Monday, March 29, 2021

Back To The Ariel Pool


Thank Gd I've returned to my "occasional*" swim in the Ariel Sports Center Pool. The water in the pool isn't as hot as it sometimes was, but it's not cold.

The jacuzzi, sauna and steam room are all closed, due to COVID corona restrictions. And they only let in people who can prove that they've been double vaccinated. I'm not complaining. I really missed my swims, and I'm grateful for every opportunity I have for my water exercise. They extended membership, because the pool had been closed. Gd willing the Shiloh pool, less than five minutes' walk from my house, should open around when the Ariel membership ends. Then after the Shiloh pool closes for the season, I'll Gd willing rejoin Ariel.

That's the plan.

*between one and three times a week

Monday, March 15, 2021

Because It's Israel: An Aliyah Odyssey, Book Review

Because It's Israel: An Aliyah Odyssey by Arthur Miller is his wonderful saga of how he and his wife ended up in Israel after successful careers in the the states. Miller is a wonderful story teller, honest and humorous.

Having myself made Aliyah a half century ago the easy way, just after our wedding, I always admire those who pack themselves up and change their lives drastically the way the Millers did. Only one of their four children lives in Israel, and they chose to live near her family. Since their Aliyah in 2004, they or their American children and grandchildren now have to fly to see each other.

Miller tells us that their original plan was to make aliyah as a young family, but unfortunately his law profession didn't transfer easily at the time. So instead of raising their family in Israel they ended up raising them in Worcester, Massachusetts, which has a very small percentage of Orthodox Jews. From what Miller alludes to in his book, he played a very large and important role in Worcester. 

"Because it's Israel" was the excuse Miller would hear whenever something seemed strange or illogical. Unlike many, Miller doesn't complain, he just shrugs his shoulders very Israeli-like and repeats the mantra: 

"Because it's Israel"

In Chapter 16, "It Pays to be a Senior," Miller is surprised that his friends couldn't get a senior discount, because they're not Israeli citizens. He wrote that he's sure such discrimination doesn't happen in the United States. I'm sorry to say that in the USA American citizen seniors, if they're expats aren't given senior discounts. During a visit to the states a few years ago, my American passport wasn't accepted as proof of age. I needed proof of residence. American citizenship wasn't enough.

The Millers' aliyah saga includes a lot of "little" and great miracles. The really great miracle is that they lived to come to Israel, since both had serious health emergencies a short while before their target date. Another is that they were able to purchase the exact type of home they had wanted at the exact location, when nothing suitable was actually for sale.

Getting their driving licenses converted to Israeli ones and also buying their first car in Israel certainly needed Arthur Miller's law talents. Because It's Israel: An Aliyah Odyssey is full of amazing little stories. Chapters are short, and it's a pleasant read. 

Because It's Israel: An Aliyah Odyssey is a great book to give anyone thinking of aliyah. I'd also recommend it to those of us who've made aliyah before of after the Millers. I enjoyed reading a book about an aliyah which is so very different from my own.

Product details

  • Publisher : JewishSelfPublishing (May 14, 2019)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 246 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 9657041015
  • ISBN-13 : 978-9657041017
  • Item Weight : 11.9 ounces
  • Dimensions : 6 x 0.52 x 9 inches

Monday, March 08, 2021

Super Simple Halva-Chocolate Icing

Not long ago I shared with you my recipe for The World's Easiest Chocolate Icing, and now I came up with an equally easy to make Halva-Chocolate version of the icing. 

It contains all of three ingredients:

  • a bar of bittersweet chocolate, 
  • some store-bought halva and 
  • a spoon of vegetable oil, whichever you use
Melt them in either a microwave-just melted not boiling hot, or pot on low heat or double boiler. Mix then spread/pour onto the cake.

Yes, it's hard to believe, but that's it. 

If you have ideas of other versions, please try it out and send me the reports in the comments here. Thanks.

Thursday, March 04, 2021

Good Thing I Got To Try SHEVET's Wee Laddie Again

A couple of months ago, I bought and reviewed SHEVET's Wee Laddie Scottish Ale and was disappointed. Yes, I gave it a bad review on this blog. A lot of people were shocked, because they insisted that the beer was really good. Maybe I had just gotten a "bad bottle," or the store hadn't kept it stored properly.  

In response SHEVET decided to send me a small gift selection of their beers, which included Wee Laddie. I've already reviewed the other three, SHEVET IPA, SHEVET Iceman Beer, SHEVET Imperial Stout, and now it's time for Wee Laddie. 

Even though I poured it as carefully and "professionally" as possible, there still was quite a foamy head, but the aroma was inviting. That was a very good start.

It got better. The beer in this bottle of SHEVET Wee Laddie was strong, fruity and tasty, a real beer. This was the ale I had been looking forward to drinking when I had bought that first bottle.

Now I can honestly say that SHEVET's Wee Laddie is a great beer, and I'm looking forward to drinking it again.