Showing posts from September, 2008

Rosh Hashana Menu

We have lots of company for Rosh Hashana.  In the interest of not boring some of my readers, this post includes just the menu.
May we deserve peace and health in the coming year for ourselves, our families, our communities and for all of Israel.
First Night - 19New Year Signs
Gefilte Fish Salmon Corned Beef Bacon Beans (1 part ground beef,  2 parts ground chicken) Roast Chicken Bottoms Pickles Three Bean salad
Black Eyed Pea Salad Mashed Potatoes

First Lunch - 23 Prepared Shnitzel (2 packages) Meat Roll ( by Elisheva Shultz) Beef Burgundy (double recipe) Baked Chicken (using restaurant wings batter) Guacamole
Carrot Salad Israeli Salad Italian Lentil Salad
Fettucini Noodles

Second Dinner - 14 + 2? Tomato Soup Cold Cuts Chicken Salad (with Honey Grilled Chicken) Unknown Main ( by Chanan ) Pickles Green Salad Spicy Cole Slaw Sesame Noodles Bread
Second Lunch - 14+ 2? Corned Beef Stuffed Cornish Hens Garlic Chicken Balls Italian Lentil Salad Oriental Noodle Salad Quinoa

First Rains

This big news of the day is that the first rains have arrived. In Israel these rains have a special name and are a welcome sign that the heat of summer is leaving us.  It also makes the road particularly slick, so having them on Friday is something of blessing in itself (fewer drivers since there are fewer people working).
Its been a busy week.  We were invited to a friends daughters wedding on Monday night.  Both of the celebrants come from religious families, but are themselves not religious.  It would have been hard to know that from the first two thirds of the event.  The bride and groom were both excited and happy.  It was only after Sheva Brachot that the mixed dancing started.  I would have joined in, but they were playing mizrachi popular music, for which I still have not developed the appropriate interest.
Wednesday night, we hosted a lecture by Robert Berman of the Halachic Organ Donor Society (HODS).  Robby is a very very good speaker.  He dealt with hard issues and uncomfort…

Lecture on Organ Donors

Tomorrow night (wednesday, September 24, 2008) at 8pm, there will be a lecture at the Glenwood shul in Hashmonaem.  The topic is the halachic issues related to organ donorship and transplants.
As you probably know, out son Asaf has been told that he needs a kidney transplant.  To our complete surprise, there have been a number of people from our community who have stepped forward to be tested as potential donors.  I cannot tell you all how meaningful it is, particularly during the month of Elul, to know that our neighbors care enough about their fellows to literally offer a part of themselves.   In my mind, there can be no bigger form of tzedakah.  Each and every one of those people deserve the best that Hashem can provide.
We look forward to seeing you at the lecture tomorrow night. Thank you, Elliot and Leiah Jaffe

We're back

After a nice vacation in Paris (work conference followed by two days of touring and rest), its back to our regular station.  This weekend should be quiet (at least relatively).  The post high school students are back in Israel and are starting to come visit.  This weekend we have two girls, but I have been told that they are not eating with us.
On the other hand, I invited a family that I work with at the University.  They made Aliyah about three months ago and currently live in Raanana.   They have three young children, so its important to make kid friendly food.  Matza ball soup is a no-fail option.  Even my non-soup eater son will eat Matza ball soup!
I expect the weekend will be hopping and I'm looking forward to seeing all our friends.  Being away is nice, but I miss my neighbors.
I've already started working on Rosh Hashana menus.  We will be having a lot of people for meals.  In many ways, that limits my options because I need to make so much more food that will be appeali…

Last weekend in Paris

Its not often that my wife and I are not with our children on Shabbat.  It is even less often that we are out of town.  For only the second time since we started having kids soooo many years ago, we spent the weekend on vacation.  This time, it was Paris.
Paris is an interesting place.  First, we stayed at the Best Western Axel Opera in the 9th Arrondissement.   The neighborhood is a bit strange.  On the one hand, it is a wonderful jewish community with synagogues, bakeries, two butchers and at least five kosher restaurants.  It was a very quiet place at night, but an exciting place to be during the daylight hours.
On the other hand, right in the middle of the neighborhood is the Follies Bergere, a music hall known for the frequent nudity of its women dancers.  Today, the hall is used for musicals and performances.  Yael Naim is playing there this November.  Its a bit strange to find such a public place in the midst of a jewish neighborhood, but hey, its Paris.
The metro system in Paris …

Asaf Dror Ben Leiah Shulamit

Some of my commenters have asked for Asaf's full name.  Its Asaf Dror ben Leiah Shulamit.
Thank you all for the prayers and thoughts.  Elliot

Moving On

We enter this Shabbat saddened by the death of my Aunt Rivka.  Yet, life goes on and God seems determined to remind us of this fact.  As I was leaving the funeral yesterday, I received a phone call from a woman named Karen.  Karen's mother saw our post about Asaf's kidney problems and replied to tell us about her daughter.  Karen received a kidney transplant 6 years ago at the age of 16.  She, like Asaf was just a teenager with failing kidneys.  Karen called to ask if she could talk to Asaf about her experiences.  I was so pleased that all I could say was thank you, over and over again.  
Asaf is a quiet, reserved young man.  He does not open up to strangers and rarely discussed his illness or any other aspect of his life.  We joke that one year in the future, we will open the paper to discover that Asaf received the nobel prize and forgot to tell us about it.  I am hoping that by hearing of Karen's experiences, Asaf will be better able to handle his illness.
Now, back to we…

Rivka Bat Chana Z'L'

On Wednesday, the third of Elul, September 3rd, my Aunt Rivka passed away.  She was diagnosed with a brain tumor more than a year ago.  Her funeral was yesterday in Jerusalem.  Rivka was the manager of her family.  She did everything that needed to be done, without question and without malice.  She was the rock at the heart of everything that happened.  She will be sorely missed.
Aunt Rivka was blessed with four strong children, all of whom are involved in helping people. Three of the four are social workers, the fourth is a medical doctor.   Rivka was a nurse and a public health administrator.
At the eulogies, we heard how the family was with her during her last 24 hours on this Earth. Her family understood that the end was near.   Sitting by her bedside, they said the Shema and they the Viduy prayer.  As they finished Viduy, Rivka's soul left her body.  One of her daughters said that she felt that God was sitting there with them, waiting for the right moment to set Aunt Rivka free…

Kidney Update #1

Good news and Good news.
First, my son's creatinine levels declined for the first time in 4 months.  Ok, so they are still over 5.5, but were up around 6.4.  We are taking this as a good sign.  We have been told that once the kidney get sufficiently scarred, its a sure and slow decline until they stop functioning.  Creatinine levels are a measure of the kidney's ability to filter the blood.  Normal function is around 0.7 to 1.2.
The second bit of news is even better.  Our posts have been answered way beyond our wildest dreams.  As long time readers of this blog know, our community is very special.  There are about 500 families living here and together, they form one of the warmest kindest groups of people I have ever had the pleasure to know.
We posted on our local mailing list about 24 hours before I posted on this blog.  Within the first two days, we had more that six people volunteering to donate one of their kidneys to Asaf.  Don't they realize what a major decision that …