Friday, October 30, 2009

Continuing on Mashina

Continuing my investigation on the roots of Mashina’s song Night train to Cairo, I found the following rare footage believed to be the origin of the song:

I warned you that this song is addictive and gets stuck in your mind.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about read the previous blog post

A Night at the Party – Mashina Unplugged !

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Night at the Party – Mashina Unplugged !

Hi there. Sorry it has been a while since the last post. We have been busy lately.

This last week or two we had some interesting party experiences in Israel. You must think we are party animals, but you are wrong, we don’t go out that often but this time we did.

A Night at the Party

We were invited to an Israeli birthday party. OK, we thought to ourselves, we are going to chat a little, eat a little, maybe even have a schnapps (drink) and go home, right? Well, it was certainly a first and it took me back to my teenage years. The party in their small apartment had a DJ with two huge speakers, yes there was food and drinks, but it has been a while since I saw disco dancing at a birthday party, “DISCO, DISCO” as The Zohan said. It was fun and too bad we left 10:50 pm because we heard that because the party went on after 11pm the police came to shut them down :)

I never blogged about a beautiful wedding we attended of a couple that we met since they met in Pittsburgh. It was a great and beautiful wedding but it also had a lot of firsts. Without going into details I recommend you read at your own leisure one of my favorite blogs writing about An Idiot’s Guide to Israeli Weddings, it's a must read for first time foreign or recent immigrants wedding goers in Israel. It’s all true about the dress code, presents, music, etc.

משינה אנפלאגד – Mashina Unplugged

Isn’t it funny how Unplugged looks and is written in Hebrew? I think that will be a topic for a Blog one day.

As it’s already a tradition and given the importance that rock/music concerts play in my life I’d like to write about a great concert and experience we had last Saturday night. For other major concert experiences in Israel I recommend to read my posts about:

The historical Paul McCartney in Tel-Aviv concert 

The Woodstock Revival in Jerusalem

I’m looking forward to A couple of good things coming up in 5770

Our good Mexican friends spontaneously asked us if we wanted to join them for a Mashina concert in Modiin. Thanks so much for the invite, it was a great night. The concept was of an unplugged concert which was cool, the group I did not know much about but I know they are Classic Israeli Rock. I bought myself a CD on Friday and listened to it the entire day to be prepared. The kids enjoyed dancing to the beat of ריקוד המכונה that Friday as I prepared myself for the concert.

It was a great night and a great concert, although I did feel a little bit like a fish out of the water when it was the audience’s turn to sing and had no clue about any of the lyrics. There’s a song that I did know it's jingle even before buying their CD which was their concert’s last song. Below is a link to the song from a 2003 concert, if you have heard Classic Israeli Rock then you will recognize it. WARNING: The song is highly addictive and you will be repeating it in your head for the next couple of days. If you don’t recognize it at first wait until minute 1:38 and sing with me …או... או … או... או

Now that’s good stuff, right?

Well, I like it a lot, however as I was writing this post I discovered the following video from an 80’s British group called “Madness” (you remember that 80’s song “Our House”?) that disappointed me a little in terms of Mashina’s originality, however, I still like them.

Until the next concert….

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Parashat Bereshit 5770 – Genesis 2009

Continuing with the educative side of my blog, I have decided to post a quick movie on this week’s parsha (torah portion): Bereshit (Genesis).

Enjoy it:

Bereshit 5570 – Genesis 2009

Creative Director: Batya

Executive Producer: Daddy (that’s me)

Music: Genesis (get it?)

Flamingo on the Phone Productions

Copyright:  _VDCCLXX

Shabbat Shalom.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sukkot 5770 Quiz Winner

I’m sure you are all eager to know who won the Sukkot 5770 Quiz.

Lets just say that many of you participated (I think) but only two of you actively, but only one actually followed the contest rules to post it on the comments section.

Well, I think I get it, my readers are just not interested on interacting, although I do thank you for all your comments when you do have something to say. I just thought a contest would be something fun to do….(not). It’s OK I learned a lot from the quiz.

Here are the answers to the Sukkot 5770 Quiz:

Question 1: “A Sukkah that is higher than twenty cubits (about 10m) is ….” ?

Answer 1: Psula (Invalid), (Mishna, Sukkah 1,1)

Question 2: “A Sukkah that is less than ten handbreadths (about 80cm) in height is….”?

Answer 2: Psula (Invalid), (Mishna, Sukkah 1,1)

Question 3: “A Sukkah on the deck of a ship is ….”?

Answer 3: Kshera (Valid), (Mishna, Sukkah 2,3), however…”A Sukkah on the deck of a ship: Rabban Gamliel declares it invalid and Rabbi Akiva declares it valid.” (Babylonian Talmud, Sukkah 23a)

Question 4: “If one hollows out a haystack to make a sukkah out of it, it is …..”?

Answer 4: Psula (Inalid), (Mishna, Sukkah 1,8)

Question 5: How about a two floor sukkah?

Answer 5: Tanna Kama: The upper is Kshera (Valid) and the lower Psula (Invalid), Rabbi Yehuda: If no one is in the upper sukkah the lower sukkah is Kshera (Mishna, Sukkah 1,2)

Question 6: And a sukkah in a treetop?

Answer 6: “Kshera (Valid) but it is forbidden to climb into it on a festive day” (Mishna, Sukkah 2,3)

Note: Consult your local Rabbi for halachic questions. :)

And the winner is…

Well, the prize will be divided into two.

1) My father in law who answered and wrote on the comments

2) My father who answered over the phone and since it was VOIP (computer phone) we will count it as answering on the computer/internet. (Contest rules 5, 7) :)

Your official “Weissers’ Journey to Israel” Blog T-shirts will make their way to you. Thanks for your participation.

Here are pictures of many other Sukkot for you to tell if they are Kasher or Psulot.

Enjoy the “Achrei Hachagim” (after the holidays) season.

By the way, I just realized that I somehow deleted the previous post (I still need to learn how to use Windows Live writer I guess), so here are again some pictures of our visit to Neot Kedumim during Sukkot. Enjoy.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Welcome new year 5770, our temporary dwelling

This is one of the most beautiful seasons in Israel. You can feel it’s Chodesh Tishrei (first month of Jewish Calendar).

We had a wonderful Rosh Hashanah and meaningful Yom Kippur. Had wonderful meals at home and at friends, hosting and hosted. Liora made some wonderful dishes including the Gefilte Fish a la Veracruzana that she prepared from scratch. Prayers were very nice at the Synagogue, the kids were so good and played with their friends while we were able to pray, many of their friends from school go to our synagogue.

This time I did feel like a pro (see comments from a year ago about Praying with the Pros). I was prepared with my own Machzor (praying book) and kittl (special white robe) that arrived late last year with our shipment.

Our temporary dwelling?
Last night Sukkot started (Feast of Booths or Feast of Tabernacles). I will soon post some pictures so that you can see our beautiful Sukkah. The kids were so excited to build it, decorate it, eat in it. Inviting people over in addition to the 7 Ushpizin (seven shepherds of Israel: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph and David) is also a custom. We were invited last night and we had 3 different families today with lots of friends for the kids.

We are commanded to dwell in our Sukkah for a week. Our sages explain that leaving your comfortable and safe home to expose yourself to the outside elements on a temporary structure puts yourself in the hands of G’d, he will protect us all, it’s a calmed security feeling.

The previous explanation of the Sukkah and the meaningful Rosh Hashanah we had made me reflect about last year and next year it inspired me to think about: our Aliyah decision (moving to Israel), living in Israel, finding and loosing employment, sickness and health... Knowing that He will always protect us has kept me with a calmed security feeling. However, It is not a sense of security that drives one to just wait for things to happen. I don’t believe it works that way. One needs to look and work hard for things and only after that He will help.

One can learn so much from a Sukkah. It requires a full commitment and trust in G’d, so too leaving Pittsburgh to live in Israel, leaving a “secure” job to look for a new one and the many changes we had gone through this last year has hinged in our trust in G’d.

I’m grateful to G’d for bringing us here and keeping us here, for our health, our sustenance, our spiritual growth, and our overall wellbeing in the land he choose for us. It was not easy, but to be honest it was not bad at all, with hard work and His help it all works out in the end. It was a very good year and the one coming up will be even better.

Moadim LeSimcha to all. Have a happy and meaningful Sukkot.

I have been thinking of many future blog posts but just haven’t had the time to write. Some upcoming topics include: my field work about Israeli customer service, sabra album, a VERY effective print advertising on Yom Kippur (I’m even thinking of starting something like Sabra Marketing), the most delicious falafel I ever had (4 varieties), an Achnasat Torah that was one of the most beautiful events I have ever attended, I will be blogging about the blogging contest prizes I received (after I receive them), and many others. Just let me know you are still enjoying the blog by 1) becoming a blog follower (see right hand column) 2) commenting on the blog 3) both.

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