Sunday, December 31, 2006


Every year when my brother, Dovidle comes to Jerusalem (from Boulder, Colorado), he moves in with Bubbie Channah, and I pack a bag and move in too.

It's just like being back on Windermere Avenue in Windsor when we were kids. And even more special as at our age what a joy to be able to spend time together in our Mother's place. Wow.

On top of that it is really like a vacation for us all. Dovidle gets to spend time doing absolutely nothing for ten days . I get to spend time doing absolutely nothing for ten days. And Bubbie Channah has us both here with her.

Now that the laptop is connected and we are back online I hope to have more contact with everyone. I have missed writing and reading your blogs...a lot.

Let me take a moment to wish you all a very happy Sylvester. I have absolutely no idea who Sylvester is or was and why they chose his name, but since our New Year is Rosh HaShanah in September, we get to bring in the new year with Sylvester...or as the Israeli's say Silvehstehr.

I wish you all a wonderful year. A year of good health surrounded by friends and loved ones. I wish you exciting days and peaceful nights...(or as my friend S. wrote me ' You've got it backwards...peaceful days and exciting nights!') Now why didn't I think of that? ~sigh~.

And money in your pockets and giggles.

May this next year bring you all the good things you would wish for yourself and then a tad more.

From me and mine to you and yours...


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

Friday, December 29, 2006


Hi, everyone. I'm back online. My brother Dovidle arrived safely. Thank God. The weatherman was absolutley right this time and the heaven's opened and the rains fell down. Now, we in Israel count the drops. Sure we do. We watch the red line in the Kineret to make sure that the water level is such that we aren't going to be competing with tadpoles next summer. Euuuuuu!

But, just to make sure, I got to the airport at 1:30 in the morning. His plane wasn't due to arrive until 3:35, but I figured that, in case it really did snow, and the roads to and from Jerusalem were closed it would be smarter if we were both stranded at the airport together. We are not equipped for snow real experience handling the roads...for one or two days every couple of years, it doesn't pay to do a whole winter thingee...never mind, where was I ? Oh yes, so I got to the airport early. Quiet at that hour. Nice.

The time flew by and there I was standing by the flowing water barriers ( why do they do that? all that water only makes me want to pish, vey!) and watching the new arrivals come through the sliding doors.

Eight planes arrived at the same time that morning. You know how you end up asking the new arrivals what plane they were on, as you continue looking for your loved one? Well, one plane landed and I knew. The one from Bombay. These guys came off wearing sandals, for heaven's sake, and short pants!!! and had little blankets wrapped around their shoulders. And they all needed a hair cut.

'This isn't the plane from Paris,' I said to myself and smiled. Welcome, you guys from India. Glad you are home safely.

Then there he was! My brother! So I did what I always do...I cried. Just little tears for joy. And we did what we always do. We called Bubbie Channah on my cell phone and then Dovidle went to the bathroom and I got us something to drink. That few minutes of 'alone time' is so precious, as we look at each other amazed to be back together again.

The strong winds did cause his plane to abort landing and head up quickly towards the sky, which frightened the bejeezus out of everyone. But, thank God they landed safely and we are all together.

The ride home in the sherut...a great mini van service whereby they fill up with about seven people and for 45 shekels deliver you right to your door...was spooky as the rain was pouring down heavier than I can remember and lightning and thunder only added to the drama.

But we made it and within a couple of hours it did snow. But, we were all home safe and sound so the snow was only an added joy.

I miss the snow. Like the leaves turning in the fall. I miss the changes in the weather.

Anyway, I've got to go. Just needed to drop in and say that the internet is connected again at Bubbie Channah's and I am back in business.

A sweet shabbat shalom to you all.

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

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Nu, so ask me what's new? My brother Dovidle is coming to visit. From Boulder, Colorado. For ten glorious days. We are beyond excited.

When is he scheduled to arrive? Wednesday morning at around 3:30 in the morning. Of course, I'll be at the airport.

Well, I think I'll be at the airport.


We have had marvellous weather here in Jersalem these past few weeks. Abnormally warm, around eighteen degrees C. Not bad for December. But wait! Wait! What does Mr. Weatherman predict for today? Hundred kilometer winds...will the plane be able to land? SNOW!!! Will the plane be able to land?

For those of you who don't know, we do get snow every once in awhile in Jerusalem. It is actually glorious. Glorious! But my question God, is, 'Of all the days in the year, why pick the only morning that my brother Dovidle is arriving?'

See, we in Jerusalem live in the hills. You go UP to Jerusalem (in more ways than one) and when there are three snow flurries that stick to the ground the entire city stops. No school. No busses. No traffic in or out on the Jerusalem highway.


So here is the plan. My brother Dovidle always says we need a plan. I am going to the airport...of course I am! And taking a taxi service that only drives to and from the airport. And I think instead of leaving at three to get there at four, when he should be out of customs (if the hundred kilometer winds allow the plane to land...sigh), I'll go around midnight so that I'll be in the airport before the skies open and we start to sing 'I'm dreaming of a white Chris...Channukah!

Then, if we get stuck at the airport we will at least be together.

So wish me luck, keep your fingers crossed, spit three times, tfu tfu tfu, and off I go.

Whenever my brother Dovidle comes to visit, I pack a suitcase and move in to Bubbie Channah's place next to Hamashbir right downtown.

So if you don't hear from me in a couple of days, don't send out the helicopters or sniffer dogs, vey, it's just me offline pretending that we are back in Windsor like we were when we were kids.

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

Sunday, December 24, 2006


Since moving to Jerusalem, Christmas hasn't had any affect on me at all. We don't have the massive commercials on television urging us to buy this or that for our loved ones.

The commentators don't remind us how many days there are left until Christmas.

There are no lights in any windows except for Channukah menorahs and candles at this time of year.

But, somewhere, deep down, I can still feel it. The excitement of the season. The snow falling. The beauty of everyone's homes, both inside and out with Santa Claus and twinkling lights.

The awe my Christian friends felt at the birth of Jesus. The ceremony of Midnight Mass. The smell and taste of special foods being prepared for the holidays.

With all the good wishes and all the sharing, I still felt like an outsider looking in. It was kinda like pen*s liked what you had, but that one over there looked interesting.

I love living in Israel. I feel honoured to be a citizen of Jerusalem. I have walked the Via Dolorosa. I have visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. I have seen Gesthemane. And been awed.

Bethlehem is five and a half miles from Jerusalem. And in the days when it wasn't so dangerous, I used to go visit all the time. I have been to the Church of the Nativity.

See, I live with ghosts. I live with the Original Cast. Yours, Mine, and Theirs. And, no, I'm not going to go into a political debate on the subject today.

Today I just want to send you all my Season's Greetings.

To all my friends who are celebrating Christmas tonight, let me wish you a very Merry Christmas. I wish you a holiday of joy, good health, peace, love of family and friends, a few extra shekels in your pockets and a pinch of mazal along the way.

Eat something fattening for me too. And as my brother Dovidle always says at this time of year: Jesus is the reason for the season. Noel.

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

Friday, December 22, 2006


I don't know about you, but New Year's Eve, playfully known in Israel as Sylvester ( our New Years, is Rosh HaShannah, remember?) is quickly approaching.

Where did the time go?

Wanna hear my most favourite New Year's Eve story? Sure you do.

I had graduated from Wayne State by then and was working teaching school and living in Amber Flats in Royal Oak Michigan with my roommate, Helen.

For some reason, that year God had taken off early to rest with the Good Fairy in Florida and had forgotten to send us dates for New Years. Oy! So, in a moment of absolute temporary insanity, my roommate informed all the other tenants in our building 'that of course we had dates and couldn't wait.'

Nu so that being said, David the Chrystler executive from down the hall and Maynard, the Texas, sales manager for Shaeffer pens who lived across from our flat wanted to see us all dressed up before our dates came to pick us up.

Ok, so what would you do? Besides killing your roommate, I mean. Yes. We got all dressed up...including hair and makeup.

Ohhs and ahhhs danced over us as we pranced in front of our neighbours. 'So, when are the boys coming to get you?' I don't remember which of the two men asked.

Not missing a beat, Helen smiled her little innocent smile, and told them that we were meeting them at some fancy restaurant for dinner in order to save time.

So, we had to get into our coats and in the snow, drive away off on our big date for New Year's Eve.

As soon as it was possible, we drove back to as close as we dared, to our apartment. We parked the car in some place where no one would recognize it and began trudging in the snow, in the dark towards our back porch...with the Japanese hibachi and little two seater swing...where we had brilliantly left the glass door open a crack.

Once safely back inside our warm flat, we spent New Year's Eve in the dark...God forbid anyone should have found us, eating leftovers and I think crying, but that part I'm not sure of.

The hardest part of the entire evening was not bursting out in fits of giggles which for sure would have let the cat out of the bag.

Oy we were so young. See, all we had to do was drive back to Windsor and be with our families...but God forbid, anyone in Windsor should have known we didn't have dates get the rest.

Here in Jerusalem, NYE is no big deal. Some go out for dinner...some have a party...but most of us just sit around trying to stay awake long enough to toast in the new year...mostly with herbal tea or decaf coffee.

So why am I bringing it up all together? Well, see, NYE is the right time for New Years Resolutions and this year I have a few that I'm going to try out.
1. the diet...again
2. I'd like to finish my novel...Emma Shelby is No More (almost done)
3. maybe this year I can save a little for a trip across the big water
4. and 5. I haven't decided on yet.

Do you have any resolutions? Maybe I can borrow some of yours for #s 4 and 5?

Shabbat shalom.

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

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


...remember the good ol' days, when the air was clean, and sex was dirty?

I just got this email from rickelle and as I read it, I thought, 'AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH'. And then thought that maybe you would like to go AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH, too.

For the children of the 50's and their offspring's offspring(that's YOU...grandchildren).

It's a matter of individual opinion whether times were better, but they were sure different.


A little house with three bedrooms
And one car on the street,
A mower that you had to push
To make the grass look neat.

In the kitchen on the wall
We only had one phone,
And no need for recording things,
Someone was always home.

We only had a living room
Where we would congregate,
Unless it was at mealtime
Then in the kitchen we ate.

We had no need for family rooms
Or extra rooms to dine,
When meeting as a family
Those two rooms worked out fine.

We only had one TV set,
And channels maybe two,
But always there was something
On that was surely worth the view.

For snacks we had potato chips
That tasted like a chip,
And if you wanted flavor
There was Lipton's onion dip.

Store-bought snacks were rare
Because my mother liked to cook,
And nothing can compare to
Snacks from mama's cookbook.

Weekends were for family trips
Or staying home to play,
We all did things together --
Even go to church/synagogue to pray.

When we did our weekend trips
Depending on the weather,
No one stayed at home
Because we liked to be together.

Sometimes we would separate
To do things on our own,
But we knew where the others were
Without our own cell phone.

Then there were the movies
With your favorite movie star,
And nothing can compare to
Watching movies in your car.

Then there were the picnics at
The peak of summer season,
Pack a lunch and find some trees
And never need a reason.

Get a baseball game together
With all the friends you know,
Have real action playing ball --
And no game video.

Remember when the doctor
Used to be the family friend,
And we never needed
anAccident Lawyer to defend!

The way that he took care of you
No matter what he had to do,
Because he took an oath and
Strived to do the best for you.(and sometimes that meant coming to your home)

Remember going to the store
And shopping casually,
And when you went to pay for it
You used REAL money?

Nothing that you had to swipe
Or punch in the amount,
Remember when the cashier person
Had to really count?

The milkman used to go
From door to door,
And it was just a few cents more
Than going to the store.

There was a time when mailed
Letters came right to your door,
Without a lot of junk mail ads
Sent out by every store.

The mailman knew each house by name
And knew to whom it was sent;
There were not loads of mail
Addressed to "present occupant."

There was a time when just one glance
Was all that it would take,
And you would know the kind of car,
The model and the make.

They didn't look like turtles
Trying to squeeze out everymile;
They were streamlined, white-walled,
With fins and had some style.T

he music that you played loud
Made you want to jive,
It was on a vinyl,
large-holed recordCalled a forty-five.

The record player had a middle
Post to keep them all in line,
The records would drop down
And play one at a time.

Oh sure, we had our problems then,
Just like we do today,
And always we were striving,
Trying for a better way.

But, the simple life we lived
Still seems like so much fun,
How can you explain a game,
Called 'kick the can and run'?

And boys put baseball cards for
The noise between bicycle spokes,
What about those nickel red machines
That dispensed little bottled Cokes?

This life seemed so much easier
And slower in some ways,
I love the new technology
But I sure do miss those days.

So time moves on and so do we,
And nothing stays the same,
But I sure love to reminisce
And walk down memory lane.

Much credit to the person who put this together, whoever it was -
you should have signed your name.
I'd give anything to give every child today a taste of those good ol' days. They really were the best.

Thanks for walking with me down the path of memory lane. AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH...

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

Sunday, December 17, 2006


There is so much huha going on in the news and in the blogs about Christmas trees and Channukah menorahs that I decided to tell you a story.

When I was six months old I met Sydonia. She lived next door. Her family aren't Jewish, they are Ukranian, and I was well into my teens before I learned that our two races weren't exactly bosom buddies in the past.

See, our families sort of just merged. Sydonia and I ate lunch together for seventeen years until she went to Toronto to college. One day at my house and the next day at hers. Our two younger brothers D&D did too. Our Dads met often for coffee as their places of business were just up the street from one another. Our Moms always called each other Mrs. So and So, never ever by their first names.

We were inseperable. And today, we are still as close as ever, thanks to email and cheap phone rates. A lifetime of friendship.

Every year I was invited to help them decorate their Christmas tree. And then we went together to midnight mass. I painted Easter eggs and shared all the wonderful Ukranian food her mother so lovingly made.

And she came to my house to light Channukah licht. And was always at our Pessach seder. And she speaks Yiddish. And I learned how to sing in Ukranian...something about a zhabbeh (frog). Yahoooo I remember.

You wanna know how we did it?

We did it because our two sets of parents embraced each other. Encouraged us to be safe in our own ways while learning and exploring a different path. We were safe in their church. No one tried to convert us. We were the Jewish kids who came with the S. family.

The older I got and the more I thought about our friendship, the more I sat in awe of our two mothers. My Mom finished high school; got married when she was eighteen; was a child of Russian immigrants who survived the First World War and lived through the depression; and who, herself lived through the Second World War.

Sydonia's Mom had her own story, rather similar.

And these two women were smart enough to let us merge and yet be ourselves. I don't know how they did it. Perhaps by embracing our differences and not demanding we be similar.

Mrs. S. has been gone for a very long time and I miss her and think of her always.

Now, what would have been the big deal if that airport would have put up a nice tree and a little menorah? What would happen if television embraced all religions equally?

And what would have happened if Bubbie Channah and Mrs. S. would have been the leaders of Israel and any major Arab country in the region?

Now that is something worth pondering.

In the meantime, Sydonia, put a little ornament on the tree for me, and if you feel a little draft near your tush, it's just me dropping in to say shalom.

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


Well, I went to take care of my kid like a good mommy and we shared. We shared the couch and Bubbie Channah's huha afghan; we shared lunch; we shared supper; and we shared her germs.

Still feeling yukky. Didn't even make it last night to Myra's Channukah party. There is a Yiddish expression...'shennereh bagrubt mehn' which loosely translated means 'they've buried better looking!' OY.

By Friday, I knew I was in trouble so I called my doctor and he prescribed antibiotics. Yahooooo soon I'll be able to breathe again. It's just a bad cold but my sinus' are infected and I don't want it to work itself into an asthma attack.

I stayed in bed all weekend. Reading.

What a treat!!! Of course, first I cooked for Shabbat on Friday. Easy menu this time. 1.Potato latkehs...2. lemon chicken (quick write this down...cut up the chicken and marinade in a mixture of the juice from two lemons and one tablespoon of olive oil...add salt and pepper and paprika...then put the chicken and the squeezed lemon halves in a tray at the bottom of your oven and turn on the BROILER...keep turning and shmearing with the lemon/olive oil/seasoning stuff that was left in the bowl). Even without being able to smell or taste I knew this one was a hit.

And since I wasn't making a cholent, I made a pot of cholent stuff. 3. Cut up a gorgeous onion, some carrots, three potatoes, a cup of barley, a handful of white beans, three zuccini. Fry the onions and vegetables in a little olive oil for a couple of minutes for the flavour and then pour the rest of the stuff in and cover with boiling water. On the top put in enough raw eggs in their shells for everyone and maybe two for everyone. Salt/pepper/chicken soup powder/and I added a little tumeric for colour. Yahooo.

All done, back to bed.

The man who invented the Used Book Store was a genius. Think about it. You don't need anything but all your friends' old books and a table with a drawer and a cash register. A bunch of shelves and bingo you're in business. Serves two purposes. One, you get to unload all your old books and get cash, and two, you get to buy someone else's old books at a discount. Such a smart person that person was who invented this store.

My favourite of all of them is Sefer and Sefel (Book and Mug). I guess in the beginning they served hot drinks for the people and the name stuck. Just off Jaffa Road in the little alley where Bahari sells their roasted nuts is an old stone stairway and at the top is the bookstore.

Uri, the owner is an old friend. He knows what I like to read. Smart whodunits, historical fiction, (picture this, England 1207), fantasy fiction, Daniel DaSilva (cuz it's always connected to Israel), and a bunch of other stuff that I can't remember cuz my head is still fuzzy from the anti biotics :).

Well, just imagine how surprised I was when Uri told me 'You have to read this. Just for fun.' and handed me 'The Devil Wears Prada' by Lauren Weisberger.

I looked up at Uri. And then I opened the first page to the dedications, and I quote:
Dedicated to the only three people alive who genuinely believe it rivals WAR AND PEACE:

my mother, Cheryl, the mom 'a million girls would die for';
my father, Steve, who is handsome, witty, brilliant, and talented, and who insisted on writing his own dedicattion;
my phenomenal sister, Dana, their favorited (until i wrote a book).

DONTCHA JUST LOVE IT??? So of course I added it to the other six books I bought that day. And this weekend I spent reading it. A lovely easy book, and the truth is I was sorry when it ended.

Now, I am back reading The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova...about Dracula. Don't ask!!!

Beginning to feel a bit better this morning and I just may spend one more day in bed pampering myself. What a treat. But godda get better really brother Dovidle is coming in ten days and Bubbie Channah and all of us are beyond excited at seeing him again.

So, have a sweet Channukah. And a good shavuah tov ( a good week ).

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

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Hi, everyone and thanks for your calls and emails. I'm sorry I wasn't online for a few days, but one of my kids got sick and I wasn't home while I played 'Nancy Nurse'. Today the kid is much better, but guess who caught the cold?

I am not ready to even think that perhaps it's the flu, as I took my life in my hands and had a flu shot. See, four people died from the flu shot in Israel...bad batch from France.

I don't know why we bought flu shots from France. But then again, I never understood why we bought gas masks from Germany!!! You love it? Can't you just see those Jews in their sealed rooms with German gas masks??? Oy!

Once I had the flu. I think it was the Asian flu. Boy was I sick. And as a present...a present...I was left afterwards with asthma! So, since then, my doctor wants me to take the flu shots. Never mind that now I am on the 'old lady' list of people who should get the shots. Me, and Bubbie Channah walk from her apartment up the street to the Kupat Cholim, the Health Clinic, and find a nice nurse who gives us the shots. Then we go and share a sandwich and have some coffee while we wait in the lobby to make sure we don't have any reaction.

What has all this got to do with a Channukah wish for you? Good question. So, yesterday, sick as a dog, with, ahem, a bad cold, I was waiting for my next student to show up, when the buzzer rang downstairs.

'A little early,' I thought and buzzed her in. Instead of my student there was a man with a huge...make that humungous package of goodies. And all for me and mine.

The Guv, bless her, sent us all a Channukah gift. Wanna know what we got? Sure you do!!! So, we got three bottles of wine, and a cute apron that has the instructions how to make potato latkes on it, and a huge chocolate chip cake, and Chris....Channukah cookies. You remember those cookies. Sugar cookies? I ate three before I opened up the rest of the boxes. The cookies are delicious with sprinkles of chocolate or just sugar and are in the shape of stars, dreidles and menorahs.

And a big box of dried fruit and nuts. And another big box of chocolate covered nuts and jelly beans. Jelly beans! And another box of mixed chocolates. Honestly, the package measured from my fingertips to my elbow!!!

So, quickly I picked up the phone and called the Guv. 'Yahooooo! Thank you! Are you nuts? You shouldn't have! Boy, wait till you see what I've got here!'

Wait! There's more! Bubbie Channah got a package of goodies too! Don't ask the excitement as like little kids we opened up our packages and looked to see what was inside.

I always wondered what Christmas morning was like. Couldn't be better than what went on here yesterday!!!

When I was little, Bubbie Channah told me about her one and only Christmas. When she was about five and her sister was four, they went to their mother and asked to put up Christmas stockings, like the other children in the neighbourhood. Their mother smiled and said that they could. The next morning when they ran downstairs and grabbed their stockings, they were dismayed to see them filled with old potatoes and onions.

'That is what Santa Claus brings Jewish children,' my grandmother told them.

Pretty harsh, I always thought. But she made her point. We never had a Channukah bush in our house.

See, I don't think that Christmas is any better a holiday than Channukah, it just has better press.

When we were growing up in Windsor, ours was the only house on the block that didn't have coloured lights and decorations all over the front of the house and on the trees in the yard. Ours was the only house that had a little menorah in the window which did it's best to compete with the fancy trees shining from the other windows. I always was asked to sing 'the token dreidle song' in the midst of the Christmas party at school.

Like my Dad, AH always said, 'It's hard being a Jew.'

The Guv, bless her, wanted to share Channukah joy with her Israeli family. And joyous it was and still is. The stuff is spread out all over my dining room table, and everyone who walks by grabs a handfull of whatever they fancy. Now, isn't that something?

Then, as I climbed into bed with a hot cup of tea and waited to watch the next episode of Survivor, the phone rang and it was the Beauty from The Bald and The Beautiful, another dear, wonderful friend from Windsor.

She called to say hello and wish us a happy Channukah. Beauty then said something that stopped me short. She said, 'I wish you a year of Miracles.'

WOW!!! Tears sprang to my eyes. That is the best wish anyone has ever wished me. Just think, a year of Miracles!

And to you and yours also Beauty, to you and yours.

So, my wonderful friends, as Channukah is about to come once again into our homes tomorrow and we light the first candle and eat our first potato latkeh and sufganiyah ( doughnut ), let me wish you a table full of sweets, love from friends both near and far, and to you and yours from me and mine, I wish you a Happy Channukah and a year of Miracles!

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

Monday, December 11, 2006


I think everyone plays games online. Solitaire, Zuma, crossword puzzles and jigsaw puzzles are my personal favourites.

Then I found the game from hell. Well, actually Yoram sent it to me. Here's the idea. You have to get rid of all the balls on the screen by matching them by threes. Simple? Forget it!

Now, I will tell you that I have managed to finish the game once. ONCE!!!

Remember when you were in high school and learned algebra and geometry? And that moment after writing numbers and letters all over the page, you found the answer to X? That was the feeling I had when I finally swept the board clean of these farkakteh balls.

Try it and let me know how you are doing. From what I understand there isn't an office in the country where people aren't playing this game. Oy and Vey and Oy Vey!

But, be warned. It's like popcorn. Once you get the picture.

Ok. Here is the site:

Good luck!!!

P.S. My youngest wipes the board clean over and over. My oldest is struggling along like I am. Oh, and a hint from the can shoot the balls like in pool, using the sides to direct them where you want. Yah, right!!!

P.P.S. Enjoy.

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

Sunday, December 10, 2006


I just received an email from my friend Rky, and in it she said the line about Kansas. Whoa, I thought. And then as I went to make myself a cup of coffee and daven, I wondered about that.

Dontcha just have days when you would like to wake up in a fancy hotel with room service on the way? Or, sit drinking tea in the kitchen of someone you love who lives far away across the great water?

I would. But the truth is that I'm never really comfortable being far away from Jerusalem.

So, maybe the Kansas kicking will have to be changing something in my life right here in Jerusalem.

I know I would like the city/country to be like it was when I moved here in 1970. You know, the good ol' days when we were free to walk anywhere and not be afraid and when the entire world thought we were better than sliced bread.

But, today we are up to here with Iran, Hamas, Hizbulla, the Three Stooges, anti-semitism, and lots of folk who think we are the bad guys.

I guess, I'm going to have to look carefully at my glass and see it half full. That isn't a problem. I have so much to be grateful for.

See, I live in Jerusalem. I have three kids and two granchildren who's passports say: Place of birth- JERUSALEM!!! Now how cool is that?

I have Bubbie Channah here and my brother, Dovidle is coming to visit in seventeen days.

When I first moved to Jerusalem, no matter where I went, no one knew me. There was no one to say 'HI' to or to wish me a good day. Today, I have family and friends and know so many people that sometimes when they come up to say howdydoo, I don't remember who they are. OY. My kids always know when I am stymied. They say I get this goofy look on my face and smile and mumble stuff like, 'How nice it is to see you again. How are you and the family?' That kind of stuff.

But it is so nice to be remembered. And over these 37 years, I have taught hundreds of kids and I hope I've made a difference in some of their lives. Makes me smile inside.

So, I guess I'm keeping my Kansas just as it is. With never a dull moment and never ever boring.

A sweet shavuah tov ( a good week ) to all of you.

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

Thursday, December 07, 2006


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


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, Chri...ahem, 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.


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

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, ' she said laughing,'I asked him if he speaks English. He turned to me and smiling said, 'I love you, you love me, let's go to bed!'

We both laughed and when she asked him if he spoke any more English he said, 'Nope, that's enough!'

Who knows, maybe he's right.

Anyhow, Bubbie Channah now has a nice person to clean her flat and we are all ready for the company.

And for that money she can have him come back and wash the floors one more time before Chri....ahem, after Channukah!

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

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


While I was checking out different blogs a few weeks ago, I came across a post with a list. Actually, I liked the list and decided to fill it out myself. Then, I thought, maybe you would like to see it and fill it out too. So here it is...adapted from Luz at Doves and Pomegranates.

Things I’ve done are highlighted:
1. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
2. Swam with wild dolphins
3. Climbed a mountain
4. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
5. Been inside the Great Pyramid
6. Held a tarantula
7. Taken a candlelit bath with someone---Ah, the good ol' days
8. Said “I love you’ and meant it! ---Every day
9. Hugged a tree ---I love trees ...well, I don't actually LOVE know what I mean
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris---I love Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise ---Many times
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars ---Ask Chutzpah!!!
20. Changed a baby’s diaper---Mine, yours, anyone's...sweet babies
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Drunk champagne---I don't usually drink...but champagne? Well, that's different
24. Given more than you can afford to charity---and glad to have the chance...been needy and needed...needed is better
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment---Always...that and coughing...vey
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can---While driving under a bridge...or in a tunnel...doesn't everyone?
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse ---I love the stars...they talk to me
34. Ridden a roller coaster---Yes...and even that meshuggeneh one that does the loop-the-loop and you want to kill yourself and take an asprin when you can finally remember where your feet are
35. Scored a winning goal
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking---Every chance I get
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment ---Every chance I get
39. Visited all 5 continents
40. Taken care of someone who was drunk
41. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country---And then we became friends
42. Watched wild whales
43. Stolen a sign
44. Backpacked
45. Taken a road-trip
46. Gone rock climbing
47. Midnight walk on the beach---Sixteen was such a great age...sigh
48. Gone sky diving
49. Taken a train through Europe
50. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
51. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table, and had a meal with them...some restaurants are like that here...come visit and I'll take you for Middle Eastern food in the shuk...yahoooooooooo
52. Milked a cow
53. Alphabetized your CDs
54. Sung karaoke
55. Lounged around in bed all day---Every chance I get
56. Gone scuba diving
57. Kissed in the rain ---That's the best time
58. Gone to a drive-in theatre---AHHHHHHH the drive-ins
59. Started a business ---Shar Patuach my Learning Center...still miss it
60. Taken a martial arts class
61. Been in a movie---If you blinked your eyes you missed me
62. Crashed a party
63. Gone a month without chocolate ---you are kidding right???
64. Gotten a tattoo
65. Got/Gave flowers for no reason---Just because
66. Performed on stage---Every chance I get...There's NOOOOOOOOOOO Business Like...
67. Been to Las Vegas
68. Recorded music ---I made a record with my friend David which was given by Golda Meir as part of her gift to President Nixon...really
69. Eaten shark
70. Buried one/both of your parents---My Dad (AH) nearly eleven years ago.
71.Been on a cruise ship---The Stella Maris...oh my
72. Spoken more than one language fluently ---Yiddish/English/Hebrew and used to be Canadian French
73. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over---From Windsor to Jerualem yahoooooo
74. Walked a famous bridge ---London Bridge...Tower Bridge...Ambassador Bridge
75. Had plastic surgery
76. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
77. Shook hands with someone famous---Paul the Elmwood Casino...and he approached me...all I wanted to do was Put My Head on His Shoulder...sigh
78. Wrote articles for a large publication---Many astrology magazines...and some of my original 'shalom from jerusalem' articles were published in Canada
79. Tried to lose weight seriously ---Oy the story of my life...I constantly diet to remain the lovely shape I am in today...don't ask
80. Piloted an airplane
80. Petted a stingray
81. Broken someone’s heart
82. Broken a bone
83. Eaten sushi ---FEH FEH FEH!!! like eating goldfish...FEH FEH FEH!!!
84. Had your picture in the newspaper--The first time was when I was a year old...won a beautiful baby contest...don't ask
85. Parasailed
86. Skipped all your school reunions ---I didn't want to but I live in Jerusalem and school is in Windsor and Detroit
87. Shaved your head
88. Eaten something awful because you didn't want to insult the chef---But I took little bites
89. Pretended to be “sick” ---How else would Bubbie Channah let you stay home from school?
90. Swam in the Pacific Ocean
91. Saved someone’s life
92. Fainted
93. Been in the room while someone is giving birth ---She was in the bed next to me while I was giving birth to my first son...and she didn't stop screaming for hours and hours...oy
94. Hitchhiked
95. Adopted a child
96. Been caught daydreaming---Always...ahhhhh
97. Been to the Painted Desert
98. Called off a wedding engagement
99. Donated your blood
100. Talk to God on a regular basis---Of much do you think a scared prayer is worth???

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

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Yesterday when I was reading Cruisin-Mom’s blog she asked about ‘one event that changed the course of our lives’ . Go visit her, she has a great blog. ( I hope this comes out…since I changed to Beta everything is farmished. )

My comment to her blog was: ‘Every once in a while an angel is sent my way. And each time, my life has been changed.’

I thought about that all night, (thanks cruisin). And I honestly do believe that I have had angels appear who made a huge impact on me.

Now before you all think I’m two steps away from The Cuckoo’s Nest, they didn’t have wings…they didn’t fly…and they didn’t offer me three wishes…sigh.

One: One of my kids was having a terrible time in high school. We didn’t know she was L.D. (learning disabled). Except for math, all her grades were great. See, for the most part, L.D. kids are really smart and they fool you. And it works until the moment that it all falls apart and they can’t keep their heads above water, so to speak. I didn’t know what to do and my neighbour told me about an article she had just read in the newspaper about this lady who had a private learning center in Jerusalem for kids like my kid.

I called and made an appointment. She kinda looked like Jabba the Hutt. I mean this woman got her clothes from Omar the Tent Maker. She thought that getting dressed up meant putting on a pink skirt, an orange sweater, and her favourite boots that dairy farmers wear when going to muck out the barn. You get the picture. What you would call ‘an unforgettable character’. But she saved my kid and I will always bless her.

Not only that, but after a year, I started teaching English in her place and five years later opened up my own learning center, Shar Patuach which helped hundreds of kids in the fourteen years we were in business.

Two: When the intifada was in full bloom and my learning center was going bankrupt a group of people took it upon themselves to help keep us afloat…my brother, the Guv, and a handful of other angels who you don’t know. If I can smile today and not jump every time the phone rings, it is because of their love.

Three: My youngest was in the army. Someplace wayyyyyyyyyyyyy up north and my husband and I decided to surprise him on the weekend and go up to visit. Now, I don’t know about your husbands, but mine is a thinker. He thinks out what he has to do; he asks himself all the necessary questions; and he gives himself all the answers. (Yes, my friends that is why there is only one egg and a gazillion sperm.)

Anyway, off we go. Suddenly he takes the old Jericho road, which used to be the shortcut and would save us almost an hour of driving. But, it was also unbelievably dangerous to travel that route at the time.

Never mind, off he went and the closer we got to Jericho the more frightened I became. There was nothing in the distance but desert, and as we turned around the bend, the Casino came into view.

We’re dead, I thought and quietly told him that I thought we should turn back.
He looked at me and told me that we were perfectly safe and not to worry.

As we turned back to look at the road, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, a soldier was standing in the road. Honestly, out of nowhere.

He raised his hand and stopped our car.
‘Shalom,’ he said. ‘Where are you folks going today?’
We told him we were on our way up north to visit our son in the army.
He said, ‘If you continue on this road for five more minutes you will be cut to ribbons! His exact words were, ‘Yichtechu otchem l’gzarim.’ Please turn around and go the new way.’

I gulped and looked at my husband. He turned white and looked at me.

When we looked back at the road, the soldier was gone.

Then there is the story of Carlos, the anesthesiologist who was holding my hand when I had my near death experience. But that is for another blog.

Now, I don’t know why I have been blessed by these angels, but boy am I grateful. And some things you never forget and never take for granted.

Thank you, G-d.

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

Monday, December 04, 2006


Lately, I’ve been collecting jokes that either made me smile or laugh out loud. Usually I send them off to my email list, but this morning I decided to post them.

Hope you enjoy them and if you have any that tickle your fancy, I’d love to read them.

The Irish Joke:

An Irishman who had a little too much to drink is driving home from the city one night and, of course, his car is weaving violently all over the road.

A cop pulls him over.

‘So,’ says the cop to the driver. ‘Where have ya been?’

‘Why, I’ve been to the pub of course,’ slurs the drunk.

‘Well,’ says the cop, ‘it looks like you’ve had quite a few to drink this evening.’

‘I did, all right,’ the drunk says with a smile.

‘Did you know,’ says the cop, standing straight and folding his arms across his chest,
‘that a few intersections back, your wife fell out of your car?’

‘Oh! Thank heavens,’ sighs the drunk. ‘For a minute there, I thought I’d gone deaf.’
The Gentile Joke:

A man calls his mother and says, "Mother, I know you're expecting me for
dinner this evening, but something important has come up and I can't make it."

His mother says, "OK."

The Jewish Joke:

Yiddish word for today: POLKES (POHL-kess) THIGHS.

Note: this word has been traced back to the language of one of the original Tribes of Israel…the Cellulites.


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

Sunday, December 03, 2006


I am basically a happy person. I wake up eager to start a new day. I'm almost jolly. No, no I don't HO HO HO...but I sure like to laugh a lot.

A lot has been going on in my life over the past couple of weeks...heavy stuff...and as a sun sign Cancer and with Leo rising, well, family means everything to me. They hurt, I hurt. They worry, I worry. They are happy, I'm happy.

That's me the weather vane of the Ben Moshe clan.

This morning I woke up happy again. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and today marks the beginning of a new week and a new everything.

Isn't it wonderful to have something to look forward to?

Bubbie Channah always said there are two terrible curses. One, that G-d forbid a parent has to bury a child. Tfu tfu tfu!!! And, two, that a person has a beautiful house but no one ever comes in to visit.

She's right. As always. Bubbie Channah is ALWAYS right.

Today, I want to add a third curse. That a person wakes up without the feeling that today is a new day, and tomorrow will be better.

I have stopped reading the news. I have avoided listening to the news on TV. Ok, ok, I do access the headlines online and when I'm on the bus I struggle to hear the news over the noise of the passengers. But, usually, I do my ostrich imitation. Trust me, not a pretty sight. {sigh}

And, why you might ask? Because it is all doom and gloom. For the most part everyone wants to kill us and it's our fault.

Now, I do have a great deal to comment on that above sentence. But it would be like preaching to the choir. And,'s much too lovely a day in Jerusalem. The sun is shining...there is a crisp breeze blowing...there isn't one lonely cloud in the sky. And, it's Jerusalem, for G-d's sake!!!

So, let me wish you all a sweet shavuah tov (a good week) and may today be lovely and tomorrow even better. Yahooooooooooooooo.

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

Friday, December 01, 2006


I collect sayings. Do you?

Take for instance one of my favourites: 'They also serve who only stand and wait.' John Milton, On His Blindness.

The first time I read that, I said, 'Whoa, I can do that!' Because, see, sometimes I don't have the courage to do more than stand and wait. Then, over the years I learned that sometimes just standing is very courageous.

'Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail'
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

And I moved far away from family and friends and came to a place where nobody knew my name.

'You don't get harmony when everyone sings the same note.'

'A camel is a horse that was designed by a committee.'

'Raising children is like chewing on a stone.'

'Make it happen.'

And, 'When the going gets tough, the tough get going.'

Now, I'm sure that there are a zillion other quotes that are much more profound and I'll snap my fingers and say, 'Why didn't I think of that? (Treppenwitz :) ) But for now that's what comes to mind.

Shabbat is almost here. Dontcha just love shabbat? Our menu for this weekend is: roast chicken and broiled vegetables and moussaka with rice and salad. A nice combination of Ashkenazi and Spharadi.

Sometimes that's like mixing oil and water and other times it's like fitting a hand into a soft leather glove.

Shabbat shalom.

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