Sunday, April 27, 2014


Tonight marks Yom HaShoah...Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel. Restaurants and coffee shops will be closed from sundown tonight until sundown tomorrow. The television will show programs dealing with the Shoah. Tomorrow when the siren goes off everyone will stop what they are doing and stand at attention. Israel remembers.

When I was a little girl, I met Sasha and his wife, Elizabeth. They were survivors. Sasha was bright and ambitious and wanted to provide a good life for his family. But as time went by Sasha lost business after business. I asked my mom what was wrong and Bubbie Channah A'H said, "He survived, he couldn't add being rich and safe. So, subconsciously he undermined every business venture he started."

When I moved to Jerusalem, I went to Ulpan where new immigrants learn Hebrew...a fascinating premise and one day I'll tell you stories. In our class was Goldie. She must have been in her thirties or early forties at the time. She was gorgeous. I'd never seen skin like hers. Svelt and elegant, we became friends. One day I invited her for lunch back at my apartment. Goldie began to talk. She talked about over there. She told me how she loved to buy clothes. And when she found something she liked, she bought it in all the colours they had in the store. But when she got home, she gave all the clothes away. She only kept as much as could fit in one suitcase!

I remember!

Wednesday, August 07, 2013


You all know how much I love books...reading...writing...touching...buying! There is nothing better than a great book written by an accomplished, smart, exciting author.

Years ago I discovered Daniel Silva and his books featuring Gabriel Allon and Ari Shamron and and and...

I don't want to spoil them for you so all I'll say is please go get them if you like a fabulous read where you stay up far too late just turning one more page!

Although each book stands on its own, if you can start at the beginning of the series and enjoy the ride.

I just finished The English Girl and the worst part about it was I finished it too quickly.

Have a good day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.
ps if you click on 'just saying' and go to books you will see the latest reveiw of this book plus others I have have been lucky enough to read.

Sunday, July 07, 2013


I'd rather be in Tel Aviv meeting my fabulous friend Frances.
I'd rather be sitting in a coffee shop with my mini laptop writing and watching the city start its week.
I'd rather be in the States and Candada with family and friends.

But sometimes a person just has to stay home and get rid of a rotten cold...sniff sniff cough cough.
So, instead of all the above, I'm meeting with my editor as I continue working on the fourth!!! edit of my novel One Veil at a Time.
Shavuah tov!!!
Have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in

Tuesday, July 02, 2013


Once a week my friend and I try to walk around the zoo...the Biblical Zoo...the one that is five minutes from my house and the most fabulous zoo in the Universe! Ok maybe not in the Universe but it sure is a great zoo!!!

Well this morning, as we usually do on Tuesday mornings, got there just at opening time before nine a.m.

Well...all the staff were standing around and my friend thought that maybe someone important was coming to the zoo. So, I asked. Yup!!! Our President, Shimon Peres was on his way!

We started on our walk up and down and around looking at the magnificently well cared for animals and plants...have you ever been to a zoo where there is not one scrap of paper on the ground?...where the only smell is flowers and grass? where the animals look healthy and happy and little baby animals are everywhere? Well...that's my zoo!

Nu, so all of a sudden the little train that takes the families around the zoo came to a halt near where we were and there he was!!! Rina and me and the President makes three!!! Yahoooo.

I looked over and he looked at me and I waved and he waved back! I was sorry my babies weren't with me!

As I watched him move on in the little train, I thought of how lucky I am. See, I get to walk around the zoo all the time. He only gets to come maybe once in forever!

PS. The man looks great! And powerful!  Like big time!

Shalom Kvod HaNassi! Come back again soon!

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


My oldest grandson, Sweetsy Tootsie woke up this morning singing this song in Yiddish! I tried to transfer the video from my cell phone but don't know how.
This is a lullaby written by Yitzik Manger, one of the most important Yiddish poets of the 20th Century.

                                  Shir Al Etz 
On the road stands a tree,
it stands bent and deserted,
All the birds of that tree
have flown away.

Turn toward the west, turn toward the east,
And the rest - turn toward the south,
And the tree is left alone
abandoned to the storm.

I say to momma--"Listen,
If you don't stand in my way,
then, one and two,
I'll quickly become a bird...

I'll sit in the tree
And lull it
during the winter and comfort it
With a lovely tune.

And momma says, "No, child,"
And weeps bitter tears -
G-d forbid, in the tree
you might freeze.

So I say, "Momma, it's a waste
of your lovely eyes,
Because before you know it,
I'll be a bird."

And momma cries: - Itzik, my Crown,
As G-d would want,
take a scarf with you,
Lest you catch cold.

"Put on your galoshes,
It will be a severe winter.
And take your fur hat, too.
Woe is me!

"And take your warm underwear,
put it on, foolish child,
Lest you become a guest
among the dead...

I lift my wing, but it's hard...
Too much, too many things
Has momma put on
her weak little fledgling.

I look sadly straight forward
into my momma's eyes,
Her love did not allow me
to become a bird...

On the road stands a tree,
it stands bent and deserted,
All the birds of that tree
have flown away.

I haven't heard this song since I was a very young girl. And to hear it sung by my Yiddish!!! in Jerusalem!!! OK, I cried. My little chazzen...tfu tfu tfu!

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

Monday, July 01, 2013

rosh hashanah challeh with karen goren

Look what I found! Too good to lose so I decided to save it here! Rosh HaShanah here I come!
Have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in

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.