Monthly Archives: December 2015

Post 271: Examining literature of Naguib Mahfouz, Egyptian Nobel Prize Winner- by first examining his translator, Sami Michael, translator of Arabic to Hebrew. Hopefully, I will achieve the dual purpose of Arabic studies in Israel – establishing good relations – 2016 English Events at Beit Avi Chai-For the first in the series call on Sunday January 3rd. Sefer Shmot (Exodus): The Birth of an Individual and a Nation Dr. Aviva Zornberg, Noted author and lecturer Drawing on Midrashic and Hassidic sources, as well as on psychoanalytic thought, we will discuss the birth of a singular individual and a nation. Moses and Israel emerge in a profound exodus from the traumas of exile, especially from the exile that the Midrash calls the Exile of the Word. Moses, child of two mothers and two cultures, weighed down by a speech impediment, mirrors the developmental struggles of his people. He is selected for greatness ‘for the sake of Israel.’ We will follow the arc of the symbiotic relationship between Moses and Israel through the book of Exodus. Introduction and Parshat Va’eira Wednesday, 6.1 / 7:30pm Parshat Bo– Economics in the Bible – series of talks by Professor Robert Aumann – Sweet Spicy Chicken Lo Mein with Konjak Noodles, Pareve Konjak Noodles with spicy tofu and Peanut Sauce

I have decided to set a goal for myself- to read Naquib Maufouz, in Hebrew, with the aide of an English translation.

The book I chose is about the elite of Cairo, “Cairo Stories, and in English, “Palace Walk”. Perhaps there will be comparisons to be be drawn between the Muslims and the Jewish communities of  Cairo as reflected in The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: A Jewish Family’s Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World (P.S.) Paperback – July 1, 2008 by Lucette Lagnado (Author). That’s for my next post.

Whenever I read a book in translation, I turn to the translator. The pre-eminent Arabic to English translator is in this case  Denys Johnson-Davies (Arabic: دنيس جونسون ديڤيز).

As an eminent Arabic-to-Englishliterary translator he has translated, inter alia, several works by Nobel Prize-winning Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz. I just purchased, in Hebrew Mauouz’s Part 1 Cairo Bayit. However, Johnson-Davies did not translate the Trilogy, Cairo Stories. My translator is William Maynard Hutchins and Olive E. Kenny.

Sami Michael is the translator to Hebrew.  His biography is amazing. I have learned that Michael is an Israeli leftist leader.

Sami Michael (Hebrew: סמי מיכאל‎, Arabic: سامي ميخائيل‎; born August 15, 1926) is an Israeli author. Since 2001, Michael has been the President of The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI). Already we start to get a picture.

Michael was among the first in Israel to call for the creation of an independent Palestinian state to exist alongside Israel. In his novels, Michael writes about the aspirations and struggles of both Jews and Arabs. This new approach in modern Hebrew literature was controversial and has been widely discussed in universities and in the media. Michael was awarded the EMET Prize in 2007.

Michael defines himself not as a Zionist, but as an Israeli in order to make room for the inclusion of all citizens in Israel.

Sami Michael was the firstborn of a large, secular, Jewish family in Baghdad. Michael grew up and was educated in a mixed neighborhood of Jews, Muslims, and Christians in Baghdad, where his father was a merchant. Michael completed his education in the Jewish educational system of Baghdad, in Shamash School, receiving his high school diploma in 1945.

At the age of 15, two years after the outbreak of World War II, he joined and soon became a leader of a leftist (Communist) underground group acting against the oppressive regime in Iraq, fighting for human rights and democratic values. Michael later wrote about this period of his life in his novel A Handful of Fog. Shortly after, aged 17, he began writing articles for the Iraqi press. His political activities led to a warrant being issued for his arrest in 1948, Michael was forced to flee and went to Iran. The Iraqi court sentenced him to death in absentia. In Iran, he joined the communist party, Tuda, and continued to work for democracy in Iraq. Unable to return to Iraq, Michael came to Israel in 1949.

Michael arrived in Israel alone, his family remaining in Iraq, joining him later (1951). In the early fifties the majority of Iraqi Jewry left Iraq, forced to relinquish their Iraqi citizenship. Michael, on the other hand, today still holds Iraqi citizenship, as he did not officially give it up.

Michael settled in an Arab quarter of Haifa, Wadi Nisnas. He was invited to work for a newspaper by Emil Habibi. Michael was the only Jew on the editorial board of Al Ittihad and Al Jadid (Arabic language newspapers of the communist party), where he worked as an editor for four years. At the same time, he had a weekly column in which he wrote stories and articles under the pseudonym “Samir Mared“. His stories, while written in the spirit of “socialist realism”, were laced with irony and humor. In 1955, disillusioned with the policies of the USSR, he terminated his affiliation with the communist party, and concluded his work on both papers: “I left the party but not the ideals of socialism.”

Michael worked as a hydrologist in the north of Israel (for 25 years). He completed his hydrology studies at the British Institute (London) and went on to studyPsychology and Arabic Literature at the University of Haifa.

Image result for photo Sami Michael israeli
Image result for photo Sami Michael israeli
Image result for photo Sami Michael israeli

At the age of 45 Michael embarked upon the project of mastering the Hebrew language. In 1974 he published his first novel, in Hebrew, All Men are Equal – But Some are More, about the lives of immigrants in transit camps in Israel in the 1950s. The title of the novel – Shavim ve-Shavim Yoter – became a well-known phrase depicting the struggles for equality of Jews from Arab countries. This book opened the door for profound discussion about the socio-economic gaps in Israel and also about the situation of the Arabs in Israel.

Sami Michael has published 11 novels and 3 non-fiction books focusing on cultural, political and social affairs in Israel, 3 plays and a children’s book. Most of Michael’s books were published by Am Oved publishers. Michael left Am Oved in 2007 and moved to Kinneret Zmora-Bitan Dvir publishers after receiving a very attractive offer, granting him a fixed monthly salary. His first book that published with them was Aida. Michael has also written numerous articles and essays. His writings and his social and political activities have made him a household name in Israel. Michael has never been an author of the establishment, which meant that he did not enjoy promotional or financial assistance.

Two cities feature in many of Michael’s novels. Victoria, Storm among the Palms, A Handful of Fog and Aida, are set in his home town Baghdad, and Refuge,A Trumpet in the Wadi, Water Kissing Water, and Nabila are set in Haifa, his adopted city. Michael wrote about his departure from Iraq and arrival in Haifa when he wrote of his first day in Haifa, Israel:

“Each kilometer that the airplane gulped, took me further into a one way tunnel. The flight was a difficult separation from a pained love. When I opened my eyes, I imagined that I was looking at a Fata Morgana, which was stranger than anything I had ever known… I loved Haifa then, and about half a century later, I am faithful to this love. But at the beginning of my first day in Israel there were no designated moments for love set aside.”

In 1982, he left Haifa for 10 years, moving to the rural, northern Galilee town of Ma’alot, on the hillside overlooking a valley. It is here that he wrote the nove lBrown Devils about rock hyraxes that frequently stole the fruits of his well-tended garden. In 1992 Michael he returned to Haifa.

Sami Michael’s Way – “The man is the crown of creation” (literary way) – is a route in the Wadi Nisnas, an Arab quarter of Haifa, named after Michael in 2002. Literary extracts from his novels are written along the walls of the route, both in Hebrew and in Arabic. Michael dedicated three novels to Wadi Nisnas including: A Trumpet in the Wadi.

In 2008, Michael was appointed as an honorary member of the Arabic Language Academy in Israel.

In 1987 the Israeli High Court of Justice appointed Michael as arbitrator to decide on a matter of education and multiculturalism. The subject was widely covered in the press, and his decision was a precedent in Israel which still stands.

Michael is the chairperson of the Aachi Council– a council of Iraqi artists in Israel. He was a member of staff of the Jewish Quarterly in London.

In 1998, Michael hosted a 13-part series on the Educational Television channel on World Literature, where he engaged writers, researchers and scholars in discussion about their favorite literary masterpieces.

A number of documentaries films and programs on Michael have been made. Michael is a nominee for the Nobel Prize for Literature.


Michael’s mother tongue is Arabic. It took him roughly 15 years to make the move from writing in Arabic to Hebrew. By sheer persistence and strong will, lacking any formal training, he managed to gain a complete mastery of his new language. He learned from listening and obsessive reading. He defines this ‘move’ as a miracle:

“It sometimes happens to me while writing, that I seek a word; mischievous as it is it appears in English, it appears in Arabic, but refuses to come in Hebrew. To some extent I made up my Hebrew. Unquestionably, the influence of Arabic is dominant, my syntax is almostArabic.” –Sami Michael, Unbounded Ideas
“When Victoria came out in Cairo, in the preface it was written that ‘this is an Arabic novel written in Hebrew’. I took it as a compliment.”

He wrote his first novel in Arabic, which won a prize awarded by the Communistic Party. On leaving the party, he ceded publication of the book. Throwing the handwritten copy away, Unbounded Ideas.

“In his study, amongst books in Hebrew, Arabic and English – novels, poetry, politics, history and science – lies on the table a student’s folder and inside it neatly arranged pages of his next novel – all handwritten in exemplary fashion on white paper; rows of sentences in perfectly straight lines, that later he will cross out again and again until he decides that this is it, it can be typed. Not by himself. ‘At my age you want me to write on a computer? I belong to the generation that does not press buttons, but rather turn them,’ he explains, ‘I could not do otherwise. I need the contact of the pen where the words flow from the hand on to the page.'” [2]

Michael has fixed hours for writing: twice a day – morning and afternoon. While writing, he disconnects from everything. He does not have a telephone in his study, where he writes. He insists on finishing the novel in the same room in which he started it. He started to write Victoria in his garden shed in Ma’alot, and when he sold the house and moved back to Haifa, he had not completed his book, he asked the buyer to allow him to continue living there until he finished writing Victoria – paying full rent of course.

During his writing he does not show it, not even a chapter to anyone. Nor does he consult with anyone. “A good writer in known not only in by good writing but also in his ability to throw away without mercy, to erase and to leave a pure text.” “At the end of the process – approximately three years from the beginning of a book, it will be typed. He does not show his unfinished handwriting, not even to his editor. Here is the place where stubbornness and the joy of creating join to become one determined decision, with the last word left to Michael at all times.

He mostly discards the whole novel and begins writing again. He wrote the novel Water Kissing Water over 20 years, and the version that was finally published was the eighth version. During this time he had other novels published, including: Unbounded Ideas.

He declares that he writes from the gut, without planning out the novel. He likes to surprise himself, although he adds: At the Heart of literature is the plot. When there is no plot, in my opinion, it is not literature but rather another academic exercise.”

His books are bestsellers, and his readers are from diverse social strata. His style has been nurtured by both the treasures of the Hebrew language and the wealth of the Arab language. Many would say that Michael generated the revolution of pluralism in Israeli literature in that his protagonists are always “the other”, mainly focusing on Arabs, women, refugees and immigrants. Michael says “life experience has given me a whole gallery of characters.” Michael:

“My childhood was soaked in the wisdom of women. I was amazed by the richness of their imagination. I remember with wonder how a woman, at the age of 90, toothless would become pretty when playing a princess waiting for her prince.”

His novels explore a wide range of interlocking relationships – social, ethnic and political – between Jews and Arabs, Moslems and Christians, nationalists and communists and Iraq and Israel, at times comparable to the multiple political identities within Michael himself. “It is as if, sometimes, I feel I am two persons. One is an Arab Iraqi, the other an Israeli Jew.”

Michael’s writing is characterized by its humor, painful irony, empathy and tolerance. His style is clean, direct, and bare of symbols, yet with an outstanding expressiveness. Each story exudes authenticity and personal involvement.His writing, rich in imagery. With a scathing realism, he exposes the weaknesses and virtue of the human being, but always with a jealous regard for his honor, freedom and compassion.

In his books he describes the Jewish-Arab conflict of its deep national, psychological and social aspects. The longing for social justice, equality between peoples, communities and gender are a central motif in Michael’s writing that smashes stereotypes and prejudices. Michael was the first Hebrew author to make the Arab the protagonist in his stories and his referring to him neither with arrogance nor idealization. His style of writing milks both the treasures of the Hebrew language and the wealth of the Arab language. In all his writing the sanctity of life is uppermost.

Michael’s books have been translated into many languages and used as text books at universities and schools in Israel and abroad.

I understand that he and Mahfouz shared political ideology.

 Davies, referred to as “the leading Arabic-English translator of our time” by the late Edward Said, has translated more than twenty-five volumes of short stories, novels, plays, and poetry, and was the first to translate the work of Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz. He is also interested in Islamic studies and is co-translator of three volumes of Prophetic Hadith. He has also written a number of children’s books adapted from traditional Arabic sources, including a collection of his own short stories, Fate of a Prisoner, which was published in 1999.

Born in 1922 in Vancouver, Canada to English parentage, Davies spent his childhood in Sudan, Egypt, Uganda, and Kenya, and then was sent to England at age 12. Davies studied Oriental languages at Cambridge, and has lectured translation and English literature at several universities across the Arab World. In 2006, he published his memoirs. In 2007, he was awarded the Sheikh Zayed Book Award “Culture Personality of the Year”, a valued at about $300,000.

Davies lives between Marrakesh and Cairo.

Wednesdays at Beit Avi Chai- Parshat Hashavua call 02-621-5900 to reserve three days before the event. For the first in the series call on Sunday January 3rd.

Sefer Shmot (Exodus): The Birth of an Individual and a Nation

Dr. Aviva Zornberg, Noted author and lecturer

Drawing on Midrashic and Hassidic sources, as well as on psychoanalytic thought, we will discuss the birth of a singular individual and a nation. Moses and Israel emerge in a profound exodus from the traumas of exile, especially from the exile that the Midrash calls the Exile of the Word. Moses, child of two mothers and two cultures, weighed down by a speech impediment, mirrors the developmental struggles of his people. He is selected for greatness ‘for the sake of Israel.’ We will follow the arc of the symbiotic relationship between Moses and Israel through the book of Exodus.

  1. Introduction and Parshat Va’eira

Wednesday, 6.1 / 7:30pm

  1. Parshat Bo

Wednesday, 13.1 / 7:30pm

  1. Parshat Beshalach

Wednesday, 20.1 / 7:30pm

  1. Parshat Yitro

Wednesday, 27.1 / 7:30pm

  1. Parshat Mishpatim

Wednesday, 3.2 / 7:30pm

  1. Parshat Terumah

Wednesday, 10.2 / 7:30pm

  1. Parshat Tetzaveh

Wednesday, 17.2 / 7:30pm

  1. Parshat Vayakhel

Wednesday, 2.3 / 7:30pm

The program will take place in English. Entrance is free, subject to availability.

Tickets may be reserved in advance at the Beit Avi Chai box office 3 days before the event. 12.1.16 ב בשבט שלישי 20:00לעמוד הסדרה

Economics in the Talmud

Image result for photo robert aumann economist nobel prize winner
Image result for photo robert aumann economist nobel prize winner
Image result for photo robert aumann economist nobel prize winner
Image result for photo robert aumann economist nobel prize winner

We will examine an array of passages in the Talmud that use ideas from modern economic theory, centuries before these ideas were formulated by other thinkers. These include the role of incentives, the law of supply and demand, and group decision making.

Economics in the Talmud


ט בשבט


לעמוד הסדרה


Game Theory

Economics in the Talmud

A man dies, leaving an estate that is insufficient to cover his obligations to his three widows. In three different cases, the Talmud prescribes divisions that look mysterious on their face, but presage game theoretic ideas from the second half of the twentieth century.

Economics in the Talmud


טז בשבט


לעמוד הסדרה


Moral Hazard

Economics in the Talmud

A town has nine butchers selling kosher meat, and one selling non-kosher meat. If a stranger buys from one, but forgets which one, then the doubt renders the meat forbidden; but if he found it on the street, he may eat it. We will discuss this ruling — which occurs well over a dozen times in the Talmud in various contexts – in light of the modern economic concept of “moral hazard”, which lies at the heart of the insurance business

Prof. Yisrael (Robert John) Aumann, Prof. Emeritus at the Hebrew University and Researcher at the Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality. Recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics.

English. Entrance is free, subject to availability. Tickets may be reserved in advance at the BEIT AVI CHAI box office three days before event (see above)

Sweet Spicy Chicken Lo Mein with Konjak

November 29 2015

5 Carb Sweet Spicy Chicken Lo Mein with Skinny Dip NoodlesServes 4

2 bags 0 Calorie Skinny Dip Angel Hair Noodles konjak
2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken
1/2 cup sliced green onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 minced small red Asian chile pepper (optional)

1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
4 teaspoons hoisin sauce (Asian aisle)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon sambal oelek chile paste (Asian aisle)

Rinse and drain noodles and add to bowl. Toss to coat with sauce and let sit 5 minutes. Heat sesame oil in a non – stick skillet over medium heat. Add ginger, chile pepper and garlic. Cook 1 minute, then add noodles and toss to coat. Add chicken and green onion. Cook 5 minutes or until hot and serve.

Nutrition Per Serving

The Perfect Noodles for Dieters: Shiritaki Noodles with Veggies. Tofu and Peanut Sauce

Photo of he original dish without tofu


Above Sweet Spicy Chicken Lo Mein with Konjak Noodles Below  Pareve Konjak Noodles with spicy tofu and Peanut Sauce. Second dish has less noodles and more vegetables and proteinIMG_20160327_160524


You can see by checking the nutrition content that the noodles contain very little fat, sodium, or carbs, and are mostly fiber. They have little taste on their own, but absorb the flavor of whatever sauce is used on them. Several places I checked mentioned the odor of the noodles, but I didn’t find it that strong, kind of like a mild fish sauce smell. When you open the package you rinse the noodles, and then cook them about 3 minutes, and the smell completely disappears.

Shiritaki Noodles with Veggies. Tofu and Peanut Sauce
(Makes 6 servings, recipe created by Kalyn adjusted for diabetics by savyatseventy)

1/3 cup canola oil

8 oz  package Shiritaki Noodles (Use House Foods Brand  or in Israel 2 packages of 280 gr, konjac noodles
1/2 red pepper, seeds cut out and cut in slivers

500 grams of sliced baked tofu cut in cubes.(or use a small amount of hotsauce

1 cup snow peas, cut in diagonal slices, or 1 cup green beans or sliced eggplant, sliced cauliflower  diced celery

500 grams of thinly sliced dry tofu baked in oil and spirachi hot sauce, then diced.

1 cup chopped fine spring onions

Sauce Ingredients:
1/4 cup soy sauce- I omitted an used a teaspoon of brown miso
1/4 cup natural peanut butter (check the label to make sure it does not contain added sugar)
1 1/2 tsp. dark sesame oil
1 tsp. Asian Chile Garlic Sauce-I added spirachi sauce.

coarsely chopped peanuts for topping

chopped fresh cilantro (optional, I add  to my dish as not everyone loves cilantro) Procedure

Drain noodles and rinse. Boil up a pot of water and cook noodles 3 minutes.

Drain noodles, rinse with cold water, and let them drain in colander.

Put noodles on cutting board and cut through several times to make them 3-4 inches long.  Cut up red pepper and snow peas  or your vegetable selection and chop peanuts.

 Put peanut butter in glass measuring cup and heat in microwave about 2 minutes, or until very soft. Add soy sauce, sesame oil, and Chile Garlic Sauce and whisk together until well combined. I used water, ginger juice and sesame oil to thin. my homemade peanut butter.

 Using a wok, stir fry the diced vegetables starting with eggplant and cauliflower. After vegetables are still slightly hard, add in noodles; combine veggies and sauce. Cover for another minute. Divide between 6 serving plates and sprinkle with peanuts and chopped cilantro if using. Serve at room temperature. This is a perfect dish to serve the next day or to take with you on a picnic



Post 270: Major NYC Hospital Reshuffles Kosher Program- another reason to have your surgeries performed in Israel – Rabbi Jonathan Taub “The side You’ve Never Heard Before” – 15 Minute Lasagna

I am somewhat late about writing about  almost a week’s past  fast day. That was on December 21st, last Monday-Tuesday was the 10th of Tevas when I heard

Rabbi Jonathan Taub, speak on the topic, “The side You’ve Never Heard Before” at Emek Learning Center 64 Enek Rafaaim Dec 21 at 8:00 P. Men and Women were in attendance.

Special Programming

The lecture was fascinating: As a former math teacher it was fun to follow. The fast is set at 98 days from Rosh Ha Shannah. But wait. We will have some variation. Both Cheshvan and Kislev have 30 days each. Then you also have months of 29.5 day.

Simply put, the Sanhendrin added an extra day to Marcheshvan (making it 30 days long) or at other times removing one day from Kislev (making it 29 days long). Accordingly, a common Hebrew calendar year can have a length of 353, 354 or 355 days, while a leap Hebrew calendar year can have a length of 383, 384 or 385 days

We followed Rabbi Taub from a sheet of Gemaraa –Rosh Ha Shanah.

The first reference to the Tenth of Tevet as a fast appears in Zechariah (8:19) where it is called the “fast of the tenth month.” One opinion in the Talmud (b. Rosh Hashana 18b) states that the “fast of the tenth month” refers to the fifth of Tevet, when, according to Ezekiel (33:21), news of the destruction of the Temple 588 BCE reached those already in exile in Babylon. News in those days took months to arrive.

However, the tenth is the date observed today, according to the other opinion presented in the Talmud. Other references to the fast and the affliction can be found in Ezekiel 24:1–24:2 (the siege) and Jeremiah (52:4–52:6). 

According to tradition, as described by the liturgy for the day’s selichos, the fast also commemorates other calamities that occurred throughout Jewish history on the tenth of Tevet and the two days preceding it:

  • To make matters worse for the Jews of Judea, two centuries latter, on the eighth of Tevet one year during the 3rd century BCE, a time of Hellenistic rule of Judea during the Second Temple period, Ptolemy, King of Egypt, ordered the translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek, a work which later became known as the Septuagint.
  • Seventy two sages were placed in solitary confinement and ordered to translate the Torah into Greek. The expected outcome would be a multitude of different translations that would then be compared and critiqued by the Greeks as there were some sentences in the bible that could be understood as offensive to pagans if taken wrongly and would obviously need to be changed. This would demonstrate the muddled meanings of the Torah and the divergent opinions of Jewish interpreters. However, all seventy-two sages independently made identical translations into Greek. The Greeks saw this as a most impressive feat. However, various rabbinical sources see this event as a tragedy, a debasement of the divine nature of the Torah, and a subversion of its spiritual qualities. They reasoned that upon translation from the original Hebrew, the Torah’s legal codes & deeper layers of meaning would be lost. Many Jewish laws are formulated in terms of specific Hebrew words employed in the Torah; without the original Hebrew code, authenticity of the legal system would be damaged. The mystical ideas contained in the Torah are also drawn from the original Hebrew. As such, these would not be accessed by individuals studying the Torah in Greek (or any other language) alone.
  • On the ninth of Tevet, “something happened, but we do not know what it was…” (Shulchan Aruch). The selichot liturgy for the day states that Ezra the Scribe, the great leader who brought some Jews back to the Holy Land from the Babylonian exile and who ushered in the era of the Second Temple, died on this day, and this is verified by the Kol Bo. But according to the earlier sources (the Geonim as recorded by Bahag and cited in Tur Orach Chaim 580), the specific tragedy of 9 Tevet is unknown. Some manuscripts of Bahag (obviously not those available to the Tur) add that Ezra and Nechemiah died on this day—but only after first stating that the Rabbis have given no reason for why the day is tragic. Other suggestions are given as to why the ninth of Tevet is notable as well.

Major NYC Hospital Reshuffles Kosher Program

New York – The news that the Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan would cease to offer kosher meals out of its kosher kitchen caught many by surprise. The hospital was incorporated in 1890 by a group of 40 Orthodox  Jews, each of whom paid 25 cents to set up a hospital serving New York’s Jewish immigrants, particularly newcomers.

Some observers wondered if the requirement for a kosher kitchen was not part of the original charter.

The decision by officials of the Mount Sinai Medical Center which acquired Beth Israel in 2013, means that patients and visitors would henceforth receive kosher meals trucked to the facility from the kosher kitchen at the uptown Mt. Sinai facility.

The meals would be heated in kosher designated microwave ovens in much the same way airlines heat kosher meals. The Orthodox Union (OU) which supervised the Beth Israel kitchen will continue their supervision of the Mt. Sinai kitchen. Sources told Kosher Today that Mt. Sinai’s management decided to make the change due to changing demographics at the hospital.

The new kosher order at Beth Israel will also be in effect at Beth Israel’s Brooklyn facility. Sources reached by Kosher Today agreed that the move was a cost-saving measure by the Mt. Sinai management.
With the change at Beth Israel, the Orthodox Union supervises two major medical centers in New York, Mt. Sinai and the Albert Einstein Hospital.

Another major hospital that is exclusively kosher is the Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn.

Maimonides recently merged with the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System. North Shore-LIJ, already one of the nation’s largest health systems, has been expanding its footprint both to the east and west of its traditional central Long Island roots. One Jewish community leader said: “I hope that the new management realizes the importance of a kosher program in a hospital serving the largest Jewish community outside of Israel.”
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15 Minute Lasagna Soup

November 10 2015

Skinny Dip Noodles 15 Minute Lasagna SoupServes 4

1 bag kodu noodles sliced in half
1/2 lb ground chicken
1/2 lb extra lean ground beef
2 cups Hunts no sugar added pasta sauce/or your own
2 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 cup tofu, marinated in miso for several hours
1/2 cup soaked cashews, then chopped and marinated in miso for several hours
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 small onion, diced
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon garlic granules or roasted garlic. You may also add sauted mushrooms


Heat small amount of oil and saute nuts and tofu, and incorporate into ground meat/chicken. In a large skillet stir the meat until starting to cook. Continue cooking with bell pepper and onion/mushrooms/garlic until meat is cooked; drain fat. Add pasta sauce, chicken stock and lasagna noodles. Cook 10 minutes, then stir in browned tofu. Simmer 5 minutes and serve topped with parsley.

If You Love Pasta But Not Its Carbs, Let Us Introduce You To Shirataki ‘Miracle’ Noodles

There’s a reason shirataki noodles are branded as “Miracle Noodles.” These translucent, gelatinous Japanese noodles, which are made from the konjac yam, are low in calories and carbohydrates and can be substituted in a variety of recipes that call for pasta.

If you’re in search of carb-free noodles that perfectly mimic the taste and texture of regular spaghetti — a true miracle — keep looking. Like pasta, shirataki noodles are mostly neutral in flavor and can absorb the tastes you cook with. But, shirataki has a slimier consistency and you won’t be able to choose the hardness of your pasta — al dente or otherwise — because the noodles are already “cooked.”

And, very unlike generic, boxed spaghetti, shirataki noodles come pre-packaged in liquid, portioned out in a plastic bag that gets refrigerated. The noodles are watery and emanate a faint, fishy odor (though they’re 100 percent vegan), which comes from the plant they are made from. Shirataki noodle manufacturers recommend rinsing, draining and drying the noodles before using them in dishes — this’ll help reduce the smell. Nevertheless, the pasta alternative is a smart choice for those looking for something gluten-free, low-carb or lighter in calories.

Shirataki noodles are available in many shapes — spaghetti, fettucini, macaroni — and can be purchased plain. Products like Miracle Noodle and NoOodle Noodles sell this type, which tends to be extra-slippery, nutritionally void (they are mostly made up of water) and close to calorie-free. Other brands, like House Foods and Nasoya’s Pasta Zero blend the yam flour with tofu or chickpeas, which adds just a few calories and grams of carbohydrates and fiber.

A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that a low-carb diet was more effective for losing weight and reducing cardiovascular risks than the low-fat diet, and shirataki noodles certainly earn a win from this nutritional angle.
pasta faceoff

A 4-ounce serving of House Foods Tofu Shirataki Spaghetti contains 10 calories, .5 grams of fat, 3 grams of carbohydrates and less than 1 gram of protein. A 2-ounce serving (the weight is different because shiritaki noodles are already cooked) of Barilla Angel Hair pasta contains 200 calories, 1 gram of fat, 42 grams of carbohydrates and 7 grams of protein.

When it comes to price, however, classic spaghetti takes the cake. You can snag a box of Barilla at Target for $1.29, which comes out to about 16 cents per serving.

A bag of House Foods’ costs about $3.00 on Amazon, which comes out to $1.50 per serving.

When cooking with shirataki, remember texture: It’s more like the glass or cellophane noodles you find in Asian stir fries, soups and dumplings. So, if you’re trying to recreate a meal without compromising familiarity, use shirataki for these sorts of recipes.

Try this vegetable-filled Sukiyaki recipe by Merci Mama:
merci mama

Sukiyaki shirataki noodles

Serves 1 – 2

what you need:

  • 1 small or 1/2 large carrot, julienned (Sliced into matchsticks)
  • 1 zucchini, julienned
  • handful of podded edamame beans
  • 1 packet of shirataki noodles
  • 250 ml dashi II/super dashi (2 tsp dashi granules dissolved in 1 L of water – dashi granules can be bought at the japanese supermarket). I will substitute for bonito flakes Shiitake mushrooms and kombu seaweed which are traditional Japanese substitutes for bonito flakes. These ingredients are commonly used to flavor vegetarian versions of broths and sauces that would normally contain dried bonito flakes.Now I know that this is Kosher  and available in Israel.
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 40 ml mirin
  • 3/4 tbsp sake – omit
  • 1 tbsp sugar – omit
  • sesame seeds to garnish

What to do:

Start by making the sauce by combining the dashi II, soy sauce, mirin, sake and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.  Take it off the heat and set aside.

Heat a small splash of oil into a wok and when hot and starting to smoke add the carrot and stir-fry for a minute, then add the zucchini and stir-fry for another minute.

Remove the veg and then add the sauce and bring to the boil and then add the noodles.  Cook the noodles in the sauce until the noodles have absorbed the sauce and the sauce is almost evaporated.  Add the veg back into the noodles with the edamame and stir through.

Serve and then garnish with some sesame seeds.

Even still, if you’re willing to adjust your noodle expectations, shirataki can certainly work in more traditional Italian dishes. Try this Spaghetti-Esque recipe by Burpees In The Kitchen:


What you’ll need:
(Serves 3-4, can easily be doubled or tripled)

For the meat sauce (you can use your own recipe or you can use mine below):

  • 1 can of pasta sauce, any brand or make your own tomato sauce to make sure it’s completely gluten-free
  • Some lean, grass-fed ground beef (Use as much as you want, depending on how much beef you like. I used a little less than one lb.)
  •  olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • A handful of button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 Tbsp Basil
  • Some ground black pepper to taste

For the noodles:

  • 1 1/2 packets of thin, angel hair shirataki noodles (or use 2 packets, you can always add another half can of pasta sauce if you need to).
Kitchen utensils:
  • 2 large, nonstick pans
  • 1 colander
  • Spatula / wooden spoon

To prepare the noodles:

  1. Drain the noodles in a colander and place over running water for a few minutes to rinse. Cut the noodles into thirds, and then place in a pot filled with water.
  2. Heat up the noodles and water, and bring up to a boil. Boil the noodles for about 5 minutes, then drain again. This is to get rid of the smell that most shirataki noodles come with.
  3. Now you want to dry the noodles completely, so the noodles can soak up the sauce. (I like an almost crunchy taste to the noodles, so I personally dry-fry them for awhile to get rid of that chewy texture and make it thinner. Some people absolutely hate the texture of these noodles, so dry-frying them until they’re almost crispy helps a little.). Throw the noodles in a large nonstick pan (don’t add any olive oil / butter, you want the pan completely dry), and turn the heat up to med-high. Mix the noodles constantly with a spatula / wooden spoon. You’ll hear the noodles squeak as they dry. This will probably take you around 5-10 minutes. Make sure all the moisture is out, and then turn off the heat and leave them in the skillet as you prepare your meat sauce.

Meat sauce:

  1. Heat up some butter or olive oil in another large nonstick pan. Add the ground beef, and break it up into little pieces with your spatula / spoon, and then fry on the pan over med heat until well browned and even crispy. Depending on how much beef you use, this might take 10-15 minutes. That’s the key to getting the flavor in this meat sauce, cook it until the little bits are a deep dark brown and crispy.
  2. After the meat is nice and browned, add in the onions and garlic. Stir and cook for a few more minutes, until the onions and garlic carmelize nicely.
  3. Add in the pasta sauce, and adjust heat to a low simmer. Simmer for about 8 minutes, stirring occassionally.
  4. Add in the oregano, black pepper, and basil. Stir well, and simmer for another couple minutes.

Combining the meat sauce and noodles:

  1. Pour the dried noodles into the pan with the meat sauce, and heat on med heat for a few minutes. If you’re using two packets and you feel like you need more sauce, then by all means throw in some more tomato / pasta sauce!
  2. Turn off the heat, transfer the noodles in the meat sauce into a large heat-proof container. Let it cool down completely, and then refrigerate for 12 hours or overnight. You could skip this step and just eat it as soon as you’re done cooking, but I’ve found that the flavors incorporate better into the noodles when I refrigerate it first.
  3. When you’re ready to eat, reheat in the microwave, stovetop, or oven.  Since I don’t have a microwave, I always bake it in the oven at 375F for about 1

You might attempt your own rendition of this Marinara And Zucchini Spaghetti recipe by Feed Your Skull.

61 Calorie Dinner | Zucchini, Miracle Noodles, and Sauce


  • 2 bags of Miracle Noodle Angel Hair Pasta, drained and rinsed for about 15 seconds
  • 1 small zucchini, ends removed
  • 1 jar Classico Ripened Olives & Mushrooms (or other natural sauce – one without High Fructose Corn Syrup)
  • black olives (optional)


  1. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a sauce pan.
  2. While water is heating up use a spiralizer, knife, or potato peeler to chop or make long noodles out of the zucchini.
  3. Once water is boiling, drop in the miracle noodles and zucchini and blanch for 1-5 minutes. While they are blanching, heat pasta sauce up in a small sauce pan.
  4. When noodles are done, drain them using a colander and combine with pasta sauce.

Or this Cheesy, Shiritaki Noodle Bake by Escape From Obesity.
noodle bake

1) open the package and dump the contents into a colander/strainer over the sink.
2) Rinse with warm water. Drain. Stir. Rinse some more. Drain. Rinse and rinse. Repeat.
3) Toss the drained noodles into a pot of boiling water. Stir. Let them boil for 3 minutes.
4) Dump them back into the colander to drain.
5) rinse again with warm water, and drain very thoroughly.
There! Done! While it might sound tedious, it’s not. It takes about five minutes and you now have “pasta” that is basically flavorless and odorless and has only 20 calories per serving! It’s worth it.
Now for the recipe. I had this for dinner tonight, and wow, it was amazing! I adapted this recipe from one I found on a message board. I had to change it up a little to get it to fit into my plan. This is so yummy and fits into a low carb eating plan, or if you are trying to save calories in pasta or trying to avoid pasta altogether, this is a great solution!
Shirataki Noodle Bake
Prepare one 8-ounce bag of Tofu Shirataki noodles as described above. Cut them up just a bit using kitchen scissors. I used spaghetti shaped noodles.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan mix:
1/4 c canned diced tomatoes with only a little bit of their juice
1/3 c tomato sauce (I actually used Ragu jarred pizza sauce with no added sugar)
1/4 c chopped mushrooms (I used baby Portabellas)
1 clove of garlic, minced, or garlic powder to taste
1 T of onion, minced, or onion powder to taste
some freshly ground black pepper and just a shake of sea salt
5 fresh basil leaves, chopped
a little pinch of red pepper flakes, for heat
Let this simmer for about 5 minutes and then throw in the Shirataki noodles. Stir. Simmer for 5-7 minutes or until it isn’t watery, but more saucy. Dump it into a baking pan (I used a glass bread pan). Top it with grated part skim mozzarella cheese. I used one cup of grated cheese because that met my protein requirements, but you could use less if you want.
Put it in the oven at 350 degrees for 12 minutes so the cheese is melted.

There’s a lot you can do with a package of shirataki in your fridge. Flavor them with the seasoning packet that comes with a serving of ramen (noodles and toss the dried noodles by the wayside). Or, add them to a can of your favorite soup for a bit more volume. Just use your noodle (heh), and you’ll be sure to find something that tastes miraculous.




Into the depths Caving (known as “potholing” in the UK) is not an activity to be attempted alone, or without the proper equipment and preparation. It involves climbing, hiking, rappelling – and no small amount of danger. “It’s possibly the most dangerous challenge sport there is,” says Sergey Shipitsin, one of Israel’s most accomplished speleologists. “In most countries you can not even get insurance for it. It’s also one of the few activities where you can still go where no one has gone before – and even discover things not found beforehand anywhere in the world.”

Caving at the Avivim caves in Israel involves climbing, hiking, rappelling –
and no small amount of danger (Photo courtesy 

Shipitsin, 43, says Israel ranks among cave explorers’ top 10 destinations.”Israel is a dream country for the cave explorer. In Such a small country, we have everything. There is no country in the world like it in this Respect.”

Israel’s four main caving areas are the Jerusalem hills; Mount Sodom;around Peki’in in the Upper Galilee; and the Hebron Hills in the West Bank.

Mount Sodom – basically a block of salt rising 230 meters above the Dead Sea that sank into the ancient lake before being lifted out as a slab by tectonic tremors – is pierced by labyrinth caverns and tunnels formed by rainwater, including the world’s biggest salt caves. “And we have not even started exploring it in depth yet,” says Shipitsin.

If you know where to look, the Jerusalem hills have thousands of caves, many of them eminently explorable. The most interesting cave in Israel, says Shipitsin, is the 2.5-kilometer Ayalon Cave, discovered in April 2006 when a small opening was noticed in a quarry near Ramle. The limestone cave, completely cut off from the outside environment for millennia, sustained an independent, sunlight-free ecosystem. Four crustacean and four terrestrial species previously unknown to science, all without eyes, have been identified already. However, this cave remains closed to the public to allow scientific investigation to continue undisturbed.

2004 In, Shipitsin and some follow cavers set up  Sarma, a non-profit organization dedicated to cave exploration and rescue, Which now has some 3,000 members.

“I started in Russia at age 16,” he says. “Israel has many people experienced in both cave exploration and rappelling. We organize challenge trips underground and training courses of various lengths. You do not have to be particularly fit – we had children aged seven and a 74-year-old in last weekend’s tour. ”

Climb up, rappel down

Israelis wishing to train for rock climbing have their choice of 12 rock-climbing walls – in Ashdod, Haifa, Jerusalem, Kibbutz Ha’Ogen, Kiryat-Ono, Kfar Blum, Petah Tikvah, Ramat Yishai and Tel Aviv.

When it comes to the real deal, Israel has some spectacular sites for rappelling, or the controlled descent down a rope known as “abseiling” in British English and “snappling” in Hebrew. Aficionados say that nothing matches the adrenalin rush of rappelling against the cliffs of the Ramon crater in the Negev, or down wadis in the Judean Desert.

One of the most popular rappelling sites is at Khirbet Oren on Mount Carmel, where the stone wall rises up from the valley almost vertically.Include popular sites Other the Keshet (Arch) Cave on the border with Lebanon and the Pigeons Caves, a Prehistoric site near Karmiel. Then there’s the notoriously challenging Black Canyon trail in the Golan Heights that combines rushing water with hiking through a unique nature reserve.

The quickest way down

Now, free-falling is for the really strong of heart. “Yes, it’s dangerous,” Admits Ziv Kochva, a Parachuting guide at the  Paradive  jump school near Habonim Beach opposite the Carmel mountain range, “But Parachuting is an Empowering experience. It Makes you the think you can do anything – a Tremendous feeling of freedom . Fear that turns into elation: Nothing can be compared with it. Anyone who does not do it once in their life is missing out. ”

Israel has its own skydiving fraternity, many of them graduates of paratroop units or the IDF’s jump school at Tel Nof. One stalwart, Shlomi Perel, jumped for the 15,000th time in January – an Israeli record. Civilian skydivers must take a two-day study course and have at least 10 jumps under their belt before being allowed up to 12,000 feet. But the beauty about parachuting is that you do not need to take a test – anyone can experience it through tandem jumps, in which the thrill-seeker and guide are harnessed together.

A long way down: parachutists get a birds-eye view of the country’s coastline.

Since opening a decade ago, Paradive, the country’s largest jump school, has conducted more than 300,000 jumps. Paradive offers three types of tandem jump: the basic jump, in which the paying client can passively enjoy the ride; “challenge tandem,” in which the customer opens and controls the ‘chute in the air; and “tandem jet,” where the plane drops you off at five kilometers.

“It can be the greatest experience of a lifetime,” Kochva exclaims. “You drop for 50 seconds at 200 kmph, then spend five to seven minutes floating down in one of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s a closed area – a nature reserve and the only part of the Mediterranean coastline closed to flights.”

Parachuting is definitely not a cheap thrill – a basic tandem jump costs about NIS 1,200 ($ 333).

What kinds of people parachute? “Literally all sorts – from 12-year-olds to some in their 70s, and not necessarily former paratroopers,” says Kochva.”We have one elderly gent who’s already done 15 tandem jumps. Often they come as a birthday present – it’s a present they never forget.”

Free flight

First of all, let’s differentiate between the complementary sports of paragliding and hang gliding. Both answer one of our greatest desires: to fly. A hang glider, with its aluminum frame, outperforms a paraglider in terms of speed and glide ratio – but landing a hang glider requires more skill. A paraglider flies more slowly and takes advantage of light conditions, can land in the smallest field and easily folds into the car trunk. Hang gliders are more suitable for blustery conditions. A hang glider pilot flies prone (suspended face down), while paraglider pilots fly supine (seated).


​ ​

Israel, where the weather conditions are considered ideal, has no fewer than 25 official launch pads – and thousands of aerial sport fans. The country is blessed with favorable soaring conditions almost year-round. There are several popular launch sites in the Galilee including the Manara cliff near Kiryat Shmonah in the Upper Galilee; the Gilboa mountain; Zichron Ya’akov;off the cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean coastline; and Mount Tabor above the Jezre’el Valley – an excellent thermal machine where, according to a fourth-century Christian legend, Jesus underwent the process of his Transfiguration. Ever since, the hill has been known as “The Mountain of the Leap.”Several professional schools offer courses and equipment rental for everything from glide parachutes to flying dune buggies.

The drink Into

When the waves are high, Thousands of surfers and windsurfers can be spotted frolicking in the Mediterranean waters all along Israel’s coastline.The sea often throws up sufficient swell, and the country has produced some fine surfers, including its first Olympic gold medalist in windsurfing, Gal Fridman.

Surfing here can be traced back to the 1950s, when young Californian physician Dorian Paskowitz immigrated together with six part-balsa longboards and introduced the sport to incredulous Tel Avivians. The days of learning to surf by trial and (Drowning) are long gone error, and surfing schools now dot the country’s coastline.

Not that local adventurism is limited to above sea level: The Red Sea coastline from Eilat, with its magnificent coral reefs and multiple marine species, is renowned worldwide for scuba diving. The Mediterranean coast also has several popular scuba-diving areas, among them the biblical sites of the ancient port of Caesarea and Tel Shikmona near Haifa.

Endless options

OK, it’s not Aspen, but Israel’s sole ski slope features a wide range of ski trails at novice, intermediate and expert levels, plus winter family activities such as sledding and Nordic skiing. The highest point in Israel, Mount Hermon (the chairlift operates year-round) is also a wonderful base for summertime activities such as mountain biking.

In the past decade, mountain biking has become an incredibly popular weekend pastime in Israel, with dozens of biking clubs boasting thousands of members. This compact country boasts myriad bike routes through some of the most diverse terrain you’ll ever ride – you have not lived until you’ve ridden through the Negev desert by moonlight.

And those who thrive on the vibrations of a rumbling engine through their bones will find that Israel is rife with off-road routes for dirt bikes, four-wheel drives and ATVs (all-terrain vehicles). There are dozens of tels (biblical mounds) for drivers / riders who love shooting up and down the slopes.

You do not see the same numbers of skaters tearing up Israeli sidewalks as you do in North American metropolises, but Israeli cities have many new marble-lined plazas that come alive after office hours. The country also has a number of skate parks. The Sporteque in Tel Aviv, the best and biggest park in the country, has a vert, a mini ramp, a mini vert, four quarters, three fun boxes, four banks, two rails, a pyramid and a pro shop.Golda Park in central Tel Aviv is the city’s best unofficial skate spot.Jerusalem boasts a newly rebuilt concrete skate park at Gan Sacher, adjacent to the Supreme Court, while skaters also hang out at Safra Square, next to City Hall.

Crazy Roller in Herzliya has a mini-half pipe and a 3.4 meter high vert, and there are also skate parks in Ra’anana, Katzrin and Shoham. S even a There skate major event in the ancient Roman Amphitheater at Caesarea, sponsored by Red Bull.
Skateboarding has been around in Israel since at least 1978, and is alive and kicking in this corner of the Middle East. And unlike in other countries, skateboarding is not a crime in Israel and there is no police harassment of skaters.

That might not be the case with parkour, also known as free-running – the non-competitive, utilitarian discipline of French origin in which participants negotiate a route lined with urban obstacles using only their bodies’ natural abilities. Law-enforcement officers are keeping a wary eye on Israeli city teenagers taking to their local concrete jungle using a gamut of skills involving leaping, climbing, vaulting, rolling and swinging. Sometimes they can even be spotted leaping from one rooftop to the next.

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced or pureed
4 stalks of celery, washed and sliced crosswise 1/2-inch thick
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 generous pinch saffron
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 large or 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
1 pound red lentils/yellow
2 quarts water
1 cup cooked wheat berries or alfalfa sprouts
6 Italian Roma tomatoes, cored and diced
1/2 bunch cilantro, washed, leaves sliced thin /crosswise or  beet green leaves
1 loaf long skinny bread, sliced on the diagonal 3/4-inch thick
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil or softened butter

Heat olive oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, 10 minutes until softened and beginning to color. Add garlic and cook one minute to release its aroma. Add celery and cook 2 minutes until softened. Add 1 teaspoon of salt, the pepper and the turmeric, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, saffron, and bay leaf and cook 2 to 3 minutes to develop the flavor of the spices. Add tomato paste, potatoes, lentils and water and cook 45 minutes; the lentils and potatoes should be quite tender. Stir in remaining 1 teaspoon salt, wheat berries and tomatoes and heat through. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve garnished with cilantro. I did not add the cilantro. Also guests commented that the cinnamon was not necessary.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly brush oil or butter on both sides of bread slices. Arrange bread in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool croutons on a wire rack.

c.1996, M.S. Milliken & S. Feniger, all rights reserved

Read more at:

Serves: 12 three-inch patties
For the Lemon Caper Sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon capers, minced-OMITTED
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


1/2 cup uncooked quinoa/KASHA/MILLET cooked use 3/4 cup
1 cup diced broccoli/KALE/beet greens plus 1 shredded carrot
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cups drained & flaked tuna or salmon (about a 7 ounce can) i used 18 oz total mixed with egg in food processor
1/2 cup blanched almond flour or gluten free bread crumbs or flax meal
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
Sea salt & fresh ground black pepper/sprorachio sauce/cayenne
2 eggs- I used one with 4 oz flax seed meal
1-3 tablespoons coconut oil, for frying ,seasoned matzah crumbs.



To make the Lemon Caper Sauce:
In a small mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and refrigerate in an air tight container until ready to serve.

Cook the quinoa according to package directions, or use The Better Way to Cook Quinoa method. Drain and cool.
In a medium sized skillet or wok, sauté the vegetables and onions in 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil over medium heat until they are beginning to turn soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from burner and cool.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the quinoa, vegetables and onions, tuna, almond flour, or substitute, garlic, and dill. Season with fresh ground black pepper to taste.
Stir in the egg.
Warm a tablespoon of coconut oil in a 10-12 inch skillet (this is the one I recommend) over medium heat.
Pack a 1/4 cup metal measuring cup or a falafel maker with patty mixture and carefully ease the mixture out into the skillet. Use the back side of a spatula to press the mixture into a three inch patty, about 1/2-3/4 inch thick. I made mine 1 1/2 in wide by 1/2 inch thick. Made them easier to turn.
Reduce temperature to medium low, and fry the patties for 3-5 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown. I baked them on parchment in the oven by toping  them with canola oil, Keep adding more coconut oil to the pan as needed. Serve warm or at room temperature with the Lemon Caper Sauce.
I like having a good amount of coconut oil in my frying pan, about a tablespoon, because it makes the outside of the patties nice and crunchy (but that’s just my preference, feel free to do what you like).

If you are using left over cooked quinoa, 1/2 cup of uncooked quinoa equals about 1 3/4 cups of cooked quinoa

Post 268: Why I cancelled my trip to the Dress It Sale in Tel Aviv, last Friday.


Last Friday when I started to get my gear together for the trip to Tel Aviv’s Dress It sale,  many questions started to percolate thru an internal dialogue.
1) My relationship with my creator is within the fabric of my being. When I trust Him 100% I see only good. So I decided to trust Him 150 %. He’s only done good for me. His Shabat gift to me is also today.  I started to doubt about  going to the Dress It Day in Tel Aviv . After all, many friends turned me down.  Starting to feel pulled in several directions.
2) Started to examine all the negatives. I cannot fathom the challenges that I would face, (see above). I recall  long paying lines and  flashing credit cards at the last sale. I didn’t have an Israeli credit card at the last sale and I got such a puzzled stare from the cashier.
3) Now I’m looking at 200% trust. NOW the question is do I want to expend the  effort of shlepping my shopping wagon around a crowd of half-crazed and half baked women.??
4) No the stakes are rising to 400%.  I have list of items I’d look for at the sale: Maybe He wants me to find the new shmatas?

long sleeved silk or cotton T shirts in dark colors that are not  thin enough that you see light through them. I line T. Shirts that I make,  Colors:teal blue, navy. Looking for a yellow pair of summer flats and three skirts yellow, orange and gold because I have tops of those colors. Also wish list contains cotton leggings.

Looking also for similar golf shirts for my spouse, wool alpaca jacket, and shearling slippers. Made a copy of his shoe innersole to get the right fit. Will there be such items at the sale? Who am I kidding?

5) Then I remember the flimsy fabrics that Israeli designers use, viscose, rayon, linen, really recycled paper, no interfacings, no facings, no linings, nothing to flatter-



The above dress maybe has possibilities, but when you get up close, it’s flimsy, worthless after two washings.

6) The fashion look from February 2014 was a slip dress and black booties, black patent calf high boots. That’s the look that I want?

7) The clincher 500%. Anything that I bring home cannot compare to my classic closet of woolens, silks, and cottons, brocades, flannels, tweeds. I have 500% more clothing than I need. Fortunately my weight has not jumped all over the place so what fit last year fits this year. Everything that I need is right here. End of story.

8) Why I started sewing?

A Classic Sheath


This dress will not be at the sale.

9) And it saddens me to see the clothing that women will buy that leaves so much of their precious Jewish selves exposed. Trashy looking.

Continue reading Post 268: Why I cancelled my trip to the Dress It Sale in Tel Aviv, last Friday.

Post 267:Hamshushalayim 2015 Hamshushalayim 2015 Date: 12/03/2015 – 12/24/2015 As part of the Hamshushalayim open museum doors free four dates 3,10,17,24 Thursday nights in December from 9:00 p.m. to 1:00. All museum exhibits will be open for visits during those nights.Varied Program: Magdella Stone -A Carved Stone Block Explores Assumptions About Ancient Judaism From: ISABEL KERSHNER- Coincidentally mentioned in a class today on Kohelet, Israel Archeology and Jewish History coincide

Hamshushalayim 2015 Bloomfield Museum

Sorry that I missed this one-but there is still one night.

As part of the Hamshushalayim open museum doors free four dates 3,10,17,24 Thursday nights in December from 9:00 p.m. to 1:00. All museum exhibits will be open for visits during those nights. Program:

Find out the light

A rich and varied program on topics of light and darkness. Including theatrical tour around the museum on the subject of spinning, building workshops and scientific demonstrations. 10,17,24 December.  


Screenings Thursday night life, nature film spectacular three-dimensionally. Paid  ₪ 10.

A Carved Stone Block and Ancient Judaism

The Magdala Stone

The Magdala Stone was unearthed in 2009 near the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel, where a resort and center for Christian pilgrims was going to be built.

BEIT SHEMESH, Israel — The carved stone block is about the size of an occasional table. It has held its secrets for two millenniums. Whoever engraved its enigmatic symbols was apparently depicting the ancient Jewish temples.

But what makes the stone such a rare find in biblical archaeology, according to scholars, is that when it was carved, the Second Temple still stood in Jerusalem for the carver to see. The stone is a kind of ancient snapshot.

Known as the Magdala Stone, the block was unearthed in 2009 near the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel, where a resort and center for Christian pilgrims was going to be built. Government archaeologists are routinely called in to check for anything old and important that might be destroyed by a project, and in this case they discovered the well-preserved ruins of a first-century synagogue and began excavating.


A detail of one side of the Magdala Stone. Credit Yael Yolovich/Israel Antiquities Authority
The dig also revealed an ancient marketplace and fishermen’s quarters along with the synagogue.

A local coin found in a side room was minted in A.D. 29, when Jesus is thought to have been alive.

But for some scholars, the Magdala Stone was the real eye-opener.

“I approached the stone, and I could not believe what I was seeing,” said Rina Talgam, a Hebrew University of Jerusalem professor specializing in ancient art of the Middle East. Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologists had asked her to visit the site to view Magdala’s mosaics and frescoes, but when she first saw the stone, “they said I stood there for three hours.”

Ms. Talgam concluded that she was looking at a three-dimensional depiction of the Temple of Herod, including its most sacred inner sanctum, known as the Holy of Holies.

She has since spent years deciphering and interpreting the symbols that adorn the stone and researching the possible implications of the discovery.

Experts have long believed that in the period before Herod’s Temple was destroyed in A.D. 70, synagogues were used as a general place of assembly and learning, something like a neighborhood community center. The more formal conception of a synagogue as a sacred space reserved for religious ritual was thought to have developed later, in the Jewish diaspora after the Temple had been destroyed.

But the Magdala Stone was found in the center of the old synagogue, and Ms. Talgam said it might have been intended to give the space an aura of holiness “like a lesser temple” even while Herod’s Temple still existed.

Other scholars have come to the same view. Elchanan Reiner, a retired professor of Jewish history at Tel Aviv University, said that the stone was probably intended to represent the place where God, or the holy spirit of God, was believed to reside and that its placement in the middle of the synagogue “gives new meaning to that public building.”
For Jews living in Galilee in those days, Jerusalem was a substantial journey away. Mr. Reiner noted that, though there could be only one Temple, the stone would have brought a suggestion of it to the synagogue in Magdala. “It brings that community closer to, and further from, Jerusalem at the same time,” he said.

One side of the stone has what experts say is an unusual feature for the time: a carving of a seven-branch menorah. A candelabra of that kind is described in the Bible and is believed to have stood in the Temple, and it emerged as a Jewish symbol of hope for redemption centuries later, according to David Mevorah, senior curator for Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine archaeology at the Israel Museum.

During the annual eight-day festival of Hanukkah, Jews light a nine-branch menorah to commemorate the rededication of the Second Temple after a successful revolt against the Syrian-Greek Seleucid empire in 165 B.C.

But there would have been no need for a symbol of redemption in first-century Magdala, Mr. Mevorah said. “The Temple exists,” he said. “Everything is functioning. So why would there be a symbol of the Temple here? It raises questions about the role of the synagogue at that time.”

The Magdala Stone is about the right size for laying down a Torah scroll, so it might have been used as liturgical furniture, Ms. Talgam said. After it was found, a similar stone was unearthed in a synagogue from the Byzantine period in nearby Horvat Kur, and that, too, was decorated with what appear to be schematic depictions of Temple iconography.

The land belongs to a Roman Catholic religious order, the Legionaries of Christ, and the archaeologists who are managing the dig and who found the stone are Dina Avshalom-Gorni, an Israeli Jew, and Arfan Najar, a Muslim.

Even so, there is some fear of zealotry. The stone on public display at Magdala now is a close replica; the original is locked up in the Israel Antiquities Authority’s storage warehouse in Beit Shemesh.

According to Ms. Talgam’s interpretation, there are more signs of the Temple to be seen on the stone. Sacred utensils are depicted in the order in which they would have appeared. A square shape below the menorah may represent the sacrificial altar, with large oil and water containers shown on either side. Engraved steps, arches and columns refer to the architecture of the Temple.

The professor suggested that the 12-leaf rosette on top of the stone might have echoed a motif on the veil that divided the Temple’s main sanctuary from the Holy of Holies.

On the side of the stone that Ms. Talgam believes represents the inner sanctum, the carvings suggest the lower portion of a chariot, with flashes of fire beneath its wheels — possibly illustrating the seat of God residing in the earthly Temple. The upper half, or God himself, she said, would have been in heaven.

Ms. Talgam said the first century was a period of debates within Judaism, a factor she said must be considered in interpreting the stone.

Archaeologists can be no less quarrelsome. “There will be disputes” of her interpretation of the stone, Ms. Talgam said. “But that is the way it should be.”


This is one of the recipes that I used…..Chanukah sameach..belated.


1 1/4 cups spelt flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of salt

1/4 cup almond milk + 1 teaspoon brown rice vinegar (mixed together to curdle for 15 mins)

1 tablespoon oil2 tablespoons maple syrup

– mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl
– add all of the wet ingredients together; add to dry ingredients and mix until a dough ball forms
– heat a pot of cold pressed sunflower oil; when bubbles start to form around a chopstick that is placed in the hot oil it’s ready to use

– drop in doughnut balls and cook until golden
– place on paper towels to drain
– enjoy!
Itamar Marcus

Other events this week:

Israeli researcher and the founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch,which studies Palestinian society by monitoring and analyzing the
Palestinian Authority through its media and schoolbook, Give public talk.
Book Your Tickets Now
*Thursday, 24th December, 2015*
*7.00pm prompt (Doors open 6.15pm)*Agron Guest House: 6 Agron St. (150
yards from the Great Synagogue & HonestReporting), Jerusalem*Advance
registration required. Click here
<> to book
your tickets. **Cost to offset expenses: 50 NIS per person (prepayment

For further information email:

After successful shows in Zichron and Ra’anana, “Together, Against the Odds” is coming to Rehovot. Here is what audience members had to say:
“Fabulous Show filled with laughter and smiles – Anyone who missed it really missed out and I highly recommend grabbing the opportunity next time.” Andrea Dray (Zichron)
“Hilarious stories, hilarious accents and moving musical performance.” Lydia Hayman (Ra’anana)
“We can’t remember the last time we laughed until we cried, like we did tonight.” Sandy Leigh (Ra’anana)

“Together, Against the Odds” is a lighthearted musical comedy that will keep you laughing at two very different people who found love, converted and made Aliyah.

Watch our promo video

Tuesday, Dec. 29, at 8:00 p.m.

Rehovot Municipal Building (adjacent to the Rehovot Mall) Second Floor, Malia Hall – 8 PM.

Tickets: Advanced Purchase: 50 NIS (ESRA members 45 NIS, call us to get your discount)

At the Door: 60 NIS (ESRA members 55 NIS)

Post 266: Ein Avdat National Park – Hike at En Avdat in the Negev, Alpaka Farm, Ramon Crater, Sde Bokr David Ben Gurion’s Home, future places to Explore Shita, and Avdat and UNESCO’s desert cities along the spice-route to Petra from the Negev UNESCO world heritage site – Includes: Incense route from the Arava to Avdat, Haluza, Mamshit, Shivta Preservation of Avda Monks and monasteries – great source New Greek inscriptions from Shivta, Nitzana, Mamshit – Nabatean/Roman/Byzantine cities Ma’ale Akrabbim, Hazeva – Nabatean stations Lentil Barley Soup

An Introduction: The Negev encompasses- 60 % of Israel’s land mass and about 9 % of the population, including many Bedouin tribes, who “live” in reserves. The plan today was to visit Ein Avdat National Park . We hiked in a wadi, part of the park. However the sunny photos in En Avdat are not of our hike-I am including a soup recipe. A long trip requires provisions.

This was an extraordinary day; Many places in the Negev are for a future sunny trip. Hashem did not grace us with sun there today. The day had many wonderful moments.The ruins of the spice route are luminous. Those are also for another trip but are included here just s a sample of the stretches of the Negev.

The NBNefesh bus is leaving from Binyanei HaUman, a few minutes after 8:00 AM with only a few passengers. One stop in Beit Shemesh for the fill up and we are on our way taking the circuitous road to route 6 South over-reaching the showers. The road’s side gullies are dry and there are another  2 hours before reaching the Negev. Nechama and I are raking our brains a bit with Arabic.

We meet several soldiers at a pit-stop, who enjoy practicing their English on us (to my regret). The group are stationed in Rehovot. They also are traveling together with their commanding officer, a smiling Ethiopian girl. She points this out to us with a big wave.

There is always a risk in the winter of showers and flash floods in the eastern and southern wadis.

Due to flooding, our group is stopped at a road-block at the entrance to Ein Avdat National Park. Our guide Noa explains that we are not the only ones to be disappointed and turned away from Ein Avdat National Park.

Clusters of families  were huddled together. They had travelled from the surrounding areas, even from Tel Aviv to “catch a flood”. Check out the following map and U-tube which captures the flood on camera.

Map gives you an idea where Sde Boker is located I am including many additional sites in the Negev.

 Following are some of the features:

The Alpaca farm
The farm is located north of Mitzpe Ramon and houses many different animals such as alpacas, llamas, camels and horses. The farm offers a variety of activities such as hand-feeding, horse-back riding and more.
Makhtesh Ramon – Ramon Crater
The crater is located next to the city of Mitzpe Ramon. The visitors’ center offers a spectacular view of the crater, as well as tourist information, videos and an audio-visual show. Click here for more information about the Ramon Crater. In an earlier post I described an unusual astronomy talk.
Avdat National Park described in this post:Unfortunately our visit does not include this because of the rain.
Visit the remains of an ancient city which served as a camping ground for Nabataean caravans traveling along the early Petra – Gaza road. Open all year round. Allow an hour or two for n full tour of the site.
Neve Midbar Spa: This sounds magnificent:
The spa spans 8,000 square meters and offers three mineral pools, sauna facilities and many relaxing massage treatments.
David Ben Gurion’s desert home: Will visit today.
David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, was an avid supporter of settlement in the Negev Desert. His desert home in Kibbutz Sde Boker is now a museum commemorating his life and contribution to the development of the Negev. Click here for more information about David Ben Gurion.
The region offers house-back riding, camel riding, alpaca riding and feeding, jeep and dune buggy tours, spas and beautiful hiking trails.

Exploring the Area


Shivta is an impressive site, but it’s in the middle of nowhere, hard to get to, and has no facilities. If you have a car or plan to go on a tour, this can be a very worthwhile, atmospheric excursion — there’s a good chance you’ll have this ruined city all to yourself; otherwise spend your time at the other ruined Nabatean cities of Avdat or Mamshit.

Shivta is about 50km (31 miles) southwest of Beersheva, in the military zone about 8 km (5 miles) off the Nizzana road. It’s important not to get lost in the military zone, so here are explicit directions: From the highway, the Shivta road is two lanes and paved for the first 2.5km (1 1/2 miles). It then narrows, and after another kilometer you pass a road, on the left, to the military installation. After passing this road, it’s another 5km (3 miles) over a rough, curvy one-lane road to Shivta. There are few signs. Officially Shivta is a national park, but there is no office or telephone at this deserted location. Admission, if anyone is around to collect it, is NIS 12 ($3/£1.50) for adults and half-price for children 17 and under.
The Nabateans, a desert merchant people whose capital was the legendary city of Petra, in Jordan, established Shivta in the 1st century B.C., but Shivta (or Subeita) reached its high point during the time of Justinian the Great (6th c. A.D.), when Byzantine wealth and caravan trade were at their height. In addition to commercial wealth, Shivta’s ingenious citizens built an elaborate irrigation and water-collection system that allowed them to farm the barren soil. Israelis are studying Nabatean irrigation techniques to this day.

Eventually trade routes slowly changed, and though Shivta survived as an Arab outpost for many centuries, by the 1100s it was a ghost town.

The ruins of Shivta remained in fairly good condition throughout the centuries because they were too far away from newer building sites to make pillage economical. As a result, the city, which dates from the 500s, is still somewhat intact. Restoration work began in 1958. Buildings restored include three churches, a mosque, a caravansary, two water-collection pools, and houses. Signs identify and discuss the principal buildings.

Sde Boker & Avdat

About 50km (31 miles) due south of Beersheva, surrounded by sand and parched mountains, you suddenly come to a farm settlement — the famous Ben-Gurion kibbutz, Sde Boker. The settlement began in May 1952, at the prime minister’s instigation, when the country was first encouraging settlers to populate the Negev. Ben-Gurion became a member of this kibbutz in 1953; he lived and worked here until his death in 1973, at the age of 87. He and his wife, Paula, are buried here, and his fascinating personal papers, photos, and eclectic collection of books on history, philosophy, and religion may be seen in the Paula and David Ben-Gurion Hut (tel. 08/655-0320 or 655-8444; The hut remains as it was when Ben-Gurion lived in it. Visiting hours are Sunday through Thursday from 8:30am to 3:30pm, on Friday, Saturday, holidays, and holiday eves from 8:30am to 2pm. Admission is NIS 12 ($3/£1.50).

Over the years Sde Boker began to thrive, as did several other young settlements in the Negev. A campus of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has been established at Sde Boker. A modern library, housing the Ben-Gurion Institute and Archives (tel. 08/655-5057) and containing 750,000 documents associated with Israel’s first chief of state, is located here. The institute also contains a Research Center for Solar Energy and a Museum of Desert Sculpture, a collection of art created from natural objects and materials found in the desert. The institute also serves as a center for the study of desert areas. It’s open daily from 9am to 5pm; you must phone ahead for tours, which are given by appointment for NIS 10 ($2.50/£1.25).

The graves of David and Paula Ben-Gurion are 3km (2 miles) southwest of the Ben-Gurion House, to the right of the Gate of Sde Boker College. The site, chosen by Ben-Gurion, overlooks the dramatic Zin Valley, with the greenery of the Ein Avdat spring in the distance to the right.

Avdat Archaeological Park, 20km (12 miles) south of the Paula and David Ben-Gurion Hut on Rte. 40 (tel. 08/655-0954), was a major city built by the Nabateans in the 2nd century B.C. as a caravan post on a spice and trading route that ran from the Red Sea to the Nabatean capital at Petra, then to Avdat, Beersheva, and onward to Gaza on the Mediterranean coast. The city reached its peak of importance during Roman and Byzantine times and went into decline after the Roman conquest in the 7th century A.D.

Situated on a cliff 600m (1,969 ft.) above sea level, and with many partially restored structures, Avdat offers dramatic vistas across the desert; along with the ruined Nabatean city of Mamshit, it was used for location shots in the film Jesus Christ Superstar. The western half of Avdat’s acropolis contains the ruins of two Byzantine churches; the eastern section is dominated by the city’s fortress. Beyond the acropolis are a large Byzantine-era wine press and an olive press, evidence of the Nabateans’ amazing ability to irrigate and farm the desolate Negev 1,500 years ago. Admission to the Avdat Archaeological Park is NIS 20 ($5/£2.50) for adults and half-price for those 17 and under. It is open from 8am to 5pm (until 4pm in winter). There is a small visitor center (tel. 08/658-6391) at the entrance offering snacks, very good pamphlets with explanatory maps, and a brief video. Beside the ruins of Avdat, the Hebrew University has operated an experimental farm for the past 40 years in which Nabatean agricultural techniques, as uncovered by archaeologists, are being explored and redeveloped.

Mamshit National Park

The ruins of Nabatean cities carry a certain aura of mystery and grandeur about them. This third ruined Nabatean city, 6km (4 miles) southeast of Dimona, is probably a few centuries older than Avdat and was built on a slightly more important trade route. It was a town of large caravansaries, warehouses, and accounting offices; by Roman times, the town sported large public bathhouses, villas with wall murals, and houses of pleasure. The two large, well-preserved Byzantine-era churches may have been converted to mosques after the Muslim conquest in A.D. 635, judging from Koranic verses inscribed on the walls of their ruins. However, the city seems to have been permanently abandoned not long after that time, and the inscriptions may have been made after the city was no longer inhabited. The ruins are set above Machtesh Ha-Gadol, one of the Negev’s dramatic erosion craters. Mamshit National Park (tel. 08/655-6478) is open daily 8am to 5pm; until 4pm in winter. Admission is NIS 20 ($5/£2.50).

Read more:

Ein Avdat National Park is located in a beautiful canyon in the Negev desert. The Ein Avdat Spring flows down in a waterfall towards an 8-meter deep pool of water. The oasis created by the springs attracts ibex and other animals.

The oasis at Ein Avdat is created by a number of springs which begin at the southern, or upper, section of the national park. The water creates a number of pools which descend in waterfalls to the lower section of the canyon. The source of the springs is not definitively known, but is generally thought to be rain water which seeps into the ground.

The canyon is actually part of Nahal Zin, which is the longest wadi or dry riverbed in the Negev desert. Nahal Zin begins inMachtesh Ramon and travels 120 kilometers north, although at Ein Avdat the Nahal actually heads east. Nahal Zin andEin Avdat were created by flowing water which eroded the rock and carved canyons.

The first spring is called Ein Ma’arif. This spring creates pools and small waterfalls, finally reaching the main waterfall which is 15 meters high. The waterfall leads into an 8 meter pool of water which is separated into two parts by a man-made dam. This spring is called the Ein Avdat Spring, from which the nature reserve gets its name. The northernmost spring in the park is known as Ein Mor, called for the spice Myrrh (in Hebrew, mor). The name of the spring is fitting, as the park is located near the ancient Nabatean city Avdat on the incense route.

The water is slightly salty, and the trees growing in the area are Euphrates poplar treesatriplexes(commonly known as saltbush), and other salt-loving trees. Also common to the area are Bulbul, rock pigeons, eagles, vultures, hawks, bustards, frogs, crabs, and ibexes.

At the northern, or upper section, of the nature reserve, there are caves which were used b Byzantine monks from Avdat from the 6th century until the Muslim conquest of the area. The monks sculpted shelves, benches, stairs, and water systems from the rock. The caves were also decorated with crosses and prayers were engraved in the rock of the caves.

The Hike which we did nottake but we were on an alternate:

The hike itself is easy, but it requires mobility to climb the steps and ladders. The hike begins at the northern section, which is located neat Ben Gurion’s grave in Sde Boker. Follow the path in an easy walk to the waterfall and pool with the dam.

Next to the dam are steps which lead upwards towards the southern part of the nature reserve. These steps were initially carved by Israeli youth in the 1950s. Follow the steps to the oasis above, bursting with trees and additional pools of water.

From here, additional steps and two ladders lead past the Byzantine Monks’ caves to the upper observatory at the southern end of the park.


Tip: The complete hike requires one hour. However, the route is not circular, and can only be done in one direction. If you have two cars, a car can be left at the end of the trail. Alternatively, you could walk to the pools with the dams, return to your car at the lower end, and then drive to the observatory at the upper end. If you can manage it, I advise the hike, which is not difficult and lots of fun!

Tip: No swimming is allowed in the pools, as they are reserved for the animals in the park.

Tip: The park is open from 8:00-16:00 in the winter months, and from 8:00-17:00 in the summer months.

Tip: There is an entrance fee, which includes entrance into the upper and lower sections of the park. There is also a combined ticket which includes entrance to the city of Avdat.


flowering Negev plant

Tip: Ein Avdat is located off of route 40, just south of Kibbutz Sde Boker. for the film that Yehuda Lev took on the NBNefesh Trip this past Monday, 8th Day of Chanukah

Negev native, shiny, bright drinking in the rain water


Notice the water droplets. Our group arrived as the rain was stopping

Serve and Learn:

Ben-Gurion University in Beer-Sheva ( invites foreign students to study and do volunteer service in Israel. The program includes an intensive Hebrew language course and exposes students to Israeli culture, history and society. Students may also choose among several trips, including a visit to a kibbutz or an archaeological dig. Students must volunteer 15-20 hours a week doing such things as tutoring Russian and Ethiopian immigrants and orphaned Israeli children; helping Bedouins transition from their desert village to modern Israel; helping ex-prisoners reenter society; or working on environmental projects. Cost is $10,500 per semester, excluding airfare, food, and certain other expenses. Financial aid and scholarships are available. – See more at:

Ben Gurion's library
Ben  Gurion’s library (a portion)

Ben Gurion was well versed in Tanach. His officers also knew that he admired “lived”  with three leaders, Moses, Lincoln and Gandhi.

It is telling that in a few days will be the tenth of Tevet. The Tenth of Tevet (Hebrew: עשרה בטבת‎, Asarah BeTevet), the tenth day of the Hebrew month of Tevet, is a fast day in Judaism. It is one of the minor fasts observed from before dawn to nightfall. The fasting commemorates the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylonia—an event that began on that date and ultimately culminated in the destruction of Solomon’s Temple (the First Temple) and the conquest of the Kingdom of Judah (today southern Israel).

Our group viewed a film (made up of half cartoon half actors) introducting the viewer to Ben Gurion’s rise to power. Other key players and the cabinet:

David Ben-Gurion, Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, Eliezer Kaplan, Minister of Finance, Behor Shalom Shitrit, Minister of Police and Minorities, Yitzhak Greenbaum, Minister of the Interior

Ze’ev Sharef, Cabinet Secretary,

Felix Rosenblueth, Minister of Justice

Moshe Shapira, Minister of Immigration and Health

Yitzhak Meir Levin, Minister of Social Welfare

Yehuda Maimon (Fishman), Minister of Religious Affairs and War Casualties

Peretz Bernstein, Minister of Trade, Industry and Supplies.

Mordechai Bentov, Minister of Labor and Construction

Aharon Zisling, Minister of Agriculture

David Remez, Minister of Transport

Moshe Shertok (Sharett), Foreign Minister -They did not all agree with Ben Gurion that Jerusalem had to be held and the siege broken at all costs.


We saw a film/ cartoon meant for school groups before entering the house.

Ben-Gurion’s Hut

One cannot walk away from a visit to Ben Gurion’s home without strong impressions of the country’s “Founding Father”. He was ruthless in his goal of a single army to defend the state (i.e. the Alelena Affair). Opposing the left, he was not agreeable to the borders in the Partition Plan – UNGA Resolution 181, once Israel was attacked in 1948. On November 29, 1947 the UN General Assembly to adopt the partition plan, by a vote of 33 to 13, recommending the establishment of two states – Arab and Jewish – in the area and Jerusalem as an international enclave. We know what happened after that. Once the state was announced Ben Gurion was the prime mover in establishing institutions and furthering the ones already in existence.

In 1955, Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion challenged his people to develop the Negev and make it flourish. “Israel’s capacity for science and research will be tested in the Negev … and this effort will determine the fate of the State of Israel and the standing of our people in the history of mankind,” he declared.

Members of The Negev Funding Coalition — a consortium of Jewish Federations, foundations and other funders committed to developing arts, culture, education, health care, science and technology initiatives in the region — recently met in Delaware to discuss their progress in fulfilling Ben-Gurion’s vision for making the Negev a vital and vibrant place to live and work.

The conference, which was sponsored by Jewish Federations of North America, featured a keynote presentation by Rear Admiral (Ret.) Hezi Meshita, the deputy director of the Southern Relocation Administration for the Israel Ministry of Defense. Meshita termed this “the decade of the Negev” and expressed excitement at the impact of four proposed development projects.

The CyberSpark booth at the Cyber Tech conference in Tel Aviv

Chief among them is the construction of a new $650 million training facility located 20 miles outside of Beer-Sheva. Beginning in late 2014, 10,000 soldiers will be moved to the new base from their current quarters in Tel Aviv. The program will centralize combat support training that is currently conducted at multiple sites throughout Israel.

Three more “mega bases” are expected to be built in the Negev by 2020 — part of a strategic plan to vacate the land and buildings that the Israel Defense Forces currently occupies in high-end Tel Aviv and central Israel in order to bring jobs and investments to Israel’s south. As part of this initiative, the Israeli air force base at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion International Airport has already relocated to Netavim.

According to Meshita, these major military projects should bring one million new residents to the Negev. A new national cyber security research and development center called CyberSpark will open soon at Beer-Sheva’s Advanced Technology Park (ATP) in cooperation with BGU, adjacent to the University’s Marcus Family Campus. Lockheed Martin and IBM announced that they would invest in CyberSpark facilities, joining fellow cyber-security leaders Deutsche Telekom, EMC, RSA and many startups in the field.

The 16-building park is the only one of its kind in the world that includes Fortune 500 companies, cyber-incubators, academic researchers and educational facilities as well as national government and security agencies. The complex will also include a high school geared toward science and technology.BGU is the site of another project funded by the coalition.

The University’s Clean Technology Initiative strives to maximize the development of renewable materials and energy resources by providing fellowships to BGU graduate students interested in studying this new field and by supporting a new business plan competition for clean tech development, which targets Negev-based startups as well as BGU students.

“We have already received more than 25 entries — all environment Researchally and ecologically sound projects that will help drive development in the Negev,” says Doron Krakow, AABGU’s executive vice president.

Sam Katz, co-chair of the Philadelphia-Netivot Partnership Committee and AABGU supporter, is excited by the growth of arts and cultural initiatives throughout southern Israel and is particularly proud of one project that he helped to spearhead in Netivot.

Remember, the ancient cities in the Negev were not uncovered before the founding of the state. Background: The ancient city of  Avdat (Oboda) was initially a station on the Incense Route in the Negev highlands. It was developed to a city by the Nabateans starting in the 3rd C BC. During the Roman period the city was part of the defense and transportation systems of the Empire, and flourished during the Byzantine period with the construction of Churches, structures, workshops and vast agriculture farming. The city was finally abandoned in the 7th C following an earthquake. It became a National park and World Heritage site, a recommended site on the road to the south.

Location and aerial map: The site is located in the middle of the Negev desert highland, between Beer Sheba and the Ramon Crator. The ruins of the ancient city are located on the edge of a high plateau, east side of highway #40.

If you travel south to Eilat via Mizpeh-Ramon, Avdat is a great place to stop – even for just one hour. There is an easy access road from the visitor’s center up to the ruins, which leads to the parking place near the Roman Tower.


  Point on the yellow points to navigate to the selected point.







  • The Incense / Spice route


   The Incense & Spice route connected the east (Yemen and Oman), through Arabia, via the Nabatean capital city Petra, to the port city of Gaza on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. This road, with a total length of 2,400 km, passed through harsh desert areas. It  was used by the Nabateans to export the incense and spices from southern Arabia and the Far east to the Classic world of Greece and Rome.

Caravans of camels carrying the merchandise along the Incense route



The Biblical map below shows its path, with Avdat (Oboda) in the center of the Negev desert. The city started in the 3rd C BC as a fortified station (number 62) along this route, and protected the valuable cargo from robbers.  It also supplied water, food and shelter to the caravans.


Map of the Incense/Spice route – during the Nabatean and Roman/Byzantine  periods  (based on Bible Mapper 3.0)


  • The Nabateans


The Nabateans originated from Arabia, where they have been nomadic tent dwellers. The name “Nabat” may have originated from the word meaning “of-Arab”, a name which is known since the 10th C BC.   Their language was Aramaic and many of their words were Arabic. The Nabatean script is similar to the Moab script. Although they have not left any books, the research of their history is based on the inscriptions on tombs, and on Greek and Roman historians, such as Diodorus Siculus (half of 1st C BC) and Josephus Flavius (half of 1st C AD). The Nabateans excelled in ceramics, mastered in collecting the desert water, and were skilled merchants.


The Nabateans prospered from the operation of the Incense and Spice route, and established stations and cities along the route. This commercial enterprise started around the 5th or 4th C BC, and made these merchants rich. Their new capital city in Edom, called Petra, based on the Greek word for Rock. In the Bible it is also named ‘rock’ (Sela in Hebrew). Judges 1 36: “And the coast of the Amorites was from the going up to Akrabbim, from the rock, and upward”, Isaiah 16 1:”Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion.” Petra was the center of a vast Kingdom: the kingdom included the Negev and Sinai, Northern Arabia, Moab and Hauran (Houran).   The Nabateans mastered the utilization of the scarce rainfall in the desert area, by collecting the surface runoff into hidden cisterns, and then used it for their water supply and the development of desert agriculture.


The Nabateans arrived to the Negev during the Persian period (about the 4th C BC). Prof A. Negev, the excavator of Avdat and other Nabatean sites, defines 3 periods in the history of the Nabateans in the Negev:

  • Early Nabatean period (4th-1st C BC) – the nomad period during the Persian and Hellenistic periods
  • Middle Nabatean period (25BC to 50/70AD) – the trade empire – during the Early Roman period
  • Late Nabatean period (70/80 to 150AD) – the urban agriculture period – during the Early Roman period


  • Alexander the Great (332 BC) and successors – Hellenistic period


 When Alexander the Great arrived to the area (332BC), the Nabateans suffered from his Army. The Greeks set siege on Gaza, their important outlet to the Sea,  and conquered it after 2 months. The entire population was killed or sold to slavery, and replaced by new residents. The Greeks also fought against their allies, the Nabateans, and attacked Lachish.  This was a major setback to the Nabateans.

   After Alexander’s death, the Greeks continued to hit the Nabateans. Learning about the riches of Petra, the Greek general Antigonus sent his forces in 311 to capture and loot their capital city Petra.  Although the Nabateans managed to retrieve the stolen treasures after one night, they learned their lesson – the Incense route must be protected.


  • Establishment of Avdat (3rd C BC)


In order to support & protect the Incense route, the Nabateans established stations and fortresses along the road. One of these stations, located in the Negev highland, is Avdat. It was established in the 3rd C BC, and was later named after their king Avdat/Obodas.


  • Hasmonean-Nabatean battles (2nd -1st C BC)


During the Hasmonean dynasty, the early Jewish Kings worked together with the Nabateans. This changed when in  about 100 BC the Hasmonean King Alexander Jannaeus conquered the port city of Gaza, the final station of the Incense route. Gaza was under Nabatean control since the Persian period, and the loss of the city was a major defeat for the Nabateans, causing their cities along the route to decline. On the other hand, the possession of Gaza made the Hasmoneans richer and was one of the important sources of income for the Jewish Kingdom.


   King  Obodas (Avdat) I ruled the Nabatean Kingdom from 96-85 BC. He defeated Alexander Jannaeus in a battle northwest of Philadelphia (modern day Amman) in 95BC. This Nabatean victory gave the city its name.


  Later, King Obodas III (ruled 30-9BC) developed the city and was buried there. His silver coin is illustrated here, with his bust on the left side with the word “Avdat” to his right. His queen is seen on the reverse side on the right coin, with the mint date and also an inscription of a blessing by the Nabatean God Dushara.


Nabatean coin of Obodas III (30-9BC) – Drawing by Rina

Left Obverse: bust of Obodas III, “Avdat” 

Right Reverse: draped queen  “Year — Barcat Dushara”


    The Hasmonean Kingdom controlled Gaza until the Roman conquest by Pompey the Great forty years later (63BC).


  • Early Roman period (1st C AD)


   Only during the time of Herod the Great (37-4BC) the Mediterranean ports were reopened and the Incense route revived, bringing Avdat a new era of prosperity.   The city continued to prosper and develop under the reign of the Nabatean King Areta (Khartat) IV (9-40AD).  This period is the Nabatean’s golden age, with fifty years of prosperity. The acropolis of Avdat, the pottery workshop, the army camp, and other remains of structures date to this period. At this time there were few residential houses in the city, and the majority lived in tents in the area outside the city walls.

    Avdat was damaged by attacks of Arab tribes (the Thamuds and other Arabian tribes) during the middle of the 1st C AD. An evidence of fire was found in most of the excavated areas. The city was later reconstructed and further developed by King Rabbel II (70-106AD) who managed to deal with the invasion of the tribes and the economic changes following the decline of the Incense route.

   The Incense route started to decline at the end of the 1st C AD, since it was replaced by other routes through the Roman empire. The Nabateans gradually  switched to the development of desert agriculture and providing support to the Roman army and travelers along the desert roads. This successful transition – from the operation of the route to desert agriculture – revived the wealth of the Kingdom. According to some archaeologists, the desert farming was brought in only during the Byzantine period.


  • Roman Annexation (106AD)


    In 106AD the Romans annexed the Nabatean Kingdom.  It became part of the defense and road systems of the Roman empire, and appears on the Peutinger map (based on a 4th C Roman military road map) as “Oboda”  (marked by a red square) as a station on the road from Jerusalem to Eilat.  Note that the orientation of the Roman map is north on the right side. The Incense route is not shown on the map. 

   The Roman annexation brought a substantial religious change – from the Nabatean Semite religion to the paganism of the Roman world.

Peutinger Roman Military Map:   Oboda/Avdat (in red)  is a station along the road from Jerusalem to Eilat



  • Byzantine period (4th – 7th C AD)


The Nabateans converted to Christianity and their temples were replaced by two Churches and a monastery. A large residential quarter was built, as well as other installations and structures. The city continued to develop, but reached a tragic end following a massive earthquake in around 630BC. This led to the abandonment of the city.


  • Rediscovery (19th C)


The Arabic name of the ruins was Eboda, which preserved the ancient name.  Palmer and Drake were the first researchers who correctly identified the location of Avdat (1870). The first archaeological detailed survey was conducted by Musil (1902), and the first excavations were by Colt (1937), Avi-Yonah (1958), and A. Negev (1959-1960). These were followed by excavations by A. Negev and R. Cohen (1975-1977), P. Fabian (1993-1994, 1999) and T. Erikson-Gini (1999-2000). Recent restorations are conducted (2010-2011) after the site was vandalized.

The site became a UNESCO World heritage site in 2005, and was listed together with the Incense route from Avdat to Moa in the Arava (65KM long).



City Plan:


The city is located on a high (alt 620m) plateau, about 160m above above the valley to the west (where the ancient road passed, and the modern road and visitor center are located).


A plan of the ancient city is seen in the diagram below, highlighting the major sights. The pink areas are dated to the Nabatean and Roman periods, while other areas date to the Byzantine period.

  You can click on most of the titles in order to jump to the relevant section.







(a) General View


The western edge of the city is seen from the visitor’s center. The ruins of the city are located on a plateau high above the course of the road.


Click on the photos to view in higher resolution…


A panoramic view, as seen from the Roman tower towards the city, in seen in the following picture. If you press on it, a panoramic viewer will pop up. Using this flash-based panoramic viewer,  you can move around and zoom in and out, optionally click on hotspots and view the site in full screen mode.   Note that it may take minutes to upload.


  To open the viewer, simply click on the photo below.



(b) South hillside


The access road ascends from the visitor center up to the Roman tower, along the southern side of the city. The red square on the plan of the city shows the position of the southern hillside. The city was once protected by a wall, and the road passes along its path.



  Along the hillside are traces of the wall and other ruins, such as the house seen in the photo below.




Another view of the south-west hillside is below:



The south western side of the city – the acropolis – is better seen after climbing up the road. A lookout platform is located at the edge of the higher side, where the ruins of a Nabatean temple are in the process of reconstruction.



(c) Southern Villa


On the south side of the Avdat ridge are ruins of a Roman villa. This is how it looks from its north side:



The villa has several rooms which were built around a square courtyard. At the center of the courtyard is a cistern.



The roof was supported by arches, of which a pair were reconstructed in one of the rooms:



Another view of the arches:



From this side is a great view of the vast desert area around Avdat. This is the view towards the south:



Also seen, on the south-west side, are agriculture farming areas which are reconstruction of the ancient irrigation and cultivation methods. During  the Roman and Byzantine periods these farms supplied the city with fresh products, and were also one of the sources of the city’s income, since the Nabateans used to grow crops  and sell it to the Army.



Another view of the villa, this one from the exterior:



(d) Roman Tower



      After completing the tour of the the southern villa, you continue to drive up the access road and reach to the parking area on the south-east side of the city. This is where the walking tour of the city begins.

   A lookout tower, dated to the Roman period, is the first interest point inside the city. Its location on the plan of the city is indicated by a red square on the right.

   The tower is built along the city wall. It was constructed in 294 AD according to the inscription above its entrance.

    A view of the tower from its west side can be seen in the picture below.




The entrance to the tower is from this side:



Another view of the tower, this one from the south-east side, is in the picture below. The roof of the tower affords great views of the area.



Standing on the roof of the tower, there is a great view of the Avdat acropolis and the southern hillside. (If you want to see the panorama again using the flash view, press here. Note that it loads  slowly…)


The far structure, seen among the ruins, is an agriculture installation used for wine production. It is dated to the Byzantine period, and was one of the five winepress installations found in Avdat.



(e) Byzantine Quarter



  Beyond the city wall and the Roman tower is a vast area of ruins, which is still undergoing archaeological excavations and preservation. This residential quarter is dated to the Byzantine period. Its location is indicated on the map as a red square.

The quarter was first  established during the Roman period, and was destroyed in an earthquake around 630AD.

   A view of one of the structures is shown below.



Another section of the dwelling houses:



Arches were used in order to support the roof and the second level of the house:



The Byzantine quarter consists of a main street in the direction of south-east to north-west, directed towards the fortress which is seen in the background. The dwelling structures are built on both sides of the street.



The street has a system of water channels, such as this one shown below, which lead the rain water from the roofs to collecting cisterns as seen on the lower-left side. These cisterns were the main source of water supply for the residents.



Along the main road are residential dwellings in various stages of reconstruction.  The structures were leveled in the 7th C by an earthquake and remained in ruins since then, following the decline of the Incense route and the Arab conquest.



A closer view of one of the structures. The two level building uses arches to support the upper floor.



A set of sculptures, with a shepherd and his goats,  highlight the ancient nature of the busy street.





 Another view of the shepherd and his goat, drinking from the water cistern, is in the next picture. During the Roman and Byzantine period the Nabatean residents became suppliers to the Army, and turned the areas around the city from a desert into green areas of farming and grazing lands.


(f) City Fortress



   The city fortress, located at the edge of the main street, was built also in the Byzantine period. Its purpose was to protect the residents in time of attacks. Its location on the city plan is indicated as a red square.

   The fortress is 63m long by 43m wide. The south-eastern tower, another good observation point, is shown in the following picture. An entrance to the fortress is on its right side.



Inside the fortress is a wide open court, with a large cistern located in its center. The water channel in the picture below feeds rainwater into the cistern. On the north side of the court is a prayer chapel (but is not seen here).



A closer view of the water reservoir is in the photo below. It is now dry, but a pair of pigeons (seen flowing away) use its shade to nest.



The entrance of the water into the underground water reservoir is shown in greater detail the next photograph. Water in this dry land, with only 80mm of annual rainfall, is precious. The surface and roof rain runoff was the only solution for this city, since there were no available springs in the vicinity to bring the water into the city.



(g) Nabatean Temples


Beyond the fortress is another wide open area of the Nabatean temples and churches plaza.  This area is indicated as a red square on the map.

 In this area there were one or more Nabatean temples, which were later replaced by Churches.


 A western view of the paved area is seen in the photo below.



On the north side of the area is a gate house:



A closer view of the gate house:



The gate opens to the north area outside of the city.



Another section of the walled area, as seen in the northwest view:



(h) Southern Church



  The southern church was part of a Byzantine monastery of St. Theodoros. It is located on the south-west side of the city, as indicated on the city plan with a red square.

   According to the inscriptions found on the floor of the church, it dates to the 6th and 7th C AD. 


   An illustration of the church is shown below, based on the model that was on display at the site:


  • Atrium


   The Atrium, the open court before the church, is located on its west side and sizes 15 x 14m. It is paved and consists of four rows of columns. The columns, made of hard limestone, were based on the original Nabatean temples built by King Areta (Khartat) IV (9-40AD).



A large cistern is located under the floor of the courtyard.



A southern view of the court yard. It probably had a second floor.



The courtyard is surrounded  by rooms on its three side. The next picture shows one of the rooms on the south side of the courtyard.



  • Entrance to the Church


On the eastern wall are the three entrances to the church, seen here behind the eastern row of columns.



The entrance from the atrium is seen also from the inner side of the church.



  • The Church


The church is a three-aisled pillared basilica with three apses. The apses are located on its eastern side (as all ancient churches). The central apse, where the main altar stands, is seen in the middle of the following picture.



The main altar is located on a low raised platform.



The following picture shows a closer view of the main altar, with a table in the center of the apse.



A view from the main altar towards the west:



Another view of the nave – the central approach to the main altar.



  • Inscriptions


A number of tomb inscriptions (epitaphs)  were found in the floor of the church. The marble slabs bear Greek inscriptions dating from 541 to 618AD. One of these tombs is seen on the south-eastern corner.



A closer view of the inscription on the south-eastern corner:



Another epitaph is located on the north-east corner, on the floor behind the fallen column.



A closer view of the inscription:



Yet another epitaph is seen in the next picture:



  • North Apse


A limestone chancel screen stands on the path towards the northern apse.



Behind it is the northern apse.



  • Stones


In other rooms and locations, there are some notable stone objects, such as the water vessel below:



Another interesting carved limestone:



Outside of the church, embedded in the stone, seems like a footprint. What does it mean?



Another footprint is drawn on a rock painting:



(i) Lookout Platform



On the western edge of the acropolis is a lookout platform, which is situated on the ruins of a Nabatean temple. It affords remarkable views of the area west of the city. The location of this spot is indicated as a red square on the map.

  A western view of the lookout platform is shown in the picture below. There are current (year 2011) restoration works on the site.




From the platform are great views of structures below, such as this structure on the south-west corner.



Another view of the south side is shown in the next picture.



Another base of a structure is seen on the northern hillside.



(j) Baptistery



    On the north side of the lookout platform is a large Byzantine baptistery, which was part of the adjacent Northern Church complex. Its location is indicated as a  red square on the map.

  In the  larger pool, which is in the shape of a cross (see photo below), adults were immersed in the water during the process of conversion to Christianity. On its left side is a smaller pool for babies.




A closer view of the adult (right) and the babies (lower left) baptisteries is seen next.

Note that a similar  cruciform baptismal design is found in the south and north churches in Shivta and the Eastern church ofMamshit.




(k) Repairs


In October 2009 two Bedouin youths smashed and toppled columns and caused severe damages to the site. A team of archaeologists and workers are working for months to repair the damages, and continue to restore and preserve the antiquities. The photo shows a repair to the wall of the Northern Church.



The next photograph shows repairs in the area of the southern church.



(l) Eastern Side


  The eastern side of the city has a number of additional sights which can be reached by foot.

    One of them is a reconstructed army camp, which is marked as as a red square (its location is actually farther to the east). Near it is a structure which was a Nabatean pottery workshop.


   Additional structures are located around the city area, such as the structures seen in the photograph below.




An impressive army camp was excavated, located 300m north east of the city. The camp’s size  is 100m square. It contains 8 long, multi-chambered structures.  About 2,000 soldiers would have been stationed here, which is a large force – the size of one legion. The scholars debate if this was a Nabatean camp or a Roman camp. Near the camp are ruins of a large house, which may have served as the camp’s brothel.

The camp was in use until the middle of the 1st C AD, and abandoned following the decline of the Incense route, probably since the Nabateans could not afford any longer to finance the large number of soldiers.



Ancient camel pens are located on the eastern side of the city. A cluster of metal sculptures demonstrate a typical camel and donkey convoy coming from Petra.  Note that a typical convoy was made up to a maximum of 25 camels.



(m) West side – Reconstructed Byzantine house, City of Caves



On the western hillside, just below the lookout platform, is an area termed “the city of caves”. The location of the area open to the public is illustrated as a red square in the city map on the right. It is accessed from a parking place, which can be reached halfway down back to the visitor center.

   One of the dwellings in this area, with a large cave in its back portion, was excavated and reconstructed. Its southern side is shown in the following photograph. 



The house is dated to the Byzantine period. The owner of the house may have been a wealthy wine merchant.



The entrance to the house leads into a courtyard surrounded by a number of rooms. One of them served as a toilet.



A view of the rooms in the house:



Inside the room, a reconstruction of the winery in operation. Wine production was one of the main  sources of income in the Negev area. The desert climate, with extremely cool nights during winter with plenty of  sunshine during spring and summer created an excellent quality dry wine which was in much demand during the Roman and Byzantine periods.



A large cave is located in the back of the house. The cave has two rooms, and was used for storage of wheat, dry fruit and as a winery.



The interior of one of the rooms:



Another room:



The next picture shows a view of the other entrance to the cave, and additional structures around the house.



The city wall passes just below the house and extends to the north. The picture below shows the northern hillside where the city wall continued.



(n) Visitor center


To the west of the ruins of the city is the visitor center. The office sells entrance tickets, presents an audiovisual presentation and offers information. Several stones and vessels are on display. Nearby, 100m to the north, is a well preserved Byzantine period bathhouse.



An adjacent coffee show and petrol station is a convenient place to stop and refuel.  We highly recommend to have a one or two hour stops at this site on the way to Eilat or back.



Etymology (behind the name):


  • Avdat, Ovdat – named after the Nabatean king Obodas. King Obodas I ruled from 90-87 BC, and defeated Alexander Jannaeus in a battle near Golan. This Nabatean victory gave the city its name. Later, Obodas III (ruled 30-9BC) developed the city and was buried there.

With high speed trains this entire area will open up to tourists.

Lentil Barley Soup

Lentil Barley Soup

Based on a recipe by J. Raymond

Thick enough to be called a stew, this hearty soup is easy to prepare and cooks in a single pot. Add more water or stock if you wish to have a thinner soup.

* 1 cup black lentils, rinsed
* 2 stalks celery, sliced
* 1/2 cup hulled or pearled barley
* 1/2 tsp oregano
* 6 cups water or vegetable stock
* 1/2 tsp ground cumin
* 1 onion, chopped
* 1/4 tsp black pepper
* 2 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
* 1/8-1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
* 2 carrots, sliced
* 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
* 2-4 cups fresh spinach (optional)

Place all ingredients except salt into a large pot and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils and barley are tender, about 1 hour. Add salt to taste and spinach, if desired. Cook briefly until spinach is wilted but still bright green.


Pearl barley is the variety most commonly sold in supermarkets. Natural food stores offer hulled barley, which is slightly less refined and cooks in about the same amount of time.

This soup can also be prepared in a crockpot. If you start with boiling water it will cook in 1 to 2 hours; with cold water, 5 to 6 hours

To cook in a pressure cooker, put all ingredients except salt and spinach into cooker and bring it to high pressure. Cook at high pressure for 12 minutes; then bring pressure down with a quick-release method. Lentils should be cooked, but barley may not be completely tender. Cook until barley reaches the desired state of tenderness, about 15 minutes, adding water if a thinner consistency is needed. Then add salt and spinach, if desired. Cook briefly until spinach is wilted but still bright green.

Servings: 6

Nutrition info per serving: 78 calories, 4 g protein, 16 g carbohydrate, 0.2 g fat, 159 mg sodium

Adapted from


Post 265: What is the significance of the 10 of Tevet? The fasting commemorates the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylonia—an event that began on that date and ultimately culminated in the destruction of Solomon’s Temple (the First Temple) and the conquest of the Kingdom of Judah (today southern Israel) Concert At Kehillat Yedidya, 12 Nahum Lipshitz Street, Baka Featuring:* Mike Pery – Jerusalem’s legendary Blues singer, performing your favorite blues, country, folk songs * Ben Fisher – Wordy Folk – Singer-Songwriter from Seattle, WA, USA. Basic Pie Dough for Spinach and Gruyere Quiches

Tenth of Tevet (Hebrew: עשרה בטבת‎, Asarah BeTevet), the tenth day of the Hebrew month of Tevet, is a fast day in Judaism. It is one of the minor fasts observed from before dawn to nightfall. The fasting commemorates the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylonia—an event that began on that date and ultimately culminated in the destruction of Solomon’s Temple (the First Temple) and the conquest of the Kingdom of Judah (today southern Israel).

The day has no relationship to Chanukka, but it happens to follow that festival by a week. Whether the 10th of Tevet falls 7 or 8 days after Chanukka depends on whether the preceding Hebrew month of Kislev has 29 or 30 days in the relevant year.

I expect many of the shiurim listed in this post will work themes into the Jewish tradition of the fast the commemorate the start of Nebuchadnezzar’s siege of Jerusalem.

I am very delighted that even after Chanukah we have inspiring evenings out including  a Dress It day in Tel Aviv. Right now I am squeezing out my butter crust dough. Starting with 250 grams and stretching it : my cheese is shredded in the fridge. Just need to start the pastry.

Maybe will attend this:

Thursday December 17th 8:00PM– 11:00ish
At Kehillat Yedidya, 12 Nahum Lipshitz Street, Baka Featuring:* Mike Pery – Jerusalem’slegendary Blues singer, performing your favorite blues, country, folk songs
* Ben Fisher – WordyFolk – Singer-Songwriter from Seattle, WA, USA.

With: Lev Friedman (Boston) and Liane Shalev & Lisa Sageev – M.C.Minna Bromberg 40 shekels, includes light refreshments. For more information: Philippa 054-752-1239;

Facebook: Jerusalem Folk Music Evenings

More about the Musicians Lev Friedman his wife, Joyce, and their three daughters are all musicians. The family plays together on occasion in various configurations. They recently played at the 35th anniversary celebration of The Center for Mindfulness, a world renowned institute in Worcester, MA. Lev’s CD, Breathing Still, a collection of original songs, came out in 2008. Using both wit and poignancy, his songs explore life from the vantage point of experience and hindsight and are songs of love and hope for our time. He also has one EP of originals called Father Time. In the late70’s Lev taught finger-style guitar and songwriting at The Music Emporium inCambridge. Raising a family and running his business took him out of the music scene, but he never stopped writing and continued to perform occasionally in small venues, including the Newton Public Library and Club Passim. After ahiatus of 25 years, he birthed Breathing Still. Lev is the former proprietor of Kolbo Fine Judaica in Brookline, MA, which he owned and operated from 1984-2011. He is currently a student rabbi at Hebrew College in Newton andis also the founder of B’nai Or of Boston, a Jewish Renewal community based inWaltham, Massachusetts. You may find links to his music at: and
Manchester born Blues singer, Mike Pery, is something of a legend in the Jerusalem live music scene. His band , Mike Pery’s Blues Train hasper formed at just about every live music venue in Jerusalem and many major festivals including Woodstock revival fest and the Givatayim Summer Blues festival. Mike is also a classically trained Cantor and Voice coach. Ben Fisher is a singer-songwriter from Seattle.His musical background includes a decade of forced classical piano lessons,fronting a Mariachi band, and years of busking in Seattle. Morerecently, he has played the Doe Bay Festival, SXSW, Treefort Music Festival andour local Israeli Jacobs Ladder Festival. His new full length record‘Charleston’, produced by Noah Gundersen was released in February 2014. He nowlives, writes, and performs in Jerusalem.

Basic Pie Dough for Spinach and Gruyere Quiches. Gruyere is not available in Israel.

Butter Quiche Crust:

INGREDIENTS: Butter makes the difference, butter makes it better

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces about 15 ou.

DIRECTIONS: I had a parev frozen commercial dough that comes rolled in wax paper. I experimented by defrosting the roll: 465 gr. (1.1 oz)

There are 3 ingredients in the dough; The “3” in this ratio is flour. I like to use pastry flour because it contains less gluten than all-purpose flour and therefore creates a more tender crust, but all-purpose flour will work just fine if that’s what you have on hand. The “2” is fat. Butter is the most common type of fat used, but other solid fats will work as well. Lard produces some of the flakiest crusts I’ve ever tasted and I’ve successfully used coconut oil to create a vegan crust. I’ve even substituted chicken or bacon fat for a portion of the fat amount in savory applications. Whatever fat you choose, it must be cold and solid (no liquid oils as they don’t create the necessary air pockets for a light, flaky crust). The “1” is ice cold water. Not much to explain here, but I will say that I dissolve about 1/4 teaspoon of salt per batch to make the water extra cold.

So, now what? The amounts in the 3:2:1 ratio refer to the weight (e.g. 3 oz. flour, 2 oz. fat, 1 oz. water). With those exact measurements you could make a pie crust, but it would be quite small. To know exactly how much dough you need you must first know how big your pie pan is. A basic rule of thumb: one inch of pan equals one ounce of dough. Since all of my pie pans are nine inches, I almost always say that one batch is nine ounces, giving me the following recipe. Total 9 ounces.

my piece weighs 9 oz 240 grams. Assuming each portion should be about 75 grams of grain, I will increase to get 8 X 75 for a whole pie with 8 portions or 600 grams of pie crust.

I’ll add water flour and fat in the ratio called for  3 x 1.5 oz = 4.5 oz flour and will use some rye, and oat
2 x 1.5 oz = 3 oz. butter/ maybe slightly less since the dough already has fat
1 x 1.5 oz. = 1.5 oz. water

How did I come up with those amounts? There’s a little math coming your way, so bear with me. We need a total of 9 ounces, and we’re dealing with 6 parts total (3 parts flour + 2 parts fat + 1 part water), so:

9 oz./ 6 parts = 1.5 oz./ per part

Which means:

3 x 1.5 oz = 4.5 oz flour
2 x 1.5 oz = 3 oz. fat
1 x 1.5 oz. = 1.5 oz. water

And that’s your recipe. If you’re making a pie that requires a top crust, just double the recipe

I was never a star student in math class, so if you need to digest that a bit, I totally understand. Take a moment…

So what if you don’t happen to have a kitchen scale? Never fear. One cup of flour weighs roughly 4.5 ounces. How convenient! And 1 ounce equals 2 tablespoons. With this in mind, here’s the same recipe as above for a single batch.

Now let’s talk method.

The most important step is cutting the cold fat into the flour. If you don’t do this, you’ll lose the flakiness, which, for me, makes pie worth every single calorie. The easiest way to do this is with a food processor. Add your flour and then your cold fat (cut up into smaller tablespoon-size chunks). Now pulse the machine until the mixture creates pea-size pieces of fat evenly distributed throughout the flour. With the machine running, stream in your water until the mixture forms a dough. You may need to add slightly more water if your mixture is too crumbly, but don’t add too much more or your crust will turn out tough. A little crumble is what you’re looking for and the uglier the dough, the better it tastes.

This is the original dough, without the added texture of oat and rye flour and butter

If you don’t have a food processor, you can cut your butter using a pastry blender, two butter knives (using the simple scissor cut method). Just put your flour in a bowl, add your cold butter or other fat and start cutting away until you get those pea-size pieces. Then make a well in the middle of your mixture, add your water and combine by hand until a dough forms. Then roll the packaged dough into a ball and incorporate the two into one ball. Then press the dough between two layers of baking paper. roll as thin as possible. Chill and roll more until your pastry dough fits into a spring form mold.


Crust is baked at 425 degree for 15 minutes

Done! Since the crust is placed on paper in the spring mold, i line the outside of the pan with aluminum foil.

Well, almost…if you’re just making a single batch,  divide the dough, wrap the second half up tightly in single, nine-ounce disks and keep them in the freezer for future use. When you need one, pull it from the freezer and thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.

– See more at: Here’s a crumbly kind.


  1. In a food processor, combine flour,  butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining.

  2. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed (if necessary, add up to cup more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time). Do not overmix.

  3. Transfer half of dough (still crumbly) onto a piece of plastic wrap. Form dough into a disk 3/4 inch thick; wrap tightly in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (and up to 3 days). Repeat with remaining dough.

  4. Place one disk of dough on a lightly floured piece of waxed paper. Rolling from center outward, form into a 14-inch round. Using paper, lift and wrap dough around a floured rolling pin; carefully unroll (discarding paper) over a 9-inch pie plate.

  5. Gently fit dough into bottom and sides of plate. Avoid stretching or tearing dough. Using kitchen shears, trim overhang to 1 inch; fold under to form a rim. Crimp with fingertips and knuckle. Repeat with remaining disk of dough.


    Spring Quiche, adapted from Simply In Season

    3 eggs

    1 cup milk, light cream, or evaporated milk

    ¼ tsp. pepper

    Beat together and set aside.

    9-inch pie crust or crumb crust such as above or potato crust (see below).Prepare filling (below) and pour into crust topped by egg-milk mixture and ending with a sprinkling of reserved cheese. Bake in preheated 425F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350F and bake until browned on top and set in the middle, another 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving.

    Green Veggie Filling:

    ½ -1 c. chopped leeks, scallions, chives,  garlic scapes or combination

    2 c. chopped greens: spinach, arugula, kale, chard, turnip greens, or beet greens

    Be sure to trim the stalks before chopping

    1 c. chopped broccoli, peas, or other veggie, mushrooms. 

    eight ounces of sliced mushrooms balance the cheese flavors

    1 c. shredded cheese: Swiss, cheddar, or other flavor.  I used mozzarella, goat, white cheese, ricotta and haloumi.

    Saute leeks scallions, etc. with broccoli, etc. in greased frypan for about 5 minutes. Add greens and cook until just wilted. Place cheese in bottom of crust, then top with vegetable egg filling mixture.

    alternate Crumb Crust: or omit – this is very rich- I don’t use it as i like the browned cheesy topping

    1/3 c. flour

    1/3 c. whole wheat pastry flour

    1/3 c. cornmeal

    ½ tsp. salt

    ¼ tsp. baking powder

    1/3 c. butter, softened

    Fresh or dried herbs (to taste, optional)

    Lightly mix together dry ingredients. Cut in butter until crumbly. Pat firmly into bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan, adding a little water if needed to stick together.

    Potato crust:

    3 cups uncooked potatoes (coarsely grated)

    3 tbsp. oil

    The surrounding ring is not the crust but the egg mixture that separates slightly from the vegetables. The mixture contained scallions, mushrooms, beet greens and bok choy.

    Mix together. Press into bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Bake in preheated oven at 425 until just starting to brown, about 15 minutes. Add filling and bake as directed in toaster oven. Let cool and remove from spring form as there will be liquid oozing and that needs to drain.

    Following are some special local events: (Not necessarilyy in Chronological order)
    SPEAKER: RENA AHARONOV-ARIEL ‎SUNDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2015 – (8 TEVET 5776)‎ ‎7:30 P.M. (please note time)‎ At Emunah’s Beit HaChavera Arlozorov 6 Rehavia Men and Women Welcome  Pre-Registration for Seating ‎ Call: (02) 563-9963 ext. 101‎ Cost: 20 NIS Members 25 NIS Non-Members Toby Willig Chair


    2)​Katamon Learning Experience ​Invites all women Join us for a  Women’s Shabbat Rosh Chodesh ​ Shabbat ​December 19 ​3:30 -4:30 PM ​​Iris Felix Topic A Kabbalistic Perspective  On Why King David Is Our Fourth Patriarch Hosted by: ​Frieda Horwitz 29/1 Hashayarot, Katamon​ ​Refreshments served.

    Rabbi Jonathan Taub “The side You’ve Never Heard Before” Emek Learning Center 64 Enek Rafaaim Dec 21 8:00 PM Please see Flyer Men and Women.

    Special Programming

Post 264: Could businesses be sued for opening on Shabbat?, Harvesting winter wheat berries for wheat grass juice – Top Ten fashion designers and Dress It! Fashion designers united against violence.

The miracle is not just the lighting for eight days; it’s the two thousand years that Jews have been lighting. And the last miracle is if we eat oily foods for 8 days and not gain weight.

Could businesses be sued for opening on Shabbat?

This topic is of great interest to residents of Mircaz Ha’Ir where we have seen many restaurants flagrantly disobey the traditional Shabat closing. In fact, Druz police gave out summons to businesses open on Shabat.

Amid ministerial meeting discussing whether to charge businesses for breaking Sabbath.
By Raphael Poch
First Publish: 12/8/2015, 6:55 PM

Secular activists oppose efforts to close Jerusalem.
MK Miki Zohar (Likud) presented a draft of the “Shabbat Bill” to the Ministerial Committee of Legislation. The bill outlined an overhaul to the status quo that is currently in place regarding the opening of businesses on Shabbat. A

According to Zohar, the proposed bill would alter the law and allow regular citizens to sue businesses for being open on shabbat. Additionally, business owners would face a possible criminal charge and be able to be sentenced for one year of prison time should the proposed bill become law.

MK Zohar spoke to Arutz Sheva about the outcome of the committee meeting. “There are some ministers who are mad about the proposal and there were strong objections from the Kulanu party. MK Rachel Azaria (Kulanu) for one felt that it was too radical.”

MK Zohar didn’t quite understand what there was to get angry about, but respected very much the multiplicity of opinions. “Making a law to protect Shabbat for the Jewish people to me doesn’t seem radical, but it is her opinion and she is entitled to it,” he said of MK Azaria.

Kulanu MK’s requested to meet with MK Zohar, to discuss some possible alterations to the law before it would be agreed upon by the committee to propose the bill to the Cabinet. “I am not optimistic about the meeting,” said Zohar. “I believe in the law that I authored. But I am willing to meet with them and hear them out.”

According to Zohar what the Kulanu MK’s are calling radical is the part of the law that discusses a person who opens their business illegally on Saturday.

In Zohar’s words: “The proposed law states that if a person respects the law, and doesn’t open their business on Shabbat, then they would be able to sue a competitor who opens their business illegally. The current situation is that each city hall is entitled to enforce the law demanding the closure of businesses that are not culturally oriented on Shabbat. However, most city halls don’t enforce the law beyond issuing a minimal fine. Often even this is not enforced.”

Zohar’s proposal comes as a response to the failure of city halls and local councils to enforce the current democratically agreed upon law in Israel. “The proposal that I am making is that the law should be enforced by other citizens, such as competing business owners who can sue those who open their business, since the cities aren’t doing it. Another option would be that the national government would be enabled to enforce a large fine, valuing three times the amount of income generated on Shabbat by the business.”

Currently, the law in Israel only allows places of entertainment and restaurants to open on Shabbat, but many businesses utilize the fact that the law is hardly ever enforced and stay open as well. Large malls and supermarkets are among the biggest transgressors around the country. Zohar believes that the bigger chain stores often do not heed the law, and smaller stores suffer since they do. This causes an injustice and a loss of clientele for the smaller stores, as well as forcing employees of the larger stores, who may wish to take the day off, to show up on Shabbat. Both of which are problematic in his opinion.

“We need to follow the Jewish tradition, and the law that was democratically decided upon in this country. We need to incorporate the actual deterrents to opening a store on Shabbat.

“We need to be a Jewish and a democratic country. The situation right now puts that in jeopardy,” said Zohar.

MK Rachel Azaria responded to the proposed bill and told Arutz Sheva why she is opposed to it in its current form. “Right now we have a status-quo regarding religion and state, and the Shabbat issue in Israel. It’s not great but it is the way that we currently handle the situation. What MK Zohar is doing is trying to change the status quo.”

MK Azaria referred to the historical precedent set in the meeting between Rabbi Yaacov Medan and Professor Ruth Gavison that is known as the Gavison-Medan covenant on Religion and State in Israel. The Covenant was created in 2004 and sponsored by the Avi Chai Foundation and the Israel Democracy Institute, it has an eight page discussion on the characteristic of how Shabbat should be treated by Israeli law.

“We need to decide what type of Shabbat we want in Israel,” said MK Azaria. “Gavison and Medan agreed that businesses should be closed, but things dealing with culture and sport, should be open and that there should be a minimal amount of public transportation to allow for people to go to these places as well as visit sick relatives in hospitals. I think that is a very nice solution.”

Azaria elaborated on some of the dangerous outcomes of the bill proposed by Zohar, should it be passed into a law.

“You cannot change the status-quo without taking everyone into consideration. The bill says that anyone can another person for opening their business on Shabbat. That is a big problem.

I don’t want to allow citizens to sue each other because of this. It will lead to a lot of negative feelings within Israeli society, and likely large protests on both sides of the religious divide as well. Why would we want that?”

MK Azaria said that she believes that people should not be coerced into enjoying the Shabbat but that people should want to do it if they so choose. “We want most people to be able to enjoy their Shabbat. Today everything has become the secular vs the religious and we don’t have time to discuss what we want our Shabbat to be. And we should.”

With regards to MK Zohar’s proposed bill, MK Azaria emphasized that she opposed it as it is currently written.

“MK Zohar is trying to force the new law which is too radical. If you want to make a change to an existing law, make a change that people can live with, something that people can be a part of, not something that makes them feel bulldozed. If any change is made, we should put the Gavison-Medan Covenant into play.”

Something to shed those pounds: Wheat grass Juice




1. Soak your hard winter wheat seed (also called wheat berries) overnight (8 to 12 hours).

2. Sprout the seed in a jar for the next 16 to 24 hours, rinsing the seed well three times a day.

3. After a very short “tail” is visible, plant the seed on top of the soil. Basic potting mix or topsoil will work fine. Peat moss is an important ingredient to look for in your soil so if you have to add it, the mix is one part peat moss to three parts soil, filled halfway up a two-inch deep tray. Crush a Kelp capsule and sprinkle on the soil.

4. Water the tray and then cover the seeds to keep them from drying out for the first three

5. During the first three days of growth, water once a day in the morning and really soak the soil (until the tray drips is a good sign you are watering enough). Then lightly mist your seed in the evening (lift cover off to mist seed).

6. On the fourth day, uncover grass (roots should begin to take over your soil), water heavily once a day and keep the grass in the shade

7. For mold problems, increase your air circulation with a fan or air conditioning to keep the temperature between 60 and 80 degrees

8. Harvest grass when a second blade of grass appears on the grass blades, or when the grass “splits” toward the bottom of the blade. Average growing time is seven to 12 days, depending on the weather, but still always watch for the second blade of grass as you can never judge by how many days it has been growing or how tall the grass is.

9. Only harvest once. Cut grass will store in the fridge for about seven to 10 days or longer in Green Bags. Then start the process all over again with new seeds and soil.

Dress It! Fashion designers united against violence. December 18th Booth 11 Tel Aviv Exhibition grounds 10AM

Dress It 2015 is a bazaar that brings together about 700 Israeli designers who will be selling their wares for bottom of the barrel prices. 10-300 NIS all for a good cause- Proceeds will go to the Rape Crisis Center and Tel Aviv Sexual Assault Victims.

Some of the designers are Roni Kantor, Ronen ChenMirit Weinstock, 700 in all.

You may want to join me on Friday December 18th. This monster sale will be held at the Tel Aviv Fair Grounds from 10AM.I know that Friday is hard. But with a little planning…
The sale is at Booth 11 Exhibition Grounds Tel Aviv University. Just giving you the info.The center can be reached by train (Israel Railways) through the Tel-Aviv University station. Egged bus line 521 and Dan bus lines 24, 47 & 48 are also good options for quick transportaion; I’ll be meeting friends at the Jerusalem CBS and take the 480 bus and then we’ll cab it over to the fairgrounds.

The convention center can be reached by telephone +972-3-640-4567, (the person answering was not very helpful) and parking arrangements can be made by calling +972-3-640-4460.

By Public Transportation:
Rakevet Yisrael – The University train station is near the Tel Aviv Convention Center –Rakev

One way

18/12/2015 Fri,

 Intercity Route

From Jerusalem-Malha
To Tel Aviv-University

Food and drink stand

Trains to choose from Jerusalem-Malha to Tel Aviv-University, on 18/12/2015 00:00:00
Select Departure Time Departure Arrival Journey Duration No. of Changing stations Route & Stops More Information Print
7:47 9:19 1:32 Without changing [-] Route & Stops Access for disabled persons
Train number: 6504
Train no.: 6504
Platform Station Time
1 Jerusalem-Malha
1 Bet Shemesh
1 Ramla
4 Lod
1 Tel Aviv-HaHagana
1 Tel Aviv-HaShalom
2 Tel Aviv-Savidor Center
1 Tel Aviv-University
8:47 10:19 1:32 Without changing [+] Route & Stops Access for disabled persons
9:47 11:19 1:32 Without changing [+] Route & Stops Access for disabled persons
10:46 12:19 1:33 Without changing [+] Route & Stops Access for disabled persons
11:46 13:19 1:33 Without changing [+] Route & Stops Access for disabled persons
12:46 14:19 1:33 Without changing [+] Route & Stops Access for disabled persons
Next StepExcelPrint


  • According to the instructions of the Ministry of Transport, certain types of railway tickets and discounts may be issued to the holders of Rav Kav cards only: round-trip tickets; “flexible tickets” for 7 and 30 days; discounts for the entitled students and disabled persons.
  • The possibility of obtaining various types of railway tickets and discounts depends also on the trip route (the departure station and the destination station).
  • Access through the control gates at stations is only possible by means of a valid ticket.

For more information click here

Egged – Bus number 521 –
Dan – I think this is from Herzliah Buses numbers 12, 22, 40, 89, 189,

03-6394444  סלקום ואורנג’ 3456* פלאפון 4444*

We may take Egged 480 from CBS.
Metropolin – Buses numbers 47, 48, 247 from Tel Aviv center and Raanana/Kefar Saba/Herzliya/Ramat Ha’Sharon – Metropolin website
Kavim – Bus number 137 – Kavim website

I did some research on the Israel Railways. For future reference, they offer
Day trips coordinated with schools, youth movements, pensioners’ associations, workers’ socializing events and more. Also offered:

Quiet car with reserved seats – but not from Jerusalem!

You are invited to enjoy a comfortable and quiet journey in a car with reserved seats.This service is offered in a special car where passengers are requested to keep silence and to refrain from using their mobile phones.

Routes on which this service is offered

  • From Be’er Sheva stations to Tel Aviv, Haifa, Ako and Nahariya stations.
  • From Modi’in stations to Haifa, Krayot, Ako and Nahariya stations.
  • From Tel Aviv stations to Haifa, Krayot, Ako and Nahariya stations.
  • From Tel Aviv stations to Be’er Sheva stations.
  • From Nahariya, Ako and Haifa stations to Be’er Sheva stations.


Service cost: This service cost 5 NIS as a surcharge to the ticket price.

Purchasing the service: This service may be purchased at a station prior to boarding the train at the cashiers or automatic ticketing machines.



  • This service is provided in interurban trains only.
  • This service may be purchased in one direction only.
  • This service may be purchased in advance within up to 7 days before the planned trip date.
  • This service is provided on Sundays through Thursdays.
  • This service is not provided on Fridays, Saturday nights, holiday eves, holiday nights, on night trains and on special dates to be announced from time to time.
  • From 7:00 to 9:00 and from 14:30 to 18:30 the car is served by an attendant who is responsible for observing the service conditions (the attendance hours are subject to change according to the route).


Group trip by rail Call Center *5770 / 077-2324000

Israel Railways offer special fares for groups of over 20 – together with the pleasure of an interesting, quiet and safe travel.
Travelling by train to a conference, seminar, socializing event or elsewhere will be a nice entertainment by itself.
A group trip is made only in a special car reserved for the group. Such a trip may be complemented with a shuttle transfer to the end destination, various side events and snacks and drinks distributed to the group members during the trip.

Getting back to the Dress It! I am Israeli fashion designer’s worst nightmare.

Firstly, the garments in the chain stores are constructed to fall apart. Why?, there is little concern with finishing off the seams correctly, using facings and pressing.  All are big features, that I look for in a finished product. Most important to me is the fabric and it’s usually the cheapest king-rayon. If you hold a sweater up to the light the fabric may have the smoothest feel but no substance. I have even come home and made a tee-shirt out of frustration and made a lining for it too.

 All the items are donated to support the Rape Crisis Center in Tel Aviv. There are 40,000 items. Imagine a mass Loehmann’s the size of a city block. I went to the sale by public transportation, was second or third to enter and left about 1 hour later. More time than that is too much and will deliver a big headache. This sale is not for the faint of heart.

Also part of the fun is getting some ideas from the clothing for my own in house modifications of clothing that I get from gemachim.
I don’t really need anything. I plan to arrive there VERY early and go straight to the jewelry counter where Negrin and other designers will be offered.
Honestly 99% of the stuff will not be modest, but one can still find  proper length skirts, long sleeve sweaters and shirts and  jackets and even shoes.
I’d love company, because the place will be huge and we could communicate by cell phone if we see items that have potential.
The silver jewelry and Negrin pieces at the last sale were a fraction of the usual price.
It was a riot to see the mounds of clothing on the floor of the dressing room. There will  also be children and mens’ clothing, shoes, pocketbooks, and  gifts.

I have spoken to many friends about meeting at Jerusalem CBS t the 480 platform at 8:00 A.M.

If you respond, ( sent to many friends) , perhaps we will split a cab from the Tel Aviv CBS, to the fairgrounds. So Far There is no driver, or if there is a driver, share the expense. Caution: I don’t think that the designers market to the “Mature” women, except for Kedem Sasson (#3 below). The style may not be to your taste. I’ll be checking out the  Naama Bezalal offerings.

 Israel’s fashion designers, like most of the country’s entrepreneurs, have always looked abroad, eager to sell their wares outside of the small, Sabra marketplace. But homegrown fashion design is relatively new in Israel. While international shoppers with an eye for fashion are familiar with the country’s veteran fashionistas, like couture and bikini designer Gideon Oberson, swimsuit maker Gottex, and fashion retail chain Castro, most of the current fashion designers are young and have been in business for a decade or less.

Their resumes are remarkably similar. They are generally graduates of Shenkar College of Engineering and Design or the Hebrew University’s Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, but sometimes they are self-taught. They start out toying with clothing designs at home, and initially sell their creations out of their apartments, which tend to be located in Tel Aviv.

After some successful selling, they shell out rent for a studio/store in one of the Tel Aviv fashion centers, situated on upper Dizengoff Street, Gan Hachashmal or the au courant city of Jaffa, and if they’re lucky, do well enough to open additional storefronts. If they’re really successful, they start to look out over the ocean, to the consumer-rich shores of Europe and the US.

It isn’t easy to export Israeli-designed fashions, whether marketing clothing, accessories or jewelry. While the prices of the unique clothing are lower than those of the clothes designed in America or Europe, the bureaucracy and costs can be daunting for these small businesses that rely on blue-and-white sewing and manufacturing. If they succeed in making sales abroad, it’s usually with the help of a distributor in the destination market who handles those headaches.

It comes as no surprise that the designers who have been around longer have had more luck exporting their fashions. And even those who had beginners’ luck often experienced bad luck as well, finding that they expanded too quickly.

The designers listed here have all managed to market their ready-to-wear clothing, jewelry and accessories abroad, with varying degrees of success. Some have opened stand-alone stores, although most are limited to distributing their lines to boutiques and stores throughout the US and Europe, appealing to the shopper seeking something that can’t be found at the Gap or Banana Republic. A few have penetrated the red carpet list, appealing to A-listers and celebrity stylists. Yet whatever the definition, success is theirs, having transported a Sabra sense of style to distant shores.

1. Ronen Chen


Designed to flatter: Ronen Chen.

Ronen Chen may be Israel’s best-known fashion name abroad. A Shenkar graduate who began creating simple, modern clothing for the typical urban woman in the early 1990s, Chen had beginners’ luck, selling his styles to several boutiques and department stores in London, Ireland, Japan and the US. When those first collections were not a great success, he scaled back to the Israeli market, eventually opening 14 stores in Israel, a new concept store in London and selling in hundreds of boutiques worldwide, primarily in the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg.

He produces one full and 30 mini collections each year, often introducing seven or eight new pieces each week at his local stores. His clothing is designed to flatter the wearer, with lots of draping and pleating. The overall look is classic, not trendy.

He calls himself “the bridge generation” between the older group of designers and the new, evolving cadres, referring to the leap into Israeli-style designer labels that he and his design colleagues have made. “When I graduated, there were fewer companies and more designers, so I had no choice but to start my own label,” he once told the International Herald Tribune. “Once you start, there’s no way back.”

2. Mirit Weinstock


Johanni, one of the women who took part in Mirit Weinstock’s fashion project models a Weinstock dress.

Upon graduating from Shenkar, Mirit Weinstock jetted straight to Europe, first interning for the Alexander McQueen fashion house in London, and then at Maison Lanvin, the oldest fashion house in existence, working with Alber Elbaz, the Morrocan-born, Israel-raised fashion designer who has been dubbed “every woman’s darling.” Weinstock headed back to Israel in 2004 and began developing her own ready-to-wear collection and wedding dress collection that is now sold in Israel, Europe and the US, as well as online.She’s been mentioned and written about in Vogue, Moda and Lucky, where her debut collection was described as “heart stopping, gorgeously feminine and nonchalantly cool… with the kind of sophistication you usually only find at the highest of the high end.”Weinstock is also known for issMi, an international fashion project that presents photographed self-portraits of women worldwide wearing Mirit Weinstock pieces.

3. Kedem Sasson


Fashion for the fuller figure: Kedem Sasson.

Kedem Sasson is in a similar league to Ronen Chen, having been in the business since the early 1990s, but he designs for a very different woman – and man – than does Chen. The story told is that Kedem (Sasson is actually his first name), was motivated by the fact that his full-figured wife had few options when it came to the local clothing market. An art school graduate who had focused on painting, sculpture and jewelry, he turned to fashion design, introducing a highly imaginative and sometimes quirky collection for plus size women.

By focusing on the plus size domain, Kedem has always had the freedom to work with abundant amounts of fabric, and he tends to create shapes and forms that retain their own dimensions. Now well known for his iconoclastic designs, Kedem Sasson – a 2009 ‘mentor’ on Project Runway Israel – has become the go-to destination for full-figure women seeking to dress more creatively.

The company’s Tel Aviv store carries a Kedem’s Man line as well and there are standard women’s sizes in the stores in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa. Kedem Sasson is also exported to the US, Canada, Europe and Australia.

4. Yigal Azrouel


A move to red carpet fashion: Yigal Azrouel.

Yigal Azrouel is considered the Israeli fashion hottie in the US, although his work isn’t actually blue-and-white. In fact, it never was. Azrouel had no formal education, but remembers sketching dresses while serving in the army. He’s known now for his expert draping techniques and feminine designs that have won him accolades in the leading fashion magazines and celebrity clients like Salma Hayak, Jennifer Connelly, Catherine Zeta Jones and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Having entered the red carpet phase of his designs, dressing Hollywood types and supposedly dating Katie Lee (Billy Joel’s ex), Yigal Azrouel is now based in New York, but can still be considered a Sabra success story. He grew up with five sisters, whom he credits with his fashion interest, and launched his first collection in New York over 10 years ago, later opening a showroom and then a boutique in the Meatpacking District of New York City.

5. Gal Feldman


A family of objects: Gal Feldman.

Like many of her colleagues, handbag designer Gal Feldman arrived at her profession by accident – when she created a bag for her thesis assignment at the end of her studies. At the time, she called it a “utility object” so as not to limit herself. As she saw it, bags were receptacles for storage, but they also connect people with their personal belongings, sort of like a house does.She began her line of eponomously-named Gal handbags with what has become a signature pocketbook, a soft satchelin in which the handle is fastened through a loop on the other side, to close the bag. Now Feldman imports leather from Italy and works with a local atelier, using a good amount of handiwork to design a wide range of bags for women and some for men, as well as a collection of wallets. She sees her work as “a family of objects – bags for women of all ages and all needs.”Her bags are sold at stores throughout Israel, as well as in the US, Europe and Japan.

6. Frau Blau


Photo by Gili Yaari/Flash90.
The Frau Blau boutique in Tel Aviv’s Gan Hahashmal district.

The whimsical, spirited and downright amusing fashions of Frau Blau are the brainchild of Helena Blaustein and Philip Blau, a couple both in business and in life. They’re best known for their shift dresses and shirts imprinted with intricately lifelike graphics in which the wearer appears to be dressed in something completely different. One season offered a dress imprinted with the print of a denim dress, including buttons and studs.

Another winter shift is a dress designed with a print of a wool tweed, including fox stole and brooch. Blaustein and Blau call their illusional dressing “ke-ilu,” Hebrew for “as-if” or “pretend.” The idea is to create flattering dress patterns that look good on most bodies and are an optical illusion for the wearer. The result is ironic, and ironically, flattering.

Not all their clothing is illusional, but there is generally a touch of whimsy about most of their designs, whether it’s a skirt with exaggerated flounces or a blouse buttoned on the diagonal. Currently sold at their Gan Hachashmal boutique and in stores around the country, Frau Blau is also being sold in the US.

7. Dorin Frankfurt


The grande dame of Israeli fashion: Dorin Frankfurt.

Dorin Frankfurt may well be the grande dame of Israeli fashion design abroad, having opened her first store in Tel Aviv’s Shalom Tower in 1975, when there wasn’t such a notion as Israeli fashion, much less off-the-rack clothing. At the time, she wanted something affordable for the average Israeli, and was one of the first Israeli fashion houses to design jeans for the local market. Now she’s known as a ready-to-wear designer with elegant, well-structured pieces for women, as well as the DF line for men.

With 22 shops across Israel, each of Frankfurt’s stores conveys a different atmosphere that caters to the local clientele. Her Jerusalem stores have a larger inventory of skirts and dresses for the city’s religious crowd and warmer tops for the cooler evenings, while the Dizengoff store caters to a younger Tel Aviv shopper. She also sells her line of clothing in Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the UK and the US.

8. Hagar Satat


Hagar Satat works in leather, silver and gold.

A designer of jewelry and fashion accessories, Hagar Satat works with leather, silver and gold in her collection, consistently seeking interesting combinations of her differently toned leathers and metals in necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings. As a graduate of the jewelry and fashion department of Bezalel, she likes to redefine the concept of a ‘jewel;’ it can help to perfect a look, or become the inspiration for an entire look.

When Satat opened her first Tel Aviv studio and store, she found that she doubled her output. Today she has a second Tel Aviv store, and sells her designs to dozens of shops in Israel, the US, Canada, Europe and Japan.

9. Agas and Tamar


Biblically inspired jewelry that attracts the stars.

Jewelry designers Einat Agassi and Tamar Harel-Klein are one of the few Israeli brands to have their own storefront outside Israel. Beside their trendy Neve Tzedek, Tel Aviv location, they opened a Manhattan shop in Soho two years ago, and have become one of the favorite sets of jewelry designers for the stars, including actress Debra Messing, the Sex in the City gang, designer Donna Karan and actress Sarah Michelle Gellar.

What everyone loves is the raw, matte finish of this ancient-looking and biblically inspired jewelry. Pieces look slightly unfinished, and often have lettering or wording, usually in Hebrew, sometimes in the ancient language of Sumerian. The inscriptions generally offer blessings of joy, luck and eternal happiness, granting an additional dimension to the pieces.

10. Naama Bezalal


Clothing that harks back to Israel’s early statehood period.

Known for her 40s, 50s and 60s-inspired dresses, skirts, blouses and ready-to-wear wedding dresses with vintage touches, designer Naama Bezalel graduated from Shenkar and then set up her studio in her home, like many of her fashion colleagues. The New York Times’ Suzy Menkes called Bezalel’s work “funky pastiches of vintage clothing from the 1950s,” harkening back to Israel’s early statehood period of “innocence and infancy.”

Ten years later, Bezalel is selling her distinctive line of clothing in her 10 retail stores throughout Israel and distributes it in the US as well. As she told Menkes, “I wouldn’t say it is easy [to be a ‘designer start-up’], but I have my own clients. You have to work hard to bring them – and then make them come again and again.”


Post 263: My meeting with a member of Yamam, special unit of Israeli Border Police on the 34 bus, International travelers recently ranked Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport as the world’s fourth best international airport in a survey conducted by Condé Nast Traveler readers , Zucchini latkas with leftover french fries and tofu

My meeting with a border policeman was brief. First, a bit about the units that make up the border police, before describing the meeting.
I was not able to publish the photos below portraying death defying acts – yes the men in black from Yomam, part of the Israeli Border Police, are trained like circus performers.

(All photos © Ziv Koren / Polaris Images)

Ziv Koren gained exclusive access to the Israeli elite police unit, Yamam. This was the first time that the unit was photographed. The Yamam is capable of both hostage-rescue operations and offensive takeover raids against targets in civilian areas. It also performs SWAT duties and undercover police work. Most of its activity is classified, and Yamam operations are often credited to other units.

Koren’s images:
Ya gotta see!

1) “Monkey” squad soldiers specialize in hanging on a wire and surprising the enemy from above."Monkey" squad soldiers specialize in hanging on a wire and surprising the enemy from above.
2) Yamam soldiers training for a bus rescue with flames shooting out of the windows.

3) Yamam soldiers gliding from the roof of Azrieli Center towers in central Tel Aviv during special training.Yamam soldiers gliding from the roof of Azrieli Center towers in central Tel Aviv.

In Israel, the Yamam is also known as the “Unit for Counter-Terror Warfare” (Hebrew: היחידה ללוחמה בטרור‎). It is subordinate to the Ministry of Internal Security central command and is part of the civilian Israel Police force, specifically the Israel Border Police. Its operators and officers are professional policemen on payroll, usually with infantry experience from their military service within the Israel Defense Forces. Yamam recruits its members exclusively from Israeli units.

The unit is primarily responsible for civilian hostage rescue within Israel’s borders, but from about the mid-1990s it has also been used for tasks such as arresting police suspects who have barricaded themselves in structures and requiring specialized extraction methods, as well as in personal security for VIPs and in counter-terror operations within the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Yamam are schooled in basic Arabic and dress to assimilate within the Arab population to avoid detection in order to carry out raids to arrest those suspected of conducting terrorist activities within Israel.

However, most of the Yamam’s activity is classified, and published Yamam operations are often credited to other units.
The Yamam has around 200 officers, and consists of a headquarters element, an intelligence section and a small team responsible for the development of new operational techniques and testing new equipment.
Aside from these central elements, the bulk of the unit is divided into a number of sections, each consisting of five teams, each containing operators with a particular specialization, so that the section includes within its numbers all the elements needed for a successful operation: roping team, entry team, medic team, sniping team, K-9 team, EOD team (demolition and bomb disposal).
Thus, whereas an IDF special forces operation needs to assemble elements from different specialist units, in Yamam, they are all permanently part of the same unit, living, training and operating together.

Applicants for Yamam must be between 22 and 30 years old and must have completed their three-year infantry service in the IDF with a level 8 of IDF training or higher, although no previous police experience is required. Unlike American SWAT teams, the YAMAM is a professional unit with only combat duties and no other type of police work.
The selection process includes a “hell week” said to be one of the hardest in the world. This level of difficulty is achieved because all the applicants are already seasoned combat soldiers, many having served in elite special forces units during their compulsory conscription as well. The skills they are looking for in every candidate are: intelligence, physical fitness, motivation, trustworthiness, accountability, maturity, stability, judgment, decisiveness, teamwork, influence, and communication.

Training lasts six months and is carried out in the unit’s own training center, although some use is made of the facilities at the IDF Counter Terror Warfare School (LOTAR, Unit 707.) The course is divided into a three-month general CT training period at the end of which recruits are selected for their specialization and then concentrate for the remaining four months on that specialization. Upon graduation, individuals are posted to fill gaps in the sections.

Yamam considers that it has several advantages over the IDF counter-terror units, first, because the men are more mature, most in their mid 30’s and early 40’s, and spend much longer in the unit than the equivalent military units, and, second, because the units contain a far broader range of ages and experience.
The Yamam is self-dependent, training its own operators in all fields, such as sniping, reconnaissance, dog operating, bomb disposal, etc. As a result, the Yamam has a rapid deployment time and high coordination between various squads (sniping squad, entry team, engagement force, etc.).


M4A1 carbine

Barrett MRAD
Barrett MRAD Multi-role sniper rifle
Barrett M82A1 Anti-materiel rifle

Getting back to my meeting. After I boarded the bus I noticed an empty seat next to a black bushy bearded capped fellow. I could not help but notice an unusually bulky object at his feet. He moved the bag, with some effort, to permit me room to put my feet. Closer now that large object clearly was a back pack. It reached up to his knees and his hand was grasping it on the side near the top. I looked close at the nameless cap that was pulled down tight on his head. This was no Chasid out on the second night of Chanukah to meet some friends. The young folks on the bus were busy starring into their cellphones. Then I looked again at the back pack. I surmised that this was an “older” professional soldier returning home to the German Colony after some time in the field, not a lawyer on melium.

Wanting to appear casual I asked, before he straightened up,”Hi, that’s a heavy pack for a tiyul (trip)?”. He replied with a tilt of his head to get a better look at me. “It’s not a trip pack”. He then flipped open the top and exposed the opening of a weapon, a sniper rifle. My eyes must have widened a bit.The burley Arab Israeli worker in Gan Ha AtzMa’Ot that I see every day could have been his twin, sporting that same beard that reaches to the ear lobes.

He shared words about the need to be cautious at all times. I offered that I study Arabic and asked whether he was an Arabic speaker and he replied that Arabic was part of the training program. He shook his head when I asked whether he was placed in Hebron. I’m not sure whether the no that he offered was that he couldn’t answer the question or that he was not stationed in Hebron. He left the bus before I had time to ask any other questions. I guess in many ways these border police are like the scouts sent out by Moses.

“Moses sent them to scout the Land… and he said to them, “Go up this way… and climb up the mountain; you shall see what kind of land it is…” (Numbers 13:17,18)


Ben Gurion airport. (Photo: Anav Silverman / TPS)
International travelers recently ranked Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport as the world’s fourth best international airport in a survey conducted by Condé Nast Traveler readers.

Israel’s largest airport was chosen among 10 other international airports as the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards for 2015. Readers gave Ben Gurion Airport a rating of 7/10. On the magazine’s online version, Ben Gurion Airport was described as having “easy access from downtown Tel Aviv,” and for being regarded primarily as “one of the world’s most secure airports.”

Around 15 million passengers passed through Ben Gurion Airport in 2014 and it has consistently won awards for the best airport in the Middle East. The Condé Nast Traveler also described Israel’s national carrier, El Al airlines, as the “top dog.”

Zucchini ladkas with leftover french fries and tofu

2 medium zucchini (about 7 ounces each), coarsely shredded
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
3 large scallions, very thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh sheep-milk ricotta cheese/tofu
leftover french fries
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
Olive oil, for frying
Lemon wedges, for serving

In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, garlic, scallions, ricotta, eggs, lemon zest and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Stir well, then stir in the flour just until incorporated.
Line a large baking sheet with paper towels. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 inch of olive oil until shimmering. Working in batches, add 2-tablespoon mounds of the zucchini batter to the hot oil, spreading them to form 3-inch fritters. Fry over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned and crisp, about 3 minutes. Drain the fritters on the paper towels and serve right away, with lemon wedges.
MAKE AHEAD The fritters can be kept at room temperature for up to 2 hours and re crisped in a 325° oven.

Post 262: TheLivingWells, an Acapella group will be performing Sunday December 13th Comegy basement- Chanukah Party for Children: This notification came from the Hebron Fund Please pray for Ginadi Chaim Notah Ben Reiah Rachelגנדי חיים נוטה בן רעיה רחל This afternoon our colleague good friend and Hebron gardener Ginadi Kaufman was critically injured when a terrorist stabbed him in the heart lungs and stomach Ginadi is well known for his sweet manner and for his dedicated work to beautify Hebron and especially the Machepela Cave area

In the dark I light the spark to enlighten you
The Living Wells Chanukah Concert Sunday Dec 13
Jerusalemites! Announcing our first show in Israel that’s open to the public.

Sun, December 13, 8:15pm – 9:45pm
Description: Moshe Friedman & The Living Wells The Living Wells are a duo of Ivy League grads who perform a powerful blend of hip-hop and folk. Their lyrics explore depth and wisdom not found in most rap music, drawing on themes from Judaism, philosophy, and psychology. The set is highly enjoyable and accessible to a wide range of audiences, both young and old. The show will take place at the Off the Wall Comedy Basement at Ben Yehuda St. 34. Doors open at 8, show starts at 8:30. Tickets are 25 shekels in advance and 30 at the door. To purchase tickets and for more information visit their website at Entrance: 30nis (25nis in advance) Location in Jerusalem: Off The Wall Comedy Basement- 34 Ben Yehuda (corner of King George- down the stairs, near the old Mashbir, under the Bank Leumi)

Come down for some light in the darkness as we play to an intimate crowd off of Ben Yehuda Street in the lower level of the Old Mashbir. THE LIVING WELLS presents an evening of inspiration and Hip-Hop.

Doors open at 7:45 PM, and the show starts at 8:15 PM. Tickets are just 25 NIS (in advance by e-mailing or 30 NIS at the door.

(From their site) After five cities in ten days (with some holidays mixed in for good measure), we’re really glad we came to the US for our fall tour, but we’re equally glad that it’s over. Thank you to everyone who turned out for the shows and especially those who helped to promote them. Now it’s back to the studio to bring you some new inspired tracks. Stay tuned!

– See more at:

Wednesday December 9th, 2015 2pm
Located Rehov #31 Chabad Tzemach Tzedek
Open to boys and girls separate
3NIS per person
Free donut to each child
Chanukah Sameach

7 Urgent prayers and Tehillim – תפילות ותה×
Mon Dec 7, 2015 1:04 pm (PST) . Posted by: hayahava

נא להתפלל לפצוע אנוש, גנדי חיים נוטה בן ריה רח נא להתפלל דחוף ולהעביר הלאה.
Please pray for the man who was stabbed today and is in very critical condition.
Gandhi Haim Notah Ben Raya Rahel
Please pass on to others.
Besorot tovot
Phylis Goldman

This notification came from the Hebron Fund
Please pray for Ginadi Chaim Notah Ben Reiah Rachelגנדי חיים נוטה בן רעיה רחל

This afternoon, our colleague, good friend and Hebron gardener, Ginadi Kaufman, was critically injured when a terrorist stabbed him in the heart, lungs, and stomach.

Ginadi is well known for his sweet manner and for his dedicated work to beautify Hebron and especially the Machepela Cave area.

Now Ginadi is fighting for his life at Shaarei Tzedek hospital, and we, the Hebron family, are praying that we will soon see Ginadi smiling and once again beautifying Hebron for all of us.

He is in life-threatening condition. Please pray *right now* for Ginadi Chaim Notah Ben Reiah Rachelגנדי חיים נוטה בן רעיה רחל

May our prayers be heard, may HK”B shower him with Rachamim.deborah mayer

THE LIVING WELLS presents an evening of inspiration and Hip-Hop Doors open at 7:45 PM, and the show starts at 8:15 PM. Tickets are just 25 NIS in advance by e-mailing or 30 NIS at the door.