Monday, October 19, 2020

Picture of the Day


Sign of the times...

Sure better than all those littering the ground.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Crocheted Bags, My Latest Hobby, Update

I've been having great fun crocheting. These are my latest bags. 

The bag with the yellow and pink, lower right even has a crocheted button. It wasn't hard to do, but now I can't find the youtube I got the instructions from. 

Crocheting the bags is amazingly, yes, surprisingly easy. No, I don't use a pattern. I crochet, but I know nothing about the theory, the technique or names of stitches. I crochet by intuition aka guess-work.

I really enjoy crocheting with jersey yarn, about 95% cotton. Before I made the bags, I crocheted potholders and small rugs. The bags are much easier. Many times I had to rip out lots of stitches when making the potholders and rugs. Round crocheting is much more complicated. Too much increase and it's floppy, worse than pizza dough badly tossed. And if you don't increase enough you're stuck with a bowl rather than a plate.

The base of the bag is sort of an oval, and after that just crochet without ever needing to increase or decrease the stitches. You just have to be careful to switch colors in the same basic spot on a side. 

Finally I found an easy solution to the "button problem." A couple of years ago, when I bough all sorts of beads to bead necklaces with my granddaughters, I bought some large beads. I sewed one onto the bag and then added a "hook."

Crocheting is so relaxing. And it keeps me from eating.

Sunday, October 04, 2020

Aliyah- With All Your Heart, With All Your Soul...

I just had to write this. What do you think?

I just have to get this off my chest.

It's really driving me crazy when I hear/read advice to soon to be arriving olim about what to bring, what they must have from the "old country" when living here.

People treat me like I'm nuts for saying they should try what's here in Israel, and they may even like it better.

Honestly, what's the point in moving to a new country if you want to eat the same foods, cook with the same spices, get the same medications, set up your house to look like you're in Monsey, the Five Towns or New Jersey?

Where's your sense of adventure?

should be like a proper purification in the mikvah, all orifices open, accepting, cleansed

Think of the Sh'ma Prayer:
"...with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might..."

like a marriage, you must change yourself for it to be successful.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Pre-Lockdown Escape to Sha'ar Binyamin

I've really been a good girl, staying close to home and not inviting people over. It gets embarrassing at times, since some of my neighbors really need the invitations to socialize. I try to keep inviting friends to walk with me, but...

Sometimes even I need an escape. So a friend and I went to Sha'ar Binyamin a nearby shopping area, which can be easily reached by bus. We went two days before the latest lockdown began. She needed to take care of and get a few things. I just needed an escape.

Stop number one was the Hapisga dry cleaners, where my friend dropped something off. It was two minutes' walk from the bus stop.

Then we wandered around the smallish "Baba Mall" and bought some disposable items. I got a size of storage containers which I needed.

In the chumus place, we had something to drink. I decided to go for a beer, since it was a celebration of sorts. Even now, two weeks later, I haven't a clue when I'll be able to travel again.

My friend bought a few accessories in a nice clothing shop. We also peeked into the phone store and lots of other places.

Afterwards we walked up to the other stores in Sha'ar Binyamin. I was hoping to buy more jersey yarn, but the selection was awful. 

Instead of walking up and down the streets of Shiloh, it was great to walk someplace else.

Then before getting on the bus home, we went to the Shifon Bakery which had just moved to new premises, directly across from the bus stops. I bought my husband a honey cake, but in the end just a couple of hours before lockdown, one of our sons came with his family for a quick pre-lockdown visit. They gave us a cake baked by our talented daughter-in-law which tasted much better than the store-bought one.

Yes, trying to survive corona COVID in more ways than one.

Monday, September 21, 2020

The New Jewish Year 5781 Has Begun, So Far Amazing

Happy 5781
Here's my Be a HEAD not a Tail

On one hand I must admit that Rosh Hashana was awfully depressing. I miss having guests and being hosted. I remember the days when our dining room extended into the living room with multiple tables, all the family plus guests. And then we'd be hosted by neighbors for other holiday meals.

This year my husband and I ate by ourselves, alone, just the two of us. Our children had their own holiday meals. We'll be eating leftovers for the next few days, and I'll try not to think of way back when...

It has been months and months since I've entered the local shul, which is literally in our backyard. I stopped staying for the entire prayer service about a year or more ago when I found the the cold drafts too uncomfortable. I even bought a hooded coat that makes me look like Darth Vardar in powder blue. I decided to give up on the "window wars," preferring not to fight with anyone. 

We had to sign up for the limited seats for this Rosh Hashana, so I took the plunge. Then a neighbor, who knows me well, said:

"You'll be miserable and leave immediately. The new regulations require open windows."

So I decided to try something new. There's an outdoor minyan almost directly across from my house. I set up a chair just outside the door, and that became my private "Ezrat Nashim," Women's Section. Since it's well in my property, I didn't even need to wear a mask. I could hear most everything, thank Gd.

Even better, I heard lots of shofar blowing. The early minyan a bit further way must have blown shofar outside, since I heard theirs. And of course I heard the park one. And I heard from our synagogue, the Yemenite minyan and when someone blew for neighbors across the street.

The neighborhood was live with the sounds of shofar blowing!

The multitude of prayer groups all over was so much better and more spiritual than sitting in a packed synagogue.

Actually, once the government allowed limited numbers to pray in the synagogue, my husband returned and sits in his regular spot. The synagogue is much emptier than it used to be. Many neighbors now pray in parks and backyards, so as long as the ones who prefer the shul building spread out, it's considered "safe."

During our family Pre-Rosh Hashanah zoom, I had been asked to give a blessing to all the clan. I found myself saying:
"Be thankful for what you have."
This may not have been what anyone expected; the usual blessing is for health. But I wonder if this whole corona COVID life change/challenge/pandemic has been to shake us up. Maybe Gd wants us to look and what we have and be grateful/thankful. Suddenly we're so limited/restricted, and we must learn to accept and welcome it. 

There's an expression:
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Right now, unless you're a scientist working on a cure or vaccine for corona COVID, you're best off trying to make lemonade. I've also been crocheting. 

What sort of lemonade have you been making?

Monday, September 14, 2020

Shiloh's 2020 Pool Season, Lifesaver

Yes, this year's Shiloh pool season was a lifesaver for sure. It's not that the life guards reported to me that they had to jump into the water to actually rescue anyone, but for many of us the pool kept us feeling alive this hot summer.

Even though Shiloh has had a swimming pool for decades, because of the corona virus/covid there was no guarantee that it would open. The truth is that opening was delayed and only happened because of behind the scenes pressure by some dedicated swimmers.

One of the public venues the government had declared as dangerous contagion areas was swimming pools, both indoors and outdoors. 

When the official corona "danger" status of outdoor pools was removed, the process of opening the Shiloh pool sped up to an Olympic sprint. In a fraction of the time it usually takes, our pool manager had the pool full and the landscape all gussied up for a shortened though much welcomed pool season.

Unfortunately, after a very short time the government reneged, and the pool had to close. But just over a week later, the government changed its mind, and again the pool was full of water and happy swimmers.

Many people hired the pool grounds for "corona-safe" events, even weddings, since there's space enough for maximum permitted attendees in different sections. When the official season was over the manager took advantage of the water-filled pool and offered post-season women's swim time each morning. We paid per swim, and enough women showed up to cover the extra expenses. 

2020 has been a long, hot stressful summer, and not all communities in Israel opened their public swimming pools. Regulations were complicated and changing. Also, local officials didn't want to be responsible for a rise in corona/covid victims. As one of those with the highest attendance rates at the pool, morning hours only, I'm really happy that Shiloh's local government decided to take the plunge and get our pool open. It really saved me this summer.

Gd willing there will be a longer and less stressful season next year. Our dream is to find the financial backing to build around the pool and make it an all year swimming pool, with the Help of Gd. 

Our thanks to the local council and all the pool staff and especially to Gd Almighty who kept us happy, splashing and healthy all summer.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Israel's Heading into Another Holiday Lock-Down

I have no doubt that the new upcoming Rosh Hashanah lock-down is because people have been making Rosh Hashanah holiday plans as if it's a regular year. Too many people are back to inviting their nearest and dearest who actually don't live nearby at all. 

Even worse, some of those invited to green locations aka communities without any recent corona COVID ill come from cities/neighborhoods with people who are sick with the virus.

We survived Passover alone, when we're supposed to be telling to story of our slavery and rescue to our children, so we can survive Rosh Hashanah, two days of prayers, on our own. 

I'm also not hysterical over the "how will I shop?" question. During the first lock-down, we were able to order from our local supermarket, and everything was delivered. My only problem, again, will be getting new yarn and buttons for my latest craft project, bags. I find the crocheting a wonderful way of keeping my hands busy when listening to classes or watching programs and movies. An added bonus is that it keeps the food out of my mouth when I shouldn't be eating.

I trust that our supermarket manager and, of course, chain's owner will keep it stocked. During lock-down #1 we received care packages from the government, too. I developed a number of recipes with the foods we generally don't buy.

Instead of getting hysterical, I'm just taking it all day by day. Since I have no control over the outside things, all I can do is control myself. 

Sunday, August 30, 2020

New Crocheting Project, A Bag

I crocheted a bag of sorts. Once I realized that I had pretty much run out of recipients for my hotplates and potholders, I heard that people use the Jersey yarn to crochet bags. So I thought about it.

Of course, I can't follow crocheting patterns. I just do what makes sense to me and rip it out if it doesn't look good/right. So, to be honest, I hadn't a clue not only how to crochet a bag, but what it would look like.

A few weeks ago, when checking out different stores to buy yarn, I saw a crocheted bag and took a "good look." That gave me a bit of an idea.

Next I asked friends who'd be interested in a crocheted bag, colors and dimensions. One friend said she was interested, so I started the project. Soon I realized that I'd need some sort of button to close it. I looked in the "things" in my house, but didn't find anything suitable.

That meant that I had to go button hunting in Jerusalem. I asked on facebook for recommendations of which stores would have a nice selection of buttons. The first couple of stores I went to were closed up, out of business. That wasn't expected. Both had been around a long time. I used to buy needlepoint thread in one of them and that was decades ago. So I found myself exploring and bought buttons.

I finished crocheting the bag. Of course, I realized that I had made a stupid mistake, but my friend accepted the risks, knowing she was the guinea pig.

Next bag should be better, Gd willing.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Rosh Chodesh Elul 5780, Join Us ראש חודש אלול תש"פ

תפילת ראש חודש אלול נשים
בשילה הקדומה, תל שילה
יום ו' 21\08\2020 8:15 בבוקר
כולן מוזמנות

Ancient Shiloh, Tel Shiloh
Friday 21\08\2020 8:15am
All Welcome

For more information, email subject: Rosh Chodesh

שילה הקדומה פתוח ימי א-ו לפרטים נוספים 

Ancient Shiloh is open Sunday- Friday, for more information Phone: 02-5789122,

Thursday, August 06, 2020

Mango Memories & No Work Mango "Sorbet"

I think I ate my first mango in London.

We were there for two years in the mid-1970's. All sorts of imported "exotic" fruits and vegetables were available in Golders Green. Many were even from Israel. My Cousin Fran from Brooklyn visited us one winter day and brought a big bag of delicious fruit as a house gift:
"I figured that this was the best of kosher food for you, especially since I don't know what's kosher here."
Back to the mango:
Mango, avocado, artichoke and other Israeli staples weren't seen in New York when I was growing up. Certainly they weren't in our neighborhood stores, and my parents were pretty adventurous when it came to trying new foods.

It's not that mango wasn't for sale in Israel. During our early years in Israel, I was happy with the better than in New York standard high quality summer fruit like melon, watermelon, bananas and peaches. Davka, those weren't all that great in London. Imported lost some of the quality I had gotten used to.

I had read about the high healthy vitamin content in a mango so I bought some. They were a hit with me and our daughters, especially with the fussy eater. Mangoes are expensive, so I never used to buy them very often.

Now, when I buy mangoes for myself, I use them to "make sorbet."

  • freeze ripe mango
  • remove frozen mango from freezer
  • thaw enough to cut slices
  • eat
  • One of my sons takes the chunks of frozen mangoes, mashes them by hand or in food processor and refreezes to serve more impressively as "sorbet."

Can anything be easier or more delicious?
Bonus:Totally healthy and no added sugar!

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

"One Pot" Meal, Fish and Vegetables

There was a time when I planned on writing a cookbook. I thought of calling it "The Lazy Cook Cookbook," because I don't like complicated food preparation. This "One Pot" Meal of Fish and Vegetables served over simple cooked salad is so typical of the my sort of cooking.

This "One Pot" Meal of Fish and Vegetables can actually look quite impressive if you bake it in a nice dish. The colors can be stunning. Use any of the following ingredients or others. There's no real "right or wrong." Not all the ingredients are included in this version. Please let me know how your version came out, thanks.

fish, filet or whole fish
sweet potato
fresh garlic
lemon or just some juice

Layer in your baking dish. To keep the fish moist, cover with onion or squash. Dribble a bit of vegetable oil before baking 190 Centigrade/380 Fahrenheit. 

Check that vegetables are soft and fish fully cooked before taking it out of the oven. Enjoy

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh, Perfect Outdoor Site for All Ages

Kenes Shiloh #9
Rosh Chodesh Av
This week I was at Biblical Shiloh aka Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh twice. It's walking distance from my house, although the trek uphill from there to my house isn't easy. Yes, sometimes even I take rides. Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh is an outdoor archeological site with indoor and outdoor activities, plus shaded areas. It's the actual Biblical location of Shiloh, where Chana prayed for a son, and the Tabernacle stood for close to four hundred years.

Sunday afternoon/evening was the 9th Kenes Shiloh, Shiloh Conference. Attendees came from all over the country, though fewer than usual.

As usual it began with an archeological tour of Tel Shiloh. Even this year when the foreign archaeologists and their crews weren't able to dig, there were still home-grown archaeologists, and we got reports.

The second section of the program was streamed online for those who couldn't attend in person. And those of us who did attend had the choice to sit indoors or outdoors.
This morning I went back down to Tel Shiloh, since it's Rosh Chodesh Av, the beginning of the Jewish Month Av. I've been organizing Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh for many years. This time we were surprised to find a group of man just finishing off their prayers. Since Tel Shiloh is outdoors the permitted number of attendees is larger than in a synagogue. They finished just as we were about to say the Hallel, which we sing out loud.

Our attendees were both live on site and via zoom. I have a feeling that even when these restrictions are over, speedily in our days, people will still request to attend by zoom, since it's convenient for those not able to travel.

Rosh Chodesh Ellul will be two days, and I'll publicize exact time etc as soon as we decide, Gd willing.
On our way out, we discovered another outdoor prayer group. I'm very happy that people are coming from all over the country to doven/pray here in Holy Shiloh.

For more information about Biblical Shiloh aka Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh Phone: 02-5789122,  Fax: 02-9948011, or click here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Rosh Chodesh Av, Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh

Please wear masks, thanks.

Next week is Rosh Chodesh Av. Because of the heat, we'll be starting a bit earlier than usual, at 8:15am. We hope you can join us for our traditional Women's Rosh Chodesh Prayers.

תפילת נשים ראש חודש אב
שילה הקדומה, תל שילה
יום ד' 22\07 8:15 בבוקר
כולן מוזמנות

Ancient Tel Shiloh
Wed. 22\07 8:15am
All Invited

We sing Hallel out loud together and say the rest of the dovening quietly on our own.

Shiloh Hakeduma, Ancient Tel Shiloh is a beautiful archeological site which interests all ages. You can arrange special tours and more. For more information:
Phone: 02-5789122
Fax: 02-9948011