Monday, January 22, 2024

Shiloh is Quiet, But War Stress Still Strong

For over three months Israel has been fighting for its very survival against Hamas, such a cruel terrorist army/people that makes the Nazis look almost kind

We haven't heard any sirens. In Shiloh, we don't have to run into shelters; actually we don't have any. Newer homes were build with shelters, and some people who enlarged their older homes now have shelters, too. But in my neighborhood, there are few; certainly none that we can reach within a minute or so.

I stick to my routine of taking a nice morning walk, weather permitting, of course.

And I photograph what I see, afterwards making a collage on the phone's photo-editing app.

I try to keep myself sane. Staying home listening to the news isn't healthy. I'm trying to study even more Tanach/Bible than before. In addition I've been crocheting and going to a mosaics class.

Many neighbors of all ages are serving in the army and local security, family, too. Prayers for all. Just trying to stay sane and healthy. How are you coping?

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Beer Tasting- Israeli Craft Beer, Great Selection

A couple of weeks ago, Beer Maven Doug Greener invited me to a beer tasting. Joining us were two much younger tasters, so each bottle of beer had to be split between the four of us. And in case you're wondering, yes, the Beer בירה mosaics was made by yours truly.

All photos by me, Batya Medad
I'll start with Alexander's "DON'T" which we didn't drink at the tasting. I was given a bottle to taste at home. It's a nice tasting IPA. The name "DON'T" is in honor of the American president's statement, but I'm not going to start with politics... 

I must admit that my favorite beer is a good IPA. "DON'T" wasn't the best IPA I've sampled, but it still had a nice fruity plus hops flavor. I enjoyed it much more than the beers from the big commercial breweries that are sold in our local store.

IPA's must be very popular with Israel's craft beer brewers, because White Rabbit gave us two very refreshing ones. 

Feed Your Head is a light and fruity IPA. Day Dream is a New England IPA, less bitter but sweeter.

You can see the lovely golden color. Both are highly recommended.

We got a lager, named Bock from Alexander. It's a gorgeous dark orange color with a fruity aroma. As I sipped it, I realized that it doesn't taste like a beer and may be a good beer for those who don't like beer. After hearing my opinion on it, Doug called in someone who doesn't like beer. She took a couple of sips and agreed with me. 

Bock is like a tart fruit soda for adults, with the kick of some alcohol. If you like to taste the hops in your beer this isn't for you. 

Hatch brewed a beer it calls הגינה של רוחל'ה HaGinah Shel Ruchala, Ruchala's Garden which has a surprisingly natural mango aroma. Even the color is more like mango juice than beer. It tasted like a spiked sour citrus fruit juice. 

Previously I didn't like fruity beers, because they all seemed to taste artificial, like children's medicine. I'm still traumatized by the fruit flavored beers at the Jerusalem Beer Festival 2019. The more recent attempts to flavor beer with fruit is much more natural tasting. I'd prefer them to a sweet wine.

And then we had what could be called a "dessert beer." Hatch brewed an amazing Chocolate-Maple beer. It's almost a liquor, and I insisted that it would be great with a strong vanilla or coconut ice cream. 

This beer may also appeal to those who insist that they don't like beer.

In all honesty, the selection was the best ever. I don't remember a tasting when I enjoyed all the beers. OK, some didn't quite taste like beer, but they are all very drinkable. None tasted "funny." Try to buy them. 

Israeli craft beers are getting better and better. That's for sure.

Monday, January 01, 2024

Patriotic Necklace "Our Hearts are With IDF Soldiers--Am Yisrael Chai"

About a week ago I heard a news report that the discount supermarket businessman, Rami Levi, was being attacked by the "Get the Hostages Out NOW" crowd, because he was selling diskettim, tags to be worn like a necklace, that say "Our Hearts are With IDF Soldiers--Am Yisrael Chai" for NS5-. The antigovernment "Get the Hostages Out NOW" are selling theirs for NS30. It's a fundraising gimmick for them, while Rami Levi insists that he's only covering expenses. Once I found out that a friend would be in a branch of Rami Levi, I gave her ns20 and asked her to buy me four!!

I'm mostly home in Shiloh with people who see the politics as I do. My friends, my neighbors mostly understand the connections between the various anti-Bibi, antigovernment, anti-judicial reform crowd and the "Get the Hostages Out NOW" leadership and backers.

Today, when in Jerusalem, I saw other friends who just don't get it. One put up a sign demanding that the government free the hostages NOW! I told her that it bothers me, since the demand goes against the needs of the country to defeat our cruel, perverse enemies. Then she shocked me even more by insisting that putting of the sign unites everyone. I was incredulous, reminding her that it separates us. 

"Follow the Money" I begged of her. I hope she thinks more about it.

After that upsetting conversation, I ran into someone who isn't a close friend. We began to talk. She loves my new necklace. We talked a little politics and discovered that we see today's issues about war, hostages etc. identically. Since I was still upset by my earlier discussions, I told her how better I now felt to know that she sees things as I do.

Yes, even jewelry can be political. Everything is political. Israel's at war.