Friday, July 25, 2014

Guest Post: SHOPPING DURING THE WAR by Janet Clare

by Janet Clare

Being glued to news sites 22/6, for weeks has depleted my food supplies, so this little piggy went to market in Jerusalem today, and here are some observations on the effects of this war .
Ma'ale Levona
First,, the bus drivers are almost all grandpas, my peer group, cuz the young ones have been called up. I was the last Ma'ale Levona person to get on the bus to Jerusalem I tottered to my seat, grabbing onto everything that was nailed down, when I noticed we weren't careening down our narrow, windy mountain road as usual since "Gramps" was waiting for me to sit before stepping on the gas. Nice. Once settled, many of the passengers hit their cell phones for the latest news, while everyone else eavesdropped and commented on the reports. The little Cohen girl in front of me read out that Brazil had closed its embassy and withdrawn its staff today and that the US State Dept. was now letting their airlines fly to Israel again. She read this to her grandmother, seated next to her in Hebrew and French. French is heard a lot now because so many have moved here after finally being convinced by the Jew-beating,/stabbing, synagogue and shop burnings that have occurred there.during the "poor Palestinian"-"Jews to the ovens" 'demonstrations'..
As soon as we arrived in the outskirts of Jerusalem, I transferred to the light-rail Every window that I could see on my side of the train had spider-web like cracks in its picture windows. Arabs had rioted in their neighborhoods of Jerusalem a few weeks ago, resulting in millions of dollars worth of damage in destroyed tracks and burnt-out stations. The lines had been fixed, but the stations not as yet rebuilt. I had heard that the trains would not be stopping in those Arab neighborhoods in the foreseeable future,, but, in fact, we did.. So much for "tough love".
All the shopkeepers , actually everyone on the streets, were so friendly and upbeat; like one big united family. 2 semi-famous Hareidi guitarists were harmonizing American pop song when I passed and without skipping a beat, sang out "Lady with the grin. We see you grinning!" I gave them a thumbs up behind my back, still grinning. My butcher at the shuk said, "Leave your heavy bags here; finish your shopping; then pick them up on the way out.." Which I did. Nice. While taking turns sitting on the 1 stool, we customers of Benzi, the meticulous, thus slow, master watch-fixer had a half-hour discussion with him about the best watches around the world,. (Surprise: China's among them) More nice encounters ensued..
On entering the central bus station for home, I encountered teens enthusiastically asking for donations (with receipts) to buy supplies for the soldiers and people were giving big! I found I had 2 hours to kill before the next bus home, (not only drivers, but our bullet-proof buses had been called up, so service to M.L. was a bit sporadic). So I went back outside to sit under a shade tree. A soldier girl sat next to me. She had been helping out at the Gaza Front, but got injured when something big (not a rocket), fell on her and broke some bones (my military Hebrew understanding is not great). So getting out of hospital, she said, with some shame, that she was further back now, cleaning weapons. I said, in my non-existent diplomatic way, "Good" I'm glad you're safer Let our warriors protect you and the People of Israel. They want to and you deserve it." I thanked her for her service to the Nation. Then said, "BTW, you were injured while honoring the Name of G-d! You've earned a lot of points Upstairs." Surprised 'non-religious' look; then big proud smile.
Then, a soldier boy sat down on my other side, so I asked were he was coming from. "The South." "Gaza?" "Not anymore. 13 guys in my Golani unit were killed by a Hamas RPG." "What happened?" "They were all in a (something big, military, but not a tank). They put an antennae up for (some computer/satellite?) connection and were spotted. Then targeted." Anyway, soldier boy had quit college in the States to come to Israel to join the IDF. He and his parents (still in the States) have lived in Philadelphia, New York, Californian, and South Carolina. So be proud of your boy, America! But he's home now. He has an Israeli girlfriend in the Golan, and an apartment he hasn't seen for 6 weeks in Jerusalem. And he's still not going to see it because he was on his way to a base to guard in the Shomron. He bids farewell as his girlfriend has shown up for 10 minutes together before he catches his bus to base.
Nearby, teens were selling IDF support bracelets, Israeli flags, and T-shirts with "Together We're Strong. We love Israel. We support the IDF'. I bought a shirt and some bracelets for my son's family in CA. They later came over and gave girl soldier a chit for some coffee and food at a young people's cafe. I had a bus to catch now so bid her farewell and of course, an invite to M.L. for R'nR (not much else in our quite village but petting zoo, grocery store and beautiful views "from the river Jordan to the sea").She agreed and wish me "Shabbat Shalom" as I do you.

Janet Clare has lived in Ma'ale Levona, Israel, which is just northwest of Shiloh, for many years. She calls herself a ""Hilltop Grandmother." 
In her words: 
But one of the most meaningful things I've ever done is to plant a garden and hold on to a bit of land in Eretz Yisrael. So that's why I like judge, prophetess, military commander Devorah's response when asked for her blurb, "I'm a mother in Israel".

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Rosh Chodesh Av on Monday, Remember Menu Change!

I've been so strongly concentrating on the fact that I'd like to have a lot of women joining us on Monday, Rosh Chodesh Av for prayers at Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh, that I forgot that Rosh Chodesh Av heralds a serious menu change, at least for Ashkenaz Jews.

Just as my husband was leaving for work and shuk (fresh produce) shopping, he asked if he would need to make his regular chicken soup for the week, something smaller or none. I had totally forgotten that for us, the first day of the month of Av means that our menu changes from a daily poultry or meat meal to that of fish or possibly cheese, yes, the "Nine Days."

Between the war, work and other important items crowding my old brain, I had totally forgotten that. Sefardic, that's North African and "Spanish" Jews only begin these restrictions on the week of Tisha B'Av, the 9th of Av, which is almost a full week later this year.

Now I have to decide whether or not to refreeze some of the thawed chicken or cook and then freeze it. I already have a lot of cooked chicken in the freezer, which means that I'm probably better off just refreezing it to cook at a later date.

Ladies, you're invited to join us at Tel Shiloh, the site of the ancient, the Biblical Tabernacle, Mishkan, where Chana successfully prayed for a son to lead the Jewish People from the anarchy of the days of the Judges to having a king. The first two Kings of the Jewish Kingdom were anointed by her son Samuel the Prophet, Shmuel HaNavi.

Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh Rosh Chodesh Av
Monday, July, 28, 2014
1st of Av 5774, 8:30am
We start dovening together with Hallel. Pray Shacharit at home or come early if possible, please.
Tour of Tel Shiloh & Dvar Torah, Short Torah Lesson
Please come and invite family, friends and neighbors

תפילת נשים ראש חודש תמוז בתל שילה
יום ב' 28-7 ב' אב תשע"ד 8:30
מתחילים את התפילה ביחד עם הלל. נא להתפלל שחרית בבית או לבוא מוקדם אם אפשר, תודה
יהיה דבר תורה קצר וסיור בתל
כדאי לבוא ולהזמין חברות, משפחה ושכנות

You're welcome to join our facebook page. Tel Shiloh is open to visitors daily. Guided tours can be arranged through the Shiloh HaKeduma, Ancient Shiloh office. Email  or phone 02-994-4019.

PS The Shiloh area is now considered among the safest in the country. We, bli eyin haraa, aren't being targeted by the Hamas Gazan terrorists. This is the time to come and enjoy Shiloh.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

52Frames Focuses on Men and Women

I really had fun with the past two 52Frames themes, or "challenges" as I refer to them. For last week we needed a picture of women or a woman. And for this week, as you can guess, I needed a man or men.

I wanted an interesting looking woman, and that's usually a euphemism for someone "elderly." I wanted someone whose face told a story. One of my neighbors fit the bill perfectly.

Don't you think so? She's a very special lady who has done many amazing things in her life. I took her picture at the local ulpan, which is once a week for Shiloh's senior citizens. By the way there are a number of weekly activities for senior citizens here which are conducted in Hebrew with translations when needed into English and Russian.

The following week, pretty obviously, I needed a picture of a man or men. A few weeks ago when I had checked out future themes and discovered it, I decided that I wanted a picture of a young father with  a baby. Then as war preparations heated up here I thought that I should take pictures of some milu'imnikim, reservists, like the ones I'd been seeing  in Yafiz buying socks and other supplies. So I took my camera to work with me, but by then no uniformed soldiers showed up. I guess they were on the front already.

I was starting to get nervous, since the deadline was quickly approaching. Then, when I was in the shoe store awaiting customers I noticed a young man walk into Rami Levy, the discount supermarket. Not only was his baby strapped onto him, the way I had envisioned, but I know the young father. I couldn't just abandon the store, but a short while later when I had a short break I rushed in to look for them. When I found them, I asked if I could take their picture. I offered to find an angle that would make him unidentifiable, but he said that wasn't a problem.

I shot a whole slew of pictures while he and the baby smiled rather consciously. Then he bent his head and gave the baby a kiss. The only problem was and is that light in the corner. So I asked him to do it again and took photos from different angles, but they weren't as nice as this one. I cropped it as much as I could, and here it is:

These two pictures have gotten the best reactions of all of the pictures I've ever taken for the group. It's going to be hard to top them.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Only in Israel: About 20,000 Attend Funeral of Sean Carmeli, HaYa"D, Lone Soldier

Sean Carmeli, HaYa"D
Yesterday morning we read about the lone soldier from the small Texas town nobody had ever heard of who had been killed in Gaza trying to destroy the Hamas terror infrastructure, Sean Carmeli. Later in the day, emails and facebook messages kept arriving in Hebrew and in English asking that people come to his funeral.

Israel values all of its soldiers; they are our children. Israeli kids are raised knowing that after high school they will be drafted. (I'm not getting into the chareidi draft issue here.) Religious girls frequently take the option to do Sherut Le'umi, National Service and volunteer in all sorts of places, schools, hospitals, memorials etc. Young men who are exempt for various medical reasons quite often petition the IDF to be accepted as official soldier volunteers and get positions suitable for them.

And then there are the new immigrants and foreign IDF volunteers who come to Israel either just to serve or knowing that their choice to be Israeli means that they will be drafted and serve in the army without a mother waiting at home to do their laundry and make sure there's hot food for them. They are the true idealists, and Sean Carmeli was one of them.

When an Israeli born and raised IDF soldier is killed, his funeral is attended by his family, childhood friends of all members, fellow students and those from the neighborhood and more. Funerals here for whomever, no matter what the reason of death, are usually humongous. Here in Shiloh, a small funeral, quickly arranged on a Friday before Shabbat can have a minimum of fifty to a hundred people, and the larger more public funerals, like the triple one for the three teenagers murdered by Arab terrorists a few weeks ago are attended by hundreds of thousands. Compare that to a very recent funeral in New Jersey for a policeman killed, Fallen Jersey City Police Detective Melvin Santiago laid to rest.
JERSEY CITY - The Jersey City police officer who was shot and killed while responding to a report of an armed robbery was laid to rest today.
Hundreds of police officers from around New Jersey and surrounding states came to St. Aloysius Church to pay their final respects to Melvin Santiago. 
IDF Staff Sgt. Sean Carmeli was laid to rest accompanied, honored by about 20,000 people.

HaMakom yenachem...
May G-d comfort his family and friends

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Few Jewish Bloggers and Lots of Opinions and Posts, Havel Havelim

Esser Agaroth has put together a great, varied and interesting Havel Havelim  this week. I highly suggest that you check out the various posts he has included.

Havel Havelim is the weekly international Jewish and Israeli blog carnival. It's possibly the oldest blog carnival in the world. It's certainly the oldest Jewish one. I've been participating for well over a decade. We are using our facebook page to organize it, volunteering to host and publicizing the weekly editions.

I'll be hosting next week's Havel Havelim and I'll also be hosting it. You can send in your links from this week before Shabbat to shilohmuse at gmail dot com with "HH" as subject, thanks.

There's another Jewish blog carnival which I started, the Kosher Cooking Carnival, which includes posts on all aspects of kosher food. We coordinate KCC on facebook, too. The big difference is that the Kosher Cooking Carnival is monthly and appears on Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of the Jewish Month. Next month is Av and begins on this coming Monday. Send your links to me at shilohmuse at gmail dot com with "KCC" as subject, thanks.

Let nobody tell you that blogging is dead. You don't have to be a blogger to enjoy blog carnivals! They are great internet magazines for all to read!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Friday Fun in Shiloh

My granddaughters didn't have to travel all that far for a fun Friday in Shiloh. They came with their mother (my daughter) to the pool, lunch and then some playground time.

We don't live all that far, and even there's a war going on in Israel, it's not in our neck of the woods. So they had some summer fun, thank G-d.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Jewish Book Review Carnival, So Much to Read!

I have this whole pile of books waiting to be read and reviewed. It sometimes takes me forever to finish reading and write a review. Right now I'm in the middle of the Gefen book about survivors of Arab terror attacks...

The July Jewish Book Review Carnival on Bagels, Books and Schmooze has my review of Saturday Night Full Moon along with lots of other book reviews.

Check it out and discover lots of interesting Jewish books to read.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Where are the Socks?

As you can see here, there are socks missing from the display here. We, meaning Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin, have been selling out of our supply of army socks. Not only do miluimnikim, IDF reserve soldiers rush in to shop for supplies like socks, towels and even pillows, but last night while I was manning the shoe store, a couple of teenage girls came in to buy a big charity care package for the soldiers. I gave them all the army socks we had, even though they weren't sure they had the budget. Then they went into the clothing department where my boss handled the rest of the order.

No doubt that our supply went to the front-lines.

May G-d conduct this war. In all honesty, I don't trust the politicians. The ordinary Israeli doesn't either. We really would like to wipe-out Arab terrorism once and for all, G-d willing.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Fashionably Israeli, Something Frilly from the New York Times

Not everyone may know this but Israel is not only an international center for high tech development, but it's a fashion powerhouse, too. Even the New York Times recognizes it.

The designer Rowan Shaaban’s clothes for Shenkar 2014. CreditRafi Daloya

Years ago I discovered that the well-dressed Israeli is more European in style than American, and now Israeli fashion has come into its own. As my regulars know, I work in a clothing store, Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin, and it's not a fancy one. But we, too, manage to put together fun to wear outfits at prices lower than the Shenkar designs and modest when need be.

Clothing I've bought myself in Hagara, Hila and Ronit Takko years ago still looks new. Of course I shop when the clothes are on sale.

Jerusalem's Machane Yehuda now also has great boutiques. This isn't the Israel of the 1950's. Take the plunge and buy gorgeous clothes.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Soup, of Course, for Breaking the Fast or Any Time

I made a large pot of soup, and it's almost gone. Just my husband and I are home to eat it, and he also got some noodles. But I didn't make anything else to break the 17th of Tammuz fast.

  • brown lentils  1/3 cup
  • split peas 1/3 cup
  • onion 1 large
  • fresh garlic a few pieces
  • carrots 4 big ones
  • squash 1
  • oil, salt and pepper to taste
Yes, those are all of the ingredients, and no, I don't measure. I can't say exactly how much of anything, but I'll try to give you an idea by giving quantities, but please don't taken them as required. You should be flexible according to what you like and what you have in the house. I was going to add fresh pumpkin, but the carrots were so big and thick, it didn't seem necessary. You can certainly decide to use more or less of the peas and lentils or just use one kind instead of both. Instead of the squash add another carrot or sweet potato or fresh pumpkin. And of course you can and probably should add fresh greens, celery or parsley. It would make a better soup. That's how flexible soup-making should and can be.
  • Check lentils and peas for bugs, stones etc.
  • Put in pot and add hot water to cover, plus, then cover and let it sit for an hour or two or more.
  • Cut up the vegetable, add to peas and lentils to cook. Also add water and oil. Reduce time by adding boiling water.
  • When they seem almost ready (soft,) add the salt and pepper.
  • Simmer a bit longer and then leave covered about a half an hour before serving.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fasting and Sleeping, Last Year I Got Up from Shiva...

Today is the 17th of Tammuz, a fast day.
The fast actually commemorates five tragic events that occurred on this date:
  1. Moses broke the tablets when he saw the Jewish people worshipping theGolden Calf.
  1. During the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem, the Jews were forced to cease offering the daily sacrifices due to the lack of sheep.
  1. Apostomos burned the holy Torah.1
  1. An idol was placed in the Holy Temple.2
  1. The walls of Jerusalem were breached by the Romans, in 69 CE, after a lengthy siege. (Three weeks later, after the Jews put up a valiant struggle, the Romans destroyed the second Holy Temple on the 9th of Av.)
  1. The Jerusalem Talmud maintains that this is also the date when the Babylonians breached the walls of Jerusalem on their way to destroying the first Temple. (
Without the help of caffeine I find myself napping a lot on a fast day. Normally I don't nap. Caffeine can override tiredness in many people. I use coffee to perk myself up when traveling. My typing and thinking are more accurate after my morning coffee. It (plus extra water) also gets the kishkes moving preventing certain digestive disorders.

I hope that the vegetable soup simmering on the stove for breaking the fast will be satisfying but not too stimulating. I must sleep well tonight.

my mother
Shirley Spiegelman
Last year on the 17th of Tammuz I got up from shiva for my mother. Since people do come to visit on that last morning I got up and put on my "shiva outfit" with the ripped shirt. I was surprised at how many friends showed up. After we talked awhile, the time came to literally get up. The custom is for someone to walk the mourner out of the house, and so my friends and I walked out together.

Later in the day I went to a neighbor for the weekly T'hillim, Psalms. It was a suitable way for a first "social" event after sitting shiva, while still in the Shloshim thirty day mourning period.

I guess that the 17th of Tammuz will now always have a different significance for me.

Monday, July 14, 2014


We don't have display windows in the Yafiz where I work, and window-dressing isn't an official job in the store, but I have become the unofficial one, yes for "windows" that don't exist.

We have these manikins of sorts, plus a couple of torsos like those on poles to look more like "people." I like to keep them in the best of style. I change their clothes when I'm bored, when we get nice new clothes in, when someone wants to buy or try on what one of my "ladies" is wearing.

Tonight I changed one of them when I realized that the only top left of the style being worn up there was the one the manikin was wearing. I then put her in the tricolored top on instead and moved her to the middle. I think that the colors all match better in "person."

Pop in to visit if you can. That's the Yafiz in Sha'ar Binyamin.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Found it!

The other day, early last week, I quickly packed up to got to Jerusalem. I put a bright turquoise sunhat on the top of my bag, but when I reached in to wear it, there wasn't a hat there. I looked up and down the street, nothing.

OK, Kaporah, I said to myself. That's a Hebrew word commonly used to mean "better this than death, injury etc."

That hat had been sitting in my house barely worn for years. I davka took it out that day, because I felt that I should have gotten rid of it years ago.   This morning I ran out to do an errand and...

.... yes, that's the hat. I left it there and hope that someone enjoys it. Kaporah...

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Parshat Pinchas Havel Havelim

cross-posted on Shiloh Musings

I hope that nobody finds this too "political," but I'm calling this edition of Havel Havelim Pinchas for more reasons that the fact that the Torah Portion Pinchas was read today in shul... G-d willing...

Paula created this HH logo, and I think it's better suited for the present war than the one usually used,
which she also designed..

I really didn't want to call this a war edition, because I'm not quite sure when the war began, and it has been going on too long. Pinchas was a strong Biblical personality who saw things in black and white. When there was something unpleasant to do, execute public sinners, he did it. And he didn't call for a committee meeting first or ask what the goyim would say. G-d rewarded him by elevating him to be a Kohen, a Priest.

Havel Havelim is the long-running weekly international Jewish blog carnival, a round-up of blog posts on Jewish and Israeli topics from blogs all over the world. It floats from blog to blog depending on who volunteers to host. We organize on our facebook page. If you're not on facebook, then I'm the contact person shilohmuse at gmail dot com. You don't have to be a blogger to enjoy, contribute to and share Havel Havelim!

Here are the posts for this week. Some were sent in to me and other I've added.
What’s New in JerusalemRed sirens any time day or night, rockets lobbed at Israeli civilians and see what a walk about in Jerusalem, Israel found.
The mystery of English place names in Israel - SOLVED. The mystery of English place names in Israel... solved at last!
Things that are weird in Israel #9: bathroom windows: What is it about bathrooms? This post shot up to the #4 most popular post on my site in under 24 hours.
English - Hebrew Civil Defense Vocabulary
Rabbi Eliyokim Levanon: Lost In Translation?
No Such Thing as a Coincidence
Parashat Pinchas: The meaning of compassion by Daniel Pinner
The Turtledove War: The Process of Kolot (Voices) in the 6th Year
Leave “International Law” to the Internationals. I’ll Take The Torah!
It's No Way to Fight a War
Walking Around the Israel Museum, Something totally unrelated to war. Enjoy!
What is NOT Allowed When Israel is Being Attacked
Always Good to Pray, Rosh Chodesh Women's Prayer Group at Tel Shiloh. Save the date.
If "The Settlements" sic are The Problem, Why are The Arabs Attacking Tel Aviv? Just one of my "dumb questions."
Stop The Disproportionate War! Cease Warning Gazans!!!
An Israeli in New York III
Helping kids deal with rocket attacks on Israel
Protecting More than the Edge

A siren is heard in the United Nations Security Council, hat tip A Soldier's Mother.

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