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Showing posts from July, 2009

Back to life

I don't like the summer in Israel. Its too hot and the sun is painful. I try and stay in as much as possible. Last weekend, I was in Cleveland. I grew up there and some of my family still lives there. The four days I spent there were glorious. The temperature was in the 70's and there was a nice warm rain. That kind of weather is one of the things I miss most living in Israel. That, and my family. It was very nice to see everyone.
I have a really nice time cooking for Shabbat in Cleveland. My mother (may she live in peace and health) is not a spice person. I found a container of cayenne pepper that must have been at least ten years old. My biggest problem was that there is no black pepper in her house! I feel like I use black pepper almost as much as salt. Oh well, I'll make sure to bring some along next time I visit.
The middle of the summer is also a time of mourning in the Jewish calendar. The last nine days of that period are just painful. Things go wrong…

PreTravel Weekend

I'm going on a business trip to the US next week. While I enjoy traveling, my wife get very stressed just before I leave. She's fine while I'm gone, but the few days before a trip are challenging. There is not much we can do, except get through it.
This weekend, we don't have any guests! The tragedy is almost complete. We do have one friend eating dinner with us tonight because his family went to the states (reversal of fortune). Oh well, I made my menus assuming company, so we of course have way to much food.
On the health front, everyone is well. Asaf is completely recovered from the transplant and is just waiting to be able to go out to the movies or to shul. Only a few weeks left.
Shabbat Parshat Matot-Mas'ei Dinner - 8 Beef Garlic soup Beef Stir Fry Garlic Chicken Balls Rice Green Salad
Lunch - 7 Stewed Turkey and Noodles ("red" turkey stewing in white wine) Chicken and Potatoes Angel Hair Noodles with olive oil and lemon Green Salad Israeli Salad

Beach Day

We went to the beach today. Our favorite beach is in Caesaria, right below the ancient aquaduct. Its a beautiful beach, particularly before noon. We leave the house around 7am and have about four hours of peace and fun before it just gets too darn hot.
While I enjoy the beach, I don't like the sun. Its a bit of a problem. I'm learning in my old age how to manage. I wear my sunglasses and a big hat, drink lots of fluids and eat salty foods. When I get back, I take two tylenol to catch that nasty headache before it blossoms into a migraine. Today, we pretty good!
The weekend, we are hosting my niece from Cleveland along with one of her friends. They are both on different summer programs here in Israel. For dinner, they will be going with number 3 son to a Bnei Akiva dinner. To get our numbers back to normal, we invited a friend from Tel Aviv over for dinner. We always enjoy their company.
Lunch tomorrow will be a full house, with our guests plus another family from the…

A Dvar Torar on R's Engagment (Hebrew)

Here is a dvar torah I wrote for my son's engagement party. I didn't get a chance to give it because the tone was not appropriate (the party was lighter than this speech). No worries, I can post it here!
שאלה: למה זכה בלק בפרשה הנקראת על שמו? הלא הוא היה רשע גמור ורצה לקלל את עם ישראל?!
תשובה: בן זומה אומר: איזהו חכם? הלומד מכל אדם.
היה לבלק משימה. אכן, משימה רשעה אבל משימה בכל מקרה. הוא ניסה בכל הדרכים למצוא דרך להצליח. בדרך של נבואה, קרבנות, ועצות עם אנשים אחרים. בסוף הוא הצליח רק לברך את עם ישראל. אע"פ רשעותו אפשר ללמוד ממסירותו. אם בלק ניסה בכל מיני דרכים שונות לעשות עבירה, קל וחומר צריך לנסות לעשות הכל בשביל מצווה.
רפי ואביטל היו חברים מגיל הרך. רק חודשים ספורים לאחר שהגענו ליישוב, נכנסו בני משפחת שולץ לגור בבית מול ביתנו. מאז, הכרנו אותם את סנדי, את לוי, ואת כל המשפחה המורחבת. אנחנו כ"כ שמחים שמשפחותינו מתאחדים דרך האירוסים האלה.
רפי ואביטל למדו במכינה ציונית ובמדרשה ציונית, שמה קלטו את הערך לשרת את עם ישראל. כשרפי התקבל לקורס טיס, ידענו שזו משימה לא קלה. היינו בט…

Another working weekend

Amongst my wife's many skills are wedding planner and event coordinator. We occasionally pay the price for these skills on Shabbat when there is a happening on our community and they ask my wife to run the event. My wife's partner in this enterprise is her best friend C.
Sometimes, the events are big enough that they both need to pitch in. This weekend, I will be eating meals by myself. C's family will eat with us tonight. I'm the token adult at these weekends, since most of the people eating are my children or their friends.
In addition to the regular shabbat events of meals, strategy games and bridge, we also host a kiddush after the early morning minyan. The minyan starts at 6:45am and finishes no later than 8:30am. We take the long walk (100 meters) from the shul to our house, and have kiddush for 30 of our closest friends. This weekend, the kiddush is sponsored by the K. family in honor of their daughters bat-mitzva.
So, I tried a new soup concept this week.…

This past weeks wedding events

My son was engaged on Monday evening. The tradition here in Israel is to have an engagement party for the new couple. Given the timing constraints, we had it on Tuesday evening. My wife is wonderful. She completely transformed our front room and outside garden into a summer wonderland. Pixy lights, Tiki torches and lots of casual seating. Ok, so we took most of our furniture and moved it to another room. We had about 300 guests, with the usual cross-section of society; community people, my sons mechina friends, his army friends and his fiancee's friends from midrasha and from sherut leumi. One of the guests came over towards the end and told me that while he had been to many engagement parties, this one was very well done. I must agree, it was really special.
The couple was very anxious, but looked happy. Her father gave a wonderful speech, asking each of them in turn if indeed, their partner was "the one!". Of course, they both said yes.
At the engagement party…