January 31, 2005

You think it will help

If I order them not to get sick?
Seond kid, down for the count.

It's gonna be a long week.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 04:06 PM | Comments (4)

STICKY TAPED: Where To Send Funds For Gush Katif

(remember to scroll down for latest blog entries.)

Ask and you shall receive, quite quickly I might add. Thank you Mirel.

Here's the information friends.

btw, if anyone has any other sources, put it in the comments please and I'll add it here. If you e-mail it I may never see it. Too much e-mail too little time.

Paamonim. com is platforming for tax deductible donations to Lemaan Achai, the fund for Gush Katif victims.

Israeli and American checks can be sent to the Israel or US offices.

In Israel, send to
POB 1423
Bet El 90628
ask for a tax receipt

In the US, send to
Rabbi Hershel Schachter,
24 Bennett Ave (apt. 26A),
New York City, N.Y. 10033

Make the check out to Paamonim, and earmark it Lemaan Achai.

In the US: call 718 438 1498 paamonim to get more info

another e-mail and more information on this particular organization including where to send UK funds. Scroll down to DONATIONS if you don't want to read the blurb.

Lema'an Achai (RBS) - Emergency Campaign for Gush Katif

9,000 Israeli citizens have become displaced persons overnight. They have
been torn from their homes, jobs, friends and communities. Scattered in 42
locations around the country, in hotel rooms, kibbutzim, caravans and
tents, all their household possessions are stored in 20 ft containers
somewhere in the Negev Desert. Many are still wearing the clothes they were
evicted in; their shirts torn in the traditional sign of mourning.

Friends, it is our privilege to help them come to terms with their trauma
and begin to rebuild their lives.
The residents of Gush Katif did not ask to be placed in this situation,
they were always self-supporting, and in fact brought in millions of
dollars to the Israeli economy through their exports of flowers, herbs and
organic produce. Their family and friends gave their lives for what the
Israeli Government deemed to be the security of the country. Yet now they
are dependent on others' generosity as a direct result of the actions of
the Israeli Government (with US approval)- yet the compensation, solutions
and response of the government are totally inadequate. The Government
Disengagement Authority (SELA) and the Statutory Welfare Services, who are
technically responsible for the care of the evacuees have already proven
themselves to be incapable or uninterested in providing effective
care. The people of Gush Katif need your support to help them reestablish
their lives.

Lema'an Achai (RBS) is an award-winning nonprofit social services agency
based in Ramat Beit Shemesh. It has successfully pioneered the concept of
"Smart Chesed" in Israel, combining primary aid to families in distress,
with numerous rehabilitation programs, run by a committed core of
professionals and around 400 volunteers. While continuing to serve the
ongoing needs of our 1000 local recipients, Lema'an Achai will now use our
expertise to separately provide mental health and crisis services to the
evacuees of Gush Katif.

In the weeks leading to the evacuation, Lema'an Achai gathered together a
voluntary team of fifty leading psychologists, psychiatrists and social
workers and established a forum in which they were able to exchange
information and recommendations. In this way, Lema'an Achai was
immediately able to dispatch volunteer social workers and psychologists to
hotels in Jerusalem, Beersheva, Ashkelon, Eilat and the Dead Sea as the
first bewildered evacuees arrived at their temporary accommodations. Our
services were coordinated together with those of other organizations, such
as Paamonim-Lemaan Achai Verei, in order to maximize efficiency and reach
all those in need.

On Sunday, 28th August, these 9,000 people are due to be thrown out of
these hotels and into a void. They want to stay together in their
communities, the only connection that remains to their former lives. The
government has offered no real solutions to their plight.

* Lema'an Achai is launching an emergency campaign to raise funds for vital
programs * that will help the people of Gush Katif to cope with their
trauma and gather together their community resources to rebuild their
lives. Specifically, Lema'an Achai are planning the following short term
and long term programs (adapting to the dynamics in the field) :

- National Trauma & Crisis Relief Services
The goal is to provide a quality level of professional counseling and
therapy to people wherever they are. Some of the evacuated residents will
suffer the effects long-term, even for generations (as happened with
Yamit). For these families, professional trauma and crisis intervention
starting now and continuing until no longer required, will enable them to
regain their balance and to rebuild their lives again as self-sufficient,
industrious and motivated Jews. Your help can keep 1,800 families together.

- Atzmona/Shalabim/Beit Shemesh - 75 families (a staggering 800 people!)
from the village of Atzmona are being hosted in Shalabim and have been
'adopted' by Beit Shemesh. Lema'an Achai (RBS) is taking a leading role in
this, including supplying primary aid (including towels, fans, diapers,
etc..) and professional rehabilitation services.

- Virtual Communities:
The goal is to help the dispersed residents to restore their cohesive
communities through the provision of internet community websites, forums
and list-groups that will enable them to maintain contact with one another
however physically distanced they find themselves. Access to their virtual
community will provide them with the group support and a renewed identity
until they are able to physically come together. Internet and email
communities are relatively unknown to the Israeli public - Lemaan Achai
will recruit hi-tech volunteers to set-up and maintain the virtual
communities and teach the evacuees how to use them. We will provide free
laptops and training so that no evacuee need ever feel alone.

- Show Them You Care
Many of the evacuees feel abused and abandoned by society. They need to
see your concern and support for them. Lema'an Achai is establishing a
service that will allow caring Jews all over the world to scan and send
letters and pictures of support, for us to distribute to these people
during their sorrow. Show them you care. (Until we have the system
running, please email scanned letters as LIGHT jpeg attachments to
carmi@lemaanachai.org )

My dear friends, the residents of Gush Katif have been turned into
transitory dwellers, at least for the next few years. Let us show them that
we have the ability and the intent to be there for them, wherever they may

Thank you,

David Morris
Chairperson, Lema'an Achai


Israel Tax Deductible Donations should be made out to "Lema'an Achai",
earmarked "Gush Katif Fund",
and sent to:
Lema'an Achai (RBS), 40/7 Nachal Lachish, Ramat Beit Shemesh 99093, ISRAEL.

Secure Online Donations: Go to:

Credit Card Donations: Call (+972-2) 999.99.33 for Credit Card Donations 24
hours a day

US Dollar Check requiring US Tax Deduction:
Please make checks payable to:
"American Friends of Lema'an Achai"; on Memo Line indicate: "Gush Katif
c/o Simon Fleischer
35 West 96th St #1F
New York, NY 10025

UK Tax Deductible Donations: should be made payable to "The Jewish Aid
Committee" and mailed to Lema'an Achai (RBS) in Israel.
Canadian Tax Deductible Donations: should be made payable to "Shaarei
Tefillah" and mailed to Lema'an Achai (RBS) in Israel.

For more information, please
contact david@lemaanachai.org. or call

Please pass this on to you close family and friends, with your personal


David Morris, Chairman
Lema'an Achai - It's All About Caring


Direct Tel: +9722.999.7107
Office: +9722.999.1553
Fax: +9722.9992398

40/7 Nahal Lachish
Ramat Beit Shemesh,
99093 Israel.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:37 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 30, 2005

What it is

So, like I said,

Monkey's been sick. I thought Thurday-Friday was it. Then Shabbat she threw up in my hair. This was an interesting wake up call, to say the least. But then during the day she was well. Night sick, day well. She gets tired in the afternoon, doesn't want to eat much, psuhes food away and sleeps. But during the day, fine as can be.

I key into weird little symptoms; her hands redder than normal, her snoring, the way she sleeps, different than normal. And I worry.

Does this mean more than I think it does? I both dismiss and worry about these little things, laughing at myself as I picture myself tearful in the hospital as a doctor lambasts me for ignorning a symptom every thinking person would know indicates some horrible disease that requires prompt and immediate attention to prevent catastrophe.

And I laugh at myself because I know no such scenario is likely to take place. She has a virus. She is getting better everyday. Each evening there is less of a fever. she sleeps easier. There is nothing horrific or terrifying about this illness; it is common virus, following the pattern of many viruses; something is going around, and she will, like all the other children and adults in the area get over it, if not by morning, by the next morning.

She is fine.

Except she is MY daughter, MY child.

So I worry, and laugh at myself for worrying, and worry still..

Which is normal too.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:45 PM | Comments (2)

January 29, 2005

All Shabbat

I was thinking about a great post; well, what I hoped would be a great post. It wasn't going to be about my life, or something cute/annoying/worrisome etc. It was going to start off with a line from a nascent story growing in my brain: to wit---

"Thursdays you would find me in the conference room at Mellon and Broth, collecting from all the would bes and hopefuls the entries for the bi-monthly contest, obviously an advertizing gimmick, sponsered by one of their many products. The contests ranged from "tell how Mina-amber tissues make your life better" to "The most beautiful window in your state"; prizes the expected, money, fame and a quantity of whatever the product sponsering the contest. Getting one's name and a picture or copy of one's poem in "Home Matters" magazine, a subsidary of you guessed it, is nothing to sneeze at. Recipes, health advice, parenting advice, love advice--- trendy, and conservative, it has quite a pull. But still, for most of those who win the contest, making it into the magazien is about as high as they will ever go in life."

Well, that's the start. I don't know if I should even attempt to go further with this... Still, I see the story in my head, craving the attention of the outside world.. Then I think of all those other stories penned by people who should have kept them contined and never given them permission to roam, and wonder prehaps if my stories don't have more in common with them.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:16 PM | Comments (2)

January 28, 2005

Monkey is Sick

High fever (103f, 39c), body aches, barely wanting to move from couch or bed, not interested in watching t.v. most of the time, uninterested in food, and falling in and out of sleep. The only thing she wants is Ima and Aba hugging her.

Poor baby.

Hope this thing is over quick.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:32 AM | Comments (2)

January 27, 2005

BLOGBURST; Remembering the Wannsee Conference and the Liberation of Auschwitz


Remembering the Wannsee Conference and the Liberation of Auschwitz

"This article is posted by participants of the January 27, 2005, BlogBurst (see list at end of article), to remember the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, sixty years ago, on January 27, 1945.

On January 20th, we marked the anniversary of the 1942 Wannsee Conference. In the course of that Conference, the Nazi hierarchy formalized the plan to annihilate the Jewish people. Understanding the horrors of Auschwitz requires that one be aware of the premeditated mass-murder that was presented at Wannsee.

Highlighting these events now has become particularly important, even as the press reports that '45% of Britons have never heard of Auschwitz' Jerusalem Post, December 2, 2004,

  • http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1101960938940”)
  • On January 20th, 1942, 16 people sat down and discussed, coldly, analytically, the extermination of the Jewish people. On January 27th,1945, the Russian Army liberated Aschwitz-Birkenau. The number murdered is still being debated, but is between 1.3 (at a"low") and 4 million people, most of whom were Jews. As David pointed out, the number cited above is FROM AUSHWITZ ALONE, and not the total number of Jews and people killed during the Holocaust. (my apologies, I should have been clearer. Thank you David for the correction.) The best defense against a repeat of this horror is education, and more eduation. There are a lot of links in this page; please, don't skip over them. Please read.

    Please know, really know, what "civilized" people can do.

    Read more here

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:24 AM | Comments (1)

    January 26, 2005


    The worst movie ever made. The movie you think should have never made it out of whatever mind had conceived it. The movie that should be beaten for daring to exist.

    I nominate SIGNS.
    Okay, premise; aliens who hate water and who have been to earth before, return to earth for whatever nefarious reasons. They leave marks in the ground crop as naviagation tools (I suppose whoever left the marks didn't need to know this stuff. Not to mention the fact, as my dh pointed out, that they managed to acutally find Earth in the first place.)

    However, we shouldn't feel that aliens have come without giving us fair warning. There is a book, which not only describes the events, but has a picture of the very farmhouse where the action will take place, said book owned by one of the dufuses (dad, brother, two winsome children, one with asthma, of course, so he will have a couple of near fatal asthama attacks) whom, knowing this stuff, choose not to abandon hearth and home but to stay and cower in the basement. This will teach those damn aliens!

    Of course people in the Middle East apparently find that water is an anthema to these aliens, but the news reports, which report on the saving of the planet, don't know this little tidbit, so cowering family in the basement gets to discover it on their on.

    There is more, but whoever didn't pat the screenwriter on the head and send him off to bed must have been drunk. I can't beleive it made it to the screen.

    Lest one accuse me of having actually sat through it, know, I left it on, MST3K like, while I blogged, talked on the phone and made myself something to eat.

    I could have been redeemed; if someone had the foresight to play it WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYY over the top and make it a comedy (which it semi-succeeded in being anyway) or if they had played it turn of the screw like, where the family goes insane but the world is simply going on...but...

    Anyway, which movie is your favorite as the worst of them all?

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:41 AM | Comments (4)

    Bodily Functions

    Yesterday, last night really, I was to have a book trade party at my house; everyone come, bring one's unwanted books, and take home new unread novels.
    I had quite a stack of my own books that needed new homes, and I was quite sure
    other's also had books in search of new readers.

    So I had everything ready, warning the lMonkey that she must remain quiet and well behaved upstairs, a treat for following instructions.

    I set out two tablefuls of books; organized by genre, set out some coffee and tea, and a bit of dried fruit. And I prepared the kitchen to hold the four legged member of the family, just in case others who came were not as enamored of him as I was.

    And this led to the first disaster. Inadvertantly, and without my awarness, a bottle of oil had fallen, developed a crack, and was oozing out its precious wealth onto the floor behind my cabinest (originally bookshelves, now holding my dishes).

    The dog found it first; sniffing, as he has a wont to do, to find whatever of the good stuff we may not have put away and out of his reach, he discovered this unexpected bounty and began to lap it up.

    My question to him (which, no I really didn't expect to be answered) "what are you into" turned into a groan as I realized the amount of oil which was now coating the floor. All that work and...

    Oil, dog, bowel system. Really, must it be spelled out? And people coming, hopefully, in 1 hrs time!


    So I wipe up the mess, and wipe up the mess, and wipe up the mess. Oil is a demon when it comes to being cleaned up; it much prefers to remain where it is, indolent upon whatever surfaces it has reached. 1/2 a roll of towels and a soap and water bath take care of it though and of course the dog wants out.

    Knew it.

    Three times in 1/2 hr.

    This does not bode well!

    The bowel-challengeddog gets locked in the kitchen. A blanket gets tossed in, along with a prayer that any whining he does may indicate his saddness to part from the company of others and not a great and unavoidably (no pun intended!) need being answered all over the kitchen floor.

    I go sit on the couch, and grabbed Sophies choice, which will be entered into next months book trade. And I wait. And I wait.

    And the first person shows up, takes a copule of books, we talk, and then the Monkey wants tucking in.

    Hey, she was quiet for a whole 1/2hr; this is good behaviour!

    And then I wait, and wait, and wait, and someone else comes, takes a few books, we smooze, and another two visitors, mom and daughter.

    That's it folks.

    So my friends and I are talking, discussing options for pulling in tons of money and becoming multimillionaires from whatever enterprise we finally enter into when the Monkey comes round the corner from upstairs, and starts down.

    No disobedience here, the child is asleep. I try and direct her to the bathroom, but she isn't moving; maybe she doesn't have to go but is attracted by the noise?
    I pick her up and get a kiss, her arms almost limp about me, and carry her over to the computer where I was trying to pull something up to make a point in my discussion, when I feel this twitch.

    Yep; Niagra Falls here, "she's peeing" I announce rather needlessly as a flood rushes down through my hands, over my skirt and a flood develops at my feet.

    "She sure is!" one of my friends concurrs, adding that amazement that I am so unfazed about the incident.

    Hmm, I wonder if I could put that particular skill on my resume?

    I clean her up, tuck her onto the couch (she is still quite asleep and will not I remember this in the morning), and clean the floor and myself, and luckily, since both women are friends, conduct the rest of the meeting in a robe.

    Such was my evening.

    Anyone for a book?
    (the kitchen flor was fine for those that were worried.)

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:24 AM | Comments (3)

    January 24, 2005

    It Took 60 Years

    For this to happen.
    I am glad the UN finally sees fit to memorialize the victims of this horrific event, and appalled that it took this long.

    Sylvan Shalom, Israel's foreign minister, addressed the UN stating, basing his speech on the prophecy of Ezkiel

    Thousands of years ago the prophet Ezekiel had a similar vision. In one of the most famous passages of the Bible, the prophet describes how he came to a valley full of bones. The bones, says Ezekiel, are the House of Israel. And the bones are dry, and their hope is lost. Faced with this scene, he asks the question: Shall these bones live? Shall these bones live?

    Ezekiel asked the question that every liberator of the camps asked himself: Can any hope or humanity emerge from such horror? Shall these bones live?

    answering the question with these two statements.

    The dry bones have lived again not only in the lives of the survivors, but also in two entities established on the ashes of the Holocaust: the United Nations and the modern State of Israel.
    and further on in his speech
    The fact that so many survivors came and played their part in the building of the State of Israel, was itself a remarkable fulfillment of Ezekiel's prophecy. As the prophet said:

    Thus says the Lord: Behold, O my people, I will take you from the graves. I will put my spirit in you, and you shall live in your own land, in the land of Israel.

    The full text of his speech can be found here. I urge you to read it.
    It brought me to tears.


    As Batya said the hall was half-empty, the only Arab nation remaining in the hall was Jordan.
    as an aside
    1.British Muslims plan to boycott the ceremony.
    2. A bit of history on the villians and heros in the Arab community during the Holocaust.
    3. Batya Medad speaks about the Holcoaust, Great Britain, and the heirs to the British throne.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:15 PM | Comments (2)

    You Know You Could

    If you want to, I mean I certainly wouldn't mind, go here and vote for my blog for the BEST PERSONAL BLOG (group B). Hey, it's a thought!
    (as she throws herself on the ground and pathetically begs PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE WiTH SUGAR AND WHiPPED CREAM AND A CHERRY ON TOP!)

    Lots of nice blogs are in competition; many among my personal favorites. It really is a great idea. Go vote for who you like and may the best blogers win. Good luck to all.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 04:44 PM | Comments (1)

    January 23, 2005

    Haveil Havalim Are Here!!

    So good morning everyone, hope you have your cup of joe, and are ready to kick back and see what's what this week in the Jewish blogverse.

    First because mornings are always confusing to me (what day is it?) I will confuse you some and send you over to Auterific where Linda seeks to confuse you even more with her post OY! A NEW CALENDAR?

    Now that you are up, and out of bed and throughly confused on what day it is, I'll send you over to Me-ander, where she will kevetch to you about the weather, and maybe you just want to turn around and go back to bed?

    Okay, you have to get up, you have to get out of bed! Cox & Forkum gets your mind going with this editorial on the "moderate Abbas", and his adoring fans in the mainstream media. That about sums up my feelings as well.

    For more media duplicity, how about hopping over to "It's Almost Supernatural" and find out the truth about the film "Jenin, Jenin". Or perhaps his post of the demographic dud is more your cup of tea. I'll take them both.

    Next we go over to Mark of Auterific has some interesting things to about the supposed "Arrogance" of Jews. I agree Mark, I agree.

    But it is about time for lunch, right? And I don't want to spoil your appetite, so here is a sweet little something from House of Joy, on being home in Israel.

    And Soccer Dad finds all those he is related to; at least by name!

    And let your lunch digest with this contemplative post on the Kotel (Wailing/Western Wall) and women, by Jerusalem Revealed.

    Gilly lets us know about how a citizen becomes a soldier and why he takes on this burden.

    And David Bogner of Treppenwitzthose reminds us of those who have given their lives so that others may live in his post titled "The 35".

    Smoothstone reports on Tom Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor to serve in congress.

    And Rishon Rishon talks to us about Lessons Learned from WWII.

    While Miriam from Bloghead reminds us about those who gave their utmost, like Raoul Wallenberg.

    And then there is dinner. well here's some food for thought: book banning, Jewish
    Whatever you decide, get yourself a nice bowl of chicken soup, it is cold out there!!!(okay, sue me, I linked to a food blog and not a particular recipe, just search and you will find! Here's a link to a recipe I KNOW THAT'S NOT A BLOG!!...everyone's a critic!)

    And here's two posts to go to sleep with, but warm thoughts for a cold night.
    Muse on what makes you happy inside, and Jack from Random Thoughts on Moments in Time.

    May all your dreams be good and all your prayers be answered for the good of all.
    Take care!

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 11:59 AM | Comments (5)

    January 22, 2005

    Bus 19/Berkley Ca.

    Received this on an e-mail list. Last year almost to the day (January 29th 2004) a Palestinian suicide bomber climbed aboard Bus 19 and set off the bomb, killing 11 and injuring 50 other people. The bus is on tour in America. The link will take you to some Palestinian response.

    There are two pages of this stuff, photos and writing what the author saw and heard.

    No comment on my part is necessary.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:34 PM | Comments (1)


    Shabbat was full of quiet this week, the Wit being on base and the Agent spending the Shabbat with a friend (from the US). So it was just the two little ones, my husband and myself; and the girls played by themselves and I thought of how it would be in a couple of years when this was the norm.

    The house getting quieter and quieter, our food bill going steadily downward, till it was just me and the dh left in the house which will, incredibly expand before our eyes the way a young child, previously the "baby of the family" ages at the birth of a younger sibling. "Was s/he always that large?"

    I am not sure I'm ready for this contraction; but of course it happens to all families. One day one is growing the next, inexplicitly, one is contracting---like some think the universe will--expand then contract, and then it all begins elsewhere.

    Meanwhile I still have not found the Teudot Z'hute (TZ), and this has devastated me frankly. I am so careful with that blasted thing, where could it be? I never remove it from my purse unless I need it and then it goes right back in; I check almost every time I remove something from my bag to make sure it wasn't removed as well. I know it terms of life it is a rather minor thing, such as losing one's license etc. etc. a bit embarrassing, but not an earthshaking event, yet it was bothering me considerably. I found myself trying to make deals with G-d as if G-d needed my whatever, and was thus vulnerable to bribes. What a way to pray, I realize, what a horrible way to relate to G-d. There is nothing wrong with turning to G-d of course, but to sink to that level.

    I don't know why this is eating at my soul except I take it as a personal failure, and I am by nature a worrywart, going over and over something till I am in emotional tatters.

    A personality flaw, admittedly.

    There are a couple of other places where it might be; I'm checking along the path I go to the girls school, the room we used (I have to search for the book there as well) and a friend, where, if the TZ is there it is there by an incredible string of events, but I'm praying, as the thought came to me in a flash about midnight, that it is by her.

    Oh well. If it doesn't show up by about Tuesday we will go in and report it missing. Maybe it was stolen from me and I'm the victim of some sort of id theft.

    That's all for today folks.
    Get those Haveil Havelim nominations in. Last chance now!!

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 05:05 PM | Comments (2)

    January 21, 2005

    Last Call

    For Haveil Havalim!

    I would really love to have some lighter fair; cute Jewish kid stories? Happy news anyone? Don't be shy, if you've written something, somber or joyous about Israel or with a Jewish theme that you think is a worthwhile read, or if you have read something that you think everyone should read, please lmk. Write Haveil Havelim in the subject so I can find it mroe easily.

    G-d willing I will write post the winners on January 23, as late as possible, so you can have extra time to get your nominations in.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 10:59 AM | Comments (0)

    In The Meantime

    I picked up a couple of sweet rolls from the makolet, made myself a nice cup of coffee, and sat down by the computer to take my mind off of the very terrible yesterday when I received this call...In Hebrew.

    "Hello. Are you looking for work?"
    I am so I answered yes, but not with housework anymore, "I have problems with my knees. What kind of work did you need me to do?"
    "This is work for me and not my husband, right?"
    "You have problems with your knees? What kind?" Question appeared odd, but depending on what he wanted me to do I figured it made sense.
    "We need someone to order pictures."
    "Order pictures?" I'm thinking it is the bakery/photo guy and they need help making sure the right pictures go to the right person, or a free-lance photographer doing the same. And yet there is a little niggle there, this job sounds odd.
    "Yes, order pictures."
    "I could do that."
    "Yes, we have two kind of pictures."
    "Two kinds of pictures?" These vibes now they are getting stronger.
    "We have pictues of daughters.... you understand? Daughters..."
    "Okay...." I'm ready for the punch and here it is...
    "And women with out clothes...."

    Yep; my first dirty phone call in Israel. What a way to cap the week. Anything else G-d before Shabbat? Please let next week be a mite better!!!

    Hey, at least I was able to carry on the disccusion in Hebrew. I guess that's something.

    BTW: just wanted to add, I doubt if the photos he refered to were real. He was just trying to talk and keep me talking, and because of my limited understanding of Hebrew he probably kept me on a lot longer than most people would. I don't claim to understand the mindset of these perverts, but the basic pattern is to continuously drop more hints until the undeniable sinks in---whatever form their conversations takes.

    I do wish I had some ID on the phone. I could have then at least reported him.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:44 AM | Comments (1)

    January 20, 2005

    So Does Anyone Want to Hear

    About my terrible, no good, very bad day?

    You don't? Too bad, I'm ranting anyway. I know, I know, you can just mosey along. That's what makes blogging so nice, you can mosey and I can rant and we can all go home happy.

    Okay, so here is how it starts.

    I'm teaching the two poorer readers, everything is fine. They leave, and I go on a hunt for the better reader; oh where oh where can she be? Finally find her, and we back to the teeny tiny room we are using as a classroom; and...something is missing. Like my notebook with EVERYTHING in it; and I do mean everything for the class. Finally I find the secretary who finds it on the shelf where I suppose she cleared it away for some reason or other. It's English and so she doesn't know what it was.

    Okay, so class begins, class ends, I pack up and leave, and get halfway down the road when I realize, I never checked to see if the book I was using to teach the first two girls how to read was actually IN THE NOTEBOOK! And guess what? It wasn't! And the book, ladies and gentlemen, is not mine. Not the schools. No, the book belongs to someone else who will be more than slightly put out if it is missing missing instead of missing we will find it soon don't worry. So I go back to the school.

    No secretary. Door to the teeny tiny room is locked. I briefly consider putting shoulder to the door but I'm not that stupid. Check my bags, the notebook once more.

    No book.

    It's in there, I tell myself. It has to be.

    Search, search, search.

    Then get the mail. Penpal letters, bill, late notice. WHAT???

    Shoot, call dh. How much do we owe? Too much, too much.

    Argh...I think I have enough mula to cover it.

    Don't worry. Don't worry? I'm too good at worrying not to worry.

    Worry, worry, worry. Search, search, search.

    Pick up the Monkey from school, return home.

    Worry, search, worry, search.

    What will I do if I can't find it by next Thursday????

    Calm down, it has to be there on the shelf.

    Worry, search, worry, search.

    Dh calls, and I talk with him a bit, realize my "cartisia" is on the desk, decide to put it where it belongs which is in my teudot zahut (identity papers).

    Guess what I can't find? That's right.

    Dh had better have it in his things. I can't remember him returning it to me when he took it for some purpose or other but maybe that is just wishful thining.

    Worry, search, search,worry, search, search.

    It costs $100 shek to replace. $100 shek that we do not have. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

    Then I get a call from a friend.

    "Could that be Caesar down by the garbage cans?"

    "No, of course not, Caesar is right....."


    Just not my day. Not my day at all.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:15 PM | Comments (2)

    Too Upsetting

    On January 17th, early in the morning, I recieved an e-mail announcing that the Rav of a Yishuv in my area had died. This was a wonderful human being, who, even while suffering from a devestating illness, continued to care and concern himself with those in his Yishuv.

    I attended the funeral on the same day (as in accordance with Jewish law people are buried within 24hrs). Tears flowed freely from those about me, the place was so full of those who came to honor the memory of this extraordinary human being that I and many others congregated outside. Men, women and children attended each wrapped up in the grief of the moment.

    Today seeral trees were planted in his honor on his Yishuv. Then I come home to read this article from Arutz Sheva.

    Needless to say I'm quite upset. This was land set aside for a cemetary. How dare someone try and prevent the funeral from going on? I am outraged, I am truly outraged.

    I can attest to the fact that the area in question is, aside from the Yishuv, free of other houses. The burial spot was right near the entrance of the Yishuv. No houses, no buildings, no gardens, orchards or anything else...empty for quite a distance.

    I can't tell you how angry I am feeling right now.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 04:31 PM | Comments (2)

    Conversation with The Monkey

    Who is five if you all remember.

    "Ima, is Caesar a puppy?"
    "No honey, he's all grown up."
    Dramatic wail.
    "Oh! then he is going to leave us soon!"
    Ima, thinking she is thinking the dog is soon headed for doggies heaven. Which, owing to his age is probably not all that off the mark. But still...
    "Why do you say that honey?"
    "Because he is going to go find a wife and leave us!"
    Mom manages not to laugh while assuring the child this is not a likely possiblity. It isn't so much that he is snipped; he isn't. That was part of the purchasing agreement. It is more like he is that dumb. Caesar doesn't even lift his leg to pee.

    Smarts, this dog doesn't have. If a pretty Basset Hound lady came strolling around he probably just wouldn't know what to do.

    At least he is cheerfully stupid.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 04:00 PM | Comments (1)

    January 19, 2005

    Haveil Havalim


    I am hosting Haveil Havalim this week! Please send me nominations for the best Israeli/Jewish themed post from the week of January 16-January 22; I will post the best of the best on January 23rd (as late as I can my time). The blogger doesn't have to be Jewish to be included; the post simply needs to be related to Jewish/Israeli topics.

    Please send all nominations to the.anolicks@gmail.com

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 11:45 PM | Comments (3)


    I think.

    It is a little odd living in a place where, when you hear thunder you question, at least briefly, if that is what you heard or if you should start worrying about heading people off to a shelter. Since the noise wasn't followed by a siren but by a phone call from a friend who was wondering the same I am certain we are safe, sound, and not under attack of anything more violent than a rainstorm.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 05:32 PM | Comments (1)



    That about sums up the day.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 04:58 PM | Comments (0)

    January 18, 2005

    And I'm 47!!!!

    Today is my English birthday (I was my mom's late birthday present.). I was going to write this post in the morning, but instead I abandoned you all in favor of this woman and shopping in Jerusalem!

    I was hoping to find some fiber for my spinning, but alas and alack there was no to be procurred. Instead I bought some homespun and some orange thread for my protest bracelet. (made my daughter one, and she added oranger, clear and white beads)

    And I got a lovely fiber gift from Moze! Some cotton and flax fiber AND seeds to plant, which will hopefully grow and give me tons of cotton to spin. I watched as Moze spun up some cotton; she is a superb spinner (she showed me the wool she is working on for her socks) her work is so lovely and smooth! Something to be envied. She even makes her husbands tzitzit!!!

    We also stopped off at my favorite bookstore, Sefer v'sefel, and of course, I bought more books. One book was for my English class so I get work points!!!

    Anyway, if anyone else wants to honor me on my birthday, here are three requests.

    1. Give a bit of charity
    2. Smile and say something kind to three people who you feel like frowning at
    3. Do something lovely for yourself. Take a hot bath, sip some good wine, or get that book you've been wanting.

    Have a wonderful day!!

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 03:36 PM | Comments (13)

    January 17, 2005

    Happy Birthday Mom!!!

    Hey everyone wish my mom a happy "29th" birthday (How she managed to get younger than me, I don't know.) In any case, Happy Birthday Mom!!! May you live to be 120 years, all in good health of body, mind, heart and soul.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 12:00 AM | Comments (7)

    January 16, 2005

    Straw Looms

    Well, the girls in my English class may not have enjoyed spinning, but they enjoyed this!

    Now how is that English? Well, these words came up (though so much interest was in the loom I will most likely have to repeat the words) Loom, weave (and I showed them that people can weave in and out of things as well) shirts, skirts, bedclothes, sheets, pillowcases, numbers five and three, spin, thigh. They took home some yarn and their looms and now have something else to do when they don't have homework. At the very least they brought home an art project. And the principle seemed to think it a good idea; she saw what we were doing and complimented me.

    So next week I'm going to talk more about the words, and then do a movement excercise with each girl moving how I specify; weave in and out of the chairs, or spin, or jump or kick, or run in place etc. etc.

    I like teaching!

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 01:22 PM | Comments (5)

    January 15, 2005

    That was Quick

    We didn't even make it to the altar.

    Not that I blame Sharon; I am in agreement with his decision.
    Unless Abbas takes REAL control of the Palestinian society, and that means doing what he doesn't want to do: arrest terrorist and murderers. Until he does that, until he makes it clear that murder is not acceptable, then these types of incidents will continue.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:02 PM | Comments (4)

    January 14, 2005

    A Beautiful Story

    Some better news now, to start Shabbat on a better note.:
    via the e-mail from my good friend Renee (we pen-pal. She does not get mad if I'm late in writing She always has something lovely and interesting to say). I wanted to share the story with you all.

    Just heard this story from my colleague Rabbi Chaim Mentz of Chabad of Bel Air, CA May we see miracles continuosly in our lives until Moshiach comes. Rabbi Zvi Konikov Chabad of the Space & Treasure Coasts 1190 Highway A1A Satellite Beach, FL 32937 (321) 777 2770 chabadspacecoast@att.net www.jewishbrevard.com

    by Rabbi Chaim Mentz

    In the summer of 2004 Andrew and Sharon finally became engaged and asked me,
    their rabbi, from Chabad of Bel Air, CA if I will officiate at their wedding
    ceremony on December 5, 2004? I was so happy for them, I answered OF COURSE,
    as long as you meet the 4 basic requirements of a Jewish wedding,

    I would be honored.

    1) They are both Jewish.
    2) The bride will go to the mikvah prior to the wedding.
    3) The food will be kosher at the wedding;
    4) Neither are still married to another person.

    If so they must obtain a Get (Jewish Divorce).

    Both smiled, and were delighted, because nothing can stop them now. The
    wedding was set as planned. UNTIL........

    During a private conversation Sharon confided in me, that she was once
    married to a Jewish guy, (who she refers to as "the mistake"), but it was
    only for six hours, and the courts gave her an annulment immediately ....
    due to the terrible actions of the "mistake."

    I could feel knots forming in my stomach. How do I tell her the last thing
    on earth she wants to hear. I began saying, "Please understand that what I
    am going to tell you, may surprise you, but you still need a Get. Six hours
    or Six years is still considered being married."


    "Rabbi .. please understand, IT WAS A MISTAKE."

    Sharon who never ever wanted to revisit her past, let alone have contact
    with â€oethe mistake", couldn't believe what I said. I continued saying to
    her "I want to do your wedding, please understand I can't do it until you
    get a Get (Jewish Divorce)."

    "Rabbi what if I can't find "the mistake"? "Am I doomed forever?"

    "Please let's not fall into any false hopes. I will be there for you. Let's
    contact the Jewish courts in Los Angeles, and they will help us go through
    this dilemma."

    I explained to both Sharon and Andrew, nothing happens without a reason. The
    fact you need a GET today shows that something important happened in
    Sharon's life, even if it lasted only for six hours.

    Sharon would not allow her wedding to be stopped due to her "mistake". She
    continues to plan her wedding, and honeymoon.

    After spending a few weeks with the Jewish Courts in Los Angeles, Sharon
    finally was free from "the mistake", until the Jewish courts told her, "Now
    that you have your GET you can marry, but not before 92 days from today.
    WHAT???? Sharon and Andrew immediately called me; "are they crazy? Is this
    true? Will you not do our wedding on December 5th?"

    I, calmly explained to them Jewish law, and tried to reason with them, why
    there is a 92 day wait. All they could think about was, their wedding plans,
    their honeymoon, their BASHERT! For days, they didn't understand why they
    would have to wait for January 2005 to get married.

    After a few days, both Andrew and Sharon called me and said we want to do
    our wedding right in G-d's eyes; so they began re-planning their wedding for
    the end of January.

    But still in the back of their mind, they couldn't understand why G-d was
    delaying their wedding. Well, not until December 26th. You see, Andrew and
    Sharon were supposed to be on their last days of their three week honeymoon
    in the famous Kaafu Atoll Maldives hotels: on Lankanfushi Island.

    Their hotel room would have been swept up by the tsunami.

    Both Sharon and Andrew celebrated 'their miracle' on January 1st, with a
    special Kiddush in our shul. As Andrew said ... Best advice the Rabbi ever
    gave us, was "Follow the rules of G-d's Torah, it will be a blessing in the
    end for the both of you!"

    On January 23rd, Andrew & Sharon plan on having their wedding.

    May G-d bless them with years of happiness and health together.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:00 AM | Comments (2)

    A Dark Night

    The Al-Asqua Brigade and Hamas claim that together they carried out this attack against civilians in Israel. The death toll has been upgraded to six.

    It could have been much worse; their original aim was to take hostages (to exchange for prisoners.) which is one reason I am against such exchanges.

    No negotiations without the return of our missing and our dead.
    No release of prisoners till they have served their terms.
    And if you take our people hostage, you don't get to visit your murderous friends and family.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:34 AM | Comments (0)

    January 13, 2005

    You Know

    What's exciting?
    Going out for coffee with a whole bunch of women friends, sans dh and kids, just to talk.

    What's embarrassing? Losing your purse 5 minutes before the ride is about to pick you up and having to borrow money from your son to pay for the outing (and hoping you've borrowed enough.)

    What's heartwarming? Telling your friends and no one cares; they in fact offer to front you any money you need, while assuring you that they've done the same.

    The last of course is priceless.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:05 PM | Comments (0)

    January 12, 2005

    I love it when

    the garbage bag breaks on you halfway to the dumpster and you get to litter, and then clean, the sidewalk of all your trash--chicken bones, tissues, pieces of glass, mushy cereal remains. A ball really; next time I'll send out invites so more than one little kid can watch me embarrass myself.

    It's just a little less fun then a root canal maybe.

    No, I'm not having a fun day. Why do you ask?

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 11:54 AM | Comments (8)

    O.K, G-d, but if you could clarify a bit?

    I figure G-d is sending my family some sort of message because three of us are suffering from leg problems. My knee has been acting up, my dh did something to a muscle in his leg, and now the whole back of his leg is bruised (he thinks bleeding internally) below the injury (he did see the nurse, he will see the doctor tomorrow),
    and my son, the Wit, who is not a complainer, is complaining about his knee, and he may go see the doctor this morning on the base.

    I know there is a message in there somewhere! But what it is? You got me. Maybe we aren't running to do enough Mitzvot.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:50 AM | Comments (2)

    January 11, 2005

    Ima! How do you like my bangs?

    Inquired the Monkey, and I don't know a parent who would get this wrong.
    Surprisingly she did a good job-- (embarrassingly) probably better than I would do!

    (sigh) I told her to ask me next time, and to not cut anymore today or they would be too short.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 12:54 PM | Comments (2)

    January 10, 2005

    Retrieving Stolen Property

    Can someone help this woman? She is living the simple life in up state NY, supporting her family with her knitting and spinning; then someone came and stole
    the equpment she needed to keep them in hearth and home.

    Please take a look at the items listed here in two albums, especially if you frequent those places where these items may be sold/displayed. (THe first picture has only one item, the second has several items) Keep an eye out; this is the work of some very cruel low-lifes. The loss of my wheel and spindles would be distressing to me; her loss is the loss of financial independence.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 03:14 PM | Comments (0)

    Touring the Blog World

    Here's a quick glimpse at what old friends have been saying.

    Rishon Rishon talks about believing the unprovable--linking to a series of articles by other great thinkers on the same topic.

    Light and Dark has written a memorial to one of the Canadas heroines; a woman who worked tirelessly to promote literature and the arts.

    Lex of Neptune Lex, has a pic and post about all the water being shipped to the Tzunami victims. That picture is amazing! (but why did they suit up to fly before having the water ready? I'm sure there is a reason, I'm just curious.)

    Little B of My Innermost Sanctum, has a cartoon that is right on target.

    Jim of Snoozebutton Dreams is taking Nigerian scammers to task for falling down on their job. Please guys, Jim's right! Where is your pride?

    Feminste has the cutest pic of her son and a snowman.
    For more serious matter, there is her post on Andrea Yates, and the overturning of Yates conviction.

    Bean, of Alas, a Blog talks about Domestic Violence and the single girl. I am appalled that the status of being single and without children would leave a victim of dometstic violence with so little resources to protect herself. Does a woman have to have a child to be worthy of help? Isn't helping people, btw, a moral good? Something that is upheld in all religions? Why do we need to make such a fuss about caring for the next person?

    And one more blog, which I found from Alas's blog; Leah, of Leah's Life. She directs us to a story about a young heroine, who used her learning to save many people from the effects of the Tsunami.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:06 AM | Comments (2)

    January 09, 2005

    Book Meme

    Okay, I've seen this in seveal places but took it from Jordana from Curmudgeonry, well, just because! That's why.

    Copy the list, then remove from it the names of any authors not in your home library, replacing them with names of a few authors you do have. Boldface the ones you’ve added.

    1. Gerald L. Schroeder
    2. Franz Kafka
    3. Henry James
    4. Jane Austen
    5. Thomas Ligotti
    6. MIchael Ende
    7. Dr. Seuss
    8. Douglas Adams
    9. Sarah Blaffer Hrdy
    10. William Shakespeare

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 01:32 PM | Comments (1)

    Dig A Hole

    Hey fellow teachers, lend me your ear; and advice. What do you do when your "great idea for class" turns into mush?

    I had thought to teach the girls in my third grade class to spin wool (with a whole lot of language learning thrown in almost under the table), beginning by showing them wool in all its forms, from dirty as it came sheared from the sheep, to nice clean carded, or teased wool. and then onto spinning it by rolling it on their thigh. Card, wool, comb, dye, spin, weave...there were a lot of words that could come from learning to spin and all come naturally. No cold definitions; warmth and actions.

    Three kids and two responded to the thought of even touching the clean puffs of wool as one might to making cow pies into, well, pies. To top it off we didn't have a room and the noise level about us necessitated speaking at a roar, at least at first.

    I know the idea wasn't too terrible; girls from other classes kept stopping by to ask me questions, but these two girls weren't having it. Their attention wandered, and they were bored to tears. And I didn't have a clue as to get their attention back toward me, and their work, and the learning I had planned. If they weren't going to participate, how could they learn?

    Words need hooks; they need to relate to one's life. Spin as in spin on a spindle isn't required as a word in and of itself, but spin as in spin around, spin the wheel, spin a lot of things is. Weave, clean, dirty, sweet, hay, clover and how they relate and relating other words to them (clover, over, but cover, lover.)

    In a larger class a few who "ughed" wouldn't be a problem; most or a good section would be interested in this (as was evidenced by the fact that many of the girls from other classes were highly intrigued) and the few who didn't would either just be bored or, eventually, would come around. But I have to keep everyone engaged, and it is so hard sometimes. Should I just always prepare two classes? What if both are dull as dishwater to them?

    Anyway, I'd like to hear from other teachers on what they do with their children when something, which sounded so good and fun, is met with resistance.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 12:46 PM | Comments (3)

    January 08, 2005

    Crash! Pop!

    That's the sound a wine glass makes when it gets knocked off the counter and one shard flies through the air popping a balloon.

    Crash, and OY VEY! Sound made when a second glass gets knocked over and breaks in the sink by the same klutz (namely yours truly) who broke the first glass.

    Ack! This is me spilling milk onto the microwve turnplate.

    Ping..Oh! This is the sound of me dropping the thread as I'm trying to sew a button on my son's pants.

    Bang! Plop! ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH! This is the sound of me knocking the books on the shelf onto the floor.

    I think I'm going to go watch t.v.. It is probably safer.

    (btw, did you know you can make farina in the microwave? I do now; and it tastes pretty good.)

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:24 PM | Comments (4)

    January 07, 2005

    Pure Decadence

    So I'm taking a hot bath. A hot, hot bath. The steam is curling up all around me, my body relaxes, my mind relaxes and I think: I deserve this everyday. A hot bath strewn with rose petals and lavender flowers. Tat would be perfect. A hot bath everyday in a tub strewn with rose petals and lavender flowers and a full body massage. With aromatic oils. And then a delicious prepared by someone else lunch, of feta cheese and vine ripe tomatoes on a bed of three different types of lettuce and warm buttered rolls, And then...and then...

    Well, you get the drift. My fantasies became more and more elaborate and extravagant and all at once I'm struck by an idea. What a perfect meme (please say you agree!) Just click on the extended entry and I'll tell you more...

    Please copy the following into your blog, and play along with me!

    What would you do if you could, if money and time was not an object? What treats would you give yourself, take as part and parcel of your day? This game is played a bit like the ABC game where you list all the things you will take with you on a vacation but in this case there is no alphabetical order. Just copy the list and add one more decadent and wild luxury that you would engage in. Your fantasy can be anything from doable if you had just a bit more time and/or money, to "not unless Bill Gates leaves his fortune to me in his will" to "I don't think we have reached that point in science yet!

    Come play! I want to see where this goes. Here's mine list:

    1. For at least one hour every evening, right after I got the kids to bed, I would take a hot, hot bath, strewn with flowers of all sorts while soft music played in the background.

    Now your turn. Ready, set PLAY!

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 01:29 PM | Comments (3)

    That's Love

    Odd is right.

    And I think they should try and introduce Mzee to the she-hippo hoped to be girlfriend of Owen. I mean, isn't one of the criterion for love that you accept the other persons friends and family? What kind of a wife would hse make if she rejects his daddy?

    I think we should all write letters of protest to the zoo and stop this travesty.
    OWEN HAS THE RIGHT TO MZEE!!! Everyone, come protest with me in front of the zoo this Monday.

    (If you show up please lmk, as I won't be there.)

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:20 AM | Comments (1)

    My Morning So Far

    1. I woke at 5:00 to prepare the chickens only to find we had no chickens; they had been left in the store when the rest of the delivery arrived.
    2. I washed the kitchen floor. It is now covered with little green veggies; so when is the best time to wash the floor? Isn't it always going to get dirty? Why can't it repel dirt for at least an hour?
    3. The floor is covered with little green veggies because I made homemade tabouleh---well, I bought the bulger, but I checked and clean and soaked it and chopped up the veggies and added everything. I use to buy it ready made or in the boxes, but mine taste so much better. (Hear the conceit!)
    4. I cleared all the dishes from the sink. Same situation as the floor. Honestly, if I told my dishes once I've told them a thousand times "WASH YOURSELVES"
    5. My dh retrieved the chickens from the store. I am now cooking them. With roses!!! Yes, I know I'm crazy but I was at the shuk and they were selling dried roses, and this is what the guy said they were used for and I wanted to try it.
    6. I made farina and it was good.
    7. I made mushroom soup yesterday from scratch. I know the title says "My Morniing So Far. I just wanted to see how well you were reading.
    8. I spun some wool. Hey, I spin with a spindle! Did you all know that?
    9. Dr. Phil wasn't on. I forget; he isn't on Yom Sishi (6th day or Friday). I got mad. So I watched a bit of My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance. I knew it is totatly stupid, but I was mad..and no it doesn't make sense. Are you still reading?
    10. I typed this post.

    I did do other things, like answer e-mail and go to the bathroom, but I firuted ten items was enough.

    Have a great one! And Shabbat Shalom all.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:16 AM | Comments (6)

    January 06, 2005

    And Finally, Because I do have to get to bed...

    This site brought me to tears, especially the lovely (and that is not a sarcastic statement) letters from Arabs. These are the real voices that never get heard, that the mainstream media doesn't want you to hear because it destroys one of their cherished platforms. I urge you to go and read, and while I'm sending you chasing across the internet, please read this article by Nonie Darwish on Arutz Sheva.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 10:20 PM | Comments (2)

    US, UK, Australian, and Canadian Citizens

    Stand up for free speech. Please go read here(click on details for more in depth information), and help set Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury. His crime? Wanting to go to Israel and speak. Sign the petition and write those letters and you can help save a life.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 10:12 PM | Comments (0)

    Politics Does Make Strange Bedfellows

    For instance, I never would have dreamed that this particular group would be waving the orange flag of support for the people in Gusk Katif. Kind of makes me smile; but then motorcycle gangs always did; strong, independent a special kind of people. While I would never be so brave as to ride a motorcycle the one, the thought of doing so, free and easy, has always seemed pretty close to flying with one's own wings to me---and I would love to have wings.

    Anyway, while I'm not physically in Gush Katif, my loyalties lie there; and so I want to say thanks guys, thank you for being there. You are fantastic. You've got good hearts and good souls. Keep flying.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:57 PM | Comments (0)

    January 05, 2005

    De-Lurking Day

    January 5th is
    De-lurking day! Or so I've been told, by Liz of This Full House, and which was established by Sheryl of Papernakin.
    So talk to me! Tell me whats up with life. Rant or rave. Just ramble on about whatever. Say Hello! Howdy!!! Hi!!! Shalom!!!

    I can't offer you the same incentive as Sheryl or Liz can, but I can offer you my gratitude! Besides, you know there's been something you've been dying to tell me but you just couldn't find the right place. Well now you have!!!

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:47 PM | Comments (3)

    Evil Mother Report

    I am so cruel. I thrive on cruelty, at least when it comes to my children.
    My viciousness doesn't stop at making them (gasp!) clean up their rooms, or try a bit of what I made for dinner, even if they don't like it, oh no...today.. I know you will be shocked to hear this, today I made my daughter, the Artist, go to an after school math class where she will not only (along with the rest of the girls in her class) do a bit more math at her teachers house, BUT also get some treats.

    Oh no, you are all horrified. Horrified! What mother could be so low-down mean and nasty to make her child try the class ONE WHOLE TIME!!!!

    The extent of my cruelty will not be known until said child returns from the torture chamber either angry or having loved it.

    So what evil mommy (or daddy) deed are you guilty of today?

    I got a sheepish smile and an agreement to go again. Hey she got bissli! I knew that would win her over.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 01:16 PM | Comments (5)

    What's Good for the Goose

    In the interest of fair play, things I do to drive my loved one's nuts.

    1. I lose my cell phone and purse almost every day. I've developed at least three or four places to put my purse, and the cell I want to keep in the purse, but more often than not the cell and the purse have a fight and both tend to wander.

    My normal course of action is to become quite agitated and try and get everyone to drop everything to find said items. The phone is easier; I call it. I think 1/3 the "missed" phone calls to my cell have been me, trying to locate the dear. The only reason I know where my phone is now is because dh took it upstairs to recharge it.

    2. I clear people's plates/cups and the like before they are ready. I get into a mood, do a clean sweep, and is it my fault they are still eating or in the process of making a sandwich?

    3. I have apopletic fits over missing toys. This is a catastrophic event, and I will tear the house apart trying to find the other car to the "Traffic Jam" game, or a piece of puzzle. Of course said missing piece also requires everyone stop and help me find it.---who knows? The fate of the world may depend on my finding the skirt to one of their magnetic dolls.

    I'm sure there are other things, but these are the ones I thought of right off.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 05:48 AM | Comments (1)

    Thank G-d! Baruch Hashem

    The reports of the kidnapped soldoer were untrue. It is the first thing I read when I woke up this morning=== Hre's the info, quoted from an article in Arutz Sheva.

    Report of Kidnapped Soldiers Unfounded 05:45 Jan 05, '05 / 24 Tevet 5765

    (IsraelNN.com) A Voice of Palestine Radio report that an IDF officer and soldier were abducted in the area of Maale Adumim appears to be an unfounded rumor, nothing more.

    Nevertheless, IDF officials have ordered tightened security at checkpoints in light of intelligence community reports that terrorists are seeking to abduct military personnel.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 05:37 AM | Comments (0)

    January 04, 2005

    True? I pray not.

    I just saw this on Arutz Sheva, and I'm praying it isn't true.
    full text of the article below; but you might want to keep going back for updates.
    (main page, left hand side of the column latest news.) I'll update if I see anything more.

    Voice of Palestine Radio: IDF Officer & Soldier Abducted by Terrorists
    22:00 Jan 04, '05 / 23 Tevet 5765

    (IsraelNN.com) A report leaked out to the media originating at Voice of Palestine Radio, stating they received a phone called that Fatah terrorist abducted an IDF officer and soldier. The caller promised to fax the station copies of the soldiers’ identity papers as proof, but never made good on the promise.

    The report stated the abduction occurred in the Maale Adumim area, in line with intelligence warnings of a planned kidnapping during recent days.

    IDF officials are handling the report in the appropriate fashion.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:50 PM | Comments (1)


    That's how many people are home right now. Just me and the Monkey, who is. for reasons only understood by other five year olds (excuse me 5 1/2 year olds) carrying a napkin wrapped egg around in her "mitriah" (umbrella. And she is of course singing about it...or at least I think that is the song.

    It is weird feeling, just us two bopping about in the house. The Wit is in the army, the Agent is at a class (for his GED), the Artist has something or other going on for school taking place at a friend's house, and the dh is at work. The silence is almost sticky, and my imagination takes me to the future when this is the norm; no one here but me and one child, and by that time, by the time the Artist has vacated the premisis for Sheruti duty (community service rather than strict army duty, a right reserved for girls) the Monkey will be 12 and probably out with her friends most of the time, certainly not hanging about mom!

    All my babies are growing up. How did that happen? I know I'm still only 23 ;-)

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 04:16 PM | Comments (1)


    Not as in place or site, as in body, as in this morning, between 6:40 and 7:40 I

    1.Woke the Artist
    2. Dressed
    3. Cleaned the downstairs toilet and sink.
    4. Switched the door on the downstairs sink cabinet
    5. Cleaned toilet, tub and sink upstairs.
    6. Stripped the sheets of the Monkey's bed.
    7. Took down the laundry from upstairs, started another load, put the load from last night in the dryer
    8. Walked the dog.
    9. Helped get the Artist out the door.

    All before my morning cup of burn-a-hole-in-your-stomach brew.

    My dh
    1. Woke
    2. Woke the Monkey
    3. Got her dressed.
    4. Got her breakfast.

    And I'm not a morning person.

    This drives me nuts! My family dwadles terribly; from husband to the kids. I get up and move, they get up and move from one spot to the other, finally making it to where they have to go. I get tensed, I feel a scream in the back of my throat, and every morning there me pushing and nagging the Artist out the door; t she hurry up, come on, you are going to be late! I'm the shrew of the morning and I hate this job.

    There must be some way to get the crew moving in the morning outside of dynamite, but I havent' found it yet. but quite frankly I hate this job. I don't want to spend my mornings nagging; I don't mind doing the laundry or the bathrooms, but I do mind having to make sure everyone else is doing what they should be doing. Or is this just, inevitably a mommies job? Something that comes with the territory, like finding lost mittens, holding the wrappings to candy bars, and wiping noses?

    How many of you moms out there are the movers in your house? How many dads? What have you found helpful in getting everyone up and out of there in the morning? Or, are you like me, having to push everyone out the door?

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:16 AM | Comments (1)

    January 03, 2005


    Thanks to my friends I haven't remained totally unaware of what is going on around me in the blogasphere! Linda of Auterific let me know about the current blogburst being sponsored by Instapundit. What is a blogburst did I hear you ask?
    Here's the scoop straight from the site.

    Following the first BlogBurst of November 29, 2004, we are now in the process of organizing a second Burst for January, 2005.

    The date for the BlogBurst is January 27, 2005, and the subject is:

    Remembering the Wannsee Conference and the Liberation of Auschwitz

    January 27, 2005, marks the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz in 1945. On January 20th, we marked the anniversary of the 1942 Wannsee Conference. In the course of that Conference, the Nazis formalized the Nazi plan to annihilate the Jewish people. Understanding the horrors of Auschwitz requires that one be aware of the premeditated mass-murder presented at Wannsee.

    This announcement is aimed primarily at webmasters: if you wish to join, and if you have not contacted me already, please contact me at IsraPundit@yahoo.com.

    83 websites, including LGF, joined the first BlogBurst (at least, I know of that number, but there may be more). We would like to surpass this number for January: we currently have 77 participants. You can see posts concerning the November BlogBurst here and here. The list of the January participants is shown at BlogBurst Info.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:04 PM | Comments (1)

    Ani L'dodi

    So my posts have gone to the dogs so to speak, as that is the topic foremost on my mind.

    Being bit by a creature that you love and have loved for years--- my father purchased a dog for my mother's birthday, which is the day before mine--- shakes one up. If this had been a stray I know what I would do; have it picked up, have it quarantined, have it killed. My love of the four-pawed creature does not extend to the loss of my life. Rabies is a horrible way to die, and having a biting dog loose and about is a danger to all.

    But this was a neighbors dog; they are nice people, it is only in this issue that they are operating beyond the bounds that most of us take. Like an errant child of whom the parents say "why he is just a bit more active than most" I think the family overlooked the negative behaviour of their beloved pet.

    And while I dislike the dog, and now have a bit of fear about it, I don't hate it or them; and reporting the dog left me reeling with guilt.

    I made certain that they dog would be returned to them after quarantine, but I didn't realize that quarantine was as costly as it apparently is; I allowed my concern for their financial position---beleive me I can relate---to persuade me fact prevericate on the issue of whose dog was it. "It was dark" I told the whoever it was who was in charge. I may have erred." Which of course led to a whole back and forth conversation about the advisablitiy of getting rabies shot; part of me actualy began worrying---I'm too easily persuaded sometimes---that I may have made an error, and that I should go get shots--part of me thought the doctor who spoke to me knew very well that I was deciving her, and that she was trying to frighten me into admiting the dog was our neighbors.

    I'm emotionally a wreck by this time, feeling hemmed in and that there is no moral and satisfying action that I can take. I feel guilty, respoinsible for the further actions of this animal, wondering why me? what did I do to this dog to deserve its wrath, trying to calm myself that of course it was the dog, hat it has menaced others, over and over in my head; drowning in my thoughts.

    So I call my Rabbi. I don't normally call my Rabbi unless there is a specific law and my dh can't answer; is this kosher or is that alright to use. I don't go in for these emotional based issues. But I really felt the need for advice; what else was my obligation in this area. And he told me; leave it alone but if they ever leave their dog loose, even once, take action.

    I can live with that. But in the course of the conversation we spoke about the number of dogs that were in the streets of the Yishuv, and that were often strays. He and his wife had been menaced by a group of four or five such dogs near the gate to the Yishuv; all strays. "There was a time when one could simply shoot a stray" he informed me. "But now there is a law against it."

    I'm nonplussed. How could one have such a rule? Stray dogs are a great danger to humans and other animals. What could be the reason for their disaallowing such a intelligent response?

    And then part of me says "because maybe they aren't strays in the real sense of strays" they aren't lacking owners, as much as lacking responsible owners. From my understanding many of the strays belong to some of the surrounding Arab villagers; unvaccinated, lacking tags, often hungry and barely cared for, they come to our Yishuv and cause problems, leaving their droppings on the sidewalks, annoying other animals. and so forth.

    "Why aren't we allowed to shoot them?" And I ask myself if this is a paranoid response; "Because the government cares more for the response of the Arabs and the world than for the lives of 'settlers'"

    And, adding to these fears and concerns are the rumors that are passed back and forth (they are going to stop the bullet proof buses) and the realities that exist (no mail for the Yishuvim. )

    Do we count? Are we now dismissed. A mock concern is made for our feelings but the real desire on part of a segment of the Israeli population is hatred toward us. And hatred I think to G-d, and a specific moral way of life.

    It is so much easier to chuck all the rules. Believe me, I've been tempted at times. How much easier it would be to shop on a Saturday, or forget family purity laws; they are a drag anyway. How much fun can the three weeks be, a state of mourning, ending with the nine days; no meat, no bathing for pleasure, all during the hotttest time of the year. Right, like, G-d, couldn't you have done this during the winter? The fast days, worrying about Kashrut, whether the food had been tithed or whether one needs to do it oneself, saying one's prayers before and after eating, after using the facilities, before going to bed and waking up, covering my hair...and the list goes on. So much easier to chuck it, at least the parts that don't make sense to me, and maybe mixing and matching whatever rules I l ike till I have what I like, as if the Torah was a linen store and I was choosing the blankets and sheets---but I can't do that.

    I can't give up on Torah and I can't give up on the lands G-d gave us, not so much as a gift but as responsibility; to care for her and guard her and use her for purposes dedicated to G-d. in honor of G-d.

    Much of the world wants to us to give up on G-d, and so tries to convince us that G-d has given up on us. We may as well chuck in all in because G-d doesn't care or G-d doesn't exist, but my soul knows a different story.

    So I cling to His laws, even when I don't particularly want to comply with His ruling, and I cling to the land, even if the world tries to tear my from her heart. My body is suspetible, it is easy to harm or kill, my mind can falter and die, but neither my heart nor soul will turn. Ani l'dodi v' dodi li" I am my beloveds and my beloved is mine. I belong to G-d and threaten or cajole me, promise or sneer at me for my position, the battle may be won by the world, and they may cheer, but in the end, the war is won by G-d.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:07 AM | Comments (1)

    January 02, 2005

    Jewish and Israeli Blogs

    New awards! New awards! Isarellycool is asking for nominations for the best Jewish/Israeli blogs in several catagories; go take a look and nominate your favorite. I (wow!) got a nomination, and I've noticed several of my faves have been nominated as well. Nominations close on January 16th! So go on over and look at all the catagories and nominate someone whose blog you love.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:56 PM | Comments (0)

    Oh and By the Way

    David of Rishon Rishon has something to say about what I completely forgot. I didn't realize the day had passed till I looked at my calendar on the computer. I'm pretty happy about not realizing it; I guess that makes me really feel Israeli.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 12:12 PM | Comments (0)

    Well Here Goes

    Otherwise known as summarize the week:

    Son has returned to the army; this is what I have learned about the army so far.

    The army has a lot of foolish rules; they, like most armies around the world, are a stickler for minor details---where the pants legs land in terms of the boots, how one is to wear one's jacket, etc. etc. I'm certain there are a lot of things my son just hasn't told me that wouldn't make sense.

    The Israeli army has pretty good food; and they serve soup at every meal. Yes, that means breakfast. I'm trying to figure that one out; I'm am insatiably curious and really want to know how many people actually eat soup for breakfast but I know my son will get angered by the question.

    I do know, now why everyone wears their berets on thelr sleeves; no one that I've ever seen wears their hats on their head. They are more ceremonial as well as indicate the status of the wearer.

    Soliders are targets; I always knew this, but I was thinking about it more. How many soilders have something to fear in their own countries? Israeli soilders are targets no matter where they are; we are all targets really, anyone who is in Israel is a target, but the soilder are even more so. Sorry, I know that was poor phrasing but can't think of how to phrase it better. The problem is if a soilder is targeted the world kind of turns away.

    The weekend isn't enough, but we are lucky to have that. I guess Israel being a small country it is easier for soilders to go home for more frequent visits.

    That's that end of the news.

    The DOG,
    Okay, so today the people who own the dog receive a call and they are going to quarrantine the dog. The owner called us and begged us to call it off. I really don't want to cause trouble between us and a neighbor so I agreed; but the neighbor mentioned the word compensation, as well as promising not to let the animal run free. I told the dh I don't want compensation; I don't want this to be a trade off; I stop a proceeding for money. To me the issue is I got bit in the thigh, and there was no provocation, and the next one who could be bit is a child. I want them to understand that dog must be tied up at all times. I'm going to go talk to my Rabbi about this and make certain the message gets across. I love animals, I love dogs. I'm not afraid of dogs in general. The day before I was born my father brought home a puppy for my mother (My mother's birthday is the day before mine.) This dog scares me; he bit me and then continued to menaace me all the way to my house. I took off my shoes and picked up a stone so that I could fight him off in necessary. Maybe I'm making the wrong decision, I don't know, but that is what I decided.

    Mail Strike! A lot of penpals are going to wonder where I went to. There is a mail strike. I am not even sure if it is in the Yishuv or what, but we haven't gotten and nor could we send mail this whole week.

    Well, there it is... Life as I know it today.

    We are still dead broke, but at least, with the help of my in-laws, we paid off the grocery bill.

    We need money so bad; Come on G-d, send us a miracle!

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 12:03 PM | Comments (0)

    January 01, 2005


    This is going to be a permanent feature here on the blog; I want it on top so it is seen first. A place to write for prayers for those in need. Please scroll down to see the latest normal entry. Please click continue reading for prayer list.

    Prayers for Esther's sister. May she remain cancer free, and healthy of body, mind, heart and soul, for all her life.

    Prayers for Emerson; may Emerson have good health of body, mind, heart and soul.

    Prayers for those who were injured in the attacks on London. Prayers for all those who lost their lives. Prayers for all their family members.

    Prayers for those who all those who were injured or killed in the train crash, and lloving prayers for their families.

    Prayers for baileysMilk's Dad, who was shot in Thailand, may he have a full and complete recovery, and may he walk much faster than that doctors predict. Prayers for baileysMilk also.

    For the over 400 children starving themselves to death in 400 children">Sweden because they see no other choice.

    For Turning Sporks brother, bbrother/big I may he have a full recovery and be back home, hale and happy, very soon.
    For Rivka bat Sarah who is in intensive care after giving birth to her son. Please pray for her health and that she can make a full recovery and be a mother to her child.

    For Ira, friend of Tuning Spork, who is dealing with many health issues.

    For my friend Teresa, who is going through some difficult times. May all the troubles she sees today soon be replaced by ten times the joys.

    For Charlotte Wyat; May she continute to confound the doctors and may G-d bring her home to her parents in saftey and good health.

    Please pray for my friends mother Chana Basha bat Esther, who just discovered she has breast cance for the third time in twenty years.
    For Rahel's friends Ariel David ben Sarah and his wife Joanna bat Miriam, a complete recovery and strength;

    Please pray for Random Penses Aunt who has just been diagnosed with bone cancer.

    For Getupgrrl of Chez Miscarriage and all who are dealing with infertility;

    For a cure for depression, bipolar disorders and all mental illness.

    For Amelia, the daughter of a penfriend of mine, who is having medical problems , and the doctors are having trouble finding the cause.

    Your prayers for a full recovery for Chana Tova Chaiya Bat Pesiah; a mother of a small child who was wounded in bombing of S'barrro's Resturant. Though she survived the attack she was left comatose. She is not on life support. May G-d please grant this lovely woman a full recovery so she may be a mother to her little child.

    For Kevin's new son Soren, whose heart stopped for four minutes. Pray for his good health.

    Jim Tree, the husband of a fellow spindler; he has a heart condition and will need surgery; his chances aren't the best. He is only 50 years old.

    May G-d grant Luke, a sweet lyoung boy of only 18mns, a complete healing after his drowning in the family pool. May he grow to become a healthy man, of body, mind, heart and soul. May he live to be 120 years and bring this world many wonders.

    Your prayers for this young man who has suffered terribly trying to defend and protect the innocent of the world.

    Please pray for the safe return of Tamika Antonette Houston, a 24 year old woman missing since late March, early June.

    For the safe return of a young boy kidnapped to Russia.

    For Lane's mother-in-law. May she have a complete recovery from her cancer.

    Keep my dh in mind; he is a computer programmer; is someone here in Israel needs a cobol programer (AS/400, synon) or anywhere who wants doesn't mind a telecommuter, lmk. Seriously, eating has become a habit, I don't think I can give it up.

    Please keep in mind those serving in the USA armed forces, and the Israeli armed forces, as well as other's who are fighting for freedom, and putting their lives on the line to protect and serve others.

    In memory of Bekah Zask, Barbara's daughter who was a victim of vehicular homicide. Cars are lethal weapons in the wrong hands. Drive like you were the pedestrian.

    Prayers forf wife Cheryl and our daughters. Cheryl died April 1, 2004 at 9:10 a.m of breast cancer, leaving behind her husband and two daughters. Please remember to click and lets end this disease.


    For peace, that those of us who are religious to have faith in G-d, and to pray for that the good within all shall overtake the bad, and we bring about a world of joy and peace.

    Please e-mail me or put in the comments for anyone or any group that should be iincluded in prayers. Thank you.

    Posted by Rachel Ann at 10:15 AM | Comments (45) | TrackBack