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.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

The ' Talking' Clock

                                                                             desk talking clock

Once in a while, when trying to put  things in order, I come upon my mother's desk 'talking' clock - a device meant to help the visually impaired. 

During the last decade of her life, Mom  was almost blind , as a result of  the glaucoma disease, and could not see the numbers on a  clock. So, we bought her a talking clock so that she could hear  the time.

The amazing thing is that the clock kept telling the time some seven years after her death. I didn't know a battery could last that long!  I had all kinds of thoughts about it, especially that there were other things that puzzled me. The fridge and air-conditioner both suddenly stopped working after her death, and couldn't be repaired; the engines were totally dead. It was as if these household items "died of a broken heart".

Anyway, her intense blue eyes stayed beautiful till the last moment.

Whenever I come upon the above clock, I turn to the music of Andrea Bocelli, the blind italian tenor. Bocelli was diagnosed with glaucoma at the age of 12, but he completely lost his eyesight , according to biography, after an accident. His music reminds me of Mother, especially that she had a good voice and liked to sing  a lot, mainly cantorial pieces (chazzanut). Her and mine favorite cantors were Malavsky and Kossowitzky.

                                      Mom  wearing dress with yemenite embroidery.

Friday, May 12, 2023

"Fake It Till You Make It"

The 'fake' element is everywhere: in the news, in science, in high-tech, in relations between people, relations between countries etc...  

 The worst form of fake is within the family. Fake family members will pretend to care about you and love you, but they'll disappear when help is needed. There are many examples of parents and siblings left to struggle alone with their problems , especially health issues. It's very frustrating when one realizes that  a trusted family member has been faking intentions towards you all along.

Fake science is called pseudoscience, and it consists of beliefs that claim to be scientific and factual, but are incompatible with the scientific method. For instance, health alternative therapies and remedies.   I must admit, I don't care whether these methods are considered fake, as long as they help me, and some of them do help me.

Fake news are deliberately fabricated to deceive readers and  spread misinformation for various reasons, mostly political, ideological  ones partly for business interests or for fun.  We have them all the time, and they do society a lot of damage. During the last years, fake news travel fast via social platforms (Facebook, What's up, etc...).

There's, sadly, no compassion among people or countries. Relations are based mainly on Interest - interest in things that might offer mutual or one-sided advantage. 

The approach of  'fake it until you make it'  is sometimes seen in the Hightech industry - which is highly competitive.  By pretending to have certain skills and projecting confidence, one believes it's possible to achieve a  dream job.

 It's a cruel world, and it's difficult to  live real  in a fake culture.

Friday, May 5, 2023

Islands of Longevity


I've always wanted to visit the islands of  Ikaria (Greece) and Sardinia (Italy) - the 'Blue Zones' (zones of high life expectancy) where people live better and longer.   For various reasons, so far, the visits have never been carried out.

Ikaria is located in the Aegean Sea. It derives its name from  the greek mythology figure of Icarus. One gets to Ikaria by plane or ferry from Athens.

Sardinia is a big island in the Mediterranean Sea. Its 'blue zones'  where people, reach an  advanced age (90+, 100+ ) are mainly located on the territory of the cities Ogliastra, Barbagia , and Seulo. One gets to Sardinia by direct flight from various european cities, or by flight and  ferry from mainland Italy.

                                            centenarian at work (*web picture)

Many believe that only 25% of our longevity is determined by genetics, the remaining 75%, by our life style. No secrets about the life-style here:

In both the above islands, the diet is Mediterranean (plant based : fruit, vegetables, whole grains, etc..); dairy (in small amounts) made from goat milk;  locally caught fish.  Meat is eaten sparingly;  wine is drunk in moderation - 1,2 glasses of wine daily.

Life in these zones is simple, natural, and slow-paced; it includes  working in the garden or on farms, walking, mid-afternoon napping. Family ties are most important;  so is socializing .

                        socializing at the market place

The elderly are considered by the younger people ,a resource , not a burden.   Thus, old people get much respect and support for their wisdom and experience. That's the way it should be.