Friday, December 29, 2023

The Unsolved Mystery


                                                        *Web   picture

Nine years ago, on March 2014, the Malaysian plane MH370 disappeared while flying from Kuala Lumpur airport (Malaysia) to Beijing  airport  (China).   Over the years, there were many theories  about the disappearance.

 The most 'popular'  theory was that of the pilot's plan to commit suicide and take the plane with its passengers and crew  ( 239 people)  down with him.  The second 'popular' theory was that the plane, a huge Boeing 777,  was carrying something or someone, that  a certain factor wanted gone and never to be found.

Since 2014, there have been  some three major very expensive searches, and three main countries involved: Malaysia, Australia (the plane was believed to have dissappeared close to  her area),  and China (most of the passengers - 153 - were chinese).   Nothing conclusive. Some examined debris found  in the Indian Ocean and other areas,  gave no indication as to the location of the missing plane.

Now, we are being told by aviation experts that the mystery could be solved in a matter of days with the help of advanced technology. They propose a new search based on the belief  that the plane was hijacked and deliberately downed into the ocean  ( in fact, that  resembles the theory with the pilot's suicidal plan).

The missing MH370 has captivated my attention for many months. It's sadly, one of the best mystery stories ever!  I do want the plane to be found,  as this will bring some closure and comfort to the families of the victims, and on the way, will satisfy our curiosity.

Friday, December 22, 2023

Red Sea Crossing


The Red Sea , located between Asia and Africa continents, is in the news.   Cargo ships are being attacked by the Houthis, yemenite rebels (at least 17 incidents from November). This could disrupt global supply, leading to economic chaos and shortage of products.

The news take us back to the well-known Bible story in Exodus chapters 14, 15, about the spectacular miracle of parting the water and enabling the Israelites that fled from Egyptian slavery,  a safe crossing of the sea.

Moses, who led the Israelites from Egypt to the Red Sea, stretched his hand out over the sea, and God caused a wind that parted the waters creating dry land. When the israelites were safe on the other side, Moses, at God's command, stretched out his hand again, and the waters returned,  covering  completely the Egyptian hostile army. 

I suppose there will be some sort of miracle this time too,  and the Houthis will learn their lesson; one doesn't mess up with things of Biblical origin:)

It is believed The Red Sea got its name due to a bacteria that lives in its waters and is responsible for their  occasional reddish tint .

Major ports along this sea are: Suez (Egypt), Sharm El Sheik  (Egypt), Jedda (Saudi Arabia), Port of Sudan (Sudan), Mocha (Yemen),  Port of Aden (Yemen),  Aqaba (Jordan), Eilat (Israel).

Many years ago,  I attended a trip to the Sinai Desert;  the trip also included  a brief visit to the Red Sea port of Sharm El Sheik. Fascinating place! 

                           me, enjoying the sea views at Sharm El Sheik

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Open-air Art

There's a pedestrian street, part of a road running paralel to our municipality building,  which hosts a constant display of art works created by local artists. The place also has benches, trees, flower beds and grass,  for people to sit and enjoy art in nature.

I  am not always free to stop and contemplate these works of art.  Pity, as they get replaced by new ones, from time to time, and I miss enjoying some good stuff.

Last time,  I was impressed  by three such works:   the statue of a pony,   the statue of two elders  playing chess (long table between them),  and that of a young woman exercising:

Works of art placed outdoors bring a lot of pleasure to the wide public. I'm sure  artists get great satisfaction from that;  it even  helps them ignore the fact that nature's  elements (rain,  wind, sun) and/or wicked people, might somehow  damage their creation. 
Outdoor art is definitely a meaningful experience both for the artist and the public.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Hanukah (7 Dec. - 15 Dec.)


Hanukah is supposed to be a  happy holiday.  Apparently, not this year.

With a massacre in the background and a war still going on, there's no joy on faces and in the hearts of people here. There's sorrow, sadness, and fear of upcoming events.

Things associated with Hanukah  (lighting of candles in the menorah  candle holder, dreidel spinning game , eating of favorite foods such as donuts, and potato pancakes ) are mostly done almost automatically now,  to please the children and carry on with the tradition.

Hanukah is referred to as  'the Festival of lights'.  Light (freedom) as opposed to darkness (oppression) is its theme.  It is said to celebrate a miracle - a tiny jar of oil lasting  for eight days;  (hence the belief that looking into the light of the Menorah  burning candles,  can give one better vision and make  a miracle  for those with impaired eyesight).

dreidel (sevivon)

donuts (sufganiot)

potato pancakes (latkes)

Here's a  Youtube  classic Hanukah  song:

* web pictures

Thursday, December 7, 2023



The other day, I happened to be in one of the main squares of Petach- Tikva city ( The "founders square").  I was totally stunned by the sight of  about a hundred dark pigeons flocked there.  It looked rather ominous.

Usually, pigeons are attracted by food, but no food here as there's a big white sign (see in the picture below) that forbids feeding them. Perhaps, it's the place itself that attracts them and,  for some reason, makes them feel safe and comfortable. 

They were gathered especially around a small stucture with a dome. I wished to approach the stucture, but  was afraid of their reaction -  mass flying over my head.  It was midday;  I saw no people or kids  close to their area.

Anyway,  I've noticed  some lovely art on the fence surrounding the square : statues of a musical band members.   Nice, enjoyable view  for the pigeons too:)

                     pigeons gathered   around  a  structure with a dome

statues of a music band


After the encounter with the pigeons in the 'founder square', I promised myself to read and learn more about these birds and their behaviour.

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Till 120 ?!

 Longevity is advancing slowly but steadily. Hentry Kissinger (RIP) has recently died at 100. Many people in the world (especially in Japan) died at a similar age, even a few  years beyond that.

According to science, the average person's DNA is programmed to about 120 years.

The Bible mentions 120 in Genesis 6:3.  In Hebrew there's a blessing which says  " May you live until 120" ( ad meah ve essrim!).

According to Wikipedia , the french woman Jeanne Calment (1875-1997) is the oldest  documented person who ever lived. She made it to 122 despite smoking everyday for 96 years. She lived on her own until age 110 when she moved into a nursing home.  Amazing!

Following , are two  women  aged 119: the american Sara Knauss and the japanese Kane Tanaka ; both died in 2022.  Kane Tanaka had several major ilnesses during her life including cancer at 45, and at 103; underwent surgery, and.. survived.

We think we know and understand the secret of longevity. We don't.   It's very complex; it involves luck, genetics, wisdom, health care, diet , life style, character.   In Kissinger's case, he had a younger  and very intelligent wife; that must have helped his longevity too:)

The important part in any research on longevity is  expanding the  health span rather than life span. If the consequence is a longer life then, that's  a nice bonus.

Friday, November 24, 2023

Lucky Bamboo ( Dracaena Sanderiana )

I've mentioned the above indoor plant in some previous posts. 

I must confess, I'm greatly attached to it as I believe it kind of protects me.  When one of its leaves gets yellow, I panic. "Here goes my protection"  I say to myself. No kidding.

I've discovered this plant while reading and trying to learn about Feng Shui - chinese tradition of creating a balanced, harmonious environment that will attract to it good energies promoting Health, Wealth,  Luck, and Love.

The gracious (towering stalks, delicate leaves) lucky bamboo plant is my favorite Feng Shui item. It is believed  to purify the room air and introduce positive vibes into the house.

 It can be grown in soil or water. I prefer  to grow it in a bowl with water and pebbles to stabilize it.

It requires minimal care: water (distilled) once a week, moderate light, moderate room temperature. It can be propagated through stalk cuttings and through its leaves, but that takes time.

This decorative plant can be offered , in a nice container, as a gift; it can even be sold at a small profit, especially if it's a specific arrangement of stalks.

I've got some 30 individual such plants and don't wish to lose any of them. On the contrary, I wish to buy some more, but they are imported and rather expensive here.

Friday, November 17, 2023

Autumn Leaves


A lot has been written  in blogs  and elsewhere about Autumn ( Sept 1 - Nov.30). There's description of change in color, falling leaves,  drop in temperature, animals preparing for winter hibernation,  migration of birds in search of food,  autumn holidays etc..

Autumn always reminds me of the famous song the  'Falling Leaves' (in french the 'Dead Leaves'),  and  of the famous singers performing  it, among them: Ives Montagne (in french), Nat King Cole, Andy Williams,  Frank Sinatra (in english).

The musical versions of this song on Youtube are not very  good , I'm afraid.  The lyrics are beautiful and even worth memorizing.  It' s a romantic song mentioning color (red and gold),  the departing summer, the approaching winter,  the falling leaves that make the singer miss his darling.

Here are the lyrics:

The falling leaves, drift by the window  /The autumn leaves of red and gold

I see your lips the summer kisses / The sunburnt hands I used to hold

Since you went away, the days grow long

And soon I'll hear old winter's song

But I miss you most of all, my darling

When autumn leaves start to fall.

Nat King Cole

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Globalization - the world interacting together

1.   We asked for it (globalization), and we got it. What happens in one corner  of the world, affects life in the remaining corners.

Ukraine, Gaza, and other places, are daily  'on the table'   everywhere in the world through protests, violence, rise in prices, danger of nuclear war , etc... 

To all those who roll their eyes up and mention 'innocent' people - please be aware that there are no innocent people. We are all sinners, big sinners:  wicked, evil, conceited, stupid, greedy, cruel, and... the list is long.

Israel sees herself as part of the western world, imitates everything western, including use of foreign labor in vital fields: agriculture, industry, services.   Foreign work has its advantages and disadvantages, but in our case it also poses security risks.

Israel has probably employed  arabs  from Gaza, at the border settlements where  the 7h of October slaughtering took place. I suppose those  workers have  taken shots of each house, garden,  path, lane , event, and submitted the info  to the Hamas  terrorists prior to the ferocious attack.

2.   In a previous post, I mentioned my theory that globalization is a challenge on God's  diverse world order.  Hence, natural  disasters have intensified since the increase of Globalization processes (during the  last decades) which seek to make the world one big place with interconnected cultures and economies.

It seems Climate Change is not going to have any mercy on us. We cannot prevent the disasters even if we make all the proper ecological efforts;     it's in God 's hands,  and God is furious at us for constantly violating His world Creation in the name of progress and evolution. 

Saturday, November 4, 2023



It seems people (not me) are back to investments in gold and other precious metals  to minimize the risks of inflation, and for other various reasons.  

I've recently learnt,  about a very rare and expensive metal - rhodium.  Its symbol on the periodic table of elements is Rh and its atomic number 45.   It is used  in industry  primarily as an agent of  hardening, increase  of resistance to corrosion, and reflectivity.

Rhodium is much more expensive than the other known precious metals (gold, titanium, silver) because of its rarity. It cannot be mined on its own; it's a by product of titanium mining. The main country source for rhodium is South Africa.

The name 'rhodium'  has been brought up , the other day, in a discussion on plated jewelry.   Rhodium is used to coat mainly white gold and or platinum jewlery to give it durability and improve its brightness.

I've got no plated jewlery at all, so I'm not familiar with the process. I do own  a few personal jewlery pieces made of gold, silver, titanium of various karat values, but these pieces are not coated with some other metal for protection  and shine.

They say, that unlike nickel, this silver-white metal rhodium, has no allergenes, so the plating is hypoallergenic. When added to a white gold ring with a diamond, it enhances the brilliance of the diamond.

Anyway, rhodium is not for people with modest means. It's too expensive, but like anything found in nature,  'rhodium' is an interesting  topic, and not only to those looking for metal investment or jewelry plating  (I'm not looking for either).

Sunday, October 29, 2023

'Optician Puzzle'


Whenever in the neighbouring town,  I used to pass by a small optical shop and peep inside. The guy  there,  was a familiar face from childhood. I went to the same school class with his elder brother, so I hoped perhaps to see the brother there one day, or enter to ask about his whereabouts.  Neither of it has happened.

During the last two years I noticed the complete absence in the shop,  of his wife , the optician. I became curious. Something seemed wrong. One day, several weeks ago,  when there was no customer inside , I plucked up the courage and entered. I introduced myself, we talked about this and that, I asked about the brother, and then about his wife.

 Oh, he said, she's at home with the grandkids;  no need for her to be here.  I do it all. You?!   How come?! Are you an optician too? No. Have you taken any courses in optics, optometrics, something professional? No.   So?!!  Well, I've learnt it all from her, from customers , from life.  I was in  shock.  He actually admitted to be some kind of a pretender.

I suppose he does a lot of work, but not all of it, as she might lose her licence of optician/optometrist. My theory is that whenever a big problem arises, or there's a potential, serious customer, the husband gives her a call and she comes immediately as they live quite near the  business.

Anyway, I've changed my route since then, so that I won't be tempted to face him and his story again.  In a way, I feel some strange 'appreciation'  for his ability  and 'talent' to do the job of an optician without being one.  I feel much less appreciative of his wife for cooperating with this deceptive practice.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023



When I visit a new  country, one of my favorite types of shopping is buying,  some piece of clothing with the name , map , or some icon of the place , printed on it. I have no intention of wearing the piece, just keep it as a memento.

From Moscow, (visited in 2015), I've got three cotton shirts . Two of them (one black, one blue) have the map of the Metro in the middle, under the russian name of the city 'Mockba'  ( I was very impressed with the city's Metro system). 

blue shirt with Metro map

The front of  the third shirt, a white one, has the CCCP letters which stand for USSR  - an abbreviation of Soviet Union Socialist Republics.   In addition , under CCCP,  it has the symbol  of hammer & sickle representing proletarian solidarity between agricultural and industrial workers (adopted at the russian Revolution at te end of world War 2. 

The back of the shirt is covered with  the hymn of the Soviet Union in russian language.


back  -  lyrics  of the hymn

In October 2016, I visited the greek island of Crete .I bought a white cotton cap and a black fine cotton shirt with the name  Crete on both items.  The little white cap has , in addition,  a tiny, delicate map of the island.  Now,  autumn 2023, I wear that for the first time and  feel good with the outfit.

One of the advantages of age is that you don't care about what people might think or say. So, there's a name or map there. Big deal.

By the way, I liked everything about Crete, so much so, that I even considered getting myself a small living unit and try life there for a year or two.  Even now I'm inclined to do that; however, islands , in these days of climate change, are a scary option.

Crete-   top and cap

Sunday, October 15, 2023


Our High  Holidays are over; War is still going on.

The  Holidays have made me a bit reflective. Here it is:

'We come into this world alone and  depart from it alone, although on both occasions, birth and death, there are people around us.

During our lifetime, we ignore this 'alone'  thing,  by making friends and starting families. In addition, we have holidays that celebrate Life in all its aspects, with good food and especially with warm human gatherings.  

Our most important jewish Day, though, Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) is not a celebration . This is a solemn  day which allows us, through fasting and praying,  to repent for our sins and ask forgiveness.  As a result, we might get a good new year, and with every new good year  our soul's journey: birth - life- death,  becomes a meaningful one, not just something 'gone with the wind'.

We all go through the same process and journey regardless of our achievements or failures .  This should make us more modest and kind to each other. Unfortunately, it does not. 'Conflict' is the name of the game. 'Wickedness' gets to be discovered even among our best friends and  closest relatives, causing us great distress.  

In our prayers, we ask and hope for our soul to go to Heaven when life ends; our  body gets burried, upon our death, into the earth, like all  other animals.

Life is everything; we should value and cherish it.  We should not take it for granted. Belief in God helps us be good, behave better, save life.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Break From Blogging


I'm taking a break from blogging  to prepare for and welcome our High Holidays  which are:   New Year (Rosh Hashana) , Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), and  - the less solemn, more joyous 'agricultural' holiday of Sukkot  (dwelling in the sukkah,  celebrating Harvest).

Last but not least, Shemini Atzeret / Simchat Tora (celebrating the love for the Thorah : the first five books of the Hebrew Bible) by parading and dancing with it.

Yom Kippur (the day of Atonement) is the holiest day on the jewish calendar -  a day of Awe,  of Fasting, Praying, Remembering our departed  loved ones, seeking Forgiveness from God and our fellows.  It's a day that requires both physical and spiritual efforts.

Wishing you the very Best!      God willing, I'll hopefully resume blogging by mid - end of October.

Friday, September 1, 2023


I 've mentioned more than once the fact that I like the quality of certain categories of items produced in India: fabrics, clothing, kitchenware, decorations.  Most of all, I like their ayurvedic bar soaps.

The ayurvedic soaps are  based on the Ayurveda traditional medical system originating in India, and  practiced in India and Nepal.

The basic principle of Ayurveda is both  to prevent and treat illness by creating balance  between body, mind and environment. It does so by using products, mainly (but not only), derived from plants, in combination with other well-known wellness factors such as diet and exercise.

There's quite a  variety of ayurvedic hand bar soaps to be found in Health  Stores. The stuff is imported, and thus not cheap. Most of them are handmade, and enriched with  oils derived from the Tulsi (holy basil) and Neem plants. 

They usually come  in standard size and mini size (fit for travel).  People buy them for their anti- bacterial /anti-fungal properties, and also to treat certain bad skin conditions.

My favorite brand is called Medimix. It is said to be enriched with 18 herbs and some natural oils.  I use liquid soap as well, but  I won't give this bar soap up as I like its texture and scent. 

* web picture

Saturday, August 26, 2023

On "Killers" and 'Protein'

I recall a doctor's article emphasizing what he considered as two food basic principles: 1. sugar and salt are bad, practically killers.  2. going heavy on garlic and onion, is good.  It was not an academic article, but rather an account of his personal and his patients'  nutrition experience over the years. 

Whatever we buy at the store  has already sugar and salt in it (especially salt which is a food preservative).   I do check the label on the product to find out how much.   As  for garlic and onion, we all have them in our kitchen and use them in cooking, salads, side dishes. The question is - how much is 'going heavy'.

Sometimes, I find myself telling people that I wouldn't mind  turning vegetarian or vegan , except that I 'm  afraid to do so because of Protein.   Eggs and meat, are the best source of quality protein;  so, it won't be wise to give them up entirely. Protein  is essential to life, and you don't 'play' with that.

Fish is also a good source of protein and it has its place  on my menu.   A daily drop of milk in the coffee, and  a cup of cottage cheese now and then, also add to the animal protein picture.

I know, of course, about plant- based protein. There are many good sources  :  chia seeds, hemp seeds, tofu, quinoa,  oats, chickpeas, nuts, broccoli, lentils...  

Still, it doesn't convince me to eliminate eggs, meat, fish and their derivates from my nutrition.   Perhaps that has  something to do with the autoimmune illness I was recovering from some twenty years ago. It has made me cautious on all levels of my existence.

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Vive La Difference !

I've been blogging since 2008! (started with the mere purpose of preserving my knowledge of  English as a second language). 

Blogging has opened up a whole new world for me, rich in people of different nationalities, and topics of a great variety.

Reading other people's blogs , makes me  highly aware of differences in background, lifestyle, viewpoints. That's both interesting and helpful.  Through blogs, one can learn a lot about oneself and others; make comparisons, consider options and suggestions, draw conclusions. 

I like writing. As with reading, there's a great deal of blessed escapism in it, but there's more than that - there's struggling with your own words and ideas, and that struggling, can do a lot of good to your cognitive ability.

I greatly appreciate  people with talent and skills in one or more fields of life: arts, crafts, culinaria (cookery), gardening etc.. I  enjoy viewing, in their personal blogposts,   the display of this talent, in different formats.    I myself have got no specific talent or skill.  I'm just the average kind of person.  (However,  if I need or want something badly, I'l find a way to learn how to do it, talent or no talent). 

Anyway, it seems to me there are generally more similarities than differences. Most people love Nature, Travel, good Food, their Family and Pets.  They might show their love in different ways, but in the end , love is love anyway one shows it.

Good blogging, to my mind, usually involves reciprocity (of 'follow' and 'comment'), respect given to other people's beliefs, acceptance of different opinions to be published on your blog.

Hopefully,  Climate Change with its terrible wild fires, or/and Social-  Political unrest within and among nations, will not prevent us to go on with our blogging  as long as we can and wish to do so.

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Where To ?!


Things are rather 'messy' ( politically, economically, socially)  in my neck of the woods .  I'm not surprised.  I've even anticipated the situation.  Poor management, high corruption, an extremely 'mixed' population - can  lead to nothing good.

 What bothers me most is the threat of food shortage. If I mention that to people, they react with a smile of disbelief (after all,  lots of food is thrown away daily by individuals, families, restaurants, stores). 

There are a couple of reasons that trigger my thoughts on the above matter.

It's not only the Holocaust background of my  late mother eating potatoe peels (on a good day) in the Ghetto,  not only the ongoing russian- ukrainian war preventing a smooth supply of wheat to the world.  It's also  the very  fickle climate having a disastruous impact on food growth , distribution , and all that has to be done to feed the world.

Will food crisis (that usually starts with a rise in prices ) lead us back to some sort of nomadic lifestyle,  relocation, perhaps?! 

Possibly.  Relocation might or might not help. What's sure is that it requires a lot of planning especially where families with little kids are concerned. One also  needs an additional passport, languages, money, right timing (you cannot relocate at the last moment, as you won't be able even to come near a plane, certainly not be on the plane itself).

Age does have a  say in this. People of the third age, like myself,  are not keen on relocation, for obvious reasons. They'll stay where they are with whatever comes their way.  No energy for new beginnings, although - 'never say never',  might apply to them too. 

Anyway, I believe in God, in God's guidance and protection - and that gives me the peace of mind  I need to carry on with my everyday life, regardless of the  increasing  unrest around me. I'm grateful for that.


Friday, August 4, 2023

Not Curable But Treatable


The above statement refers to many health problems.  Available treatments, which could potentially  help manage a problem without curing it,  include besides medications, a variety of external  aids, and  replacements (full or partial) of organs and tissues. 

The existing  external aids on the market are visual aids (eyeglasses , contact lenses), hearing devices for hearing loss, mobility aids (walkers, wheelchairs, canes, crutchers, rollators, scooters).  The replacement procedures widely practiced are cataract surgery (replacing the eye lens with an artificial lens), and knee surgery.

It's a pity that little or no research is done on what's called medicinal plants and other Nature's  elements,  to find more cures to illnesses. In every culture and period, the healing properties of plants were identified, noted , conveyed  to next generations and passed on  to other societies and cultures for the benefit of all.

However, for the healing property of a plant to be recognized as cure, it has to be research- based. (Cure eliminates sickness whereas Healing repairs, mends the body).

Well, I suppose research is  not profitable enough for the big pharmaceutical companies, as a lot of effort (trials, failures), time and money, qualified professionals , and more, is involved in conducting  a research.  How frustrating!

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Blame It ...


I was listening the other day, to one of my favorite 'oldies' : "Blame it on the Bossa Nova"  with Eydie Gormet. The very lovely lyrics of the song, put the 'blame'  on  the Bossa Nova dance for  enabling the singer (or some other young girl) the good fortune of  meeting the right one.  " Oh, it all began with just one dance. But soon it ended up a big romance" . 

That brings me to the opposite  topic - blaming for misfortune.

People usually blame age, climate, luck, parents,  school,  for their... misfortune in life.   I also blame my own self,   and quite often.  I ask myself questions like 'how could I do this or that', 'how stupid was I to act in this or that manner'.

I believe direction in life shown to us by an older, more experienced person, can in some way help avoid gross mistakes, and by this, even turn  misfortune into good fortune.  But then, when we are young, or even middle-aged, we think we know better, so we don't listen to advice, and then, it's too late.

I remember telling a young relative before starting his first job, something like : "Hard work won't kill you; people around you might. Beware!" He smiled, thanked me politely, and said he'll remember that.

In another case, I tried to give some slight advice to the daughter of a late cousin of mine. The daughter, sixteen years younger than me, reacted  rudely: 'My mother has no less life experience than you do, so , I have her to learn things from'  (actually, she wasn't on good terms with her mother, so I thought advice coming from a third party might do her some good.). Well,  I thought... 

Monday, July 24, 2023

Moves and Moans

Sometimes , I best remember a performance seen on video or TV screen due to a mere gesture, sound, outfit, opening trick, that is -made to help  emphasizing the special essence of that performance.

Charles Aznavour's performance of his famous song "Hier Encore", will always be remembered by me for the singer's...moans;  yes, moans. 

Aznavour was accompanied by two young, beautiful female singers. Whenever it was the turn of each one of them to sing, he raised his eyes up to the young girl, and...moaned. The moans were to express suffering and pain at his lost youth (the subject of his song).

The entrance to singer Cher's show 'Dove Lamore' (in italian, Where's Love) features a guitarist, and a male dancer. The later performs some electrifying moves and steps. One rarely has the chance to view such a mesmerizing act before the actual show begins ( here, the show of Cher's song, and her lady dancers).

The above are only two examples; there are some more in the mentioned category.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

The Minister

One of the ministers in our government is a young (41), handsome person.  He's got 17 (!) siblings and 8(!) kids. He looks well, considering his large family background.

He belongs to the  orthodox religious circles which emphasize studying text (Thorah, talmudic books), over physical and worldly activities. In his case. he has studied beyond religious subjects, and got a profession in accountancy and industrial management.

The state invests a lot in families of this sort - religious with many kids (by way of alowances, benefits, stipends) without getting much if anything in return, in terms of taxes and army service. That causes great and persistent tension between the secular and the orthodox communities, and nothing good is going to come out of it.

The logo "Shivion Banetel" (sharing equally the burden of both security and economy) is constantly on the lips of  the secular people of the israeli society. This will actually determine the future and stability of the country in the years to come. 

Friday, July 14, 2023


Rhyming  adds rhytm, beauty,  solemnity to the text. I like it, and whenever possible, use it. There are rhyming dictionaries available in many languages,  and that helps  give the 'masses'  access to some basic form of rhyming 'poetry.'

Usually, it is the sad, tragic events in life that trigger the need to 'color' the text in rhymes-  at least in my case. I wrote about the loss of my dear ones in rhymed verses.

I composed  the speech for my Mom's funeral (delivered in hebrew to the participants) in three languages: romanian, hebrew, english - and used rhyming. 

Here' are some examples of rhymed little poems ( the english part only;  naturally, the romanian and hebrew parts are more elaborate, as I have a better knowledge  of these languages) :


Mina-Ruhale, my elder sis.  I wish I could hug her and kiss.

I've got no photo of her, never had.  In Transnistria she starved to death.

Just try to imagine the tragic event:

A small girl in the concentration camp  

No food, no water, no air,  only disease.  

She closes her eyes, her tiny soul for Heaven leaves.

So, I never felt what's like

To have a sister by my side

Sharing things, dreaming together,

 making plans, helping each other.

Herman  (Hersh) my beloved brother

Tall, handsome, a real charmer

His virtuous playing the violin

Raised pleasure bumps on the skin

His great, catchy sense of humor

Became  a widely persistent rumor.

Suddenly, taken away from me

July 98, in Budapest, Hungary.

Hershole, my older brother

Was a Holocaust child survivor

Should have been given more years

To wipe out suffering and tears.

The Season Connection

In Spring,  Mom got ill and fragile.

It sure looked an ominous sign

In Summer, when all outside was bright

My mother and my brother Hersh, died.

In Autumn, with the sky cloudy and grey

Father David and nephew Shai, passed away

In Winter, in the cold, gloomy weather

We had to part from uncle Chaim forever.

Friday, July 7, 2023


It was love at first sight- me and the casual crocs shoes. They immediately caught my eye and conquered my feet: lightweight, comfortable, roomy (my feet are small but wide and the toes need room) easy to slip into and out, holes for ventilation, great variety of colors. Not cheap, as they are made of Crosslite which is an expensive material.

Over the years, I found out , to my surprise, that for me, crocks are not only the best for outdoor light walking , but also the best indoor shoes. It appears that all the various sorts of house shoes are too light and soft, and might cause an elderly person to slip and fall. Crocks, on the other hand, (the first, classic brand) are more solid, without being heavy.

I choose dark colors  (black, blue) for outdoors , vivid colours (such as orange, pink), for indoors. Although they are not considered  very healthy (lack arch support, the plastic structure might cause sweaty feet), everyone I know loves them: kids, teenagers, adults, elderly.

Crocks are versatile and the outdoor shoes come in various sizes and styles   (with or without laces, with or without platforms, sandals and even crocks with...heels) . Something for everyone.

* web picture

Sunday, July 2, 2023

It's Crowded Up There


We don't have direct Land routes and transport (trains, cars, trucks, motorcycles) - from Israel, Out.

 Maritime transport by ship - through our ports Haifa in the north, Ashdod  in the center,  Eilat in the south - is chiefly for cargo (freight).   Naturally, it's slow and awkward.

So, we are left mainly with Air Transport from our central  Ben Gurion Airport, to go abroad, reach the world.  Lately, I saw a piece of information in the Media that both surprised me and frightened me.

Surprised, because its mere publication might badly affect our tourism; frightened because it says something like: 'it's too crowded up there'.  It is not referring only to the increase in number and size of planes and flights, but also to the fact that Iran (not a friend) is trying to reduce our air space activity.

Iran does so, through Hezbollah ( a terror organization,  located in Lebanon , on our northern border). It is suspected that  Iran provides Hezbollah with all kinds of  air systems capable of creating air chaos for us. Even if there's some exaggeration in this kind of news, still it gives one food to thought.

It's interesting to note that almost every major religion (christian, catholic, jewish etc..) has a travelsafe travel prayer. Most of the prayer texts I've seen on the Web are beautiful and touching! 

I've got one too (in hebrew), and I keep a copy of it in the suitcase, bag, purse.

May God protect us!

Sunday, June 25, 2023

What Was All That About?!


Who's Wagner? Who's Prigozhin? It appears, 'Wagner' is a russian mercenary group led by a character named Prigozhin. The group was on the way to Moscow threatening the government with mutiny.

At the end of  a very dramatic Saturday,  they abandoned the rebellion plan and left for Belarus in exchange for the lifting of criminal charges against them.

I'm not in politics; in fact, I detest politics and politicians. However, I can't stay indifferent when all kinds of  adventurers  (and that includes charismatic Zelensky of Ukraine) put people's life in jeopardy, endanger the security of their nation, and might even lead to a World War 3. 

To defy and challenge a super power like Russia and its leader Putin,  is not heroism, but suicidal adventure.   

Each nation has its own problems - big problems (economic, military, social) . Instead of concentrating on solving them, politicians in various countries waste their time  trying to interfere in the affairs of other nations . They make use of disinformation, and even supply of arms. This could lead to nothing good.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

No Pita ?!



Last week, I attended a gathering of appartment owners from several buildings , buildings meant to be demolished and rebuilt - within what's called  'Urban  Renewal' project. I've mentioned this project in two  previous posts (13 March 2021;10 January 2023).

It was not the first gathering (organized by the entrepeneurs) of this kind.  There were several, during a period of about ten years. No success, so far.  Most of the owners  were reluctant to co-operate and sign the neccessary papers.  Perhaps this time will be different,  for two main reasons: changes done to the Law,  and more space addition to each one of  the new appartments, offered by the entrepeneurs and contractors.

Anyway, there's always plenty of food and beverage at the gathering; more or less the same menu , with the usual kind of sandwiches, pita pockets, salads, deserts, fruit, soda drinks, coffee. There's something for everybody, no one leaves hungry; that's for sure.

                                                               stuffed pita pockets     * 

Last time it was different - very classy. Everything on the table was small size, but the variety of colors, shapes, fillings, tastes - was overwhelming!   I noticed bread, rolls, but... no pita. No pita?!How could that be? The pita (flat bread) is a staple in Israel and throughout the Middle East. It goes well with any sort of  stuffing (meat, cheese, tuna fish, veggies , felafel balls); it's  usually padded with hummus, and its content sprinkled at the top with tahini sauce. An all age favorite, always present on the hosting table.

I checked the wrapping paper ; the name on it was that  of a  catering firm known as being professional and... expensive. Oh, well, the organizers have at least  invested in exquisite food, hoping to cultivate our culinary taste, and on the way get our agreement  to 'better' our houses.

Until next time, then!

web pictures

Saturday, June 10, 2023

My Stetl Saveni

 I was born and raised until about the age of sixteen in a small town in northeast Romania, named Saveni ( county of Botosani). 'Stetl' is a yiddish term for  a small town  in Eastern Europe before the Holocaust.

The name Saveni has its origin, so they say, in the name Savin - family name of an outstanding land owner who lived in the area in ancient times.

Samuel Lerner(1903- 1989) the famous american composer of Popeye, The Sailorman, was also born in Saveni.  At the age of seven, though, he emigrated with his parents to America and the family settled in Detroit, Michigan.

Whenever I think of my birth town, I couldn't help smiling at the irony of things. Each of its surrounding  villages got something valuable from Nature. Negreni village got a lake and fish ponds, Avrameni got forests, Draguseni got special, rich soil.  Saveni got  merely a hill (Naftuli Hill) and a segment of a river, the Baseu River. 

The Hill, facing the Baseu river , and the river itself, marked the way out of the town to the train station of Ungureni, and  to the county capital Botosani , and from there to other parts of the country.

The Baseu, affluent of the long Prut river separating  Romania from Moldova and Ukraine, was causing a lot of damage when overflowing.  In summer, it looked  dry and unpleasant . It was because of this river, that my mother used to say : 'don't you ever go live near a body of water'!

There was nothing special about Saveni of my childhood. I don't recall any outstanding spots or buildings, except perhaps the two quite impressive orthodox churches: Saint Neculai and Saint George.

Yet, there was something in the air, in the atmosphere of the place. in the relative geographical  isolation from the other towns, that gave birth to that very distinctive spirit of the local people the Savenians. They were witty, kind, hard-working, open-minded,   and to this day, I'm proud of having been one of them.

Having said that, I wouldn't choose to live in a remote place  like Saveni was in those days.  So remote, that we had as teachers  some high quality people that were exiled  from other parts of the country as punishment  for their political views. A place of exile, how about it?! 



Monday, June 5, 2023

Bezalel Market


This relatively small , colorful, open- air market is close to the heart of the city of Tel Aviv . The name Bezalel is a popular hebrew name  (for people, for institutions, for places) meaning  - 'in the shadow of God'.

Sadly, the market has lost a lot of  its original charm and atmosphere because of the changes undergone in the surrounding area - erection of modern residential buildings that overshadow the market and interfere with its daily activities.

It is mainly a clothing market which offers not only price bargains, but also brand  stuff. There used to be here  also several good felafel eateries that attracted lovers of this particular fast food, but they got shut off, probably following complaints of the new neighboring residents against  the oil frying smells.

               Felafel eaters , some of them waiting for wives to finish shopping

The market , in his days of 'glory', was popular with all ages and backgrounds. They all enjoyed browsing together through the big piles of clothes and finding bargains for them and the family.

religious women looking for proper clothes

young woman displaying her nice bossom!

crossing one of the narrow market  streets.

 family going to look for clothes in the umbrella protected area

Not all market smells are nice.

I'm afraid that in the upcoming years, this market is going to be totally eliminated. Its proximity to the center makes the land here extremely valuable for the real estate sharks. What helps them is the fact that there is a big market in the vicinity - Carmel Market. So, they try to present the Bezalel Market as a kind of superfluous nuissance to the area, completely ignoring its uniqueness (cheap stuff side by side with brand name products and greatly based on browsing.).  Sadly,  Real Estate people are the ruling power, nowadays.

Monday, May 29, 2023

Techinot (Prayers)

I'm not a religious person, and I certainly don't define myself as such. However, I do believe in God and in the power of prayer to Him.                                                                            

I've got a small, cute book  with a fine brown leather cover in my possesion. It's a techinot  (plural of techina) book -  a collection of personal prayers, written mostly from the female point of view. These prayers cover all aspects of life: health, finance, success, longevity, old age, birth giving, poverty; you name it, it has it.

front cover

I've mentioned this little book in a previous post-  a post written on the subject of leather (animal skin) as a popular  material for coats/bags/ purses - and entitled 'Cool versus Cruel' (31.1.2016).

back cover

I enjoy reading in this book as the prayers are written so beautifully that they sound more like poetry to me. The language is hebrew. There's also an english translation of 'techinot', but I'm not familiar with it.

I wanted to buy the book for a person I care for, but I was told at the store that this version was  sold out. There are other formats if one is interested.

Anyway, I consider this tiny book , the most important book in my life. Unlike other books in my possession, this one is not for sale/ donation/ giving away. It's always with me - relevant , helpful, and making me feel good.