Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Ruti Eastman's "Haikuchains..." A Book Review

 Haikuchains That Kept Me Sane Through The Pandemic by Ruti Eastman

For Ruti Eastman
Haikuchain as book review
obvious of course

Ruti wrote a book
diary in haiku form
suits just perfectly

We both say so much
in seventeen syllables
everyone, try it

Haikus can be news
family or good cooking
certainly coffee

When writing haikus
we must count all syllables
each one packs a punch

Book's dedicated
to me so surprisingly
though we're haiku groupmates*

read what's posted here
a selection of haikus
written by Ruti

to order the book
yes, recommended

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Super Soups at Alma's

Yesterday when my friend and I were walking around center/downtown Jerusalem, we needed an early lunch. The numerous Alma soup stands caught our eyes. Neither of us had ever tasted any of the Alma soups, considering that the weather beginning to chill, hot soup seemed perfect.

The hardest task was choosing a soup. As you can see, there's a great variety of parve vegetable/lentil/bean soups plus meat/fleishik kubeh* (kube/kubbe/kubbeh) soups, which also have a lot of vegetable.

Since we both follow the principle of not ordering out what we make at home, we chose kubeh soups. My friend chose the beet, and I chose pumpkin. Usually I find restaurant soups much too salty, but mine was perfect, and my friend also enjoyed hers. We sat outside at one of their tables, which was very pleasant. Jaffa Street has become very peaceful since the lightrail now travels on it instead of buses, cars and taxis.

Alma soup stands are at a number of locations along the main streets downtown. We definitely recommend it. Which is your favorite? Please let me know in the comments.
*I consider kubeh to be the most accurate spelling, since it's pronounced with a long "u" and short "e." For those not familiar with them, a kubeh can be considered an Iraqi dumpling, kreplach or wonton.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

CHELM for the HOLIDAYS, Brilliant! A Book Review

Titling this book review "CHELM for the HOLIDAYS, Brilliant!" isn't an oxymoron. The classic Jewish "wise men of Chelm" stories aren't about stupid people; they are lessons in life and siyata d'Shmaya, the hand/power of Gd.

Valerie Estelle Frankel did a wonderful job writing CHELM for the HOLIDAYS; I enjoyed reading it. Allegories, such as stories about Chelm, are actually theological books written simplistically with humor, rather than heavy-handed preachiness. 

CHELM for the HOLIDAYS is written for very young readers in short, clear chapters sans illustrations, but you can read it to younger children, even preschoolers. The advantage of reading it to children is that you can discuss the issues and laugh together about the characters' "foolishness." 

For example, the Chanukah story, "The Oiliest Miracle" can be used to teach children how many candles or portions of oil would be needed to light the Chanukiyah, Chanukah Menorah all eight nights. Teaching via humor is very effective.

A very important concept is found in all of the stories, community. The people of Chelm aren't isolated individuals. Whether intended or not, they end up helping each other. We see this especially in the Shavuot Blintzes story and The Disappearing Challah.

CHELM for the HOLIDAYS is highly recommended. Buy it for young readers or to read to children of all ages.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kar-Ben Publishing ®; Illustrated edition (August 1, 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 72 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1541554620
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1541554627
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 8 - 15 years
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 740
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 3 - 9

Monday, October 04, 2021

Surviving Without WhatsApp and Facebook

This evening Israel time, Facebook and WhatsApp, which are siblings of sorts, have ceased to work.

Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp apps crash throughout the world

Nobody knows what happened. Luckily I was able make arrangements with a friend by SMS. 

So much of our everyday communication is by WhatsApp and Facebook. 

I hope by the time I wake up in the morning, life will be back to norma.

What do you think?