Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Chanukah is Over...War is not.

War continues
There is nothing else on people’s mind but the war situation. TV constantly showing on the news, radio updating every significant event (in addition to the regular every hour update), newspapers & people at work talking about it. It is a true concern for the entire country and very scary for all those in the south.
Let’s hope for a quick resolution and end to terrorism.
Thanks for all your emails and thinking about us here.

Chanukah is over with full strength
The last day of Chanukah is the brightest of all with all 8 candles lit. It was also bright at home since we had many people to celebrate my mother in law’s birthday as well as Chanukah. We had a great time, it was great meeting many of my in-laws friends. We ordered also a giant pizza just like in Batya’s birthday but this time we asked for a Chanukiya on the Pizza. I could see how happy my mother in law was and that made us happy too.
We also had Ilan gan’s (kinder) Chanukah party. Nothing as elaborate as Batya’s but it was very nice to see Ilan singing in Hebrew.
It has been very nice to have all this company at home. The kids are also happy to see them all. They have been touring around many sights, museums, meeting friends, etc. We are all traveling tomorrow and Friday to the north (not the south), we are staying at a Kibbutz were Grandma’s friend lives. I’m really looking forward to a couple of days far from work.
This was a very significant Chanukah for me, throughout the day I was reminded of the holiday, I ate in average probably 2 sufganiot daily (Chanukah Doughnuts), several parties, the kids celebrating it beautifully at school, wishing everyone at work daily happy hanukah, and being in Modiin the same place were the Maccabim (Chanukah hereos) lived.

See below the many pictures from last week. Also to the right look for the latest Youtube videos to see Ilan’s Chanukah party and the birthday/Chanukah party.

I’ve got to show off some of my work at work :) It’s all in Hebrew but it still looks cool.

Take a look at our product’s renewed website

Oh yeah… Happy new Year. 2009……

Monday, December 29, 2008

War in the South - The Modern Maccabeam

Not to worry we are all doing fine. We are with the good guys. :)

Although we are far from the Gaza strip I must admit that I do feel a little nervous. The truth is that nothing is really far from anything in this Eretz Haktana (little land) especially when you live right in the middle of the country.

In addition to the attacks in the Gaza strip in response to rocket attacks to Israeli civilians in the South, there has been a lot of smaller incidents all around the country from which 2 of them hitting very close to Modiin. A stabbing Arab worker in Modiin-Ilit in the town of Kiryat Sefer (about 15 minutes from here) and stone throwing on route 443 (road from Modiin to Jerusalem).

We are all trying to be careful but exactly how? People continue to live their own lives as usual, except for those in the south that are really affected by the latest rocket attacks in their cities.

Yesterday 6,500 reservists were approved to be called to duty. We saw many more people wearing their uniforms on the streets and in their cars going to their military bases.

I recently came across an interesting blog following the war live (now that's a Blog)
Thanks Steff for the site and the heads up on route 443 (actually all the family took that road today to get to and from Jerusalem).

The last day of Chanukah was celebrated last night and today. We celebrated our freedom as the Maccabeam fought for the freedom of our religion, culture and land. Today my heart and prayers are with our modern day Maccabeam who under the Israeli army are fighting against terror to keep our cities safe and bring peace to our region.

Keep tuned for a post on yesterdays Chanukah/mother in law birthday party.

Stay safe and may all your prayers help bring peace to the land of Israel and all its surroundings.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Holidays - Work on Dec. 25

Happy holidays to everyone.

Our Chanuka has been wonderful. Everything is so festive, there are chanukiot everywhere. We have family visiting and thank G’d a full house with my inlaws, sister in law, grandma & cousin, it’s great seeing them all and celebrating chanuka together. We are all looking forward to having a great time together. As you can see I have reset the countdown for the next family visit end of January, we are very excited to have Bashe coming.

We have had several chanuka parties including the one on Batyas gan (kinder), today we have Ilan’s, we had one in Raanana at our Mexican friend’s, we are doing one to celebrate also my mother in law’s birthday, had one yesterday in Jerusalem where we were “honored” among others by World Bnei Akiva (youth organization) for making Aliyah (moving to Israel).

I did not realize until the end of the day but it’s the first time in my professional life that I work on a December 25. It will also be the first time I work on a January 1 not to mention the Sundays that I’m still not used to them being a work day, however I must admit that a no work Friday is very very very nice (but not as nice as a Sunday).

Talking about Sundays, we are very proud of our Black & Gold (Steelers) and have been following them every week. I’m glad the last two games are 1pm (8 pm Israel), because the 4pm (11pm Israel) was making me just a little bit tiered the morning after. I’m still not sure how we will manage to watch the Superbowl at 3am Israel time.

Enjoy this great season: Chanukah, Christmas, New year, Kwanza, Shabat Shalom.

Some pictures below:

Also to add to my Sabra Album:

Below photos of a chanukia right next to a Sukah (hey at least they are doing it all). I took this yesterday at Jerusalem.

From Chanuka II 5769

From Chanuka II 5769

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Chanuka Sameach 5769

Dear Family and Friends,

חנוכה שמח

From Modiin the land of the Makabim we send you our wishes for a joyous Chanuka full of light and miracles.

It is a true miracle to be able to light Chanuka candles exactly where the Makabim lived and see how our people, religion, culture and land illuminate the world stronger than ever.

Enjoy the video card from the kids below.

Difference between פּ (Pei) and שׁ (Shin)

Last Thursday we had Batya’s Chanuka party at her Gan (Kindergarten). I must say it gave so much meaning to our Aliyah (move to Israel).

Apart from being impressed by how the teacher was able to coordinate 30 children into doing such a fantastic spectacle for close to 1 hour, I was mesmerized by experiencing every single aspect of this party that go deeper to the wonderful show of light effects, songs, poetry, prayers, music and dance the kids put together. It is beyond words to describe the feeling but just watching Batya perform songs of Chanukah all in Hebrew around children from which more than half arrived in Israel in the last 2 years, in the land of the Makabim who fought and miraculously won and achieved our cultural and religious independence made it very special. The evening also included poetry and prayers around Chanuka as well as our land and soldiers. It is truly a miracle to see all these happen in front of my eyes from the national & religious level as well as the personal level where I can see Batya growing up and being educated in this environment. It brought a lot of meaning to our Aliyah.

The difference between פּ (Pei) and שׁ (Shin) cannot be measured. פּ (Pei) stands for Po (Here) and שׁ (Shin) stands for Sham (There). The theme of Chanuka repeats “Nes gadol Haya Po/Sham” (Big Miracle Happened Here/There) depending on your location. For the first time we are celebrating Chanuka Po (here) where the miracle happened and where miracles are still happening, and if you don’t believe me, come and see it for yourself.
Below are pictures of the party. Enjoy.

Videos of the party (all 13 of them) can be watched on the links below or by going to :


Next Family visit
I have just added a countdown clock to the blog on the right so that I can count together with you the next family visit. We are anxious to have you all here.

Oh yeah...My Birthday
Nothing too fancy. I just spent a long day at work and then got my cake at home with the sweetest people in my life. See some pics. below.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

December in Tel Aviv - Sabra Album

December in Tel Aviv
Last Friday we were able to visit Tel Aviv for the 2 and a half hours until we have to return for the kids at School.
Modiin is exactly in between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv so it gives flexibility to be within 30 minutes on any of these major cities.
It was amazing how last Friday December 5, already winter time, the temperature in Tel Aviv got to 81 F. It was relaxing to walk through the Tayelet (Boardwalk) and feeling the Mediterranean breeze. Finding a kosher restaurant was again a challenge especially in such a premium real estate where people visit during Friday nights and Saturdays. It was nice walking through the artist market Nachalat Binyamin and then the marketplace Shuk Carmel.

Sabra Album
I would like to start posting pictures that talk about how Israel is such a special and interesting place. These pictures are so unique to Israel that I would like to call them “Sabra Album” (Click here for definition of Sabra).


Herzl, the father of Modern Zionism said: "If you will, it is no legend" speaking of course of a Jewish State. This politically charged graffiti reads "Don't want, don't need to..."

Herzl on top of a water tank in Herzliya.

"Am Israel Chai", "The people of Israel are alive"

In contrast to the Herzl graffiti.

" No right turn on Saturdays & Holidays"

Kosher McDonalds with separate Meat and Dairy

Preparing the Eruv next to Tel Aviv beach

Shabbat Dinner at "Ach Hagadol" (Big Brother)

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