Friday, September 27, 2019


'prayer sculpture'  in the city garden - Ramat Gan

We're entering a hectic period of time - from end of September till almost end of October.

The great  synagogue- city of Ramat-Gan

It's the period of the jewish High Holidays which includes not only celebrations and good food, but also repentance, prayer, meditation, visits to our departed ones at the cemetery, fasting. Prayers and  visits to the cemetery (to ask for forgiveness and  a good upcoming New Year) can be quite physically and mentally challenging.  I usually need a little vacation afterwards for change of scenery and atmosphere:)
However, there's satisfaction in being able to carry out the above things. 

the old cemetery in the holy city of Safed (Tzefat)

 street corner adjacent to cemetery in city of Ghivataim

I won't be much, if at all, on Blogger during this period, but I hope to have time to think of  topics for new posts, and take adequate pictures to accompany these posts.

Our weather  is still very hot during the day; slightly cooler in the mornings and evenings. The heat doesn't help with the preparations and efforts to catch the spiritual mood. We need rain, but we won't get it until  late autumn - beginning of winter. Honestly, I dread the approaching  of winter, even though our winter is usually short and relatively mild.

at the Prayer Sculpture

'Whatever will be will be', as the song goes. God will take  care of us.   See You!

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Sardines and Bread - the russian touch

A few months ago, there was a certain brand of sardines on sale at one of the local supermarkets.

It was a promotional sale - two at the price of one. There were two versions: in oil and in brine. I bought those in brine. Very salty stuff, so I put it in water to eliminate some of its salt, and at the same time I told myself that I won't be buying it any more. Salt, like sugar and oil, definitely has its drawbacks.

 oil version (orange colored ); only two tins available on  shelf

Well, I  did buy it again. ( At present, it's not available on the shelf.  I suppose they'll bring it  in the cold months when people drink hot tea and/or vodka that go well with salty foods ). 
So, what made me buy it again?

I've noticed that  if I put even a small  sardine in my egg and veggies sandwich , it keeps me satiated  for quite a while. That's important if you wish to maintain normal body weight. I checked nutritional values: 21 gram protein per 100 gram sardines; ok! On the other hand, Tuna in brine, has even more protein, and less, why  buy this particular sardine stuff?

Good question. Well, I never felt that tuna, with all its  popularity as a healthy, low calorie-high protein sandwich filling -  kept  me satiated for long.  Perhaps it's an entirely subjective feeling that has nothing to do with reality. I don't  know. I need some more time to find out the answer.

There are no additives in this product (Ivasi); just sardines, water and lots of salt (350mg). Sardines have one obvious advantage over tuna: the little softened, white bones full of calcium which is said to be beneficial to our bones.

Anyway, for some reason, these  sardines are popular with customers of russian descent (have I mentioned vodka?!)   The owners of the supermarket (actually a chain of supermarkets), are also of russian descent ; that would explain why this product is not found elsewhere.
Many of the above customers  also buy bread made of spelt flour . Spelt is considered the wild ancestor of wheat. In the 18th century it was the main food source for the russian peasants. Today, spelt is experiencing  a 'comeback' , an increase in popularity, as russians everywhere are becoming more health-conscious.

 packed sliced loaves of spelt bread on the supermarket's shelves

loaf of spelt bread - the wrapping paper - not eco friendly

Spelt bread is relatively high in protein and thus, of great help to those with dietary intentions, as it serves as a metabolic booster, and gives one a feeling of fullness. Two slices of this quite tasty bread  keep you going for most of the day. If only they would wrap it in an eco-friendly way! 

slices of spelt bread

The non-lazy  among potential consumers can buy the spelt flour package and bake, the real thing, at home.

packages with spelt flour

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Leave or Remain, That's the Question

map of Great Britain*

I'm not enthusiastic about  countries joining unions and federations, and I'm well aware of the fact that once - In - , it's very tricky to get - Out -.  Having said that, let's have a very brief look at 'Brexit'.

Great Britain wants out of the European Union.
So far, things don't look good for her; Let's hope the efforts invested in the above direction (Brexit) won't turn GB (or is it UK?) "into the best show in town".  

GB has a North  Ireland  problem, a Scotland problem, a monarchy problem, but the real problem lies elsewhere, and is common to all countries, not only to GB. It's called leadership problem.

Countries hold elections in order to enable their people to choose someone capable of forming a government that will decide things for them,  not  call for referendums (as the former british PM, Cameron, did). Referendum is the tool of the non-leader, a way of letting the "mob" rule even after the elections.
But before we blame him or any other leader/non-leader, we have to examine the whole picture, and it's  a rather gloomy one.

It seems, the old  western political map of  parties, elections, parliament, coalition,  opposition - doesn't work any longer (See USA where almost half of the population refused to accept the results of the last  elections).

In my humble opinion (and upon examining things in my own country), the above situation is, partly, because of the constantly growing diversity within a country's population, which brings about a great diversity of interests, and ultimately diviseveness.

Diversity makes life look more exotic but it comes at a huge price. 
It  makes democracy or the so-called democracy, a big Burden. and not at all an efficient system.  Unless there's some new, up-to-date efficient political/social system on the way, divisiveness and corruption within nations, and even extinction, yes, extinction of nations (with or without  Mother Nature's help),  are likely to occur in a fairly accelarated mode - and no leader, elections or referendums, could do anything to stop it. 

It's a pesimistic view of things, I know that, but then reality (inclusive, the reality in my own country) is not an optimistic one at all.

As for Great Britain, I wish her Good Luck whatever she chooses: leave or remain. She can always turn to Shakespeare and count on him for Honor and Fame,(the last paragtaph rhymes: remain/fame/ I like that :)

* internet map

Friday, September 6, 2019

The (In)Famous Grandpa

Discount stores (the one dollar shop, the five dollar shop, etc..) and fast food eateries (the local ones, as well as the foreign names of McDonald's, Burger Ranch, and  others) are an  all-family fun experience involving parents, grandparents, kids, siblings .
(I rather pity the staff  for the noisy atmosphere under which they work, especially during school-holidays. The place is not a museum where children and adults alike silently contemplate works of art).

MAX chain of discount stores - main branch, Nethanya, near Ikea

Our most popular discount stores are 'Max 20' of the 'Max' chain (Max - the name of the owner, 20 israeli shekel - about $5- maximum price of most items ). 
The most popular fast food places, being the local falafel/shuwarma/kebab/schnitzel/shakshouka/
veggie omelettes eateries, and , of course,.. McDonald's branches.

entrance and main street window of a 'Max 20' store

inside a 'Max 20' store

Mc Donald's branch

poster attached to the  window with  food names

 same poster attached to the inside counter of the eatery

Anyway, it so happened to me once, that after buying some household items at one of the discount stores, I entered a near by fast food eatery to get myself a bite to eat. While sitting at the table I noticed a small group of four (previously seen at the discount shop) that looked like grandparents and their two grandkids

people sitting at tables at Mc.Donald's

girls enjoying  shuarma at a popular local eatery

The man's face seemed familiar. It was. It belonged to a chief pathologist at the Forensic Institute -  involved, at that time, in a terrible public scandal regarding mishandling  of removed organs and tissues from corpses.

( He was found guilty and released from  his post. He managed to escape jail as he had answers, and not many people had the professional capacity to contradict him. There was also the desire to close the case and not prolong suffering of the involved families, among them families of two late TV figures and an army general).

I couldn't take my eyes off of  the four. Grandpa was very gentle with his grandies (a boy and a girl about 9-10 years old), helping them with cutting  (no pun intended) their food portions .
I kept thinking and asking myself whether the two kids knew and understood the line of work of their grandfather, whether they read about him in the media,  asked him questions about the scandal. 

My curiosity remained, of course,  unanswered.  It ended up though, with me feeling angry at myself for totally failing to see the bad guy that was - perhaps - deeply hidden in that frail, gentle grandpa.