Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Little Slice of Life

Just checking in with normal lovely life here in the Land... It's been a marvelous Spring with family and friends. The weather has been gloriously perfect... no more winter... no true heat yet. The flowers are marvelous and lots of tasty fresh fruits and veggies to make our meals complete! Sharing the happiness... and some photos today.
Vered HaGalil Sunset

At Cesarea

Tel Dan

3 Year Old's Bracha from Saba

Wild Ocean that day

At the Israel Museum

Flag Football :-)

Family boat fun

Helping with the sack race

Tadaa!  Her first quilt!  (She's only 5 )

Friday, April 27, 2012

Israel at 64

In celebrating the birth of our Nation, it is so fitting to remember that it was not our might that brought it about. Our existence was and always will be founded only on the total faithfulness of our G-d to keep His promise to Avraham. His love for His creation ~man~ caused Him to want to have a relationship with us. He sought us out. He made a way to show Himself to us. He continues to seek after us and wrap His great love around us.

Israel is 64. However, Israel is eternal. Always in the Heart of the Creator. From before time. Until the end of time. We have been allowed a glimpse of that eternity and been blessed to enjoy this marvelous Land. For this we are eternally grateful.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

' Our Brothers, Our Home'

"We mourn those who lost their lives for our country on Yom Hazikaron, and we celebrate the incredible country that we are honored to live in on Yom Haatzmaut. This is a tribute to our soldiers - who live and die for the country we are so proud to call home"

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Arab IDF Soldier: 'I Wanted to Defend the Country

East Jerusalem man, whose community doesn’t know he is in the army, to be honored on Independence Day
For most soldiers, there is a period on their first weekend home from basic training when they strut around the neighborhood showing off their spotless dress greens, bursting with pride at the newfound maturity conferred by their uniform. That’s something that one soldier, who can only be identified as S., will never get to experience. 
As an Arab living in east Jerusalem, S. does not even bring his uniform home with him. His neighbors do not know that he serves in the army, and S. needs to keep it that way
Gov't honors Anglo brothers on Remembrance Day. On Thursday, Israel’s Independence Day, S. will be honored along with 120 other soldiers with a citation of excellence from President Shimon Peres, to honor S.’s dedication in overcoming insurmountable challenges to enlist.
“I wanted to serve, I wanted to defend the country,” said S., who cannot be identified in order to protect his safety. “I wanted to serve in order to do something good, and something good with my life.”
S. said he drifted after finishing high school, taking some university classes and working in different hotels in Jerusalem. Frustrated by the lack of opportunity in his community, S. turned to the army with hopes of becoming a career officer.
Many Beduin and Druse have served for years in the army, something that is supported and even encouraged in their communities. Israeli Arabs can also serve in the army if they choose, though there are very few that opt to do so. Even among the small minority of Israeli-Arab soldiers, S. sticks out. He said that as far as he knows, he is the only east Jerusalem Arab serving in the army.
Because the tense city is a flashpoint for violent confrontations between the security forces and Arab residents, there is even more animosity toward the army in east Jerusalem than among Israeli Arabs from the North. S. has received anonymous death threats via SMS, and he says he is not sure who could be sending them.
One of six children, S.’s immediate family and one uncle are the only people who know that he is an Israeli soldier.
Last week, two of his brothers followed in his footsteps and were also drafted into the army, something S. said brought him “great pride.”
The taciturn S. is uncomfortable talking about himself and a little bewildered by all the attention surrounding his citation of excellence. “They told me about it a month ago, it’s an honor to get to meet the president,” he said modestly.
For most soldiers, the most difficult part of being in the military is the frustrations and difficulties they face while on base. Heading home is a chance to relax and blow off steam. For S., the opposite is true. Each trip home is wrought with anxiety that someone might discover that he is a soldier. S. said his cover story is that he is studying during the week in Tel Aviv, and he even carries around a few textbooks to back up his claims.
S. serves in a Beduin unit and has been certified as an army medic. His brothers will also serve in Beduin units.
At first, it was hard being the only east Jerusalem Arab in a unit of only Beduin, S. said.
But as training progressed, his unit became more cohesive and he felt more connected to his fellow soldiers.
“The unit gives us everything, a lot of support, because there are a lot of people that come from difficult conditions,” he said.
S. does not anticipate a change in attitudes in his community toward the military anytime soon, and is doubtful that his choice to join the army will become more common in his impoverished neighborhood.
Still, S. does not regret his decision to enlist.
S. hopes to continue his studies, possibly through the army’s higher education programs, and one day become a doctor.
Before that, however, he is excited to serve as a role model for his brothers and help them through the difficulties of being a soldier in secret.
“The hardest part about this is where I live.”

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Counting the Omer

What is the Omer?
In the days of the Holy Temple, the Jewish people would bring a barley offering on the second day of Passover (Leviticus 23:10). This was called the "Omer" (literally, "sheaf") and in practical terms would permit the consumption of recently-harvested grains.
Starting on the second day of Passover, the Torah (Leviticus 23:15) says it is a mitzvah every day to "count the Omer" the 50 days leading up to Shavuot. 

This is an important period of growth and introspection, in preparation for the holiday of 
Shavuot which arrives 50 days later.

Shavuot is the day that the Jewish people stood at Mount Sinai to receive the Torah, and as such required a seven-week preparation period. The commentators say that we were freed from Egypt only in order to receive the Torah and to fulfill it. Thus we were commanded to count from the second day of Pesach until the day that the Torah was given to show how greatly we desire the Torah.

For those interested in counting the Omer, we have added an 'Omer Counter' here on the right. Tonight (Thursday April 12) will be Day 6 of the counting. We encourage everyone to enjoy this time of reflection and preparation before Shavuot.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

What to Eat??

What a wonderful time of year!  Making a Seder with friends and family. Together enjoying the beauty of G-d's promises fulfilled. Embracing another year here in the Land. Can it get any better than this??

We begin the week of Matzah. How many are still wondering 'What do I eat?'. Isn't it amazing how much of our eating revolves around 'leaven'?? But.... no worry. You can fulfill the mitzvah of eating Matzah and not feel like you are starving. Here are a couple of very easy suggestions.

Matzah Lasagna
Just make it the same as you ordinarily would substituting the noodles with Matzah.

Matzah Pizza is a favorite for us.... the matzah replaces the pizza crust, spread on the tomato sauce, add your toppings.... tadaaa.... Lunch!

Matzah Brei A wonderful breakfast treat combining eggs and wet matzah, Covered in syrup.... Yummy!

Here is a creative dessert~snack for chocolate lovers~ Matzah Almond Roca. Check under the 'Good Food' tab for the recipe~

And of course, there is just good ole Matzah~ plain, with cream cheese, melted cheddar, butter~ what is your favorite way ?

If you have a favorite Pesach recipe send it to us~ we'll be happy to share it with others.

Hag Pesach Sameach!

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Finally!  Everything has been touched, washed, shaken, bleached, and dumped. Dishes all kashered and the counters 'boiled'. Oven scoured, floors shining~ I DID IT~  I Survived the Pesach cleaning~

We just took all the family out for our traditional night before Pesach dinner. After cleaning out, we are all starving and need to make food for Pesach, so my husband took all 16 of us for a quick Israeli dinner. Afterwards everyone headed home to 'hunt' for leaven. Soon I'll go pass out for the night~ dreaming of Matzah  in all it's various forms.

Here is a song that many of you will be able to relate to. Enjoy!

Bye Bye Mr Pharaoh Goodbye!