Monday, June 24, 2013


A couple of months ago my oldest grandson, who has just turned eleven!!! came to me and told me that his music teacher in school needs a song that is meaningful to the family and, if possible, has come down from generations past.

I thought for quite a while before choosing Ochi Cherneye. Here is a picture of Ivan Rebroff.
There are two versions on YouTube that I personally like: The Red Army Choir and this one by Ivan Rebroff.

My Zaidi A'H loved this song and sang it always to my Bubbie A'H, who he loved with all his heart until the day she died.

As he sang it, of course in Russian, my Mom A'H and my Tanti Helen learned it and they sang it. And when I was born, I quickly picked it up and to this day I can still sing the first verse in Russian. And, when I asked my brother David, he remembered it as well.

So, I Googled and YouTubed the song, printed out a copy and handed it to my grandson, explaining the background to him and why I chose that particular song.

The kid took it to school and the teacher went wild! Who knew she was Russian!!!

Roots. In the past whenever my kids or grandchildren asked me questions about the family for school it was for basic information so the kids would learn about where their family came from and how they got to Israel.

But this was different. This was music. And these kids in this religious school spent months learning about each other's heritage through music. 
One kid from America taught them The Hokey Pokey. Another kid taught them Ah Yiddisheh Mammeh...I cried. And Oifen Pripichik...I cried again. Another kid taught them Au Claire de la get the picture. Oh, and there were a lot of Moroccan and Hebrew songs too.

Each kid wrote about the song they were presenting and each family had to come sit on the stage while their child took the microphone and read what he'd written. 
This is what my kid wrote:
Ochi Cherneye has been in my family for generations since my Great-Great-Grandfather began singing it. My Great-Great-Grandfather Eliezer (Lazer) left Russia after the First World War and this is one of his favorite songs. He taught it to his daughter and she taught it to my Bubbie.
My Bubbie loved her grandfather so much that when my abba was born she named him after her Zaidi Eliezer but changed the letters to Ilan. That is how my abba got his name.
I would have cried but I had to go sit on the stage in front of all those kids and parents. I always cry at these things. Lots of reasons but I won't go into them now. So, there I was sitting on the stage with my daughter-in-law while my son was busy trying to take a video with my cell phone.

It was unbelievable! They had kids dressed up like gypsies playing cards to tell their fortunes (the teacher said their fortune showed they were excellent singers). Then they had other kids dressed up like peasants riding scooters with horse's heads attached to the handlebars!

Ahhhhh...but then a gorgeous man with a head full of snow white hair took the microphone and with a voice like Ivan Rebroff began to sing. The kids sang all the choruses and they clapped and danced around. It was really something!!!

When it was over, I shook hands with the amateur opera singer man and thanked the teacher and sat down.

I didn't cry until this morning when I listened to the video on my phone and looked over at sweetsy baby. This baby is a clone of my Dad A'H and every time he smiles at me...what can I tell you? I'm just so sorry my Mother A'H isn't alive to see this child.

Well, there I was sitting on the porch with the baby. Me on a plastic chair and him in his buggy. Early morning. Nice breeze. The music was playing and all of a sudden the kid broke into the hugest smile and began clapping his hands to the music! That was it!!! Don't ask!

Somewhere up in heaven my Zaidi is smiling. He never made it to Israel. But last night his great-great-grandson sang his favorite song in Jerusalem! My cup runneth over!

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

Thursday, June 20, 2013


I don't drink. I do, however understand when someone says, "Let's get out of here, I need a drink." But, my version is SERIOUS CHOCOLATE!

Sometimes just chocolate will do. But, I do admit that there have been times in my life when only serious chocolate would take care of things. In order to be completely honest here, I will tell you that I have been known to get dressed and walk to my makolet...the Israeli version of a 7-11 that is up the street for the sole purpose of buying chocolate...and not the good healthy know the thousand per cent cocoa, dark chocolate stuff...oh no! When in trouble a person needs Snickers! Sometimes a double rich brownie will do, but that is only as a second choice!

When Bubbie Channah A'H was dying I ate six of them a day! Please, don't tell anyone...let's keep this between us. Thanks.

A few years ago, I was in Colorado visiting my brother David and was introduced to a man named John. John joined us at David's office to discuss Shaar Patuach, my learning center for learning disabled children. As we sat and talked, John was more than happy to tell us how he loves Israel. As a matter of fact, he'd been there many times in his role as something-or-other for the U.N.

At the time Israel was not too happy with the U.N. We had three soldiers kidnapped and the Security Forces did nothing but film the incident and then refuse to let us see the films.

Then my new friend John said that he spent many a happy day in Ramallah with his very good friend Yasser Arafat!!! As a matter of fact, he came back from there not too long ago!

I looked at David. He had a look on his face that was a plea for me to choose my words carefully. I bit my tongue, and a little while later John got up...shook our hands...and left.

I grabbed my brother and told him to wash his hands with soap and to get me out of there and find me some SERIOUS CHOCOLATE! I kept humming the tune, "I danced with a man who danced with a girl who danced with the Prince of Wales."

Serious Chocolate is a very wonderful invention. You don't need a prescription. You can eat it at any time day or night. It is almost as comforting as a hot water bottle on a freezing winter's night!

Why am I telling you all this? Do you have a minute?

See, yesterday I learned that I was a Nazi! I didn't know!!! I thought I was the one killed by those mamzers!!! But, luckily I read an article in of our most prestigious Hebrew newspapers and they told me.

Please read below and I quote:
The Anti-Defamation League on Tuesday lambasted U.S. author Alice Walker (author of The Color Purple) over "fervently anti-Jewish ideas" the group said she expressed in her new book.
According to the U.S.-based Jewish organization, Walker's new book, “The Cushion in the Road,” devotes some 80 pages to essays on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – a section "replete with fervently anti-Jewish ideas and peppered with explicit comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany." ( ME??? A NAZI???) In her writing, Walker further suggests that Israel should cease to exist as a Jewish state and seeks to justify terrorism against Israeli civilians, the ADL said. (WAIT A MINUTE! THAT'S ME! AND MINE!!!)
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said in a statement. “She has taken her extreme and hostile views to a shocking new level, revealing the depth of her hatred of Jews and Israel to a degree that we have not witnessed before. 
"Her descriptions of the conflict are so grossly inaccurate and biased that it seems Walker wants the uninformed reader to come away sharing her hate-filled conclusions that Israel is committing the greatest atrocity in the history of the world,” he added.
More recently, Walker – a proponent of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel – urged singer Alicia Keys to cancel her scheduled July concert in Tel Aviv." 

I began following this woman when I read that she refused Israel the right to translate her book,  The Color Purple into Hebrew. I wonder if she is good friends with my friend John? Or maybe the former president, Jimmy Carter? should have turned right instead of left! Sigh!!!

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

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Barbra Streisand is in Israel! First time since 1984! Royalty is in the country. And we know how to treat royalty...we quickly awarded her an honorary Ph.D from the Hebrew University!!!
Bubbie Channah A'H always told me that fish and company stink after three days. 

I think I know what a good host is like and what a good host is supposed to do.

But what are the rules for a good guest?

At the awards ceremony, our royal guest decided to take a stand and with all the cameras shooting and the microphones working said: and I quote from the Jerusalem Post:
"It's distressing to read about women in Israel being forced to sit in the back of the bus," she said, "or when we hear about `Women of the Wall' having metal chairs thrown at them when they attempt to peacefully and legally pray."
She was referring to isolated incidents in which ultra-Orthodox men tried to force women to sit separately at the rear of buses that go through their neighborhoods, as well as more serious clashes in which ultra-Orthodox Jews tried to prevent women donning prayer shawls and carrying Torah scrolls from praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, the holiest site where Jews can worship. 
Thank you so much Barbra. We all feel better now that you have pointed this out to us! See without you mentioning it and bringing it back to the attention of the world press we wouldn't have known!!!

How dare you!!! Thirty years you have not been here! And the first thing you do is open your mouth and say THAT!?! How about, "Thank you Israel for standing up for women's rights against those primitive few who would take them away?" No. That never came out of her mouth.Maybe no one told her that we don't accept that sort of behaviour here in Israel. If so don't you think she should have gotten her facts straight first? Or does being royalty make you right no matter what?

Now, let us not forget her generosity and many contributions she has made to this country. Thank you! A million times thank you! I mean that!!! We are a small country and appreciate and need all the help we can get from our friends!!!

But...what rights does that money give you in return? How much do we owe you besides a big honest heartfelt THANKS!!!

When I first moved to Israel in 1970, any package received from abroad had to be picked up at customs where they decided if and how much of a fee was going to be charged on the goods. This was far before computers and we all knew that going there meant waiting in a long line until it was your turn.

One afternoon I was waiting. It was summer. No air conditioning. People were hot and tired. All of a sudden a woman, who was obviously from New York by her accent said. "What is taking you so long? You're so damn slow! In my country of America no one would have to wait like this. Do you know who I am? Do you have any idea how much I've given to this country?"

Silence filled the room.

The little clerk looked up at her and said, "On behalf of Israel, I want to thank you. I have only given my son to this country."

A long time has passed since that afternoon but it is tattooed on my mind.

Oh, and by the way, in case you to her two concerts sold for at least...$700 each!!! At today's rate that is 700 X 3.60= 2,520 shekels! The equivalent of a month's rent!

Bubbie Channah A'H also said that you don't pish where you eat!

People...people who love people...

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

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Friends come in all shapes and sizes. Some last forever and others stick around  for as long as needed to do whatever job they were sent to do.

All my life I have been blessed with great friends. Donna was my first friend. We met when I was six months old and she was an old lady of a year. We have been friends all our lives and are still close...if not physically, then spiritually and she is one of my sisters-in-love.

Sharon showed up when I was about seventeen. And stuck around. We don't look anything alike but our personalities are so close that I call her the Guv and she calls me Danny after the movie, The Twins. Another sister-in-love.

David and Maeshy, my two book brother and my brother-in-love...I couldn't live this lifetime without them. 

I left them and everyone behind when I moved to Israel. Not a simple thing. The world was much different in phones in Israel...hardly internet, nothing. Writing a letter home took at least a month round trip.

What a different world we live in today. When my oldest son went into the army, he would come home once a month for a weekend and every once in awhile we would get a phone call at six in the morning and could hear him shouting from a field phone his hellos and love and whatever it was possible for him to tell us about his life.

My daughter was the first in our family to get a cell phone. Wow how great that was! The Umbilical Cord was reconnected!!!

By the time my youngest was in the army, not only were there cell phones but the army distributed one to each new recruit!!!

I knew no one when I moved here and soon gathered a group of neighbours and friends who became my family. 

Israel is a country of immigrants and most of us left loved ones behind...some more than others, and we formed tight bonds. My neighbours were from Morocco and Kurdistan and Europe. I learned to cook from them. I make great stuff!!!

When the Yom Kippur War broke out we kept each other from falling apart. Women and children together keeping up a brave face and helping each other connect with families abroad.

Marianne, Rosaline, Evelyn, Sheila, RinaSavtaAmosi, blessed I am to have you in my life. 

So, my friends...I thank you. New and old you have influenced and enriched my life so much and I am eternally grateful.

Hedy, my newest friend,  I hope you had a good trip home. It was a joy having you in the country!!! We miss you already!!!

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

Sunday, June 09, 2013


Here we are at Sunday again...a new day...a new week. I don't know about you, but I'm one of those people who wakes up ready to start the day! Hello day! Hello morning! Hello Jerusalem! Hello!!! Makes my husband and kids nuts. They are the 'need to have my first cup of coffee/tea and while you're at it, could you please speak softly?' people. Makes me nuts.

Now, my brother David, he's just like me! And we have the best time talking. Especially when we're in the same time zone. He lives in Boulder and we Viber/Tango/Skype...wadda world!

But, when we are together we have the most fun! It is wonderful waking up to a happy face who usually says "Where'd you want to go for breakfast?" 

So, no matter if you are a YAHOO person or a yahhoo person, SHAVUAH TOV...shavuah tov!!!

I hope you have a great, happy healthy week. And, btw, breakfast sounds busy?

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

Monday, June 03, 2013


I would buy this! I would wear this. This is me! Or it was...

As some of you know, I started knitting at seven because my mother, Bubbie Channah A'H told me in Yiddish that you couldn't sit with idle hands. I made my first real sweater that year.

And, I have been knitting ever since. But ever since Bubbie Channah passed away I can't sit down and knit. We used to have so much fun. She would work on her project and I would work on mine. She would sew the invisible seams and add the hand made buttons and I would praise her for doing an amazing, fabulous job.

It isn't fun anymore.

I have made a couple of blankets and baby blankets, but it isn't the same. She isn't there telling me to pull out a row or what colours to choose. She isn't there to praise my work and kiss me.

I still have a house full of knitting and crocheting needles and a closet full of wool. 

My excuse right now is that it's too hot (AND IT IS) to knit. 

Let's try again in the fall.

But isn't that a gorgeous pendant? I would wear that and I would buy it if I ever saw it in a shop. of the many hats I wear.

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