Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Times Have Changed


It once used to be solely a matter of raising the salary, with or without a preceding strike. Not anymore. Workers have additional (justified) demands; they refuse to put up with violence in schools, in hospitals, on buses etc.. They demand besides anti-violence measures,  better working conditions, especially less working hours, decent recreation facilities. Teachers, medical personnel, drivers, threaten to desert their working place if their demands are not met.

Demographics is growing at quite an alarming pace in certain circles in our country. I believe increase in demographics, causes crowdedness which in turn brings about violence . It also has a bad impact on the country's economic ability.

Politicians are not capable of dealing with this issue; in fact with any serious issue, and poor governance prevails. The approaching general elections won't solve a thing;just the usual waste of time and money.

Workers (inclusive teachers and doctors)  are not as professional as it used to be in the past when standards required were much higher. Moreover,  few or no digital 'toys' were available then. Now wherever one looks, at any hour of the day - people  are 'glued'  to their smartphone and tablet. Work can wait, service can wait. 

Well,  we can't give up  digital 'toys',can we;  just as we can't  give up polluting  cars - so what's to be done? Not much...

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Not To Be Encouraged.


The other day, I had to do a few things in a neighboring town. Before returning home, I took a stroll along its main street. My eyes caught a new, nice little shop ( since Covid,  there seem to be more empty/closed shops then active or new ones ).            

When I approached it, I got rather surprised . It was a shop selling... smoking accessories.  After all, smoking is no longer a popular habit because of its negative impact on health . So, what's the 'profit' logic behind it?!

I don't remember a similar physical  'specialized' shop even in those "jolly" days with people heavy on smoking and no ban on smoking in public. As I 've never been a smoker myself, I don't have the proper background to go into details, but I'll admit there is a rich variety of nice  items in this shop with great potential of attracting customers.

'So, smoking is back in town'? I asked the guy in the shop. 'It never quit town', he replied with a smile. He had russian accent;  that made me suspect  people of russian origin could be the basis of his customers. It is said that many "russians", especially middle-aged and elderly are quite addicted to smoking.

I suppose it was not easy for the owner to get a licence for opening the store. There are many rules and regulations ( such as age-restriction) controlling this kind of business.

The location of the shop is optimal: on the main street, no competition in this area, as far as I could see   It will be interesting to notice at a later stage, if it does well, considering that tobacco is the cause of  major lung diseases. 

Anyway, I believe this kind of business  should  not be encouraged neither by the authorities nor by the population.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

The Power of the Mind

There are certain people among us (fortunetellers, magicians, illusionists, mentalists) who claim to have special powers. Many years ago, one of them, an israeli by the name of Uri Geller became famous all over the world,  through his ability to bend  spoons (his powers have even been certified by the CIA after testing).

Next, he used his mental  powers to trace oil fields. This was probably where he had made a little fortune which enabled him to buy an uninhabited island in Scottland, and open his private  art collection Museum in Old Jaffa city.

I wish to believe that God has given us all, special abilities. We just have to look into ourselves, discover these abilities and  make use of  them the best we can. People  do this when trying to find healing powers, and it usually works.

We live in a period when  special powers might help us. Our life systems (education, health, justice etc..) have collapsed long before Covid's appearance, and it's probably going to be worse.

I'm not interested in bending spoons, or moving objects with the power of my mind. But, how about  moving a bad neighbor to another location?! Theoretically, I think it can be done, but I haven't got the energy and time to focus mentally on that person.

I'm not interested in tracing oil fields either, but I'm afraid we'll have to trace food sources in the not so distant future. Considering climate change, famine might be knocking on the door.

Anyhow, I'll have to do some reading on the subject and watch some relevant youtube tutorials.

Saturday, August 6, 2022



Henna plant powder does a lot of good to women's hair and scalp.

To be effective, it has to be applied at least once in 1-2 months. I'm kind of lazy about it as it's  rather a messy little job : turn the leaf powder into a smooth  paste, apply it to the hair and scalp, wrap the head with a plastic cover to keep it warm, stay with it for several hours, rinse, etc.. So, I usually do it once in... about six months, when I feel my hair is lifeless and on the verge of falling out.

Lately, I've been asking myself and Google if henna could help with male baldness.  It's no secret that lots of men are undergoing hair transplant. I'm not familiar with the details of the transplant procedure and the rate of success, but it suffices to know that's surgery, and it's not cheap.  Surgery. in cases which are not life-saving, should always be the very last resort.

The answer is yes, henna could help; applying it regularly when one still has hair on one's head might prevent baldness (the henna treatment should come , of course, as an addition, to a  balanced ,protein based diet including eggs and fish).`

The man going bald will need a loving mother/ wife/girlfriend/ to apply the stuff, otherwise he'll soon get bored and tired with it. Improving and maintaining our looks is hard work, but, it's worth it.

Henna is natural; it strenghtens and adds volume, conditions, promotes growing, reduces dandruff, might prevent premature greying and hair loss. 

My favorite brand is the american 'Colora Henna' which offers both natural color and some color shades. Unfortunately, for some reason, the import to my country seems to have stopped. I'm at my last package..

Friday, July 29, 2022

'Dancing To The End Of Love'

I never get tired of listening to Leonard Cohen's song 'Dancing to the end of Love', and viewing the various Youtube videos presenting it.

The song itself, Leonard's low voice and his warm smile, serve as a charming background to dancing couples, most of them approaching the end of love and...life.  Sad, and yet so beautiful! 

These couples dance "like there's nobody watching them" (famous quote), concentrated only in their dancing moves and partner. The physical dance  is an outer expression of the inner feelings of love, kindness and sensitivity towards the partner.

Browsing through the video clips I came upon a pleasant surprise : my favorite male  film actor, Al Pacino, in a scene from the movie that brought him the Oscar, 'Scent of a Woman'. Pacino, playing the role of a blind, medically retired army lieutenant, is  dancing with the young woman of his choice, to the music of the above song. (By the way, I may be wrong, but as far as I remember, Dancing till the end of Love  was not the original song in that movie).

Anyhow, both Leonard Cohen, the singer and song-writer, and Al Pacino the movie actor - are very charismatic, and a delight to our senses.

Friday, July 22, 2022


There are people  among us with known allergies to various food components. Eating out means gambling with life for these people. Yet, they  keep doing it and trusting the waiter and the chef  to take care the served food is without the fatal allergens.

Every now and then we read and hear about allergy caused tragedies. The most recent one - the death of a 22 year old israeli allergic to milk , on a trip in Colombia. News like this leave me  hurting inside and speechless.

I remember well when my father (no allergies) was offered to work for a while after retirement. He consulted his family doctor who was not happy about it because of the daily commute involved. 'But I don't drive, just sit on the bus chair', he said. 'Well, that's it', she replied. 'You sit, and sitting is bad for your high blood pressure'.

His work was mostly physical , albeit of a light nature. She was not worried by that, only about his daily commute to and fro work.

Go figure! Millions sit in cars and drive for hours, and she made  a fuss over less than a two hours commute (40 min to, 40 min. fro)! She was referring, however, to an existing health condition (high blood pressure) of a person at a certain age (retirement age) when things might deteriorate and become a kind of gambling with life (she did use the phrase 'don't gamble with your life').

We tend to philosophically say  'All of life is a gamble'. Still, by taking the right measures, we can minimize, avoid, prevent - in fact, control - to a certain extent,  the gambling side of life.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them


'Can't live with them; can't live without them'. Men say that about women, women say that about men, siblings and cousins say that about their families.  The saying expresses frustration with someone or something you ultimately cannot give up. 

I myself use this idiom to refer to people in general. As I advance in age, I become more aware of the wicked, treacherous nature of the human kind. Humans weaken you when you mostly need strength. They'll  criticize you at a time when you're in need of support and compassion. 

And yet, in spite of all, we need people, 'we can't live without them', their companionship , their wisdom or ..stupidity. (In a previous post I mentioned Barbara Streisand 's famous song "People, people who need people...").   We're constantly on the look out for interraction. Isolation is not the answer, and we've seen that during the two and a half year of pandemics.

In order to avoid getting hurt or wasting precious time exchanging futile words with some rude, infantile human being ,one can train oneself to keep distance from certain people. It's possible and quite efficient.

Anyway, I believe in God, pray to God for help and protection, and this gives me, among other things, confidence in my ability to handle humans.

I definitely have to buy some new shoes.

Monday, July 4, 2022

The Blessing From Stefanesht


The  90+ year old age actors who're still on the stage are a wonder. Being able to memorize the lines and moving according to the script - is nothing but a miracle.

One of them is the israeli actor Yaakov Bodo. (Bodo short form of 'Bodoaga', which is , I think a distorted romanian word. It should probably be 'Bodega', meaning 'wine bar'). 

The actor was born in a small town called Stefanesht (north-east Romania, border town with Ukraine).

The name of the town is known to many of romanian and israeli jewry, as it was the place where the prominent rabbi Matityhau Friedman lived for 70 years. (In 1969, his remains were transferred to the cemetery Nachlat Yitzhak in central Israel).

They say, that whoever was born in Stefanesht  carries the blessing of the above rabbi. Yaakov Bodo is definitely blessed: with a versatile talent, successful carreer, awards, longevity, good family, admirers.

His uncle (his father's brother) was  our neighbor for some time. The uncle and wife were also blessed with longevity (they both died in their mid 90-s).The uncle was also blessed with 'golden hands'; he was a tailor of the highest skill. He worked at home, alone, with some help from his wife, and was able from his earnings to move to a new, better location.  

Their only son studied engineering. I don't exactly know what has become of him as we lost touch after their move to another city. As far as I  know, the son kept the original family name of Bodoaga. He wasn't tempted to shorten it to Bodo as his cousin, the actor, did.

I don't remember knowing anyone else from the little town of Stefanesht, blessed or not.  I was born not far from Stefanesht, but there was no train connection, and in those days other forms of transport  were rather scarce, so we've never been there.  As far as the rabbi was concerned I heard stories about him from my parents, and others , and it felt natural to wish to pray at his grave.

portrait of the rabbi

He's not alone; additional members of his family are burried near him  which makes the place not easy to access, given the many visitors that come to pray here.

leaflet cover

There's a sign with his name indicating the direction to the tomb. The area has a wooden roof above, so it's easily detected.

direction sign

Saturday, June 25, 2022

A Ray Of Light

main building

The prestigious school of contemporary music 'Rimon' is a ray of light in my neighborhood. ('Rimon' is the hebrew word for pomegranate fruit).

'Rimon' school of Music was founded in 1985. It has over 500 students (israeli and international), and 90 academic staff members. 

The school offers studies in all contemporary fields of music: Jazz, pop, rock, hip-hop, folk, blues, country, electronic - and  seven (7) majors; composition, arranging, conducting, songwriting, performance, music education, music production.

Of great importance are the ties of cooperation established with 'Berkley' college of art in Boston. There are agreements, connections, and exchanges between these two schools with great benefits for both parties.

'Rimon' school is located on a quiet residential street, in a modest neighborhood. Its buildings and the various facilities, encircle a green lawn and yard in the very center of the campus. So, the classrooms are actually at the back, less interfering with  the street and neighboring houses.

 tiny entrance

green lawn

Students that come from afar rent flats in the vicinity and become during their study period , part of the local population, contributing to its quality and standards. Most students get involved in community musical projects and in volunteering performances and activities in hospitals, elderly care facilities, at-risk youth clubs.

It should be emphasized that many of 'Rimon'  school graduates have become well-known music professionals and performers both in the local music industry as well as throughout the world.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Parcel Or Money


At the beginning of March, I ordered a small parcel from an american supplier. I got it on the 15th of June!!

A month after the order and confirmation, I checked with the local post office. I was told that the tracking number I had was invalid.

I emailed the supplier more than once, but no reply. That surprised me. I was not a new customer, and it had never happened to me before. I thought to myself, perhaps there was a new factor that took over the company, and for some reason wanted to discourage me from being their customer.

So, I turned to the credit card company through which I paid for the parcel. They gave the supplier 60 days to clarify the matter for them. I've got the parcel, they haven't got the clarification yet.

Checking the outer papers glued to the box, it seemed to me the parcel was already here but sent back as unclaimed. I saw the 'invalid' number too; probably belonging to UPS carrier.

Something definitely  went wrong with the shipping. I hope the credit card company will enlighten me on the matter when she gets the clarification.  It seems to me that both the supplier and our post office have failed in assuring smooth and on- time delivery of the parcel.

green everywhere

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Summer Visitors


During summer, we might see some uninvited visitors in the house: ants, cockroaches, mosquitos (small flies).

As I don't like to use chemicals. my favorite 'killer' is water. Yes, water kills.  I spray  the ants with plain water, and instantly get rid of them.

water sprayer

With the cockroach it takes a bit more time. Water seems to disable it from running across the floor, but it can still crawl. After a day or two, I'll find it tough, inactive or even dead. Cockroaches are said to carry disease, so the water method is good but not good enough. I should find a way to dispose of them faster.

Mosquitos are also considered disease carriers.  I can handle the bite - usually by applying vinegar on it. I could prevent the bites with clothing covering arms and legs.  In my experience, the best mosquito repellent is a fan. I've got a small fan on my desk, and when ON, it definitely keeps mosquitos away.

There are many species of these 'visitors'  in Nature.  Luckily, mine are of an 'inferior quality' with regards to breeding and damage.  It's possible to have zero such visitors, but I live in an old building, with the kitchen facing south, and other enviromental issues. 

Anyhow, no need to waste time, and money on chemicals. The natural things we have at home can help provide adequate  solutions (garlic powder, baking soda powder, mint, lavender, citronella candles, fans, etc..).

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Resisting Temptation


By the time we enter the third and last phase in life (over 60), we should have learnt  to deal with temptations coming from our encounter with  food,  travel, shopping (to name a few). 

Food and Travel bring us great joy and pleasure, but  might often  leave us weary and dependant on 'doctor appointments'.

Most people choose to go along with the temptations and are willing to pay the price. They"ll say: 'life is short', 'we live only once', 'we're but human'  - 'let's taste life and enjoy it from all its angles'.

That's all right, provided they're  aware of the choice and take responsibility for the consequences; that is, not constantly blaming  other factors such as genetics, age, stress, luck (albeit each of these factors does influence our well-being to a certain extent).

Me, I'm trying to resist temptation without fighting it. It's not easy, but it's possible, with the right willpower and a few helpful tips. The reward becomes visible if and when you  manage somehow to protect  your health,  and on the way,  save the money that usually goes to those temptations.

On various occasions, I'll also use sayings (see the above) to justify my choice. For example, I'll say about sightseeing - 'oh, well you've seen one, you've seen them all' - which, is of course, not true. The various attractions and places of interest (museums, parks, churches, markets etc..) differ from each other;  the ideas behind them, however, are more or less similar so, I'm probably not totally lying to myself.

The two and a half years of Covid in the background, have inserted a certain balance into our heads. Let's hope it stays there. Avoiding excessive/processed food, skipping crowded places, being selective at buying things, and practising good sanitary habits - that's the way we should always follow, covid or not covid.


Still wearing a mask.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

The Sky Is The Limit

'the sky is the limit' sculpture


'The sky is the limit' is the name given to the above  public sculpture placed at the very beginning of a major street in a town adjacent to mine (Ramat-Gan town). Whenever I'm in the area, I pause to have a look at it, and each time I discover some new and exciting detail.

The sculpture , donated to the city by the internationally renowned israeli painter and sculptor, David Gerstein , is made of a laser cut metal frame, and hand-painted wooden figures (one in each of the  spaces) in playful daily life scenes. On top of it, a human figure symbolically pointing at the sky.

placed at a busy intersection of two major streets

The area surrounding the exhibit comprises some of the tallest sky scrapers in the country. Two lovely coffee shops, one at each side of the street offer their customers a nice view of the colorful sculpture and of  the street with its passersby and car/bus traffic.

and the flowers - oh, the flowers!

There are two stone plaques at the bottom of the sculpture: one mentioning the name of it and that of the donor, the other with a warning message (do not try to climb on it!).

name of sculpture and donor in hebrew and english

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Shortage?! Famine?! Not Likely, But...


Whenever I complain about the high prices of food, I'm told to keep quiet as the worst is yet to come. Shortage and even Famine are next.

I already notice shortage, but not of essentials. We still got plenty of bread, milk, eggs, fish, veggies; yet... being a country  based on import, we should worry. Covid and Ukraine are not without global consequences. It is well-known that epidemics and war disrupt both the production and  distribution of food, through damage to production means and transportation routes.

Of course, there are always the usual causes such as population growth and natural calamities ( drought, flooding, cold weather, etc..). We cannot control natural causes,  but we could prevent shortage and famine by trying to prevent war,  fighting epidemics, and especially giving high priority to local production of food.

Our government does little  to encourage local agriculture and industry. It appears, so far, to have supported the importers in their making big money - buying cheap, selling expensive.

I always  check the labels on products - and it makes me sad. Most of them are imported. It's more profitable for the big firms (like our Elite coffee firm) to import  stuff rather than  produce it locally. However, it's not only the cost that matters, but also the food security. There's no such security if the country depends on outer sources. It is a well-known fact, and yet highly ignored.

Anyway, let's hope for no shortage, for sane prices  ,and for increase in local production of food .

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Toxic Positivity

We often hear and read about 'toxic negativity', but there is such  a concept 'toxic positivity' as well. It is when we force ourselves and others to always look at the bright side of things ('think positive') and ignore the other sides. It can be harmful to our well-being almost as much as toxic negativity.

Positivity does not exist in a vacuum;  it needs to be rooted in reality for it to be helpful. Just as we need to manage our negative feelings, but not deny them, we need to manage our positive emotions without practicing fake cheerful attitudes.

It is not easy to oscillate between the two  aspects of life (positivity, negativity). In fact, it's quite a struggle, especially in old age when time, mobility, health, opportunity and everything that matters - are limited.

A positive outlook is said to help those with a major illness; it brings relief to suffering, hope to the patient. It is also believed that focusing on the positive, might help those grieving, to move on and find some solace in their loss (usually  a tragic loss of a child or a young sibling).

I wouldn't really know much about that, as I turn to God and pray for help whenever I'm in distress. What helped me in the past, and helps me in the present is my belief in God and His miracles. Yes, miracles. He did some for me over the years, and I'm forever grateful to Him.