Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Professor Emeritus and the Chinese Law


There was a sad story in our Media, some two weeks ago. A well - known professor of philosophy, and literary critic, aged 88, sitting in a wheelchair surrounded by boxes full of his archive files - in an appeal to the public: 'help me, don't let them throw me out of my flat'. To make a long story short, he owed a lot of rent money, and so he got a court order asking him to evict the flat.

I  was especially intrigued by the comments to the story.  The commenters mentioned  the university, colleagues, students, the Ministry of Education and other factors which should , according to them, intervene and solve the problem.  No doubt, the problem will get solved, but I asked myself how come nobody mentioned his children, his family? 

'Perhaps he doesn't have any', I said to myself and went to check with the Wikipedia. Well, he does have children - two sons from his third ex-wife (also a professor). The rumor has it that he used to beat his wife, and so they have all three estranged themselves from him . If the rumor is correct, I can understand them, and yet at his age and condition, they should have shown some forgiveness and empathy, not leave it all to the State and the public.

The story has reminded me of a Chinese law ( no, not the notorious one which allows a couple to have one child only) - a law from 2013 which requires children to keep in touch with their parents who are 60 and older, in addition to making sure their financial and spiritual needs are met. If children do not comply, they face fines and lawsuits. I think every country should have such a law.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Politicians and Photos


I usually dislike  politicians, but there are a few exceptions. One of them is Angela Merkel, until recently the chancellor of Germany. There's something nice ,human and honest about her, that one doesn't find in the others.  Besides, I have a photo of her as a.....nudist :)

I feel uncomfortable to publish the photo here, although she looks great in it. If you're the curious type you could look it up on the internet.  It is a photo with three young nudist girls - students; one of them is Angela. 

The photo appeared in newspapers and magazines. She was asked about it but refused to comment. Representatives of Germany in various countries were also asked about the photo; they too refused to comment.

The general belief is that it is her in the photo. First, the physical resemblance. Secondly, the background. She grew up in communist East Germany. The photo is believed to have been taken at the nudist camp Costinesti (at the Black Sea), in communist Romania.

After the second World War, nudism was encouraged under communism, as a way of returning  to embrace Nature, and as a symbol of rebellion against the old order of things. It was believed that Angela Merkel was a member of a nudist movement called "Free Body Culture" (in german - Frei Korpercultur").


Another politician for whom I have a 'soft spot' is Boris Johnson the current P.M. of Britain. 

There's a photo involved here too. It shows Boris as a young volunteer on a kibbutz (agricultural collective community) in Israel. In summer 1984, he and his sister Rachel were volunteers at kibbutz  Kfar Hanassi in northern Israel.

According to his sister, he worked in the communal kitchen, scrubbing pots and pans; according to a leader of the kibbutz he also worked in the fields.

 B.J. in Israel - desert mountains in the background

Anyway, he looks very cute with his short pants and blond hair. How could you not like him.


Friday, October 8, 2021

Things Have Gone Too Far

The other day, I  was looking for some water-based paint to re-freshen a few furniture pieces in my home. These pieces are easy to clean and move, hence my wish to protect them and prolong their life.  

Over the years, I had to take some hard decisions such as replacing old, but beautiful ,solid wooden items that I liked, with lighter items - just because I didn't want to work hard , or be dependent on cleaning ladies.

While in the store, I heard someone call my name with a question mark intonation at the end. I turned my head but saw no one familiar.  After a few seconds, I heard my name again and a woman, whom I did not recognize,  approached me and introduced herself. She was an acquaintance, a former neighbor. 

Her mask was under the chin, but with or without the  mask, I couldn't have recognized her, as her face was totally changed. She looked different, obviously as a result of  plastic surgery.

I'm very much in favor of people trying to improve their appearance and confidence by softening wrinkles, even reshaping the nose which is right in the middle of the face - but changing the whole face - that's crazy.  

 Not young, not wealthy... not ugly either, just an ordinary woman;  so what's got into her, why all this?I didn't ask her any questions. I hoped, perhaps, she'd raise the subject herself, but she didn't. So , though shocked, I tried to behave naturally.

She rearranged her mask to cover nose and mouth, and keeping distance, we exchanged a few nice, polite words for old time's sake.


Thursday, September 30, 2021

La Palma and Human Helplessness



The fascinating pictures of red fire and black lava coming from La Palma (Spain , the Canary islands) make us for a moment forget the huge destruction caused by the volcano's eruption, and the problematic existence of islands in this era of Climate  Change.

The eruption started on 19 of September, and is not completely over yet.  "All we can do is cry", said a young woman who lost her home and shop.

There are things in life that we could  control, both as nations and as individuals: birth rate and nutrition, for example. Yet, we do little to nothing about that, and so,  we fail to improve things  on the national and on the personal level.

What then, are our chances to control the uncontrollable? (Yes, climate and Nature's whims are uncontrollable by humans, in my very humble opinion). The answer to my above question is not an optimistic one.

The big plan , supported by scientists and heads of state, is to reduce gas emissions to zero, and invest in renewable energy. These are good things;  they should be done regardless of climate change, will take time - time that we do not have. It's a very slow, inefficient process,  full of obstacles, and requiring global action.

Nevertheless, we should not lose hope ; we should work on it,  parallel to our main efforts to avoid /minimize disaster caused by climate change.

To try and avoid / minimize Nature's disasters we should first stop ignoring what science  tells us about the melting ice in Antarctica, the sea level rise, the increased frequency and intensity of  hurricanes, floods, wild fires, droughts, earthquakes, volcano eruptions.  'Knowledge is power'.

We could next try to redesign our homes, cities, coastlines;   consider relocation, plan how to assure adequate supply of food , water, and shelter.   

Not easy, not cheap - but we have to keep in mind that according to scientific predictions, latest by 2050  (make it 2040) many islands and cities in various parts of the world will be ....under water.


Saturday, September 25, 2021

The Volunteers are The Best Part.


Twice a year, before the start of the two major holidays Passover and New Year, the municipality sends a box of food products to its senior citizens. Nice initiative but...I'm sometimes unhappy with some of the box's content.

I don't know how it works, and who's in charge of the project there, but it's done with minimum of thought and logic.

Elderly people try to keep away from the unofficial 'killers' : sugar, salt, oil. In the box, these are  dominant items both as stand alone (1 kilo sugar, 1 kilo salt, 1 bottle of oil) and as part of the various products (coca cola bottles - not the diet or zero version - but the classic one with all the sugar and calories; several tins of tuna - in oil, not in water).

People like to drink coffee, but the only type in the box is always the strong, black, turkish coffee which might cause or increase insomnia at a certain age.  Ketchup is a constant. I wish some of it be replaced by a few fresh tomatoes.

The good stuff in the box is the one that helps with observing the holiday tradition, and I feel grateful for that:  for Passover - a big package of matzot (unleavened bread), eggs, potatoes, a jar of 'gefilte fish' (egg-shaped patties made of  ground carp fish), a package of matza flour for making  soup balls , a bottle of non-alcoholic wine.

soup balls
'gefiilte fish'  with carrot topping

For New Year, a small jar of honey, traditional honey cake , apples, eggs, a bottle of wine. (Dipping slices of apple in honey is symbolic of  a sweet, abundant New Year).

honey and apples

The box is brought in by one or two young volunteers, in their last year of high school, methink. They deserve  a big hug for their heart-warming effort and caring.

* web pictures



Sunday, September 19, 2021

Ready To Fast?


Last week we celebrated the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), with fasting and prayers.

The day before, I left home in the morning without any breakfast , and by late afternoon I was famished. I stopped at an eatery and ordered a 'schawarma' portion ( a pita pocket stuffed with roasted  meat, salad, and chips)+ a small bottle of cold soda water. I ate it at a table outside. The portion was unusually spicy, and being very hungry, I ate it hastily.


                                                                      schawarma skewer

I reached home having a burning thirst and an upset stomach. I drank some water and tea, but  felt no much improvement. Suddenly,  my eyes fell on the bowl with sabra fruit (cactus prickle pear).  'Here comes my salvation', I thought. I remembered reading somewhere that the sabra calms down the digestive system by absorbing whatever irritates it.

Well, salvation it was. At the third fruit, I felt much better. In fact, I felt wonderful.

This fruit has always been a favorite of mine for its taste and texture (I even put it on the sidebar of my blog and I wrote a post on it in Oct. 2017). Now, I've learnt that "there's more to it than meets the eye" as they say. 

I was glad to be ready for next day's evening - the beginning of  the 25 hours of fasting, hours with no liquid, no solid food. The Yom Kippur day and the fasting are very important to me spiritually.

The sabra fruit is small but encased in a thick, semi- thorny peel . It's not cheap, but I always buy some when it's available at the grocery store.

 * Web pictures


Sunday, September 12, 2021

New in Town


Finally, the defibrillator, the external life- saving device during cardiac arrest, has been installed in our town. It is placed in public locations, mainly on lottery kiosks and old payphone booths. 

yellow device on the kiosk's outer wall

The defib. is meant for untrained people who by pushing the right button activate an electric shock  helping the collapsed person survive until ambulance with the rescue team arrives. Everyone on the street, they  say, could be a life saver.

I 've noticed, though,  there are no instructions on this yellow colored device, except for the one, demanding to dial the urgency number 101 when an emergency occurs.  Probably at that number one gets the necessary information on what needs to be done (buttons are under lock).

As I understand, Mifal Hapais (national Lotttery of Israel),  which owns the lottery kiosks,  is funding these devices.The phone booths are the property of the giant phone company Bezek. 

As most of  the phone booths are not in use any more, but still need some maintenance,  it is  now for the Magen David Adom (Israel's national Emergency organization) to bear the responsability for them; it's a win-win situation.

                                                           empty phone booth

                                       simple top booth with functioning phone


May we never need to use the defib! The sad reality, however, is that we often hear about cases of cardiac arrest. There's even a rise in the number of cases now, probably having something to do with the Covid infection.


Monday, September 6, 2021

The Article and Its Author


There's an old article (published some 25 years ago) which I re-read from time to time.  It is entitled 'The Thinking Person's Guide to Perfect Health', written by the american Ron Kennedy M.D.  Only recently have I become aware of the fact that the author has  a whole book on the subject ( it sells at Amazon, and it's not cheap).

Anyway, I'm  quite satisfied with the 13-page internet article. I like everything about it : style , approach, and message. I got to it in my quest for information on the glaucoma eye disease. My late Mother suffered of glaucoma, and in her late years became blind.

I remember myself feeling very frustrated with what standard medicine had to offer once the disease was detected - mainly drops to lower the pressure built up in the eye liquid, but the drops and the other meds didn't stop the progress of the disease towards blindness.

The other day,  when I wished to  re-read the above article, I found out the last 2 pages were missing. I decided to look for it and type it again. Well, it seems to have disappeared from the Web; that might probably have something to do with possible interference in the  selling of the book.

While looking for the article, I have learnt that the doctor, owner of an anti-aging clinic, is being charged with having provided illegal written exemption from vaccination for three children. I've  also come upon the info that a book of his against vaccines has been in the headlines for some 20 years (never heard of it; I wish I could get hold of it/ I'm curious of what he has to say on this hot topic ).

I'm not surprised he gets himself into trouble . He's not a conventional doctor. He calls himself a nutritional doctor, one that believes that the vitamins and minerals in our nutrition can heal our body, not the synthetic drugs. He advocates curing by nutrient therapy. 

In his article, he names the FDA 'an Old Boys' Club', and the NIH a mighty organization with a small corner only for progressive medicine.  He promises that if we follow the principles outlined in his article we'll never have to visit his medical office.

I must admit he sounds rather convincing to me.  We can have control of nutrition, much less of stress, not at all of genetics. The right nutrition and mineral /vitamin supplements could  eliminate or lower our need for 'doctor's appointment'.


Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Global Challenges


The world is facing now two major challenges: Climate Change and Covid 19. The general opinion is that there should be some global action initiated by a global factor to tackle these challenges. 

Yes, but who? The UN is a farce; the great powers are fiction. Besides, the world was created as a highly divided place, geographically and otherwise, and that makes it very hard, almost impossible, to find global solutions.  

My personal opinion as someone who believes in the supernatural power named God, is that  these two challenges belong to God's domain. Only He has control of the virus and of the Climate. We should, therefore pray to God , individually and directly, asking for salvation. 

It might help, unless God is determined to reset His Creation ( the world, the universe), making it a better place, less divided, and especially with no races. Racism and racial conflicts are  a never-ending issue which gradually and steadily destroy the world.

Anyway, we have reason to be scared. I believe the disasters (fires, floods, storms, earthquakes, volcano eruptions) are near the door . People act as if it's something in the future. No, it's happening now, in the present.

Our winters in Israel are usually mild, and buildings are built accordingly. Well, during our last winter, I told myself that I'd better move out before the roof moves in; that bad.

People tend to associate climate change with pollution. I believe pollution has little to do with that; it doesn't reach the very upper sphere where climate is being "cooked". But even if it does affect  climate as many of us believe , and not only our health,  hypocrisy won't lead us far; there's constant talk about plastics, but almost no mention of cars and their big role in creating pollution.

Anyway,  I'm open to ideas and suggestions about some significant global action operated by and through God 's Will that could give us  Hope.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Public Demand


I remember the days when there was a public demand to charge heavy smokers for their lung treatments. Nowadays , there's a demand / suggestion to charge non-vaccinated people for treatments, or even better , not treat them at all.
(The virus,  will luckily disappear somehow, but it will not be  due to vaccines and vaccination).

Anyway, I would like to add a few more categories to the above list of those who should be charged :

Parents that send  their kids out without a mask. Kids are considered big virus spreaders; most of them are symptomless.

Large families.  Schools, hospitals and other public facilities are practically blocked by large families;  there is constant shortage of beds, school rooms, staff. These families are paid generous allowances which help them stay ...large ( have lots of kids). 

Maybe the pandemic will bring about  a change in demographics, as hospitals and schools are collapsing; teachers and doctors are on the run (at least in my neck of the woods).

People that practice bad nutrition habits: eat out often, cook and bake with unhealthy ingredients, and then....go for  "doctor's appointment".  Nutrition  is crucial to one's health.To ignore this is to fall 'heavy' on the medical care system and on the public budget.

Dog owners should be charged for their dog's loud, intensive barking which could cause an aged passerby to have a heart attack. It's  not theory. I once witnessed such an unfortunate happening. 

Musicians that practice in an apartment of a complex, should be charged with a tiny fee by the neighbors who have to put up with something that interferes with their daily life. I've had a pianist as neighbor, and I know all about it. I myself didn't mind the music, but the others felt very relieved when she moved out.


Thursday, August 19, 2021

Red Wine


The High Holidays are approaching, and wine is an essential element on every family's festive table.

I'm used to drink with my meals (not only on holidays) , red wine, which is actually 100% red grapes juice, with no addition of water, sugar, coloring.  It's produced by Carmel winery, the largest brand in the Israeli wine market, and it's called Tirosh Carmel. 

I like to mix it in my glass with some sparkling soda water  (mixture known as 'spritz'), and it's almost like drinking champagne. Tirosh Carmel is very popular as it is considered a 'family wine', suitable even for children.

 Tirosh red  wine

I've often asked myself why is it marketed in a glass bottle and sold at the supermarket in the wine department?  After all, it's different from the other bottles  on the shelf, which have alcohol, and perhaps other additives.  Even in the Wikipedia, it says "wine is an alcoholic drink, typically made from fermented grapes".

                               wines and beers at the supermarket

Well, alcohol is just one factor regarding wine. There are other important factors such as : variety and quality of grapes, fermentation reactions, the whole wine production process, of which I know very little.

Anyway, red wine is said to decrease risk of cardio-vascular disease by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. That sounds great!  It's due ,however, to the polyphenols (anti- oxidants) in the red grapes, not due to the alcohol.  Alcohol might block them from working effectively.



Thursday, August 12, 2021

Food for Thought


There's a nice blog " Window to Beauty" with news from the  world of beauty products. 

In  one of  its last posts, there's mention of Ariana Grande's new eau de perfume called  'God is a woman'. That's a challenging name, and gives food for thought. 

I personally, see God as  a 'Super Power' , a power that has created the universe and is high above all and everything;  an omnipotent and omnipresent power that is neither a man nor a woman. 

I  too refer to this power in the masculine form, as God, He, Him,   because that's how it has been referred to, for ages, and the name has solid, religious and social grounds. None of the names (God, Superpower, Universe) bothers me  as long as people  trust and respect the entity represented by God.


Another nice blog I follow is "Traveling Bug". It's about an american family that travels a lot, and brings us some great travel photos .   Lately, I find myself paying attention to the two adopted lovely asian girls in the family; they're growing up fast and it becomes interesting to observe their integration within the family and outside it.

Adoption is also a subject which gives food for thought, especially in those cases where there are already biological children, as in the  above family.

As a rule, I'm not for taking out a child from its natural, ethnical environment . In the long run, it might suffer.

As for the adopting family, when the kids, both the biological  and the adopted ones, grow up, and become aware of differences ( the obvious physical ones: such as skin color, eye shape, nose shape etc..), things in the family might get complicated. I've seen that happen. Education and good will, don't always solve problems.

So far, that's a very happy family  and the posts provide the reader with a lot of pleasure and fun.


Covid-19 is striking hard. I can't help it thinking that, perhaps, we're being punished for mistreating ourselves, others, and the Planet. So far, there seems to be no solution, except of temporary euphoria episodes caused by vaccination.


Thursday, August 5, 2021

To all my blog friends,

 I have NOT disabled comments on my last post . I 've notified Blogger, but they don't seem to care or cooperate. I'm afraid to try and do things myself as the  PC is rather old and might leave me in the middle.

 Hoping for the Best,


Happy Anniversary , Burda!


I've got two sewing machines (an Elna, and a more recent one a Singer) and both are out of order. Unfortunately for me, I have a pile of things that need repair. So , I'll have to take action, and do something at least about one of the machines.

 I taught myself sewing many years ago, in the mid-seventies, methink. I used the patterns that came with the Burda  magazine -  easy and simple to follow patterns.  Nowadays, Burda   has online courses, with and without live instructors, but in those days, women all over the world depended on the magazine (Burda Moden) issued each month in various languages.

It  all started in Offenburg, Germany. Aenne Burda was the spirit behind the enterprise.  Her goal was to create fashion for all; to allow the largest number of women possible to dress with taste, regardless of their budget.   She died in 2005 at the age of 96.  A strong, inspirational woman who had to overcome a lot of hardships thrown at her.

Burda celebrates 70 years of activity! The first magazine came out in 1950; the patterns were launched in 1952.  The Anniversary is celebrated in the magazine with a reminder of its history, and contests for a chance to win prizes.

A friend of mine says  that McDonalds and Burda should  be awarded the Nobel Prize for their contribution to humanity: one in the field of food , the other in the field of fashion. Both continue to fulfill basic needs of  people worldwide. You find them everywhere in the world as two most popular and loved brands.

The thing I liked most , was to make a dress for my Mom before the High Holidays - a dress inaugurated in the synagogue, at the religious services. I was proud of my work, she was proud to wear it. The Burda pattern was simple, but  the fabric  usually caught the attention: solemn yet beautiful.

Thank you, Burda. 



Thursday, July 29, 2021



Being part of the human race, it's only natural that we, people.  want and seek the company of other people.

Yet,  when I look back at my life, I find out that it is people that have weakened me most - more than work, more than bad habits, more than the...flu.  What can I do with this awareness? Not much. I can try to ignore  bad manners, stay away from some "toxic" individuals, keep to myself for protection (avoiding isolation). 

Barbara Streisand opens her famous song 'People' with a line claiming that "people that need people are the luckiest people in the world".   Well, let's not exaggerate. We all need people,  but needing them  might also make us dependent, and dependence  of any sort is rather undesirable, even within the family.

Another singer,  Jonathan McReynolds, has also a song named   'People' . He says about them that  "they are the best and the worst you've created / loving and hating and opinionated / loners in basements, and those congregated / ".  That's  closer to what we know of people.

People with talent find a long escape in art, others bestow hours of  attention on critters . I've got none of these tendencies (except feeding pigeons and growing the  'lucky bamboo' plant). So, no escapism for me, only the bare reality of trying to cope with people.

That's not as bad as it sounds ; it gives me considerable insight into human nature, and often saves me from falling into the traps laid by the combined efforts of populism and stupidity.These traps are becoming more numerous as the outer conditions (virus, climate) are getting worse.