Friday, September 2, 2016


Spending this last week with Jennifer and the Lang Family in Raanana but did take the bus back to Jerusalem to see our new Great Granddaughter, Rachel. She is so tiny, birth weight three days before was 3 kilos or 6.6 pounds, and delicious! Her parents spend much of their time just contemplating their little miracle. It was very considerate of Ashira to have Rachel's debut while I was still there!

The three of us took the 90 minute bus to Raanana and back to Jerusalem. The Langs had returned from India at 4:30 that morning and tho exhausted, hosted us for dinner. Jennifer was falling on her face but became totally animated while describing their trip and her opinions of India to Moses. We all enjoyed the "show"!

Moses admiring the Indian teas and seasonings!

Photo of a German sculpture with birds nests
Once again my favorite shows were at the museum: the Israel nature photographers and the  Nature Photographers of the Year sponsored by the UK Natural History Museum. I like the latter show because it has categories by age and one is 10 years and under. The entrants come from all over the world and are incredibly talented.

The ceramic show was somewhat disappointing this year except for a few outstanding pieces. One requires an explanation thus I am showing it here accompanied by the artist's statement. It's quite beautiful. A series of her mother's portraits.I found quite moving.
Simone with ceramic plate wall sculpture
Daniella had two days off from the Air Force and took her grandmother to her special food haunts in Tel Aviv.  She is definitely a maven (expert) when it comes to food and unusual non alcoholic drinks.  In the Florentine area (not in the part where we went on the mural tour a few trips ago) but on this special street, is Livinsky Market. It is a haven for those who like nuts, seeds, dried fruits and spices and many other more unusual and exotic food items. As it gets trendier, more restaurants and delis are opening among the shops. We stopped at her favorite drink place and I watched with interest as a young American woman placed all kinds of plants and flowers in a blender and added soda water, popped in a straw and voila! I did take a sip and have to admit it was pretty good! What I really enjoyed was the vehicle that provides seating for the patrons of Gazoz.

Lunch was more in the center of the city and gave me a good laugh. Who expects a delicious Taqueria in Tel Aviv and with a logo of the Virgin Mary?! She is on a mural on the inside and on the napkin container in different garb.  It is a very busy place and very inexpensive and very yummy (even if there is more authentic Mexican food in California!). Facing us across the street was the Abraham Youth Hostel and someone had painted a fun sign on the fence. Who knew?!

Next stop dessert for a bowl of Acai, a frozen dessert from Brazil. It didn't appeal to me and of course I tasted it and shared it. It is basically made with berries, served in a bowl (most people order a very large one but we had the smallest) and there are numerous choices of additional ingredients of nuts, fruits, halva, you name it. It is a beautiful purple color twirled like frozen yogurt in the States with the additional items surrounding it and drizzled all over.

Since it was Friday, most everything closed early so we walked in a neighborhood containing some architectural masterpieces designated by the city as treasures. I decided next trip I want to go on a free city architectural tour and/or a Bauhaus tour. So many of these well considered buildings have been renovated and used for different things than originally intended but for the most part they are still beautiful.

Friday night we had a quiet shabbat family dinner and played Rummy O. Saturday morning Jennifer and I went to a movie while the girls slept and Philippe went to shul. I can recommend this French film to one and all. Called Memories in English and Les Souvenirs in French, it was made in 2014 and released in the US in 2015 or 16 and I think is currently there. It is so apropos for those of us either dealing with aging in others or our own aging. The acting is wonderful especially the grandson and grandmother.

Quiet lunch on Saturday afternoon, more Rummy O and a few friends dropped by. I must admit it is nice to be quiet sometimes!

Monday was Jennifer's birthday. She and I drove to Zichron Yaacov, a small touristy town about an hour north. After walking the main street, we met two of her American friends she wanted to introduce at a restaurant owned by Tishbi, a well known winery.  One, Lori Abramson made aliyah nine years ago from Oakland. Her husband Joel had a band there which he has kept alive and now teaches guitar in a small town near Zichron.  Lori is working as an educator of educators. I had not seen her in many years and she looks the same!

Jennifer, Bruria, grandson Alon
On the way back we stopped to visit Aunt Bruria. Herbie and I had visited the family in Hadera but I sent the pictures directly to them and interested family members. Bruria is amazing and it is her relationship with her three sons and daughters-in-law and nine grandchildren and several great grandchildren that keep her going with a smile. Both our Israeli and US families are very fond of her.


Three generations! Jennifer, Daniella, Simone et moi

Jennifer requested some place new for her birthday celebration and Philippe found a beautiful and delicious restaurant located at the Ritz Carlton in Herzaliya. The Herbert Samuel is a kosher meat restaurant but with something for all of us. The room and especially the kitchen are quite wonderful. Delicious and lovely. The company recently opened a hotel in Jerusalem that is supposed to have a good restaurant as well. The sunset was spectacular and I took numerous photos. They don't do it justice but...I tried!

Yes, it's Photoshopped!


Starting her last year of high school, Simone has become quite a chef! She has been preparing food all summer and I intend to take some of her ideas home. They are healthy, full of vegetables and tofu and very yummy! Daniella enjoys cooking as well but being in the Air Force does not leave her much time to practice her craft. Philippe has obviously instilled in the girls his love of cooking. Not only do I enjoy eating their dishes but I enjoy watching them prepare them! Philippe and Daniella made vege pizza with home made crust for my final meal before leaving for the airport and it was delicious!

Daniella took grandma again to a yummy meal, this time breakfast, at a local place in Tel Aviv. This small neighborhood haunt was filled with young people, many with children in tow the day before the start of school. We both had a very delicious shakshuka, the tomato, onion, pepper, egg dish. Daniella was coming from having spent the night at the air force office, something she has to do every few months.

I took the bus from Raanana and met her there. I am getting quite proficient at taking public transport! We walked through a portion of the Yarkon River park. There were families in rented boats and in the park. And I saw my first hoopoe, the national bird of Israel!

Located next to the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv, the Yitzhak Rabin Center is an educational institute for soldiers and students. The museum presents the history of the State of Israel through the life and death of Rabin. Unlike most of today's politicians, Rabin came through the ranks and served in just about every office in the State from soldier to prime minister to peace maker. There is no one left like him.

Rabin's hobby was photography.
Personally I found the museum itself to be quite confusing in the way it is laid out. After seeing the FOZ Museum in Jerusalem, I also found it to be quite behind the times in its presentation. However, the life and times of Rabin were incredibly fascinating and we all need to be reminded of the Clinton, Rabin, Arafat Oslo Accords on the White House Lawn in 1993. Unfortunately tho it resulted in Nobel Peace prizes for Rabin, Arafat and Peres, it did not result in peace. Many feel that if Rabin had lived there would have been peace. He was a trusted and much revered statesman by world leaders including those in the Arab world.

The one thing I came away with from the museum was how many wars Israel has had to fight. Many we know about, many most of us do not. Since its inception in 1948, the country has fought on more fronts than most of us can even imagine resulting in large numbers of casualties both of soldiers and civilians.

The view from the center is incredible. With all the building, Tel Aviv is a city of cranes and skyscrapers. Israel is not planning on going anywhere in the foreseeable future.  Its enemies be damned!

I wrote this on the plane but had to wait till I arrived home to send. Till next trip...

Some fun photos follow!

Yes, it is a jeep covered in grass!
Herbie, ever the dirty old man!
Who's the entertainer?

Mamilla shopping mall teaching sharing...

Everyone buys lottery tickets!

It reads that in this space one car or ten bikes!

and my favorite picture...


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