Friday, November 26, 2010

Sabra Album – Baywatch edition

Continuing to post pictures that talk about how Israel is such a special and interesting place. These pictures are so unique to Israel that they are part of the popular “Sabra Album” (Click here for definition of Sabra).

For previous versions of the Sabra Album click on: Take 1 , Take 2 ,Take 3, Take 4, Take 5, Take 6 – Marketing Edition, Take 7, 9th of Av Edition and Machane Yehuda Edition.

Going to the beach in Israel is as fun as any other beaches but in addition it is a great and unique cultural experience.

Something unique about Israeli beaches are its lifeguards. They come as sabras as it can get. Their job is to safeguard the physical and moral integrity of all of us, beach visitors. However what is unique about them is their style and approach that is an art as much as it is a science.

Hearing their sweet voices through their megaphone harmonize with the sound of the sea as they approach to visitors saying for example:

(authors of these poems will have to excuse my loose translation)




Beautiful, isn’t it?

Below a photo of what their booth looks like. Look close at the picture. The red flag on top indicates it’s dangerous to swim. And now look closely to the things hanging outside.

From 9 Av + Aug 2010

From 9 Av + Aug 2010

The shorts read “Lifeguard”, it indicates that the lifeguard is inside the booth, and you don’t want him to come down and get you. :)

And below a couple of pictures from typical Israelis spending some good time at the beach.

From 9 Av + Aug 2010
From 9 Av + Aug 2010

Oh, yeah, Happy thanksgiving!

By the way, you can click on the Facebook like on top of the post if you enjoyed the post.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Shlomo Artzi – the Israeli Springsteen

Following my passion for music and in continuation to my concert reviews I wanted to share with you a great concert experience I had some months ago.

Rajel was so kind to invite us to a great concert right in Jerusalem’s gan saker. We went to see Shlomo Artzi.

Shlomo Artzi is kind of an Israeli version of Bruce Springsteen. In fact I did some research and they were both actually born in 1949 a couple of months apart and they both have 3 children. In terms of albums sold they stand 1.5 million vs. 185 million (guess who’s got what?), OK they are not really comparable, but somehow they have many similarities. They both have very poetic lyrics, both are loved by the mass and have had a very long musical career.

I have been listening to Shlomo for a very long time. I might owe him a lot for my Hebrew as much as I owe the Beatles for my English (although I think the Beatles did a better job).

More than two years ago we had tickets to see Shlomo and that same day I had a fever. I guess it was from excitement :), so it had to wait for two years to see him.

The concert was in an open park, we brought our picnic carpet which helped us keep a “private” area as well as some snacks. The concert started and it was very exciting to see Shlomo. He is a very good showman and artist, however he is definitely not at the peak of his career.

Shlomo makes very interesting arrangements to his well known songs that make his old songs once again modern, however many times during the concert he started to recite instead of singing, again and again and again. It’s clear that his voice is not what it was, and quite possible that there was some alcohol influencing his performance as well (but not confirmed).

All in all it was a great night and a great concert. Below some photos an a very short video of the concert.



The story does not end there. A couple of weeks ago we went to a great musical play.

It was called לילה לא שקט (Restless Night) and just like Mamma Mia is to Abba, “Restless Night” is to Shlomo Artzi. It was a very entertaining play and put together very nicely at the Cameri theater in Tel-Aviv, all based and inspired by Shlomo Artzi’s songs.

The singing was much better and powerful than the concert. The story was not a big deal (just like it was not a big deal in Mamma Mia), but it was funny, well performed and a good restless night.

Apparently there were a couple of famous actors, however we are still not familiar with all the Israeli celebs., nevertheless we did recognize the girl from Kochav Nolad (Israeli version of American Idol). If they would have sold a CD of the show I would have bought it, I guess I will have to wait to see if it gets to Broadway to buy the CD.

If you want to read more about concert experiences don’t miss:

The historical Paul McCartney in Tel-Aviv concert

The Woodstock Revival in Jerusalem

A Night at the Party – Mashina Unplugged !

D's Salve a la Reina en Mexico

Zvika Pick at Israel’s 62 Celebration

From Toyota to Alan Parsons Project

And by the way, the rumors and news of U2 and Coldplay in Israel for Summer of 2010… well… I guess they are not coming anymore even though the weather still feels like summer.

I hope to soon attend more concerts to share with you.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It’s back, and it's better than ever!

Hi loyal readers.
By now I might have lost most of you, but I want to announce that the blog is back and better than ever. With sooooo many things to write that have been going on for the last couple of months. (I don’t promise on updates as you were used to, sorry I cannot keep the pace).
I don’t even know where to start: The greatest Aliyah for us after our own, my parents visit, the high holidays 5771, the Shlomo Artzi concert, a couple of birthday parties, the Bnei Akiva of Mexico reunion in Israel, our recent visit to the Knesset (Israeli parliament), and many more adventures.
So lets get started…
As you can see the Aliyah regressive clock reached to zero, we are so happy and lucky to have my in-laws in Israel. We are very proud of them and wish them lots of success in their Klitah and all the things that will start to take shape. I can already see how they are enjoying it as well.
Welcoming them at the airport was very exciting for all, we could not believe that they were already here. Below are some pictures from their arrival as well as their citizen ID ceremony in Jerusalem in the western wall digs.

May' G’d continue to guide them through their Aliyah as He has done until now and as He continues to do for us.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sabra Album 9th of Av edition

Continuing to post pictures that talk about how Israel is such a special and interesting place. These pictures are so unique to Israel that they are part of the popular “Sabra Album” (Click here for definition of Sabra).

For previous versions of the Sabra Album click on: Take 1 , Take 2 , Take 3, Take 4, Take 5, Take 6 – Marketing Edition, Take 7 and Machane Yehuda Edition.

Now to our new Sabra Album.

Just as I did last year (From Destruction to Love (Peace & Love)) to finish the 9 of Av fast (marking the destruction of the two Batei Mikdash/Holy Temples among other atrocious events in Jewish history) –I went to Jerusalem to the Western Wall. The entire experience was so unique to Israel. Here are some pictures so unique to Israel.

Thousands of people filled the Western Wall

Fast breaking “oasis”

Right after the fasting is over thousands of hungry man and woman rush to this “oasis” to get a free drink, coffee and sweet pastries. Note the separation for men and women.

Now the most interesting part is the drink disposing technology. This is better than any modern refrigerator or any home soda maker, just turn the faucet and you get instantly cold: Soda, Water or Petel (flavored water). Genius!!!

I hope you enjoyed this edition of the Sabra album. Feel free always to comment on my blog. Next I’m planning on a Sabra Album Baywatch edition.

You might have noticed a new countdown clock on the blog. I have decided to keep indefinitely the “Next Family ALIYAH” clock since ultimately I will see you all here. The other clock is for the “Next family visit”.

We are so excited for both clocks that almost reached 0. We are happy to welcome soon our cousin from NY who will be here for a year, and right after that we will be welcoming my in-laws that are making Aliyah and little by little reuniting the entire family. Yishar Koach to you!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Happy 2nd Aliyaersary!

With gratefulness to G’d we celebrate 2 years in Israel.

The best is yet to come…

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Kids graduation photos

Just a quick post to share some photos and videos.

Last month we had both of the kid’s “graduation” parties.

Let me first share a video from Batya’s graduation that is very appropriate for today (9 of AV) followed by photos from the event:

Below some photos from Ilan’s graduation from Gan Trom Trom as well as links to videos (only for hardcore fans):

You can access the videos at the links below:

Ilan's Gan Arava Trom Trom Graduation # 1

 Ilan's Gan Arava Trom Trom Graduation # 2

Ilan's Gan Arava Trom Trom Graduation # 3

Ilan's Gan Arava Trom Trom Graduation # 4

Ilan's Gan Arava Trom Trom Graduation # 5

Ilan's Gan Arava Trom Trom Graduation # 6

And since we are already in the sharing photo mood, below some picture from a visit to Jerusalem as well as a company event where Batya decorated her own sodamaker machine and was among the top 10 designs.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday Blog! – Celebrating with an exciting announcement

This week this blog celebrated its 2nd Birthday. Thanks for your following (or not?).

I most admit this year was not as strong as the previous one, time and strengths to write are different now, but I’m still here…

So the blog has had 8,084 visits, from 74 countries, appeared on 270 searches. Can you guess what the top searches have been for my blog? “eggnog” “sachlav” and “rompope” (no kidding). Do you remember the memorable post: From Rompope to Eggnog to Sachlav?

Another popular Google search has been “Sabra Album” I guess thanks to these:

Sabra Album Take 1 , Take 2 , Take 3, Take 4, Take 5, Take 6 – Marketing Edition and Machane Yehuda Edition

Last year we celebrated here Happy Birthday Blog - 1 Year

And now for the exciting announcement (drum roll please…)

The “Next Family Visit” countdown clock will be reset to August 10 when we will be welcoming with so much excitement to my in-laws. We are so happy and proud of them. Congratulations suegros!!!

We are so happy to be able to re-unite little by little the family in our real home, we are happy to have parents and grandparents here in Israel for us and for the kids. What they don’t know is that even though we got here before they did, a strong reason why we are here is because of them and the education that they gave to their children.

We are looking forward to welcoming you at the Airport!!!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

10 years of love!

Why not use last years video to celebrate?

Enjoy once again:


From Blogger Pictures

Feliz aniversario mi vida.

Te amo.

Monday, June 14, 2010

I know what you did last Sunday

Almost 2 years ago as we were just getting assimilated into the Israeli culture I posted about You know you are Israeli when:

Now we are still slowly but surely getting there.

The photo below will be recognized by anyone that was in Israel on Sunday 1 week ago.

From Blogger Pictures

You know you are Israeli when: You put your 3D glasses on to see the opening of Hisardut (the Israeli version of Survivor) in 3D.

Now below a photo that more of you will be familiar with:

From Blogger Pictures

Oh yes, the World cup is here and we certainly watched the opening game where Mexico shamefully tied against South Africa. You would be surprised to know that in addition to being the self proclaimed Chairman of the Mexican Steelers Fan Club in Israel (COMSFCI) I have now named myself also the Chairman of the Mexican World Cup Team Fan in Modiin – Buchman branch (COMWCTFMBB).

Finally, a photo of what my family is starting to look like after the last couple of pictures (just without the pets and the baby):

Until the next time…

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Israeli pasta in Italy?

I know it has been a while, but I'm back.

The last month I made a couple of trips to Milan Italy for work. Apart from the success of the event and meetings we had there it brought also some unique experiences.

First I wanted to share the picture below. Can you tell from this picture which one is the famous designer and which one is the world renowned blogger?


Milan is a nice city, I got a chance to visit just a little. Italians were friendly and I think a couple of weeks more there and I could speak Italian. And the food... well that exactly the point I wanted to write about.

Have you ever felt as if you are being tested in terms of your loyalty, faith or something similar?

For those that don't know, pasta is my favorite food by far. However being out in an unknown city might be challenging for someone that keeps kosher. I was able to see it, smell it, even hear its sizzling as it past around the table on a pan held by the waiter, however, I just chewed my raw veggies. Man...that home made paste looked sooooo goooood.

I fortunately was able to visit a couple of Kosher restaurants in Milan: Pizza E Carmel (Pizzeria Carmel) - eat an OK pizza slice, some delicious ricotta raviolis and some fettuccini too, yes it was all for me. On another opportunity our host in Italy was kind enough to take some of us in my honor to another kosher place called Denzel where we ate some juicy hamburgers, it felt weird to be eating out in Italy hamburgers but it also felt good to eat some meat for a change.

As I learned from my first trip to Europe, it's necessary to come prepared and bring some food just in case, so I took with me some food this time just in case. It was kind of funny to bring packets of dried instant Israeli pasta (Osem bags) into Italy, don't you think?

All in's good to be back home.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Israel turns 62!

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel’s independence day). 62 years ago we established our own country and today we have a lot to celebrate. Yom Ha’atzmaut brings a great sense of pride among all, and for some of us it even has religious significance.

How did we celebrate? We started the night before first with prayers and singing at our bet hakneset (synagogue), after that we went out together with thousands of Modiinians to the celebrations by the park with fireworks a concert and other great performances.

Speaking about concerts and as my loyal readers know about my passion for music, I must comment on the one we attended at this Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration in Modiin.

About a year ago I was introduced by an Israeli friend to a new singer (well new for me and actually very old for the rest). Zvika Pick, was huge in the 70’s here in Israel with his pop music, and he has gained popularity again after being part of Kochav Nolad (like American Idol, let’s call it Israeli Idol :)

For the last couple of weeks I have been putting some of his music which sticks to your brain without being able to get rid of it, so Batya and I were very familiar with his songs during the concert. It’s interesting to mention that even though I only have a greatest hits CD from Zvika Pick, he did not include any song that the CD did not have. I’m not sure what that tells you about the rest of his songs. Enjoy the Zvikavideo below from a piece of my favorite Zvikasongs, the video is not that good was is great is hearing us sing in the background, it’s Batya, Liora and me.


If you are interested in reading more about concert experiences in Israel you can take a look at:

The historical Paul McCartney in Tel-Aviv concert

The Woodstock Revival in Jerusalem

A Night at the Party – Mashina Unplugged !

D’s Salve a la Reina en Mexico (even though it was not in Israel)

From Toyota to Alan Parsons Project 

(by the way, in addition to the Alan Parsons Project concert I was able to go to for free, another good thing that the Toyota recall brought was a nice gift certificate sent by the car dealership which to be consistent, I spent on a couple of CD’s)

The day after we celebrated by going to a military airbase were we saw the airplane exposition. We have gone a long way in 62 years.

See some pictures below:

Shabbat Shalom and sorry for the slow blogging but the computer was down for repair for a week and then I was out of the country for some days (some posts about that trip soon perhaps?)…

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ilan’s celebrations

Just wanted to share some photos of Ilan’s birthday celebration at gan as well as last month at home. But before that I want to share some great creativity from Liora over the years as she has made Ilan’s birthday cakes (lets see if you can catch the similarities :).

From Blogger Pictures
From Ilan 3rd b'day
From Ilan Bday

And now some of Ilan’s pictures from this year’s celebrations.

Stay tuned as I will soon write about our wonderful Yom Haatzmaut (Israeli independence day).

Chag Haatzmaut Sameach!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sabra Album – Danger! No Passage!

If you have been following the blog you are familiar with my Sabra Album. For all the rest, my Sabra Album is a delightful collection of pictures that talk about how Israel is such a special and interesting place. These pictures are so unique to Israel that I’m calling them “Sabra Album” (Click here for definition of Sabra). (You can also visit Sabra Album Take 1 , Take 2 , Take 3, Take 4, Take 5 and Machane Yehuda Edition if you missed them).

This time I just want to share one image I took from our last visit to Ein Guedi. The sign below reads “DANGER! NO PASSAGE!”

A picture is worth a thousand words…

From Sabra Album

What do you mean Danger? A real Sabra does not fear anything nor does he follow any rules he does not believe in. A real Sabra has gone through so much danger before that he is not going to be told what is dangerous and what is not.

Are you a real Sabra?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Happy 110th blog post!

You might ask yourself, why is 110 so significant? Why not 100, or maybe 120? The truth is that I completely missed the 100th so lets celebrate the 110.

Thanks for your following, I have enjoyed sharing with you our experiences here in Israel. Please keep on posting comments at least I know someone is at the other side of the screen.

Some numbers to celebrate:

7,264 Visits

10,888 Page visits

2,347 Visitors from 67 countries


Thank you.

Now with the post…

During my last post I talked about misspells on packaging. It’s funny but the day after at work we had some urgent packaging/care instructions translation needed from English to Spanish, so there I was thinking of my blog post and now I need to make sure it all makes sense and there are no misspells, I read it several times to make sure it was 100% :)

We had a wonderful Pesach, we were 18 (9 adults and 9 kids) at the Seder night with 2 other Mexican families which all contributed with food. We finished all at 12:30am by which most of the children were still awake, participating and singing. It was a very joyous holiday.

We did many things during the holiday, here are some pictures of all that we did the week of Pesach including: Visit park Canada (forest 15 away from home), Ein Gedi and the Dead Sea, the new Modiin Park, seeing the Harley Davidson ROI (Raiders of Israel), a day at the pool with our friends, and a visit to Mrs. Greenberg.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Why is this packaging different from all other packedging?

I hope you all had a wonderful Pesach, for my readers outside of Israel, I guess you are still doing the matzah thing? I ate a delicious Shwarma on a big warm laffa today. :)
Pesach apart from being one of my favorite holidays because of the family interaction, food and all the different symbols it has, it brings with it a great opportunity to get to know new products. When all the big brands are eaten and get all the market share during the year it’s time for those little ones that have their Kasher for Pesach, Lelo chashash kydniot niche (a topic I would not dare to explain or discuss). And Pesach is exactly their time to shine.
Here are some pictures to expose some great Packaging examples from these great quality niche products:
1. ChocoNit
The #1 instant chocolate milk powder brand in Israel is called ChocoLit (by Strauss-Elite), this Kasher Le Pesach knock off is called ChocoNit. Read closely the product description and you will find what makes this product worth of a mention on this blog.
From Sabra Album
Instent Cocoa Drink?
But still it was enjoyebl :)
From Sabra Album
2. Matzah meal
One of our home’s favorite dish (after pasta) is Matzah Balls. And this time Liora made them from scratch by using some real Matzah meal (grinded Matzah), eggs and carbonated water (which we happen to have unlimited supply). I really hope I don’t have too many misspells/typos on my blog but at least I know that the word Ibgredients will be automatically detected by any spell-check on any language (unless you write it in all Caps). See below.
From Sabra Album
By the way the matzah balls came out better than the prepared powder they sell
3. Mimrach Tmarim (Dates spread)
One of the greatest discoveries I had this Pesach was how good Matzah tastes with a good Mimrach Tmarim, it even competes against Matzah with avocado and salt. I need to give credit to this product since it tasted sooooo good, but it’s just funny how they explain some of its uses in the back.
From Sabra Album
English is complicated, if it sounds like “Y” why do you have to write “IE”, but then again a simple spell check would have discovered Cooky, but wait, all caps once more. Conclusion, either get someone to read through your packaging translations or do not write in all caps. :)
(*Note: After posting this I received a comment -see comments- that "Cooky" is actually a legitimate spelling, and I checked, she is right. Why is English so complicated?, thanks "mother in Israel")
But you should not judge a book by its cover, below a front shot of the product, I really recommend it.
From Sabra Album
If you are about to make Aliyah and are reading this blog, here is a great job opportunity: Check for this relatively small companies and offer your English proofreading consulting work, they really need your help, especially for text in all caps :)
If you enjoyed this pseudo-marketing blog post make sure you read:
Sabra Album Take 6 – Marketing Edition
Captive (and hungry) audience

Sunday, March 28, 2010

פםח שמח תש”ע, Happy Passover 5770

I want to wish you all a Happy Pesach, might you all re-live our exodus from Egypt and celebrate our freedom in a meaningful day. Enjoy from the family (physically and in heart) and let the children know how important this night has been for our people throughout the generations.
Enjoy a video that was almost in its entirety produced by the kids.

What will make this Pesach my Festival of Freedom?
Read from my post last year here.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Today, 4 years ago


From Blogger Pictures


From Blogger Pictures


From Blogger Pictures



 2010 - Today

From Blogger Pictures

Happy Birthday Ilan. We love you.

Stay tuned for a supper Pesach production coming very soon.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Child’s prayer

So many emotions and so difficult to write them all.

Last month we had Batya’s mesivat sidur (Prayer book party), where 1st graders from her School Shivtei Israel officially receive their first sidur (prayer book) from which they can now actually read and pray.

The mesiva was beautiful. 120 excited children and 240 proud parents. I’m so thankful to G’d for the opportunity to be celebrating this great accomplishment in my daughters life and to see it happening all in the land of Israel, the place to which all Jews face when praying.

There were many songs with choreography, speeches, official giving of the prayer book and Hamalach Hagoel, the blessing Jacob gave to Joseph's children Menashe & Ephraim (Genesis 48:16) with all the children below a gigantic Talit held by all the fathers.

Batya was so excited for the entire month or more as they were practicing for the event. During the event she was very happy it all came out so well and felt a very strong connection to his prayer book.

That same Friday we went in the afternoon to Jerusalem’s old city before we spent Shabbat in Maale Adumim and Batya brought the new prayer book with her and prayed by the western wall with much intention and straight from her huge heart directly to the ears of G’d.

For the hardcore family and friends who would like to see all pictures you can access it by clicking below.

Mesivat Sidur Batya 5770

For the rest here are some highlights:

From Mesivat Sidur Batya 5770

Receiving her Sidur from Rab David Lau.

From Mesivat Sidur Batya 5770

Hamalach Hagoel prayer under giant Talit

From Mesivat Sidur Batya 5770
From Mesivat Sidur Batya 5770
From Mesivat Sidur Batya 5770

Batya and her teacher.

From Mesivat Sidur Batya 5770
From Mesivat Sidur Batya 5770
From Mesivat Sidur Batya 5770

Also, below some videos for those of you still hanging in there :)

Chodesh tov to all.

Friday, March 12, 2010

From Toyota to Alan Parsons Project

You might ask yourself, Toyota? Alan Parsons Project? What?

About a month ago I received a call from Toyota that apparently I’m the lucky winner of a free repair of one of their recent car recalls. For most of the Toyota car owners this is a disadvantage, as for Toyota… well, they are in real tzores (read also trouble), but for me it actually turn out to be the beginning of some good luck.

As I turned my car in they told me it would take about 30 minutes and not more, but I should have known better after a year and a half in Israel. As I return from half an hour in the supermarket I was told that the car was almost ready (it was actually ready 20 minutes after that), as I was waiting in their rather comfortable waiting room I took a newspaper and started to read though the headlines. I then found an advertisement for many concerts among them one for Alan Parsons Project for which I kind of wanted to buy tickets but never got to it. The advertisement said that they were giving away 50 (or 100?) double tickets to see them, so I had nothing to loose and sent my text message to be part of the drawing (you know where this is going?).

I’m not sure if (a) not a lot of Israelis know about Alan Parsons project, or (b) among the people who actually read the Friday paper (Yediot Acharonot) who knows how many actually stopped to read the advertisement and (c) if they read it, who knows how many actually sent their text message, or (d) I’m a lucky guy or (e) all of the above, but a couple of weeks after that day I received a call from the ticket box office company saying that I won a pair of tickets. Of course at first I had no clue what they were talking about, but then I remembered.

Liora was not really interested in going to see him so I called my friend Dani (as seen at Paul in Tel Aviv blog post) who kindly shared with me the pair of free tickets. It was great sharing another good concert with you Dani. By the way thanks also to my friend Sebastian wherever you are (Philly?) for introducing me to this great band several years ago.

The concert was very good, even though the first half needed a little salt and pepper, for the second half as they say here “hichnisu lahem et ha-pilpel” and it turned180 degrees , the Heichal Hatarbut in Tel Aviv stood up to dance. They were actually very good, and you can’t beat the price. By the end he actually presented the bassist that turned out to be Israeli (Guy Erez). The lead singer was pretty good as well (although he needs to work on his dancing skills) PJ Olsson (to be honest I never heard of him before the concert).

Thank you Yediot Hachronot for the tickets, next one is Jethro Tull in Caesarea if (e) is also the right answer (I already sent my text message).

Even though the prohibition of Video and photograph was strictly enforced by Alan himself and his staff below are some pics and a video from others (today every cell phone is a camera).

תמונה מצורפתתמונה מצורפתתמונה מצורפת

Picture credits to Oren Amram and his music forum who managed to sneak in some photographs. Video bellow from Amit.

If you are interested in reading more about concert experiences in Israel you can take a look at:

The historical Paul McCartney in Tel-Aviv concert

The Woodstock Revival in Jerusalem

A Night at the Party – Mashina Unplugged !

D’s Salve a la Reina en Mexico (even though it was not in Israel)

I’m looking forward to A couple of good things coming up in 5770 even thought they have not confirmed.

Until the next concert…

Shabbat Shalom.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Purim is not over until the fat king sings…

Last week on Friday was supposed to be the Ad-lo-yada (till-you-won’t know) which is a annual carnival done in our city of Modiin celebrating Purim, however it was cancelled because of rain so a week after Purim the street carnival took place and we once again took out our customs to celebrate.

Below some pictures of kids having fun at the event.

By the way, did you notice the new picture on top of the blog? Beautiful isn’t it. It’s a panoramic shot I took of our city, Modiin. Also notice the “Next family visit” countdown has been set, Pa y Ma we are looking forward to your visit.

Have a Shavua Tov, Great week.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Happy Purim 5770 & more

As it’s already common I will start with apologies to my loyal readers for not being able to blog recently, things have been veeeery busy, but I’m back.

Purim Sameach to all!

To remember some good old times last year you can check out Happy Purim 5769

We all had a very happy holiday. Especially the kids that celebrated for the entire week with many activities at school. For the reading of Megilat Esther (isn’t it amazing you can get a summary of the story on wikipedia? If the Purim story would have happened during the internet era I’m sure they would have ordered to write the book online:) )on Saturday night the kids dressed up and were very excited, afterwards there was a magicians show. On Sunday afternoon we had our Seudah (Meal) as part of a joint effort with 3 other families with kids, it was lots of fun. That same night Liora and I went to a party from Liora’s work and to be honest we felt a little more in the middle east than what we would have liked (if you know what I mean).

Below some pictures from Purim:

In the spirit of sharing some photos, below some photos of another Tiyul (excursion) I did with Rajel and the kids to Givat Hatitora here in Modiin. Enjoy some of the great views we were able to enjoy from our beautiful land.


Beautiful, isn’t it?

Last year we also visited Givat Hatitora but back in February 2009 it was very cold. Take a look here.

And since I’m sure you are still hungry for pictures, below some pictures from a Shabbat we spent with our friends at Maale Alumim (remember my Praying Towards the West blog post?):

Still a lot to talk to you about and pictures to share, hopefully soon I will share. Soon too, learn how I used my marketing background to win a couple of concert tickets and of course a brief report of the concert :)

And closing with a photo worth for a Sabra Album mention:

From Sabra Album

Taken in Jerusalem’s old city a table with Tefilin to wear that reads “Tefillin, Just do it”, talk about strong branding :)

Shabbat Shalom.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dear friends (especially Pittsburgh and U.S friends).

Do I need to say more?
Come and visit Israel.

Have a great and Happy month of Adar.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

It was a great Tu v’Shbat!

As I mentioned in my previous post, last week we celebrated Tu V’shbat, the “New Year of the Trees”. As part of the holiday I attended one school party with Batya, a gan (kindergarten) party with Ilan where he was dressed up as a gamad (dwarf) and a tiyul (excursion) I did with the kids and Rajel (our newest family member in Israel) to a hill 10 minutes walking distance from home.  Also a couple of weeks ago Rajel and I took a tour of Modiin old and new that was guided by Modiin’s deputy Mayor, the tour included some very cool views of the city as well as an ancient Maccabean synagogue that’s very close to our home.

Enjoy the photos:


During our Friday night Shabbat dinner Rajel prepared for us a Tu v’shbat seder where she explained to us and the kids about the Shivat Haminim (7 species) that are written on the Torah as special and holy produce of the land of Israel. We ate each of the species that Rajel bought at Machane Yehuda (remember the Sabra album Machane Yehuda edition?)

It was a great Tu v’shbat!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ma’aser for the first time

Last week we celebrated across Israel (as well as outside of Israel) Tu V’shbat, the “New Year of the Trees” which has become kind of the Earth day of the Jewish Holidays. This holiday takes such a different meaning when you live it in Israel. Not only because of all the dried fruit that is sold across the supermarkets but because it also represents the planting and growth of our land, the land of the Jewish nation.

Out of the 613 Mitzvot (commandments) we are given, several of them cannot be performed because we do not currently have the temple, others depend also on a Cohen (priest) performing them, others are gender specific, and others are dependant on being performed in the land of Israel.

A couple of months ago for the first time in my life I was able to fulfill the Mitzvah of Maaser (Tithe) which is made on any produce grown in Israel and is therefore a commandment that can only be performed in the land of Israel. It dates back to the giving of Tithe to the Levites (Maaser Rishon) as well as the gathering of Tithe to take to Jerusalem during the days of the Temple in certain years of the seven year cycle (Maaser Sheni).

Note: Consult your local Rabbi for details. :)

Below some pictures of us performing this unique Mitzvah for the first time in our lives.

Step 1: Gather the fruit - We are lucky to have in our garden oranges, lemons, passion fruit, olives and grapes. We gathered oranges and lemons this time.

From Ma'aser
From Ma'aser
From Ma'aser

Step 2 & 3: Cut small piece of each kind of fruit and say the brachot (blessings)

From Ma'aser

Step3: Put cut pieces on bag and let them go bad before throwing them away.

From Ma'aser

Step 4: Enjoy the fruit of the holy land (blessing of the fruit before eating of course)

From Ma'aser
From Ma'aser

Soon I will put some pictures of Tu V’shbat, kids school parties, a small tiyul (excursion) maybe tell you about the great Seder Tu V’shbat Rajel did for us and show you some nice pictures from a tour around Modiin with our Deputy mayor as a tour guide.

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