Thursday, August 31, 2006


It doesn't happen to me often. The feeling that I would really like a vacation. Not just a little time off from work and cooking...but a real vacation. You know the kind. You pack two suitcases and go to the airport kind of vacation.

But this morning that's exactly how I feel. Life in Israel, and especially in Jerusalem is like driving in the fast lane. You are always on the watch and always on the go. And if you take your eyes off the road for a second you could be in big trouble.

Remember that joke that went around a few years ago? How can you describe the history of the Jews in less than ten words? THEY TRIED TO KILL US...WE WON...LET'S EAT!

So, I phoned my friend Rena and we're off for brunch in the Mall.

I really wanted to stay home today and write on my novel. But somehow I need to be with people and the Mall is always a zoo.

The Malka Mall is five minutes from my house and I see it when I look out my front window. A Canadian designed it and it's a great place. Amateur joggers and walkers use it as their track. The real joggers are out at the crack of dawn power walking with their tummy pack holding their keys and cell phones and little bottles of water.

It's a great place. I don't know how well the shops do there, but the coffee places and restaurants do a great business.

Kids love to come there and meet their friends at the fast food section before going in to the many movies that the place offers day and night.

So what are we going to do in the Mall? First of all I want to go into Office Depot and see if they can fix my iPak. Don't ask. The little button that turns it on somehow sunk deep inside the thing and I can't open it up. Everything is inside. And someone told me that they might be able to fix it there. Keep your fingers crossed.

Then I want to buy some more salad stuff. My youngest and I are big on salads now. Don't ask. Moi? Salads? But wait till you taste this one.

cut up/dice: green onion/red pepper/tomato/cucumber/raddish/etc
add: diced mango/any fruit
add: baby lettuce/any lettuce
grate: carrot
season: a couple of tablespoons or raw tehina ( just the tahina not the stuf they serve in restaurants that have water/garlic/lemon juice added)

So, off we go. Brunch in the Mall. I dreamed last night that 'they' were coming to take us all away. And we had until tomorrow to get ready.

This morning when I remembered the dream, I thought how my entire life they were trying to take us away. First the Nazis...yes,I am that old...and then the Arabs.

But they can't have me! And they can't have mine! And I'm off to the Mall to sit with all my fellow Jerusalemites and have a coffee and two eggs and a salad all for thirty-nine shekels.

Then I'll come home and write.

"Making your way in the world today
Takes everything you've got;
Taking a break from all your worries
Sure would help a lot.
Wouldn't you like to get away?

Sometimes you want to go

Where everybody knows your name,
and they're always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows
Your name." theme song from CHEERS

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

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Well, after weeks of being glued to the television and radio, I can't stand it any more. I don't know why everyone is making such a big to-do out of everything. Olmert wants to set up a committee that is going to make him look good...of course he wants that. Our President is still screaming, 'Not me, it was't me!' And all the talking heads are busy talking, talking, talking.

Years and years ago, when I was still in college,I used to come home at night and together with my friends we would gather around our television with the folks and spend an envening talking, know, just having fun.

It was the during the Profumo Scandal. For those of you who are too young to remember, here is the shortened version. John Dennis Profumo was then Secretary of War. Married to the film star Valerie Hobson they mingled with all the 'who's who'of British society.

What the commoners didn't know, was that Mr. High Society was also fiddling around with a lady named Christine Keeler. Together with her friend Mandy Rice-Davies the women partied their way up and guessed it...Profumo's group of friends.

Now no one, except maybe Mrs. Profumo, cared that our hero couldn't keep his zipper zipped, but then he made a big mistake. He lied to the House of Commons. VEY. In March 1963 he told them that 'nope, not me'.

Do you remember the program "THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS"? They too got a whiff of the affair and spoofed their British cousin. "See him in the House of Commons/Making laws to put the blame/While the object of his passion/Walks the streets to hide her shame."


Our playboy went back before the House ten weeks after he said his 'not me' speech and had to admit that 'with deep remorse' he had misled the House and would resign.

Now the story gets even more interesting. Turns out that our favourite playgirl wasn't exactly honest with our hero. If one fat fish was good, then two would be even better. Yup our little Christine had another lover. But not just any lover. She was also fiddling with Eugene Ivanov. Ivanov? You mean? Yes, dear readers. Ivanov was the naval attache at the Soviet Embassy.Tvoyu mat!!! (a not nice way of saying oy vey).

Now back to all of us sitting in front of the television. All the talking heads were busy doing what they knew best. Suddenly they turned to the audience and asked if anyone had anything to say.

A little man got up and made his way to the microphone. And this is what he said...
"If he did it, what he done it...then he shoulda get it, what he got it!"

That was it. The audience roared. We at home roared. The talking heads roared. And we all went to a commercial.

So back to our own government officials. I hope you get it what you should get it cuz you done it what you done it.

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

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Once in a while I take a break from my life. You know what I mean. Those days when you stop cooking/cleaning/working/caretaking to just stop and catch your breath.

Today is one of those days.

A lot of time has passed since I could let down my guard and stop worrying if we were going to be blown to smithereens. If my wonderful exiled friends from Gush Katif were going to make it. If they really are going to investigate the terrible three (Olmert/Peretz/Halutz). Then for fun there's always the question, did they do it? (President Katzav/Haim Ramon).

That's when real life comes back onto the front burner. How's Bubbie Channah this morning? Are my babies and their babies all right? What's happening at work? How's my mother-in-law now that she's out of the hospital? You know. Life. Normal Life.

And then I remember listening to my sweetsie tootsie sing to my daughter, his aunt, with his angelic voice, 'Who loves you more than I do? Who makes you laugh when you are sad?' He knows all the words to the song, I don't.

And I think about dinner last night. My youngest and I decided to make our favourite salad for dinner. And he invited a few of his friends to join us. Me...I'm still a valuable guest at the kids' table.

As I write, I can hear a song from HAIR in my mind. AH the good old days when the air was fresh and sex was dirty. The 60's. AHHHHH.

I Got Life, mother; I got laughs, sister;
I got freedom, brother; I got good times, man.
I got crazy ways, daughter
I got million-dollar charm, cousin
I got headaches and toothaches
and bad times, too
Like you!
I got my hair; I got my head
I got my brains; I got my ears
I got my eyes; I got my nose
I got my mouth
I got my teeth!

I got my tongue; I got my chin
I got my neck; I got my tits
I got my heart; I got my soul
I got my back
I got my ass!

I got my arms, I got my hands,
I got my fingers, I got my legs;
I got my feet, I got my toes
I got my liver...
Got my blood.

I got my guts (I got my guts)
I got my muscles (muscles)
I Got Life! (Life!)
Life! (Life!)
Life! (Life!)

So, maybe I'm not so fragile after all. L'Chayim!!!

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

Monday, August 28, 2006


Yesterday morning, my four year old grandson wanted to talk to me. Here is the conversation:

‘Bubbie! I’m going to war!’ (I thought I would die.)
‘You are?’

‘Yes! And I’m going to kill everyone.’ (oy)
‘You are?’

‘Who are you going to kill?’ ( I thought that that was a good question, no?)

‘I don’t know.’ (thank God)
‘The bad guys?’

‘Who are the bad guys?’ (an important question I thought, and besides I wanted to hear his answer. When I was growing up that was easy…we were the cowboys and they were the Indians and we took two clothes pins and made guns…peooo peooo.)

‘I don’t know. But, Bubbie, I can’t talk ‘cuz they’re waiting for me to go to war.’

‘All the kids next door.’

By that point I could hear my daughter-in-law saying in English on the other end of the phone, ‘Bubbie, did you hear that?’

‘This is not good, Bubbie. He told me he doesn’t know when he’ll be back.’
‘Ask him if he’ll be home in time for lunch.’

‘Honey, will you be home from the war in time for lunch?’
‘Sure, Imma! Bye!’

Of course, both his mother and I were shaken up by that conversation. No one realizes just how much the little ones pick up from the discussions around the table and the daily news bulletins. And the truth is that the kid just spent a month listening all about his country being at war.

From there I grabbed a cab and picked up Bubbie Channah and off we went to the demonstrations. Turns out there are two of them. One is to have this present government investigated…we signed that. And, then up the road we found the milluimnikim, the reservists.

By their stand a heated conversation was going on. The news was out in full swing with cameras and microphones. Bubbie Channah pushed through them all and picked up a pen to sign the petition. Maybe she’ll be on T.V. A Guiness’ Record? The oldest rebel in Israel? Nah, we have lots of old rebels here and all of them have a cause. (sorry, I couldn’t help that one.)

When I signed the petition, I told the milluimnikim about the conversation I had that morning with my little grandson. And I added that unless they are successful, my baby may have to go to war. And that I didn’t want him to be in uniform with the same kind of leaders that we had this past month.

We smiled. We understood each other.

I felt great. Go, my Israeli friends. Go to the demonstration and make your voice heard. These young men need our help and by helping them boy oh boy are we helping ourselves. Their cause cannot go silently into the night.

Then Bubbie Channah and I went to meet Rena for lunch. At the old Sbarro restaurant on the corner of King George and Jaffa Roads. Yup the same one that was bombed twice.

We don’t want that to happen again either.

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

Friday, August 25, 2006


For those of you who know me… and for those of you who are getting to know me better by reading my blog, you know that I am not a very good fence sitter. Besides the fact that I'm sure it has to really hurt your tushie to do that, I have strong opinions about things.

For example, I don't think a person should lie. Bubbie Channah taught us that a liar is worse than a thief. 'If a thief comes into the house, Marallyn, you hide the silver. But what do you hide when a liar walks in?'

And, I don't think a person should steal. Zaidi Herbie AH taught us that if we were going to steal something we might as well steal something really expensive as we would end up in jail anyway.

But, even with my big mouth, I never was a professional flag waver. I mean like those Ladies in Black who stand on the street corner every Friday morning protesting our being in Lebanon. Or the demonstrations that Shalom Achshav, Peace Now always had in Tel Aviv.

My left wing fine-shmekker friends always went to those things.

I always felt that my political opinions were mine and private. Oh, don’t think for a second that I didn’t shoot off my mouth any chance I had to voice my opinion. And don’t think I didn’t volunteer one year to work for the party of my choice. But, you know what I mean.

And then they started talking about removing the Jews from Gush Katif. That was when I became a Lady in Orange. I wore my orange bracelet for months and months. It is still hanging on my bedpost to remind me of those terrible days.

And I do make sure that I go and vote.

But Sunday I am going to a demonstration. I am going to get into a taxi and pick up Bubbie Channah and we are going to join the reservists, the miluimnikim, who are protesting in front of the Prime Minister’s office demanding he resigns.

And if we have the time, I am going to talk to them and hear what they have to say. And listen. And learn. And make my voice heard.

I really want these people to know that they aren’t alone. I really want these people to have enough power to get rid of the liars and fornicators and takers of bribes. I really want to help them make the changes we need so that we can hold our heads up again at home and abroad.

Those guys in power had their chance and they failed. Now they have to be honourable enough to admit their mistakes and walk away. What??? Honour??? Among thieves?

Anyway, if you aren’t doing anything Sunday morning and you want to drop in and say hello, grab your pencil and come join Bubbie Channah and me.

Do you think 83 is too old to be a resistance fighter? Shhh, don’t tell Bubbie Channah. She’s pretty feisty in her old age… tfu tfu tfu.

Shabbat shalom.

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

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Nu, so ask me what’s new? Don’t ask. We are in such a mess here now that the next rumble in the sky may not be thunder, but God stamping His foot as He looks down at the mess his Chosen People have made of everything.

Dear God,

It’s not Your fault. You didn’t know that the fine-shmekkers would try to turn the Lion of Judah into a little shepherd. I mean, even David had to put down his staff and take up his sling-shot and smack Goliath in the head. Remember, God?

So God, maybe we need a woman Prime Minister this time? An Esther? I used to think it would be our Foreign Minister, Tsipi Livni, but it turns out that she sold her jewels to help make the Golden Calf. Too bad, Tsipi. I wonder what your Papa thinks about you jumping ship. (Eitan Livni was a former member of the famous Irgun).

There are all kinds of rumours floating about. Did the President rape that lady? Did our former Minister of Justice sexually harass that lady who simply asked for a nice picture with him, and as a bonus got her tonsils washed…or so she claims.

Then there are the two scary stories going around. One, if…no, let me put it better…WHEN our Prime Minister resigns we may end up with Shimon…Peres…the man who never won a single election in his life but somehow always manages to have a job and flies around the world in his nice suit.

And finally, God. Say it isn’t so. Please, God. If…no, let me put it better…WHEN our President resigns or is kicked out, we may end up with…shudder…shudder…Dalia Itzik, our first lady Speaker of the House.

See, God, I always thought that ‘history never repeats itself’, but I think we’re in deep trouble. Sodom and Gomorrah all over again, right God? Oy yoy yoy. Wait, God, wait! I know the routine. Thunder and lightning and earthquakes and alakazam somebody’s wife gets turned into a pillar of salt!

Don’t look at me, God. My Daddy AH taught me to never volunteer.

How about if we make a deal? I’ll give you the fornicators and You give me back Israel. I’ll give You the priests who took bribes at the Temple and You give me back Jerusalem.

Count to ten before starting the floods, God. And while You’re at it, if you don’t mind, hold back on the earthquakes.

Maybe if we work together on this we can save the store. Whaddya think? I’m not asking for me God. But, I have two little grandchildren and boy I’d sure like them to have the land of milk and honey.

You can do it! I know You can. I’m putting my money on You, God. What’s another little miracle for someone like You? Hell….wait…wait let me put that better….heck this is the land of miracles and You are the One God. We don’t have anyone else to turn to.

How much is a scared prayer worth, You ask?

I don’t know but I’m scared and I’m praying.

Talk to You again soon. Oh, and God? Thanks for listening. Amen.

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

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


While researching the novel I'm writing, I came across a great deal of information and none more titillating than the Turkish Delights in Cairo, Egypt.

Let me set the scene. Close your eyes and picture this. Walking down a maze of alleys, your senses are attacked by the smell of exotic spices mingling with the pungent little cups of Turkish coffee that small boys carry as they weave their way through groups of veiled women busy shopping.

The muezzin is still calling worshipers to prayer and the sounds of Allah hu Akbar compete with the shouts of vendors trying to sell their olive wood camels and busts of the ancient Kings and Queens of Egypt to the ever eager tourists.

A few steps from the Sayyidna al-Hussein Mosque, in the heart of Islamic Cairo our group of veiled women stop in front of a cart bearing a mound of brightly coloured cloth. One woman reaches into the pile and comes up with a scarlet bra with strategically placed gold tassels. And what's that her friend has found? A flaming red G-string complete with a matching skimpy see-through nightie. Ya Eini..oh my eyes! It's you, Fahima. It's you!

Yes. Not far from the Mosque is a sexy underwear shuk that would put Victoria's Secrets to shame. But here you can easily get everything in your size Fahima. We have up to XXXL and all the colours you want. Boggles the mind, no? XXXL G-strings?

Who are these women? Perhaps belly dancers buying new work clothes. Let’s look at them carefully.

Even in the blistering hot sun of the mid day our beauties are covered in shapeless chadors...floor-length, black coats worn over their clothes. Not one traitorous hair dares to escape from behind their tightly tied headscarves. Only two eyes and two hands are exposed to the light of day.

But these are not professional women. They are professional wives. Mothers and daughters out for a day of shopping. Well, well Fahima! Naughty, naughty.

I thought about Fahima and her friends a lot after that. And I have to admit my imagination ran wild.

Then I took a walk down the little streets in Mea Shearim...the ultra orthodox part of Jerusalem. And as much as I looked, I couldn't find one sexy underwear shop anywhere. What? Are my religious women less exotic...less adventurous than yours? Is that Yeshivah Bocher really a Chippendale in disguise?

Shame shame shame on you, I thought, and went home to wash out my mouth and my eyes.

In the middle of the night I heard them. "Ya Allah! Oh my God!" they shouted in delight as their tassels shimmied in circular motion.

And then I understood why we of the western world would never understand the Muslim mind. See, we have nothing to hide. We are the Chippendales. And, those fortunate enough to look good in them, wear their little string bikinis proudly on the beach. What you see is what you get.

But Fahima will never be a Betty Grable. And Achmed will probably get his friends and family to stone her to death if she ever tried.

So, now when I see a Scotsman dressed in his kilt I still wonder, is he or isn't he?

And since learning the truth, whenever I come across a poor Muslim woman covered from head to toe in that shmatteh, I can only see her little G-string disappearing beneath her mounds of flesh.

But, when I see my Rebbitzin or a nice Mormon, I can breathe a sigh of relief. Playtex Cross My Heart and Fruit of the Loom...standard white. Exactly as it should be.

Oh, by the way...if you want to check it out…the sexy lingerie business in Egypt brings in tens of millions of American dollars every year. And for this I went to college to be a teacher?

Like sushi, where you have a restaurant without a we have underwear from your old shoelaces. What a world!

I know, Fahima. It's red. How much did it cost you? How much?!?

The only thing you can get from a pushcart next to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem is a paper kippa for the men to cover their heads and babushkas for the women on their side.

Never having the pleasure yet of getting to Italy and visiting Rome, I somehow believe that Giovanni is selling nice bibles and crosses around the corner from the Vatican.

See what we’re missing? Tell the won't look at those women the same way again either, now will you?

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

Monday, August 21, 2006


I was thinking last night as I tried to find a comfortable place to sit. We are in the middle of a sharav...a heat wave. After shvitzing in front of the computer for an hour, I gave up and went to sit in a cooler part of the house.

What was I thinking about? The war...the north...our government...and the Arabs.

My first thought was that I hate them. Isn't that awful? I wasn't born hating them. I grew up in Windsor and our city, as well as Detroit/Dearborn, boasted the largest population of Arabs outside the Middle East.

We lived together. We went to school together. We shopped at each other's places of business. Nice. Friendly. Safe.

When I moved to Israel, I took these warm fuzzy feelings with me. My husband always had Arab workers and they were as welcome in our home as we were in theirs. I even got to go to the sheik and meet his three wives!!! A cooking lady...a cleaning lady...and Mona!!! Well, that's what I thought as I sat across from them, drinking my little glass of strong Turkish coffee and trying not to giggle.

Today I don't have any fuzzy feeling left. They burned them out of me. They taught me to hate. And I resent them for that. And if hate is too strong a word then they taught me never to trust any one of them again.

Wandering all over Jerusalem are Arab children selling stuff. Like the cigarette girls in the old black and white movies, they roam our city pandering throw-away lighters...shmattehs to clean your counters...pens...batteries. Stuff. Or shmoontsim, as the Israelis would say.

I have watched these kids since before the last intifada. They remind me of the sewer rats from the Warsaw Ghetto. Isn't that awful? They are everywhere. They go everywhere. They see everything. And they know everything. And we do nothing.

Now maybe I am wrong. Maybe these kids are just helping their families make a few extra shekels to tide them over.

I hope so. I hate hating them. I hate not trusting them. But today I can't afford any more fuzzy feelings. And I hate that too.

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

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Last night the Guv called from Canada. We email, we scrabble and occasionally we talk in person.

She told me that she knows she's being an ostrich with her head in the sand while exposing her tush to being blown to smithereens.

I told her that isn't the only danger her tush is in.

We laughed.

And then I told her that it really isn't a laughing matter.

I rarely, if ever, believe in airing my dirty laundry in public. There are too many people out there who hate Jews/Israel as it is, and I don't want to give them more fuel for their fire.

But in the aftermath of the worst fiasco Israel has faced in my lifetime, I find it almost impossible to keep my mouth shut. I'm not going to go into all the little aggravating details...there's enough info floating around the net for everyone to read. Here's one source, for example:

For free regular subscription:
Subscribe at no charge:

But it's time to protect our tushies.

One, the world has got to wake up and accept the reality of the world we live in. I honestly believe in my heart that there is still time to fend off the evil that is growing and fermenting. That's for you to do.

Two,Israel has to take a good, long, hard look at herself and stand up and make the changes we need in order to survive. We went to Lebanon II with these yolds and all they did was get us killed and set the groundwork for Lebanon III. They have to go.
That's for me to do.

Oh, and by the way...I am an 'equal opportunity' person. If my kids have to put their lives on the line to defend our country then so do the kids of the fine-shmekkers...Olmert bring your sons back to Israel and put them in uniform. And you are just the first in a very long list of elitists who are using my kids to protect yours.

And finally, number three. All you corrupt and stinky politicians. Shame on you. You shame your family and you shame me. YOUR dirty laundry I want made public.

Once our house is clean and made ready for company again, then we can sit quietly in our homes and know that someone is going to be responsible for keeping us safe.

We can't trust anyone but ourselves. We know who we are and we know what to do.

God knows, I'm not perfect. But, I never ran for public office...I am not a general or even a private in the army...or even a doctor. I have enough trouble just being a mom. But, I did raise my kids to be decent, honest, trustworthy adults. And I did teach them, 'follow me' as I do and not as I preach.

Let he who is free from know the rest.

A sweet shavuah tov...a good week to you all.

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

Saturday, August 19, 2006


You got it! They are all French. And lately, next to Kofi Anan, they are my favourite anti semites.

So...when I learned that the United States was going to broker a deal for a ceasefire with the French, I shuddered.

And get this. This is the best part. They, the French, volunteered to send in their own troops to keep our borders safe. They did. I mean it, they really did. I read it over and over in the newspapers.

But don't worry. Well worry, they did write the UN ceasefire agreement...but today on the radio I heard that France is not sending troops. They are busy. Who knows maybe this is truffle season. Oh well, they may consider sending 200 gendarmes. Yeah! We are saved!

Don't you just love them? Mais oui! They remind me of the famous quip by Abba Eban AH when talking about the Palestinians. He said that the Palestinians had a tradition of 'never having lost a chance to miss an opportunity.'

In the middle of this latest war of ours, my blood ran cold when I heard that the French are on their way to help. Sacre Bleu!!! I remember the last time they tried to help us.

I was in Israel that Channukah/Christmas of 1969.

Just before our final move to Israel, my friend Soril and I popped over for winter break to see what Jerusalem was like at that time of year. When I have more time I'll tell you about that trip. That was the trip where I learned that it is colder inside Israeli homes than it is outside. Don't ask.

Israel had commissioned the French to help build a series of missile boats. You don't know the story of the 'stealing' of the five Israeli missile boats - which btw had already been paid for, from the French shipyard of Cherbourg? It's the stuff that Ian Fleming/John Grisham/Tom Clancy could only dream of.

Here's the Cole's Notes version. Don't forget. We ordered them and we paid for them. Five were still being built. What went wrong? On December 26, 1967 Palestinians attacked an Israeli aircraft at Athens airport. In retaliation, Israeli commandos attacked Beirut airport and blew up 13 Lebanese aircraft on the ground. (Remember Arafat and his mamzers were in Lebanon at the time). And French Premier Charles de Gaulle had a fit. Not against the terrorists, God forbid, but against you know who. Nu, no wait, I mean nous!

de Gaulle declared a total French arms embargo which included the Cherbourg boats as well. We started legal procedures that went on and on. In the meantime the French shipbuilders were still working on our boats. 'Norwegian' sailors began showing up in Cherbourg...blond hair, blue eyes. The locals soon got used to them.

During the night of December24/25, 1969 while the people were out celebrating, the local restaurant was still waiting for the 70 ‘Norwegians’ who had reserved tables for dinner.

At nine o'clock the engines were started and the boats began to leave the harbour. By the time the French government realized what had happened they were hopping mad but our ships were already out in international waters and there was nothing they could do.

In a local cafe a barman remarked to his customers, 'I see the Norwegians have left for Alaska.'

On the way, they viewed French Mirages flying overhead and they encountered both American as well as Russian ships. But no one stopped them.

As the ships approached our shores, they were escorted home by Israeli fighter planes. They were safe.

I still remember the joy and pride everyone felt that day. Unbelievable!

Since then our friends the French haven't been much better in regard to our little country. They never miss an opportunity to show how they feel about us.

Have you forgotten Daniel Bernard? Daniel Bernard, the French Ambassador to Britain, who did a Mel Gibson at a party, hosted by newspaper publisher Conrad Black. He called Israel a "shitty little country" and then asked, "Why should the world be in danger of World War III because of those people?"

I am happy to announce, that according to Google, Mr. Bernard was replaced and sent to Algiers eight months later. Meet you at the Casbah, Danny boy. Btw, isn't Bernard a Jewish name? Horrors, could it be? A skeleton? Bubbie Bernard? Has a ring to it, don't you think?

So, when France announced that it was not only going to be a partner in the UN ceasefire agreement but sending the bulk of the UN forces, I knew that this was not going to be good for the Jews.

Norman Schwarzkopf is alleged to have said, 'Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion.'

Oh, a pro pos the unilateral forces. Germany is hesitating because they don't want to be in a position where they may have to fire at an Israeli. A little too little and a little too late, but a big step for mankind.

So where does that leave us? Thank you for asking. Bangalashesh is willing...Malaysia is willing...Barkus is willing.

We have said that we don't exactly want countries that don't have diplomatic relations with us. So, I guess that leaves it all up to the Norwegians.

Shabbat shalom.

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

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Over 160 soldiers and civilians killed.

Over 4,000 rockets landed on Israeli soil.

Over 1,000,000 citizens in fallout shelters for over a month.

Over 20,000,000,000 (billion) shekels economic and physical damage to the country.

But 120 clowns signed the cease fire agreement.

And 3 kidnapped soldiers still in enemy hands.

One minute Mr. Prime Minister. That's not what you said. That's not what you promised. That's not why you went into this war. You said, "Without the immediate return of our kidnapped soldiers, without any conditions, there will not be a cease fire."

Shame on you.

Woe to us.

My friend John wrote a brilliant blog yesterday (you should check out his blog site) entitled ‘We Should Consider this a Lesson’…you can find him linked to my blog

When I place comments on his blog I am Starcatcher. Here is what I wrote:

i agree…if you don’t walk the walk then don’t talk the talk…i agree…olmert is a disaster…people people are good bank tellers…they make you feel nice while they are taking your money…heads of government have to be bent over because their you know what’s are so heavy…and finally you don’t keep your army standing at the border for over three weeks while your citizens are being bombed to death and survive as p.m….and other than that my dear friend i hope you have a marvellous day…

Ehad, mi yodeyah…ehad, ani yodeyah אחד, מי יודע...אחד אני יודע...

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

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Lately, I’ve been getting close to a hundred emails a day. I’ve divided them into categories.
YAHOOOOO---well, I didn’t know that. My, my, my!
AHHHHHH-----family and friends.
VEY--------------hate mail since my blog.
FEH---------------no I don’t need Viagra and enough with the ice sculptures.

Today I got a YAHOOOOO.

Bibi's to blame
By Nehemia Shtrasler Haaretz 15 August 2006

It is slowly becoming clear who is really to blame for the failure. It's not
Dan Halutz, who promised to finish Hezbollah in two weeks only using the air
force. It's also not Ehud Olmert and Amir Peretz, who did not check the
army's plans, but arrogantly decided within an hour to embark on an all-out
war with unattainable aims.

The guilty party is one man, a major criminal: former finance minister
Benjamin Netanyahu. This is what those in Olmert's office and senior IDF
officers say. Netanyahu is the one who pressed for cuts in the army's
budget, and the fact is that the army did not provide suitable equipment to
reservists, nor food and water to the soldiers in Lebanon. R&D programs were
also stopped. Therefore, it is the slasher who's at fault, not the leaders
or generals.

Don’t worry. The article ends by saying:

In other words, there is money, lots of it. The only question is: where is
it being directed? Therefore, if the reservists were short on binoculars and
modern helmets, this is not a budgetary problem but a matter of priorities.
And if the army could not provide food and water to the soldiers in Lebanon,
this is also not a budgetary problem, but one of management and logistics.

But Netanyahu and the budget are a good excuse for a war that ended in
embarrassing defeat, where the gap between the aims and gains is huge.

My Daddy AH always told me, ‘Marallyn, remember, every time you point a finger at someone…you have three fingers pointing back at you.’

So we're left with three idiots...Olmert/Peretz/Halutz. You could have been Athos/Porthos/Aramis…and Bibi would have been your D’Artagnan.

But, instead you remain Larry, Moe and Curly.

Funny…I’m not laughing.

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

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

So How Come I’m a Nervous Wreck?

The sun is shining. The birds are singing. It looks like we’re going to have a lovely day here in Jerusalem. It’s eight o’clock in the morning. I phoned my brother David in Colorado to say good morning. I phoned Bubbie Channah to discuss lunch.

Every day since my mom moved to Jerusalem we have lunch together. Well, almost every day. Nice, no? I mean who at my age gets to go out for lunch with their mommy? The daily discussion usually goes like this:

‘Boker tov, Ma. How are you?’
‘Boker or. Fine, how are you?’
‘Good. So what’s new?’ ( Ma and I talk about a zillion times every day.)
‘Nothing. Those damn mosquitoes kept me up all night. Honestly, Marallyn, they’re awful. And so small you can’t even see them. I itch all over.’
‘Oy. So, let’s go to Hamashbir (the big department store next to Ma’s apartment and the basement level is her supermarket ) and get that shmitchik you plug into the wall. Remember that thingee that zaps mosquitoes?’
‘That’s a good idea. Want to eat lunch upstairs in the little coffee shop? We could have a nice sandwich.’
‘Sure. Ok, Ma. I’ve got to go. I’ll talk to you when I’m on the bus. Oh, guess what? I found some more wool in the cupboard.’
‘You did? Good, bring it to me. I still have twenty more squares to go on my sweet boy’s bedspread.’ ( her sweet boy is my youngest son)
‘Sure. Did you hear any news?’
‘To tell you the truth, I turned the television off. I couldn’t listen to it any more.’
‘Good! Me too. Ok, Ma. I’ll talk to you later.’

Another day. I’m getting close to a hundred emails a day. Here is one I just picked up from Naomi Ragen, the famous Israeli author. Look for her books, you won’t be sorry.

“A report from YNET 15/8/06 filed at 2:58 am says that
Hezbollah fired four bombs at Southern Lebanon, despite the
ceasefire, in an attempt to harm Israeli soldiers. No one was hurt. Israel
did not fire back..I'm sure no one is going to report this
violation in your local paper unless
and until -God forbid - Israelis are hurt and then
retaliate. Then Israel will be blamed for breaking the
ceasefire. Please note.”

Olmert says he’s responsible. Finally we agree. For over a month they bombed us and Olmert kept the troops waiting on our side of the border. Yes, sir, Mister Prime Minister. You are responsible. For the mess we are in now and for the monster you just gave birth to.

Sharon is getting worse. They should have let him die with dignity. All the world leaders would have come to give him a royal send off. Now he will just go peacefully into the night. He would have loved the pomp and circumstances. I loved him when he was Arik. When it wasn’t politically correct to love him, I still did. Then he became someone else. And I didn’t recognize him any more. Enough already. Let him just slip away. Lily’s waiting for him.

I haven’t written on my book, Emma Shelby is No More for months. Oh, I’ve been editing and rewriting chapters, but not starting with a blank page and filling in the words. First my sonny boy went on his quest to South America. Then I started working a 60 hour week for the past month. And the war.

Today I think I’ll go back to being just me. Marallyn. Not the mommy. Not the daughter. Not the wife. Not the Bubbie. Not the business woman. Just Marallyn.

So, you take this watch. I’ve got a date with Emma and all her Lebanese family. Today, I think I know them better than ever.

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

Monday, August 14, 2006


Well it is now ninety-five minutes since the ceasefire. Quiet. Ahhhh. The brave people up north are beginning to peek their noses out of the fallout shelters. The birds are back chirping and singing. The sun is shining. We survived.

So how come I’m not happy? How come I have a feeling of dread like a cloud over me?

Easy. We just set the stage for the next one. If you believe that we will now have peace with our northern neighbours, then I have a bridge to sell you.

The talking heads are asking if we lost. Of course not! We didn’t lose because we didn’t begin. We kinda waded into the water. Checked it out. And then, just before the whistle blew, weracedlikehell for the other side.

Idiots! Now how exactly do they want us to get back to our side? Again with our tails between our legs like when we ran away in 2000?

Now that’s a great picture to show your enemy who only, but I mean only respects strength.

‘Mr. Nasrallah, sir. Please hand over all your weapons. Oh, and while you are doing that, we would appreciate a complete list of all your terrorists and where they are hiding. Thank you, you’re a sport.’

Who are we kidding? Oh, and get this. Kofi Annan is now going to run the show. That mamzer who hates us.

Did you know that our Kofi has three Jewish children? Yup, he does. How is that possible?

‘Mr. Annan is married to a woman, Nane Annan, who comes from the top capitalist circles in Sweden, and she is herself also of Jewish ancestry, backing to the early 19th century.

Check her out on Google.

‘Nane Annans mother, Mrs. Nina Lagergren, was a sister to the acclaimed Swedish diplomat from the industrialist and banking Wallenberg clan, Mr. Raoul Wallenberg, a man hailed in the Zionist Press for his actions in Hungary during the Second World War when he was supposed to have helped tens of thousands of Jews escaping the Nazis.
‘Mr. Raoul Wallenberg´s - and thus also his sister Nina Lagergren´s (Nane Annans mother´s) - Jewish roots are also hailed in the Judisk Krönika, nr.4-1985, which writes that Raoul Wallenberg "is the sondaughterdaughterson of the [Jewish] Germanborn banker och industryman etc, Michael Benedicks. This long neglected fact that Raoul Wallenberg had Jewish ancestry does not in any way downplay his desperate struggle to save the surviving remnants of the Hungarian Jews".

Can’t you see their Pessach Seder? It boggles the mind, doesn’t it?

‘Shalom, Kofi, boychik. I’ll bring the gefilteh fish. Sure it’s kosher. Right from the Sea of Galilee.’

I mourn with the families who are mourning. I pray for the fast recovery of our wounded. I think we just sealed the fate of our kidnapped soldiers.

And I fear that our idiot government just set us up for Act Two. With G-d’s help it
won’t be Act Three.

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

Sunday, August 13, 2006


For the first time this morning I woke up feeling not only sad but lost. Twenty-four killed last night. Our children dying while I sleep. And I keep asking myself 'WHY'?

We went into this war to get back our kidnapped soldiers. So where is that in the UN agreement, Mr. Olmert?

We went into this war to rid the north of the threat of katyusha rockets. So where is that, Mr. Olmert?

We went into this war to free this nation from a deadly enemy? Where is he, Mr. Olmert?

The ink wasn't dry on the agreement and you jumped up, like a smart little boy in class and said, "ME, ME. LET ME SIGN FIRST." You wouldn't even let your/our Foreign Minister, Tsipi Livni go to the UN. Maybe you did her the best favour in her life. This stain is on your hands, Mr. Olmert.

So, let me see if I've got this straight. We went to war without accomplishing any of our goals. Am I right, Mr. Olmert?

One thing you did accomplish. Yes, sir, you did. You set the stage for the next war. One I hope with all my heart will be without you at the helm.

Israelis are a magnificent people. As Jews we know how to laugh at ourselves. Graffiti all over the city in Hebrew says: Wake up Sharon...Olmert is in a coma! Ahhh my wonderful Israelis.

I also learned something new this war. I learned the word...nif-gah-eem. Meh-tim are dead...p'tsu-im are wounded. So what the hell are nifgaheem? Nifgaheem is the scary word. It means that they are dead but the army hasn't identified the bodies yet. OY.

In the newspaper Haaretz... you can read articles by many journalists. I want to quote a bit from two articles written this week by Ari Shavit...look him up.

Mr. Shavit's first article, written on August 11 was titled: Olmert must go.

"Olmert is a prime minister whom journalists invented, journalists protected, and whose rule journalists preserved. Now the journalists are saying run away. You cannot bury 120 Israelis in cemeteries, keep a million Israelis in shelters for a month, wear down deterrent power pring the next war very close, and then say---oops, I made a mistake....There is no mistake Ehud Olmert did not make this past month....Still, if Olmert had come to his senses as Golda Meir did during the Yom Kippur WAr, if he had become a leader, established a war cabinet and called the nation to a supreme effort that would change the face of the batte, a penetrating discussion of his failures could be postponed...Post-war battered and bleeding Israel needs a new start and a new leader. It needs a prime minister."

My youngest works for the Prime Minister's Office. He and a select hadfull of young men and women scan the news twenty-four/seven. Yesterday, Shabbat he worked from six a.m. until two and then again from midnight last night until seven this morning. He just came home.

'Imma, did you hear the news?'
'No, honey, I just got up.'
'Twenty-four dead.'
'Twenty-four dead?'
'Go to sleep yeled (son).I'll take this watch.'

A few days ago I ranted and raved about the left wingers...I call them 'fine-shmekkers' which looslely means lovers of a good life. I wrote how my two friends sang and danced 'give peace a chance' remember that blog...'Be a Sport...Make a Phone Call'?

Ari Shavit wrote another article, August 12 in haaretz.

"What the hell happened to us? A simple thing happened:We were drugged by political correctness...It made the baseless assumption that the occupation is the source of evil. It assumed that it is the occupation that is preventing peace and causing unrest and perpetuating the instability. At the same time, political correctness assumed that Israeli strength is a given. That Israel is insanely strong. Therefore, political correctness disdained any attempt to build and maintain Israeli strength....Another thing happened: We were poisoned with an illusion of normalcy...Israel must prepare a defense envelope that will protect its internal environment from the external environment surrounding it....

"Both political correctness and the illusion-of-normalcy spread first and foremost among the Israeli elites (MY FINE-SHMEKKERS---now I understand the word!)...The Israeli public remained for the most part sober and strong...On the other hand, the Israeli elites of the past 20 years have become totally divorced from reality...Instead of being constuctive elites, in the past generation the Israeli elites have become dismantling elites...So that what is now being revealed before our eyes, as the smoke of the Katyushas continues to rise from the Lebanese thicket, is not a failure of the IDF but a failure of the elites that turned their back on the IDF....However, now it is wartime. The citizens of the north are still in bomb shelters, the soldiers of the regular and standing armies are risking their lives in a war that was not properly planned or properly defined and is being conducted poorly...Therefore, while the war is raging we must find the sprit and we must find the language that we lost in the years preceding the war...Israel tried with all its soul and all its might to be Athens. However, in this place, in this era, there is no future for an Athens without a speck of Sparta."

Kol od balevav p'nimah כל עוד בלבב פנימה
Nefesh Yehudi homiyah נפש יהודי הומיה
Ulfa'atey mizrach kadimah ולפאתי מזרח קדימה
Ayin l'tzion tzofiyah עין לציון צופיה
Od lo avdah tikvatenu עוד לא אבדה תקותנו
Hatikvah bat shnot alpayim התקוה בת שנות אלפים
L'hiyot am chofshi b'artzenu להיות עם חופשי בארצנו
Eretz Tzion v'Yerushalayim ארץ ציון וירושלים

Hatikva - English Lyrics
As long as deep in the heart,
The soul of a Jew yearns,
And forward to the East
To Zion, an eye looks
Our hope will not be lost,
The hope of two thousand years,
To be a free nation in our land,
The land of Zion and Jerusalem...

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

Friday, August 11, 2006


Once upon a time there was a virus. A very dangerous, bad virus. And it killed people. And there was no cure. So, if you, G-d forbid, got this virus you were a gonner.

But the world wasn't worried. Why? Because the lethal germs only infected gays. And most of the decent, straight, people tsked tsked, but did nothing.

I mean, hey, they're gays. They're, you know...gays.

And best of all, we aren't. And we can't get it. We're heteros. There's no way that we can get those germs.

And everyone breathed a sigh of relief. We're safe. And some even thought that those sick people deserved it because...well, because they're, you know...gays.

And most of the decent, straight, people tsked tsked, but did nothing.

Then one terrible day a hetero got it. AIDS. A hetero got it. And the whole world panicked. And the whole world pooled their resources, and joined hands and began an international fight to wipe out this virus that was threatening to kill them all off.

And together they found a way to save the gays and in so doing found a way to save themselves.

Twenty years later there was a terrorist. A very dangerous, bad terrorist. And he killed people.

But the world wasn't worried. Why? Because the terrorist was only killing Jews. And not all, but most of the rest of the world tsked tsked, but did nothing.

I mean, hey they're Jews. They're, you know...Jews.

Most fairy tales begin with 'Once upon a time' and I'm afraid that unless the entire world unites to fight off the threat of terrorism then our little story will end with Allah Hu Akbar...which I don't think translated means, 'And they all lived happily ever after'.

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


This morning I cried. At work. All alone. I turned on Galei Zahal and listened to a father talk about his son, the soldier, who was just killed.

I cried. The first time this War. I've heard the sirens; I've seen the carnage; I've looked at the pictures of our murdered children, but didn't cry.

What's wrong with me? Don't I care any more? Have two wars and two intifadas frozen my heart?

Then I realised, I don't have time right now for sentiment. We are in the middle of a very very dangerous situation and no one knows the outcome. No, that's not true. We all know the outcome. What we don't know is what is going to happen in the next five minutes.

Will they start bombing Tel Aviv and Jerusalem? Will our Prime Minister finally get off his tuchess and give the okay to move our troups and maybe save lives if not the entire country?

I am very good in tight situations. Actually, I am really very good in tight situations. It's afterwards that I fall apart. But, right now I simply don't have time to fall apart. Right now, I'm in the middle of a war.

Not only am I in the middle of a war, but I've been delegated the 'spectator seat' . For those of you who know me personally, you can just imagine how frustrated I am having no control whatsoever about what is going on.

So, I do the next best thing. I shout at the television! I wave my fist at the radio. I know they can't hear me, but somehow it makes me feel a whole lot better. Like loosening your girdle, it relieves some pressure.

Please pray for our sweet soldiers and the brave people up north. I wonder if there is a prayer that would give Olmert the you know what's that he is missing right now.

Ah now that would be another miracle in the Holy Land!!!

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

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Be a Sport...Make a Phone Call

As the days go by, one of the emotions I keep having to deal with is anger. Anger at the sons of Ishmael...anger at our government...and worst of all anger at some of my closest friends.

I know it is difficult to believe, but I do have a circle of women friends who are very left wing. VERY. One even volunteers for Arab rights. One is/was a Woman in Black who stood on one of our very busy street corners with her friends every Friday noon, protesting the War in Lebanon and demanding that we get the hell out of there.

Now I really like these women. Both are articulate, intelligent, extremely capable and interesting people who have been friends of mine for donkey's years. And over the years, I have learned what they are doing, what they stand for, and how they think.

I have worked very hard not to discuss either politics or religion with them as I feel they are misguided in both these areas.

In my opinion, they made a three-ringed circus out of Rabin's assasination, working themseleves and the country into a frenzy. Even Kennedy's assasination is only remembered one day in the States. Here we have the Jewish date, the secular date, and one more 'just in case'.

I knew then that the far left was so busy pointing a finger that they forgot we are all appendages on the same hand.

Over the years I did dip my toe into the muddy waters of debate with them.

'We have to get out of Lebanon, at all costs.'
'We have to get out of Gaza and the West Bank.'
'As long as we are occupiers, we will not have a decent country.'

WE WE WE...bad us/poor them.

Quietly, I tried to point out that we spell peace, p-e-a-c-e...and they spell peace, p-i-e-c-e. I tried to show that no one can force another to love them. I love my brother, I turn the other cheek. I know there is plenty of room inside Israel and in the Middle East for everyone. But they don't care.

One of the things we would discuss was 'what if'. What if we kept Israel the way it was, and what if we gave back the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and left Lebanon.

I asked, 'What if I am right. What if land for peace is just the aperitif? What if they want the whole kit and kaboodle?'
'Ah, well, then we'll have to take it back and defend ourselves.'
'Oh, REALLY? We let them re-arm, re-group, and then hide behind women and children and we simply go and take it back?'
'Oh, Marallyn. Don't be so dramatic.'

I'm not going to quote you figures of dead and wounded. Or report on the massive damage done to property up north. I won't even discuss how traumatized one million of our family are.

But I do think, the least my friends could do was to pick up the phone and say 'I'm sorry. You were right.'

The truth is that they still think they're right. After the past few weeks of death and destruction, I don't know how...but they honestly still think they are right.

And it's making me crazy. 'I know Daddy, G-d made me crazy.'

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

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


As a sun sign Cancer, I have a lot of patience. All water signs do. That's one of the ways we survive. That and our phenomenal memory. Two of the things that make me Dad AH used to say, 'G-d made you crazy' smile smile...where was I? Oh yes, two things that make me crazy are stupid people (dumb people I can understand, they can't help themselves) and machines that break down.

See, I figure machines are here to make my life easier and when they don't work, I take it as a personal affront. The washing machine always breaks down in the middle of a cycle when it's full of soapy water. The car forgets how to start when you have five minutes to get to an important appointment. And the computer...that's the worst...wait, wait, my heart is klapping just thinking about that one.

So why am I telling you all this? Yesterday I walked all over Jerusalem looking for a pocket sized radio that runs on batteries. You know, like a walkman but without the tape cassette. After checking out five stores, I was all ready to buy the walkman, but they don't have that either. And I needed two of them. No wait. Three. One for me, one for Bubbie Channah, and one for my friend Rena. And mine had to have earphones so I could listen on the bus to and from work without making all the neighbours my partners. Israelis, G-d bless them, sit down next to you on a bus and begin talking to you as if you were old friends.

'So what do you think about Olmert's speech?'
'Did you hear any news today?'

And if they aren't sitting right beside you or across from you, or next to you in the aisle, and still hear what you are saying, they'll shout their opinion out for anyone and everyone to hear.

Riding the bus in Israel is kinda like taking a day trip from Camp Yomee to visit the Peerless Dairy. All that is missing is a roaring rendition of Michael Row Your Boat Ashore, or the ever popular, Nobody Loves Me, Everybody Hates Me, I'm Going to the Garden to Eat Worms. You know the song.

The reason for the search in the first place is that I realized that since the War broke out I am glued to the media. I have Galei Zahal, the army station, playing on my computer. The televisions are on in every room.

Ah! But what about at work? I did download Galei Zahal, but sometimes it bothers the people. And what about the bus trips to and from work? The driver doesn't always turn up the volume so we can hear the news. And the biggest what if of all...what if we have to go into a protected room and there is a power failure, G-d forbid.

Off I went in search of my little radios. I found M3 somethings. I found iPods. I found gorgeous radios that plug in and have disc and tape thingees. But no little pocket sized radios.

I remember I got my first portable radio for my sixteenth birthday from three of my best girlfriends and their dates. It was powder blue. I loved that radio.

Finally, I remembered a tiny shop just off Ben Yehudah Street, that I used to frequent years ago.

I walked in and instantly recognized the elderly lady and her son who owned the shop. She looks like Bubbie Channah with a sheytle, a wig, and he is about my age and sports a kippa srugah, a knitted kippa. I knew them! Lately we have been sitting across from one another on the bus!

How do I know them? We talk on the bus!

It all started because I say Psalms every day. When things calm down, I'll tell you that story.

The word came through about a week ago that everyone all over the world was going to say the 83rd Psalm at six o'clock local time. So I nodded at my obviously religious travel companions and pulled out my Tehilim.

Neither of them said anything, but I recognized the look. Funny, she doesn't look religious (smile). I told them about the 83rd Psalm, and she reached into her old pocket book and pulled out a well-worn book. We looked at each other and began davening.

Since then we're mishpocheh and family always has a special bond.

Imagine my surprise when I saw my bus partners sitting in the store! Hello! Hello! How are you?

And sure enough they had my little radios. I bought two. Today I'll buy the third for Rena.

So now, if I have to go into a protected room, I am safe in the knowledge that not only do I have a radio, but I have a good radio. My mishpocheh sold it to me.

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

Monday, August 07, 2006

A Sandwich Kid

There is a Hebrew expression...the sandwich kid...which denotes the middle child. When my youngest was born, my daughter, who was ten at the time, turned to me and asked,

'Imma, when you eat a sandwich, what is the most important part?'

Then, before I could answer, she added, 'The hot dog!'

My sweet daughter was sandwiched between her older brother, the first born and her younger brother, the baby.

The hot dog! That's my girl!!!

Yesterday, I was informed by a serious, reliable source that there was a very very good chance that the Hezbollah would attack Tel Aviv around nine thirty at night. And he added that if that happens then the air raid sirens will go off in Jerusalem as well.

I thanked him, hung up the phone and looked at my watch. I had almost twelve hours to make some important decisions.

I know what to do. We all do. The little ticker tape blurbs are constantly running below all the talking heads. Goes something like this:

If you live in cities X, Y, and Z stay in the shelters. For those of you who are in A, B, and C go into the protected room when you hear the sirens. If you don't have a protected room, then go into an inner space...a room that doesn't have an outer wall. If you are in your car, get out and run to an open doorway or stairwell. OY.

All of a sudden I realized that I don't have a small, battery operated radio. If the electricity goes off, I don't have a way to tune in and hear what is going on.

OK. I have an inner youngest's old room. Or maybe the small bathroom. I remember from the Gulf War that a bathroom is a very important room. As soon as the sirens go off, for some reason so does your bladder.

My kids! My marrieds are religious and there is no way to contact them until Shabbat is over.

My youngest was still at work at the Prime Minister's Office.

By eight thirty at night, I knew I had two phone calls to make. One to my daughter and the other to Bubbie Channah.

I asked my daughter if she wanted to come home. Her boyfriend was working in Tel Aviv! and wouldn't be home till much later. She told me not to worry, that she would be all right. But that she would call him and tell him to be careful.

That left Bubbie Channah. Here is the conversation.

'Hi, Ma. Listen, I have to tell you something.'
'What is it?'
'There is a chance that the sirens will go off in Jerusalem tonight. And if they do, I want you to grab your cell phone and sit in the bathroom.'


'Ma, did you hear me?'
'Listen, Marallyn. Let George Bush sit in the toilet. Tonight is the lottery and I have to watch the television to see if I won anything!'

Don'tcha just love Bubbie?

Today was a devastating day for Israel. The dead and wounded mounted...both soldiers and civilians. The pictures are coming out showing the horrendous destruction and, if possible, even scarier are the pictures of the effect of the metal pellets that the rockets and missiles are full of.

My thoughts and prayers are with my nephew who is fighting someplace up north with his unit. And all the people up north...both soldier and civilian. They are my heroes.

I have moments when I'm afraid. Afraid for the safety of those I love, and afraid that we will be stopped before we finish the job.

I know we will be fine. I know we will prevail. And I know that the bastards will not win.

In the meantime, I'm keeping my job as a sandwich kid.

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

Sunday, August 06, 2006

My First Hate Mail

Yesterday I received an email, sent by a man named Marc. I looked him up on Google. Marc is his real name and he gave his real email address. He lives in San Fransisco and is a recognized figure in the entertainment industry.

At that point, I phoned my Maeshey in California...who I KNOW is a famous figure in the entertainment industry and told him that I want to reply to this email. Maeshey had never heard of Marc, but said, "You want to answer this, then you should." Everyone loves Maeshey.

OK. Here is the email:

"Received an e-mail from a friend about dangerous times...

Let me tell you, some of us here are appalled by the disproportionate
use of force from the Israeli's.

Personally I'm sick of the American government giving money to
Israel instead of tending to poor people here. Think of the use of MY
taxpayers dollars towards Katrina victims, instead of the bombs used
on Lebanon.

Personally after your governments barbaric use of force I question
the right of Israel to exist. If your reaction can only be to show
the world how big your dick is you don't deserve to be in the

Don't think just because the media is dominated by monied special
interests all Americans are
pro-Israeli . Some of us are appalled by your actions, just as we are
appalled by the action of
Bush and Iraq."

Well, well, I thought. Oy Vey, I thought. HMMMMMM, I thought.
And here is my reply:

"dear marc...thanks for writing...even though i find it difficult to read
that you think i shouldn't exist...

two did you get my email...and what would you have done if hezbollah had crossed over your borders/kidnapped two of your soldiers/and rained katyushas on your family?...

oh and by the way...whenever we get into trouble here, we pool
our shekels and help each other out...

you have enough gazillionaires in hollywood to have not only helped the victims of katrina but to have given them a better life...

and, we don't believe in waving our dick
around for the sake of a little fresh air...

have a good day...stay safe...shalom, marallyn

p.s. israel is only a little snack...YOU
are their main meal...please watch the videoclip...obsession...
and then lets talk again..."

The truth is that I would love to have a dialogue going with this man. Not because I think he's going to be my best friend, but he is the kind of person I think this message has to reach out to.

Don't get me wrong...I LOVE TALKING TO YOU. But zvishen unz, entres nous, between us...talking to you my darlings is like preaching to the choir.

Shavuah tov...a good week...

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

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Right to Vote

I think one of the most important gifts a citizen has is the right to vote in his country's elections. I love those people who sit back and complain when 'the other guy' got in, but when asked who they voted for reply, 'Oh, I didn't vote.' And then they recite the list of reasons one to vote for...they're all the same...they're all a bunch of crooks... You know the list.

When Bubbie Channah moved here nine years ago after our Dad AH (Alav HaShalom...may he rest in peace) passed away, the first thing we did was get her dual citizenship. Along with that came the right to vote in any and all elections.

Voting in Israel isn't really so why are you not surprised? Is anything simple in this wonderful country?

Let me explain. See, every party, and G-d bless us, for a country of six odd million people, we have seven hundred and forty-two political parties. Don't ask. The religious have the Ashkenazi, the Spharadi, the ultra orthodox, the not so orthodox, and the party no one will vote for.

Add to that the secular parties and the Arab parties...yes they too are represented in our Knesset. I'll save what I think about that for another blog.

Ok. So first you pick your party. Then you learn your party's voting name. Confused? Wait it gets better. I don't know why they need a voting name but hey I'm only here thirty-seven years...a baby.

Examples always help me understand better, so here we go. If you want to vote Likud, you have to find the little piece of paper that says Mahal. If you want to vote Labour, you have to put the little piece of paper that says Emmet in the envelope. And on and on and on.

Some times I don't know who the hell the parties are never mind the little pieces of paper.

That brings me back to Bubbie Channah. Bubbie always votes, bless her. We stand in line and she goes behind the curtained area and puts her little piece of paper into the envelope and VOILA she has as much say as any other citizen in the world. I love it.

One year she voted for some strange man for mayor of Jerusalem. I'd never heard of him and when I asked her who he is, she said, 'I read about him in the Jerusalem Post and he wants to keep the city clean. The city is a mess and we need him. So, I'm voting for him.'

Yahooooo Bubbie!

Oh, one more problem. Bubbie doesn't read Hebrew. So we have to memorize the little letters on the pieces of paper. Then we found a solution. On the way into the voting area, each party is represented and tries to convince you to vote for them. They also have the little pieces of paper. How marvellous! Bubbie Chanah takes one of the pieces of paper, puts it in her pocket and instead of trying to pick it out from the piles and piles in the booth, she simply pulls it out of her pocket, puts it into the envelope and takes it to the box in front of the voting committee.

Then we go for lunch!

Today over the net there are all kinds of petitions being offered. What do you think of Israel? Is Israel overacting? Should a cease-fire be implemented immediately? You see them online and know what I'm talking about.

What I'm asking you today is to vote. No one reads our votes but they do count them up and public opinion is still important.

Today as Israel continues to fight for her life, we are also fighting for the right to finish the job, once and for all.

So, maybe, if you get an email asking you to put your piece of paper into the envelope, take a minute and help a friend. We'll do it for you, if you need it, G-d forbid, one day.

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

A Bus Ride Home

Today I left work early. It's Tisha B'Av.

Tisha B'Av (the ninth day in the Jewish month of Av) is a day of mourning, on which religious Jews fast, that primarily commemorates the destruction of the first and second Temples. The first Temple was destroyed on the ninth of Av by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.E., and the second Temple was destroyed on the ninth of Av by the Romans in 70 C.E.

In addition to being the day on which the first and second Temples were destroyed, many other tragic events occured on this day.

The bus was filled with young people - late teens, early twenties. It was unusually quiet on the bus, but I was so tired that I really didn't pay much attention.

I live around the corner from Mount Herzl. In Hebrew, Har Herzl, is a high hill-top in Jerusalem, that is named for, and is the final resting place of, Theodor Herzl.

It is also the burial place of three of Israel's prime ministers:

Levi Eshkol who led Israel during its Six Day War victory in 1967
Israel's only woman prime minister Golda Meir
Israel's only assassinated prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Israel's deceased presidents are also buried at this place, as are other prominent leaders such as Zeev Jabotinsky.

As the bus approaches Har Herzl, I rarely pay attention. I guess it's like living in Niagara Falls. You know it's there, but you don't go WOW every time it comes into view.

The only time I really sit up and pay notice is when there is any activity there. See, Israel's main military cemetery is located in the area around Mount Herzl, and Jerusalem's fallen soldiers often get buried there.

I have been to funerals on Har Herzl. Awful. Young men and women cut off in the prime of their life while serving their country. Aside from the grieving family, the area is overrun with other young people, in and out of uniform. Friends. Children going to the funeral of another child.

Today as the bus stopped, the young people began getting off. I looked up and the area was filled with cars, civilians and soldiers.

Oh no! A military funeral, I thought and shuddered.

When I got home a few minutes later, I was surprised to see my husband, daughter and youngest son plus my babies who were asleep on the couch, sitting around the living room.

My oldest and his wife are religious and were fasting and asked for a little help with the kids. Sure!

As we played with the children, the television was on. Seven civilians dead. Three soldiers killed. I don't know how many wounded. Blurbs telling us what to do, where to go and how to act if the siren goes off.

I called my sister-in-law. She hasn't heard from her son who was called up a week or so ago and is someplace way up north.

I am back listening to the news.

It is now after nine...the fast is over. Another Tisha B'Av behind us.

We are not going to Babylon. We are not going to be pushed into the sea. But we are sad.

Yesterday I received an email that said. 'If the Arabs put down their weapons, they will have peace. If the Jews put down their weapons, they will be dead.'

Sad. So I guess we are going to have to hang on to our weapons a little while longer.

I pray for our brave heroes up north, in and out of uniform.

And I thank you for your prayers. They are like an umbrella over us. It means a lot. Bless you.

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

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Group Therapy

Every other Tuesday for the past two years I have been meeting with a wonderful group of men and writing group. For years I have felt a real need to sit down and write. A story. I love telling stories.

But writing them takes skill and craft. So I began searching for a teacher...a mentor. And then one day D. showed up and filled that gap in my life. I am so grateful.

The first year everyone helped me write my first novel, My Heart Told Me...the story of my grandmother and mother.

During that year by honest critiquing and gentle prodding, my group brought me to the point where one day I said, 'My G-d! I'm a writer!'

A year ago last June, I had to close the doors on my learning center. For fifteen years we helped learning disabled children to stay in school and get the grades they felt they deserved.

But the intifada killed us. With each bomb that went off, less and less students appeared for their lessons until we had to admit that there was nothing more to do, but close our doors for good.

During all those painful months, I kept writing. And every other week, I went to the group. We read each other's work. J. is writing a terrific science fiction isn't he brave! K. is writing a fantasy fiction storybook for kids that is gorgeous. A. is writing the story of her life and is wading through her past history with courage and a sense of humour. The new lady in our group M. is writing about a man who is painfully shy...a novel that I could never write myself and one that I am amazed at with every turning page. That leaves A.L., the other man in our group who is co-writing a children's book with me. Lovely thing that takes place in the 50s somewhere in Kentucky.

And finally my novel. Emma Shelby is No More. Emma was orphaned at seventeen. When she got a scholarship to study at Wayne State in Detroit, she packed her bags and left Cleveland for good.

Her entire life changed the day she met Rafiq Moussa, a Lebanese Muslim from Dearborn.

I have been writing this story for a year now, never thinking that all my research and insight into the Lebanese mind and culture would come and play out in front of me on the television and over the radio.

I know Rafiq Moussa...I know his family...I know his culture. But Rafiq's family left Beirut long before the Hizbollah took over.

Rafiq wouldn't have let the Hizbollah endanger his family. He wouldn't have sat by as the katyusha rockets were fired from behind his apartment building. He wouldn't have put his babies to bed knowing that at any moment the Israeli's could and would retaliate.

And then I had to laugh. Here I am defending Rafiq Moussa.

It's eerie writing about a Lebanese family while in real life we are at war with them.

Stay tuned and I'll let you know how it turns out.

The novel, I mean. We all know how the real life story will end. The good guys climb up on their white horses and ride off into the sunset.

I wonder if they'll remember to take Emma with them.

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

Where Have All The Flowers Gone

Last night my friend Rena, two of my kids, and I took Bubbie Channah out for dinner for her birthday. Bubbie's birthday this year is turning out to be like a Polish Wedding...and why not as night after night more people are inviting her out to celebrate her 83 years and wish her many more yet to come.

At dinner, of course, we discussed the War. We were an interesting group. The three of us 'old folks' were wives of soldiers, the two 'youngsters' were soldiers,and everyone had an opinion.

Between the courses of salad and chicken and hamburgers we talked and shared views, concerns, hopes. The interesting thing is that, both young and old, we didn't want to end this war until the job was done. Once and for all, we knew that somehow we had to fight off world opinion as we fight off the evil that is surrounding us and wants to see us dead.

Naturally, I kvelled as I watched my family sit across the generation gaps and simply talk. How marvellous. How special.

When I woke up this morning I thought about my kids, my little hot house flowers that I have worked so hard to raise. As a parent I have spent my life trying to keep them safe. When they got sick, G-d forbid, I ran to the doctors. Everyone, especially my husband used to laugh at how at the first sign of a cold or fever or ache, I ran the the doctors. Of course, I ran. What do I know? We spend enough money for health insurance so that I can run to the doctor, talk to him with his big degrees on his wall, and then know what to do for my babies, and most of all, sleep well at night because I have done the best I could for them.

Then I had to send them off to the army and watch and pray as they had a new set of parents.

About the years of the intifada where every morning we didn't know who would be coming home again at night, I'm not going to talk about right now.

Now I watch as War is all around us. We, here in Jerusalem, still are walking around freely. We only have the threat of 'maybe' an attack and are not sitting in fallout shelters or displaced like our family up north.

I woke up this morning and Pete Seeger's song, Where Have all the Flowers Gone started playing in my mind.

Those were the days. The sexy sixties. Free love, flower children. Life was good until the Vietnam War. Remember?

To all my left wing friends, who hacked me a chaynik (banged me a kettle) to Give Peace a Chance, let me tell you that first of all We Shall Overcome,and finally to paraphrase Woodie Guthrie...THIS LAND IS OUR LAND.

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