Wednesday, October 24, 2018

My last blog was dated June-July 2017. It is now October of 2018 and it was the longest time in between visits to see our grandchildren and great grandchildren. Marc's family is growing by leaps and bounds and it is difficult  to remember names, let alone ages. In fact I had to ask the kids for the names and ages of the grands and great grands. Oy it aint easy getting older and having to remember all this but...

To begin at the beginning, Moses Herbie and I took the United 14 plus hour flight from SF to TA. First mistake! The new me gets tired at 9 and we left after 10. However since I booked myself on a free business class ticket, I slept most of the way. Second mistake! I couldn't go to sleep when we arrived at our house close to midnight on Wednesday (having left Tuesday)

None of us could get over jet lag by day 4 after losing hours! Should be better on way home except that flight leaves at midnight and gets into SF at 6 am; Oy!!!

Had lunch with Joyce Klein but  I haven't seen any of my other friends as we have been spending time with all the generations of the kids.  They all want to spend time with us and are so sweet. Jennifer and Simone took the bus from Raanana to meet us for brunch. Ashira and Zach and their two little ones met us for dinner. Marc has the three younger/single  kids on Wednesdays after school plus every other Shabbat which includes Friday dinner through Saturday third meal. The eldest of the youngest has started college and I must say Talia is very impressive, Trying to make up her mind between two sciences, one computer and the other math.

Also trying to catch up on sleep and shopping at the shuk (a real farmer's market), always a delightful experience.

 I signed up for two 2 1/4 hour photography courses with the same photographer I was with a few years ago. I enjoyed the classes, first just me and second two plus me. The first was again at the shuk as last time and the second across the road from the shuk at Nachlaot, That was the neighborhood I rented in last year, scene of my unpleasant accident! We walked all over and found a very interesting area that the neighbors decorate with plants, pots, mail boxes and you name it! It is mostly a religious neighborhood with hippies mixed in. One can tell what is what and who is who by the wash drying outside! Actually we didn't see any religious wash just delicate clothing and numerous ancient synagogues.

We stayed for a few days at the Langs. One we paid a Shiva call ( the week after the funeral as we arrived day of funeral), so sad. The 39 year old son in law of our cousin died of cancer one year after being diagnosed. He and his wife and in some cases their two small sons did everything in that year that Shlomo wanted to do. They traveled, went places he dreamed of going, etc. Our American family payed for one of their trips thanks to the wonderful idea of Herbie's sister Mona. They took photos and a professional friend made a book of the things they did, the places they visited for the children to look at when they get older. The four year old understands as much possible for his age but the 2 year old is too young. Such a lovely family.

Since both Benjamin and Daniella are in New York, we spent time with Simone and her parents. She is doing a project that counts for the army for those unable to serve. She is working with African children plus grant writing and loves it. She will apply for college next year. Benjamin is trying to figure out what he wants to do next and Daniella is a freshman at Columbia College.

Herbie, Jennifer, Simone and I visited the family in Hadera. Amazing that all three cousins plus their mother Aunt Bruria were there. A very rare occurrence!

Aunt Bruria with her three sons from left; Ilan, Donnie and Yossi

Simone, Jennifer, Donnie, Donnie's wife Yomima

Shoshana and Yedidia

The "Giant"with Donnie's wife Yomima

Jennifer and Philippe invited friends over for Shabbat. Seeing one couple, Dr. Judy (Balter) and Amos SeriLevy is always a treat. Judy and Jennifer have been friends since religious school in Lafayette and her brother and Marc used to play together before the girls knew each other. Actually Jennifer and I visited Judy's 90 plus year old mother in Oakland at Piedmont Gardens.

Jennifer took us to Beit Hafutsot where she will be giving an 8 month writing/discussion class on various aspects of the museum. She took us around and the only part I remembered from many years ago were the miniature synagogues from all over the world. They are still there but in a totally remodeled room. In fact, the entire museum has been remodeled including the name formerly the Museum of the Jewish People or Beit Hafutsot, on the Tel Aviv University campus. There is a large section devoted to Jewish Humor that is hysterical!
Self Explanatory!
A nose came between us!

Synagogue Models

Aunties Chana Tsipora, &  Talia, with Yael & Batsheva
Marc, Shalom Simcha, Chana Tsipora, Herbie, Yael,Talia, Batsheva, Nechama, Yitzhach Shlomo, Me
Part of same group!
Rivi & Shulamit
Herbie,  Nechama, Yitzhach Shlomo, 1 year
Yitzhach Shlomo
Alexander & Yitzhach Shlomo
Zalman & Batsheva

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

JERUSALEM POSTCARD #4: June-July, 2017


Some events were big, some small but all important! Following are the various items I didn't include in the prior postcards.
Lauren loving her dog!
Our house is on left front. A shanda!
Shortly after our arrival, our tenant and dear friend Lauren Dellar left to visit family in the states. The building next store is essentially finished but is beyond ugly! I believe it is a condo and reminds me of the old Jack Tar Hotel on Van Ness in SF. No idea when people will move in but I did hear it is very expensive. Oy, what we and Lauren have lived through!

Yes, Herbie, Moses and I saw it here in Jerusalem. Biggest theater I have ever been to but Moses says there is one this size in Fremont.  The main floor has restaurants and a few theaters and the basement has more refreshment lines than I have ever seen! Furthermore, it is open on Saturday/Shabbat, a big surprise! Enjoyed film tho I thought the ending was a bit too much like all other violent cartoonish movies.

1000s of ceramic sunflower seeds
Went alone to see Chinese artist "Ai Weiwei: Maybe, Maybe Not," tho I enjoyed several other special exhibitions as well. I found it impressive that Ai chose to show here and his carpet was only on display once before in  2009, the year it was finished. It is huge and we were all required to remove our shoes.

"In this age of tectonic shifts in  the geopolitical
arena, Ai Weiwei's questions may be more relevant than ever: Is what we are told true? Is what we see real? Maybe, Maybe not..."

Ai's trees were both inside and out

In Full Color: 60 Years of Design by Dan Reisinger shows the work of the graphic designer who designed the logos for El Al Airlines and Teva pharmaceuticals to name just a couple.

Ilit Azoulay explored the museum both behind in the storerooms and in front. She photographed items and made photo collages that show amazing pieces most people have never seen.

No Place Like Home shows "rooms of a house exploring domesticity, immigration, displacement, and gender roles."

 But my favorite moment was watching a young man approach a very real looking man in the hall. His parents came looking for him while I was cracking up!

As always, Duane Hanson stopped these people 
dead in their tracks!

After three drivers refused to take us with the meter, this adorable, youthful acting 70-year-old took us with pleasure! We delighted in his stories of being married to his third wife, (the first two died) a young Filipina who takes care of "old" people and when she gets mad at them takes it out on him! Grandchildren tell him he is never serious and he responds "Why should I be?" The army told him in '66 he couldn't be a pilot because he wasn't serious enough! Twenty minutes of laughter went a long way!

Circle in rear Hannukiah; hedges Har Herzl and menorah.


Theodore Herzl had the original idea for the State of Israel but didn't live to see it. He died at 44. We walked around his tomb as well as those of latter day Israeli dignitaries. It also serves as a military cemetery with soldiers buried according to their wars. We took Moses to the film show inside that we had seen a few years ago. A very clever depiction of Herzl's life and the beginning of the State. Good for all ages.

Alexander and Racheli whose wedding we attended last fall, visited us the evening Herbie and Moses were leaving for the airport. They stayed for awhile after the guys left and we had a delightful visit. Racheli is trying very hard to learn English but meanwhile Alexander helps her. Her doc told her she was due July 6 but the baby took his time and arrived on the 13th! I am attaching before and after photos, the latter courtesy of Marc. Rachelis' sister in law gave birth to a girl in the morning and she had the boy in the evening so they roomed together in the hospital. All these cousins from both families will grow up together. So nice!

 Name to be announced at Bris on Friday!

Brunch with Joyce Klein at Tmol Shilshom

Lunch in Tel Aviv with Simone and Daniella

Reporting, Captain!
Right way!
Moses with Rachel
Great GrandZayda with Rachel


Great grandparents, Ashira, Talia, Rachel, Zach, Moses before light show

Free light show in and around Old City Jewish Quarter
The Huerva Synagogue lit up


Market place in ancient times

Continuation of wall in tunnel


Apple strudel at Austrian Hospice after tunnel tour


Entry to Poli House Boutique Hotel

Rooftop pool at Poli House with spectacular views
Lady who sang when Peres was shot

Simone's third toe surgery!

Visiting family in Hadera

A nice ending: Shalom Simcha blowing a very large and loud shofar!

Friday, July 7, 2017


I probably mentioned some of these experiences before but here they are all together!

The camera is an inanimate object. The person using it is an animate object. The camera becomes an animate object by virtue of its user. I figured this out based on my experiences in the shuk at all hours of the day and night.

Nearly every day and evening on my way home from the train/light rail to my apartment across from the shuk, I would walk thru and marvel at what was going on. 

During the day, fruits, vegetables, baked goods, humus and tahini along with restaurants flourish. Every imaginable kind of person, from religious to secular; from Ethiopian to Israeli can be seen shopping.

Around 8:30 at night, the sellers begin to close up shop till early the next morning. By 10:30, the place has totally changed. The young people have small tables and chairs stored in every nook and cranny. They set them up instantly. It has become a mecca for young people to shmooze, drink beer, eat at the restaurants, smoke hookahs, and get generally high! All the while singing, dancing and listening to fun music—some live!

One evening my camera became an animate object when I tried to wiggle my way in to a table full of pipes, beer and young people. They noticed that I was considerably older and they took to me and my camera. By the time all was said and done, they had invited me to join them, taken selfies with me and then took a photo of me with the group! They were with US Birthright having a wonderful time here and enjoying what the city has to offer. Yes, they wanted to know my age and when I told them they were incredulous! That's when the selfies started!  According to Moses, "they found a new animal in their {flock}zoo"!

Another night, as I bent over a group to take a photo of the numerous beer glasses on their table, they too invited me to join them! Difficult for them to understand I drink "water without ice." Then there were the three guys who just wanted to enjoy the experience of a photo!

The entire center and side aisles are packed with young people!
The rest of the photos are of the incredible doors the vendors pull over their stalls themselves. The painted doors don't last forever but they definitely make it enjoyable to walk amongst. They seem to be pretty safe from the people who scribble but the signatures on some are fairly large. Some of the people depicted are/were well known, some biblical and some describe what is inside.

candy stall

PS: Next blog on way home Saturday night/Sunday morn of various tidbits! Lots of photos, short verbiage!