Settlers of Catan Tournament

Yesterday, we participated in a Settlers of Catan tournament and fundraiser in support of AV Israel. AV Israel is non-profit organization dedicated to helping hearing impaired and deaf children learn to listen and speak.  The Hashmonaem team brought 6 people to the event, a full fifth of the contestants (31 people played).   We placed first and third, winning the first rounds and then crushing our opponents in the final round.  What can I say, strategy gaming is fun.  In addition, the entrance money went to a good cause.

This shabbat is cold and rainy in Israel.  Wonderful heavy rains cover the country and the streams are full of water.  To make it even better, we were invited out for both meals!  Tonight, we will attend the third annual family dinner with our relatives from the community.  There are between 40 and 60 of us now living in Hashmonaem; first, second and third cousins.  The dinner is pot-luck, and of course, we are bringing our signature garlic green beans.

Tomorrow, we are invited out to another couple's house.  We will be bringing 9 people.  I'm always surprised and pleased that people can invite us over.  Its rather daunting to host our family, even for one meal.

My transplant son has been struggling with mouth sores for the past month.  At first, we did not understand the underlying cause.  It could have been infection, viral, fungal or even a drug reaction.  It was very painful and he lost more than 10 pounds because it was painful to eat.  After many trips to the specialists at Beilinson hospital, they finally determined that it was not bacterial or viral.  The consensus was that it was a drug reaction.  The localized medications that he has been taking have almost totally cleared up the problem, to the surprise and gratification of the doctors and my son.  It is truly a miracle that he is healthy and well.  We continue to thank God, the doctors and everyone involved for his continued good health.

Shabbat shalom,
Elliot

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