Friday, November 30, 2012

And the Celebration Winner Is....

What to say this beautiful day in Israel? Getting ready for Shabbat~ almost time to light the candles~ and meditating on G-d's total faithfulness. In spite of this past couple of weeks of attacks and sirens and now the U.N. making decisions that are not theirs to make~ we look ahead to the reality of our lives:

At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the LORD, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the name of the LORD. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts. Jer 3:17

 Praying that each of you has a marvelous, totally restful Shabbat.

We didn't forget~  The winner of the 2nd Anniversary of The 2 Spies Blog gift basket is..... (drum roll please)
~Mike M.~

You earned it buddy~ Faithfully checking in EVERY day~  WOW~  Be sure to email us your mailing address. We'll get your goodies to you this next week.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Line is Drawn

A line has been drawn in the sand.... where will you stand? 

This is a totally fake photo, but the  question is: Where do you stand?

Of course there is more to standing with Israel than posting a photo on the internet. It has been harder and harder to straddle line and if there are those of you who still are.... you can only stretch so far before you fall. The time is now too make the quality decision to stand WITH Israel. No matter what the cost.

If you are Jewish, the ultimate stand is to come home to Israel. To make Aliyah~ this includes you Mark. 

If you are Gentile (Christian), the short list to stand with Israel
(1) To pray for Israel. 
(2) To help carry her people on your shoulders. 
(3)To comfort Israel. There is so much more.

We are in the day when the decision must be made~
The L-rd will bless those that bless Israel and curse those that curse her. 

Only two camps. With a very wide line down the middle.

(1)Ps 122: 6-9  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May those who love you be secure. 7 May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels." 8 For the sake of my brothers and friends, I will say, "Peace be within you." 9 For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your prosperity.

(2)Isaiah 49:22 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: "See, I will beckon to the Gentiles, I will lift up my banner to the peoples; they will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their shoulders.  

(3) Isaiah 40:1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.

(4) Genesis 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."

A Day Away From the War

Today was a marvelous Israeli style Fall day. No rain. Lovely temperatures. A day begging to be enjoyed. And with all the tension surrounding our lives because of the shelling, we needed a bit of R&R. So, we decided it was time to take some grandchildren to the zoo. Jerusalem has a great zoo. The problem for us is that it is usually toooooo hot for us to really enjoy it. So a day like today was going to be quite a gift. That added to the fact that it was a school day, it should be pretty empty.

Wrong. As we pulled into the over-flowing parking lot, we were flabbergasted at how busy the zoo was. We had another Israel-reality-check. The South is being bombarded  with rockets. No school there. Too much trauma going on. It looked like the whole of the South came to the zoo for the day~

Later we read in The Yeshiva World News:

What’s wrong with this picture? It looks like a beautiful day at the zoo! The problem is that it’s early December and these children should be in school. They would be if their schools had not been closed due to the barrage of rockets that has bathed southern Israel over the last week. ... estimates are that there were seven to ten thousand visitors in the zoo today, most of them from southern Israel. “This is what the zoo looks like during summer vacation or Chol Hamoed. We never see these numbers this time of year.”

The 2 Spies can personally attest to the fact that there were 7 -10,000 people at the zoo. The amazing thing was, it was so calm and peaceful and quiet. Every place we went it didn't seem to be so crowded. We figured it was because the people weren't there only to see the animals~ which would bring a LOT more activity going from exhibit to exhibit with lines and even pushing. The people were there for a lovely QUIET day out. Lots of strolling and picnicking going on. 

The down-side is that Jerusalem had another siren go off. What does it look like in a place like the zoo~ with lots of open areas~ when a siren goes off? Like this
The 2 Spies happened to be in one of the animal houses and didn't even hear the siren. We didn't even know there had been one until one of our family members called to make certain that we were alright. We so appreciate that our little ones did not have to have their day marred with the fear that follows the blast.
 We are thanking God that we can see in big ways and small that He is watching over us.

Monday, November 19, 2012

FOX News ~ Bringing the Truth

There is so much happening. The 2 Spies are out of words and almost out of energy. Going to turn it all off for a few minutes and just dwell in Tehillim (Psalms). We do want to share this with you. 
No explanation. This video says it all. Thank you FOX News.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Shavua Tov!

We want to thank everyone for their outpouring of concern, prayers and support.  It strengthens us for our task at hand.

We were quite surprised when the sirens went off on Shabbat ~ just after candle lighting! At first we thought it might be a 'mistake'. We went to our safe room anyway and waited for news. As most of you know it wasn't a mistake... shelling did reach the outer areas of Jerusalem.

That siren was, for us, a greater wake-up call. While we were waiting we began discussing if we are REALLY ready. On so many fronts we are. But in many small ways we are not. We recently moved into a much larger place with the impression that it would be needed to be a refuge for others. Those who live in the areas where the alarms are continually going off need a break every now and then. So we began making a list of what we would need in order to comfortably invite people in. Beds was first on the list. (we did get two just tonight )

On Shabbat Day, I met a lady who had come to Jerusalem from S'derot for just such a respite. She has 3 children and they really needed a break~ and a good night's sleep. Imagine her shock when the siren went off. 

It turns out that she is the wife of one of the men who works for Hands of Mercy (see the recent blog). I had been thinking last week of calling them to see if anyone down there needed to come.... and now here this precious lady was~ After talking and sharing for a while, I invited her to come stay with us next trip.

As I went for my walk this evening, it struck me how these days we are in are so in line with our Hebrew names.... one of our names means 'Miracles' in Hebrew and the other name had written about her that she was placed where she was "for such a time as this". A real sense of walking in our Destiny.

On that note... we will say again~ toda raba for your support,  Shavua Tov and good night.

Esther~ born Hadassah~ Queen of Persia

Friday, November 16, 2012

Protect Our Men at Arms

(Today's blog is dedicated to our dear friend CR as her precious Yishai has gotten his call-up. I remember well dear Sister what it is like. Hugging you.)

Things have escalated here. Most of you already know that as you are following the news closely. And praying along with us. We appreciate your support and concern.

Because of the escalation, 16,000 reserve soldiers have been called to duty. Possibly more since the sirens have gone off in Jerusalem this evening. War here is an amazing process to watch. Our leaders make decisions like no other country in the world.

Hamas has placed their 'launch pads' in highly populated areas not caring who gets hurt. In order to minimize civilian causalities, the IDF has dispersed warning leaflets above several locations in the Gaza Strip. This video is from Thursday, Nov. 15, over Khan Yunis.

The Arabic leaflet reads: "Important announcement for the residents of the Gaza Strip: For your own safety, take responsibility for yourselves and avoid being present in the vicinity of Hamas operatives and facilities and those of other terror organizations that pose a risk to your safety. Hamas is once again dragging the region to violence and bloodshed. The IDF is determined to defend the residents of the State of Israel. This announcement is valid until quiet is restored to the region. Israel Defense Forces Command."

Rather than fire random missiles into Gaza in an attempt to stop this onslaught and the cowardly rain of rockets from there into Israel, the IDF is preparing to send precious soldiers in on foot in order to spare Gazan civilians. IDF commanders began Friday morning to brief their troops in advance of a possible ground operation in Gaza.

As parents who had 2 sons who served, we well remember... please join with us in offering continual prayer for our precious sons and husbands.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hands of Mercy

Before we begin today's 'good report' from S'derot we want to remind everyone that November is
The 2 Spies 2nd anniversary and we are having a Celebration. We will be giving away a basket of Israeli goodies. To find out how you can win click here.

Someone has asked us what is in the basket. Let's just leave it as a surprise~ although after enjoying so many tastes of tea this week we feel certain that there will be some Wissotzky's Tea!

Yesterday's post was about the rockets pounding Southern Israel from Gaza. (to read click here). We promised we would share today 'A' positive side of the situation there.

As we know from the Tanach G-d is always taking horrible situations and turning them into something for our benefit. The example that comes to mind is the story of Joseph~ whose brothers sold him into slavery. We know that he was later used to safe the family of Jacob and turn what his brothers meant for evil into something good. 

We are presented with situations daily that are evil with the challenge to bring something good~ and Holy~ into that area. In Sderot there is a group that is doing just that.

'Hands of Mercy' is a group that began during the intifada to help those who had suffered under terror attacks~ civilians and soldiers alike. Bringing encouragement, support and finances when necessary Yishai Reinhart ( a Vietnam Veteran) and his volunteers faithfully visited hospital and homes~ day and night.

The 'Hands of Mercy' team courageously moved their center from Jerusalem into the heart of S'derot  in order to begin a vitally needed family crisis-assistance facility. "Tents of Victory" became a most fitting name for their center, in honor of The Almighty who has so faithfully has provided His great deliverance against our enemies.

The staff of  Hands of Mercy is busy with different projects from clothing distribution, to soup kitchens, emergency food packages, school lunches, home industries for those who have no work, therapy projects and offering entertainment for the children who spend too much time in bomb shelters.

Volunteer Cooks for the Soup Kitchen
"Hands of Mercy"

Yisha Reinhart & Tzvi with 'survival boxes'

Volunteers eating after the guests have finished

Portable bomb shelter

Hands of Mercy Victory Garden~ Veggies for the neighbors

Clothing Distribution

Cottage industry

The 2 Spies have visited Hands of Mercy several times. (One of those times was when we had to run for the bomb shelter) We are amazed at the diligence and faithfulness of each of the members and their great compassion for their neighbors.

If you are interested in helping click here

The 2 Spies

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

100 Rockets

We have had a marvelous couple of days of pouring rain~ What a wonderful way to begin our winter. With being inside nursing our colds since Thursday it's sometime hard for The 2 Spies to remember that there are other things happening in Israel.

The major happening is the shelling from Gaza into Southern Israel. This is not a new occurrence but over the weekend there were more than 100 rockets. It is easy to limit our imaginations as to what it must be like to live in such an area as S'derot.  The 2 Spies were visiting S'derot a few years ago (during the war with Gaza). The "צבע אדום" ( 'tzeva adom') alarm went off. Praise G-d we were parked right next to a reinforced bus stop~ which makes it an emergency shelter. They use a woman's voice to not be as frightening, but it is, to me, a little more creepy. The impact of the shell was deafening and there was more than one.

Just that one time experience has moved our hearts for the people of S'derot and the Southern regions who have lived under this threat for years. Remember, Israel forced 13,000 people out of their homes and gave the area away in order to broker peace.

We want to share this short video with you to give you an idea of what it is like. ( You will hear the woman's voice as the alarm) Please forgive the starkness (and language). Also our diversion from our usual positive report. If you come back tomorrow we will share a positive side of this situation~ and a way that you can help.

In the meantime, please pray for these precious people.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Wissotzky Tea

It's raining~ It's been raining all day~  Marvelous, pounding dripping rain, and blowing wind to go along with it. We are rejoicing of course as we always need rain. We are also very happy that we did not have to go out in it today. It made for a very cozy Yom Rishon (Sunday) which was a blessing as The 2 Spies are sick~ very sick.

We are not complaining. We understand that each time we catch this particular type of sickness (all kinds of sinus 'stuff' ) it is because we are so very blessed. We have 10 grandchildren within kissing & hugging distance which means.... sometimes they share with us.

So, out comes the tea. Lots of tea.  When we first moved here there was only one brand of tea. Wissotzky. And they had only one type of tea. A black tea that ,to us, was rather weak. The company was started in Russia in 1849 and 'made Aliyah' in 1936. (We don't know if it made Aliyah that year but that is the year that someone started the first plant here in the Land) It was 'the' tea of choice back then.

This company has expanded their selection of teas and the quality so much that The 2 Spies pretty much drink only Wissotzky tea. (Hunny still likes his Lipton) There are herbal infusion, floral leaf collections, chai, green teas and more. So many lovely choices. And when one is sick.... choice is a comfort.

We find it amazing how a tea company can show the growth and flourishing of a country. In '36 we were a pioneer country. In the ealry 90's (when The 2 Spies first came) there were more innovations and a bit of growth. During those years any industry was a foundling and gamble.

With the increase of population, innovation and wealth there is so much more available to our 'Start-up Nation'. Down to a marvelous choice of something so simple as tea. We find it all quite amazing.

This is the tea this Spy is enjoying as I write....
and is also the tea in this lovely video. Gotta love a company that values Motherhood~ Enjoy~

PS Don't foget to enter to win the Celebration give-away~
Click here for more information

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans Day 2012

Today is Veterans Day in the United States~ a day to honor and thank all who are or have been in the armed forces, who daily guard American freedom. 

The 2 Spies grew up in an area that had a high concentration of military~ Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force bases and posts made up our neighborhoods. There were many veterans in both our families and today we would like to honor them and the many others who gave their time, health and lives to give us a marvelously free country to grow up in. For this we will always be eternally grateful.

Husband's Father~ United States Army ~ WWI~ Battle of Argonne France

My Father~ United States Navy~ WWII~ Okinawa, Japan

Husband's Uncle (after whom he was named)~ United States Army~ WWII~ Battle of the Bulge (died there~ awarded the Medal of Honor)

My Husband~ United States Army~ Korea

Our Sons~ Israel Defense Forces~ Communications & Paratrooper

Much appreciation to these men and to our many close friends who served and are still serving.

Don't forget to read yesterday's blog and see how to join in our 2 year celebration!

Saturday, November 10, 2012


We have passed our 2 year mark~ We have so enjoyed the joy and the challenge of bring a 'good report' that we are going to celebrate with you, our readers.

 To celebrate we are going to give a gift package of wonderful products from the Land to one of our readers. (We did this last year and had such fun with it)

Now the big question: How do you participate?

Each time you participate, your name will go on a ticket which is put into the 'hat'. 
The winner will be announced November 30. 

Here's how you get your 'tickets':

1. Beginning today~ leave a comment below on this blog. Maybe tell us what you've enjoyed. Or how you found us. BUT be sure to leave your first name. We will post every day (except Shabbat) until November 29. Stop by and leave a comment each day. Each comment = 1 'ticket'

2. Go to 'The 2 Spies' Facebook page and post a comment.
Each day you post = 1 'ticket'

3. Send us an email:  1 email= 1 'ticket'

On November 30 all the tickets will be put into the hat and one of The 2 Spies cute grandchildren will pull the winning name~ 

We are looking forward to reading your comments!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Surprises Coming Soon

Yesterday, November 8, was  the two year anniversary of 
"The 2 Spies"
It's hard to believe that it has been two years already~
How much we have enjoyed sharing the Land with you and reading your comments and thoughts. We are looking forward to this next year to see what new adventures we will have and what other good reports we can bring you.
In the meantime....
We are planning a surprise so be sure to check back after Shabbat and see what's happening!

Shabbat Shalom