Friday, August 22, 2008

Race for the Cure II

Because I had such a wonderful experience last year, I am participating in the Race for The Cure again this year. If I still have any readers left, please sponsor me and help this wonderful cause.
Click here to visit my personal page.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Chocolate Makes People Happy

My aunt, Ronda, was interviewed by the Jerusalem Post. Check it out here and here!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Adorable little girl with huge talent

This adorable little girl performed so wonderfully on America's Got Talent.
What a sweetie!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


So I think I should make my aunt a guest poster on this blog. She sent me this and asked me to post it.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Aish Video - Israel: 60 years in 60 seconds

This video by is really well done, but my favorite part is the techno version of Hatikvah. :)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Israel at 60 - An Oleh's Perspective

My aunt, Ronda Israel, has been sending out updates since she and her family have made aliyah 8 years ago, this July. Here is her latest.

Happy 60th Anniversary State of Israel

6 May 2008

Dear Family and Friends,

Like with any good party planning one must invite the guests, and I did,…
make a menu, and I did, grocery shop, I got Aaron to do it, and put
everything in the refrigerator until cooking time, and I did, all 60+ hot
dogs, all 6+ pounds of chopped beef, cold cuts etc. Here in Israel
Independence day is not a celebration unless you have a bar-b-que, with
hamburgers and hot dogs and the works, which means each family has purchases
enough food to feed third world nations! And that’s just what we planned to
do except we don’t have a bar-b-q grill. Ok, no problem we can broil and
bake and make it just as festive as we watch the sunset from our
mirpeset(balcony) and hear the concert from the center of the city and
watch the fireworks over Modi’in, a perfect viewing spot for all our guests
to oooooh and aahhhhhhhh?!

The only problem with this picture perfect scenario is that this morning I
woke up to a refrigerator that was hotter inside than out , a dryer that
needed repair and a vacuum cleaner that didn’t work at all even to suck up
the lint and molted socks from the broken dryer?! Yippeee, and I just
finished having the car repaired with a new radiator and towing?. Are we
having fun yet??? This was all too much to handle as I had to be at the
Kotel this morning for a Bar Mitzvah and brunch?! So like any self
respecting Israeli woman, I called the repair people, and left my loving
husband home to deal with the men who would traipse through my house to try
to fix all my broken electronics…….or they would all go to electronics
heaven where my car radiator was probably hanging out?

On the eve of Yom HaZikaron (Day of Rememberance for Fallen Soldiers
throughout the history of Israel), followed by Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Independence
Day) I was not optimistic that I could get a new fridge delivered before the
end of the week. OY? I could not deal with this as I had to be at the Kotel
pronto, it was a simcha and it was Rosh Chodesh Iyar. The weather was to be
extraordinary and the simcha, a bar mitzvah of new immigrants from Monsey,
NY, celebrating their first Bar mitzvah of 6 children.

Upon arriving at the Kotel, I looked around and saw so many many Christian
tour groups. You could pick a language and within a couple of steps to your
right or left you could hear it spoken. It truly was an ingathering of
humanity. The problem with a simcha at the Kotel is that on the women’s
side, you often cannot hear, from the men’s side, the young boy reading
Torah or leading praying and there always seems to be a group that’s louder.
Yep, today was no exception, the group that was louder was singing their
hearts out in true Carlebach style and I was right there singing along. Lost
in the rhythm of the songs and the beauty of the moment, I was standing in
the middle of the women’s section of the Kotel. I raised my eyes heavenward
to the brightest, bluest sky, forgetting the broken fridge, vacuum, and
dryer and newly repaired car, and just stood there with open hands and
beseeching eyes. As the song “Open up the Gates of Heaven” was being sung,
the Psalm that popped into my head was “I will lift up my eyes to the
heavens from whence cometh my help. My help comes from G-d who made heaven
and earth.” And as happens to me often here in Israel there always seems to
be a response--- if you look for it. And there is was ……..4 huge jets in
formation zooming across the sky making a white and blue stream of lines in
their wake. Preparing to zoom across the heavens on Independence Day, the
Israel Defense Force’s Air Force was out practicing. But for me it was a
siman (sign). Maybe G-d was telling us that while we believe in the might of
the Lord we should also believe in the strength of our own people. Those
jets looked mighty powerful. Maybe we have lost that proud almost
chutzpahdik attitude that won the War of Independence, that won the 6 Day
War and the Yom Kippur War. Maybe we have lost our pride in our own belief
and we have kowtowed to the weaknesses of other nations. The scenario of we
win back our own promised land and then, hand the keys back to the enemy
that seeks to destroy us, should end. We allow katushas to fall on our
people as we shout never again! And we hear about bountiful Israel, the land
of Silicon Wadi and free gifts in your local supermarket and the tzedakah
stops for the poor and needy here. To live here is to be confused and to be
a candidate for high blood pressure. To live here means no day will pass
unnoticed. To be here means that at age 60 we should be proclaiming we are
really 3,060 years old because when G-d gave us this land he gave it to us
for all eternity as long as we would keep it holy for Him. If we were
celebrating 3,060 maybe the world would understand that we are not “Johnny
come latelys” just here for 60 years as interlopers in the Arab world or
occupiers of other peoples land, this land was given to us first …as in In
The Beginning. Knowing and understanding how very long we have been here
would strengthen our resolve and maybe the world’s.(Isn’t it amazing how
planes in the sky can just set one off???)

As I prepared to leave the Kotel, I turned to gather my things and there was
a blonde woman talking to my friend. She was from Finland and she and her
friend had come to Israel to celebrate the 60th Anniversary with the Jewish
People. Clearly, a religious Christian, she was expounding on the beauty of
G-d and the glory of His people coming home. She was so thrilled to be here
and exuded such warmth and humility. There were loads of others just like
her in the area where we were standing. People who had come from all over
the world to celebrate the Anniversary of the State of Israel and they
thanked us for being here. Wow, I felt good! Regardless of her agenda it
was quite a good feeling. My phone rang and there was reality, my husband
who had to get to work not able to stay for repairmen coming later in the
day. Oh boy!

On my way home every lamp pole held an Israeli flag and every building held
billboards wishing everyone a Chag Sameach (happy holiday). On the bus home
to Modi’in I saw buildings going up all over the place--growth, parks,
trees, people, roads and Jews coming home. What a good day!

Upon reaching my house I inspected the broken appliances and soon, the
repairmen started appearing at my door. One by one they repaired, made a
mess and left. The dryer was fixed, the refrigerator was fixed. The vacuum
was still broken, the chopped meat was spoiled and the milk not good. All
small prices to pay for a glorious day. The 3,060th Anniversary party would
go on and we would revel in the amazing fireworks special for the 60th
celebration. We, the Israeli population, will down a few good hot dogs, eat
yummy watermelon, feast on hamburgers and chips and a ton of houmous,
becoming stronger in the belief in ourselves and our place in the world as
we make that L’chaim---“ to Israel and the next 3,060 years?!?! “

with love,

The Israels in Israel, now in our 8th year!

Friday, April 04, 2008

One Good Thing About a Rainy Day

Rainy days in NY are no fun, but one nice thing is seeing little girls on the subway with the most adorable rain boots, like these or these. It made me smile :)

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Stranger

I tried to find the original author but could not.

Hattip: My sister

The Stranger

A few years after I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new to our
small Clover, South Carolina town. From the beginning, Dad was
fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live
with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from
then on.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young
mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary
instructors: Mom taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey.
But the stranger... he was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound
for hours on end with adventures, mysteries, and comedies.

If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he
always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even
seemed able to predict the future!

He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me
laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad
didn't seem to mind.

Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing
each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the
kitchen for peace and quiet. (I wonder now if she ever prayed for the
stranger to leave.)

Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the
stranger never felt obligated to honor them. Profanity, for example,
was not allowed in our home... not from us, our friends or any
visitors. Our longtime visitor, however, got away with four-letter
words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush.

My dad didn't permit the liberal use of alcohol. But the stranger
encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look
cool, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (much too
freely) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes
suggestive, and generally embarrassing.

I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced
strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my
parents, yet he was seldom rebuked... And NEVER asked to leave.

More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our
family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he
was at first. If you could walk into my parents' den today, you would
still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to
listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures. His name?

We just call him "TV."

He has a wife now...We call her "Computer".

* *Note: This should be required reading for every household in America!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Animal Visitor of the Day

In the continuing series of "Sara has the most fun at work", my co-worker brought in his 8 week old puppies today. We had a good time playing with them and they even joined us at a meeting! They joined the ranks of other exciting TV Guide visitors, the tiger and the baby bear.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Globbing for Charity

I don't have a lot of time, but I just had to glob, because Diana is donating $1 for this post to Ahavas Yisrael and Shoshana is matching that! If you didn't think that Diana was a mitzvah girl before she came up with this terrific idea, she certainly is now. Tizki L'Mitzvot, Princess!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Sleep Meme

I was tagged by Diana, so here goes...

1. How much sleep do you get on an average night?
7 (in a perfect world)
2. Is that enough sleep for you?
3. At what time do you normally go to sleep and wake up?
11 PM - 5:55 AM
4. Do you usually fall asleep right away or have trouble?
Depends on what I had going on that day and how sleep deprived I am
5. What size bed do you have?
6. How many pillows do you use?
7. In what position do you sleep?
8. Do you need it to be quiet or dark to sleep?
As dark & quiet as possible, but if I'm really tired I can fall asleep with the light on. Noise, not so much
9. Do you use earplugs or an eye mask?
No way
10. Have you ever used a sleeping aid long-term?
11. Do you use headgear, a night retainer, or a biteplate?
Never, I have perfect teeth :)
12. What do you normally wear to bed?
In the winter, flannel or fleece PJs, in the summer, t-shirt and shorts
13. Do you frequently fall asleep in your clothing?
14. Do you prefer a heavy or light blanket?
My down comforter
15. Do you prefer warm or cool PJs?
My apt right now is pretty cold so I wear warm PJs, but generally I will lean towards cooler PJs
16. Do you wear socks to bed?
No, unless I'm FREEZING
17. What is your bedtime routine?
Wash face, brush teeth, go to the bathroom, plug in cell phone, turn on alarm clock, say Shema. Read, if I'm not exhausted, otherwise fall into bed
18. Do you listen to music when you’re falling asleep?
19. Have you sucked your thumb in recent years?
20. Do you still sleep with your childhood blankie/teddy?
I gave up the teddy bear pretty early on, IIRC
21. Do you snore?
22. Do you sleeptalk or sleepwalk?
23. Do you wake up to use the bathroom often?
24. What things inhabit your bed aside from a blanket and pillow?
25. What kind of alarm clock do you use?
Standard clock radio
26. Do you ever wake up before your alarm?
I'd say between 30-50% of the time
27. Do you frequently take naps?
Only on Shabbas
28. Have you ever slept ‘under the stars’?
Not that I remember, but possibly at overnight camp
29. Can you fall asleep on a bus, train, or airplane?
Not really. On a long flight I will take a sleeping pill and then I can usually get in a couple of hours
30. Have you ever fallen asleep and missed your stop?
No - I am super neurotic on the train

And last, but not least,
31. Over the course of a lifetime, the average person swallows six spiders in his/her sleep. How many do you think you're up to?
Spiders?? Ewwwww!!!!!

ipaytoomuchformyhair, consider yourself tagged :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Terrific Oprah clip

How sweet is this couple? What an amazing story.