Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thoughts - October 30th, 2008

  1. It's been raining like crazy this past week in Israel. The Kinneret has gone up by 1.5 cms already! I remember the first time it rained after I made aliyah in February 2003. We were on the way to Jerusalem for a tiyul when it started to rain and I got rather emotional. Rain, in a country which continually faces water issues, is truly a blessing here. It's refreshing, it's renewing and it revitalizes the country's awesome landscape.

  2. Avigdor Lieberman has been heavily criticized by the Israeli press and her leaders for telling Egyptian President Hosni Mumbarak to 'go to hell'. While I understand where the anger is coming from, I think Liberman touches on a rather important point. Israeli government members are always going to Egypt on 'official visits', while Mumbarak has been to Israel but once (for Rabin's funeral) and never on an 'official visit'. I've long felt that this 'cold' peace was probably a good short term solution for our problems with Egypt. I do wonder however how long it can last when Egyptian government run media continually screen shows and print articles that are anti-semitic and anti-Israel, while their government officials make highly vitriolic comments against us. I think Shmuel Katz had it right in 1981 with The Hollow Peace ...

  3. The US presidential election is a few days away and here is my take on the candidates:

    McCain seems a little bit senile to me, with some of his flip flopping almost being as bad as the legendary John Kerry. Sad to say this, but he would have been a far better choice 8 years ago. I think his VP candidate, Sarah Palin, was a mistake. Instead of sticking to his 'experience' line, he picked a candidate who had the same 'experience' issues that he slammed Obama for. McCain has some good ideas and is not similar to George Bush (McSame) like many people are claiming, but American citizens won't be ready to give him a chance due to their extreme anger & disappointment with Bush (Iraq, economy etc)

    I worry about Barack Obama, the future president of the US. I think he has the potential to be a better leader than McCain but something about him concerns me. He has little experience and quite a few connections to very shady characters. His naivete regarding foreign policy is highlighted by many people from his own party expressing concern, even Joe Biden, his VP candidate, has already forgotten his dismay at Obama's 'no precondition talk' with regards to Iran last year. I hope his desire to revitalize the US will bring upon successful ideas and reforms, but something about him just worries me. He seems to be the quintessential salesperson.

  4. I'm looking forward to the sleepless nights ... Will talk more about that later as I don't like to etchoo ozoos!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Has he Bishara'ed too?


Found by Zak Safra

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Recongize This?

Mientras en lo profundo del corazón
palpite un alma judia
y rumbo al Oriente
dirija la mirada a Tzión

No se habrá perdido nuestra esperanza
la esperanza de dos mil ańos
de ser un pueblo libre en nuestra tierra
la tierra de Tzión y Jerusalem

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Pepitada ... The Tradition Continues

Drying melon pips is a yearly tradition at the Piha US household, and I hadn't seen any since I moved back to Israel ... well, until this year, when I decided it was time to start drying my own pips so I could introduce pepitada to our holiday drink list. Pepitada, which has been the Sephardi drink of choice after fasts even before the expulsion from Spain, means 'made of fruit pips' in Ladino.

The milky looking drink made from crushed (& then soaked) melon pips has long been a staple of my family's dining room table after the Yom Kippur fast and I am honored to be able to continue this tradition with Tals ... And without further waiting, here are a few pics from how the adventure went:

The recipe:

The pips:

The crushed pips in the cheese cloth bag:

Soaking away:

The Drink:

גמר חתימה טובה ולחיים

Friday, October 03, 2008

From Twain to Twerski

"Shortly after the Yom Kippur War, I visited Israel, and indeed spirits were low. Many families had suffered losses, and the shock of the war had seriously dampened the euphoria that had resulted from the triumph of the Six Day War. I left Israel with profound feelings of sadness.

On the way back from Israel, I stopped off in Rome and visited the ruins of ancient Rome - the Coliseum and the Forum. I walked among the broken columns of the once-proud buildings, and I came to the Arch of Titus. On the arch there is the bas relief of the Sack of Jerusalem, with Roman soldiers carrying off the Menorah, and the inscription, Judea Capta, Judah was taken captive. Under this relief someone had scrawled in graffiti in white chalk: עם ישראל חי, the nation of Israel lives on!"

Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski in Visions of the Fathers.