Thursday, July 29, 2021


A few days ago a neighbor gave me a call:
"I'm going stir-crazy. Do you want to get out?"
"Me, always. Where are we going?"
That's how we ended up having lunch in the Ariel branch of JAPANIKA

We left home without much of a plan and drove to the nearest city, Ariel, which is only about fifteen 15 minutes away by car. 
My main course, chicken, vegetables and
noodles. Delicious
At the entrance of Ariel, from the direction of Highway 60, the Ariel University is on the right and a shopping center on the left. This time we decided to enter the shopping center from Moriah Street just before the shopping center and not from the lower parking area. It was a good idea, since there were plenty of empty spaces; something never found on the bottom.

Feeling rather adventurous, we stayed away from the big dairy restaurant chain --aren't they all pretty much the same?-- and we decided to try out JAPANIKA.

Neither of us had been there before.

We definitely were lucky, because they have a lunch special which includes a cold drink, first course and main course. There are different main courses according to which price you pay. My friend chose the least expensive, NS55, and her main course was sushi, which she really enjoyed. 
Salad, my first course, excellent
I "splurged" paying NS59 and had a fantastic filling chicken dish as my main course. 

Now, in all honesty, a simple tuna salad in most of the dairy chains would have cost us more and have been less satisfying.

We were both very happy with our food choices. Service was pleasant, and the entire atmosphere in the restaurant was perfect. I must admit that I had been a bit nervous about going, since a few weeks before I had gone to a different Japanese-style restaurant with a different friend and a short while after eating began suffering from an awful aftertaste. But, thank Gd, JAPANIKA's food was better, no aftertaste at all.

JAPANIKA is open Sunday-Thursday 12 noon to midnight, Fridays 12 noon until two hours before Shabbat. Then it opens an hour after Shabbat ends until midnight.
Phone *3636
Kosher Ariel Rabbinate 

Thursday, July 22, 2021

2021 Jerusalem Beer Festival Fantastic Beer

Here I am in my "uniform"
my Israel Brews and Views

If you didn't make it to The Jerusalem Beer Festival last night, you can still go tonight. It's best to buy your tickets in advance, less expensive and then you won't get disappointed at the door if it's sold out.

This year, all the beers I sampled were great. Two years ago at the Jerusalem Beer Festival many craft beer companies had been experimenting with "flavored beer," which I found mostly awful. I had even titled my post about it Where's The Beer?" Jerusalem Beer Festival 2019. Now as the world, including Israeli craft beers, is struggling to survive corona/COVID, my guess is that they don't have the "profits" to invest/waste on experimenting with unusual flavors in beers.

I won a hat from Jem's by successfully tossing hoops.

I caught Doug Greener here talking about beer, what else?

You can't see it in the photo, but Doug is wearing the same sort of T-shirt I wore. We were part of a team promoting his blog and expertise in Israeli craft beers.

Tarantino is where I bought my meat sandwich. It doesn't seem to have a website. But the food was great and inexpensive.

Shapiro Jack's Winter Ale was a treat. It includes whiskey. At present they're not selling it, just producing it for winter. But I was very lucky to be given a generous sample. Gd willing I'll order some when they market it, along with their IPA which I adore.

On the whole I requested IPA samples from all the craft beer stands offering "tastes." I'd rate them all from good to excellent, some more fruity tasting than others. IMHO the quality of Israeli craft beer has gone up. There's lots of competition. I didn't make any attempt to sample the foreign beer. Honestly, there's a limit to the amount of beer I can drink, especially when it's the same evening not from the same source. And Shapiro's "whiskey beer" was really powerful.
I hope you make it to the festival or one of the others happening in Israel. If you can't try to buy Israeli craft beer. The "little guy" is producing fantastic beer.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Pishers' Guide to Jerusalem #34 Binyan Clal Public Toilets Renovated

This is a continuation in my ongoing series about public toilets in Jerusalem. Your input is very welcome, thanks.

See #33#32
 #31#30#29#28#27#26#25#24,  #23#22#21#20#19#18#17#16#15a#15#14#13#12#11#10#9#8#7, #6#5, Saved by The First Station aka #4a#4#3#2 and #1.

On a recent trip to Jerusalem, I found myself in need of facilities when in the area of Machane Yehuda, aka "the shuq." After a year and a half of corona/COVID, lockdowns and rarely making it to that part of Jerusalem I feared the choices as being between "the devil and the deep blue sea." Not only is the shuq's WC hard to find, but it's rarely clean, and the last few times I had searched for one in Binyan Clal, most had been locked or in awful disrepair. 

So with great trepidation I entered Binyan Clal from "the back," aka Rechov Agrippas. At least that was my plan, but "the back" is no longer connected to the Rechov Yaffo building. The "KIACH Building" is now prettied up. In addition not only are the hallways closed off, but there were no WC signs at all. I had to exit and reenter from the side street near the Hobby craft shop.

Since I know that there are toilets built by the main elevators on each floor, that's where I went. In my experience, most had been locked, but there would be a sign indicating on which floor the WC was open to the public. I hit the jackpot on the first floor I tried, "C." Not only did the door open, but no nasty urinal odor greeted me. And even more surprising was the décor. As you can see, the public toilets have been renovated and look gorgeous. 

There was even toilet paper and soap!

It's really good to know that there's no reason to avoid the Clal Building when in the need...  And I like writing good news, since we all need the services, translation of the Hebrew for toilet שירותים sherutim. In the future, I'll try to check out the other floors. If you have more information, please add it in the comments, thanks.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

The Wisdom of Getting Unstuck- Book Review

The Wisdom of Getting Unstuck by Shimshon Meir Frankel is a well-written and perfectly structured self-help book, which can assist people in "getting unstuck."

What does Frankel mean by "getting unstuck?" It's escaping bad habits, taking charge of your life to make it better and more.
"Anxious? Overwhelmed? Maybe a little depressed - or more than a little?

If you want to regain control of your life, this book is for you. It is full of effective, time-tested, and workable techniques for setting aside the concerns that hold you back."
Frankel is a clinical psychologist with decades of experience blending Jewish concepts with classical therapy. And now you don't have to be his patient to benefit from his therapeutic skills. For some this book, The Wisdom of Getting Unstuck, will be enough to get out of a rut and for others it will be a great supplement to personal therapy. Frankel can be contacted at

Following Frankel's basic guidelines is also a great preventative measure.

Each chapter is clearly written and summarized, ending with what he calls "takeaways," which are key points. Finally all the key points are in the appendix at the end of the book.

A very basic principle of Frankel's is to "Sweat the Small Stuff." This is the opposite of other self-help gurus. Change is best and easiest in tiny increments. I like his common sense and definitely recommend The Wisdom of Getting Unstuck.