Post 597: A beautiful Journey

I remember reading somewhere that if one is angry it’s time to get creative.

My Jerusalem family started a vegetable garden from seed.  First the soil  and boxes were prepared. It was very calming for my grandson to get stuck into working on the weeds.

He’s been selling the seedlings. Best to be just be… not to try and solve the worlds problems but to just enjoy being with the land.

20200527_100834.jpg Waking up to beautiful sunrises over the Jerusalem hills  and stunning butterflies on a gorgeous purple bushes in the park. To enjoy seeing the size of the earthworms or slugs .

To be in awe watching tiny seeds of tomato, peppers, carrots etc. start to display tiny green shoots above the soil and then to plant them and watch them grow. Plants are now giving beginning fruit.

I could go on about the many wonders of watching the weather and nature and the seasons change. Lying awake at night, reluctant to close my eyes because the beauty of the night sky with its dazzling stars in their full glory with no light pollution to diminish them was too wonderful to want to shut out. Watching the moon rise and grow into its fullness.

There’s a trip to Mitzpe Ramon for an Astronomy talk.

If I had tried to visualise where to be during this time, I couldn’t have come up with what I have been blessed with.

It wasn’t so easy though, being in the moment. I was constantly harassed by my thoughts that I should be doing something more productive. I should be pro-active and sharing suggestions of how people could boost their immune systems, strengthen their lung meridian, cope with stress, support their mental state etc etc ad nauseam until I was getting myself into my own kind of depression.

Yet how to be depressed when surrounded by so much incredible beauty and the clear realisation that nature wasn’t concerned about one more virus in the zillions it experiences every day. That nature wasn’t waiting for us to work out our nonsense, it was doing it’s thing. Ok it needed us to do our part if we were to get the harvests we wanted, but even without us, it was continuing to produce.

Many have had harsh realisations that they prefer not to have to deal with, everything from not enjoying their own company, to not enjoying so much time with their spouse or even with their children. Others have delighted in this opportunity to slow down and spend more time with loved ones and don’t want to go back to normal. Many have realised that they had their priorities askew and that they don’t need a government lockdown to give them permission to not rush around chasing ( fill in your blank )  or whatever it is they worked out they were so busy doing.

A scientific study on happiness showed that if people attended 2 choir classes a week they were happier than if they were going to have their wages doubled. What does this tell us ?

Many people have been speculating as to how this new world will have changed. People who have noticed nature and fresh air and clear skies, will they be more inclined now to re-think their consumerism?

It turns out that one of the hardest things to actually do is to just be. The other thing that I was struggling with was, like many others, what happens when we can’t work. Hands on practitioners, many of whom are self employed, had no work from one day to the next, like many other professions and businesses. Not everyone was fortunate to have a residual income, a plan B, that they could continue to work from a phone and this made me think a lot about Emunah.

 I have always loved the concept and construct of emunah and bitachon. Gam zu l’tova. Whatever happens is a gift from the wisdom of Hashem that is ultimately for our good even if wrapped in brown paper.  An analogy I often use, based on the pass the parcel game we played at children’s parties. We knew every time the music stopped, we had a chance of finding a gift buried in the brown paper. In the old days there was one gift but lately people put several through the layers of brown paper. So much like life. If we know their is a gift to be revealed, we are much more likely to be excited about shredding through the layers. If we have no idea that there is any good going to come out of our perceived or real suffering, then life  just becomes miserable. How many times can you come back to the same dull brown paper parcel, tearing off a layer hoping for something different unless you have a belief that there is beauty, hope, love and happiness in there.


While working on getting more comfortable with just “ being “, I have also been challenging my truth about my emunah. I have always felt like I live in a harmonious place with my bitachon, my sense of security, but when push comes to shove, how much was I truly willing to allow myself to rely only on emunah.

It’s interesting but even though I know how little I actually need and how well I can manage on the smell of an oily rag as the saying goes, there is still a part of me that almost welcomes having even less so that I can get to experience even more of the bounty of hashem’s blessings.

Hashem sends angels to the most remote places and sometimes all it takes from us is to say a friendly hello. Yet again Hashem sent angels, they are all around us, if we have our eyes and hearts open.

For those of you who are alone, in the middle of nowhere, with no work and no idea of what the foreseeable future will bring, we are never truly alone and if we just sit still and watch the abundance that is nature and we listen to our inner voice, it will tell us that it is ok to just BE and to TRUST, cos at the end of the day, hashem has our backs.

Here’s a fun recipe for you ..

Sweet Potato Lasagna

  • 200g pumpkin, diced into 1cm cubes
  • 200g sweet potato, diced into 1cm cubes
  • 1 large sprig rosemary
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1/2 onion
  • 100g sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 sliced spring onion with the green tops
  • 120g dried lasagne sheets
  • nut/seed milk
  • kudzu (optional )
  • Mochi ( optional )


    1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees
    2. Mix pumpkin, sweet potato, rosemary, garlic and seasoning in a bowl
    3. Place on a grease tray and bake for 20 minutes until golden, when cool mix with mushrooms and spring onions
    4. Sauté the onion in a little nut or seed milk ( sugar free ), stir in silken tofu and if you want a thicker sauce, dilute some kudzu in cold water and stir that in until thickens
    5. Smear oil in lasagne dish and add a layer of lasagne sheets. Add 1/4 of the sauce and 1/4 of the pumpkin, potato, mushroom and shallot. Continue until all ingredients used
    6. sprinkle with grated mochi if you have. Otherwise spread with pepita and sunflower seeds mixed with a little shiro or light miso made into a paste.  Bake for 35-45 minutes and rest before serving.

Edited from Amanda Wright

Post 598: The nature of Social gatherings and Rediscovering Jewish Scholars of the Nazi period.

As is the custom, Jewish weddings are communal events.

My friend Stacy called me last month, “Hurry up there’s a wedding on Beers heva  Street in Nachlaot.”

Yes, masks were not so much in use. A car drew up with the couple. Witnesses moved to the  front of the crowd. Slap, bang.

Jewish Professors on Black Campuses-80 Women Scientists were allowed  entrance to the USA before WW11 (The Forgotten Women Scientists Who Fled the Holocaust for the United States: Smithsonian Magazine. Many found jobs in Black Colleges. However, as of yet no scholar has persuade this area.


A new project from Northeastern University Rediscovering Scholars of the Nazi Period,  traces the journeys of 80 women who attempted to escape Europe and find new lives in America during World War II.

Mission of the Northeastern University Rediscovering Scholars of the Nazi Period,

The Rediscovering the Refugee Scholars project is a research effort by Northeastern University faculty and graduate students in Jewish Studies, Journalism, Public History, and Computer Science to retrace the forgotten career and life pathways of a group of scholars who attempted to flee Nazi persecution in the 1930s and 1940s. With the assistance of the New York Public Library, researchers have been examining archival files from the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars, a private group that funded a select number of European scholars but was unable to accommodate thousands of others.

Under a grant from Northeastern’s College of Arts, Media, and Design (CAMD),the project has begun by examining the women scientists who applied to the Emergency Committee. Their work was often pioneering in their respective fields. Many of these women scholars’ names and stories have been forgotten or lost to history.

The Rediscovering the Refugee Scholars project is in its first phase, and this website is in beta, with a great deal of research still to be done. Profs. Laurel Leff, Michelle Borkin, and John Wihbey have been leading the project. Graduate students Brittany Costello, Michail Schwab, and Aditeya Pandey have provided vital research, data, and web work.

Please contact Prof. Laurel Leff (l.leff@northeastern) for further information.

After the horrors of WWI, many Americas wanted no more of Wilsonian globalism and his League of Nations. The 1924 immigration act was supported by a wide spectrum form the then popular KKK (revived in part by a film shown in the White House and praised by Pres. Wilson) to the AFL. Many Americans were tired of the hypenates and demanded assimilation to American standards.

In the 1930s, there was a great depression on, and those who had jobs, feared they would be next one unemployed. One fascist cartoon had “12 million Jews entering the US; 12 million unemployed Americans.” But fear of new competitors for jobs was a rational fear which extended far beyond the fringe right wing.

One source of employment for the newcomers was an area where few whites would apply – the historically Black universities of the South. In this manner, the universities could get rather highly trained personnel. Jews who taught at such schools were suddenly thrust into the areas of race prejudice inside the US. To what extent did they influence the Black colleges and the surrounding area? To what extent were they influenced by the South? If it has not been done, this too seems like a possible fascinating area of research.

Hi everyone,

I hope this finds you well!

This has been a very challenging time to say the least. I have missed seeing and getting together and planning fun things!

Creativity has kept me sane during this time of great change and I would love for those who can and would like to, meet in an open area outdoors and share with one another.
Two Opportunities for Jerusalem Artists Circle to meet!
When: This Thursday July 9th at Jerusalem’s First Station – David Remez St 4, Jerusalem
Meeting PlaceFirst Station next to the BIG wire HEART ❤
Activity:  Meeting each other & Art book exchange!
Bring if you have an art book or books/art related magazines etc.that you’d like to pass on to someone else. Can be crafts, photography, writing, etc. We are a creative group with many talents and interests.The picture below is of some of mine.
 Time: 6:30 pm -7:45 pm
Eating afterwards? 🤔🍕
Also this Shabbat,July 11th
Third meal PICNIC at the Sherover Promenade/ Tayelet on Daniel Yanovsky Street, Jerusalem
Starting at 6:30 pm!
We will set up on the grass for a picnic somewhere close to the beginning of the Tayelet/Sherover Promenade area.
Bring a blanket, your food and drink and something to share!
Please send me an email or SMS and to let me know you’re coming to one or both activities!
Looking forward to seeing you!
Leorah Parker

Jerusalem Artist Circle🎨




Post 599: Place for great cheese, fish anything frozen. Also details of upcoming trip to Mitzpeh Ramon with Shalom Pollack for Star Gazing

Koby’s warehouse on Koresh 5 round the corner to City Hall supplies the finest restaurants and hotels. Lacking that customer base am passing on his details.

Cheese of all kinds, milk, yogurt, drinks, frozen fruit frozen vegetables, frozen fish, meat, coffee, nuts, staples. All large size. Should be prepared to spend 400 sh because  the place is really wholesale. You do pay VAT on everything. No Delivery. You can park in front. Takes credit card.

The Annual stargazing experience

Tuesday, July 14

Ira Machefsky, “The Starman of Mitzpe Ramon” will be our host for the very best star gazing program in Israel.
He and his staff will provide three sophisticated powerful telescopes to pierce the heavens and bring the stars down to us. His expert and lively explanations are enhanced by entertaining musical accompaniment.

Please bring something warm for the chill desert night.
We will begin the program at 8:30 as the heavens begin to show off their amazing stuff. The date chosen is the best for that month.
You may want to bring food for dinner.
Departure:5:30 from the Inbal hotel. We will return after midnight. Our bus driver will make stops along the way in Jerusalem until we arrive at our final stop, the Inbal hotel.
Cost: 300 shekels

Post 595: Israel goes all out.: Coronavirus openings: Beaches, synagogues, restaurants and more – The Jerusalem Post

We’ve had a week of very high temperatures a few weeks ago.. On the first day I noticed some swelling in my fingers. Was not wearing tight clothing. Was eating  smoked Mackeral which contains salt.
Sodium causes water retention and bloating, however, potassium counterbalances sodium and has a diuretic effect on your body.

So by eating foods high in potassium like oranges, banana, papayas, kiwis, strawberries, spinach, watercress,

and cooked beets you can reduce bloating naturally.

Creamy Broccoli Soup

1 TBSP oil (sesame or olive is good)

1 small onion, chopped (optional)

2 small potatoes, peeled and diced

2 celery ribs, chopped

4 cups fresh broccoli, chopped

4 cups water

1 TBSP rice flour

1 cup unsweetened soymilk

2 tsp salt

Heat oil and sautee onion if using. Add celery and potatoes and water.

Bring to a boil. Add broccoli and then simmer for 15 minutes.

Add half the soup to a blender with the salt and rice flour. Puree.

If you would still like to have pieces of veggies, leave some of the soup in the pot or if you would like it to be one consistency, puree it all.
Add soymilk and simmer until it is incorporated.
Serve with sesame seeds, gomasio, or my favorite: yasai nori furikake (this is a veggie sesame seed seaweed sprinkle).




Post 594 This post-Update on situation and latest painting. “Two Cows not Practising Social Distancing.”

How are you doing during the crisis?
With social distancing I am still taking long walks and enjoying the nice weather. Keeping in contact with friends & family here in Israel and in the United States, which has helped keep my sanity.
Taking an on-line Painting class on Monday night on Zoom with an organization called Manny Cantor Centre.
It’s part of the Educational Alliance on East Broadway on the Lower East Side.
Problem is it begins at 1 AM our time. Terrific slide presentation, few students.
ON Monday night I am up at 1 AM till 2.
Haven’t been to a studio class since advanced illustration cartoon class at FIT in NYC years ago with Norman Rockwell’s great-nephew. I check in, view Jodie, the instructor’s presentation, get the assignment and we discuss my plan. She makes a suggestion and then I check out and go to sleep.
If I’d start painting at 2 AM that would swallow up the whole night.
The best part is I send Jody several photos of my work as it progresses She critiques the work during the week.
Are people social distancing where you are?
Artists always respond to the stresses of their day. Not Corona necessarily. A famous poet William Carlos Williams, strings imaginings together. He said, “Those who invent the forms of their day are the major poets”. You seem driven in your profession. I try to invent forms i? I’d imagine that’s the goal.
I sometimes dream up a concept in my sleep.
On a great day when I work everything comes together and corona is not there. Pushed out.
Here’s my latest painting. It’s called ” Two Cows not Practising Social Distancing”.
Be safe and look forward to hearing from you soon. BEH May Corona be destroyed.
Kol Tuv,

Post 593: Riding the light rail. Park bathrooms open and why arrows on Lag B Omer

I rode the light rail yesterday. The rail line has been running throughout this 6 week ordeal, perhaps not as often at night.

It passes the local Yaffa Street businesses  on the climb to Mount Herzl.

Along the way it gathers and discharges  hospital workers to and from Share Chesed and Hadassah Hospitals. The two hospitals are positioned to cope with Corona patients. The elderly are diverted to Share Chesed and its gerontology resources.

The beauty salons opened  last Monday and my appointment, a bus ride from the Mount Herzl stop was in order.

In all about a 40 minute ride on a good day. Then I thought about cancelling. Why risk passing two places where the train would get crowded. I cancelled with Avi and went to the local salon. The job is “Good Enough”. Same price. All the customers were queed up outside.

I keep telling myself that  you are lucky Baruch HaShem not to need medications

The HMO story started with a long annoying process that will BEH be resolved today.

I lost MY left hearing aide. Like dealing with any bureaucracy, one must arrive early. Generally the central office is visited and I wait for a reply. Firstly, at the entrance to the medical building is a tent with three workers to collect a paper that one fills out testifying that to your knowledge no-one in your household has Corona. Then a swipe across your forehead reads your temperature. The form is stamped and you hand it to the security guard. This form is filled out at every medical entrance.

Requesting a replacement for a hearing aide may be a bit unusual? Typically my response is to try to maneuver in my favour.The reality  is this is a socialist country and the lower echelon workers have families to feed. I must keep reminding myself of this. The manager was very kind, talked to me during her lunch time of 15 minutes. They would replace the lost  hearing aide. I needed to go to my “home” office. And she didn’t know the hours. I went  to my daughter’s apartment nearby and my granddaughter checked because I had tried 3 phone numbers numbers without success. Yes they were open. With a wagon full of vegetables got to my home office on Spitzer Street.

There is never an English speaker there. I managed to calmly explain the problem. I must admit this Meah Shearim Office runs very efficiently.

One of my concerns was there would be large families in the waiting room and I expressed that concern to the manager of the first office.

This was just not a case of crowding at all. The secretary received my Meuhedet card from the security guard. I waited outside. He passed me an appointment to see the ENT doctor. I was a bit bewildered Wasn’t explained why that was necesssay

The HMO closed the neighbourhood office nearby where I had seen Dr. Claude previously.

I’ll be taking  a bus ride for 30 minutes to Ramot A which is considered part of Jerusalem. I was a little miffed because I just saw the Dr. in November. He’s going to give me a paper which states that I need a hearing aide.      I have the November documentation. Yes jobs are involved.

Funny, I found the cell number of the ENT doctor, Dr. Claude. He said that he didn’t think I needed a letter from him. In the end, the bus ride was half hour, but took longer because I got off at the stop before the clinic. I had never been to Ramot Aleph.

My photos of Ramot aren’t visable. I’ll BEH update.

Good thing that  I brought a current hearing test result. Now just to wait for the actual approval.

Park bathrooms with clean sinks are open for visitors. Very necessary during 1.5 hour exercise.


Above is a photo of the crowd that was at Miron in years past but not in 2020.

Why Especially the Students?

In addition to the passing of Rabbi Shimon, Lag BaOmer also marks the day that the students of Rabbi Akiva stopped dying. The Talmud relates that during the weeks between the holidays of Passover and Shavuot, a plague raged among the disciples of the great sage Rabbi Akiva (teacher of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai) “because they did not act respectfully toward each other.” These weeks are therefore observed as a period of mourning. On Lag BaOmer, the deaths ceased; thus, Lag BaOmer also carries the theme of love and respect.

As the Lubavitcher Rebbe explains, this gives us a deeper understanding as to why specifically young students take time off from their studies to go out into the field to play with bows and arrows.

Post 592; Halacha regarding connection between husband and wife and We’ll always be connected with Mickey Katz I’m back on a line in the medical offices of Meuhedet my medical provider. Story for another day.

The halachic authority and kabbalist Rabbi Yosef Chaim of Baghdad, known as the Ben Ish Chai, raised your question and answered that death and decay completely severs and dissolves the physical connection between husband and wife.

Didn’t know you needed a Rav to declare that.

Did you know some of the great Jazz musicians performed with Micki Katz, the father of Joel Grey?

Don Byron transcribed Katz’s tunes from old recordings and, in 1990, gathered an ensemble of jazz musicians to perform sixteen of the pieces in New York, with Katz’s tummler shoes filled by his son, actor and comedian Joel Grey. They hit the road, performing at festivals, clubs, universities and Jewish community centers throughout North America and Europe. In 1993, Nonesuch released Don Byron Plays the Music of Mickey Katz, which Byron calls “a tribute to the sly and bitingly humorous works of the neglected 1950’s klezmer band leader.”

Check out the Yiddishe “Cmmom in my House:”
C’mon a mein heus, mein heus and Rock around the Clock next. Read the English even though you may not know Yiddish. If you are able to actually catch all the associations would love to hear from you.

ein zwee dree azayga rock
vier funa zaga rock
vier funf zieben un kynack!
nein zehn elf a zaya zwolf
we’re gonna rock aruuund de clock ba nar
ven de clock strikes one rockin’ un bockin
arrund the clock tonight
ven di clock strikes zwei drie und vier
the music zum mir
zum platz til were zumplatzed
aruuund de KE-LOCK tonight
when the chimes ring vier, funf, zechs and zeiben
full of grieben
heus gemacht, now when it’s ba nacht
make the l’chaim
a glasl le vien geh manishevitz… steve adelsheim
mein kishkes.mein feet they hoit
rockin and bocking aruund de klock

horse neigh… zeitung…
went out to lunch
beyond the poily gates, he went into a vegetarian restaurant called Nates… with his horse…
give me a plate of borscht
yippe ho ho yippee ver stinko
de borscht riders in the sky
the cowboys was for a glove
i want some sour cream
came up to brooklyn…
yippe hoo ho
yippee vor stinko
borscht riders in de sky
bought some for his horse
he shot it into rushy with a hypo of course
sour cream flow…
…right into pimlico
horses lined up one by one as the reached the barrier, someone shot a pistol and they ran to the yachel there…
horse race noises…
thoid place is happy hilton
c’mon ghost rider
sit shiva by the barrier, give a grepse
on his way
fell down
yippee ho ho
win place and show
de borscht riders in de sky

ich will geh vorn der kotchke geh
und i wanna drey vie die kotchke dreyt
amachle und a bachle die halbe… in shmaltz
yesterday i vent to de butcher shop
to buy a chicken und a coupla chop
the butcher said “that we got kotchke today”
die kotchke hoid und den he gave a geschray
i want to go ver de vild goose goes
cuz i know more dan a vild goose knows
mein kop, mein pipick zu drick
it won’t be long i’ll be home…
the butcher said, “that it weighs 10 lbs.
it’s a beautiful kotchke lady $6. maybe you’ll buy it” …
day day day la la la la
ich muss geht vor die vilde goose mus
vild goose
halotchke gonna lay me a tasty kotchke
nyuck nyuck nyuck
goose sounds…
it ain’t no use.the butcher a vergessen
i got to be brave…, goodbye little chicken,
don’t forget to say kaddish
i must go where the shechid goes
klezmer interlude…

This ones easy.

C’mon a mein heus, mein heus
I’m gonna give-a you tagelach
C’mon a mein heus, mein heus
I’m a gonna give you bubke chap und a piece of halevah
Mein heus c’mon
I’m gonna give you
Chicken niggle and a luxen kugel
C’mon a mein heus, mein heus a c’mon
I’m gonna give you two cents plain
C’mon I’ll give you …gribbenes
klezmer interlude…
C’mon a mein heus, mein heus
I’m gonna give you matzee ball
i’m a gonna give you knish und fish und a glazl und a kol l’chaim! thank you!
C’mon a mein heus, mein heus a’c’mon
i’m gonna give you tzimmes und kneidel und I love your sheitel.
C’mon a mein heus, mein heus
hess und fress und
hat gerien… hat gerien…