Daily Archives: January 10, 2018

Post 459: Knitting several capes- Dates for May Events in Baka, Pesach Sheini event, and finally Moe Berg, a Renaissance Jewish Hero-movie was released about him this year-The Catcher Was a Spy

The following is old winter news, written during a visit to  America. Reading it over now just reinforces my feelings of joy at returning to Israel. The Haitus rekindled my knitting interest.

Now guys out there, please refrain from pressing that delete button. Starting up where one left off in fine manual skills is easy. 90 ear olds are puttering, sculpting in wood.  Following a plan.

It has been 65 years since I learned to knit. Guys and gals, did you make yards of intestinal shaped knitted looking snakes that jumped out of the center of wood spools ringed with nails on top?

I collected spare wool yarn from my neighbors and my father (O.B.M.) taughtt me to “snake knit” working across a nail-studded empty thread wood spool that he punched 6 nails into. By pulling wool across the nail and looping it, a knit stitch was created at every nail.

We called the result a useless snake. This effort was boring. Can’t remember the working implement,  a paper clip?

Before that, my father (O.B.M.) set up bleached bland potholder loops across a red metal frame. That was a loom.  A  metal hook came in the loom box to loop up and over the loops.

That loom was primitively slow just like doing embroidery.  My stash of spare wool yarn grew. Not off the subject of knitting is squirreling away bales of wool or craft supplies for that future project. Knitters can’t suffer to part with the ghosts of years past. Woven into those masses are dreams and hopes.

During that last trip, my knitter aquaintances met around a table in an old bank converted to a knitting “studio”. That’s what a yarn shop is called today. A lady, in her 80’s had moved from Chevy Chase to an Independent Living Facility. her downsizing from a huge home to 3 rooms.  She admitted her yarn stash is concealed in her breakfront. Come to think of it, a good place to hide some cash.

Her project was patchwork squares.

The local girl’s yeshivah has a knitters group. Did she think of giving her pile to a good cause? She took the information to connect with the school.

At about 10  mom taught me how to knit.  My older brother is wearing a vest of hers in a photo,  She introduced me to a yarn shop where we bought multicolored thread and cross stitch patterns.  That’s where at 15 years of age, my first 4-ounce skeins from giant cartons were purchased in a shop on Rutland Road in Brooklyn.

Thirty years later, my greatest satisfaction didn’t derive from a  plain wool sweater that I I knitted, but rather that I was able to follow the instructions. The color choices were limited to maroon, charcoal grey, black and bottle green.  There were no knitting magazines at that time.

The owner of the knitting shop was shown a photo from Seventeen magazine and after a few  crucial examining minutes added numbers to a crude outline for cast on, cast off, and rows. I liked that every few lines a number was in brackets to indicate the exact number of stitches remaining on the needle. That way I knew that I was  correctly following her handwritten instructions.

The following is my first American project. Each wool skein change colors. In other words, it is variegated. The border is Angora. There is a collar, while the instructions did not call for a collar. This was risky, but the instructions left me no choice. There was a lack of detail in the instructions.  No written roadmap in brackets. The yarn is magnificent but not forgiving about being ripped out. My collar is in a different place than in the instruction photo.

Cheryl is from the Knitting circle.


Svetlana’s Shop: in Sandy Spring Maryland: https://sooriginal.com/

The photos of the woman proudly showing off their handiwork is charming. I prefer to have the work speak for itself. Svetlana has many devoted students. Hopefully, her site will expand the business.

  1. The idea of knitting a cape only occurred to me when temperatures tumbled in Silver Spring Maryland. The above one is upside-down. Svetlana”s wool was replaced by scraps.  Above is the result..This is so dazzling. The yarn comes colored throughout. No need to change yarn. The bottom photo is a cape that a friend knitted. Working on circular needles opens up endless possibilities. 

The last image and the one at the top differ in the color range.  Svetlana is a master of color. Observe the forest green used twice and in mine, the grey is used twice in the first. Notice the cape with a maroon color repeated earlier in the post.

This is very much the method of a landscape painter, juxtaposing one color against another.

In the above: What started out as a baby blanket became a bolero jacket.  The last is a cape using a “Brioche” stitch that I learned from Svetlana. I didn’t use the Noro yarn, which costs close to $50.00 for my first cape.

All of my creations have come in handy as we are experiencing a lengthy wet winter preceding a glorious Spring.

Following are announcements concerning  Jerusalem Events:

Culture Under the House
The event will take place next Thursday, 3/5, between 17: 30-19: 00 in the central park at the HaMikabat (Justice Haim Cohen Street).

Next Culture Below Events:
On Wednesday, 9/5, at the Grove Garden in the Talpiot-Arnona neighborhood (4 Barzilai St.).
On Wednesday, May 16, at Gidon Park in the Baka neighborhood (where the event was postponed on 11/4).
On Wednesday 23/5, in the community garden at Makor Haim (Ben Dov Street).

We will be happy to see you in pleasant spring weather,
Community Council of Greater Baka

מינהל קהילתי בקעה רבתי, יששכר 3, בקעה, ירושלים
טל: 02-6734237 02-6733485 (שלוחה 0) פקס: 02-6718291

פייסבוק   baka@matnasim.org.il


WhatsApp Image 2018-04-25 at 15.30.13

Reb Yehuda Katz will be joining us in song along with words of Torah with Reb Leibish Hundert

Pesach Sheni is all about second chances. Bring some matzos, some wine, and a story or dvar Torah about a second chance, about never giving up.

*This event is open for men and women ~ bring all of your closest friends!

Sunday, April 29th
7:00 PM – 11:00 PM
15 Be’er Sheva Street

“Moe” Berg: Sportsman, Scholar, Spy


Moe Berg as catcher for the Washington Senators (from 1932 - 34)

Above: Moe Berg as catcher for the Washington Senators (from 1932 – 34)

Morris “Moe” Berg, a professional baseball player who also served his country as an intelligence officer, lived a life many can only dream of. A true Renaissance man, Berg graduated from Princeton University, passed the New York State bar exam and learned eight languages.

After graduating from college in 1923, Moe played 15 seasons of major-league baseball as a shortstop, catcher and coach. Pictured are his cards as coach of the Boston Red Sox in 1940 and as catcher for the Washington Senators (from 1932 – 34).

Mixing Baseball and Intelligence

Berg’s entrance into the field of intelligence began when he, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and other baseball greats formed an all-star team and traveled to Japan in the mid-1930s for exhibition games. Proficient in Japanese, Berg talked his way into one of the tallest buildings in Tokyo. He climbed to the rooftop alone and used a movie camera to film the capital city’s shipyards. Reportedly, the US used Berg’s footage to plan bombing raids over Tokyo in World War II.

OSS Intelligence Career Highlights

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Berg initially joined the White House’s new Office of Inter-American Affairs but left for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in 1943. He became a paramilitary officer and carried out various intelligence operations in Europe, including parachuting into Yugoslavia to evaluate resistance groups there.

By 1945 Berg had been tasked to determine whether Nazi Germany was close to having a nuclear weapon.  Using his language skills and charm, he managed to locate and chat with Werner Heisenberg, a top physicist in the Third Reich. Berg accurately determined that the answer was “no.”

Berg stayed with the OSS until it dissolved in 1945. Afterward, he served on the staff of NATO’s Advisory Group for Aeronautical Research and Development.

Moe Berg as coach of the Boston Red Sox in 1940

Moe Berg as coach of the Boston Red Sox in 1940

A Word from Berg Before his death in 1972, Berg said, “Maybe I’m not in the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame like so many of my baseball buddies, but I’m happy I had the chance to play pro ball and am especially proud of my contributions to my country. Perhaps I could not hit like Babe Ruth, but I spoke more languages than he did.”

The baseball cards pictured here are held in the CIA Museum’s collection.


Post 458: If you are a resident of NYC you might want to try the new and improved Senior Centers, such as the Lenox Hill Neighborhood Center and the Manny Cantor Senior Center at the Educational Alliance

The Center @ Lenox Hill Neighborhood House provides an unparalleled experience for older adults in Manhattan and is open 365 days a year from 8:00am to 8:00pm. Membership is free and you must be a New York City resident, sixty and over, to be eligible to apply. The Center leverages Lenox Hill Neighborhood House’s existing resources and facilities – Health and Wellness, Fitness and Aquatics, Legal Advocacy, Food Services, Visual and Performing Arts, Adult Education and more – to offer a full calendar of daily programming for more than 2,500 active members, serving an average of 250 clients each day. The Center serves three non Kosher meals a day every day of the year. The Neighborhood House is a leader in the farm-to-institution movement, providing fresh, healthy, and locally-sourced food to members. In addition, the Center offers members a packed offering of 15 to 20 activities daily. Current offerings include three to five fitness classes daily; language classes, arts, crafts, and culture; games; 8-week computer classes; additional technology offerings;  for membership:


There are other such Senior Centers in Manhattan. If you have not been to the new Educational Alliance it is worth the trip. The Educational Alliance, is now called the Manny Cantor Center.

The Educational Alliance features prominently in the Social Realism Movement. During the early 20th Century, the Alliances art class instructors promoted the Ashcan School whose members include Peter Blume, Adolph Gottlieb, Louise Nevelson, Barnet Newman, Mark Rothko and Max Weber.
Some of the original artworks by Chiam Soyer are on the new Art School walls.

Undeniably, the Art School does not control as much space in the building as when I was a student in 2001. The glorious floor to ceiling windows are gone. The expansive  windows are part of the senior dining room.
There is no membership fee for the senior center.
A visit to New York includes many offerings thru the Senior Center network. Aladin is offered thru the Hudson GUILD. I saw Hot Mess at the Jerry Orbach Theater.

I don’t know which came first : The idea of fluidity in sexual identity, or the portrayal of it’s expanding boundaries on the stage.

The traditional drama is there: character, story, problem, climax and resolution.

Just as in The Every Man plays, the character speaks to his foil.

I Also visited a Chinese super grocery on Main Street in Flushing called C. H. Supermarket 40-33 Main Street.

Main Street Queens near the 7 train has been described to me as China without the travel.