Showing posts from March, 2010

Latest HH #262 is Up

The Empty-Seat-at-my-Seder edition number two-hundred-sixty-two, I believe, is up and running at Jack's.

Read it quick, before Yom Tov sets in tomorrow night. . .!

In the Insanity Before Passover, I Couldn't Resist. . . .

I am not very loquacious, although I definitely am a logophile. And when I received this in an email from my friend M. (yes, the very same. James Bond. Ahem.), I realized that with the insanity that is just before Pesach when we convert over from slavery to freedom (and turn our houses upside-down in the process), this was perfectly coordinated.

So in the vein of "laughter is the best medicine", for all you logophiles out there, here's the Washington Post's version of. . . malapropism (look it up. that's what Google's for.):

(I especially am fond of #16; and in part II, #5. . . )

Once again, The Washington Post has published the winning submissions to its yearly neologism contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternative meanings for common words.

The winners are:

1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.

2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.

3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

Pesach Cleaning? No! You Should be Reading Haveil Havalim #261!

The latest Haveil Havalim, the ubiquitous weekly Jewish Blog Carnival, pre-Pesach edition (I made that up) #261 (nope, didn't make that up: it's the correct number) is up at Jack's. Would have posted about it yesterday, but I was sick-sick-sick. Am better now, thank G-d. Better be: kids coming in three days, yikes!!!

Back to!

Israeli Company Develops Bio-Retina to Restore Sight

The Israeli company Nano-Retina based in Hertzliyah has developed a retina-function replacement system for those retinas damaged by macular degeneration, diabetes as well as other diseases. It consists of a retinal implant and special eyeglasses which coordinate together to work as photoreceptors, which are activated by a tiny laser in the eyeglasses.

Israeli ingenuity has done it again: contributed to the good and benefit of mankind by Jewish intelligence and diligence for the purpose of tikkun olam, repairing the world--the name of this blog.

So what are the Palestinian Arabs up to these days? Here are some headlines from Palestinian Media Watch:

PA TV kids' show wipes Israel off the map,

PA Libel: Israel tried to burn down Al-Aqsa Mosque in 1969

Fatah officials celebrate inauguration of terrorist square

PA interviews terrorist sister on anniversary of terror attack

Compare and contrast, I always say. . .

Goodbye, Uncle Jack. . .

This entire day has been a total loss. Literally. I received a call from Israel this a.m. (my time) from my cousin (his niece), telling me that my Uncle Jack had passed away this morning (Israel time).

I had a close relationship with Dod* Yaakov (at least, I thought so), even though we had not spoken very frequently since we left Israel from our last visit almost exactly two years ago, March 2008, for our older son's wedding. But whenever we talked, even if it was months apart--it was as if we were both of us in the same room, sitting on his sofa and chair in his living room in the moshav which he helped found, philosophizing about family, life, G-d, values and Judaism.

Since we saw him last, he had had a quadruple-bypass operation, and initially, I thought, had been doing well.
He later apparently developed internal hemorrhaging (I don't know the full story), and the doctors were trying to combat that. Two and a half months ago or so, something deteriorated cognitively: he sta…

Latest Haveil Havalim #260 - UP and Running. . .

. . . at Yachdus, with the "Geulah (redemption) Edition" #260. Click and read to your heart's desire (there's already time for reading before Pesach), and then go back to cleaning--you can't escape it in the end!

Pesach kasher ve-sameach to all.

*picture by Sora Rivka Daina, on

So You'd Like a Shorter Seder?

Our Pesach sedarim used to last a minimum of six (6) hours. It was not unusual to end around 3:00 a.m. if we started at 9:00 p.m. the night before. Now that we're older, we have not been able to stay awake so late. . . D. H. was usually nodding off by the time we were in the middle of Hallel, while I still managed to more or less stay awake through the songs at the end (somebody had to!)--but this year we'll do our best to stay awake for the whole nine yards, because our kids will be here.

However, for those of you who are really wimpy and can't handle a long seder, here's one that should be just your speed: The Sixty Second Seder!

The Making of Shmurah Matzahs by Hand

I thought this would be interesting for you, my readers, especially those of you who are not familiar with the process of baking shmurah matzahs by hand. What are shmurah matzahs? They are matzahs which comply more stringently with halacha, or Jewish law, by being "watched" or "guarded"(-the meaning of 'shmurah') from the time of harvest so that the wheat will not come in contact with water or anything that would enable it to ferment and 'rise.'

The matzah flour has to be prepared and baked within eighteen (18) minutes in order to prevent fermentation and rising ("chametz").

Here is a video depicting the preparation and baking of shmurah matzah, in Bnei Brak, Israel:

My Pesach-Cleaning-Findings-of: STUFF

I dislike cleaning for Pesach, not only because it's hard on my knees and back, but because I always unearth something of personal value which becomes very emotional for me. I sometimes find myself sitting there by the just-unpacked-or-organized box, turning pages, or sifting through pictures, or looking through kids' toys/backpacks/schoolbags from Israel/drawings, tears coursing down my face.
Pesach cleaning, for me, is an emotional roller coaster. Today I was in our laundry/utility room, where we had boxes upon boxes of STUFF, belonging to the kids and us from way back, not unpacked since we sold our house and moved into our current rental town home six years ago.

Now, don't tell me that halachically I don't have to unpack those or look through them if I know we hadn't put chametz in them nor eaten near them--I know that! We needed to get rid of some boxes to make room there for other STUFF which we had piled up in other areas of the house which we needed to kash…

Ruby Tuesday LATE: posted on Wimpy-er-Wordless Wednesday

I forgot to post a RED pic on this week's Ruby Tuesday, so true to my procrastinating nature, I'm posting it late, on Wimpy Wordless Wednesday (I didn't make that up). Below is a photo of our Rosh Hashana "Yehi-Ratzon Beets." (Hope I don't get drummed outa the JBlogosphere for this transgression.)

And here's my pic for Wordless Wednesday:

'nuf said. . .

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Worst Ad for Israel Ever

(Did I say I would take a haitus from blogging? I lied.)

I just found the worst, crudest travel promotion for Israel on this site. Is this what we've come to?

Whatever has happened to holiness?

Cleaning Spawns Memories...

So it's been suggested by a fellow blogger (hat tip, Norma) that I write about what I find while cleaning for Pesach (anyway, that's my interpretation!)

Pesach cleaning often becomes a very emotional event for me--I'm not referring to the kitchen cabinets and dishes--they're just fine.

I'm referring to the bedroom closets (top, back shelves), the innards of my desk drawers, my metal free-standing, two-tiered desk inbox/outbox (which was piled high with...stuff), and various and sundry boxes which we haven't unpacked in six years, because I always want to look through everything and think about it. So I never get to it. And if I ever do get to some of it, I can never seem to get rid of anything: I always find a reason to save IT (whatever "IT" may be, at the time). I'm a packrat.

Interestingly enough, D. H. is just the opposite; at this stage in his life, he wants to downsize and throw everything out the window, except what will fit in his backpack…

Blogging Temporarily Cancelled, due to--Pesach Cleaning (what else?)!

-Have seen this before, but since I just saw it again on Reb Mordechai's blog I decided it was worth cross-posting here. I wish a Pesach kasher ve-sameach to all my wonderful friends and readers!

A Quick History of. . .Everything

"Art student Jamie Bell wanted to wrap up his art course with a bang and so he decided to tell the history of everything (or, pretty much everything) in flip-book form. Armed with Biro pens and an amazing imagination, Bell spent roughly three weeks off and on sketching on 2100 pages to create his masterpiece..."
(Hat tip, my friend Carol R. S. in...Jerusalem!) (Hope you enjoy this as much as I did.)

(upon reviewing this, however, I see that he did leave out a major event, which impacted and forever changed the world--it should be placed about 1350 years before the appearance of the three Magi. . .)

We Won't Be Out on the Street--For Now

My husband and I were panicking, because our extended unemployment benefits were about to expire, and the new emergency bill was stalled in the Senate, because of Senator Jim Bunning (R., Kentucky) who filibustered against it. He ended his filibuster yesterday, and the Senate voted to pass the bill (I received this information first--believe it or not--just a short while ago from my cousin N. in Israel!)

I understand there is a huge government deficit, but cutting unemployment benefits is not the way to reduce it. A better idea would be for the government to call in some of the stimulus money sent to bail out the big corporations, and to stipulate that these stimulus packages may not be used for huge bonuses and company perks such as spas and massages.

And this is what could happen to us (G-d forbid) or to anyone without a job , if unemployment benefits are curtailed:
Justin Julian is one the 1 million people who are desperate for Congress to take action next week. If they don't,…

Answer to a Reader

I received multipe emails in my inbox from a reader requesting answers to some questions he had about a post of mine. He couldn't tell me which post, and in my opinion the emails were written in too familiar a manner (he never asked me on my blog if he could email me and he did not use my blog name.)

I have no idea to which post he was referring, and did not appreciate the bombardment of emails. After the last one, instead of answering him--which I already had, once--a bit angrily, I might add--I decided I'd just post my email response here. Please feel free to comment. (Names have been changed to protect the guilty.)

Dear Neville,
I will respond to your points numerically: where my point-response number will correspond to your point number (so the numbers may not be in numerical order)

1) I owe you an apology as far as my CAPS accusation goes: upon reviewing your email I see that you did not type in caps, so please forgive me for that. This last missive of yours seems t…

Such a Fuss - Can Israel Do No Good?

Have you ever seen such a ruckus raised by everyone over what Israel may have done in Dubai to a known Hamas leader, Mahmoud Al Mabhouh? You'd think that Israel committed a heinous crime, when the crime which was committed was the Hamas leader's himself, that of murdering two Israeli soldiers and forging a connection between Hamas and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

Hamas is classified as a "terrorist organization" by the United States and by Europe, but nobody accused Dubai of hosting this criminal. They only accused Israel of doing what nobody had the courage (or worse, inclination) to do, which is to eliminate him. Israel may have done just that, and for it, has been heaped with vitriolic condemnation from the world at large. And it isn't even certain that Israel's Mossad carried out this hit. According to Caroline Glick,
What the initial European reaction to [Dubai Chief-of-Police] Tamim's allegations shows is that blaming Israel has become Europe…

Snow on the East Coast: New Definition

In light of the great snow storms which descended upon New York and the entire East Coast of the United States, here is a great snow sculpture, lending new meaning to the expression "Two Feet of Snow." Hat tip, my friend Miriam Leibe.

Again, Hard to Let Go...

As usual, it is immensely difficult for me to let go of a chag*. Purim** came like a lion, and also went out like a lion (as opposed to a lamb)! The chag, for me, was filled with meaning and mitzvot, and great portent for the future, in the light of events and developments in Iran, who's evil leader Ahmadinejad has threatened Israel existentially. Although both my husband and daughter--D.H. and Toodles respectively--say that this is pish-tosh: like, Jews have been threatened in every generation and decade so, buddy, what else is new?!

I understand where they're coming from, but my opinion differs. I think these times-- partially because of radical Islamists' terrorist attacks globally, the rise of antisemitism's ugly head all over the world, combined with nuclear weapons development and proliferation by rogue nations (read: Pakistan, North Korea, and now Iran)--are much more dangerous and have greater portent than in the past.

So Purim, the story of the planned anni…