Category Archives: Political

Standing Together — Yom Hazikaron 2012

Hila Betzaleli poses at the Mount Herzl parade grounds, two hours before the tragedy in which she lost her life (photo credit: Channel 2 News)

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Like Talking To A Wall

If you have ever been to Israel, whether you are Jewish or not, you have most probably visited the Kotel, the Western Wall.  And whether it is your first time, or your 100th time, you probably every now and again leave a little note for God, stuffed in the cracks of the wall.

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Show Your Hearts

I don’t know the Berry family.  But a random tweet from Benji Lovett asked me to show my heart. But the story that unfolded from that one tiny tweet didn’t just get me to show my heart, it broke it.

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Porcelain Unicorn

I received the following from my friend Age and felt I had to share it with you:

Once in a while you get one you just wish to share with everyone……this is one of them.  Very short.  Worth the watch.

This summer, Philips and director/producer Ridley Scott launched  a global filmmaking competition dubbed “Tell It Your Way” following its Cannes Lions award-winning short-film project “Parallel Lines.”

The entrants were given freedom of expression and could take up any theme they wanted.  There were two strict rules—
The dialogue could be precisely six-lines (as it was in the ‘Parallel Lines’ films), and entries could not exceed three minutes.

Here’s the prize-winning entry in Philips’ “Tell It Your Way” competition. Easy to see how it impressed and touched the judges. Watch it here.

Or here:

 

Gilad Shalit — 5 Years Away From Home

Aviva Shalit -- how much longer before her son comes home to her?

My heart just aches for Aviva Shalit.  Her son, Gilad, was kidnapped by Hamas five years ago yesterday in a cross-border raid.  For the last five years Aviva has gone to bed every night wondering about the safety of her son.  She’s gone to bed, but I doubt she sleeps.

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Imagine What Katie Did

 

Ra'anana -- March 10th, 2011 -- spectrum from the Promised Land

I’ve pretty much always agreed with Katie, but I never thought I would disagree with John Lennon.

Check out What Katie Did, and then take her advice!

Reality Bites

I used to define myself as agressively Jewish.  When I lived in New York I did everything I could to let everyone I know that my head and my heart lay in a cocoon of Jewish life.  I wore Hebrew t-shirts, was never without some kind of Jewish or Israeli jewelry, I joined Jewish and Zionist youth groups and was obnoxiously Zionist.  I was a second generation Holocaust survivor with a chip on my shoulder the size of Bergen Belsen.

 

Bus in Jerusalem wishing everyone a good year

All this agressive sentiment disappeared when I made aliya (immigrated to Israel).  I didn’t need to show the world how Jewish I was.  I was living the life I always wanted to live.  I was in a country that when the bus driver wished me a happy holiday he meant one with apples and honey, not eggnog and mistletoe.  I was in a country where the local convenience store was open 24/6.  I was in a country where I didn’t have to vote based on the American candidate’s foreign policy toward Israel, but on the political party’s internal policy toward the piece of land I called home.  I was home!

To define myself politically I could use one word:  right-wing.  Okay, two words, but they’re hyphenated.  I used to think of myself as rabid right-wing on the Israeli political spectrum (ironically, I think of myself as left-wing when it comes to American internal policy).  I even lived, by choice, over the Green Line.  I was a settler, from my head covering down to my Naot sandals.

Ju-Boy and I had been dating for about three months when we had our first political discussion.  Good thing I was wearing a seatbelt at the time, because I might have just jumped out of the car speeding through Jerusalem.  Ju-Boy, the man who was on the same page as I was in so many ways, turn out to be an evil left-winger who would sell the country down the Jordan River for peace on a piece of paper.  “Well, Sweet, ” I said, “it’s been fun, but I have to break up with you now.”

By the time he got me home (I at this point was surprised that he didn’t break out in hives as we crossed the Green Line) he had managed to calm me down, claiming we still were on the same page.  According to Ju-Boy, what sounded like left-wing garbage coming out of his mouth was more centrist than I thought.  And, according to Ju-Boy, what sounded like the patriotic Zionist truth coming out of my mouth was more centrist than I thought.  Couldn’t I see that my reality was skewed?  We were both Centrist Zionists with different leanings.  Yeah, right, he would give away my home right from under me for an about-to-be-broken promise.

As you all know, we didn’t break up.  But from that day forward, a new rule was forged — no politics.  Some rules are meant to be broken but we mostly keep to this one, especially at the Shabbat table.

Miriyummy and Ju-Boy -- still together in spite of the line that divides them

Hebrew Slang Lesson of the Day — חי בסרט — chai baseret — literally, to live in the movie, but colloquially it means not to live in reality.  I think that politically, my Ju-Boy lives in the movies.  I sure with him the feeling is mutual.

Am Yisra'el Chai Baseret!

So Ju-Boy and I are living happily ever after, ever politically opposed, yet in harmony amity, two opposites co-existing as one, which is the best way I could come up with to segue into this post’s recipe…

Black and Whites

Growing up in New York one of my most favorite bakery treats was when my mother bought me a huge black and white cookie.  They were huge back then, but I think they’ve stayed the same size, but my mouth has just gotten bigger…  I think the only place you can get them in Israel is at the Brooklyn Bakery in Jerusalem.  If you’re not headed that way, you probably have to make your own.

Cookie Bit:

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk (I use soy milk with a dash of vinegar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg

Black and White Icing Bit:

  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon clear corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon water (you may not need all of it)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180° C).
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.
  3. In a small bowl or cup, mix together the buttermilk and vanilla.
  4. Beat the butter and the white sugar together in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes or until evenly distributed.
  5. Add the egg to butter and sugar mixture, and beat until blended.  You may have to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice.
  6. Gradually beat in the flour mixture one cup at a time, and add in buttermilk mixture between each cup of flour, and mix until smooth. This time you really will have to scrape down the sides of the bowl while mixing.
  7. Spoon batter in 1/4 cup size servings onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  8. Bake on the middle rack for about 15-17 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and spring back when touched.
  9. Place on a cooling rack, and allow to cool completely before icing.
  10. Stir together the confectioner’s sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, and 1/2 teablespoon of water in bowl until smooth.
  11. Place half of the mixture into separate bowl and add cocoa powder, and remaining water bit by bit until it is the same consistency as the white icing. If the icing is too runny, add more confectioner’s sugar until it is smooth and spreadable.
  12. Turn cooled cookies flat side up, and spread icing with pastry spatula, or butter knife. The cookies are meant to be domed on the bottom, flat on the top.  Spread the white icing over one half, chocolate over the other. The icing does not set solid on these cookies, and does not harden.  I don’t know what they put into the icing in New York to harden it.  I’m not sure I want to know.

I haven't made these in a while. In fact, I prefer to actually deny myself the pleasure and only indulge when in New York. So we'll have to make do with a Googled graphic, sorry...

A Candle for Gilad

I received this via email from my friend Brynn and thought it should be passed on.  If you agree with me, please pass this on any way you can.

To all my friends who light Shabbat candles, I’m not usually into group messages like this but this Shabbat marks four years in captivity for Gilad Shalit. I was talking to some friends and we are going to light an extra candle this Shabbat in merit of Gilad ben Aviva Shalit. We also thought that when we light our candles it would be fitting to say a prayer for him; whether it is your own words to Hashem to bring him home soon or to say the following tehillim (Psalms):

פרקים: כ’ ב”ד קכ  ק”ל קמ”ב

Chapters 20, 24, 121, 130 and 142

Let the extra candle that we light bring some light to his life and return him to his family safely and speedily in our days.

Ve’shavu banim legvulam
Shabbat shalom

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