Sunday, 31 March 2013

pesach - all in one fell blogpost

march 31 - chol hamoed

returned hot and dusty and sweaty from the bat caves 3 hours before yomtov, with in laws staying + 2 extra guests, to discovert here is no electricity and hte shower isn;t working. it's all a test, it's all a test, it's all a test.
Ben has now found a very helpful neighbour who has fixed the electricity, with the caveat that we don;t yet know what iti s that keeps tripping the fuse. and i need that fridge-freezer!

earlier on march 31 - chol hamoed
we're at the bat cave. There are a lot of people and some sunbirds outside but no sign of Robin

march 29 (chol hamoed)

listening to the radio this morning, i heard two gems from the chief rabbi of holon (i think it was). First he was expounding on how chad paami stuff that is treated with some product which is absoultely not fit for a dog to eat, and so it totally does not at all ever not even by chumra need a hechsher. and he went on to say that even if the surface/coating would break up and bits get in the food, no misrad habriyut would ever permit this stuff to be eaten, so it's not a problem if it gets into the food.

maybe it's jsut me, but i thought that this was not entirely reassuring.

ok and then, a woman called in to ask something to do with kitniyot. and in the course of reassuring her, and insisting and emphasising jsut nhow much kitniyot is not chametz and cannot be sold with chametz because it is not chametz, he said that a sephardi is obligated to eat kitniyot, because if they don;t, then all that is left ot eat is matzah, and who can say if the matzah is really kosher?

march 28 - chol hamoed
Fantastic lovely day by Ein Hemed. beautiful surroundings, shallow stream for children to get grubby catching tadpoles, crusader fortress, and somewhat out-of-context, shows about robin hood and king arthur. it felt - a little discordant. but fun though.
it's been a busy couple of days. oh the many things to share! first off, i'm sure you are all agog to discover that our cockatiel is ashkenazi, as revealed by the fact that he has been eating mainly potatos and disdaining his sesame seeds.

march 27

had a wonderful day - spent an hour with Y & M sifting through archaeological rubble at Har Tzofim. We found bone (probably from korbanot in one of the mikdashim); byzantine-era fresco; a flint knife; loads of pottery shards; and who knows what all the stone tiles we found are from! extremely cool.

march 25 - erev pesach! 

note this year's new pesach craft - krias yam suf table runner.

march 21
i'm making stuffed courgettes. because life is too short to stuff a mushroom

 march 19

this fb post:
"rather odd request: we have totally mislaid a box of all our pesach china. I didn;t give or sell it to someone, did i?
Does anyone remember my selling or giving you a lot of white pesach china? please repond if so, i can;t think how i would have gotten rid of all our 24 settings of china, but we can;t find it anywhere."

was speedily followed by this one:
"Ok, never mind. it seems we did sell it. i just can;t remember why we did."

just in case you doubted that making aliyah can sometimes cause you to fail to pay enough attention to small but important details.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

only in israel (yes, yet again)

ben went round to check on our plumber's progress and ended up singing adir hu with him. turns out the plumber is a trained chazzan but he likes plumbing better (reminds me of someone i know! ;-) 

the young israeli guy who came to clean our oven is also a yoga teacher and explained to me that the pretty symbol on my wallet is the word 'om' which is the sound with which creation began, in yoga, and in Judaism is a Name of G-d. he was alot more knowledgeable than the pakistani woman on the tesco's checkout who first told me it was a hindu symbol.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

st patrick's day paddy

my very brave and just but slightly fool-hardy husband went to want was advertised as rav steinman speaking about something to do with the 'threat to charedim' (ie mainly the draft). in the event, r' steinman spoke on a video link up for 45 seconds.

BUT when ben came out, he found a small group of nutters (he thinks neturai karta nutters) holding posters and shouting something derogatory about rav steinman. then, a bunch of hotbloods came out of the rav steinman 'talk' and began to shout back, and try to take their posters and knock their shtreimels off. So my lovely and justice-loving husband got between the two groups to try to stop the riot. all by himself, i asked? oh no, there were a couple of other guys too.
he says the streimel-wearing nutters were not trying ot retaliate at all. Ben just shouted at them all to leave them alone, go off home, etc. Eventually, the yeshivish nutters herded the other nutters off down the street, and then the police turned up, so ben felt that he could leave it to them now.

Saturday night punch-up.

Friday, 15 March 2013

who's afraid of the big bad wolf?

'and i'll huff and i'll puff and i'll blow your house down'! Massive gust of wind just snapped all the screws and twine holding together th esuccah frame that was still on our mirpesset. Ben has gone down to the bottom of the hillside to retrieve twisted remains of said succah frame from its resting place several metres below.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

putting yc to bed the other night, i sang him 'homeward bound'. he asked 'who wrote it, was it carlebach?'
just to prove my other children can be funny also - Y the other day 'oh, devarim! I don;t want to get into that! it's just moshe talking talking for the whole thing'.

and learning navi - yehoshua/joshua - with michali today, she was a bit fidgety and wanting to be elsewhere. i said 'the next bit's really cool'. she looked a little unconvinced. then we read the pasuk with the stones flling out the sky onto the emori. i said 'told you. you weren;t expecting barad there, were you?'. nope. and nor were they.

and...2 nights ago, M came downstairs half an hour after being put to bed saying she couldn;t sleep. ben said (jokingly) 'oh i get it, you want to do more pesach cleaning don;t you?' M nodded enthusaistically. so she cleaned out another cupboard nad went off to bed. balabusta in the making.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

techias hameisim

Another piece of Torah which i have only now yunderstood after living here. In the gemara (taanis i think, but i can;t remember daf & amud), we are told that we can understand techias hameisim (resurrection of the dead) in some part by observing the way that a seed is planted, decomposes nd appears to be dead, and then revives when it rains. Truly, living in england this did not relaly impinge - it always rains, and so there is no real time of year when every thing looks dead and bare. but here for much of the year everything really is dead and bare, brown and grey and it looks like nothing is there and nothing is alive. And then it rains, and all of a sudden you discover that grass and plants and fruits and flowers were all there, all the time, but you couldn;t see them at all.
so only now do i actualy understand why the gemara uses this analogy for techias hameisim. so i suppose i also understand better, to some extent, how techias hameisim can possibly happen.
and i actually feel rather sad at facing the prospect of all the flowers and plants dying again as the summer heats up, of all the green withering away and disappearing.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

lieutenant birnbaum, zt"l

disappointed that i never got to hear this remarkable individual speak. but i cherish the one phone conversation i had with him, trying to bring him to speak in england.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

trying to explain to yc tonight about ashkenazim and sephardim (it's all because of kitniyot that it came up at all). i told him that after the romans destroyed the mikdash, Jews couldn;t live in eretz yisrael any more, we had to live in other countires which are not our home. he looked v puzzled and said 'but this family does'. so i told him that htat is because moshiach is nearly here and so jews can live in eretz yisrael again.
so then i told him that jews went to live in lots of different countries, like india and morocco and spain, and he asked what they speak in india, and was totally shocked that they don;t speak hebrew OR american.
once we got to the end of the ashkefardi debate, he said 'but Hashem doesn;t laugh'.
i said why? and he said 'becasue no one says funy things to Him. if people say funny things they don;t say them to Him so He never laughs'. i didn;t tell him that Hashem laughs whenever we plan.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

also is quite tickled that Y has changed the background on the computer account to a bust of a roman emperor - i think it's antoninus pius. tiled across the whole screen. though the effect is a little startling and does make it hard to find all the icons.