Monday, July 29, 2019

Hiking Shoes? Only in Israel

One of those very "Only in Israel" things is the Israeli understanding of Hiking Shoes, especially for people my age and older. When I was at last week's Kenes Shiloh, I took one of the offered walking tours.

Before all the lectures start, one can register in advance for one of two tours. One is for "first-time" visitors, or those who hadn't been to Shiloh Hakeduma in the past few years. It gives a general background of Tel Shiloh and takes the participants to the movie, among other sites. And I go on the tour for recent visitors which tries to give us the latest discoveries and the newest high tech sites.

Even though these tours are walking tours, more like hikes, many participants are older than me and need the aid of walking sticks etc. Besides that, look at their "hiking shoes."  Yes, Israelis wear sandals for hiking.

I wore comfortable sneakers, which are my summer hiking shoes.

My guess is that most older Israelis don't find anything strange or unusual in hiking in sandals. That's how they had been raised. Even in the 1970s when my older children were young, your typical Israeli only had one pair of shoes at a time. They had heavy 100% leather shoes in the winter and sandals, also of leather, in the summer. These shoes and sandals were also produced here in Israel.

One summer in the late 1970s the girls and I spent the summer in New York with the family. (My husband joined us for August, since he needed to work.) My mother registered my older daughters in a free local day camp. We sent them with their lunch, so kashrut wasn't a problem. One of the first days of camp they came back reporting that they had been forbidden to play sports.
"Only children wearing sports shoes were allowed. Sandals aren't considered safe here."
So we quickly went off to buy them sneakers.

In Israel kids played soccer in sandals. They kicked balls and hiked in their summer sandals. There were no such rules about shoes being required at that time. A few years later, when we were already living in Shiloh, I became the girls gym teacher. The girls were required to wear suitable shoes for sports classes. I also made them wear pants under their skirts for modesty. I even calculated their grades according to their cooperation with the dress cold. My rationale was that sports talents were gifts from Gd, while they were responsible for dressing themselves. I didn't like the idea of giving a girl a low grade, because she hadn't been blessed with athletic ability.

What do you think?

Tuesday, July 23, 2019


My friend Ruti challenged me in one of those picture memes on facebook, #myweekinblackandwhite. And contrary to my usual reaction to these things, I followed and posted black and white photos seven days straight. I took the "instructions" to mean a photo-diary of my week in black and white. So, here are some of the photos I took this past week for the meme. I hope you enjoy them. Do you have any favorites?

PS All the photos were taken with my phone in black and white, not color shots edited.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Surprisingly Simple Low Carb Vegetable Soup

Today was a fast day according to the Jewish Calendar, the (delayed/postponed*) 17th of Tammuz. As is my custom, I made a vegetable soup for the fast-breaking meal. Personally, I feel better eating soup after a fast. Raw vegetables "burn" my mouth. I eat a few bowls of soup after drinking lots of water. Since the only lentils in the house were these quick-cooking orange lentils, that's what I used. They are perfect for soups, especially when you don't have much time, which was the case today. I slept away too much of the afternoon and started my cooking much later than usual. Orange lentils cook very quickly, barely ten minutes, which was perfect.

Ingredients, sorry but you don't need exact quantities

1/2 cup orange lentils
3 medium carrots
1 large onion
2 small squash (light zucchini)
generous handful of dehydrated dill
a bit of oil, coarse salt and pepper


  1. check lentils for stones, bugs whatever
  2. cut onion rather small
  3. add onion to pot with lentils and a bit of vegetable oil
  4. heat on medium flame for a few minutes
  5. add boiling water to cover
  6. cover pot and lower flame to simmer
  7. cut carrots and squash into bite size pieces
  8. add to pot along with the dill, salt and pepper
  9. add more water, but not too high in the pot
  10. medium flame until boiling, then simmer
  11. It should be ready in 15-20 minutes, though you can cook it longer. Just check if the vegetables are soft.

You can add more vegetables and seasoning in you want.

ENJOY!  And tell me how yours came out, how your varied it etcetera.

*The actual date 17th of Tammuz fell on Shabbat when we don't fast, with the exception of Yom Kippur. So the fasting took place on Sunday the 18th of Tammuz

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Love Our Pool, Though Season Over Half Over

Summer in Shiloh... It's great, because we have a swimming pool. And the pool is a short walk from our house.

When we chose the building plot, where we now live, nobody had a clue that it would be such a great location. It's a minute's walk from the shul and in the other direction, about three minutes from the pool, besides being in between two bus stops. I chose it for the sunrise. It faces directly east and doesn't get strong winter winds.

One of the great things about the pool is that not only do we have "separate hours" for males and females, but there are "adult"hours. That means that the opening and closing hours of the pool are for grownups. It's quiet and peaceful, less crowded. We can swim and exercise without distraction and bother. I only go to those adult hours unless my granddaughters are visiting.

I've been taking out membership for years. It encourages me to go, even when I don't have all that much time. When you pay for each time, you end up going much less. I try to go every day, whether hours are in the morning or evening. To be honest, I'm not a "swimmer." I do my own version of water aerobics. Years ago I went to the pool in Neve Yaakov and learned a lot from the teacher there. They had fantastic lessons free once a week. So now add what I learned there with my years studying dance and "movement" to get a lot out of my time in the pool.

Our pool season ends at the end of August unless enough people sign up for September. Gd willing, I'll find a way to get to a pool during the rest of the year. It is so good for my general fitness and wellbeing.

Must get moving, so I can go to the pool.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Beatles, Memories of My Youth

I'm not shy about admitting my age, recently 70, so you shouldn't be surprised that I loved the Beatles' music. I sang it and danced to it. And I still do.

My first "introduction" was a letter from a British "penpal," who sent an article about them. And then their music began to be heard in New York. I think that one of the reasons the Beatles was so much fun to dance to, in contrast to today's music is because of the live drumming of Ringo Starr. For me the mechanical drumming you hear today is a total turnoff. It's so artificial.

I'm happy that there was a mini-reunion performance with Ringo and Paul McCartney. They're older than me, so I find it inspiring and encouraging that they can still perform.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Jerusalem Scenes, Summer 5779, 2019

It's a half a century since I first arrived in Jerusalem, and I'm never bored by the views and people. There are things that never change, and others that surprise and become unrecognizable.

Enjoy the photos I took the other day in the center of Jerusalem.

If you recognize anyone here, please explain in the comments, thanks.

Sunday, July 07, 2019

Life in the "Senior Lane"

Today at my mosaics class I was having a lot of trouble visually focussing on the work I'm doing. I felt awkward and couldn't see it the way I needed, considering that I have to fit small pieces of glass in all sorts of spots. This wasn't the first time, but it was the worst. My glasses were fine for everything else.

I began trying to raise the wooden tissue box, which I'm decorating. Working on it became easier, and suddenly I realized why.
Yes, I wear multifocal eyeglasses, and each "level" of the lenses is calibrated for different distances.

In order to work well with the sides of the tissue box, I needed to raise it. Once I found a solution, everything became easier. It was also better for my neck to have the project raised. I could sit straight and be more relaxed. I felt stress free. Next time I do a project like that, I'll have to bring something, so working on it will be more comfortable.

Thursday, July 04, 2019

About That Gorgeous Sequin Top I Wore to US Embassy Bash

Here are my husband and me, all dressed up waiting for the bus that never came.
Those who know me in real life know that I have simple, relatively inexpensive and easy to launder clothes. I buy most of my new clothes in the Israeli Hilah chain. I take pretty good care of my clothes and some are very old. I also buy skirts and sweaters in a second hand shop. Actually the skirt I wore to the big festive American Embassy Independence Day "bash" in Jerusalem predates my big diet. It was bought in Hagara, another Israeli chain. My neighbor took it in after I lost about 30 lbs, 15 kilo.

But this top I'm wearing has a history. No, I didn't buy it. I inherited it. It had belonged to my mother. My sister offered it to me after she had passed away. It was too nice to donate to Goodwill. It's covered in sequin and heavier than it looks. This is definitely a more expensive piece of clothing than I've ever bought for myself. And, no, I have no idea when my mother bought it. The sleeves are slightly shorter than I normally wear, but not too short to wear.

When my husband told me that the invitation to the Independence Day celebration gave "cocktail dress" as the "dress code," I was suddenly inspired to wear the top. And as you see, I paired it with the white linen skirt and simple white scarf. I felt that black would be too formal and "heavy." It is summer time now, and Israelis don't dress as formally as Americans. The white felt right, and I was comfortable in all ways. 

The only problem was when I was waiting at a cocktail bar for a special drink, and the bartender spilled the drink all over me. At least it was a pale color, but now I have to get the sequinned top cleaned, dry cleaned. That's a challenge. Any recommendations nearby?

Selfie at Embassy Bash
with the YESHA crowd

great music

With Moshe Lion, Mayor of Jerusalem