Thursday, May 30, 2019

Freedom! What's Freedom? Moi on The Stage

A few weeks ago I took on a challenge. The Women's Performance Community of Jerusalem asked for volunteers to present poems or statements/short performances about Freedom. I decided to write something and send in my "audition." It was accepted, thank Gd.

My poem was written in "free voice" form and probably works best performed, rather than just read from a page. My friend recorded/filmed my performance  on her phone last night. She knows who she is and I thank her. Two of my close friends came to cheer me on, which made the event even more special. And many others including family apologized for not making it.

Freedom, as I described it, is rather different from the other performances. Since this is a women's theater performance group, I'm not featuring others in this post, since many of the women don't perform in open, mixed venues.

Of course, I'm curious about what you thought of my poem "Freedom."

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Surprised Moi, Birthday Fun

I haven't been all that shy about telling friends and family that this year's birthday is to be celebrated. Hard to believe I'm seventy 70 and not seventeen 17. But somehow a bunch of my buddies, the ones in my Walking Anyone馃憤馃徏 whatsapp group, totally surprised me yesterday morning. I really thought we were getting together for a nice morning walk.

All the "Where are we going to meet?" and "Which neighborhood will we walk in?" questions/answers made sense, were perfectly normal. Even when some of us were standing and waiting in front of Merlot, the lovely dairy restaurant across from the supermarket and mailboxes, and I saw two friends approaching, I didn't  think it more than just coincidence.

I really was surprised when they said that we were going to a surprise party for breakfast, rather than take a walk!

We all had Merlot Breakfasts, eggs, salads, spreads, whole wheat rolls and coffee. Totally delicious. Then we shared their special dessert, waffle with ice cream, whipped cream the works! All of this was flavored with friendship, the most heavenly flavoring in the world. Thank Gd, I am truly blessed.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Tower of David Museum with Friends

Yesterday I met with a handful of friends from around the country, and we toured the Tower of David Museum. The only time I had been there was a half a century earlier, when I was a student in Machon Greenberg, and it was then just an ancient site.

The Tower of David is next to the Jaffa Gate and you can get there by public transportation, any bus to Mamilla Mall or the lightrail stop at Safra Square, the Jerusalem Municipality. Yes, it's a bit of a walk. The museum does require walking including stairs, so it's not for the handicapped or baby carriages/prams/strollers.

Even though it's called The Tower of David, it was built much later by Herod, and it's one of the only two remaining structures he had built. The other one is Maarat Hamachpela, the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron. The other Herodian edifices have been destroyed, though sections and foundations remain.

Give yourself a few hours to wander around. There are public toilets at the exit and near the special exhibit section where there is now an exhibition about Har Habayit, the Temple Mount. My friends and I didn't have enough time, since we also had reservations at a nearby restaurant. Our time was much too limited.

Since it's not a planned museum, the rooms are small. Visiting students made it hard for us to see everything, also. One of our friends said that she has brought grandchildren, who really enjoy the Tower of David Museum. As a senior citizen, I only paid NS20 to enter, so maybe I'll be back. Yes, I recommend visiting it.

These photos should give you a good idea, but they don't tell the whole story.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Medura Lag B'Omer Bonfire, Senior Style

When we first moved to Shiloh late summer 1981, we were among the older residents and the few with children old enough to be in school. Now all of us from that time and many who moved to Shiloh years later, are old enough to be in the 55+ group, old enough to enjoy a special range of activities.

Many of us "veterans," or vattikim as we're called in Hebrew are already retired. Consider us as a whole "young seniors," but last night we were all very happy that our Lag B'Omer midura,  or campfire/bonfire had chairs to sit on. Very few of us would have stayed or been comfortable if we had been expected to sit on old rugs and blankets like the kids, or like we had done easily decades ago.

Just like at the Medura Lag B'Omer Bonfires of old, we sang kumzitz style/genre, Israeli folk songs and told stories, plus some Divrei Torah. Unlike the kids, our menu was mostly fruit and watermelon. We do want to stay healthy active seniors for as long as possible, Gd willing.

Gd willing we'll enjoy many more together.

Chag Sameach!

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Matzah Breakfast on "Second Chance Passover," Pesach Sheni, 驻住讞 砖谞讬

For years I've been missing the boat, forgetting to celebrate "Second Chance Passover," Pesach Sheni, 驻住讞 砖谞讬.

Passover, Pesach is one of the holidays we are commanded to celebrate, as written in the Torah, Bible, the first five Books. These texts are thousands of years old, and we Jews still read and follow the Mitzvot/Commandments. When you think about it, it's quite amazing. For thousands of years we Jews have followed the calendar, the same holidays according to ancient texts.

When we were a small people all living in the Holy Land, making it to the Beit Hamikdash for holidays was doable. And since Passover was so important Gd gave us a second chance, because sometimes people found it impossible for very legitimate reasons.
The Torah mentions two official excuses for “missing” Pesach Rishon (on 14 Nissan) and being commanded to bring the KP on 14 Iyar – TAMEI, ritually defiled because of contact with a dead body or other source of TUM’A and DERECH R’CHOKA, “far” away from the Mikdash.
So today, even though I celebrated a large family seder with my family a month ago, I ate matzah. Did you?

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Should I "Thin" My Blogrolls?

If you look on the left sidebar of this blog, you'll see I have a blogroll, which I call "INTERESTING BLOGS." Over the years, from the time Jewish and Israeli bloggers considered ourselves a community, I've added to this list. And not only do I just collect, but I "visit" and comment on other blogs. I also write up "blog roundups," which are posts that feature posts by other bloggers. My most recent was here, but I usually host in on Shiloh Musings, my other blog.

For many years there was a weekly Jewish/Israeli blog roundup called Havel Havelim, plus the monthly Kosher Cooking Carnival and JPIX, but they've all faded away. My blogrolls have blogs that haven't had a new post for years. Since I set them both up to feature "newest post first," you can see the old blogs on the bottom of the list. Some of these blogs were extraordinarily good. There are some bloggers who blog on rare occasions, every few weeks or months, according to unschedulable whims. Even I've cut down an awful lot, frm daily on both blogs to a few times a week, according to what seems worth writing.

I'd like your input if possible. Could you please look at the blogrolls on both my blogs and let me know which of those "dead" blogs aren't worth keeping, and which ones are worth reading, even though the posts are very old.

Thank you for the help.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Mother's Day? No Breakfast in Bed for Me

I have no memories of celebrating "Mother's Day" for my mother when I was a kid. She got gypped, because her birthday was May 14, and there were no "double celebrations" by us. We weren't much of a party family.

My mother and I, a gazillion years ago, in Bell Park Gardens, Bayside, NY

Actually, I have a vague memory of a disastrous attempt to serve my mother "breakfast in bed," never again attempted.

Maybe that's why the idea of breakfast in bed sort of turns my stomach. I don't understand the attraction. All I can think of is the dirt, the food getting all over the sheet and blanket, which could bring bugs. And then all the extra laundry to clean it up.

Besides the mess that breakfast in bed can easily make, today, as a religious Jew, who makes a point to pray the Shacharit, Morning Prayer, properly dressed each day before eating breakfast, I can't quite figure out the logistics. Am I supposed to change back into pyjamas, and then climb into bed before eating? Trust me. I'm more comfortable sitting at the table.

I have no objection to eating breakfast "out," whether a hotel breakfast, a restaurant or special breakfast with friends. But first I try to at least drink my water plus some coffee, and pray of course.
After that you can serve me.

There wasn't an American style "Mother's Day" here in Israel when my kids lived at home. Now that they're all grown and out of the house, I try to get a bit of quality time with each whenever possible, a lot more frequently than one day a year.

It's strange to think that I'm the matriarch with grown children and grandchildren. My cousins and I are the "older generation." Most of us are older than our grandparents were as we remember them. Actually, I've already lived longer than three of my grandparents. That thought/fact makes me treasure every day Gd gives me, even though my parents lived much longer.

I enjoy the blessing of health and being able to get out of bed each morning and starting the day admiring the sunrise, drinking lemon water, then coffee.

Breakfast is for later and never in bed.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Customize Your Google/Chrome Homepage

For those of you who use Google/Chrome as your homepage, you probably have noticed that Google changes the picture/background on it to suit your local holidays.

Just above you can see the graphics they chose for yesterday for computers, tablets, whatevers they "sensed" to be in Israel. There's an Israeli Flag, because yesterday was Israel's Independence Day, Yom Haatzmaut.

If you look on the lower right hand corner, you'll see a very convenient and helpful tool.

Click it, and you'll discover a host of possibilities to customize your homepage.

Above is from today's homepage, and Google has changed the graphics.

Don't be afraid to click the options/choices.

  • They give you a choice of their own "Chrome backgrounds"
  • You can upload any of your own images.

After playing around with it, experimenting, you can always click the "Restore default shortcuts."

I hope this simple "how to" post helps you. Don't be afraid of your computer. The neighbor who first taught me how to use one said one word to me in the early 1980's:
When I asked him what would happen if I "broke" anything, he replied that he's fix it. Then programming was much more complicated, and very few programs available did very little. There wasn't even an "undo" button. I had to call him only once. Now I can teach people, even younger than me, how to use their computers, tablets, smartphones etc.

Instructions are in the "menus" that pop up when you click. If you have anything to say about this, please ask in the comments, thanks.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Israel's National Mourning Memorial Day, One People

Growing up in Bell Park Gardens, Bayside, NY, post-World War Two I don't remember anything about Memorial Day, except that it was a long weekend. Here in Israel it's a day of National Mourning, and even young children are exposed to the "nasty fact" that there is evil and people die.

As a child I knew very well that people die. Between the ages of almost three and three and a half, I had lost both maternal grandparents and an uncle. I have strong memories of those grandparents. Then when I was about twelve another uncle died, but none of them died in battle, nor did I grow up hearing anything about the Nazis or the Holocaust.

Life in Israel is rooted in reality. Children are taken to funerals, cemeteries and memorial ceremonies. They are taught about real people who had been killed fighting for Israel's independence and continued existence. They are taught about real people of all ages murdered by Arab terrorists.

Today is a day of national mourning for the soldiers and victims of terror attacks,  Soldiers and Terror Victims Memorial Day. Last night I ended up attending a very moving, well produced ceremony in Jerusalem. I missed being home in Shiloh, where most of the stories would be about people I had known. But instead of feeling like an outsider, attending that Jerusalem ceremony just reminded me how we are one nation, one people, one family.

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Save The Date: Rosh Chodesh Sivan 5779, Tuesday June 4, 2019

Our next Women's Rosh Chodesh Prayers will be Rosh Chodesh Sivan 5779, Tuesday June 4, 2019, Gd willing at Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh, 8:30am.

Tuesday, the first of Sivan, 5779, June 4, 2019 at 8:30am, Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh. For more information email me, subject: Rosh Chodesh.

转驻讬诇转 谞砖讬诐 讘专讗砖 讞讜讚砖 住讬讜谉 转讛讬讛 讬讜诐 讙', 讗' 讘住讬讜谉, ,8:30 4-6-2019 讘砖讬诇讛 讛拽讚讜诪讛, 转诇 砖讬诇讛. 诇驻专讟讬诐 谞讜住驻讬诐, subject: Rosh Chodesh.

We pray traditionally, silent prayers silently, and Hallel is sung together.

Shiloh is a holy site. It is mentioned in the Bible as the spiritual and administrative center of the Jewish People after Joshua led us into the Holy Land. There wasn't even the need for a battle to enter it, exactly like in 1967 Six Days War.

The area of Shiloh is now populated by well over a thousand Jewish families, and numbers are growing annually. Suburban, rural and agricultural communities fill the area from west of Highway 60 until just east of the Alon Road. Schools, medical clinics, shops and industries make it possible for families to live in Gush Shiloh Bloc without having to travel daily.

Most important is Shiloh Hakeduma, Ancient Shiloh, which is a recognized and popular archeological and tourist site. Visitors come from all over the world to see the latest discoveries and learn about Biblical Shiloh and the Mishkan, Tabernacle. For more information, arrange special tours, events and more contact, or call 02-5789111.

Monday, May 06, 2019

Dinner at Merlot, A Real Dairy Restaurant in Shiloh

It's so nice to know that we don't have to travel at all to get to a nice dairy restaurant. When we had been renovating our kitchen last summer, the added expense of a few meals "out" was minor financially and made life much easier. Merlot is nicer than many of the chain dairy restaurants you find all over the country and on par with, or better than most kosher dairy restaurants in most cities and towns.

Our most recent visit to Merlot was just before Pesach/Passover, after Bedikat Chametz, the ritual searching for the forbidden chametz. There was nothing to eat in the house, especially after a long day cleaning and reorganizing the kitchen to turn it into Pesach mode. For many years, my husband has brought home felafel from Jerusalem for us to eat after the "search," but this year he was home that day. When he did some shopping that afternoon, he checked at the pizza store, which apparently is attached to Merlot, about felafel. They didn't have any on their menu, but he was told that Merlot would be open until midnight with its full menu available.

Once we finished with the ritual, I "spruced myself up" for our post-Bedikat Chametz "date night," and we walked down the hill to Merlot. For those coming by car, there's a parking lot behind it, and it's also near bus stops for the 461 and 463 Egged Taavura. Merlot is across the street from the Shlomo Levyatan Supermarket and the Kupat Cholim Leumit clinic. Yes, the location is central and convenient, even for those who don't live in Shiloh. And of course it's strictly kosher mehadrin.

Merlot is open Sunday-Thursday 8am - 11pm. Friday 8am- until 1pm (or possibly later during summer hours,) and after Shabbat until 11pm. Call 02-6284601 for more information.

My husband ordered the Asian Stir-Fry, and I had the Sweet Potato Salad. We were both very happy with the food, which was delicious. We didn't order dessert, though I've eaten their desserts other times, including parties. Merlot also has a Breakfast Menu, which is offered until 12 noon.

Yes, we definitely recommend Merlot, and it's worth the trip, even if you don't live in Shiloh. Shiloh is only about ten minutes from the Ariel University, Ofra and of course closer to Eli and all the Gush Shiloh Bloc communities, besides being off of Highway 60 and barely ten minutes from the Alon Road.

Friday, May 03, 2019

Blog Visiting, A Roundup From Blogs All Over

Once upon a time there was Havel Havelim, a weekly roundup of blog posts about Israel and Judaism. I met a lot of amazing people through it, some in person and some just online. Now a few of those people still blog, less frequently, and some I'm facebook friends with and others on instagram. And I even have real life f2f friends I first met via blogging.

In the heyday of blogging, there had been a real community spirit, but now it's different. It is what it is.

Still I think that there are some great blogs out there, and I'll now post a number of blog post titles linked to the blog. I hope you make the time to click, read, comment and even share. Yes, share on your blog if you're a blogger, or facebook or twitter or just send on whatsapp or email. It's a new world out there. Sorry, but in these roundups I don't include "blogs" that are on news sites, just independent blogs. If you have any to recommend, please add them to the comments here. Both my blogs, this and Shiloh Musings have blog rolls, listings of blogs I look at, or looked at when they were "live."

All opinions in included posts are those of the bloggers, not necessarily mine. Enjoy:

4 Treasures in Northern Israel
Homemade Challah, Yes, Passover's Over
Tame the body, unleash the soul (Kedoshim)
Heroism, Gevurah 讙讘讜专讛 Yom HaZikaron LiShoah UliGevurah
Shma Yisrael
Two examples of NYT apathy during the Holocaust
Cartoonist Antonio Moreira Antunes Claims Antisemitic Allegations Come From “The Jewish Propaganda Machine”
And We Remember.....
Visiting an Old Age Home in Jerusalem
Bread of Affliction
Redemption, Exodus: Would You have been One of the One Fifth 1/5?
Nefesh b'Nefesh: How helpful are they AFTER you make aliyah?
The Post-1967 Origin of "Judea and Samaria"
Stand Up to the Bullies

Shabbat Shalom Umevorach,
May You have a Peaceful and Blessed Shabbat

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Early Lunch and Visit to Israel Museum

Yesterday I only had one of my Matan classes, so I was finished there before 10:30, and I had made a date with a friend visiting Jerusalem. Since we had a couple of hours and we were both hungry, we decided to go to the Israel Museum.

Mansfeld Caf茅 is always a good choice for a simple tasty dairy meal. For her it was breakfast, and for me it was an early lunch. I chose the Quiche of the Day, which was spinach. It comes with a fresh salad and was totally delicious.

After eating we found ourselves just wandering around various exhibits, not with any real plan. We didn't even check to see what's new. There is always so much to see in the Israel Museum, even in the permanent exhibits there are changes, since the museum has  so much in its storage facilities.

We really enjoyed looking at these beautiful and amazingly modern-looking jewelry in the Jewish Costume and Jewelry: A Matter of Identity gallery.

Right now, even though quite a few galleries are being redone with  new exhibits, there's still plenty to see. As the days get hotter, it's extra important to find places that are indoors. Parking is free, and there are a number of buses that you can take to the Israel Museum.