Saturday, November 30, 2019

IFL Football Season Began With A Win For The "Lions"

I still don't believe I did it. I walked to the Kraft Family Sports Campus. No, I didn't walk from Shiloh; I'm not insane. I walked from the Shmuel Hanavi Junction, which is where Eshkol Boulevard becomes Bar Ilan Street. I could have taken a bus part way, to the Har Chotzvim Industrial Zone, but that wouldn't have saved me much time. It's less than half the way. I checked with Google Maps.

I had gotten rides to previous games, and this time there didn't seem to be one. Besides that, I had the time. Most of the way was flat, and I even stopped off at one of the commercial buildings in Har Chotzvim Industrial Zone to try out the public toilets, which I'll have to write about in my Pishers' Guide series. When you go to the Kraft Family Sports Campus, which is near Ramot Junction, by car it seems far away. The road is off of a highway, and you have to be on the correct side of the road, or you have a long detour.

Even with all my walking, I got to the football field with time to spare. The players were still warming up. Soon the stands filled and the game began.

The Lions were ahead the entire game, though they mostly scored in the first half, if I'm not mistaken. There are many changes in players from last year, so it'll take time to really show their potential. The next game should be tougher, but it was a good season starter. The score was 31:15.

Yaala "Big Blue!" Let's have a fourth championship season, Gd willing!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Frugal Choices Even for Simple Slippers

My slippers bit the dust. I can't complain; I got my money's worth. I bought them about four years ago in the states. They were washable,  comfortable and not expensive. They certainly did their job, but a few weeks ago I noticed that the soles were falling apart. Yes, it was time to dump them and buy a new pair.

I wanted the same sort of slippers. Why not? I began slipper shopping and discovered that similar washable slippers don't seem to exist here in Israel.

A few stores sell slippers that look rather similar, but they all have "care labels" saying:
אין לכבס "Ain lichabes." Most accurately translated as "Don't you dare try to wash them." or "wash at your own risk."
And they weren't at all cheap. I went through every possible store in the Hadar Mall, plus the Hamashbir department store at Zion Square. A few times I even tried on a pair, and they weren't comfortable. Besides not fulfilling that important requirement, prices were high, NS100 and more. A few people recommended buying online, but I don't do that.

Then yesterday I got a tremp to Jerusalem, near the Clal Building. The Stock, a junky discount chain, store had some open packages for NS20. Some seemed mislabeled. But as I continued walking down Rechov Yaffo, I spotted other stores with packaged/wrapped NS20 slippers, and decided to walk into one.

I picked out and tried on this funky pair. They fit and were walkable. Considering that the least expensive I had seen the week before cost NS60, I can buy a new pair three years running, and it would cost the same. Most of the slippers I had considered buying were even more expensive. These are for the house only. I have rubber ones for the pool.

my new slippers
PS I'll keep my eyes posted for sales, so maybe I can find an additional pair even cheaper.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Dinner at Hatch Brewery, Great Beer and Wings

That's me (photo by Shelly Becker)
I finally discovered that a friend of mine also loves beer, so now I can finally go to the beer bars I've been eyeing with longing. She suggested to a number of our mutual friends that dinner at Hatch Brewery would be a nice experience. From a half a dozen who had originally shown interest, the number dwindled down to two, just the two of us. Their loss, we had a totally enjoyable evening out at Hatch.

The minute I walked in, I raised the average age by a couple of decades, but it didn't seem to bother anyone. The waitress just smiled, hopefully at my sense of humor, and the other customers were too busy eating and drinking. They weren't interested in someone old enough to be their grandmother.

As you can see in the photo above, we ended up at what could be called a "table for two" and carefully perched ourselves on the stools. They were very sturdy and more comfortable than expected. We had a nice view of dried peas and lentils. Really. Hatch is in Machane Yehuda, close to Rechov Agrippas, 28 Rechov Haegoz, just around the corner from Michmoret.

Each plate has 12 wings
Our friendly, helpful waitress gave us menus. Since we were there for the beer, plus food, we needed a bit of assistance, being first-timers. There were some interesting dishes besides a nice choice of "wings" and "fries." Hatch has a couple of vegetarian options, including a salad. There were also some tempting sandwiches, but when we noticed the "special," 12 wings and four generous tasters of their beer tasting flights for only NS65-... no contest. That's what we each ordered.

Presentation of the four beers was aesthetic and clever. The wings and beer filled me up, making a perfect meal. Wings were freshly cooked, tasty and meaty. I had eaten a giant Tuna Salad in a dairy restaurant for lunch, so my "greens quota" was filled for the day. And don't forget that there are hops in beer. That's also a vegetable...

About the beers, the IPA was excellent, light and fruity. The Sour was lemony. There was supposed to be chocolate in the stout, but I could only taste a trace of it in the last drops. Without a doubt, I liked all of Hatch Brewery beers, and I ended up tasting about five. I really enjoyed the Hatch beers much more than any of the beers I had tasted at this past summer's Jerusalem Beer Festival.

My dining partner and I had only praise for everything, the beer, food, ambiance... Since we got back we've been telling all of our friends, recommending they join us next time we go to Hatch. Yes, Gd willing, there will be a next time. BTW Hatch is certified Kosher, Rabanut Yerushalayim Mehadrin. All meat is Kehillot. Phone 02-656-3691. Hatch facebook. #hatchbrewery

Here are more photos. All photos taken by me, unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

#ShidduchCrisis, Book Review

Anyone who knows the meaning of #ShidduchCrisis also knows what siyate diShmaya means. Gd's timing is amazing. Just as I finished reading #ShidduchCrisis: Short Stories by Penina Shtauber, I attended a parlor meeting concerning the choosing of a new Chief Rabbi for our town. The neighbor facilitating the meeting made sure we had read and understood a long list of requirements and qualifications that a new rabbi would have to meet and agree to.

Deja vu, I had to control my laughter. The committee that made that list must have been inspired by the advisers of the unfortunate young people Shtauber describes in her book. The stories are short and mostly sad. Some made me angry. It's so clear from the characters Shtauber writes about that the emphasis on lists, requirements, including height and weight, dress size etc has distracted those in the shidduch dating scene from their real aim. And I'm sure that the professional shadchanim, who have an ulterior motive -money- harm more than help.

As depressing as the situation described in #ShidduchCrisis, I must say that the book itself is well-written and easy to read. I don't consider it a "spoiler" to say that very few of the couples and those in the shidduch scene described in the book actually get married. That's why the situation is considered a crisis. The stories in #ShidduchCrisis are told in male or female voices.

I recommend that parents, both mother and father read the book and then give it to their children before they get on the shidduch merry-go-round. And of course they should discuss it together. If you want to get the best out of it, take notes, mark passages, or if you or your children read it on Shabbat, be prepared with small pieces of paper to leave by important/significant passages.

Inspired by #ShidduchCrisis, I told the neighbor on the "Choosing a new Rabbi Committee" that after meeting and "auditioning" the candidate rabbis, they should throw the lists in the garbage and just concentrate on the person. And they should ask the candidates a simple question. "If you weren't looking for the job as rabbi, would you want to live in Shiloh?"

Yes, I learned a lot from #ShidduchCrisis.
You don't have to be looking for a spouse to read #ShidduchCrisis by Penina Shtauber. 

Product details

  • Series: #ShidduchCrisis (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Penina Shtauber (September 18, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9659275706
  • ISBN-13: 978-9659275700
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)

Friday, November 15, 2019

Pishers' Guide to Ariel #1, Good Deal in "Supersol Deal"

This is a continuation of my public service posts, which review public toilets. Originally I titled the page "Pishers' Guide to Jerusalem," but now the ongoing series is called "Pishers' Guide to Jerusalem & Beyond."

Last week I had some time to spare in the new Ariel mall, which is across the road from the Ariel University. And I've already blogged about the dangerous situation due to the lack of a proper sidewalk. Besides that, there's a lovely health food store and a branch of the BIGA dairy restaurant chain.

The Ariel Mall is also very close to the various bus stops and hitchhiking posts in all directions, Tel Aviv, Shomron, Binyamin, Petach Tikvah and more, so convenient public toilets are extremely necessary. I wandered around the multistory shopping complex -it's an "open Mall," more like a modern version of a shopping center/strip mall. Usually I'm pretty good at finding public toilets, but besides at the not fully open gas station, I found nothing.

In my experience clinics and supermarkets always have public toilets. Since there was no clinic, I went to the "Super Sol Deal" and cased the "periphery." The WC won't be in the middle of the store, right? Success!

clean and equipped
This "Super Sol Deal" loo is nicer than most I've seen in restaurants.

I was also very impressed by the supermarket, layout, prices etc. No doubt that it's competing with Rami Levi, which is at the other end of Ariel.  For those of us in northern Binyamin, this is very good news. Ariel University and the mall are a lot closer than Sha'ar Binyamin. Besides the two malls in Ariel, there's an old "industrial zone" with lots of stores and other shopping areas. The Ariel malls have many of Israel's popular chains, which aren't yet in Sha'ar Binyamin. One needs to travel to Pisgat Zeev for them.

For those of us in Shiloh, there are two supermarkets to shop in, so if that's all you're looking for, there's no need to travel.

In terms of public toilets, this one in Ariel is the nicest.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Friday's Travels, Tremps & Buses, Life in The Slow Lane

Friday morning when I left home to catch a ride at the Yarkon Junction, I was very optimistic that I'd be on time. Usually I am. I got to Ariel, near the university with time to spare, so I decided to go to the nearby mall and use the loo. Blog post on that, Gd willing, in a few days.

I was disappointed to discover that the Ariel Municipality still hasn't made a safe sidewalk for pedestrians entering the new mall from the university, bus stops etc.
 As you can see from the above photo, there's still a dangerous "under construction" sidewalk of sorts along the main road to the mall. Whenever I've found myself walking in the dangerous mess over there, I think that Ariel Founder and Mayor, the late Ron Nachman, Z"L, would have made sure the sidewalk was safely completed before the stores had opened.

Not wanting to walk on the rocks and along the road in the direction of traffic, I crossed back to the bus stop I needed far from the "crosswalk."

Unexpectedly I discovered that it would be at least fifteen minutes to a bus, which meant that I'd be cutting it close at best. Davka, I didn't check in advance and chose the time of the morning with the least buses.

Of course, the bus was late, and a dozen or more people got on. Some of them with travel bags, which the driver insisted should be put under the bus. When one of the passengers with a bag on wheels sat in the front and looked totally blank and uncomprehending at the driver's request to sit in the back, I spoke to the man in English. Thank Gd, I guessed correctly, and he took himself and his bag further back.

There are signs available for those looking for rides that can show where you need to go.

Of course I updated my ride that I'd be late.

I'm glad to have discovered that bus routes in Ariel have changed. I don't know if it's all the buses, or just the ones I went on, 186 and 86, if I remember correctly. They now take the new bypass road at the Rami Levi Mall. This makes it easier to get to those stores. That means there's less bus service to the old industrial zone.

Luckily it didn't really matter that we were "later than planned" to the event we were going to, because there was no formal program.

Going home, I was dropped off at the Yarkon Junction and got a ride to the Gittit (Revava) Junction. There after a short wait, I caught a bus which took me to the Ariel University. I got off a stop early, so I could walk a bit. Then I got a ride with a neighbor.

And I managed to finish everything necessary at home before Shabbat. That's pretty good, since it was one of the "shortest Fridays" of the year.

Yes, this is how I survive without a car.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Orange Season, Now's The Time to Eat Them

Our tree's oranges are already bright orange

Perfect catch for "Orange" challenge, 52Frames
After almost a half a century in Israel, a unique country that is simultaneously agricultural/nature oriented and high tech, I religiously buy my fruit and some of the vegetables seasonally.

Years (decades) ago I read that fruits and vegetables are healthiest in the season they ripen. And as I remember the article stated that if you try to get around it, cheat, by eating imported fruit from a country in the opposite hemisphere, it won't have the same benefit.

Way back when, when one of my summer babies was a few weeks old, we got oranges very cheaply, so I ate a lot of them. Oranges are a winter fruit. Here in Israel I've learned not to buy them until a couple of weeks after the first rains, so they'll be sweet. The oranges were sweet, since they had been stored well. Suddenly I noticed that my baby had a terrible rash. None of older children had ever had a rash like that. Since the baby was fully nursing, I guessed that something I was eating must have been triggering the rash.

I experimented by cutting out oranges from my diet. Like magic the rash cleared!

In addition, we don't drink juices, even fresh juice. And I certainly don't drink orange juice. One of the last times I drank orange juice was a summer when visiting New York. I had orange juice in the break fast meal after the 25 hour fast of Tisha B'Av. I felt such awful burning in my mouth that since then I'm unable to have raw fruit when breaking a fast. But that's another story and the reason I try to make a good vegetable soup...