Showing posts from October, 2009


Its raining in Israel!!! We are experiencing our first good rain storm of the year. Yesterday, I was sitting outside the bank (underneath an overhang) with my father in law. We were watching the rain and the people. Everyone had a smile on their face. I recall in the US that rain was something that interfered with your plans. Here, its something we need desperately. When it arrives, my children go out and play in the rain. One of my children spent the morning walking around the house saying "Its raining outside!", over and over again.

Rain is wonderful and we do need it. Try living in a desert country for a while. You get a very different appreciation for sun and rain.

This weekend, we have a few nice events. My father in law arrived a few weeks ago, and this will be his last weekend with us before he returns home. It has been very nice to visit and spend time with him. We visited the market in Machane Yehuda yesterday and got beautiful red tomatoes and fresh g…

Bar Mitzva Speech - Hillel

Here is an excerpt of my speech at my son's bar mitzva last week. I've removed the fun parts and left the meat!

Arthur C. Clarke, a science fiction writer from the golden age of the 1950 and 60's formulated the following three laws:

1) When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
2) The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
3) Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Being a science fiction fan, that last one about technology and magic has followed me all through my life. The past few years have been full of magic. Can you imaging living at the time of Avraham. If you suffered from kidney disease, you would probably never know it, until one day, you fell ill and within a few days, died from blood poisoning. One thing about kidney diseas…

Noah and God

I can't help myself.  One of my fondest memories from high school is listening to a comedy show saturday nights on public radio.  The following skit was a highlight! It is also apropos with our bar-mitzva this weekend!


pre-bar-mitzva -- all is well weekend

Ah, another week gone, and along with it, some stress.  My oldest son is engaged to be married in a few months.  All was under control except for the hall.  In Israel, it is very common to have weddings with 500 to 650 people in attendance.  My son and his fiancee would like a "small" wedding of only 300.  Some hall will not handle an event will less than 500 people.  Most of those that will, charge a different per-head fee based on the total.  Up until this week, we didn't know how many people would be invited, so we were stuck.

With the holiday season over, it was time to start moving, so a friend made calls to a list of halls and collected general prices and terms.  On Tuesday, my wife and the mother of the bride went to a hall, discussed terms and agreed on the date.  By Wednesday morning, the deal was signed.  We now have a date and location for the wedding!

With that challenge completed, the rest is smooth as silk.  The band leader is a friend and will be handling …

News of Kidney Transplants (Eva)

Here is a terrible and wonderful story of an 8 year old girl named Eva who was hit by a car on the way to the park.  She was pronounced brain dead and her family donated her organs.  Three people were given a new lease on life, one from her liver, and the other two from her kidneys.

The full story can be found here.

I salute the Eva's mother, who lost her husband to cancer 18 months ago and still had the compassion to agree to donate her daughters organs to save the lives of others.

May Eva's soul be remembered along with the martyrs and heros of Israel.

Nobel Peace Prize?

President Obama has won the Nobel Peace Price for 2009.  I am totally blown away.

I cannot think of anyone less qualified to win this prize.  Obama has completed nothing.  He has talked appeasement with enemies of the United States.  He has allowed North Korea and Iran to build and test nuclear weapons.  He has destroyed a long relationship with Israel in return for nothing.  The middle east arab countries have made no gestures to peace.  They don't need to because Obama is handing them everything they want without any reciprocity.

So why did he receive the Nobel Prize?

Because Obama represents the European philosophy.  Israel is the enemy, Arabs are peace loving members of the world community.  All we want to do is live in peace and harmony with the world.

Even assuming that Obama is correct in his approach (and history suggests otherwise), giving him the prize only 9 months into his term is silly.  I thought prizes were awarded for results.  There are no results.  The US is stil…

Shmini Atzeret

Its the last holiday of the season, the eighth day of Sukkot. We've been vacationing all week and now its time to finish the holiday's with a bang. We begin with a night of dancing at the shul. I'm getting older and my patience is not what it used to be. There are seven rounds of dancing. I usually make it through the first three. Then its home for a quiet meal.
Because of the length of the services, we start the morning prayers at 6am. Even so, we don't finish until about 10-10:30am. While the evening dancing can go 10-15 minutes per round, our morning minyan has a tradition to do one only complete circle per round. It takes about 3-5 minutes per round. The later minyan which starts at 8am will not finish until after noon.
We have good friends coming over for lunch. Meir is good cook, but tomorrow we are going to simple. He's bringing hamburgers. I'll make a few chickens and the meal is good to go.
Have a happy holiday. Elliot and Leiah
Shabbat Shimni …

Off-Roading in the Lower Galilee

We own a ten year old Toyota Land Cruiser (Prado). Israel is a wonderful place to go off-road. There are many superb trails that range from beach front sand to rocky mountains. On the holidays, we put our family in the truck and pick someplace interesting. This year, we took a trip to the Gilboa mountain and the Yisaschar River. The news reported that it might rain lightly in the morning, getting hotter as the day progressed. Perfect weather!
We missed a few milestones on the Gilboa, mostly because it took us some time to get used to the guide book. Once we understood that indeed, 300 meters is 300 meters and not 5 minutes, we were able to find the correct turns and enjoy the scenery. The Gilboa at the end of the summer is brown and dusty, but the views of the Jezriel valley were very very nice.
Our next step was to cross the valley and pass over the Yisaschar River. Now most of the time, this river runs dry. Since there was some light rain the night before, there was a few …

Bar Mitzvah - Sukkot weekend

My son turned 13 today. He is smart, excited and nervous. In his honor, we are having an open house at our sukkah tonight. We have been working all day to prepare the sukkah, the refreshments, and his speech. All is ready, and we are beat. Just enough time to shower and decompress before that start of the holiday. We are eating at friends tonight, so its going to be an easy beginning.
Our local high school has a fund raiser where people donate food items, and then we all bid on those items. I donated 10 servings of my Cajun Chicken, and my son Asaf donated his garlic green beans. We bid and won many items this year, so I don't need to cook for tomorrow's lunch. The menu items are all by local cooks, and I'm very much looking forward to sampling their wares.
We have my sister's niece over for the holiday, and three other young ladies. All four are studying in Israel for year and we look forward to hearing about their schools and experiences.
We have a standing in…