Saturday, June 30, 2007


Just up the way from my apartment...about a half hour's ride, is the Dead Sea and near there among the salt pillars stands Lot's wife. I always wondered what her name was...Shirley? Beatrice? Sylvia? Penelope Lot sounds good, but doesn't particularly sound Jewish.

Where was I? Oh yes. Sdom or Sodom as it is usually referred to is just a stone's throw from where I am sitting. For a very long time I have been trying to figure out what the hell is going on here in my country of choice. And then this morning I woke up at 6 and knew...Sdom!

Our government is corrupt. Probably half if not more of the men and women sitting in those hallowed seats should be in jail for God alone knows what and yesterday our former President Katzav copped a plea bargain and was let off. For those of you who don't know, our former President Katzav was under indictment for rape and sexual harrassment. And he copped a plea!
And the Attorney General said, 'OK'.


My first thought was of Gerald Ford who pardoned Nixon as his first piece of business when he became President. Maybe it isn't nice for a former President of the United States to sit in jail. What would the neighbour's think?

So maybe our A.G. felt the same. Not nice. But our neighbours all know. Well, actually the entire world knows. As for our neighbours, they are busy arming to attack us one way or the other.

And that brings me to the reason for this post. What in heaven's name is God thinking when He looks down at his Chosen People these days? And I figure He is remembering Sdom.

I guess all we have to do is begin bargaining with God. How many righteous people is it going to take this time in order for Him to save Israel?

Boggles, no?

Mel Brooks, as the 2000 Year Old most favourite character since the 60's said something like this:

M.B. We wasn't nations, we was caves.
C.R. (Carl Reiner) Did you have a national anthem?
M.B. Of course.
C.R. Do you remember your national anthem?
M.B. Of course! You don't forget a national anthem in a minute. AND THEN HE SINGS: Let'em all go to HELL, except Cave seventy-six!

C.R. And did you have a leader?
M.B. Murray.
C.R. Murray?
M.B. Yes, Murray. Murray was the leader of our tribe.
C.R. What happened to Murray?
M.B. Well one day lightening struck him and we said, THERE'S SOMEONE BIGGER THAN MURRAY!

In all the mess we are in today. In all the mess the world is in, we seem to have forgotten that there is someone bigger than Murray. And, God help me, I do believe He is going to start sending down fire and brimstone sooner than we think.

So, if you know any righteous people living in this area...please send me their e-mails. Maybe we can still be saved.

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

Friday, June 29, 2007


Some people go to Museums. Rena and I go to the supermarket. Don't laugh. Up and down the aisles, we check out what's new...what's on sale...what's different...and what looks good.

See, I don't know about you, but I'm always on a diet. I figure that I diet all year round just to stay at the weight I am now. Don't laugh. It is such a chore. I mean, round is a shape too isn't it???

Now I am doing Southbeach and trying to avoid white flour and sugar. Are white potatoes and rice the same as white flour? How about cream-of-wheat and oatmeal?

I say yes to all of the above and am now in my turkey neck and cabbage with crushed tomatoes and spices mode.

All that works really great until something happens and I go back to my first love, chocolate and yeast. When asked if I have a yeast infection I am known to reply 'Not this week, I'm dieting!'

But today we had an added treat. All of a sudden in the middle of breakfast...scrambled eggs/salad/5% cheese/no walked my son and his wife the parents of sweetsie tootsie and sweetsie girl. We all sat around and then we left the kids to finish their breakfast...shakshukah and a pineapple/banana something drink and off we went to our next favourite place on a Friday morning...the supermarket downstairs in the Mall.

Diet coke...sugarless chocolate...5% yellow cheese and I think that was about it for my shopping needs this time.

Isn't it fun to do absolutely nothing and have a great time?
SHAKSHUKA: basic recipe
* 1 onion, chopped
* 2 cloves garlic, chopped
* 1 green pepper, chopped
* 1 can crushed tomatoes or grate fresh ones
* oil
* 3/4 small tin tomato paste
* Salt and pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin...optiomal
* 1 hot pepper chopped or a pinch cayenne or chili powder (to taste)
* 6-8 eggs

Heat oil. Saute onion until golden, then add garlic. Add tomatoes and peppers. Cover pan and steam together for about 10 minutes until the liquid evaporates and the sauce thickens.

Add tomaoto paste, and spices. Cook covered 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Break whole eggs into sauce. Cover and cook until eggs are firm.

Serve 1 or 2 eggs per person with sauce.

Trust me this is if the yolks are still runny. Eat with good bread. Oy the diet!!!

Shabbat shalom.

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

Thursday, June 28, 2007


I love writing. I love writing my blog and reading what you all write and then commenting and reading your comments. What great fun this blogging business is, dontcha think?

See, it all started when I began writing astrology columns. I am, by nature (ask Bubbie Channah) a talker. I love to talk. I love to tell stories. I love to listen to yours. And most of all, I love to laugh.

Now in the past couple of years, Jerusalem has not been a place of great laughter, but my friends and I have somehow managed to see the silly side to even some pretty awful situations. Remind me to tell you about the day I shlepped Rena to buy kitty litter for the sealed room when neither of us own a cat. :)))

I started writing the astrology column for the Hebrew newspaper Hadashot (News) and with a lot of help from a couple of friends managed to get my column out every week in Hebrew. I then was asked to write some astrology books...also in Hebrew. By that time I just wrote like a crazy fool and let their editors fix my Hebrew spelling misakes. See, I speak great but I spell like a foreigner. Also even after 37 years in the country...oy almost 38, I still sound like Abba Evan when I open my mouth. It's the letter R that gets me. I guess you have to be Israeli or French to roll those R's. Sigh.

Where was I? Oh yes, writing the columns. After five years of writing for Hadashot, I started writing for the Jerusalem Post. And now after handing in 505 weekly columns (wow) I still love writing them.

Along the way I discovered that I love writing. I love the intelligence of it...the fitting of the puzzle pieces into their proper places so that the story makes sense...and the joy of telling a story. I love it.

And when I write, I write in absolute silence. MOI? Silence? Yup. All day long I'm noisy. I talk and listen and problem solve. As a teacher, a parent, an administrator, a wife...I listened and talked.

When I got home from hours of doing that, I discovered that writing used two very different senses...sight and touch. My ears and mouth were retired as I used my brain and expressed myself in a different way. A personal way. A private way. A way that doesn't need a partner to make the next move. Just me and my laptop. WOW.

And then I discovered THE BLOG WORLD. Yahooooooooooooooo!!! Instant gratification. I do mine/you do yours/ and we meet in the comments department. And isn't that amazing and wonderful and terrific?!?

Now, I also have to use common sense and juggle my time so that I can get everything done. Sometimes I manage and sometimes I don't. But the best thing is that you are all forgiving and understanding and ready to come back another day to see if I have dropped in.


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

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Yesterday my friend Batya (Muse) tagged me and I thought I would have the time to figure out what to do and how to do it, but I didn't.

So, Batya, I'll carry on the tag tomorrow when I have more time. Sorry.

See in one second, yesterday I lost my mind. Actually, I just pushed something and erased all my files and worse than that...if anything can be worse than that, I locked myself out of Netscape, my internet connection.

Ask my how I did that....go ahead. I don't know. I pushed something by mistake and like magic it was alllllllllllll gone. Everytime I tried to access gmail it said that the default server was in use and I couldn't get in. But, it also said I could access a new identity. So I did. And voila here I am after about ten minutes of utter panic. The down side is that now I have to password everything, but that's not so bad. When it annoys me too much, I'll get my computer mayven to come and fix it.

Now my files. In a stroke of genius I upgraded everything onto my Flashkey two days ago and except for a page of writing on my new book I had everything that I lost. Ptew!!!

That was a little excitement for the morning. Then I went to the Malcha Mall with my daughter and we went to pick up my son's know them...the now five year old sweetsie tootsie and his two year old sister sweetsie girl and take them to a Brit (circumcision) for my neice's baby. My son Joe College couldn't take off from class and my babies' parents were coming from work. What a wonderful afternoon we all had.

When it came time for the brit my son put his kid on his shoulders and stood up front. All of a sudden a look of horror came over my baby's face and he grabbed his privates. My daughter and I lauged like hell but the truth is that the kid only did what I imagine every man thinks as he watches a circumcision. Sigh.

There are some moments in a child's life where he/she will never be the same again. The moment he really knows where babies come from. The moment he/she knows there is no Tooth Fairy/Santa Claus/Easter Bunny. And now the meaning of the covenant between the Jewish people and God.

As my Dad AH always said, 'Jews were born to suffer.' Sigh.

Then last night my writing group met at one of the women's houses to help her celebrate the final chapter of her book. What a great feeling that is. Bravo my good friend. Great book...great story...well told.

So twelve hours after I left the house yesterday I got home, and crawled into bed. We are still in the middle of a heat wave that has temperatures between 95-98 degrees every day and it is hard to function in that heat.

The only one who is loving it, is my daughter. She loves the heat. Yesterday I told her, that if God forbid, she ever went to you know where, she would sit in the heat and go 'AHHHHHHH'. But then, I figure that Heaven is a place where you can pick your rooms. Mine will have air conditioning. Hmmmm now that would be an interesting blog to write.

Well, off I go. Teaching in the Mall at 7:30 and then have to run home to teach two more students. Then off to pick up the babies from their nursery schools. Both their parents have afternoon meetings so I get to be good Bubbie. Yahoooooooooooo.

Once again M. Mazal Tov on your book! And thanks for a marvellous time last night.

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

Monday, June 25, 2007


I had such a great day yesterday. First I fought with my old boss who for some reason still hasn't sent me my 106 form for the income tax people. Never mind that he still owes me two months salary, but that is a whole other blog. Sneaky, greasy, tricky fellow escapes among the loopholes of the law and comes up smiling like a rose. Kind of like our new President. And Brutus was an honorable man. Sigh.

Well, after I fought with my old boss and got his secretary to take over the case of Marallyn and the 106 form (legally he has to give it to me) I ran into the city to meet Bubbie Channah for lunch. We shared a lunch. Salad and lamb chops and grilled vegetables. Very nice. Bubbie Channah loves lamb chops. Of course she does.

Then we ran to Hamashbir, the big department store where they have her grocery store in the basement. We got all the stuff we needed and made our way in the 98 degree heat back to her apartment which is just up the street from there.

We put away the groceries and I had enough time to daven (tehilim/psalms...a promise I made to God a few years ago which personally brings me great peace) and then off I ran to meet Batya (Muse to those of you who visit her blog).

I figured the best place to meet was at the corner of King George and Ben Yehudah Streets at Cafe Max. When I go there I saw a nice lady standing outside but I figured who would stand and wait outside in this heat? So I went in. Two seconds later she phoned me...yup it was her outside. See the last time we had met must have been about ten years ago when I interviewed her as an English teacher for my learning center Shar Patuach. Unfortunately, we only took teacher who could teach matriculation and she wasn't at that stage yet. Too bad. She is and would be a breath of fresh air in any classroom.

Nu, so the smoke in Cafe Max was years old and we ran across the street to another little place I know where we ordered salads and talked until I had to run. See I was meeting Bubbie Channah and my friend Evie for supper! Don't ask.

Before I go on to supper, let me tell you that I didn't know who Muse was when I found her blog. All I knew was I loved her posts and started visiting daily. Today I have woken up with a new friend and I can't wait till we meet again. Now isn't that nice?!?

Off to supper. Now I have eaten a tiny salad and two lamb chops...a large salad with some salty cheese. Surely there is enough room for something interesting to eat yet won't blow my diet to smithereens. STEAK.

Off we went to Ragu, a really lovely place guessed it...salad and steak. Bubbie Channah had spagetti. We had steak. And tea. I had tea with lemon and They had naked tea.

I don't remember a time when I went to three restaurants in one day...had wonderful fun with new friends and old and didn't touch one carb. Yahooooooooooooooo.

Go visit Muse on her blog. You won't be sorry.

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

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Bubbie Channah always said, 'Marallyn. I'm not going to get an ulcer, I'll give them an ulcer.'

I always knew who 'them' was. Anyone who upset her or hurt any of us were on her ulcer giving list. How marvellous to be able to externalize rather than hold every little hurt inside where it only festers.

See, Bubbie Channah is a Leo and I'm a Cancer. But I do have a Leo rising so I always kinda thought of myself as 'the mouse that roars'. You understand.

Now all of this intro is to tell you that after a lengthy correspondance with the UPS rep., I am now getting another 63.75 shekels back! Yahooooooooo for my side.

That means along with the almost fifty shekels they took off for other fees, I will be getting 110 shekels back from the original 236 that they asked for.

It seems that the UPS guy in Canada filled out the forms incorrectly making the package cost $122. My complaint always has been, why am I paying duty and V.A.T. on the postage that the Guv had to pay?

Oooops said UPS. :)

Our mistake. Of course it was! And you always knew it was! And I shouldn't be paying anything at all. And we all know that.

But why should I make poor Ilan from UPS have a miserable week? See, if it was Bubbie Channah, she would have said, 'No. Keep your 67.75 shekels. I want the whole thing back.'

But me? I'm happy for any money that is returned. BTW. Bubbie Channah LOVED the book and when I see her this afternoon for lunch, she'll give it to me and it'll be my turn.

My Dad AH is in the book. My Zaidi AH is in the book. My brother is in the book. Me and Bubbie Channah are chopped liver. I kinda thought that since I was the first person from Windsor that I know to have left to come to Israel, I should have at least had a mention. And Bubbie Channah moving at age 75 should get a little sentence, don't you think?

The Guv isn't mentioned either. So, I thought that we two should write a book called The Really Important Jews from Windsor where we could recall our lives together. Here are the Guv and Marallyn in Baskin and Robbins eating gazillion decker ice creams. Here are the Guv and Marallyn singing to a bunch of chickens on a farm. Here are the Guv and Marallyn at the Mikvah.

Now, THAT would be some book, don't you think?

When I get my 63.75 shekels back, I'll let you know.

In the meantime a sweet shavuah tov.

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

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Today is my grandson's 5th birthday. Wadda day that was. You know how there are certain moments in your life that stand out in your memory. Like where you were the moment you heard that Kennedy had been shot? Or when your husband proposed? Or the first day you drove your car alone after getting your license?

I walked into the hospital room and there he was. A wonderful little person. And that wonderful little person changed my life. He made me a Bubbie. A real Bubbie. Bless him.

My sweetsie boy is an amazing fellow. Here are some wise things I learned from him.
1. When he was almost three he saw an ambulance pass us on the road. He turned to me and said, 'Bubbie you know, there isn't anyone inside the amublance.' When I asked him how he knew that he answered, 'Because if there was someone inside it would go WEE-U, WEE-U, WEE-U.'

2. When he was almost four I was at his house and we heard firecrackers. He grabbed my hand and we ran from window to window to try and see them but the other buildings blocked our view. Pointing a finger at me he said, 'Bubbie. I know exactly what that is.' When I asked him what, he answered, 'It is a party in the sky for the Lubovicher Rabbi!'

There are many wisdoms that come from the mouths of babes. And as adults we should take the time to listen to them and learn from them.

Today at 5:00 there is going to be a Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem. For the past week the Haredi (ultra orthodox ) community have been burning garbage dumpsters and threatening to riot. In order to protect the marchers 7,000 policeman will be out in the streets. Last year three marchers were stabbed!

What is wrong with them? Jews fighting and hurting other Jews? Are they nuts? Funny how the religious community wants equal rights but isn't ready to accept the rights of others who think differently than they do. Jerusalem is OUR city. Not mine or yours or theirs. It is OURS. And we have enough enemies around us who will be happy to grab it from under our feet while we are busy fighting each other.

3. Last night my sweetsie was watching television with him mother and they saw a very religious man being arrested for rioting and put into a police car. My grandson said, 'Mommy, if he is truely a tzadik (a righteous man) how can he do such stupid things?'

Good question.

Over the years, I have learned that 'boring is better. Unfortuanately, not everyone agrees with me. I pray that Jerusalem is peaceful today and that everyone comes home safely tonight. But, until we learn to embrace our differences as well as our similiarities, I'm afraid that we still have a long road to travel.

May everyone come home safely tonight to sleep peacefully in his/her own beds. Amen.

Happy birthday my sweetsie tootsie. I wish you a long and happy and wonderful life. Ahd 120. Tfu, tfu, tfu.

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

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Today I want to tell you a story. It started out as a wonderful story. Rabbi Plaut, who used to be the Rabbi of the Temple in Windsor wrote and published a book. A book about the Jews in Windsor from 1790-1990.

He sent me an e-mail telling me all about it and included an article from the local newspaper. How lovely! I, of course, wrote him and congratulated him.

Then my wonderful friend, the Guv, decided to buy me a copy and send it to me.

In the meantime, another wondeful friend, John decided to buy me some books and sent them from the States. 12 kilo of books. Yahoooo. And we have been on the lookout for those books finally arriving.

So imagine my delight when I got a phone call on Thursday that UPS was delivering the books. And they told me that there would be a 236 charge for taxes etc. I thought that was rather exorbitant, but hell 12 kilo of books! So, I told them OK.

Well! In walks the UPS man with a little package in his hand. 236 shekels for a little package?!?. Turns out that the Guv decided to send it by UPS so that I would have it immediately. Wow!

I took the little package and asked the man what the charge was for. He said, V.A.T./taxes/container fees/releasing the book from the port/delivery.

I said:'How much did the book cost?'
He said: '$30.'
I said:'$30? Are you crazy? You are charging me $80 Canadian on a $30 book?'
He said:'No. You are paying all this on the $30 book plus the $92.35 UPS charge.'
I said:'$92.35? My friend paid you guys $92.35 to send a $30 book UPS?'
He said: 'Yes.'
I said: 'I'm not paying it. Send it back.'
He said: 'No problem. It will cost your friend these fees plus shipping charges to get the book back. Or, you could simply refuse the book and then it goes into a warehouse where it will eventually be destroyed.'
I said:'Are you crazy? Let me talk to your supervisor.'
He said:'Here is your invoice number. Here is the phone number. It's getting late so I'm going to pretend that you weren't home. Make your phone calls and if you decide you want the book, tell them and I'll come back tomorrow.'
I said:'OK'

Then I started making phone calls. I had to wait a couple of hours as it was still in the middle of the night in Windsor, but I did phone the UPS office and spoke to a girl there. Well, she spoke and I hollered.

Then I phoned the Guv and had to tell her the truth. That her generous, good deed, was going to cost me around $80 and that I had no problem paying it, thank you very much, but that please in future send me a book by snail mail. Or better than that, along with a friend who is coming to visit. I also asked if she sent the book C.O.D. which of course she didn't. So what is the money for on this end if she paid for delivery?

I then spoke to another girl...Yael. And screamed at her too. What am I paying this money for? V.A.T? That's 15%. How much can that be on a $30 book? When she informed me, Oh, NO! That is 15% on the price of the book PLUS the shipping fee I went balistic.

Then I spoke with Sophie. Same conversation. So I asked to speak to the supervisor. Her name is Tali and she told me the same thing that the first girl, then Yael, then Sophie told me.

Here is the payment( I have a copy in front of me)
Cost of book: $30
Handling charges: $92.35
That is the part the Guv paid.

What I had to pay:
Taxes: 63.75 shekels
My part of the payment for the container on the plane: 27.63 shekels
UPS charges: 46.75 shekels
Rounding off : 00.40 shekels
Total: 138.53
V.A.T.: on that total: 21.47
Plus V.A.T. on the Canadian payment: 76.00 shekels

Grand total; 236 shekels

I told Tali, the supervisor that I was NOT going to have this book destroyed in a warehouse after my friend paid so much money and went to the time and expense to give me such a special gift. I was NOT going to send it back making my friend pay another $150, or whatever the damn thing would cost.

And I wanted an explanation why a $30 book cost $172.35 to deliver?
She said that that was the law.
I told her that I would pay the fee. And tell my friend. And then tell the entire world never to use UPS again. And then, I would make sure that this story got around the world. That everyone would hear about it in Israel and then I would branch out to North America.

You are my first contact. Please send this story to everyone you know. I am now going to send it to my email list also. I have a wonderful friend who is going to send it to all the Foreign Press in Israel. And then I may contact the telvision.

Tali got scared. And she said she would see what she could do. I told her that would be nice. The book was delivered on Friday. They took off the 46.75 shekels that I had to pay for UPS charges. I gave the guy a cheque for 189.25 shekels.

I love the book. I hate the story. I think it is outrageous!!! Please help me. Please send this story along.

No one should be penalized for receiving a gift. I paid almost 300% taxes after the Guv paid 300% shipping cost...on a $30 book.

Thank goodness my friend John sent his 12 kilo of books by regular mail. Well, at least I hope so. If I have to pay anything on that shipment, I'll let you know.

Shavuah tov.

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

Thursday, June 14, 2007


I just read an article and the question asked was: 'Who would you give the other half of your best friend necklace to?'

Wow. I had to think about that. My Dad AH used to say that if you could count your friends on one hand then you were lucky.

When I was a kid I had oodles of friends. And like a elastic band holding up my pony tail, I kept them close to me.

Then when I grew older and moved to Jerusalem, I had a solid core of friends. They became my family in lieu of the people I had had to leave behind. We became each other's family, friends, buddies and support system.

Now that I am ahem 'older' my list of close ones has dwindled. But the core has stayed the same.

I am also blessed with very close ties to some of the people living far away. And with the wonders of email, skype, cheap phone rates we just picked up where we left off. You know the conversations that start, 'By the way...'

I started thinking of who I would give the other half of my best friend necklace to. There are five of you across the great water. You know who you are. There are at least that amount here with me in Jerusalem.

So I guess, like Mr. T. I would have to have a bunch of gold chains and half hearts around my neck. The best part my best friends is that I carry you always in my heart.

And I hope when you give out your best friend necklace that there is a place for me in your list too.

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

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


How come now that I am retired I don't have any time? How come I can't seem to fit evrything in to my schedule?

Well, that's not exactly true. I cook...I teach...I talk to my friends...I do everyting except find the time and space I need in order to write. I try to write my blog as I do so love to shmmoze. I try to visit your blogs as I love them too. Like a virtual family we are sharing our lives and isn't that just wonderful?

I guess my problem is that after the blog and my astrology column for the Jerusalem Post, I am not writing as much as I would like.

My two wonderful friends who are editing Emma are more than half way through. Thank goodness they like the book and enjoy the story , the writing, and the characters. PTEW!!!

I am now finished plotting out most of the next novel. See, in order to stay in my wonderful writing class we have to hand in about 2,000 words every two weeks. So, I started my new story. It's about a group of women who meet in an astrology class. The title so far is 55 Jacob's Ladder.

So why am I complaining? I'm not. I'm simply trying to figure out how come now that I am retired and not working a gazillion hour day, that I don't have the quiet time to write like I used to. I'll work it out. And I'll try to blog more and write you all more too.

Tomorrow remind me to tell you about 'The Paper Clips'.

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

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


We called him The Rabbi and he was our rabbi and our friend. He passed away yesterday.

Windsor, Ontario always housed a small Jewish community. When I was growing up there, there were 750 Jewish families. Today there are less than 2,000 Jews and 34,000 Muslims.

When I was growing up we were all Windsorites. Today we are Jews and Muslims. But not everyone knows that yet.

Rabbi Stollman was the rabbi of the 'big shul', the Shar HaShamayim (Gates of Heaven) and it is still a lovely shul. We had the big shul, the little shul and then the Temple. When my mother's father, my Zaidi AH decided to rebuild the little shul we moved there to daven. The little shul was special but the big shul...well it was the big shul.

We weren't religious. We were traditionalists. We celebrated every holiday. My brother and I went to Jewish school every day after school. I wanted to be a Brownie. My mother said that Jewish kids went to Jewish school and that was the end of the Brownies.

My mother was right. But that is another story.

My Dad AH and the Rabbi were friends. They liked each other. They respected each other.

When I moved to Jerusalem, I was thrilled to find that Debby and the Rabbi were here too. We didn't see each other that often but we always stayed close. I send this blog to them every day. When my parents came to visit for a couple of months every year, we always met with the Stollmans.

I have pictures of my parents, and the Rabbi and Debbie and my youngest standing outside of a restaurant with our gas mask kits during the Gulf War.

The Rabbi passed away yesterday. He wasn't young...he suffered a lot his last years...but he was THE RABBI. Smart, and kind and generous, and that twinkle in his eye always gave away the fact that behind his somber face was a man who knew how to laugh and loved life.

I loved the Rabbi and he loved me. He laughed at my stories. He comiserated with me during my hard times. He was my friend too. I will miss him.

Here is one of my favourite stories. My husband and I got married by the Rabbi in my house in Windsor. There were 18 people at the ceremony.Then we all went to the Jewish Center for the reception where close to 300 people were waiting for us. And that was only MY side. My husband's family were all back in Jerusalem. No one had that kind of money those days. And the plan was that we get married in Windsor and have a big party and live in Jerusalam afterwards.

My friend the Guv was a sport and went with me to the mikvah before the wedding. I'll tell you that tale another time. I knew that in Israel you had to go to the mikvah or ritual bath before a wedding and wanted to make sure that I had all the proper papers to have our wedding approved when we got back to Israel.

Little did I know. My husband and I went to the Rabbinute...the supreme Jewish religious governing body in the State of register our marriage so that when we had kids there wouldn't be any problems.

I figured it would be a sinch. My husband had three witnesses to verify that he was Jewish and had never been married before and I had my three witnesses to verify the same.

I wore my Rabbinute dress...long sleeves and long skirt. I didn't want to offend anyone and felt that this would be appropriate attire, even though I was into minis at the time. Sigh.

We were escorted into a room where three rabbis sat at a dias way up high...well it looked like that to me. Awe inspiring is all I can say. No one cracks jokes at the Rabbinute.

All went well until one of the rabbis said, 'I see you have witnesses for the bride and for the groom. But where are your witnesses for the Rabbi?'

I said, 'WHAT?'

He said, 'How do I know that you had an orthodox wedding? That your Rabbi is orthodox.'

I said, 'Rabbi. We got married in Windsor, Ontario. Rabbi Stollman is the Rabbi from the Shar HaShamayim Shul. It's an orthodox shul.'

Then I looked over at my husband.

A few seconds later, the rabbi said, 'Upstairs in the archives is one of our rabbis who just came back from North America. Maybe he heard about your rabbi.'

Then we started to climb. Up rickety stairs we went higher and higher until I figured that we were as close to God as I wanted to be that day. Inside a litte room pilled high with books and papers sat an old rabbi.

I told him our plight and he said, 'Of course I have heard of the Stollmans. Wonderful family.'

And he signed the papers. And our marriage was kosher.

I will miss The Rabbi. We all will. May he rest in peace.

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

Friday, June 08, 2007


There is an old Yiddish expression that goes like this: Ahz mehn lebt, derlebt mehn...which means if you live long enough you see everything.

My version over the years has been 'pigs can fly'...but that is a whole other blog.

Last night at nine o'clock, my daughter showed up carrying a pot. Inside were stuffed onions that she had made for us for shabbat. A first. The kid is cooking and sharing a lot lately and boy let me tell you it makes me smile inside and out. And she is GOOD!!!

So, all I had to do was boil a kettle of water...add a heaping tablespoon of chicken soup powder and a teaspoon of citric acid (lemon salt) and let it simmer for four hours!!!

It was nine thirty when I started. Four hours? Well, I brought it back to a boil and placed the pot on my lowest burner and sat down to wait. After two hours all the liquid was gone and I was falling asleep playing my card games online.

I figured it was done. And went to sleep. At four in the morning, I jumped up. The stuffed stuff!!! I ran and put the pot in the fridge.

Well, my dear friends, let me tell is the best stuffed stuff I have ever eaten. And I'm the proud Mother!!!

My late M-I-L AH was a great cook. She made the best yaprach...stuffed grape the entire world and my daughter's was even better!!! I can't believe it.
When I get the recipe from the kid I'll share. And it even had a surprise. On the bottom was a thin layer of potatoes that got oh so crunchy as it cooked. Yahoooooo my sweet daughter.

Here is my recipe for Yeminite stuffed stuff. I stuff zuccini/potatoes/bell peppers/cabbage/onions/tomatoes/carrots/and grape leaves with this recipe.

1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon hawayz optional...if no hawayaz double the cumin
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 small onion diced
1 ripe tomato diced
2 large cloves of garlic pressed
1/2 cup cilantro (kuzbarra) optional
1 heaping teaspoon of chicken soup powder
1 cup of cooked rice

place all of the above, except for the rice, in a frying pan and heat so that the essential oils are released
begin adding the cooked rice to the condiments
when the rice is all coated red you can begin stuffing
*this rice is great just as is with meat or chicken or fish for version of spanish rice :)
add water and lemon juice to barely cover (remember the rice is already cooked and all you want to do is basically steam the outer casings until they are soft)
bring to a boil and then lower the flame
simmer for about 30 minutes

Now let me tell you that my kid's stuffed onions were wayyyyyyyyyy better and when I get the recipe from her I'll share.

Shabbat shalom.

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

line the stuffed vegetables in your pot...use a big pot so that you don't have too many layers

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

JUNE 6, 1967

June 6, 1967
Colonel Motta Gur [on loudspeaker]: All company commanders, we're
sitting right now on the ridge and we're seeing the Old City. Shortly
we're going to go in to the Old City of Jerusalem, that all
generations have dreamed about. We will be the first to enter the Old
City. Eitan's tanks will advance on the left and will enter the Lion's
Gate. The final rendezvous will be on the open square above.
[The open square of the Temple Mount.]

[Sound of applause by the soldiers.]

Yossi Ronen: We are now walking on one of the main streets of
Jerusalem towards the Old City. The head of the force is about to
enter the Old City.


Yossi Ronen: There is still shooting from all directions; we're
advancing towards the entrance of the Old City.

[Sound of gunfire and soldiers' footsteps.]

[Yelling of commands to soldiers.]

[More soldiers' footsteps.]

The soldiers are keeping a distance of approximately 5 meters
between them. It's still dangerous to walk around here; there is still
sniper shooting here and there.


We're all told to stop; we're advancing towards the mountainside;
on our left is the Mount of Olives; we're now in the Old City opposite
the Russian church. I'm right now lowering my head; we're running next
to the mountainside. We can see the stone walls. They're still
shooting at us. The Israeli tanks are at the entrance to the Old City,
and ahead we go, through the Lion's Gate. I'm with the first unit to
break through into the Old City. There is a Jordanian bus next to me,
totally burnt; it is very hot here. We're about to enter the Old City
itself. We're standing below the Lion's Gate, the Gate is about to
come crashing down, probably because of the previous shelling.
Soldiers are taking cover next to the palm trees; I'm also staying
close to one of the trees. We're getting further and further into the


Colonel Motta Gur announces on the army wireless: The Temple Mount
is in our hands! I repeat, the Temple Mount is in our hands!

All forces, stop firing! This is the David Operations Room. All
forces, stop firing! I repeat, all forces, stop firing! Over.

Commander eight-nine here, is this Motta (Gur) talking? Over.

[Inaudible response on the army wireless by Motta Gur.]

Uzi Narkiss: Motta, there isn't anybody like you. You're next to
the Mosque of Omar.

Yossi Ronen: I'm driving fast through the Lion's Gate all the way
inside the Old City.

Command on the army wireless: Search the area, destroy all pockets
of resistance [but don't touch anything in the houses], especially the
holy places.

[Lt.- Col. Uzi Eilam blows the Shofar. Soldiers are singing
'Jerusalem of Gold'.]

Uzi Narkiss: Tell me, where is the Western Wall? How do we get there?

Yossi Ronen: I'm walking right now down the steps towards the
Western Wall. I'm not a religious man, I never have been, but this is
the Western Wall and I'm touching the stones of the Western Wall.

Soldiers: [reciting the 'Shehechianu' blessing]: Baruch ata
Hashem, elokeinu melech haolam, she-hechianu ve-kiemanu ve-hegianu
la-zman ha-zeh. [Translation: Blessed art Thou L-rd G-d King of the
Universe who has sustained us and kept us and has brought us to this

Rabbi Shlomo Goren: Baruch ata Hashem, menachem tsion u-voneh
Yerushalayim. [Translation: Blessed are thou, who comforts Zion and
bulids Jerusalem]

Soldiers: Amen!

[Soldiers sing 'Hatikva' next to the Western Wall.]

Rabbi Goren: We're now going to recite the prayer for the fallen
soldiers of this war against all of the enemies of Israel:

[Soldiers weeping]

El male rahamim, shohen ba-meromim. Hamtse menuha nahona al kanfei
hashina, be-maalot kedoshim, giborim ve-tehorim, kezohar harakiya
meirim u-mazhirim. Ve-nishmot halalei tsava hagana le-yisrael,
she-naflu be-maaraha zot, neged oievei yisrael, ve-shnaflu al kedushat
Hashem ha-am ve-ha'arets, ve-shichrur Beit Hamikdash, Har Habayit,
Hakotel ha-ma'aravi veyerushalayim ir ha-elokim. Be-gan eden tehe
menuhatam. Lahen ba'al ha-rahamim, yastirem beseter knafav le-olamim.
Ve-yitsror be-tsror ha-hayim et nishmatam adoshem hu nahlatam,
ve-yanuhu be-shalom al mishkavam [soldiers weeping loud]ve-ya'amdu
le-goralam le-kets ha-yamim ve-nomar amen!

[Translation: Merciful G-d in heaven, may the heroes and the pure,
be under thy Divine wings, among the holy and the pure who shine
bright as the sky, and the souls of soldiers of the Israeli army who
fell in this war against the enemies of Israel, who fell for their
loyalty to G-d and the land of Israel, who fell for the liberation of
the Temple, the Temple Mount, the Western Wall and Jerusalem the city
of the Lord. May their place of rest be in paradise. Merciful One, O
keep their souls forever alive under Thy protective wings. The Lord
being their heritage, may they rest in peace, for they shalt rest and
stand up for their allotted portion at the end of the days, and let us
say, Amen.]

[Soldiers are weeping. Rabbi Goren sounds the shofar. Sound of
gunfire in the background.]

Rabbi Goren: Le-shana HA-ZOT be-Yerushalayim ha-b'nuya,
be-yerushalayim ha-atika! [Translation: This year in a rebuilt
Jerusalem! In the Jerusalem of old!] *

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

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


I don't know about you...but I love chocolate. I mean I really love chocolate. I love chocolate bars...chocolate cake...croissants with chocolate inside....chocolate chips...peanut butter m$m's...chocolate ice cream...chocolate.

I have even been known to get out of bed, get dressed, and go to the store to buy chocolate. SHHHHHH don't tell Bubbie Channah. :)

I can't keep chocolate in the house.I try...but until I have eaten it all I don't stop. It's like an itch you have to scratch.

My cousin Romie came to visit from Belgium. Now, I have to tell you that I may have to leave my wonderful Jerusalem and move to Belgium. He brought me chocolates! He didn't bring me chocolates. He brought me CHOCOLATES!!!!!!!! And except for a precious few that I shared with people I really really loved, I ate them all myself. Have you ever heard of Leonidis Chocolates??? Have you ever tasted them??? DON'T ASK. I thought I died and went to heaven.

A couple of days ago I received an email about the most expensive chocolate in the world. I figured that I should go check it out.

Are you ready for this? ONE PIECE OF CHOCOLATE COSTS...drum roll...$250!!!!! One piece!!! 250 bucks...smakaroos...greenbacks...dough...lettuce...bread...dollars!!!

Are they nuts?

Here's the deal. There is this nice man, Knipschildt and he decided to make huha chocolates. And he invented La Madeline au Truffe

La Madeline au Truffe

La Madeline au Truffe Price List:
$250.00: 1.9oz

Looking for the most extravagant chocolate in the world?

Well you've found it. Knipschildt's La Madeline au Truffe was
recognized by Forbes Magazine as the most expensive chocolate in the

La Madeline au Truffe starts with a decadent 70% Valrhona dark
chocolate, heavy cream, sugar, truffle oil and vanilla as the base for
the rich decadent ganache. (I think the magic word here is decadent).

A rare French Perigord truffle (a rare mushroom) (Truffle? In my chocolate? Next they'll put in safron...another meshuggeneh thing) is then surrounded by this rich decadent ganache; it is enrobed in Valrhona dark chocolate and then rolled in fine cocoa
powder. The result is pure extravagance! Laying on a bed of sugar
pearls in a silver box tied with a ribbon. (For two hundred and fifty dollars they should put in real pearls and real silver)

3 month shelf life. (Ptew!!! Like I'm going to keep my one dumb piece of chocolate for three months. Duh!)

And if that isn't enough, there's also some crazy caviar that costs $250,000 a kilo.

As Desi said to Lucy, 'Splain me Lucy.'

Can you imagine? I don't think I would enjoy eating that truffle. All I can think of is that four or five of those chocolates equals a round trip flight to the States.

And only m&m's melt in your mouth...not in your hands. Sigh.

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

Monday, June 04, 2007


I used to knit. I used to do fancy tapestries. Now I write and I read. And I watch TV. I just figured out why my life seems so upside-down. For almost twenty years I worked from two in the afternoon until seven at night. First teaching in a private school and then for fourteen years, teaching and administrating my own learning center.

My day was organized. I had the mornings for things I had to do at home and/or meetings. Then I met Bubbie Channah every afternoon for lunch. Then I walked the two blocks from her place downtown to my place in the shuk.

Took the bus home. Ate dinner. Went online and did emails and wrote. In three years I wrote two books.

Then I had to close my learning center. The intifada plus the financial situation in Jerusalem left me no choice.

Now I am a freelance teacher. And I work mornings. And I got farblonzhed (mixed-up). All my timing was off. And brilliant college graduate that I am, I finally figured it out. After using up all my energy teaching in the mornings I poop out in the afternoons and then get hooked on my tv shows in the evenings.

Ok! So where is the time for writing? Oh, and add the blog and all my howdy-do's to all my new blogger friends and no wonder I am running on low energy in the creative pool.

So, now that I know what the problem is, I am trying to re-organize myself. And it is starting to work. Thank goodness.

Here is a list of the last five books I read plus the one I am reading now:
The Copper Scroll by Joel C. Rosenberg
The First Law by John Lescroart
Night Fall by Nelson DeMIlle
The Charm School by Nelson DeMille
Bue Smoke by Nora Roberts :)))
And now I'm reading The Secret Book of Grazia dei Rossi by Jacqueline Park

Here is a list of the tv shows that I seem to be hooked on:
Desperate Housewives
American Idol Israeli version
The Young and the Restless
Extreme Makeover Home Edition

So that is what I've been doing with my spare time. I'd love to know what you are doing with yours.

Oh, and I have started my new novel: 55 Jacob's Ladder. Yahoooooooo.

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

Sunday, June 03, 2007


I had so many things I wanted to talk usual...but then someone sent me this in an email. I can't help made me laugh out loud.

So then I thought, 'Why shouldn't we all start off the week with a giggle?' and here it is.

Hope it makes you laugh too.

There once was an Indian whose given name was 'Onestone.
So named because he had only one testicle. He hated that name and asked everyone not to call him Onestone.

After years and years of torment, Onestone finally cracked and
said, "If anyone calls me Onestone again I will kill them!" The word got
around and nobody called him that any more.

Then one day a young woman named Blue Bird forgot and said, Good
morning, Onestone." He jumped up, grabbed her and took her deep
into the forest where he made love to her all day and all night. He made
love to her all the next day, until Blue Bird died from exhaustion.

The word got around that Onestone meant what he promised he
would do.

Years went by and no one dared call him by his given name
until a woman named Yellow Bird returned to the village after being away
for many years. Yellow Bird, who was Blue Bird's cousin, was overjoyed when
saw Onestone. She hugged him and said, "So good to see you, Onestone."

Onestone grabbed her, took her deep into the forest, then
he made
love to her all day, made love to her all night, made love to her
all the next day, made love to her all the next night, but Yellow Bird
wouldn't die!

What is the moral of this story?????
Oh, come on...take a guess!
Think about it (You're going to love this!)
And the moral is.....

You can't kill two birds with one stone!

HAHAHA...I told you it made me laugh!

Shavuah tov.

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

Friday, June 01, 2007


Hiiiiiiii...I'm back. Actually I didn't go anywhere but here's what my schedule was like these past few days. Sunday and Thursday mornings I taught from 9-11 and then from 12-1 and then was busy with my family. Thank God for both.

Mondays and Wednesdays I teach a partially sighted lovely man in the morning from 7:30 until about 10 and we meet in the Malcha Mall in the fast food court. It's only about five bus stops from my house and is easiest for him to meet me there. Thank goodness the Mall opens at seven and there is one coffee shop open at that hour. So, while carrying two coffees and a couple of hot cakes for him ( I do admit to sometimes taking a bite...I said sometimes not every time...sigh ) I climb the stairs to the fast food court. At that hour of the morning the escalators don't work. I guess that saves them a gazillion shekels of unnecessary expense.

So, that leaves me Tuesdays. But this week my writing group was critiquing my final chapter of Emma. We have a tradition in our group that the final chapter is party time. The first guy was a sport and invited us all out for dinner at Rimon, a restaurant downtown. I never could afford anything like that, so when I finished my first book "My Heart Told Me"...the story of my Bubbie and Mother's life in the 1940's I brought in pizza for everyone. Then Karen finished her book and we were treated to sushi. I admit that I did not eat it. I have eaten sushi three times...the first, the last, and one too many! Oy.

So, where was I? Oh, yes Tuesday. I had to run into the city early and meet my mom and four cousins. They are all first cousins and I love them. It is always fun to go back down memory lane with my mom and her cousins. What a treasure chest of memories. I love it.

Then after lunch Bubbie Channah and I went back to her place and fell asleep for an hour or so. I told you, the old grey mare, she ain't what she used to be...sigh. And at around 5:30 I ran to the shuk to buy my fixings for the party.

Wanna hear my menu? Of course you do! I bought a kilo of cheeses...brie/a something wonderful covered in walnuts with two stripes of walnuts running through the middle/blue cheese/ and a hard yellow cheese that must have had 35% fat it was that delicious. Oh, and I bought a 5% hunk of slightly salty white cheese.

And four different great breads. And two smoked fish. And a tub of cream cheese and lox. And cole slaw/black olives/fried eggplant/pickled red peppers. And I think that's it. Oh wait. I also bought a box of cherry tomatoes.

Not bad, eh? We licked the platters clean.

They didn't like my epilogue. Bless them for being honest. They wanted more closure. They were right. I'm rewriting it now. Yahoooooo.

So my dear friends, that is why you haven't heard from me in a few days. The body was willing but the mind was weak. Simply couldn't get the energy to make an intelligent sentence.

But don't worry. I'm back!!! Hope all is well with you and yours!

Shabbat shalom.

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