Wednesday, August 29, 2007



"Al regel ahat" means on one foot - which means I'll tell you, quickly and "b'kitzur" (in short) what's been going on and why I haven't had time to write.

First of all - it just occurs to me that I have been writing this blog for a little over one year. Actually, it's more than that, since I started writing this as letters to friends during the 2nd Lebanon War - and the letters, somehow, morphed into this blog.

So - more than a year of telling you what I've been doing - how life is in Israel - where I've travelled - the dinner parties I've given - other people's parties I've cooked for. I've railed at our politicians - been furious with our government - v'choolay, v'choolay, v'choolay (etc.etc. etc.).

It's been a long hot summer - unremitting heat for weeks and weeks. Which means one doesn't want to do anything - even though my flat is air conditioned. I shudder to think about my electricity bill - which must look like the national debt by now.

Getting ready to cook once again - it's THE HOLIDAYS of course. Still not ready for them - but there's no choice. Going to Ouri and Devora for the first night and then to my cousins - Dizza and Pazzi - for lunch the next day. I really wanted to go to "Beit Knesset" (shul, synagogue) but that's hard to do when you are more than 100 kilometers from home. And there will probably be the usual Second-Day-Rosh-HaShana party in Jerusalem - for which the guests have to provide the food - so - more cooking.

Have been doing the usual - guests for dinner - going out with my friends - working on the Va'ad!! - writing. Which reminds me - we have the Annual Va'ad General Meeting next Tuesday evening - that should be a lot of laughs. It's probably the thing I hate most during the year - except maybe for going to the dentist or the gynecologist. That should tell you how awful the meetings are. Actually - the Va'ad takes up a lot of my time - a thankless job for which I am not paid but rather blamed for everything that goes wrong in the building. Why do I do it? Because no one else wants to - and as I have to live here I might as well have the building run the way I want it to.

Had a terrible toothache - which turned out to be nothing - except it hurt - and as soon as I finish writing this I'm going to the dentist for a checkup. And after that a trip to the opthalmologist to take care of this terrible eye infection I've developed. Not such fun things.

Also have a deadline to meet for the next article I'm doing for The Jerusalem Post. Catch up with you later.

Yalla, Bye.

Thursday, August 16, 2007



Those of us/you who celebrate holidays "not of the Jewish persuasion" don't have it so bad. Don't have it so bad? We/you have it very good.

Christmas? Always - always - always - December 24th & 25th. New Year's - always December 31st and January 1st. Each year it rermains the same. July 4th? On July 4th. Halloween? Always the same date. Thanksgiving - the third Thursday in November - and you can bet your life on it. True - in the States George Washington and Abraham Lincoln have kindly consented to move their birthdays to a Monday to give Americans two long weekends - but it's always around the same time each year.

Jewish Holidays? They're a crapshoot. They're either "very early" or "very late". Jewish Holidays are never - ever - "on time". Take this year, for example. Rosh Hashana is much too early. How can Rosh Hashana be September 12th? I'm not ready for it. It's still the middle of the summer. Last year Rosh Hashana was at the very end of September and Yom Kippur fell in October - that makes sense.

And the Religious insist on changing Summer Time back to Winter Time for the Holidays. Don't ask me why. (Something about the hours of fasting on Yom Kippur. Correct me if I'm wrong - but aren't twenty-four hours twenty-four hours whenever they begin?) So that at the beginning of September already it will be getting dark earlier.

And, talk about bad planning. Yom Kippur falls this year on Friday night and Saturday - we don't work on those days we're cheated out of two "free" days. What kind of "mishegas" (craziness) is this? And Rosh HaShana falls on Wednesday night - so Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday are Holidays.

I remember that when I was a kid growing up in New York Jewish women - no matter how early the Holiday and no matter how hot it was - wore their "Hadassah Tallis" (otherwise known as a mink stole) to shul. So what if the temperature was 90 degrees farenheit - they had to show the world that their husbands could afford to buy them a mink stole. By the way - I wonder what ever happened to all those mink stoles - I haven't seen one in years.

No matter - I'm going to begin to get myself mentally ready for Rosh HaShana - even though I'm not really ready for it.

Yalla, Bye.

Friday, August 03, 2007



I'm easy. I'm flexible. I'm also a very good friend. So it was that when Marallyn said to me that she wanted to go to the Ninette Tayeb concert at The Ma'abada (The Lab) this evening and would I go with her I said "Sure!" - nevermind that Ninette was only a name that I had seen in the gossip columns.

May I tell you that Marallyn and I brought the up the average age of the audience by - well, I won't tell you by how much - but suffice it to say that most of the audience was in their teens and early twenties. There were actually a few "more mature" people there - but a very few.

Ninette is the hottest young singer around today. She was a big winner on the "Kohav Nolad" (A Star is Born) show - so Marallyn told me. She was a big star on an Israeli "telenovela" - pronounced TEL-a-noh-VEL-a (soap opera) - but as I never watch telenovelas - American or English or Israeli - I didn't know her from that either. Actually I lie. I once watched several episodes of an Israeli telenovela - something about a family who owned a vineyard - for Marallyn - who had to be abroad for a few weeks and needed to know what went on during the time she was gone. As I said - I'm a very good friend so I watched it and reported to her.

But I digress. So there we were at the show. What can I tell you? To quote Marallyn: "I've now seen Ninette three times. The first time - this time - and the last time". True - Ninette has a very good voice. And very loud. In fact, the whole concert was very loud. VERY LOUD. VERY VERY LOUD. With a lot of lights flashing on and off. I kept hoping that no one in the audience was prone to epilepsy - those flashing lights could have set anyone off. And Marallyn was hoping that no one had a pacemaker - the bunga-bunga-boom-boom of the backup band could have caused cardiac arrest.

I'm the person who thinks Shalom Hanoch and Yehuda Poliker and "Teapacks" (or "Tipex" - take your choice of spelling - this being Israel) - are the greatest to listen to.

I'm going to sleep now - just as soon as my ears stop ringing.

Yalla, Bye.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


WE'RE HAVIN' A HEAT WAVE...and other excuses

It occurred to me today that I haven't written in weeks. And why did I think of it? Because in the midst of this impossibly long-lasting heat wave all the electricity in town went out. And after I realized that it wasn't because of anything I did wrong (I'm Jewish - it's always my fault) - I realized that I hadn't written and if my computer went down it would be ages before I wrote again.

And was I lucky. Although my computer was on at the time it wasn't damaged - and I didn't even get that rude notice on my screen telling me to turn the computer off properly next time!!! And the air-conditioner wasn't damaged - even better luck.

So - here I am - feeling guilty for not writing - and telling you why. Excuses, excuses - I know - but the dog ate my homework, Teach.

In looking back over my "yoman" (diary) I see that I have been running and running for the past month. First there was the Film Festival - but it wasn't just a matter of going to see some films. Nothing easy like that. There were several of us involved in this "production", so first three of us had to meet - for dinner, of course - to decide just what we wanted to see. Out of some one-hundred fifty or two-hundred films we had to come up with a workable number - all to fit into the time-span of one week. In different permutations and combinations of who was going to see what and with whom we came up with about twenty films - twelve for me. And then we had to draw up some kind of a spread-sheet so we could see what fit where - don't ask. And then we had to go and buy the tickets. I couldn't manage more than two in one day although Shosh saw three in one day. So that took care of more than a week.

Then there was a major marketing - and cooking and baking and preparing for a dinner party I gave that just seemed to grow and grow. I was just going to do a small dinner for Yoav and Ernesto - who were here on one of their flying visits - and two other friends. However - as I believe that it 's just as easy to cook for ten as for six - there we were. Great fun - great food (my Mother always said I shouldn't break my elbow patting myself on the back - but the food really was good) - fabulous friends - lots of good conversation and laughter - and there went some more time.

Then a wedding - out of the city, of course. And dinner and a show - "Shalom Hanoch". And Friday brunches with Marallyn. And lunch with Roz. And lunch with Marallyn and Evelyn and Bubbie Chana (Marallyn's Mom) to celebrate Bubbie Chana's 84th birthday. And another show - "Momix" with Roz. And dinner with my nephew and his wife and kids (who were visiting from Canada) and his mother-in-law who lives here. And dinner in Tel Aviv with Roz and daughters and friend. And then - as if I hadn't seen enough films - we went to see an adorable, fun film - "Ratatouille". And a party at Myra and Arnon's house.

Oh - I almost forgot - I had a terrible toothache and have been to the dentist twice - going again tomorrow. And in-between all the usual everyday things that have to get done - the "ozeret" (house cleaner - the word literally means female helper - we don't say maid) - the laundry - taking care of building business -- don't forget that I'm head of the building committee - and that's why I haven't written lately.

Another excuse? This heat has been so fierce that when I get home I just want to take off my clothes - put on my air-conditioner - and collapse.

Yalla, Bye.

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