facebook, as my friends sent out pictures and "live feed."

this is the color, I didn't make it black and white

The sky here began to get darker, and the clouds raced around. Usually I ignore the rain, once I'm safely at home, but I just had to send out my rain to the world. Isn't that what social media is all about? You can see more of my rain on Facebook and Instagram.

I guess all this "rain excitement" does seem crazy...

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Where was The Police?

Yesterday afternoon we got stuck in a humongous mess of a traffic jam at the junction of Sha'ar Binyamin. Apparently, a car had seriously stalled between Sha'ar Binyamin and Adam, and by the time our bus was ready to rejoin traffic on Route 60, the traffic was already backed up a kilometer to the north.

There was total bedlam as cars, vans and trucks cut and U-turned wherever they dared. Traffic on the dirt security road was heavy.

There's a police station in Sha'ar Binyamin, and a fit policeman could have walked over in about five minutes, even faster by car. There should have been a police crew directing traffic. It's a total miracle that we didn't get totally tangled up for hours. That was my fear, since we were in a rush to make it to Jerusalem on time for Israel's Place Among the Nations, in the Menachem Begin Heritage Center.

I sent an email to the police at the time and don't know if they actually sent anyone, since the bus driver managed to join the slow-moving traffic on Route 60 to Jerusalem. We crawled for a couple of miles and by then the stalled car must have been towed. Thank Gd we got to Jerusalem and the Begin Center on time, no thanks to the local police.

Monday, April 23, 2018

American Ground Coffee in Israel, Where?

After years of filling my suitcases with American ground coffee before returning home from the states and having friends and family bring me more, I just heard that there is at least one store here in Israel that sells it.

Photo by Ruti Eastman

My friend Ruti not only insisted that her local grocer in Neve Daniel, Gush Etzion, sells American ground coffee, she later sent me a photo of the shelf. Of course, it's almost double the price it would cost in the states, but carfare is cheaper than the flights...

Does anyone know where else they sell Folgers here in Israel? Since it's available here, I'd try the Kroger, too.

Even though it cost lots more per 100 grams than in an American supermarket, it's very similar to what the custom-ground coffee cost me here in Israel. And as you know, I'm not very satisfied, to say the least, with the various coffees I've bought. And if anyone can get the importer's info, I'd like to try to get my local stores interested, too.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Social Media War: MeWe versus Facebook

MeWe has taken on the humongous Facebook social media star. A few of my fb friends and I have joined it. Some of us joined just out of curiosity and to make sure we hadn't been left out of a new adventure. While others posted very dramatic announcements on Facebook that MeWe was the place to be and they were finished with Facebook. We got reports of the better graphics when posting messages. 

MeWe vs Facebook

Those who really want to leave Facebook in principle are legitimately angry about being put in "Facebook jail" for voicing their opinions. The hypersensitive algorithms which "police" what's written on Facebook and also "direct traffic" to and from what members write. They also keep trying to make us spend money. That is legitimate, since Facebook is free. But it's the political policing which is dangerous. There is a very definite Leftist and anti-Israel slant.

Some of my friends have a few Facebook identities so when one is jailed they can post on another name.

When I use Facebook, which is multiple times each day, except for Shabbat of course, I am just thankful that it is a free service. I use Facebook for two very different reasons, both of equal importance.

First, I joined Facebook to promote my blogs. And I must admit that fb exposure has certainly helped some of the posts, not just political ones. My Pishers' Guide to Jerusalem series and some restaurant reviews would never have gotten such exposure and "hits" without Facebook. My political posts on Shiloh Musings are harder to promote, because the algorithms on google search are skewed just as Leftwards or worse.

Second, I joined Facebook to keep in contact with family and friends. I'm 1000% grateful for this aspect of Facebook, because I'm now in touch with a slew of relatives I wouldn't know at all without it. Besides all the distant cousins, I've made a lot of friends, some whom I even get to see f2f, meaning in person.

Now it seems that most are tired of MeWe, apparently, because the latest from them on Facebook is that they are back. It's like setting up for a big party, inviting lots of friends and then sitting all alone. Yes, that's the big problem with MeWe; it's small. It doesn't matter how attractive the graphics, it doesn't have the reach, the massive numbers of Facebook or Twitter, of which I'm a member but hardly use it. I also have an Instagram account, which is for pictures which simultaneously can be posted on Facebook and Twitter.

My guess is that MeWe will fade out like some other social media sites have. There was one a few years ago, forgot the name, in which I was "friends" with Kirk Douglas and we chatted.

What do you think?

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Reviewing Ruti's Book

Wonderful Aliyah Story, "From Big Whine to Big Grapes"  

We bloggers do consider ourselves writers and journalists, but very few of us take the giant giant into publishing actual books. Ruti (Mizrachi) Eastman has taken that great daring leap and published "From Big Whine to Big Grapes" not that long ago. It's a collection of blog posts supplemented by essays specially written for this book. Ruti blogs on two blogs, Ki Yachol Nuchal! and  Never Ruthless.
Ruti writes a lot about her and her family's aliyah, move to Israel...
Read the entire review on Shiloh Musings, thanks.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Israeli Independence Day, 5778, 2018, Tremping Saga

Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israeli Independence Day is a very big national holiday here. Not only are schools and government offices closed, it's almost impossible to find an open grocer or supermarket. Some supermarkets opened in the afternoon yesterday, since they figured there would be customers who needed to restock for Shabbat. Also public transportation is seriously reduced frequency-wise in order to allow the bus drivers to celebrate with their families. As many of you probably know by now, we don't have a car. Generally we manage pretty well by taking buses. We even pay for a monthly bus/lightrail pass that gives us unlimited rides to and from Jerusalem, which is generally all we need. That didn't help me yesterday.

Our family Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israeli Independence Day custom is to spend the afternoon at my cousin in Hod Hasharon with all the family and close friends. They make a humongous barbecue, supplemented by salads and other side-dishes brought by the rest of us. By car Hod Hasharon is about the same travel time as Jerusalem, but it's a bit more complicated by public transportation. On Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israeli Independence Day, there isn't a bus to Ariel in order to go in that direction. Our daughter passes Shiloh on her way, but she only has room for one extra passenger. Since I'm the fearless trampistit, (hitchhiker,) the seat goes to my husband.

I don't take anything for granted, and I firmly believe that we must make an effort for Gd to pitch in and help us. Traveling by tremping is very much a method which needs Gd's help. So, I sent out an email in Hebrew and English to the neighbors on three lists, including Shvut Rachel, that I needed a ride, at least to Ariel. Nobody replied with a ride late morning. So, at 11:15, which would give me almost two hours for the forty minute drive, I left my house and walked down to the main Shiloh bus stop.

After a short wait, I got a ride to Shvut Rachel-Shiloh stop which offers more than twice the amount of potential rides, since anyone leaving Shvut Rachel and all of the small communities to the east will pass it on the way to Highway 60. After another reasonably short wait, I got a ride to someone going to the Shomron via Tapuach. I took that ride only to the exit/Junction of Eli, which is a good place to wait. It's not far from their security gate, and you can see that there are security cameras.

 Again, I didn't wait all that long when a car pulled up. There were four young men in it who were going to be passing through Ariel. The front seat passenger was a real gentleman, and he offered to squeeze in the back with his friends to give me the seat. The dropped me off at the Ariel exit bus stop. And I was overjoyed to see that there would be a bus in eight minutes. The Efo bus app confirmed it.

I calmly waited for the bus to arrive and messaged my cousin that I had made progress in my travels.

There wasn't much traffic, and I didn't even attempt to get a ride, because I knew that the bus would take me to the Yarkon Junction, where someone from the family would be waiting to pick me up. I was very comfortably ahead of schedule at that point.

I got the seat right behind the driver and messaged my cousin with estimated time of arrival. She replied that I'd be picked up no problem. Thank Gd I got there with time to spare.

Getting home I had to reverse the trip. Friends dropped me off at Ariel, that same bus stop you can see in the picture on the right, above this. I was hoping for either a ride or a bus to the Ariel University stop, near where I could get a ride home. Seconds after I got out of their car, I saw neighbors drive by. I waved but could see that their car was pretty full. Imagine my surprise when a few minutes later they pulled up to take me home. The wife squeezed in the back with her two sons to give me the roomier front seat, and they took me straight to my door, B"H.

I never know exactly how it will work out, but thank Gd I do manage to get to where I need to be.

Shabbat Shalom U'Mevorach
May You Have a Peaceful and Blessed Shabbat

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Celebrating 70 Israeli Independence

We went to Ofra for the celebrations last night, since one of our grandchildren was among the performers. It was very enjoyable for sure, especially when I discovered old friends in the audience who were there for the very same reason. It is especially nice when landsmen have children and grandchildren living in the same town, and our kids are friends, too 

Chag Atzma'ut Sameach!
Joyful Independence Day!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

New Discovery in Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh

On Rosh Chodesh, when my friends and I were walking from the entrance, coffee/souvenir shop to the site of the Mishkan, Tabernacle for prayers, we noticed a new, active section being dug by archaeologists.  We stopped by to chat with the archaeologist in charge, and he pointed to a stunning piece they had just dug up, the base of a pillar, with exquisitely detailed carvings. I tried hard to photograph it, but then was told that it wasn't to be publicized yet.

Then we continued on our way, prayed together, and then each of us continued our day.

Imagine my surprise when just a few hours later, Shiloh Hakeduma, Ancient Shiloh, the administrators of Tel Shiloh davka publicized the discovery:

photo by Batya Medad
photo by Batya Medad
To summarize:
It's believed that the pillar was part of a Byzantine church, the 6th discovered at Tel Shiloh. And one must remember that many holy sites to Judaism, like the Biblical Shiloh, were later adopted by other religions. We, the Jewish People, were in Shiloh before them and after them, too.
This is the perfect message and reminder as we Israelis and Jews celebrate seventy 70 years of modern statehood. We have returned to our Ancestral Homeland, the Land of Israel, the Land of the Bible, our Jewish Bible, the Tanach.

No other people ever had an independent country here, just the Jewish People.

Chag Sameach!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Rosh Chodesh at Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh

Yesterday was the first of the Jewish Month of Iyyar, and a small group of us came to Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh for Rosh Chodesh Prayers, Hallel and Musaf.

 Ancient, Biblical Shiloh is literally in my neighborhood, a short walk from my house. As we are getting ready to celebrate Israel's 70th anniversary of independence, the thriving Jewish town of Shiloh is more significant than ever.

Shiloh was the first Capital of the Jewish Nation after exodus from Egypt and the return to the Promised Land.
The Mishkan, Tabernacle, forerunner of the Holy Temple, stood in Shiloh for close to four hundred 400 years. Shiloh was the site for pilgrimages and prayers. Our Kohanim, priests were centered here.

In recent years, I've been part of a group of women who come to the site of the Biblical Mishkan, Tabernacle on Rosh Chodesh morning to pray together. Our next Rosh Chodesh Prayers will be Rosh Chodesh Sivan, May 15, 2018, Gd willing. Jewish women, you're invited to join us.

ראש חודש סיון נתפלל ביחד בע"ה בתל שילה
א' סיון, יום ג', 8:30 15-05-2018
הלל בשירה ומוסף
סיור קצר בשילה הקדומה
דבר תורה
בואו ולהזמין קרובות, חברות ושכנות

Women's Prayers at Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh
Rosh Chodesh Sivan 5778
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
1st of Sivan, 5778, 8:30am
Hallel and Musaf for Rosh Chodesh
Tour of Tel Shiloh
Dvar Torah, Short Torah Lesson
Please come and invite family, friends and neighbors.

לפרטים נוספים For more information about our Rosh Chodesh Prayer Group, please email with Rosh Chodesh Prayer Group as subject, thanks. לכתוב ל SHILOHMUSE@GMAIL.COM, לציין שזה בקשר לתפילת ראש חודש.

Even though it was pretty early in the morning, there were already a number of tourist groups visiting Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh.

For more information about visiting this very active and interesting archaeological and tourist site contact,,

Monday, April 16, 2018

Jerusalem Egged Buses Modernizing, Part 2

Jerusalem Egged Buses Modernizing, Part 1, is about the new way of paying for bus rides in order not to waste the driver's time. It's more complicated than the "exact change only" which is required in some places abroad. The complication is that not all bus stops are equipped with paying machines, and you can't pay the driver. Part 2 is about the modernizing of Egged Jerusalem buses:
Charge Your Phone/Tablet/Laptop As You Ride
Yes, in the newest buses, if you're lucky, you'll find yourself next to these chargers. You have to provide your own cord of course, but it's still a very nice little modern convenience.

People who travel in cars generally have chargers easily available, but we bus travelers dependent on public transportation  sometimes find ourselves wandering like gypsies.

I try to remember to have a portable charger with me and a charger you plug into an electric socket. They both have the type of wires you need to use the chargers on the bus.


PS if have any suggestions for other topics of "improvement" or modernization on the buses, please let me know, thanks.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Chodesh Tov! Monday Dovening at Tel Shiloh

Just a quick reminder that tomorrow, Monday the 1st of Iyyar and the 16th of April, 2018, we'll be having our traditional Women's Rosh Chodesh Prayers at Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh at 8:30am.

We sing Hallel out loud together, and the rest of the Rosh Chodesh morning prayers are done individually/silently.

While walking from the entrance of the Biblical/Ancient Shiloh archaeology site, we get to see many of the latest discoveries. Tel Shiloh is a very active and exciting archaeological site. More and more has been discovered that reaffirms and clarifies the Biblical narrative. Unlike the simplistic interpretations that Shiloh was abandoned after the death of Eli the High Priest, the latest discoveries show that Shiloh remained a very busy and important location during Biblical times and afterwards.

Rosh Chodesh is the beginning of the Jewish Month, and it is traditionally known as a Women's Holiday, which is an especially good reason to join us.

If you want you can sign up for the regular tour program at Tel Shiloh, either while already there, or write to It's open to visitors six days a week.

During Jewish Holiday times, Chanukah and the Intermediate Days (Hol Hamoed) of Succot and Passover there are special activities for all ages.

For those who understand spoken Hebrew I highly recommend Kenes Shiloh, held every summer, when there are tours and lectures throughout the day and evening highlighting the latest archaeological discoveries.

Chodesh Tov! Have a Wonderful Blessed Month of Iyyar!!