Post 136: Wedding in Beit Shemesh, Shevah Brachot in Beitar Illit, Parakeets, Parrots and Cabbage Kraut


It all began at the wedding of Feigy Golshevsky to Natan David Reichman at Parhand Hall in Beit Shemesh. This photo, was taken by a brother-in-law of Natan David, on my phone. Seconds later the dancers burst into a synchronized fire dance. I presume that the dancers are from Betar Illit, Natan David’s home. Another brother-in-law owns a liquor store as you can see a line-up of a better than average collection on the foreground table.





Awards- a little about Beitar Illit. We’ve heard disparaging remarks about Charedi communities being unconcerned  with  aesthetics.

News about the town’s priorities: So much for lack of aesthetics. 

Beitar Illit has been awarded the Israel Ministry of Interior’s gold prize, recognizing “responsible management and sustainable urban planning”, for eight years running. In 2002 it received the Ministry of Interior’s prize for water conservation in public gardens, urban public institutions, and urban water administration.

The municipal welfare department was awarded a prize and recognized by the national government as an “outstanding department” for its work in preventing teen.

The city is well known for its landscaping and general cleanliness. There are 94 parks and hundreds of playgrounds in the city. From 2000 to 2013 Beitar Illit earned five out of five stars in the Council for a Beautiful Israel‘s annual “Beautiful Town in a Beautiful Israel” contest, which recognizes a city’s investment in environment, aesthetics, and maintenance of appearance and cleanliness. In 2005 the city won the Council for a Beautiful Israel’s “Beauty Flag”, which is awarded every five years.

This is a section of a huge twenty meter aviary that was constructed by my grand-daughter Feigy’s in laws. Dr. Shimon Reichman, a veterinarian, and nature lover has constructed raised garden beds and has landscaped the cliffs bordering his apartment in Betar Illit.

Cabbage Kraut-cooling on a hot day

Makes 3 cups, or 12 servingsIngredients:1 medium cabbage, shredded
1 tsp sea salt


1. Massage the cabbage with the salt until the liquid starts to release.

2. Let the cabbage rest for 10 minutes and massage it again. Repeat as often as necessary until the cabbage is very juicy.

3. Pack the mixture firmly into a large jar, crock, or bowl. Press the cabbage down until the liquid rises above it approximately 1/8 inch.

4. If you are using a large jar for your kraut, place a weight on top of the cabbage, such as ajar filled with water. If you are using a crock or a bowl, place a plate on top of the cabbage and then a weight. Cover everything with a clean dishtowel.

5. Allow the kraut to ferment in a cool, dark place for at least 3 days (see note).

6. Once the kraut is ready, store it in airtight glass jars in the refrigerator. It will keep for several months.


1. If you wish to reduce or eliminate the sea salt, run l/3 of the cabbage through the homogenizing plate of a juicer and add it to the shredded cabbage. This will add additional liquid to the kraut, allowing the sea salt to be reduced or eliminated.

2. Add small amounts of other root or cruciferous vegetables, such as carrot, beet, or broccoli.

3. Add seasonings and herbs, such as lemon juice, garlic, and dill.


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