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.