Monday, July 31, 2006

Damned if we do...Damned if we don't

As the Arabs are busy celebrating and handing out sweets every time a Jew is maimed or killed, I have to ask myself, once again, 'Who are these crazy people?'

After living in Israel for so long, I can safely tell you that I finally understand the Israelis. And trust me, (have I ever lied to you?) they are a great group of men and women. Now that leaves me with the cousins...them I don't think I will ever understand.

A word about Qana. I'm sorry. The Israeli government is sorry. The Israeli Army is sorry. The Israeli man and woman in the street is sorry. We are so sorry we are halting all air force activity which will protect our own soldiers for the next forty-eight hours.

But, I can assure you that we are not dancing in the street...we are not handing out sweets...and I'm not even sure we are the cause of the building falling down.

We hit it around midnight after days and days of warning the population to get the hell out of there. A normal person would high tail it off to the hills...but we are not dealing here with normal people. Then the building remained standing for approximately seven more hours.

A miracle? Nope. G-d saves His miracles for the Chosen. So how come the building fell down? Were there piles of ammunition in the basement that started becoming unstable?

I don't know. What do I know? I can tell you how to make a nice Spharadi cholent. I know how to knit pretty baby sweaters. I know how to help a kid who is failing in school. I even know how to cut and paste these blogs from a word document to the blog place.

And I know something else too. You know and I know that we are right. That we are doing the world's job right now.

So stop damning us. You would do the same and have if not more,all you government leaders. Oh, that brings me to one more point.

I love it that France wants to head the UN forces in Lebanon. France that is supplying the stuff to Iran? France that hates Israel? France, who after we paid for all the boats, wouldn't let them out of Cherbourg and we had to sneak them out in the middle of the night? That France?

Isn't that kinda like asking the cat to guard the milk?

Ok, I'm off to the city. Oh, and thank you all for your letters and mail. I have just made you unofficial Israelis too. Sing after me...Hava Nagila...

Have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

My Brother Figured it Out

My brother David is a quiet man. He says it’s all my fault since I never let him get a word in until he was almost three. Who me?

David and his wife live in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, just outside of Boulder, Colorado. It’s hard maintaining close contact when every time you pick up the phone the meter clicks and the bills mount up. But over the years the long distance rates have gone down so that now we can talk to each other for almost the price of a local call. And, of course there are free communications available online, such as Skype and Messenger.

Well, during the last intifada I started calling my brother. First thing every morning I called…never thinking that, with the time difference, it was bedtime in Colorado. And we talked. No, I talked. Bless him, he listened. And we made plans.

We always had to have a plan. That started when our Dad AH was dying. But that’s another story.

We make all kinds of elaborate plans, but somehow, thank goodness, never get to put them into practice. We almost do. We get adjacent to activating the plans.

Well, yesterday David called.

‘I figured it out.’
‘You did?’
‘Yup!’ (I could hear the smile in his voice)
‘You remember the big hu-ha the Muslims made over that cartoon a few months ago?’
‘That’s it!’
‘It is?’
‘Yup! (smile, smile)’
‘So how is that it?’
‘They don’t have a sense of humour.’
Laughing now, I asked, ‘A what?’
‘Name me ten Jewish comedians.’
That’s easy, I said and began counting them off.
‘OK, now name me some black comedians.’
That’s easy, I said and began counting them off.
‘OK, now name me one Muslim comedian.’
I thought for a second.
‘Danny Thomas!’
‘That’s it! You got it!’
‘I did?’
By now we were both laughing.
Then he added, ‘The entire problem with the Muslim world is that they don’t have a sense of humour!’

I stopped for a second and realized that he was absolutely correct.

So then he told me his plan.
‘We have to get a hold of all the old tapes of the Danny Thomas Show and translate them into Arabic. Then we bombard the airlines that go to all the Muslim states with them…kinda like Radio Free Europe.’

The picture that came into my mind was when Hanibal Lector was in his cell and the warden kept pumping music or something over the wires day and night at him.

You think you can tickle a person to death? Even Nasrallah?

I don’t know but it may be worth a try.

But one thing I do know. The last laugh will be ours. G-d told me. He did.
See every time G-d needs a laugh, he comes into my kitchen to watch me keep kosher. He’s a good guy, our G-d. And heaven knows HE has a great sense of humour. I mean, he invented the mosquito, didn’t He?

Bubbie Channah got a call from David’s son begging her to come live with him and get out of the war zone. Ma thanked him and told him she had to stay.

‘Why, Bubbie? I have all your old furniture and we can get you a nice place and it will be like you’re living in Windsor again. You’ll love Vancouver.’
‘Sweetface, I have to stay because I have to tell Marallyn every day that it’s going to be ok.’

Maybe G-d talks to Bubbie Channah too.

Have a great day…stay safe…and thanks for dropping in.

Friday, July 28, 2006

The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!

During the Yom Kippur War we were fighting for our lives on three fronts. To tell you the truth, it was scary as hell. My husband, two brothers-in-law and one sister-in-law were fighting. The husbands of all my friends were fighting.

For days and days the news was bleak and the women sat around listening to the radio, and for those who had television, the tv.

I remember I had to put up blackout curtains on all the windows. I had to use a special paint on the headlights and backup lights of our car. I remember the paint was blue and only a little dot was left free so you could see to drive at night.

Every night I went downstairs with my baby son to watch tv with Shoshi, my neighbour. She was originally from England and whenever I didn't understand anything, she translated for me.

Then, one night, the man on the news said that the Russians were massing their troops and getting ready to come to the Middle East to help Egypt.

THE RUSSIANS???!!!??? We're dead, I thought. I knew in my heart that we would be able to push back the Egyptians, Syrians, and Jordanians...I just knew it.

But, the Russians?

I panicked. I'm ashamed to tell you, but the first thing I thought of was how could I pack up every single person I knew in Israel and get the hell out of there before the Red Army arrived.

That lasted for about five seconds. But the fear lasted much longer. Actually, until I realized that the Russian Bear wasn't on his way here to make a sandwich out of us I kept listening to the news and prayed.

Yesterday, for the first time in thirty-three years, I felt that same fear turn my blood cold. Israel announced that it was calling up three more divisions of milluimnikim...30,000 men!!! May G-d protect them and keep them safe!

I watched the 'talking heads' discuss our situation. One retired general, about my age, said that this war started in 2000, the moment that we abandoned Lebanon. Then he added that we are now fighting for our right to exist as the battle is not with is with Iran and they won't be satisfied until the Middle East is Yudden Rein.

He added that if Nasrallah is hiding in the Iranian Embassy then we have to blow it up immediately.

All the other retired generals who were sitting around the table simply nodded their heads.

We're dead, I thought. And remembered the Russians and Yom Kippur.

I know in my heart that we will survive. And that Jerusalem will be ours forever and ever. And we will fight for her and keep her.

And the sons of Ishmael cannot have her. And they can't have Israel. They have been making trouble since Abraham had to kick them out and send them packing.

If it was written that the mamzers were to live here then G-d wouldn't have given Israel to Moses.

So move over you bullies. This is the country of miracles and I, for one, still believe in them.

Hazak v' Amatz...Strong and Brave!!!

Have a great day...stay safe...thanks for dropping in.

Pooped is more than a six-letter word

Yesterday, I decided to take a vacation from the War. Yup, all by myself, I decided that the I.D.F. and all the newscasters in the world would have to get along without me. I mean even G-d took a day off and rested.

We here in Jerusalem are not yet being bombarded by katyushas and missiles, thank goodness. But we are under high alert for suicide bombers and we all have family and friends up north in fallout shelters or serving in the army. So, needless to say, our nerves are frazzled.

There's a constant buzz of tension, like the sound of a mosquito flying around your head in the middle of the night. You know the mamzer is can't see him...but you won't be able to sleep properly until he is either killed or is forced out of your house.

Voila!!! See, I could end this entire blog right here. You get the point. Not politically correct, perhaps, but what the hell. After fifteen days of mosquitos, it's time they...

Here's a quick rundown of my life. I get up and run to the computer and look at the news alerts. Read and answer some of my emails. Get ready to run to work...the girl in the office is on vacation for three weeks and I'm doing a double shift. Don't ask. The old grey mar, she ain't what she used to be.

I attatched Galei Zahal, the army radio station, to my computer and every hour I listen to the latest news. Meet my mom for lunch. Back to the office. Back to the news. Go home. Turn on the television. More news.

Between all that are the phone calls.

'Did you hear?'
'Turn on Fox News!'
'Have you heard from so-and-so who's been sent up north with his unit?'

So, last night I decided to go on strike. I did not turn on my computer. I did not turn on the radio. I did not turn on the television. Like an old fart, I went to bed.

The next thing I knew it was morning.

I was certain that when I woke up I would be my old usual peppy self. Didn't happen.

I guess I'll have to wait until the War is over.

Have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

When My Mother Wins the Lottery

Bubbie Chanah will be 83 this week, tfu tfu tfu and as she runs around downtown Jerusalem in her size 4, bright, orange Crocs getting her groceries at Hamashbir, or simply walking to one of her favourite restaurants for lunch, she is a hero in my eyes.

Ma moved here nine years ago when our Dad passed away. A month after she moved into her apartment above King George Street, the suicide bombers began blowing us up. The blasts were close enough to blow open her cupboards and scare the wits out of poor Bubbie. But, as soon as the smoke cleared, she went back downstairs to show the bastards that she wasn't going to let them scare her or keep her from walking around her new city.

Ma spends most of her days at home reading, knitting and watching tv. She's the one who always calls and tells us what's going on. When there is a piguah, terrorist attack, anywhere in the country, she calls.

'Marallyn, there's a map with a star!'
'I don't know, they're speaking Hebrew. Quick, turn on the tv.'

That was when Ma started thinking about moving to New Zealand. She figured that since New Zealand was never in the news, it had to be a nice place to live.

Twice a week for nine years, Ma's been buying a lottery ticket. She and our Cousin Shmuel each buy tickets and have a deal that when one of them wins, they will split the cash 50-50. So far in all this time, I think their big winning has been around a hundred and fifty shekels, maybe $30. But, boy oh boy when they win you would think they were millionaires!

Ma has her favourite lottery person and she knows when the draw will be on tv every week. For that her Hebrew is perfect!

Now with the War on, Ma has decided that the time has come for her to be the big winner. Then she can take us all on a vacation to Hawaii and get away from the bombing and threats of more suicide bombers.

Last week when we became a bit paranoic about more kidnappings, my brother called and told ma that maybe she shouldn't wear the size 4, bright orange Crocs...too conspicuous.

Then he started to laugh and told Ma that since he bought them for her with love, she should wear them in good health, and the hell with the terrorists.

So, until Ma wins the lottery, I guess you will be able to find us here in Jerusalem, G-d's holy city, breathing in the same air that the Original Cast breathed.

Oh, and in case you forgot, talking to G-d in Jerusalem is a local call.

Have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.

Monday, July 24, 2006

If you don’t clean your house…then don’t complain about the mess

Years ago I read a book called Inside Outside, by Herman Wouk. He’s such a fine writer. Well, anyway, there was one line from that book that has stuck with me all these years.

It went something like this: “Whenever I walk out of your aunt’s house, I leave footprints in the sidewalk.”

HA! Now that’s a shmutzig (dirty) house! I loved it!

I have been listening for years to the left wingers telling me that only about 2% of the Muslims are terrorists. Nu, so how come that isn’t a lot of terrorists? 2% of a gazillion people is a lot of suicide bombers, no?

But, that also means that 98% of the Muslims are fine, righteous, law abiding citizens like you and I.

So how come they don’t stand up and scream at what is being done to them? Why aren’t they on television and the news? I bet CNN would be thrilled to talk to them. After all, CNN has an entire station in Arabic.

Ah, my fine left winger friends will say. But they’re frightened. They could be killed if they say anything.

Excuse me, but what is wrong with that sentence? Wait, I get it. It’s ok if the Arabs kill other Arabs…babies and women living above all the weapons of war hidden in the basement. Or better still, assassinating their neighbor for maybe ‘collaborating’ with the Israelis.

I figure, if 2% are terrorists, and 98% don’t say anything, then how am I supposed to tell them apart? Can you? So, I guess I have to think that 100% are terrorists, and do what I can to survive.

Twelve days after Israel went into Lebanon for the first time, my sister-in-law’s brother was killed. He left a wife and baby daughter and a grieving family. My sister-in-law was pregnant at the time and when her son was born she named him after her fallen brother.

Friday this same child got his call-up notice and now he is in Lebanon.

May G-d watch over him and all our soldiers and citizens. Ohmein.

Back in Windsor the only thing we had in our basement was an extra fridge where my mom kept her dill pickles! Now, true they could have exploded but I don’t ever remember hearing of a Jew being killed by a pickle!

Have a good day…stay safe…and thanks for dropping in.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Bloody Truth is that Israel’s War is Our War

Every morning I run to my computer and check my news alerts online. This morning I scanned down my Google Alerts, Israel, and found an article with the above title, written by Michael Portillo, in today’s Sunday Times. (,,2088-2281508,00.html)

What do you know? Finally an article out of Britain that is fair. I always thought that BBC stood for Britain Backs Cairo!

For the past week I have been reading and hearing how we have to be careful of Lebanese civilians. Well, of course we do.

But who has said a word about Israeli civilians? Nobody. How come we don’t count? How come we have to be the conscience of the world? How come Jewish blood is cheap?

Yesterday I turned on my computer at eight in the morning…and all of a sudden I realized it was ten at night. Somehow between listening to one news broadcast and waiting for the next, the day had slipped by.

The army called up another 5,000 milluimnikim…reservists. Just before Shabbat came in I phoned my oldest. He’s religious and I had five minutes before he turned off all his phones for the weekend.

‘Hi honey, how are you?’
‘Fine, Imma, Shabbat shalom.’
‘Shabbat shalom to you too. What’s new?’
‘Ok, just wanted to wish you a gutt shabbess. Kiss the babies for me.’
‘You too.’
‘Maybe I’ll come tomorrow after Shabbat, will you be home?’
‘Yah, that’s a great idea. Okay Imma, I’ve got to run.’
‘Shabbat shalom. I love you.’

What I really wanted to say was, “Hey are you all right? Did you hear from the army? Do you have to go?”

But how could I do that? So my son and I pretended that we were asking about Shabbat when we both knew what the conversation really was all about.

Besides being scary, this war is costly. I realized that last night as I watched fire fighters putting out two blazing cars that had been hit by katyushas up north. All that water! We, in Israel, are very conscious of wasting water and as I looked at those two hoses and watched the water disappear into the parched ground I understood that we would be paying the price of survival for a very long time.

And we will survive. And we will prevail. And the sooner the rest of the world openly admits that our war is everyone’s war, the better.

My good friend John has a wonderful blog and if you have a minute, I think it will be worth your while to read what he has to say and get to know him.
An unflinching view...
...from a place called Israel

Have a good day…stay safe…and thanks for dropping in.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Another Shabbat in War-Torn Israel

Shabbat shalom. I think the best way to describe us right now is frazzled! All this constant listening to the radio and watching television can make you a nervous wreck...but what choice do we have? Not knowing is worse.

So we listen and we watch and we look around us and check the skies.

Our brave relatives up north are still in their shelters and safe rooms...I can't imagine how they are coping. How proud I am of their moxie!!! Tel Aviv is getting ready to be attacked...Jerusalem is on the lookout for suicide bombers.

When I lived in Windsor, I wasn't militant. I didn't raise my fist into the air and punch the sky...and I didn't hate. Well, except for Hitler, I didn't hate.

Now I do. They taught me. They? The arabs. They taught me to hate them and to wish them terrible things. See, I would love to be indifferent where the Arabs are concerned. I want to never think about them...worry about what they are plotting...what evil trick they have up their sleeve to surprise the world with next.

But they are plotting. And they are reproducing at a frightening rate. And they won't be happy until the entire world faces Mecca.

Since I am a Jew and proud of it, I don't think I am a good candidate for the Mecca thing. Actually I think if push comes to shove I will probably fail facing Mecca.

The day before yesterday we had a twenty second black out. All over the country. When the power came back it caused my computer to make a very funny burning smell and then die.

OY. I pulled out all the plugs. I danced a jig on one foot, but nothing helped. I was speechless in Jerusalem. Trust me...not a pretty sight.

But this time I didn't panic. First of all, I have a gmail account so I knew I could pick up all my mail from work. And Second of all, I have the book I am writing safely stored on one of those flashkey thingees.

You didn't know I was writing a book? See, as my friends say, 'I'm more than just a pretty face.'

When it gets quiet again I'll tell you about Emma Shelby is No More...that's the title of my novel.

In the meantime, I'm at work...listening to galei zahal, the radio station, two of our helicopters crashed last night...they are still sending over hundreds of rockets...Jerusalem is still on high alert, Tel Aviv isn't safe.

Nasrallah reminds me of Lord HAHA from the Second World War. All his blustering and boasting and threatening. Well, let me tell YOU something, Mister Nasrallah. We, in Israel boast the Original Cast. We, in Israel have faced bigger bullies than you and have come through, albeit limping sometimes, but we're still standing.

So, give us all you have and watch the pillar of fire protect G-d's Chosen People.

Shabbat shalom my friends.

Have a good day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Sleepless in Jerusalem

Thank you for writing and for calling. Your prayers as well as your love and concern are like a fabulous umbrella and so greatly appreciated.

And so is the change in world opinion. What? We’re not that sh---y little country? We’re not the bad occupiers? We maybe deserve the same chance that everyone else has to defend ourselves?

Sorry if I sound bitter. But every time we get an open window that might just let us finish the job so that we, and the rest of the world, can get on with our lives, it starts.

Words like ‘ceasefire’… ‘pullback’… Then a little slap on the wrist and we lick our wounds while the evil sons of Ishmael regroup, laugh like hell, and continue stockpiling.

You know it. We know it. And it has to be to someone’s advantage to continue the charade.

I wear many hats. I’m the wife of…the mother of…the sister of…the daughter of…the Bubbie of…the executive…the writer…and the astrologer.

Lately the mystical part of my hat has been tingling…oy I do so love that hat in Harry Potter :}.

When my youngest saw the amulets I had on a necklace he turned to me and said,
‘Imma, less is more!’

Poor child has lived with the crazy astrology lady all his life and whenever I get that faraway look in my eyes, my kids smile and shake their heads.

Of course, they never travel without checking with me first. And I’m a favourite guest whenever their friends come over. Sometimes it’s really good to be ‘that astrology lady’.

Yesterday as the rockets continued to destroy our northern part of the country, I prayed that this time we would be left alone to finish it finally. How come whenever Israel does something wrong, we say, “OY, I’m sorry.” But I never heard the other side say anything like that.

They blow up the world, scream ‘ouch ouch ouch’ when they get a splinter, and for some reason the world runs to put a bandage on their cuts.

Evil walks the planet. And it is reproducing. And if you don’t want to cut the head off the snake, then for heaven’s sake let us do it. ‘Cuz I’m telling you, we here in Israel are not the main course. We are just a stain on their vision of an all Muslim Middle East.

I pray for our family and friends up north who are today’s real heroes. I pray for our soldiers. I pray for our three kidnapped brothers. And I pray that when those damn rockets and missiles start raining down on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem that we will show them that they can’t have our city and they can’t have our country!

Which brings me back to my son and ‘less is more’. Less rhetoric. More pressure on the powers that be to let is finally take out the real threat to peace in the Middle East and then I think we should all go out for coffee and cake. I’ll treat.

Have a good day…stay safe…and thanks for dropping in.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Land of the Free…Because of the Brave

I moved to Jerusalem in 1970…a lifetime ago. Three years later I was married, a new mommy, and at war!

That Yom Kippur afternoon my husband and I left our little son with his Savta (grandmother) in the shuk, where she still lives, and together with another couple went for a walk downtown to help pass the time during our fast.

Two o’clock found us walking down Yaffo Street right at the big X crossroads of Yaffo/King George.

Silence. Let me try to describe the silence of Yom Kippur in Israel. Nothing moves. The only vehicles on the road are ambulances. Not a radio or television is turned on. No food is bubbling on a stove. The only sound is the voice of people davening in the shuls all over the city.


At exactly two o’clock in the afternoon that silence was shattered by the wailing of a siren rising and falling…rising and falling.

The men grabbed us and we ran to take cover in an open doorway of one of the closed shops.

What’s going on? What is it?

‘It’s Syria and Egypt. They’re at war!’ my husband informed me. And, added that we’d better make our way back to the shuk.
‘Let Syria and Egypt kill each other! What do I care? What’s that got to do with us?’ I naively asked.
‘No, darling. They’re at war with us!’

With us? Waddya mean, with us? It took me all the way running back up the street to where my baby and family were to come to terms with those two words. What did I know? No one went to war with Canada? The only war I ever heard about in my house was WWII, the big one, from my Dad.


Since then I have learned the sights and sounds of war in this country. The look on people’s faces…brothers and sisters, who were strangers a few minutes ago, as we share a common destiny.

The radio too goes into war mode. The songs change. They get quieter, more nostalgic.

Today we haven’t used the word WAR. No one has stamped what we are living in as a war. But the sights and sounds are back. The minute I turned on Galei Zahal, the army station, or any of the other radio stations, I heard it immediately.

Back in ’73, when we returned to the shuk I went to turn on the radio. Everyone looked at me in horror. Turn on a radio, electricity, on Yom Kippur???

I told them in my best Hebrew that if there was nothing going on then nothing would be on the radio. But if there was, I figured somebody better know.

I turned the dial and all the people in the room froze as we heard a kind of Morse Code sound… ‘Da/da/da/da/da…Black Snake! Da/da/da/da/da…Purple Cloud’

Passwords calling the different army units to go to their drop off points.

I will never forget the sound of that radio. Or the sound of the siren going off. Or the terror of taking my husband to his unit.

Yesterday I heard it again. Sirens over Haifa. People running for cover. A Bubbie and her little grandson murdered in their home by a katyusha falling on them.

Jerusalem is still quiet. We go about our lives as if nothing has changed. As usual. But we have the look and we have the sound. I know them by now. Three years of being bombed and terrorized in Jerusalem taught me real good.

I live with my brothers and sisters up north every second of every day now. I don’t know them but I ache for them.

I ran into one of my neighbours yesterday. He looked terrible.
‘Itzik, what’s wrong?’
‘Your daughter? What about her?’
‘She was up north working with her TV crew and has shrapnel in her leg. They brought her to Hadassah and they’re deciding whether or not to operate.’
‘Oy, Itzik. I’m so sorry. Refuah shleymah (a complete recovery) and give Chanah my love. Let me know what’s happening.’

Bunni’s daughter and her family are up near Carmiel. Being bombed.
Her other daughter is going back to Netanya this morning with her family, even though they know that the bastards can reach them now too.
Riki’s parents and family are being bombed in Safed.

It is 5:41 in the morning. I hear a plane overhead. It’s friendly…not in a hurry. Maybe taking tourists back to the states. Not a fighter on its way up north. That plane has a different sound… like a loud whoosh in the sky.

Dear G-d, please take care of our families up north. Please bring back our three kidnapped soldiers, safe and sound. See, G-d, we won’t let them win. We can’t.
This is our home.

And we will keep it free. Because of our brave.

Have a good day…stay safe…and thanks for dropping in.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Just Before Shabbat

As we hunker in for another night it is good to know we are not alone. All your emails and prayers are oh so welcome.

Jerusalem is quiet still...the north is desperately scary. As I write, I am listening to Galei Zahal, the army radio station. Up north our brave citizens are either staying in their homes or are back in the fallout shelters, depending on what the army has told them to do. There is no need yet for the 'sealed room' we had to prepare during the Gulf War.

I cannot fathom what it must be like for the families in their shelters. God bless them and keep them safe. Soldiers young and old.

My friend's grandson is here with a group. He phoned me this afternoon and asked me to please contact his bubbie in Canada and tell her he was safe. I had him on one phone and the bubbie on the other. His group of about 600 kids was up north and they were evacuated just before the first katyushas hit. Tonight they are spending Shabbat in Beersheva in the Negev.

I was thrilled to be able to connect between the two of them.
'I love you, Bubbie. Don't worry, we're fine.'
'I love you honey, have a great time. Take care of yourself.'

Evil walks the planet. Everyone knows. Israel is doing something about it. As I go to light candles in a few minutes I will pray for our people...for our soldiers...for our wounded...for our kidnapped three...and for our Prime Minister.

I will pray that he stands firm. That he doesn't back off before the job is done. And that the leaders of the rest of the world will finally leave us alone long enough to do what has to be done.

No one is safe. Everyone knows. It is time to say dayenu...enough.

Shabbat shalom.

Have a good day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem

As you can well imagine we are all glued to the television and radio. I have discovered how to ‘see’ the news and ‘hear’ it online. For those of you would like to learn how, just ask. What a world, eh?

Speaking of world, it’s amazing how one morning you wake up one person and in a few hours you turn into somebody else.

Just the other day I was Marallyn in Jerusalem. Today I am Marallyn at War. Nu, so no one is using the three letter word…but what would you call it?

Here is what happened yesterday. The girl in my office called her parents in Safed. They were really shaken up as a katyusha had just landed and flung open all their doors and blown out all their windows. Thank God no one was injured.

My friend Bunni tried calling her daughter who lives on kibbutz Moran next to Carmiel and listened as the rockets landed all around her kid.

Both women begged their families to come to the center of the country. So far we here in Jerusalem are rocketless, but from what I hear the bastards can reach us too.

Both women’s offers were turned down. The family in Safed are very religious and grandparents and are not going to be frightened off by ‘those madmen’.

The kids on kibbutz are far from religious, young with young children and are not going to be frightened off by ‘those madmen’. The kibbutzniks used a more interesting expletive than madmen.

I told my almost 83 year old mother to stop watching her feet as she walked along to get her groceries or off to lunch in the various restaurants she loves to frequent. I told her she better start looking up in the sky. And warned her that its’ not a bird, it’s not a plane, it’s not superman…and if she sees it or hears it to run for cover.

Now is that something you should never have to tell a great-grandmother.

My mom isn’t leaving either. And she used an expletive even jucier than the kibbutzniks…in Russian! Nobody messes with Bubbie Chanah.

Our hearts and our prayers go out to our soldiers and their families…
to our three missing boys, Gilad ben Aviva, Ehud Goldwasser, 31, resident of Nahariya, Eldad Regev, 26, resident of Kiryat Motzkin…
and to the brave souls who are guarding our borders by braving the skies and remaining in their homes.

The bastards will NEVER win.

Shabbat Shalom.

Have a great day…stay safe…and thanks for dropping in.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Up to Here in Terrorists

For those of you who have been reading my blog you know that I try to keep my sense of humour, no matter what.

But I don’t know how to keep it light when we are back in Lebanon and Gaza. The left-wing ‘makers and shakers’ promised that we would be much better off out of both places.

Well, I had no argument with that. My oldest spent months and months in Lebanon when he was regular army…paratroopers. I still have a picture of him on my shelf in the living room sitting in the snow with the hills of Lebanon all around him. A nice picture until you focus on the huge rifle casually resting on his knees.

We didn’t leave Lebanon and Gaza. We ran away. We snuck out in the middle of the night. We shlepped as much as we could carry and left the rest behind us. We abandoned the friends we made along the way and never looked back.

Well, I looked back. I wondered how that was going to make us safer than we were yesterday morning. I wondered what we had to gain by not waiting until an agreement was made…a safety measure was established.

They said that the faster we got out, the safer it would be for our soldiers who were in danger and dying while defending both places.

OF COURSE…EVERYONE KNEW THAT. I sent my son into that mess. I wasn’t one of those moms who said, “You go get ‘em, but my kid is going to sit in an office someplace in the center of the country.”

My daughter spent eighteen months wandering the streets of Jerusalem looking for and capturing women who were knifing civilians.

My youngest son was in intelligence and as he told me, “Ma, if I tell you what I’m doing, I’ll have to shoot you.”

No, I wasn’t sitting back and letting their sons and daughters face the danger. And their sons and daughters are mine too. But you understand the difference, as well as I do.

We are not dealing with normal people. We are dealing with people who have no value for life. Who send their neighbours’ children out to blow themselves out for the ‘glory of the cause’? Notice I said ‘their neighbours’ children’…they don’t send their own kids…that crazy they aren’t.

So today you will forgive me if I’m not funny and cute. I am furious that we now have a situation that is so much more dangerous because of decisions that previous governments made which affect all of us living here.

Gaza is a snake pit that is reproducing at a dangerous rate. We knew it. We walked away and let it happen.

The Hezbollah have thousands of katyushas and other long rage rockets they are just itching to fling at us. Rockets that can land anywhere including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and one reporter announced they can even hit the Negev.

Ok. So I never was in the army. I’m not a military genius. But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that we are now ‘up to here in terrorists’ and that if we didn’t spawn them then at the least we didn’t dry up the pond they breed in.

As we sit glued to the television and radio and keep looking up at the sky, I pray that our boys and girls will all be safe. I pray that all the foreign governments will leave us alone this time so that we can finally do the job.

And more than that, I pray that our own government will finally do the job. If not…I don’t want to think of ‘if not’.

Have a good day…stay safe…and thanks for dropping in.

Out to Lunch

Early this morning my daughter in law called and told me about a conversation she had just had with the four year old…sweetsie tootsie, on the way to day camp. It went something like this.

“You know, Imma, the most important thing a person has is sechel.” (Hebrew/Yiddish for intelligence).
She looked down at him, amazed at what the little fellow was thinking and asked,
“And why is that?”
“Because, it’s the sechel that tells a person’s conscience what is right and what is wrong.”

Not bad for a four year old, I thought, kvelling.

But, what do you do when your sechel’s out to lunch?

At 9:05 this morning, two more of our precious soldiers were kidnapped. This time by the Hezbollah.

They announced that they wanted to show solidarity with their Hamas brothers in Gaza.


Like thieves in the night we slunk out of Lebanon. Like ashamed interlopers we evacuated Gush Katiff.

And for what?

Now our soldiers are back fighting in both places.

Zahal, the IDF, just announced seven dead. They have just called up 6,000 milluimnikim (reservists), and who knows what will be next.

Has the Lion of Judah had enough? Finally? I certainly hope so. Because if we are just playing tag, the price is too high for my blood.

Someone from the Knesset hung up a sign, Out to Lunch.

My prayers are with our soldiers and their families…all my relatives.

Have a good day…stay safe…thanks for dropping in.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


A couple of weeks ago, my brother, Dovidle called to say he was coming for about ten days the end of December.

Yahoooooooo!!! Once a year we all try to get together and as much as I would love to get away for a couple of weeks and play tourist in the good old US of A and Canada, it just isn't possible. First of all I wouldn't leave Ma for that long and second she really doesn't feel like making the trip. At 83 tfu tfu tfu it is not so simple to cross the big water and hob nob with family and friends, no matter how much you would love to do so.

Then, my cousin Michael from Toronto emailed and he is coming with his wife and two the same time.

Then, my brother Dovidle called to say that a very good friend is coming to Jerusalem for two and a half days and could I arrange for a hotel and a guide?

Of course, I said and then explained to him that it wouldn't be easy. We are talking about Christmas week here.

Do any of you remember Shelly Berman? And his record about wanting to go to New York to go to acting school? And his father said, 'Ok, I'll give you the money for a ticket. It'll be a Christmas present. But don't tell your mother I said the word Christmas. Because if you do, you won't be going on a plane to New York to acting school, you'll be going to Weinstein's Funeral Home in a coffin!'

Ahhhh, Shelly Berman. Where was I? Oh, yes. The Wise Men are all coming to Jerusalem on, ahem Chri...after Channukah!

So, Bubbie Channah decided to call in a cleaning person to spiffy up the place. She usually does it herself, and does a great job, but the windows needed washing and none of us can shlep them out of the frames.

I told her to go speak to Rami, the head of the Va'ad Bayit ( the housing committee) in her building and sure enough he had someone. Muhammed worked in the building and for cheap would be happy to come clean her flat.

Muhammed? Don't worry, he's a good guy and you can trust him with your stuff.


In walks Muhammed, and Bubbie Channah called me a couple of hours later happy happy happy. The windows are clean, the floors are done, and the bathroom sparkles. All for 60 shekels. A bargain!!!

'You know, Marallyn, I asked him if he spe

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Why Waste Calories on a Stuffy Nose?

Today is my birthday. Thank you. The reason I mention it at all is that my friends and I usually celebrate the same way every year. We all go out to eat. One evening it’s family, then another time it’s this group of friends, and then another. Any opportunity to get us all in a restaurant where I don’t have to cook and clean up is great by me.

And everyone pays for him/herself. That way no one fights. ‘On my birthday we went to el cheapo…on yours you took us all to de luxo.’ Nope, no problems at all, in that department.

But by last Friday I knew I was in trouble. Started off with a little stuffy nose…worked its way down to that burning in your chest where if you still smoke you want to kill yourself. Remember that cough? Then it moved back up where it made itself at home in my sinuses. Not my favourite look. You know the red-rimmed nostril look? That goes with the hacking cough? And no matter how hard you try the cough is somehow stronger than your bladder control? You men don’t get it and to all you women out there, you know what I mean.

Needless to say I have not been a happy camper these past couple of days. And then it was big decision time…to go out or to postpone. Hmmmm, the choices, the choices.

This year I opted to postpone. I mean what good is eating all that food if you can’t taste it? And besides, if I give this cold to you how am I going to be sure you won’t decide to give it back to me? I mean, what are friends for?

So for the time being I am staying home, drinking fancy herbal tea and my little pieces of toast and pretending that it’s something outrageously fattening and exotic.

Hope you have a great day…stay safe…thanks for dropping in.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Shabbat Shalom

It’s not that I’m crazy religious. Far from it. Sometimes I think that if my kids knew what I ate, they would never let me kiss the babies again.

But Shabbat in Jerusalem is not just another ordinary day.

Before we moved into our ‘new house’ twenty years ago…oy…I had decided that I would keep a kosher kitchen with two sets of everything. Keeping kosher in Israel is so easy anyway and I never wanted anyone to have trouble coming to my house for a meal. In the old place we were kosher with glass everything which could double up…but never mind, I sometimes think that whenever God gets bored He comes to watch me in my kitchen.

And I don’t cook on Shabbat. I love having one day a week when I’m not in the kitchen.

And then when my oldest turned twelve, he started getting religious. Knitted kippa religious. That was fine with me. The kid is a Sagittarius and from a very young age I would either find him downstairs playing soccer or sitting by himself in one of the many shuls we had in the neighbourhood. Nice.

My other two kids aren’t religious.

My babies are. My oldest, the four year old, loves going with his Daddy to shul. I was at their house a few months ago and suddenly we heard firecrackers. Must have been a wedding or something…don’t ask. They shoot off five minutes of firecrackers and all the neighbours run for cover until they see the colourful explosions above their houses. We are still shell-shocked from the intifada.

Anyway, where was I? Ahhh, yes. Firecrackers. So my sweetsie tootsie grabbed my hand and we started running from window to window to see if we could see the fireworks in the sky. But we couldn’t.

My little grandson looked up at me and said,

“Bubbie, I know exactly what that is.”
“You do?”
“Yes. It’s a party in the sky for the Lubovicher Rabbi.”

I looked down at my little grandson and grabbed him and hugged him close so he couldn’t see the tears rolling down my face.

So anytime you hear fireworks and can’t see anything, you'll know 'exactly' what it is.

A party in the sky for the Lubovicher Rabbi!

Oh my! Shabbat shalom.

Have a great day…stay safe…and thanks for dropping in.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

They Get to Play…We Get a to have a Serious Nervous Breakdown

They day before yesterday, my daughter-in-law phoned. Here is the conversation:

“Bubbie, pray!”
“Honey, what happened?”
“Nothing, everything’s all right. It’s just that your grandson (who just turned four) started day camp and they’re all going on a tiul…trip…to the swimming pool. Pray, Bubbie!”

Ah, as Mel Brooks, the 2,000 Year Old Man said… “We mock the things we are to be.”

When my brother and I were particularly trying, our mom used to say in Yiddish…you should only have twelve just like you. (Du zolst nor hobben tvelf vie dir alayn). Actually, he was a wonderful boy...still is. The Jewish Curse she aimed at me.

As I grew up and had my own children I understood more and more what my mom meant. It’s not that kids are bad…it’s that they are kids…and kids reach an age when they aren’t an arm’s length away… and the umbilical cord only reaches so far.

Not true! I discovered a magical umbilical cord. It’s called a cellular phone. Yup. When they came out I bought one for my daughter and told her if she wanted to keep it, I would pay all the bills on two conditions. One, that she has so much free phone time and after that it comes out of her allowance. And two, that if it is ever turned off it comes back to me.

That phone was my line to her whenever I got terrified and needed to know she was safe.

Over the years everyone got phones. And here in Israel as the bombs started going off in the cities, the age of kids carrying phones started at first graders.

Personally, I carry three. Don’t laugh. See the first one I bought because of my business. I had a learning center for learning disabled kids for fifteen years until the intifada put us out of business. I’ll tell you that story some time.

Then the competition came out with a deal. I got a second phone for free…okay Moses, I’ll take ten...and not only was it free but they also offered six free phone numbers. I quickly counted my family on my fingers and grabbed the second phone. Okay, okay, within two months the free numbers weren’t free anymore and the contract I signed was for three years…don’t ask…so now I was shlepping two of them around. One for the business and one for the family.

Then I started working at my new job and they gave me a third phone.

Finally my youngest said, “Imma, this is nuts. Put a voice message on the old business phone with your other phone number and leave one of the phones at home.”

Such a smart boy. Yahooooooooooo. Freedom.
This past winter, my youngest, the ‘such a smart boy’, went on a quest to South America for three months and the west coast of the USA for almost another two.


“Honey, are you taking an international cell phone with you?”
“No, Imma. I’m not.”
“Okay. You’re not?”
“No, Imma.”
“I’ll email, and we’ll talk online.”

Cordless. The kid was going off into the world, cordless. And there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.

So, I did what all mothers do in that situation. I had a serious nervous breakdown. Silently. I mean I figured, what good would it do for me to have a stroke, G-d forbid, and the kid’ll come home fine and I’ll be bakaked forever.

A dear, dear friend in Canada wrote and told me her grandson is coming to Israel for the summer with a group.

So being a good friend, I gave her my cell phone number, my house number, and my serious nervous breakdown. I mean what are friends for???

Actually she had her own s.n.b. and didn’t need mine. The kid’ll be fine. But go tell that to a Bubbie!!!

Back to my daughter-in-law.

“Bubbie! What’ll I do when he has to go in the army?”
I said, “Don’t worry honey. We’ll get him a cell phone.”

And then I prayed.

Have a great day…stay safe…and thanks for dropping in.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Selling Fortunes to the Tourists

Don’t laugh. When I told everyone in 1970 that I was moving to Israel their first reaction was… ‘What? What are you going to do there?’

I don’t know what possessed me…sometimes the strangest things come out of my mouth…and without thinking I answered, ‘I’m going to rent a camel and sell fortunes to the tourists.’

That usually got the laugh it deserved and the truth is that I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do for a year in Israel. I just knew I had to get back.

My journey to the Promised Land went like this. Remember the trip to Greece, where I couldn’t get that close to Israel without popping in for a visit? And how I got off the plane and was immediately at home?

The first few months I studied Hebrew in the Ulpan. Actually, I was quite good at it and soon could understand and be understood. Then, I got a job in the bank as a teller. Great job! In the King David Hotel!!!...during the good old days, when Moshe Dayan, or Begin, or Sharon could be seen walking around on their way to grab a meal or sit in on an informal meeting in the coffee shop or dining room. Ah, the good old days.

Quickly moving ahead, I met my husband, got married and began having the kids. When my oldest two were starting school, I finally had some free time and that’s when I met Noah (not her real name). Noah lived up the street and was deep into astrology. I had started studying in Detroit but had to drop it when I moved here.

Astrology????? They have astrology in the Holy Land!!! Eureka!!! I met Ilan Pekker, then the top astrologer in the country, and soon began studying myself. Ah, my soul sang. Stars and planets and aspects and cusps consumed my thoughts with all the endless opportunities of limitless space. See, up till then my usual conversation with the neighbour ladies involved recipes and how they got their laundry so white. You get the picture.

After studying for a couple of years my friends began to nudge me…do me, do me…you know how it is…like having a doctor or dentist in the family.

I didn’t ‘do them’. I don’t do charts of people I know. But soon others started calling me and I began my life as marallyn the astrologer. My cousin Michael, the Rabbi, calls me the White Witch of Jerusalem :), nice no?

The first time I stood in line at the bank to deposit the money I had received from a client, I stopped and burst out laughing.

I didn’t rent a camel…but I was selling fortunes.:)))

Here is this week’s astrology from my column on the Jerusalem Post Online edition.

Have a great day…stay safe…and thanks for dropping in…

Astrology for the week of June 30, 2006
by Marallyn Ben Moshe

TIP FOR THE WEEK: Put your own needs first this week. There isn’t enough time in the day for you to take care of everyone else…so instead have a good time doing what makes you happy.
Money and finances are on your mind once again as you try to make some plans for the coming months - perhaps a trip abroad or some major renovations in your home. Whatever it is, start saving now. For weeks you are absorbing all the tension around you and the time has come for you to shake yourself free, be happy with who you are and what you have, and relax. HINT: Take some time each day to do something creative.

You have so much on your mind and are so anxious to begin moving forward. Past obligations are still holding you back but don’t let this minor upset get you down. Finally you are definitely on the right track and all your hard work from the past is beginning to pay off. This is a good week for getting out and mingling both socially and professionally. HINT: Family always comes first but that doesn’t mean you have to worry about them 24/7. Do something special for yourself this week.

It is not enough that you are right…you also have to be aware of the other person’s needs before giving him advice. There is so much you have to do this week and not nearly enough hours in the day, so reach out to someone you trust and ask for help. A lot is going on behind the scenes and this is not the time for you to get involved. When asked, give your opinion and walk away. HINT: Wednesday and Thursday are great days for entertaining at home.

There is a lot going on in your life right now and you are not always sitting in the driver’s seat. Recognize what you can do and what you can change and learn to live with the rest. No sense in ruining your health by worrying about things the experts are taking care of. By the middle portion of this week you will begin making plans to be with family you haven’t seen in quite some time. HINT: Monday and Tuesday are days for pampering yourself. Don’t think about it, just do it.

You have got to learn how to make a schedule and stick to it. There are so many people who turn to you for help and advice that by the end of the day you are exhausted and rather frustrated. Once you establish workable borders most of the tension you are feeling will dissipate. In the meantime take a few days off to play and invite some of your best friends to join you. HINT: Don’t let your ego get in the way of making an important decision.

You are still trying to juggle too many things at once and end up feeling frustrated and angry. This is a good week for you to begin cutting back and resting a little more. There are only so many hours in the day and you know yourself that you have been burning the candle at both ends now for much too long. HINT: The time has come for you to put your personal relations back on the front burner and get out and party.

Finally after months of being exhausted, you are beginning to get some order back into your life. That doesn’t mean that you are satisfied, you will always be searching out new and better ways to improve your life and life style, but it does mean that you can sit back and enjoy a job well done. Time spent with a partner and/or mate is exactly what you need right now, so clear your desk and enjoy yourself. HINT: A conversation with a Cancer will put a smile back into your heart.

The time has come for you to stop being so serious and to relax and enjoy yourself a bit more. You are a wonderful friend and this week you will have the opportunity to do something really special for a person you love. Family is always close to your heart and you will have some extra time this week to just relax at home with them. HINT: Frustration at work can’t be ignored, but you can put some perspective on the situation and walk away.

You are always the first one to reach out and help those you love. This week is no exception. The best part is that you have a marvelous support system of friends surrounding you who only wish you happy days and peaceful nights. Take some time off this week to pamper yourself. It is true that money is a problem but even a single rose will bring you joy. HINT: A conversation with another water sign is just what you need this week.

Family business is keeping you very busy but the truth is that this time you really don’t mind. You know that you are the best person for the job and are happy to roll up your sleeves and lend a hand. In between work try to find a few hours each day to read, write, or just walk among the flowers. Friends far away miss you and are waiting to hear from you. Reach out…you won’t be sorry. HINT: Monday and Tuesday are good days for discussing your plans with your partner and/or mate.

You tend to overdo things this week and your motto has got to be ‘if I don’t need it then I’m not going to buy it’. Sorry, but unnecessary spending now will put a hole in your budget in the weeks to come. There is someone in your life who brings you joy and this is the perfect time for you to spend time together sharing and planning. HINT: Frustration at home cannot be avoided but your reaction to it certainly can.

MAY 21-JUNE 21
This is your week for fun and play. Forget that pile of papers on your desk…forget the load of laundry and/or dishes waiting for you. Get dressed, go out to your favorite restaurant and enjoy yourself. For much too long now you have been overworked and underappreciated. The fact is that everyone loves you and knows what a super job you are doing, so leave the guilt behind and party! HINT: Elderly members of your family appreciate all the time you spend with them.

Monday, July 03, 2006

dear everybody...
i just got a phone call from a very dear friend with the following story...

bella...not her real name...wanted a pair of vans shoes for her birthday...there is only one store in jerusalem that sells them...and they are rather costly...but a birthday is a birthday and the kid's mother bought her the she was walking along happy go lucky in her new sport shoes a strange lady stopped her and said..."Do you know what's on the sole of your shoes?"

bella had no idea what the woman was talking about...but turned her shoe over and there on the sole is a magen david...the jewish star...

i have checked the internet...and yes there are a lot of sites for vans shoes...but i can't find any info...and i have no idea why this *** wants kids to walk on the symbol of the jewish people...

help...i am really really upset about this and would greatly appreciate any info on van and his damn shoes...

thanks...this one has me really really upset...

have a good day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Middle East is NOT the Mid-West

There is never a dull moment in the Mid East. Nope. Not for the faint hearted, my part of the world. First of all, we have HOT for most of the year. And when we don't have HOT we have HOTTER...that's when we have a 'hamsin' of those desert heat waves that turns the sky all yellow, hurts your eyes and clogs up your sinuses.

I think Jerusalem has the best weather in the entire country...well, we used to have, before all the spray net in the world poked a hole through the ozone layer someplace over Australia and global warming pushed the thermostat up a few notches. But as you round the last bend on your way up to Jerusalem, you can feel the air become cooler and more inviting.

Well, why am I talking about the weather? See, all this hot weather does not make for calm, rational people. It makes for crazies who at any moment may turn out to be you or your relatives.

When I first moved here, I used to hear people shouting in the street 'IDIOT! IDIOT!'(pronounced Idi-ohhhht).

I thought, "How rude!" and kept walking. Until one day I realized that it was the newspaper vendor trying to sell his copies of Idiot Ahronot (roughtly translated as the Latest News, the name of the top newspaper in the country).

A couple of nights ago, once again I found myself sitting in my living room with my husband and our youngest watching the news. Two young men kidnapped, one a soldier and the other a religious boy; the army in full operations in Gaza; and then there was a newsflash...

'The IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) has announced that last night our planes buzzed Asad's palace in Syria!

Not only flew over… but in case the yold was asleep in his bed and missed the entire show…we caused a few sonic booms along the way!

My first reaction was to laugh...and punch the air with my fist. Yahoooooooo.

My second reaction was...oy vey! That was my old 'ghetto' reaction that roughly translated means "What are the goyim going to think?"

For generation after generation, we Jews have walked in the shadow of what the gentile community will think. Now, I don't believe we give a damn about what others think, but we care a whole lot about what they are going to do about it. I mean waking up a sleeping bear is an interesting exercise, but you better have a quick getaway planned...just in case.

And why? Why cross over into Syrian airspace and spit in Asad's eye? To warn the head of the Hamas in Syria, who is orchestrating the entire mess we are in now, that no one will be safe from the Lion of Judah.

Two boys already dead. Yes, they just announced, the bastards executed Eliyhu Asheri, may he rest in peace, who was only eighteen!!! I don’t have the words to fathom what his parents are thinking or feeling. I simply don’t.

I never went into the army. By the time I got here I was twenty-five and too old to be drafted. I thought, thank G-d! I'm too old to pish in a hole in the ground and never mind thinking about anything else - oy.

But our kids are out there trying to find and free Gilad ben Aviva. My heart is in my mouth, as once again I am tuning in to the hourly news reports on the radio.

Before Shabbat comes in I will add my prayer that Gilad and all our boys and girls are safe and come home to sleep in their own beds.

Shabbat shalom.

Have a great day…stay safe…